“I went into their dugout and saw Madison Bumgarner there, and I just called him over and said, 'Madison, I just want to tell you that start was just absolutely fantastic. What a start! Game 1 was phenomenal, but Game 5—congratulations, you were just unbelievably good. And I told him, 'You know what? I sure am glad I don't have to see you again.'”
—Royals manager Ned Yost, recalling a conversation he had with Giants starter Madison Bumgarner following the southpaw’s Game Five shutout. (Dick Kaegel,

“Once I saw him warming up when we had the lead, I knew it was over. I knew the big fella was going to get the job done.”
—Giants starter Tim Hudson, on teammate Bumgarner’s five-inning scoreless relief appearance on two days rest to close out game seven. (Henry Schulman, San Francisco Chronicle)

“That was the key to the game. It kept them from rallying for another inning. So I think being able to shut it down real quick allowed me to go out for another inning. That was a big deal. For me, that was the biggest play of the night.”
—Giants reliever Jeremy Affeldt, on second baseman Joe Panik’s outstanding diving stop and flip to start a double play in the bottom of the third inning. (Alden Gonzalez,

"Believe me. I wanted to send him. I couldn't do it. I just couldn't. I didn't want to go the whole offseason with Alex getting thrown out halfway to home plate."
—Royals third-base coach Mike Jirschele, on holding up Alex Gordon—the potential game-tying run—at third base with two outs in the ninth inning. (Alden Gonzalez,

"If he's going to be out by a mile, I'm not going to give them that last out. We've still got a chance. If Salvy gets a base hit there, we tie the game," Jirschele said. "Once they got that ball to Crawford, I saw we had no shot."
—Jirschele. (Dick Kaegel,

“I knew Perez was going to want to do something big. I had a really good chance, too. We tried to use that aggressiveness and throw our pitches up in the zone. It's a little bit higher than high, I guess, and fortunately I was able to get some past him.”
—Bumgarner, on throwing six pitches at the eye-level of Salvador Perez, and eventually getting him to pop out for the final out of game seven.


“We saw [Maddon’s availability] as a unique opportunity and faced a clear dilemma: be loyal to Rick or be loyal to the organization. In this business of trying to win a world championship for the first time in 107 years, the organization has priority over any one individual. We decided to pursue Joe.”
Cubs president Theo Epstein, on Chicago’s decision to fire current coach Rick Renteria, who had two years remaining on his contract, and hiring Joe Maddon (Gordon Wittenmyer, Chicago Sun-Times)

“It is just plain wrong. . . . I have never seen it happen. You have every right to go after a vacant job. There is no vacancy here.”
—An anonymous baseball official, on Maddon taking Renteria’s job (Rick Telander, Chicago Sun-Times)

“It's silly to suggest that; if they want to pursue that, that's fine. It's very unfortunate. In my world, where someone who is part of your family has an opportunity to improve themselves, you give them your blessing and you allow them to move on and know that they are always welcome home. This accusation of tampering, it's really sad, and it's a bit insulting.”
—Alan Nero, agent of Joe Maddon, on accusations that Theo Epstein tampered with Maddon before he opted out of his contract with Chicago (Marc Topkin, Tampa Bay Times)

“I believe he did a wonderful job with the circumstances he was presented with this past season. It is very hard to be evaluated after only one season managing, especially when your two best starters are traded away midseason. I said it then, and I'll say it again, most of us with experience in this business knew what we signed up for when we came to Chicago during this period of rebuilding. And we also understood that whatever Theo [Epstein] and Jed [Hoyer] thought was best for the future of the organization, they were going to do, putting the organization first over anyone and anything else. It is obviously a business-driven decision that not all are going to like, but at the end of the day, if that is what they thought was going to help bring a championship to the Cubs' organization, that's what they need to do. We'll know if it works with time. Hopefully, it works out for all parties.”
—Cubs pitcher Carlos Villanueva, on the organization’s managerial change (Carrie Muskat,


“In my opinion, the word ‘love’ is the most misused, and misunderstood word in the English language. It is not popular for men to use this word, and even less popular for athletes. But, there is not a more accurate word for how a group of men share a deep and genuine concern for each other. We loved Oscar, and he loved us. That is what a team does, that is what a family does. You will be missed, Oscar.”
—Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, on the death of Oscar Taveras. (

