MATT GARZA, CUBS PRESS ON AMIDST TRADE RUMORS
“Last year they told me something could happen. The year before that something could and (it) did happen (with the Rays), and the year before it was something that could happen. So my entire career has been a lot of 'coulds.' So just keep going until a 'could' turns into a 'does.' Just kind of stick with the old saying from 'Finding Nemo': 'Keep swimming, guys.'”
—Cubs pitcher Matt Garza on pitching through ongoing trade rumors prior to the July 31 deadline. It’s been reported a trade is imminent, with the Rangers being among a number of teams involved. (Paul Sullivan, Chicago Tribune)
“It's definitely not the brightest (mood) with Garza definitely leaving. It's kind of a no-brainer that he's going now. He's one of our horses. But they're smart up top. Whenever you break a team up or someone gets traded, or sent down or released, it's not easy. But I think we're all professionals and need to deal with it in the professional manner like we all do. We're still going to play today and keep going.”
—First baseman Anthony Rizzo on dealing with the pending departure of a veteran teammate.
“Every team would want to have Garza. I know every five days when he pitches we have a 99 percent chance to win that game. If we lose him, it's a big loss for the team.”
—Outfielder Alfonso Soriano
“He's been the ultimate pro about everything. It's a strange thing for anybody to be a part of when you're the most elite starting pitcher on the [trade market]. When people are starting trade talks and everything, and you're that guy, it's not an everyday, normal atmosphere. It's not real fun coming to the park knowing today could be the day. So he's handled it extremely well, obviously, by his performance on the mound.”
—Manager Dale Sveum (Ian McCue, MLB.com)
“When [the phone] rings, then it will be real. Right now it's just rumors. It is what it is; you just keep going about your business.”
—Garza (Ian McCue, MLB.com)
BRANDON PHILLIPS QUESTIONS JOEY VOTTO’S BIG CONTRACT
“I just feel like they didn’t have to sign Joey [Votto] to that contract. He still had two more years on his. And for [the front office] to go out there and sign him before they sign me, and they knew I was going to be a free agent? I understand Joey’s a good player. He’s one of the best players in this game. But I feel like I am too. I told them that this is where I wanted to be. I begged them. I told everybody I want to finish my career here. And then they give someone a contract who didn’t ask for nothing?”
—Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips on his frustration with the club giving first baseman Joey Votto a $225 million contract extension prior to his $72.5 million deal. (Justin Williams, Cincinnati Magazine)
“To this day, I’m still hurt. Well, I don’t wanna say hurt. I’ll say scarred. I’m still scarred. It just sucks that it happened,” he says. “For [Reds owner Bob Castellini] to sign somebody for $200 million, there must be a new vegetable or fruit coming out that we don’t know about. For him to do something like that and tell me they didn’t have any more money, that’s a lie. But what can I do? I just feel like it was a slap in my face.”
“I haven’t read the article and I’d heard snippets of it, but from what I gathered, Brandon’s reaction was totally human. It’s a feeling I’ve felt before, it’s a feeling most people have felt before. Brandon’s a teammate I’ve played with six, seven years now and I love playing with him. I really have an immense amount of respect for him. Those comments have nothing to do with me. It doesn’t change a single thing, it makes me like him more, to be honest with you. Not many players are very honest, usually they give catch phrases, similar to what I’m doing right now.”
—Votto responding to Phillips’ comments (C. Trent Rosecrans, Cincinnati.com)
“Joey doesn’t really have a personality. He just goes out there and plays. He’s just Joey, you know what I mean? Plain Jane Joey. I hit the ball, I catch the ball, and I make money—that’s Joey.”
—Phillips on Votto’s low-key personality.
“We play together for this city, we’re tied together because of our contracts, because of the uniform we wear and because of the championship we’re trying to seek out for Cincinnati. I know Brandon feels that way and I feel that way also. That’s really all that matters.”
PAIR OF ASTROS TURN IN IMPRESSIVE PERFORMANCES
“Bedard threw a heck of a ballgame. He had a great breaking ball going, a live fastball. He did everything good to keep us off-balance but we made him work. We were able to get him out of there at a reasonable time and try somebody else out.”
—Mariners manager Eric Wedge on Astros starting pitcher Erik Bedard. Bedard had one of the stranger pitching lines of the season on Saturday, as he kept Seattle hitless through 6 and 1/3 innings, but gave up three runs (one earned), walked five, struck out ten, and took the loss. (Jose de Jesus Ortiz, Houston Chronicle)
“I would say it was the strangest game I’ve been involved in from Little League to the big leagues, when you give up one hit and punch out 15 guys and end up on the losing side of it. But it’s crystal clear how we ended up on the losing side of it.”
—Astros manager Bo Porter on Saturday’s loss. The Astros pitching staff combined to walk six batters and all four runs allowed came via the walk.
“With Bedard, I mean, the way that he pitches I only know what’s coming about half the time. In certain instances it’s tough to catch back there, when he has such good movement and it’s not always what’s expected.”
