RED SOX, MLB HELP BOSTON HEAL
"I think it's important that we recognize that we're all behind the people in Boston and everyone that was involved. You think about that being a song that's a tradition there, it's special to Fenway Park and the people of Boston. We're behind them. Put the baseball teams aside, we want to be there for them.
—Yankees manager Joe Girardi, whose team blasted Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline”—the Red Sox’ proverbial anthem—this week as a gesture of solidarity with Boston, and a tribute to those affected by Monday’s bombings. (John Schlegel, MLB.com)
"I think it's a touch of class by, not only Cleveland, but every major-league city around baseball that has done something tonight. I saw the sign on the front of the facade at Yankee Stadium, and I think the fact that they played 'Sweet Caroline' in the third inning there, I think it's a touch of class by all of Major League Baseball to acknowledge this."
—Red Sox manager John Farrell, on the Indians’ decision to play the famous song before their game with Boston on Tuesday night.
“It just means nothing can bring us down. Everybody’s going to pull together and stick together, and no event or person or people can bring us down as a city.”
—Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks, on the “Boston Strong” emblem that now adorns the Green Monster. (Julian Benbow, Boston Globe)
“Very, very emotional. I’m sure there will be people here that were involved in some way, knew people involved. Hopefully it will kind of start the process of healing.”
—Middlebrooks, prior to the Red Sox dramatic 4-3 victory over the Royals on Saturday, their first home game since the bombings.
"This is our f—— city, and nobody is going to dictate our freedom. Stay strong."
—Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, before appearing in his first game of the season on Saturday. (Jason Mastrodonato, MLB.com)
JETER TO MISS MORE TIME
"They did a new CT scan, which revealed a small crack in the area of the previous injury. We have to back off and let that heal. This is obviously a setback."
—Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, lamenting the newest development in the recovery of shortstop Derek Jeter, who will now be out until at least the All-Star break. Jeter first injured his left ankle during the 2012 postseason. (Bryan Hoch, MLB.com)
“He is obviously the toughest we've ever had. You know when Derek Jeter continues to have issues that don't go away, you know that means more than just your typical something.”
"He's a pitcher. He's not, I don't think, going to overpower people. He's got to have location, command, be able to get his secondary stuff over the plate. He was in line to pitch, so that's who we brought up. There are about three guys down there that we think about, but the way the rotation as going, it kind of fell on Pettibone. He definitely has a future ahead of him and we had to have somebody to pitch. So we'll see."
—Phillies manager Charlie Manuel on the decision to have top pitching prospect Jonathan Pettibone start Monday’s game. (Paul Hagen, MLB.com)
"It will be a chance to perform at the big-league level. We'll evaluate [him] at the big-league level, and Davey is never afraid to give a young player a chance and to play him. He has never been afraid to do that. As an organization, we have never been afraid to do that. Rendon is a guy who we think is going to be a long-term part of the organization. We thought it was a good time until Zim gets back full-time. Plus, it also strengthens our bench by not having Chad Tracy and Steve Lombardozzi platooning out there."
—Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo on the debut of his top prospect Anthony Rendon.. (Bill Ladson, MLB.com)
Carlos Pena leads the league in mound visits.
"I think I could do it. I have had some trouble with my knee being sore just from DHing, so I'm a little bit hesitant to say I can run out there two or three or four nights in a row. But if they said, 'Hey, we absolutely have to have you play first base for a game,' I could certainly do it."
—Rangers designated hitter Lance Berkman, on playing first base for the team. Without the DH spot, Berkman sat out all three games at Wrigley Field. (Dave Sessions, MLB.com)
"[Having a quieter delivery] allowed me to have a more squared delivery, which means I can be more consistent with all my pitches, whether that's the changeup, the curveball, the slider, whatever. My delivery and rhythm is really comfortable for me. It's allowed me to throw the ball out in front and be a little bit more consistent."
—Angels starter Garrett Richards, on mechanical changes instituted by pitching coach Mike Butcher. Richards has been the team’s best starter thus far, stepping in as Jered Weaver’s replacement. (Alden Gonzalez, MLB.com)
"I really don't look at the numbers until it's said and done. I just try to do as many things right as possible, and try to win as many ballgames by doing what I can at the dish, on defense and running the bases."
—Braves right fielder Jason Heyward on his slow start to the season. Heyward is hitting just .121 through 17 games. (Mark Bowman, MLB.com)
“In Washington, we employed the same system because I'm a firm believer you have to defend the portion of the field that the guy has the greatest probability of hitting the ball well. I know when you look at the spray charts and the pitcher we have on the mound and percentages of pitches they throw to certain zones, you have a probability of where the ball is going to be hit well, and I keep stressing the well part.”
—Astros manager Bo Porter, on playing infield shifts. (Brian McTaggart, MLB.com)
"That's a part of the game that still electrocutes me, and I've just got to let it go. We've lowered the bar, with that offensive mindset. Our guys understand my thoughts on that, and what we need to do. We talk all the time about taking fastballs for third strikes with runners in scoring position. That, I don't get.”
— Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, on the acceptance of strikeouts in the modern game. (Tom Singer, MLB.com)
“When you get five off Gio, we got to win that game. We got to find a way to go out there and put zeroes (on the board), and we were unable to do that. Guys are still trying to find, I guess, their niche and understand roles. (But) you get five off Gio you’ve got to keep that momentum on your side…. Ultimately we’ve got to win these types of games.”
—Mets captain David Wright, on the Mets losing to the Nationals despite the Mets’ bats contributing their part. (Sean Brennan, NY Daily News)
"I took his glasses and put them on and said, 'You wouldn't hit a guy with glasses,'" said Matheny. "That's how we started the conversation. This was [Thursday]. But we talked to him a week ago about Philly, saying this might be a good time, a tough trip. Let's pick a day. There has never been fisticuffs. [But] he would play 161 straight and he would tell you he doesn't need a rest on the last one. That's just how he is."
—Cardinals manager Mike Matheny on the process of giving catcher Yadier Molina a day off. (Jay Greenberg, MLB.com)
“When you don’t succeed, it’s hard to own your own failure and not look for other places to blame. That’s real hard. Character is hard to find. We really try to make sure the starters understand their obligation to pitch innings. That’s one thing we’ve impressed upon them wherever we’ve been. Relief guys aren’t supposed to be in 80 games a year. And when they are, it’s because the starting rotation isn’t getting the job done.”
—Reds pitching coach Bryan Price, on his pitching philosophy. (John Fay, Cincinnati Enquirer)
“Throw a slider low and away. He’ll bounce it back to you. Look back the runner at third before you throw to first. If (A.J.) Ellis tries to score, we’ll get him at the plate and we’re out of the inning.”
—An alleged in-game quote from Padres catcher John Baker to reliever Luke Gregorson. Later, the 1-3-2 double play that Baker called happened exactly as he described. (Bill Center, UT San Diego)