IMAGE REHAB COMPLETE
"Management showed us that they have our backs. The way they stood behind Wash was something that pulled us together as people. We saw how it could work, you know, if we did all of those things and how good we could be. At that point, I think we started really believing in ourselves and believing that we were better than everybody else."
—Rangers center fielder Josh Hamilton on the organization sticking with manager Ron Washington after it became public he had used cocaine last season.
"I'm sure it made it a little sweeter for them."
—Yankees third baseman and former Rangers shortstop Alex Rodriguez, on making the final out of the ALCS.
"The problem with baseball in Texas is that you have to sustain success to keep people interested. This is a good building block for this organization. If they continue having success you'll have more nights like that. I've played a lot of games here in this stadium and I have never seen it like it was tonight. It was great."
—Yankees first baseman Lance Berkman.
"It was a glass case of emotion."
—Hamilton, quoting Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy after winning Game Four of the ALCS.
WAS HE ALSO READY TO COME OUT OF THE BULLPEN IN GAME SIX?
"He’s a tremendous listener, a good people person. He’s actually kind of a soft-spoken leader in a lot of ways. You couldn’t come up with two different backgrounds than he and I do. I joke that we’re kind of like the baseball odd couple. I think we also complement each other in different ways. It was a rough time this summer — bankruptcy, you don’t know how the sale process is going to end."
—Rangers general manager Jon Daniels on team president and part owner Nolan Ryan.
"It's just a different feeling at this point in time in my life, to be associated with a group of players like this, and an organization. It’s such a team effort and an organizational effort. It gives you a totally different perspective. It's just a special feeling. The best thing I can relate it to is watching your children play and be successful, but this is on such a bigger stage."
"He takes a lot of pride, as much as anybody I've ever met, in his community, and pride in being a Texan. The look on his face today, he was beaming at the thought of being in the middle of 54,000 of his fellow Texans. I think that meant a lot to him."
—Daniels on Ryan during the Rangers' clinching victory in Game Six of the ALCS.
"I have enormous respect and appreciation for the fact that the cornerstones for our success were put in place before I showed up. At the same time we’re proud that we were in this in 2009 when it wasn’t obvious. The team was under .500 and not drawing well."
—Rangers owner Chuck Greenberg. (Murray Chass, Herald de Paris)
HAL STEINBRENNER HAS ALREADY LEFT HIM OVER 40 MESSAGES
"Our team has areas of weakness that we have to tackle. I think we have a great team, but Texas just proved they’re better. It’s as simple as that. Obviously the job is to attack areas of weakness and hope that your current strengths remain strengths."
—Yankees general manager Brian Cashman.
"I'm smart enough to realize what I don't know, and try to find people that call help me. I went and hired people like a Mike Fishman… We have a lot of people up in my offices that help and guide us in the right direction. We're less likely to make leaps of faith."
"I appreciate how difficult this sport is… I wouldn't say I’m disappointed in what we had. I’m disappointed with how it turned out."
"You can see by a lot of the consistent decisions that certain places make who utilizes it and who doesn't… For a long time I thought our talent level was higher than the Boston Red Sox, but yet the Red Sox were right there with us with less talent. And eventually they got past us. That's the one thing where I didn't think Tom, Tom Verducci closed the loop on that book because he praised the Indians and the Red Sox for the new science but ripped me for taking the Yankees to that level. It didn't make any sense. It was a contradiction."
—Cashman, on whether there are some teams who still don't use quantitative analysis. (Mike Francesa, WFAN.com)
SEND RYAN HOWARD A NICE THANK YOU NOTE
"It's pretty surreal. You dream about these things when you're a kid. You even dream about them when you're a Major League Baseball player. These things are finally coming to fruition, coming together. When all the pieces come together at once it's a pretty awesome sight to see."
—Giants right-hander Tim Lincecum.
"It was a slider, outside. I was setting him up in, the whole time, and not really executing well — missing up. It was just a pitch I felt like, you know, if the season’s going to come down to it, it’s going to come down to this pitch right here. I'm all in. I’m going for it."