—Catcher Jason Castro.
“I've had three shoulder surgeries, so I'm not going over 110. I'd rather pitch a couple more years than face another batter.”
—Bedard, who departed the game after throwing 109 pitches despite being in the midst of a no-hitter. (Chris Abshire, MLB.com)
“The plan was to see if he could have a quick inning. He was at the end of the rope. When I went out there with a chuckle and left it up to him, he just said, 'I'm done' and flipped the ball at me. At that point, I took the ball.”
—Porter on pulling Bedard in the 7th inning.
“I got home and saw all the messages and spoke to my family and my wife and got a chance to take it all in. It's only the 303rd time it's been done, I think. That's like a no-hitter. And I'm a part of that history now. It's pretty special.”
—Outfielder Brandon Barnes, who went 5-for-5 and hit for the cycle during Friday’s 10-7 loss to Seattle. The rookie’s phone was blown up with about 60 text messages after the game. (Chris Abshire, MLB.com)
“Even with that game of his, I talked to him after and he kept saying, 'I wish we would have won.' That's the kind of player you want to keep around.”
—Porter, on Barnes.
“There are times when you'll go out there, grab the resin bag and toss it in the air, and say, 'I just jammed my thumb on that pitch. I need some time.' Really, what you're doing is giving your pitcher some time to calm down. It's part of the job, knowing your guys and doing what you can to bring out the best in them.”
—Athletics catcher John Jaso on handling his young pitching staff. Veteran Bartolo Colon aside, Oakland’s other four starting pitchers are 26 years old or younger. (Lyle Spencer, MLB.com)
“It's pitch recognition, but it's kind of what they're doing to him. He sees what they're doing to him, but he's caught in between on which way to go with it. But again, it's going to get back to swinging at strikes. You're looking for one or the other, but you still have to get a strike. Just because you get what you're looking for, if it's not on the plate, it doesn't really matter. It can be off a little, but it can't be way out of the strike zone.”
—Dodgers manager Don Mattingly on outfielder Yasiel Puig, who Mattingly feels has been getting caught between looking for fastballs and off-speed pitches. (Andrew Simon, MLB.com)
“The back's been bothering him a little bit and different things, so I think we do have to be careful. I kind of feel like we're always going to have to be a little bit careful with Carl as far as number of days in a row. So I don't think we're ever going to see Carl play 150 games-type thing anymore.”
—Mattingly on outfielder Carl Crawford, who missed the final three games of the first half with a stiff back. (Andrew Simon, MLB.com)
“But it was almost like it was never enough. I kind of view Colby as one of those guys. Nobody’s ever satisfied because they see the potential, they see the skills. That’s unfair to those guys. In time, that may come out. But be happy with what you’re doing, because what you’re doing is pretty damned good. Sometimes guys like that push themselves to do more and more and it ends up hurting them. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t push themselves, but they have to find balance, to get some enjoyment out of game.”
“I'm so happy to be playing in the Futures Game. There are a lot of good prospects on the team. So I'm just really happy. It's a great experience.”
—Twins power prospect Miguel Sano on playing in the Futures Game. Along with Byron Buxton, they represented Minnesota’s promising future. (Rhett Bollinger, MLB.com)
"This stadium may be very difficult, but it's not as difficult as Oakland. And if I can do it in Oakland, I thought, why can't I do it here?"
—Athletics outfielder Yoenis Cespedes after winning the 2013 Home Run Derby at Citi Field. (Jesse Sanchez, MLB.com)
“It's been extremely good with the pitch count being so low and being able to go deep in games. I want to go nine on every fifth day. I tell our trainers every time, 'See you after nine,' because that's my mindset. That's what I want to do.”
“You could make a good argument that we probably saw them a little sooner than we should have. However, there are circumstances that happened that made that come to fruition. That said, I think you have to be proud of what these kids have done up here in a short time. They've shown things where you can look forward and say this has a chance to be a pretty good group of kids. And that bodes well for our future.”
—Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik on the recent youth movement in Seattle, which has been led by Mike Zunino, Nick Franklin, and Brad Miller. (Greg Johns, MLB.com)
“I gave it about a year. I told [PR director Monica Barlow] I’d try it for a year and see how I felt about it. It wasn’t my cup of tea … For every nine positive things, you get one negative thing. I’ve had a great following and a lot of support on Twitter. But it’s just not something I cared to indulge in anymore.”
—Orioles first baseman Chris Davis on quitting Twitter. (Dan Connolly, Baltimore Sun)
“I couldn't afford to have a bad year in the Minor Leagues. I just hoped they'd find a position for me later. It's kind of funny, we've had such similar career paths. We both bounced around on the defensive side of it. We've always hit coming up. When we got to the big leagues, we both got into that bench role to start off and learned how to be productive.”
—Cardinals first baseman Allen Craig on the parallels between his career and that of teammate Matt Carpenter. (Richard Justice, MLB.com)