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ORIOLES BRUSH OFF DYSON’S TRASH TALK

“I'll just tell you this, man, if we win Game Three, it's going to be hard for them to sit there and look themselves in the mirror and say, 'We can win the next four. That's tough to do, man. Everything must click. I'm just being honest. If we take Game Three, I guarantee there are going to be multiple people in that clubhouse over there saying, 'Man, there's no way we're going to beat these guys four games in a row. It can be done, but everybody ain't gonna be on the same page, I don't think. There are going to be some people ready to go home. There are going to be some people not cheering in the dugout — just like if it was vice versa on this side. It might be the same way.”
—Royals outfielder Jarrod Dyson, on digging the Orioles into a 2-0 hole in the ALCS. (Eduardo A. Encina, Baltimore Sun)

We came in as an underdog. All the hype was about them hitting homers, and we have the speed. But we showed pop over there, and I think it shocked them. We hit good in their park every time we come there. But I just don’t think they expected us to come in there and win two. I just really don’t. I could tell the way Buck was making his moves, he wanted to win bad. He was taking his starters out in the fourth, both starters, and it was just matchup after matchup after that. That’s how you play the game. You’re trying to get that win at home. At least one. And if you don’t get that win, it’s pretty frustrating.”
—Dyson. (Brittany Ghiroli, MLBBlogs.com)

“No sir, I don’t. And I don’t think they think that, either.”
—Dyson, on whether he thinks the ALCS will return to Baltimore. (Andy McCullough, Kansas City Star)

“He doesn't speak for this clubhouse. I could say a lot of things about that, but it's not the time or place. We have a deficit to overcome. Obviously they are up 2-0. They should have all the confidence in the world."
—Orioles outfielder Adam Jones, on Dyson’s comment. (Steve Melewski, MASNsports.com)

“We didn't talk about it at all. Everyone was having fun on the plane. We had our families on the plane. It's not panic in here, I know that might be hard to believe. We've played so many games this year and been in tough situations before. We understand, yeah, you lost two games, but baseball is a funny game. You can come out tomorrow, win a game and things can escalate from there.”
—Orioles closer Zach Britton, on the team’s morale on the team’s flight to Kansas City.

“I'm not going to give the team a speech, no. We know what we're doing. We're not little kids who need to sit around in a circle and play duck, duck, goose. We are going to approach the game as we have every game all season and do what we do best.”
—Jones, on whether he would hold a team meeting before Game Three.

PLAYERS DEMAND VOICE IN “PACE OF PLAY” DISCUSSIONS

“Players are very interested in being involved in these discussions. We just want to be part of a collaborative effort to address these issues. And we want to have a voice. We don't want to overpower any other voices. We'd just like to have our voice heard.”
—Free agent pitcher Kevin Slowey, commenting on the “pace of play” discussions that are likely to take place during the offseason. MLB is currently exploring measures to reduce the times of games. (Jayson Stark, ESPN.com)

“It's just important for us to have a say. It doesn't need to be all 750 of us. It's just important to have three or four players who can say, ‘Hey, we've noticed this, and we feel this way.’”
—Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson.

“[MLBPA executive director Tony Clark] represents all major-league players and was included on the committee to give players a voice. Tony and I have discussed the fact that it is important for players to interact directly with the committee as the process moves forward. Tony is in the best position to select representative players that should be involved.”
—New MLB commissioner-elect Rob Manfred.

“Player involvement is very important to this discussion or any other discussion, but particularly related to those involved with the game being played on the field. We're interested in having the dialogue. Our guys have concerns, and they're interested in being part of the solution. And now we'll see where it goes."
—Clark.

“I would guess that players have no problem with games being shorter. But if you're talking about pitchers who have built up a routine for 15 or 20 years and now they're going to be asked to change it, that's something they should discuss with the players first.”
—Diamondbacks reliever Brad Ziegler.

“If I don't feel right, or I'm not on the same wavelength with my catcher, I want to have the ability to step off and regroup, or call the catcher to the mound. Any one pitch can change a ball game. And any one game can change the course of a season. I don't think we want to look back and say, ‘Who knows what might have been if that hadn't happened.’”
—Slowey.

