BASEBALL IS WHATEVER IT WAS MOST RECENTLY
"It wasn't quite the game we thought it would be. Great pitchers, sometimes they're a little bit off."
—Giants manager Bruce Bochy on Rangers left-hander Cliff Lee's Game One performance in the World Series.
"We weren't too worried. We were actually surprisingly calm in there. We were able to get some things going. We still felt like we had a chance. We know he throws a lot of strikes. We know he's one of the best pitchers in the game, especially in the postseason. We just wanted to attack him early."
—Giants second baseman Freddy Sanchez on facing Lee.
"That wasn’t my drug of choice."
—Rangers center fielder Josh Hamilton on the marijuana he smelled coming from the stands at AT&T Park.
I GUESS WE'LL KNOW BEFORE GAME SEVEN IF THEY GOT THE POINT
"He's had some time off between starts, plenty of rest. But you know, these guys have logged some work, some innings, and whether that's caught up with them or not, I can't answer that. But we'll say I thought he battled well. After the home run he regrouped and he kept them there to the one mistake to Hamilton. But I'm sure they're all a little tired now."
—Bochy on the Game Three performance of Giants left-hander Jonathan Sanchez.
"Damn right, absolutely. I'm sure it'll come up. You're not talking about one or two mph. He's pitching at 88. The stuff is down. It makes it harder to compete when you don't have that jump on your fastball that you're used to having."
—Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti on Sanchez.
"I made a good pitch to the first baseman, and he got it. That's not a bad pitch."
—Sanchez on giving up a three-run home run to Mitch Moreland. (Tim Kawakami, San Jose Mercury News)
WHEN ASKED IF HE KNEW THE FIRST BASEMAN'S NAME, SANCHEZ REGISTERED A NO COMMENT
"We started to script what that might look like, but we didn’t force it on him. He just said, 'Listen, guys, I believe in myself. Give me one year, and if I don’t hit, I’m open-minded.’ And he went out and hit .330 or .340, and he was the minor-league player of the year. We just said, ‘All right.'"
—Rangers general manager Jon Daniels on their plan to convert Moreland to a pitcher.
"We stayed away from Moreland the whole at-bat. We tried to come in. I'll take as much blame as him for that. I thought it was a good pitch to call. The guy put a good swing on it."
—Giants catcher Buster Posey on their approach to facing Moreland.
"Oh, we’re always trying to get him on the mound. Especially in spring training and stuff, they always tease him about getting on the mound and throwing sides. He ain’t got to worry about that for a while, though. I think he’ll do just fine swinging the stick.”
—Rangers reliever Michael Kirkman on Moreland. (Tyler Kepner, The New York Times)
PUT A JEFF WILPON BLOCK ON YOUR CELL PHONE
"I believe that this ownership is stable. I don't believe they're looking to sell. I do believe they have the resources. They continue to have a real interest and passion in the franchise and in the game."
—New Mets general manager Sandy Alderson.
"I think Sandy Alderson would be a good executive if he was in the real estate business with us."
—Mets owner Fred Wilpon.
"I think there's a little bit of misconception about my view of a manager. I don't view the manager as an extension of me. It's an independent and critical part of an organization. The manager has to have independence; otherwise the manager won't have credibility with any constituency, whether it's the players or the media or the fans."
"The situation in New York is perfect for Sandy because he thrives on being that type of leader. He’s not just going to be the face, because Sandy is more than a face, he’s going to lead them."
—Athletics general manager Billy Beane. (Bob Klapisch, Bergen Record)
"He realizes that there are different expectations in New York. And that there should be no five-year rebuilding process when you have the resources the Mets do. People forget, in the late ‘80s, we were pretty much a big-market club, when we were putting rings on our fingers."
—Athletics executive Grady Fuson on Alderson. (Dan Martin, New York Post)
"In a nutshell, I suspected Jose Canseco of doing steroids, but I never suspected Mark McGwire. It was a time as an organization we actually had begun to emphasize weight training as a part of a regimen that is now widespread, but at the time may have inadvertently gotten us involved with the steroid aspect."
—Alderson. (Mike Francesa, WFAN.com)
NINE MILLION DOLLARS WOULD GET MOST PEOPLE TO TURN ON THEIR PITCHING COACH
"When we left I talked to all my coaches, anticipating that everyone was going to be back. I don't think I've ever anticipated not having my whole coaching staff back. Cash felt it was important that we make a change. So I said basically, 'OK. You got to move on.'"
—Yankees manager Joe Girardi on the firing of pitching coach Dave Eiland.
"That's absolutely ridiculous and simply not true. Joe and I have never had a problem nor do we now. He's a solid baseball man and a great manager, and more importantly one of the best human beings I have ever met."
—Eiland on the idea that he and Girardi didn't get along.
"My focus the whole time was on our club. I didn't really think about leaving the Yankees. I enrolled my kids in school here. If I was going to leave I might have enrolled my kids somewhere else. My thought process always was I was going to be back."
—Girardi. (Wallace Matthews, ESPN.com)
SOMEBODY DOUBLE CHECK THE PAYROLL AND SEE IF WE CAN AFFORD EVERY SINGLE FREE AGENT
"I would like to always get younger and better. That's the double-edged sword. I don't want to get younger and worse. I want to get younger, but while doing so, remain championship-caliber. I think that’s what we’ve been trying to accomplish the last few years."
—Yankees general manager Brian Cashman on his off-season philosophy.
"I think we've done a good job. At the same time, if we have older players who can still do it for us, I don't have any problem whatsoever in retaining older players who perform at a high level."
"I do have people who believe he's major league-ready at the catcher position with a tremendous offensive bat. But nothing gets handed to somebody. You take it and earn it. He'll have a chance to come to spring training and fight for something and show that he's ready for something more at a higher level or not."
—Cashman on top-prospect Jesus Montero. (Chad Jennings, LoHud Yankees Blog)
"I know that I can help this ballclub more than what people think. It's just all the question marks that people put on me. Even after the season I had, people still have questions. You tell me, how does a guy who is declining finish in the top 10 best hitter in the league? How does that happen? Put it this way, the past two years I have 60 homers, and I have over 200 RBI. Is that bad?"
—Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz on wanting more than a one-year contract. (Rob Bradford, WEEI.com)
"He definitely deserves it. He basically carried us to a shot at contention. I honestly believe he should be recognized with the A-Rods and Pujolses of baseball."
—Rockies starter Jason Hammel, on teammate Carlos Gonzalez winning the MLB Player of the Year Award as voted on by major-league players. (Jim Armstrong, Denver Post)
"[Length of contract] is always an issue. It's probably the most poignant issue, always. Pat Gillick said this to me, and it rings true, any time you get these extraordinarily long contracts, you have to weigh not only that person's production on the field, but off the field. We'll do the same with Jayson."
—Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro on dealing with free agent Jayson Werth. (Boston Globe)
"I will step back because it got to the point that you can only take so much. 'Just give me the team you want, they want, and I'll manage it. Last year, there was a decision we make about [Thome] — all of a sudden, everything went on my back. I will accept it because I'm the manager of the team, but it was not an easy thing to do. They know what kind of players we need, what kind of players they want, and we'll take it from there."
—White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen on his desire not to be involved in the White Sox's personnel decisions. (Joe Cowley, Chicago Sun-Times)
"I don’t expect a big tail-off. Some of it will have to do with the shape of the lineup. I think if I can stay in the No. 3 spot in the lineup, that’s going to help me as far as having guys on base and having a lot of good hitters around me."
—Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista on replicating his 2010. (Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe)
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.