—Giants closer Brian Wilson, on the final pitch of NLCS Game Six, a called third strike on Ryan Howard that clinched the pennant.
"Everyone's screaming. I've got a catcher running at me with a fist, guys coming at me from all angles. I just put my head down and wore all the punches."
"He's a very humble kid. What else can you ask [for] but that? When I left I could have helped them out, been a backup for him, but [the Giants] didn't think that way. They thought I was going to be mad, and they said the Rangers were interested in trading for me."
—Rangers catcher Bengie Molina on his willingness to be a backup for Buster Posey with the Giants. (Brittany Ghiroli, MLB.com)
IF DUSTY BAKER CAN GET HIRED, THE DREAM LIVES ON
"I really felt slighted. Maybe I did something. I'm a headstrong guy and maybe rubbed people the wrong way. That's on the table, too.''
—new Cubs manager Mike Quade on getting passed over in the A's organization.
"We are glad to have Dale returning. His work ethic and passion for the role he has with our hitters has not gone unnoticed. The managers we have interviewed also recognize what Dale has accomplished with our hitters."
—Brewers general manager Doug Melvin, on signing hitting coach Dale Sveum to a two-year extension.
"Everybody handles things. I think I’ve been fired four times, maybe five. Look, baseball life — there’s ups and downs, I’m on a high right now and there are lows, too. It always made me stronger and never deterred me in trying to get better and being a better coach or a manager."
"I really feel at this point in my life, that I may be able to have an even bigger impact on a ballclub. I'm not underemphasizing the importance that a coach has. That's a huge responsbility for a major-league coach and I don't downplay that. But at the same time, I would like to advance to a point where I've got my hands on a little bit of everything."
—Blue Jays third base coach Brian Butterfield, on being passed over for the position of manager. (Jordan Bastian, MLB.com)
"It's a huge opportunity and it's a huge responsibility. I'm going to embrace it. For a guy who loves baseball and has loved it his whole life, this is a dream opportunity for me, to kind of hone in on a franchise and build it the way I see fit. I'm very humbled by it. I'm very honored by it."
—Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo, on his five-year contract extension. (Adam Kilgore, Washington Post)
"When I'm on the field my one thought is to completely annihilate you and do everything in my power to make you fail. I don't have a single thought about what my hair looks like, what my shoes look like, why my shirt's unbuttoned. I don't care who you are or what you've done in this game. Right now it's a one-on-one battle and nothing's going to stop me from doing what I need to do to get the game over. I got three chances to get you out, three strikes. I got four chances to walk you. I like my odds. If I can't get that guy, I'll get the next guy."
—Wilson. (Bob Nightengale, USA Today)
"The only thing I know right now is I love taking the mound every fifth day. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of other stuff that, at this point and this stage of my life, I don’t like about baseball."
—Yankees left-hander Andy Pettitte on the possibility of retirement. (Ben Shpigel, The New York Times)
"I enjoyed my time as hitting coach a great deal. The players were great and I can't think of a better coaching staff to work with. They were outstanding. At this point in time, I'm unable to commit to a full season of putting in the time that is necessary to be effective in that role. But I do look forward to continuing to work with the Astros."
—hitting coach Jeff Bagwell on deciding not to return in that capacity in 2011. (Brian McTaggart, MLB.com)
"Did I ever find my swing? My swing never left. Well, I guess I didn’t find it. I mean, if you hit 31 home runs and 108 RBIs you must have found something."
—Howard on comments by his Phillies manager Charlie Manuel that he lost his swing. (Tyler Kepner, The New York Times)
"I felt really good at the plate and I was not really jumpy at all. I didn't feel overmatched at all. They came after me and I really appreciate that. I thank all of them for coming at me and facing me with the fastball and offspeed."
—Nationals outfield propsect Bryce Harper, on his debut in the Arizona Fall League. (John Nestor, All Headline News)
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.