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“At the end of the season last year, I was on the plane and they said, ‘We don’t need you for the playoffs, and we don’t need you to stick around, either.’ Here (in St. Louis), we have 35 guys still here, 10 of them aren’t even on the roster. But they’re here, and they travel. This is my sixth playoff team, and I got to travel (in years he didn’t make the playoff roster). I felt like part of the team. That goes a long way.”
—Cardinals reliever Pat Neshek, on the A’s not inviting expanded roster players to travel with the club once the playoffs started. (John Shea, San Francisco Chronicle)

"Because those are our seventh-inning guys. That's how we set this up. We had to two lefties at the top of the inning and if we got the righties, we were going to go with Barrett. That's what he's done for us all year long. We are certainly not going to use our closer in the seventh inning, so that's why we went with it."
—Nationals manager Matt Williams, on using Matt Thornton and Aaron Barrett in the seventh inning of Game Four of the NLDS (Pete Kerzel, MASN Sports)

“We just talked, and he was very adamant that this is the best he's felt after a start in a long time, which is great news. And, you know, we're beyond the, 'Just tell me what I want to hear' kind of garbage. This was sincere. He was excited for the fact that his arm felt as good as it felt, so that's encouraging to hear, and I can't wait to watch him pitch again.”
—Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, on the status of Adam Wainwright’s elbow. (Adam McCalvy, MLB.com)

“At the time, I didn't really think I did. But I went back and [saw] it, and I sure enough did. That's tough to see, there's a lot going on.”
—Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner, on whether or not he balked in the seventh inning of Game One of the NLCS. No balk was called, and Bumgarner struck out Tony Cruz to end the inning without allowing a run (Anthony DiComo, MLB.com)

“I’m grading myself on a very high scale, and I expect to be great. I was not great. The pitcher I pitched against was… Just everything was out of whack, out of timing.”
—Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright, on being outpitched by Madison Bumgarner in the first game of the ALCS (Derrick Goold, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

“Were there ever any doubts? Yeah, absolutely. Are you kidding me? The fact is that there were a lot of days where I was concerned that we would never get to here, absolutely. But ultimately [Mayor Rahm Emanuel] stepped up, and we worked it out and found a way to make sure that we could get this park saved. Today, I feel great.”
—Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts, on the breaking of ground on the new renovations at Wrigley Field (Brian Sandalow, Chicago Sun-Times)

“It's crazy. I'm just some small-town guy from Aberdeen, Washington just doing my wrestling thing. You see it being done by 40,000 people and you're like, ‘Oh my gosh!’ It was awesome.”
—WWE wrestler Daniel Bryan, on Hunter Pence and the Giants adopting his “YES! YES! YES!” celebration. Bryan made his way out to San Francisco and fired up the AT&T Park crowd prior to Game Three of the NLDS. (Alex Pavlovic, San Jose Mercury News)

“I don’t have a great answer for that. I’ve read a ton of books. Not one in particular, but I consciously try to find the good in everything in every situation that happens. Was it Voltaire who said, ‘I choose to be happy because it’s good for my health”? Why not? Even through some of the toughest things that’ll ever happen to you, there’s something that makes you stronger, something you can reframe to make it good. It’s what I believe. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but it makes me feel better.”
—Pence, on the origin of his inspirational speeches. (John Shea, San Francisco Chronicle)

“I need a guy who will use every tool in the toolbox to maximize a player’s output. You’ve got to be open to it. Baseball is a game of outs, and you don’t want to be giving them away.”
—Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, after firing hitting coach Kevin Long. Cashman was resigned to a three-year extension on Friday. (David Waldstein, New York Times)

“We won't know the extent of the surgery until he gets in there and decides what needs to be done.”
—A’s assistant general manager David Forst, on Brandon Moss’s upcoming hip surgery. (Janie McCauley, WTOP)

“It’s a nice little story of redemption.”
—Royals Hall of Fame Director Curt Nelson, on the returning of a banner stolen from Royals Stadium during the 1985 World Series. Jerry Kuehl, the man who stole the banner, shipped it back to the Royals, along with a $250 check as restitution. (Rod Stetzer, Chippewa Herald)

“Why not now? We really felt it was important that we sign him before he could get to the open market. He's been an important part of this club for four years and we certainly didn't want him to leave.”
—Orioles general manager Dan Duquette, on J.J. Hardy’s three-year contract extension. The deal is worth $40 million and includes a club option for 2018. (John Perrotto, USA Today)

“We decided at the end of the year to take the time to get away from a season that turned out to be a disappointment after a good start… We wanted to get away from the emotions and make sure we do a thorough analysis of the entire ballclub. We looked at everything. We evaluated ourselves. In sitting down and looking at it, we decided there were some areas we needed to get better at. A couple of them involved coaching changes, which is always hard to do.”
—Brewers general manager Doug Melvin, on the decision to retain manager Ron Roenicke and fire hitting coach Johnny Narron and first base coach Garth Iorg. (Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)