AN INFINITE NUMBER OF SECRETS TO THEIR SUCCESS
"I'm having a blast over here. I always wanted to know what it was like to play meaningful baseball in New York and I'm going to have the opportunity."
—Rangers and former Mets outfielder Jeff Francoeur on playing in the ALCS against the Yankees in New York.
"Our plan isn't rocket science. We're not the first team that said, 'Hey, let's build from within.' We've had success to this point because our evaluators are good. Our scouts are good. Our development people are good. They care, and they put the work in. I like to think we have a very clear idea of who we are and what our identity is."
—Rangers general manager Jon Daniels.
"Everybody wants to pigeonhole executives: You're a 'scouting guy' or a 'stat guy.' The bottom line is, JD has such a good feel for it. Scouting is the most important piece of the puzzle, and he'll fill in with the stats. Just look at the Mark Teixeira trade. We traded a perennial All-Star and didn't get back pieces of the puzzle with huge track records. Almost all the deals he's made have been scout-type deals."
—Rangers senior director of player personnel A.J. Preller on Daniels.
"We work harder than any team in BP, getting guys over, getting them in. And we've seen it carry over. Clint's a great encourager. He will tell you something that's wrong, then tell you five good things."
—Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton on hitting coach Clint Hurdle. (Troy E. Renck, Denver Post)
WE'VE GIVEN JEFF WILPON A FAKE PHONE NUMBER AND THAT SHOULD TAKE CARE OF IT
"There's been speculation about him getting other opportunities, but I think we feel pretty comfortable that this is his organization and these are his people. So I really would be shocked if he didn't stay with us."
—Rangers owner Nolan Ryan on Daniels possibly leaving and becoming the Mets' GM.
"Little bit of an uncomfortable topic. I don't think the focus should be on me at this point… It was a lot of innuendos, but there's been no formal request to talk to me."
—Daniels on whether there has been interest in him from the Mets.
"When I experienced my problem, he didn't judge me. He supported me, and I could never say enough about that support. When you're a manager, a lot of times you get hired to get fired. And whenever that time comes—and I hope it's a long time in the future—I hope that I can always have him as a friend."
—Rangers manager Ron Washington on Daniels. (Jerry Crasnick, ESPN.com)
HE READ IN THE PAPER HE'LL HAVE CLIFF LEE FOR GAME THREE
“We are going to Space Mountain, what the hell? It’s like what happens at Space Mountain. You have to get there and conquer it. You got to stay there.”
—Phillies manager Charlie Manuel on his team trying to get back to the World Series.
"I don't think we can do nothing to bring this game back tonight. It's a loss. So we come out tomorrow, and we come out and play in that moment, try to win that game. That's what we've got to do."
—Manuel after losing Game One of the NLCS to the Giants.(Sam Donnellon, Philadelphia Daily News)
HIS FIRST MOVE WAS TO BURN THE INFIELDER'S GLOVE OF BROOKS CONRAD
"Our goal is simple: We want to keep putting flags on that facade up there. I don't think there's a person alive that's going to replace Bobby Cox. We just want to continue the winning tradition and go from there."
—New Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez.
"Fredi's younger, got more ideas, better ideas maybe and can get this team going again."
—Former Braves manager Bobby Cox.
"It still doesn't feel like 'that's it' for some reason. The playoffs and the World Series, when you're in them, even when you win, it feels empty the next day that you don't have a ballgame. You're routine has been broken. There's nothing to do. There's nothing better than a baseball game."
—Cox. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
THEY MIGHT EVEN BRING A.J. BACK FOR A GAME SEVEN
"It's different when they’re our guys. They know I didn’t mean to do it. But it's still not a good feeling."
—Yankees starter A.J. Burnett after he hit two teammates with pitches in a simulated game.
"I thought he threw the ball actually pretty well in that game… There's nothing wrong with pitching in and making hitters uncomfortable."
—Yankees manager Joe Girardi on Burnett's simulated game.
"We expect him to dial up a good start."
—Girardi on Burnett. (Ron Blum, Associated Press)
"I think that's precious. It’s so wonderful that they're sensitive to him.”
—Hamilton's wife Katie Hamilton on the team dousing the recovering alcoholic in ginger ale after winning the ALDS over the Rays. (Tim Brown, Yahoo! Sports)
"He certainly did it in Cleveland. Part of the criticism he got here in Cleveland at the end was that he played so many different lineups. I don't know if it was warranted or not. He did play a lot of lineups. But, certainly, having the guts to do that is essential in bringing along a young team. You have to give the kids at-bats, and he's not afraid to do that. That's in his favor."
—Former Mariners manager Mike Hargrove on new Seattle manager Eric Wedge. (Larry Stone, Seattle Times)
"Everywhere I go now, even from writers to the fans to especially players on other teams, obviously from my teammates, there’s just been a totally different attitude, a lot more respect, a lot more, 'We’re cheering you on.' Perhaps they’ve seen me humanized a bit and embarrassed, and perhaps they can relate with me."
—Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez. (Harvey Araton, The New York Times)
"Take [his performance] over the course of the season, we'd be very happy with that type of run production. But we need to have that. He knows that for us to win, we need all of our players to take a step in the right direction. But did we miss his at-bats, his on-base percentage, how he prolongs an inning, pitches per plate appearance? He's still relentless, he's still well above average defensively, but we really missed his productive bat. But we saw some signs of it. That means it's still there."
—Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd on Todd Helton. (Thomas Harding, MLB.com)
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.