I kind of like baseball being pure with the human aspect and the human error of the game. I think the umpires sometimes get undue criticism. There's countless plays every game throughout the year and they may miss probably less than one percent of them. That's pretty good. It seems like the only ones that anybody ever brings up replay with are the ones that are at the end of the game, where they think that's the deciding factor of a ballgame. But there could be a play in the first or second inning that could have directly affected the outcome of the game.”
—Diamondbacks reliever J.J. Putz on MLB’s proposal to expand the use of instant replay in 2014. (Steve Gilbert,

“It’s not going to slow down the game. You have a bang-bang play at the plate, and you can literally run into the clubhouse, watch the replay and run back in one minute and you know what happened. (Under the current system), some umpire’s yelling at the manager and they have to go into the tunnel and you’ve got 15 minutes. I would take slowing the game down as opposed to a call not going our way and we get knocked out of first. I can be watching the game on my iPhone in another city, and I can see if he’s safe or out in two minutes. And you’re talking about letting that go the other way? There are a lot more things they could worry about that slow down the game even more.”
—Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes. (Scott Lauber, Boston Herald)

“The human element is a big baseball thing. But as long as the call gets right, I like that it’s only one (challenge per team) through six innings, and I guess two in the later innings. I think it’s good. I’ll see what other people think about it. Human element is a big factor, but when you’ve got close play—we saw it last year with us—it can change the course of a season. I think it’s good.”
—Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman. The Braves could have really used expanded instant replay during last year’s wild card game against the Cardinals. (David O’Brien, Albany Herald)

“Of course I like it. I like flat-screen TVs with high definition. I like air conditioning in my 1956 Bel Air. I like computers. That group that argues against technology and advancement, I would challenge them to take away all the technology that makes our lives better. To bury your head in the sand and reference 'old school' all the time is a really poor argument. This is the time. It's our time to make the right decision. Live with it, understand it. It makes things better and more accurate. What's wrong with that?”
—Rays manager Joe Maddon. (Sam Strong,

“We've lost games in the first inning. I don't know if there are more mistakes in the latter part, but it's difficult for me to try to tell you what the most significant moment in that game will be. It could be done so quickly with technology today. I don't anticipate this being a lengthy thing, and it's going to be a lot less lengthy than me going out to argue.”
—Maddon, on the current proposal, which would limit managers to one challenge through the first six innings and two more after the seventh inning.

“I played on a team in high school that won 59 straight games. So I want to win every day, and I think it's possible. Sometimes you can get caught up by saying, 'Oh, we're not supposed to be doing this. We play .500 on the road, that's good enough. That's a good trip.' Not necessarily.”
—Dodgers manager Don Mattingly after Friday’s win against Philadelphia, his club’s 41st win in their last 49 games. (Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times)

“Kersh is kind of what we're all about. What Kersh has done all year to this point really means nothing. He'll be one of the first guys here tomorrow, blow out a workout and be on track to the next one. He doesn't take a hitter off. Every pitch has a purpose. He wants every out he can get. And he keeps turning the page. Everything in the past is over, and it's about today. He's pretty amazing.”
—Mattingly on starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw, who pitched eight innings of scoreless ball during Saturday’s win to lower his season ERA to 1.80. (Ken Gurnick,

“I don't need to fit in anywhere. My job is to play center field. Do you think I'm going to come in and mess up the chemistry? The only thing I'm going to do is make the team better. I'm not going to make the team worse.”
—Outfielder Matt Kemp, who have been on the DL since July 24th with an ankle sprain. (Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times)

“Those teams had a one-two punch. This team is one, two, three, four and five. From what I've watched the past month, they've just done a phenomenal job pounding the zone and handing the ball to the bullpen.”
—Reliever Brian Wilson on how this Dodgers bullpen compares to the World Series Champion teams that he was a part of in San Francisco. “The Beard” is likely to be activated from the DL within the next few days.

“We've talked about the risk-reward, about it needing to be a 100 percent chance, about who's hitting next [in this case Hanley Ramirez], but with Yasiel we're always moving forward. You just don't want one of those costing you a game. You don't want to see the same mistakes over and over.”
—Mattingly on the aggressive baserunning of outfielder Yasiel Puig. Puig made the last out of the 3rd inning of Saturday’s game attempting to advance to third base on a shallow fly ball to right field.

“You know what, it’s a big boy’s game and it is what it is… I can honestly tell you that (it’s) unfortunate. Nobody likes to get hit. I don’t like my players to get hit. And sometimes it’s just an accident, it really is. To sit here and say ‘We’re picking on Bryce Harper,’ (expletive) I like the way he plays the game. and I’ve always been one of his biggest fans.”
—Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez after Washington star Bryce Harper got plunked twice Friday night. (Amanda Comak, Washington Times)

“I feel bad for him, especially because I don't want to hit him in that part of the body. It was a bad day for me. I was thinking, 'I hope he doesn't think I hit him on purpose.' You know the situation. We were leading, 2-1. I don't want to put the [go-ahead] run at first. I feel bad. If I'm going to hit him on purpose, I'm not going to hit him almost in his head because it's dangerous.”
—Braves pitcher Luis Avilan, who hit Harper in Friday’s game.

