HONORING DR. FRANK JOBE
“I was deeply saddened to learn of the loss of Dr. Frank Jobe, a great gentleman whose work in Baseball revolutionized sports medicine. Since 1974, his groundbreaking Tommy John surgery has revitalized countless careers, especially those of our pitchers. His wisdom elevated not only the Dodgers, the franchise he served proudly for a half-century, but all of our Clubs. Dr. Jobe’s expertise, as well as his enthusiasm to mentor his peers, made the National Pastime stronger. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest condolences to Dr. Jobe’s family, friends, Dodger colleagues and the many admirers of his pioneering spirit throughout our game.”
—Commissioner Bud Selig, on the passing of Dr. Frank Jobe, who invented Tommy John surgery. (Ken Gurnick, MLB.com)
“I don't see why not. I think Dr. Jobe is worthy of it. What he's done medically-speaking is as much as a 300-game winner.”
—Former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Tommy John, on Dr. Jobe’s credentials for the Hall of Fame. (Gurnick)
“Frank Jobe is a Hall of Famer in every sense of the word. His dedication and professionalism in not only helping the Dodgers, but athletes around the world is unparalleled. He was a medical giant and pioneer and many athletes in the past and the future can always thank Frank for finding a way to continue their careers.”
—Los Angeles Dodgers President Stan Kasten, on Dr. Jobe’s impact in baseball. (Gurnick)
“We all owe a thank you in appreciation of what he’s done and what he did for the game… I don’t know where we’d be without it. . . . I’d be in an office somewhere probably working.”
—Chicago Cubs pitcher Tommy Hottovy, who had his career saved by Tommy John surgery in 2008 (Gordon Wittenmeyer, Chicago Sun-Times)
B.J. UPTON LOOKS TO BOUNCE BACK IN 2014
“I know I haven't really been using my legs since 2008. When I first broke in, I was using them 100 percent. I have no idea why I stopped using them, it just kind of happened… I can feel myself using my legs now. I'm basically just sitting on my legs more, if you can think of it that way. If I use my lower half, everything corrects itself.”
—Atlanta Braves center fielder B.J. Upton, on fixing his swing (Lindsay Berra, MLB.com)
“I think anybody who plays the game goes through one of those times where you don't feel like you're doing what you're capable of doing. You feel for him on one hand. But on the other hand, he's in our division. So you want to see him do well. But you don't want to see him do that well to where he is single-handedly beating you like he can… He is a guy who has the tools. I think coming into this year, he will be more comfortable with his surroundings and more comfortable with being one of the guys over there. I expect him to have a bounce-back year. He's got all the tools. It's just a matter of putting last year behind him and doing what he is capable of doing.”
—New York Mets third baseman David Wright, on his childhood friend B.J. Upton (Mark Bowman, MLB.com)
UMPIRE’S NIGHTMARE STRIKES REDS/ANGELS GAME
“It was an umpire's nightmare. With that view, they would have flipped the call, but they didn't get it until it was over.”
—MLB Director of Major League Umpires Randy Marsh, on a play that was reviewed by replay where the umpire did not gain access to the angle that was played on television until after the review decision was finalized. The angle shown on television would have led the umpires to reverse the call (C. Trent Rosecrans, Cincinnati Enquirer)
“I'm aware of what happened, but (still happy) as far as how the protocols go, and engaging and the do's and don't's. One thing that was terrific was that they converged first to make sure you don't unnecessarily use a challenge if one of the umpires had a better vantage point, a clearer vantage point and can overturn the call before using the challenge. That puts the onus on the other manager if he wants to challenge and then turn around that call. Pretty interesting stuff. It was good to have an opportunity to utilize it."
—Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price, on the replay review (C. Trent Rosecrans, Cincinnati Enquirer)
WHAT PITCH ARE YOU THROWING?
“Well, I saw a lot of fastballs being thrown, and I’ll just say that I noticed it. I think you have to kind of allow some flexibility, I guess, in what he’s trying to do. In his mind’s eye, he had a particular idea of what he wanted to do, so he tried to go ahead and do it. He did it for three innings. It’s something where I’ll probably talk to him and have a conversation about it and clarify what the process was. That doesn’t hurt. It doesn’t hurt anybody to just talk about it.”
—Chicago Cubs manager Rick Renteria, on starting pitcher Edwin Jackson throwing all fastballs in a recent spring training game (Gordon Wittenmyer, Chicago Sun-Times)
“He made a commitment to using that two-seamer inside [to left-handed hitters in Boston's lineup]. That's the thing we hadn't seen him do in the past. And he threw it 10 times, with intent, purpose, conviction …”
—Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, on Charlie Morton’s spring training start (Tom Singer, MLB.com)
“In the 'pen, it felt really good. [In the game], I was like almost over throwing it. It had a little too much movement. But I took a step back and I started to get some better results with it.”
—Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg, on practicing his new slider in games (Bill Ladson, MLB.com)
—The issue has been challenged.
Not any fun being in the Texas doghouse, is it @IKinsler3?
—He knows the feeling.
“He’s a great kid who always wants to learn and is so humble. But if it takes someone comparing me to Mike Trout to motivate me, it’s time for me to get out of the game.”
