"Our game is being penalized for—I don't know if 'putting our heads in the sand' is the right words—for a little while. It's never going to be fair to everybody. And we're paying the price for what happened, in general. That's a shame."
–Red Sox manager Terry Francona, commenting on Manny Ramirez's retirement from baseball because he did not want to accept a second suspension for drug use.
"He has always tried not to let things affect him. Even if they do, he's not going to show you. He once used to talk about dreaming of hitting 700 home runs and being in Cooperstown. But that was never really his goal. From that time all he talks about is God has the power and how we need to trust in God. He thinks less about himself than he did before."
–ESPN reporter Enrique Rojas on talking to Ramirez after his retirement.
"I've been around players like that in the past, and I think at some point it takes a different understanding from whomever's working with them. From me to him, I just want him to understand that I do know what he's going through, and I want to help him out."
–Rays manager Joe Maddon on April 6th, before Manny's retirement, discussing resting him for a few days after a slow start.
"If it just happens once, and you know you can't use the stuff, why do you use that? He thinks he's smart to use it, and they don't find out. Now we find out. I don't understand why he did it. He's got so much talent. I don't think he needs it."
–Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano. (Gordon Wittenmyer, Chicago Sun-Times)
THE DEBATE WORLD SERIES IS IN SIGHT
"That one came out of nowhere. That's one of the best ones I've ever heard. That was like a Nobel Peace Prize speech."
–Red Sox outfielder Mike Cameron on an inspirational address from Theo Epstein after the team's 1-7 start.
"I've been here nine years and I never thought he had those words all lined up for us. I never heard him talking before. He came out and put everybody in a good mood. I had goosebumps after he finished talking, I'm telling you. He should record that and throw it out there because that should get everybody in a good mood."
–Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz.
"It meant a lot to guys just to see he's not some puppeteer who puts the lineup together and hopes to play well. He's emotionally invested. Not on a real personal level, because he's still the boss, but on a level that shows he knows this is a hard game. That's what he reiterated. 'This is a tough game. Good teams go through tough skids. Ours just happened to come at the beginning of the year and the whole world is jumping on us for it.' He told us to ignore it and go out and play the game we know how to play. He was confident things were going to turn around for us."
–Red Sox reliever Daniel Bard. (John Tomase, Boston Herald)
"IT'S EARLY," BUT HE DOESN'T APPEAR TO KNOW JOE GIRARDI'S NAME
"When I come here in April, I don't feel 100 percent. The fastball is not what it will be in May or something like that. I told the manager, 'Right now, you're going to see 88, 90, 92, 91. The last three years, I do it like that.'"
–Yankees reliever Rafael Soriano.
"It's early in the season. If he goes 3-for-3, nobody is going to question what's going on. That's the bottom line. We've had some hitters that have done that this year. It's happened."
–manager Joe Girardi on Derek Jeter's April so far.
"The weather conditions that the hitters are playing in aren't the best, either. I think he's going to be fine."
–Girardi on Jeter. (Barry M. Bloom, MLB.com)
IF ONLY THE RED SOX COULD PLAY WITHOUT A CATCHER
"Sometimes I think it makes sense, and I thought that was a good time. Sanchez, if he's going to beat you, it's more line drives than ground balls. But I used it for Rowand, too. Had the right pitcher, too. A lot of the time Augenstein will get a ground ball."
–Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, on going to a five-infielder alignment in the 11th inning of Friday's loss to the Giants.
"I didn't really think about it. They told me to come in, so I went there. It's a little strange. I've never done that before. But I kind of knew it was coming to me in that situation. I had to be ready."
–Cardinals outfielder Allen Craig on the alignment.
"In those situations, the ball's going to be hit to you because that's just how the game is."
–Craig. (Matthew Leach, MLB.com)
"Now remember, I said that on my own radio show on another network, and his father e-mailed the owner and the owner wanted me out of there. … I want Stephen to go on, never have my name brought up and have a great career. I had a great career, I had fun, had a great seven years, and it's sad for me that people still associate me with him. There should be no association with him."
–former Nationals broadcaster Rob Dibble blaming Jim Strasburg for getting fired by the team. (Dan Steinberg, D.C. Sports Bog)
"If we were talking about someone buying, say, a chemical manufacturing firm that had a similar set of factors—a possible Madoff liability and operating losses—it might impact the valuation and the potential buyer would have more leverage. But it's different with sports franchises. … In a city like New York, with so many high net-worth individuals, the price would probably not be affected. You are not buying a doorknob manufacturer or a distributorship. You are buying the most rare real estate on the planet."
–consultant to a Mets investor Andrew W. Kline, on why owning part of the team is still desirable. (Teri Thompson, New York Daily News)
"He said he was going to do it. He said, 'If they play me right where they are, I'm going to bunt.' I said, 'Run fast, big boy.'"
–Terry Francona after Adrian Gonzalez told him he would bunt in Friday's game against the Yankees. (Roger Rubin, New York Daily News)
"Nothing against Lou Piniella, he managed a lot of years and you get to the point where you don't think about those things, but it was a little frustrating from the player's side period, that there were no lineups. Lou didn't know who was playing and who was going in and it gets old. So then what happens is, you get guys in bad moods and then what happens is you're kind of like, 'whatever.' That's the way the Cubs kind of played to an extent."
–2010 Cubs spring trainee invitee Kevin Millar on Lou Piniella. (Paul Sullivan, Chicago Tribune)
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.