“I never order a pitcher to go after anybody. But we have a way of protecting our own.”
—Nationals manager Davey Johnson before Saturday’s game, which continued the contentious play.

“I don't know if he did it on purpose. Obviously, he didn't have very good command. My argument to Marvin was he walked the guy on four straight pitches and he didn't have a feel for the ball. He didn't throw it over the plate. I sent my pitching coach out there and he still couldn't find the grip on the ball. And he threw him and me out. He was upset.”
—Johnson on Stephen Strasburg, who was ejected from Saturday’s game against Atlanta after throwing three wild pitches. (Bill Ladson,

“None of us really know what was going on. It didn't look intentional. He was really erratic. I saw the ones that missed [Andrelton] Simmons by like a foot. The reactionary thing was just a little off, he kind of just walked off and just didn't look like he was really there, like control was off or something happened.”
—Braves pitcher Mike Minor on Strasburg (Mark Bowman and Eric Single,

“You can say whatever it is, but the game will always police itself. And credit to their hitters, when they got hit, they walked down to first base, they took it like men and that’s kinda how it is and it should be over now.”
—Nationals pitcher Craig Stammen (James Wagner, Washington Post)

“It was whatever. For us, it was like, 'If it happens, big deal. If not, big deal.' We're just playing baseball, competing and having fun. It's a part of the game. You just hope nobody gets hurt.”
—Braves outfielder Jason Heyward

“I cannot explain to you what the last nine years have meant to me. I've had some of the greatest times of my life, Philadelphia has been the highlight of my career. I love everything about the fans, I love the city. I'm mad because they took the best seat in the house away from me. And I've been sitting there watching the games every day, watching the Phillies play, something that I love. I'll just leave it right there. That's how I feel about it. I enjoyed everything about it.”
Charlie Manuel on his time with the Phillies before being fired over the weekend. (Todd Zolecki,

“We win as an organization and we lose as an organization. We're kind of in this thing together. This isn't a blame game. I'm not here to blame Charlie Manuel for our issues. I think we all have some responsibility in that regard, I think there are a lot of things that's happened in the last two years that've been unfortunate. My job is to think about what we can do to get better in the future, and I believe this is one of the steps to try to move this thing forward.”
—Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. on the firing.

“I owe him a lot. I took a lot for me to win him over, but once he put me in there, he believed in me as much if not more than anyone I’ve ever played for. I owe him a lot. He was the one that kind of pushed me to become the player I became.”
—Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth, who turned around his career in Philadelphia while playing under Manuel. (James Wagner, Washington Post)

“I didn't resign and I did not quit. Let me tell you something, I've never quit anything. And I didn't resign. I think it was an understanding that we've got going. … I looked at everything we talked about, and believe me, we talked about everything. We talked about our club and our organization, and of course, myself. I'll say this — the decision definitely came from our organization, but at the same time I definitely wanted to put my team and also the Philadelphia Phillies above myself.”

“I wanted to play for Charlie Manuel my whole career.”
—Phillies star Chase Utley (Matt Gelb, Philadelphia Inquirer)


—Between starts, Athletics pitchers fashion their facial hair.

—Jeremy Guthrie wasn’t a fan of the video of Prince Fielder homering off Jeremy Guthrie.

“Jarrod and I just kind of had mustaches at the same time. We decided we'd just have mustaches, and we got some of the other guys to do it too.”
—Athletics pitcher A.J. Griffin, on the rotation’s collection of mustaches. (Jane Lee and Jeff Kirshman,

“Honestly, I felt like I was big league-ready two or three days before I got called up. It's kind of funny that it happened at the time it did. Even as good as I felt in Durham, I feel like I'm a better hitter now than I was then.”
—Rays rookie Wil Myers, who has accumulated a 1.7 WARP in 50 games since his call-up. (Adam Berry,

“The way I look at it is obviously, he had enough punishment, if that’s the right word or not, but I think to be embarrassed on national TV and what has been written in the paper today, I think that’s plenty enough.”
—Cubs manager Dale Sveum on benching Starlin Castro for Saturday’s game after a lazy play the previous day.

“I’ve got a problem with it. You bet I do. How is he still playing? He obviously did something and he’s playing. I’m not sure that’s right … It’s pretty evident he’s been doing stuff for a lot of years I’ve been facing him.”
—Red Sox pitcher John Lackey on Alex Rodriguez playing during his pending suspension appeal. (Peter Abraham, Boston Globe)

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