—Albert Pujols, answering the question, “Are you motivated to put up the same numbers as Mike Trout?” (Bob Nightengale, USA Today)
“My qualities are still there, and I just need an opportunity to continue showing that the ‘Super Manny’ can help a team…For now, I have no team interested, but I’m still working. Maybe I don’t have anything this week, but who knows? Maybe next week I could get a call.”
—Manny Ramirez, on coming back to play in the majors. (Enrique Rojas, ESPN.com)
“We do still have a relatively young staff but an experienced one. Being in the postseason two years in a row adds to the experience. We do have an eye on some of the innings these guys have accumulated over the last couple of years, and the bullpen should be instrumental in that regard.”
—A’s manager Bob Melvin, describing the pitching staff for the 2014 season. (John Shea, San Francisco Chronicle)
“A lot of players are outspoken about it. They just forget how many riches, for lack of a better word, that all of us have enjoyed. Ownership, MLB, those guys brought baseball to a whole new level as far as popularity is concerned. That’s something I'll never forget…It’s unfortunate the way things happened. I think we all wish it could have been different. But we all enjoyed that ride to the top. All of us. They kickstarted that whole thing. For good or for bad. You can be opinionated as you want it all you want…Personally, I want to thank them.”
—Diamondbacks third baseman Eric Chavez, on how steroid users like Barry Bonds allowed for the MLB to thrive tremendously. (Gabe Lacques, USA Today)
“I don't even remember the first half. I’m trying to get rid of it. You remember what went on, but you try to just kind of blank it out.”
—Giants starter Matt Cain, on forgetting about his poor 2013 season. (Alex Pavlovic, San Jose Mercury News)
“I’ll miss all my teammates. I’ll miss Elvis and Beltre, Mitch [Moreland], Matt Harrison and [Ron] Washington. To be honest with you, I hope they go 0-162. I got friends, and I love my friends, but I hope they lose their ass.”
—Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler, expressing his hopes for his former team, the Rangers, for this coming season. (Robert Sanchez, ESPN.com)
"He's moved off the plate a little bit, but [pitchers] are still coming after him. The knock on [Marte] is he'll chase in [swing at inside pitches], so they're still coming in on him, to see how far they can go."
—Pittsburgh Pirates hitting coach Jeff Branson, on Starling Marte avoiding getting hit by too many pitches (Tom Singer, MLB.com)
“I don't have nothing to say to those cats. They know what the deal is. They just talk about how I was falling off and declining. How the (expletive) am I declining? I had 100 … ribbies (RBI) last year. And I did that with one … hand. And I won a Gold Glove? So how the (expletive) am I declining? Come on, man."
—Cincinnati Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips, on refusing to speak with beat writers this year (John Fay, Cincinnati Enquirer)
“I know nothing has gone wrong. Trying to get in the best possible shape that I can [get] in in sort of a rushed, competitive atmosphere, something's going to not want to push it a little more so it prevents the injury. Ultimately my body is telling me, 'Hey, slow it down a little bit and start over in a certain way so that you can prevent injury, but build up for the long haul.' I think any time you use and abuse your arm, you're going to get inflammation. But no, I wouldn't say it's painful. I think ultimately when people think about the shoulder and not being able to throw a baseball, they think injuries, tears, the pain indication. It's not that. It's really tired, and it was kind of more difficult to go through the throwing motion, let alone try to throw something very competitive.”
—Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels, on recovering from a shoulder injury (Todd Zolecki, MLB.com)
“I was awesome when he was three years old. Come on… He has a bright future. Before I went up to the plate, guys in the dugout were saying, 'He's a top prospect.' Well, he definitely showed it today. He has a great arm. He has a great curveball, and I saw him working on his changeup. He's not a top prospect for no reason.”
—Detroit Tigers right fielder Torii Hunter, on New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard (Jim Hawkins, MLB.com)
“I just wish more guys would understand how important a change is. I'd like to see guys buy into it and learn how effective it is and how it can make your other pitches more effective. Hey, it's not a pretty pitch, especially when everyone's looking for 97, 98 [mph]. But it's an easier way to get through the 3, 4 and 5 hitters. They don't like it. I remember I got Willie Wilson on a good one one day. He walked back to the dugout questioning my manhood. 'Throw a fastball, you sissy. Be a man.'"
—Frank Viola, pitching coach for the New York Mets’ Triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas, on teaching pitchers to throw changeups (Marty Noble, MLB.com)
“This is the first time in my professional career where I get a chance to live up to an expectation, whereas I always felt like I was the guy who had to write his own script. No one really expected anything of me, and I had to prove something. Now there is an expectation there and I'm excited for the chance to meet those expectations—and not just meet them, but exceed them. I want that. I welcome that pressure. That's exciting for me.”
—St. Louis Cardinals infielder Matt Carpenter, on his feelings after signing a six-year extension (Jenifer Langosch, MLB.com)
“Am I comfortable knowing that I have a better shot making the team? Yeah. But at the same time, nothing is guaranteed here, especially with all the young guys that we have. All of them have great arms. My job is to help this team win and pretty much pitch to keep my spot. Because you never know what is going to happen with these guys. They are so good and there is so much ability around here that I feel like I am still competing to keep my spot right now.”
—St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Shelby Miller, on trying to make the rotation out of spring training (Jenifer Langosch, MLB.com)