THE UNFETTERED JOY OF OPENING DAY IN ST. PETE
"We're not leaving, we're not going anywhere, baseball is not pushing it, but it's a baby step just to explore, and we need to at least take that baby step. I'm depending on leaders being leaders, basically, and doing what's right and, most importantly, what's good for the population in general, for your constituents as well."
-Rays owner Stu Sternberg on his team's future at Tropicana Field.
"They have to take over. They have to do their part to make sure there's an entire fan experience. I think they're doing it. Maybe they have to reassess some of how they do that."
-St. Petersburg mayor Bill Foster.
"It's imperative that we get this thing moving. The can has been kicked down the road and the road is not much longer. But there needs to be some progress. And I think my patience is greater than Major League Baseball's."
"I love it. I mean, look at the field. Aside from a couple of quirky ground rules—you know, I call the rings Wrigley's Ivy—it's an absolute beautiful facility, to me, in Florida to play baseball."
–Foster. (Tony Fabrizio, The Tampa Tribune)
COULD MANNY BE IN THE SCOREBOARD?
"We weren't using it for a competitive advantage. The gun on the scoreboard was down. It's not like the hitter is getting it. It's for the coaching staff, mostly, and at times the guys will ask what the velocity was, especially when the scoreboard is down."
-Yankees manager Joe Girardi on why the Yankees had baseball operations assistant Brett Weber relay pitch velocity to the team's hitters from the stands.
"I think he recognizes the fact that there's no real advantage here. But at the same time, there is a bulletin out that says you're not supposed to do that. We explained to him that the first inning, the scoreboard was reading 912 m.p.h., so normally that stuff's out there. I think it's really silly, personally. But we provided all information in a truthful and honest way to Joe."
–Cashman, on his communication with MLB senior vice president Joe Garagiola Jr. about the incident.
"The headset has nothing to do with us, that's done to tell the scoreboard operator the pitches so they can put that up there."
"The psychotics that obsessed about it all day yesterday, I think we all did them a favor by keeping them off the street and preventing them from hurting others."
–Cashman on the reaction to a Keith Olbermann tweet that drew attention to Weber. (Chelsea Frajerman, NESN.com)
THE REAL REASON BRIAN IS CRANKY
"It's a thin market when you are out there looking for lefties and he was one of the better ones out there. You don't typically run to sign up guys that have been used like that."
–Brian Cashman on the injury to left-handed reliever Pedro Feliciano.
"He volunteered for the baseball every day. He was asked if he was able to pitch. He said yes every day, and wanted to pitch more than we even pitched him."
-Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen.
"I feel badly that someone feels that way, but that's part of the reason we decided not to re-sign him, because we knew we had used him 270-some times in the last three years."
–Warthen. (Peter Botte, New York Daily News)
FOLKSY YET STATISTICALLY SOUND
"Terry Ryan spends at least two hours of statistical analysis before he ever sees a game. He's got so much information on his [scorecard] that he can watch a team and he's got everything he needs."
-Twins general manager Bill Smith.
"We've been using stats as long as anybody. We don't have three full-time guys from MIT crunching stats like a few teams do. Most of us do it on our own. That's just the Twins way."
-Twins vice president of player personnel Mike Radcliff.
"We have tremendous confidence in our scouts. These guys are relentless. And each scout has statistical analysis that he goes through as he's writing those reports. So it's not that we just get blind reports without any thought going into it."
–Smith. (Joe Christensen, Minneapolis Star-Tribune)
TALKING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF GIANTS?
"Someone who I work with said you know you are replacing Cal Ripken, and I said you know that's not really helping."
-ESPN broadcaster Dan Shulman on the network's new Sunday Night baseball team.
"We can even disagree when it's time to disagree and know it's not personal."
-ESPN analyst Bobby Valentine.
"We lose a Hall of Fame second baseman and a Hall of Fame broadcaster, but we gain two people who I think will someday be in the Hall of Fames themselves through this and their other accomplishments."
-ESPN analyst Orel Hershiser. (Mel Bracht, The Oklahoman)
"I'd been pitched this show a million times in scripted form. The most common one was the owner dies and his daughter takes over the team—a woman in a man's world."
-Showtime president David Nevins on his network's reality series about the San Francisco Giants. (Martin Miller, Los Angeles Times)
"One hundred percent of the time I won't swing because my eyes go straight to the runner. It's just a bad habit I got into. I've played with some pretty good base stealers, and all I asked them was just don't run with two strikes—please—because I probably won't swing. But that's how they make their living. I want them to go, and I'd rather have them on second, for sure."
-White Sox designated hitter Adam Dunn on getting distracted by baserunners. (Daryl Van Schouwen, Chicago Sun-Times)
"Our error in that was not so much our evaluation of Adrian. Our biggest miss in that situation was really our evaluation of our club, where we were competitively and in the division. We thought that there was a window there in '05-'06 to really push. We won 89 games were a .500 club in '05, hadn't made too many changes. Our group came in in '05. We probably tried to step on the gas before we were ready. Not probably. We did."
-Rangers general manager Jon Daniels, on the trade that sent Adrian Gonzalez to San Diego. (Alex Speier, WEEI.com)
"Bill once told me: 'I have a terrible problem with authority. I've never been able to get along with anyone in authority.' I think that explains a lot."
-former MLB commissioner Fay Vincent, on Bill White. (Richard Sandomir, The New York Times)
"Why you crying? I'm the one who's gotta play right field every day."
-Giants right fielder Aubrey Huff, on learning Brandon Belt would make the team as the starting first baseman. (John Shea, San Francisco Chronicle)
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.
Thank you for reading
This is a free article. If you enjoyed it, consider subscribing to Baseball Prospectus. Subscriptions support ongoing public baseball research and analysis in an increasingly proprietary environment.Subscribe now