FISCAL CONSERVATISM, MASSACHUSETTS STYLE
"We went seven years, eight years without doing a nine-figure contract. Not that we didn't try at times but we always have our limits and we're always willing to walk away. Hopefully, that discipline puts us in a position to bet on the right player or right players."
–Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein on signing Adrian Gonzalez to a long-term deal.
"We didn't go out and spend a lot of money for the '96 team. But we did have a core group of players, so people expected us to contend. They certainly didn't expect us to win 100 games like people expect out of this ball club."
–former Red Sox general manager Dan Duquette.
"They'll be just fine, there's no doubt in my mind. For all those who are doubting that in the local area, trust me, they're going to do just fine. That's just the way the season works. There is a point where you're going to lose seven out of eight games during the season, but that's just the way it works. So you just have to be able to identify what's going on and evaluate it properly. They're really good. That's why they're going to come out of it."
–Rays manager Joe Maddon. (Peter Abraham, Boston Globe)
"Just know that everything is the worst it can be right now. There is only one way to go now, it's up. I haven't talked to that many fans yet here in Boston. I've been kind of secluded right now. I won't even stop and get gas. But that's all I can say, things are at their worst right now and I think we can only go up from here."
–Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford, in his diary for ESPNBoston.
THE BABE IS OUT FOR THREE MONTHS, FIND ME A SCAPEGOAT
"He was only out by that much. That's what I look at when I judge if it was the right call or not. If he's only out by that much, especially when there are two outs, it's definitely not the wrong call."
–Yankees third base coach Rob Thomson on the play at home plate that put Josh Hamilton on the disabled list.
"There's indiscretion in this guy's life, he was stupid earlier and because of that, he can't take drugs now to help cure this injury and heal this injury. And that might have been dumb on everyone's part because, my gosh, it's the first inning, he's the MVP. They're scoring runs better than anybody in the league, you have to tag up on a fly ball in front of the dugout?"
–ESPN analyst Bobby Valentine.
"It's just one more part of coaching third base, people are going to second-guess you no matter what. You're in the heat of the moment. If he slides, and is safe, Josh Hamilton gets all of the credit. They start calling Josh Hamilton the greatest base runner of all time. You're out, and everybody blames Dave Anderson, who's a great third-base coach. I don't know Josh Hamilton, but I'm just blown away that he would second-guess like that."
–Giants third-base coach Tim Flannery.
"I can understand that if I was pulling things like hamstrings or quads and it was not actual high-intensity things like hitting walls. I'm making plays that the game calls me to make and I'm getting injured that way. That proves to me that I can get hurt anytime doing anything. I'm tired of talking about it, to be honest with you… People are going to blame who they want to blame. I threw him under the bus by telling the truth about what happened."
"I said the next time I was going to tap the guy on the shoulder and tell him, 'You're making $20 million. I'm making $100,000. You make the decision.'"
–former Dodgers third-base coach Joey Amalfitano. (Bob Nightengale, USA Today).
NOT ALL THAT FUN WHILE IT LASTED
"The trial is over and we don't need any more speeches."
–U.S. district judge Susan Illston, addressing the prosecution after Wednesday's verdict in the Barry Bonds trial.
"What bothers me is that you've got a very powerful federal government that has the money and time and resources to ruin someone's reputation. Why did it take eight years to get to this point on Barry Bonds? And with all the problems we've got, why are we sitting here at the end of an eight-year investigation?"
–Georgia House representative Jack Kingston (R-GA).
"The government will be satisfied with the one felony conviction, especially given the hurdle they had to overcome because of Anderson."
–defense attorney William Keane on what Greg Anderson meant in the trial. (Paul Elias, Associated Press)
ANSWERING ALL THE QUESTIONS, NOT JUST THE TOUGH ONES
"If you want to get Joe Torre on the phone, you'll know I'm not a hypocrite. When you have someone of quality that makes it all the way and you have hopes to have them for an extended period of time, you have to use them properly."
–Yankees general manager Brian Cashman explaining that he was against overusing the team's relievers during the Torre years.
"You have to understand these players are competitors; they're never going to say no. It's just the way they're wired. So you pay people to know the answer; I'm not paying a pitcher to be the pitching coach, for instance. Or the manager. I'm paying the pitching coach to be the pitching coach. I met with Proctor and said, 'You better stop telling the manager this because the way he manages'—I'm not criticizing Joe, that's just the way he is—'He wants an honest answer. Just tell him no.'"
–Cashman on what he advised Scott Proctor to do about being pitched too often.
"You have to have the knowledge enough to know that you've got to back off this guy, because he won't be honest with you, he'll lie to you even if he's dragging knuckles. So I met with those individual players and said, 'You are hurting your career.' I covered all the bases on my end. There's no hypocrisy here."
–Cashman, recalling what he told Joe Torre. (Mark Feinsand, New York Daily News)
"This ballpark has come a long way. This park was pretty ugly. It was all concrete. But this city was pretty excited. All of a sudden every city wanted a new ballpark. The mistake we made was being the first one. But what they did here was amazing. I think people in Chicago and White Sox fans appreciate it because all the revenue, all the new stuff they do for kids. Whoever came up with the idea to knock down the third level was a genius."
–White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen on U.S. Cellular Field. (Toni Ginetti, Chicago Sun-Times)
"Cheri Olvera is off to a new relationship with Chuck Knoblauch, so we can wish the best to her in the future."
–Brian Giles' attorney Jim Scott, after his client prevailed in a lawsuit brought by ex-girlfriend Olvera. (Brent Schrotenboer, San Diego Union-Tribune)
"Guys don't like looking up there and seeing if they're throwing under their norm. You try do do more, and it ends up being less. But they'll never get rid of it, because the fans like it. Some teams turn it off when certain guys are pitching, because they know it affects them. We use it more to see if a guy is losing it or not, tiring. Some guys will lose it, and start pitching more effectively where they get more movement. It varies from guy to guy."
–Reds manager Dusty Baker on posting the pitch velocity in the stadium. (Tom Groeschen, Cincinnati Enquirer)
"It was really a lot of fun the first couple of years. But struggling, not playing well, costing the team games really became stressful. My dad wanted me to do well. You could feel the pain when he saw me strike out. Tony continued to play me, which also stressed me out. He was showing belief in me, but it was just screwed up. I've known them since I was three, all the coaches. They didn't want to bury me. It just became a bad situation for everyone involved."
–former Cardinals outfielder Chris Duncan on playing for his father. (Joe Strauss, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
"It was a first for me. That's why this game is so beautiful. Each double play we had was a necessity. In those situations, if we didn't do that, it could have been a different story at the end of nine."
–Rangers manager Ron Washington on Matt Harrison's Friday performance where he recorded six groundball double plays. (WFAN.com)
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.