“He's a pretty good hitter. He can hit in the middle of the order. We haven't had a left-handed bat in the middle of the order since Prince (Fielder) left. The left-handedness helps… Our division is right-handed-dominant when it comes to pitching. We looked at that and we did the calculations and the analytics told us a regular player would face 150 to 160 at-bats against a left-handed starting pitcher. With that said, a few days (off) for him probably isn't a bad thing, either.”
—Brewers manager Doug Melvin, on the team trading pitcher Marco Estrada to the Blue Jays in exchange for first baseman Adam Lind (Todd Rosiak, Journal Sentinel)

“This deal is about reconfiguring the roster. It gives us a lot of flexibility moving forward and also allows us to re-allocate some dollars to some other areas of need.”
—Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos, on the Adam Lind trade. (Bob Elliott, Toronto Sun)

“He wants a long-term deal, completely understandable. My expectation is that he will get one. We're certainly willing to do that, if it gets done, at this point, it's too early to say.”
—Anthopoulos, on extending a qualifying offer to outfielder Melky Cabrera. (Gregor Chisholm,

“We won't be going for the high-dollar guys, I can tell you that. We have to do something different offensively. We need to get more guys on base to put us in a better position to score runs. Our runners on base were down quite a bit this year. We've got some basic ideas and plans we've put together, but really until you start talking to clubs and see what their interest level is about, moving certain guys or their interest in our guys, it's hard to really determine it.”
—Reds general manager Walt Jocketty on his organization’s plans for adding offense this offseason (Mark Sheldon,

“Hopefully the numbers work out. Hopefully another team doesn’t come in and blow me out of the water with an offer. I guess that’s the spirit of them declining it, and other teams being in play. But I’m definitely a Royal at heart.”
Billy Butler, on becoming a free agent after the Royals declined to pick up his $12.5 million option for next season (Andy McCullough, Kansas City Star).

“I think we’re going to keep working on it until we get something done. Usually those things have a way of working themselves out.”—Orioles manager Buck Showalter, on contract talks between outfielder Nick Markakis and the Orioles. The team declined its half of a $17.5 million option for next season but appears intent on resigning Markakis to a longer deal. (Eduardo A. Encina, Baltimore Sun)

“The decision ultimately comes down to, do you want to get back in the game, do you want to compete? And I can honestly say, people that know me (know) I love to compete, no matter what it is. I care greatly about doing it the right way. I love team building. I love players. I’m anxious to get to know our players better, the staff. Did I mention that I like to compete? Because that is something that you do miss when you’re not in this arena.”
John Hart, on being promoted to president of baseball operations of the Atlanta Braves (David O’Brien, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

“We started to put the slider into use and it's been really good for me. Hopefully, I can keep building off of it. I got a couple of swings and misses, a strikeout on it. It keeps guys off my fastball and I mixed the changeup in there, which is improving as well. I feel like I'm slowly starting to put things together.”
—Diamondbacks prospect Archie Bradley on working a slider/cutter into his repertoire. He threw it in the upper-80s during Saturday’s Fall Stars Game. (Jim Callis,

“It's a testament to the people I have around me, my family, my agent, my parents, everybody," McGehee said. "When I would talk about wanting to come back, they supported me. There were probably a lot of people outside that circle that still had their doubts, and they probably still have their doubts, but that close circle for me, was a good support system. I didn't feel like I was doing it alone. My family, my wife and kids, with the they handled going to Japan in the first place, and me deciding to come back. For them to be able to trust my judgment and trust my ability to come back, that made it a lot easier for me.”
—Marlins third baseman Casey McGehee, on winning the NL Comeback Player of the Year Award (Craig Davis, Sun Sentinel)

“It's not a full crack all the way through, but the outside of the rib, as far as I understand it, was cracked. He could manage the pain for a couple of innings, but then he'd start to get real stiff and real tight. So he could go maybe two, maybe three innings and that was about it.”
—Royals manager Ned Yost, on Danny Duffy not being used out of the starting rotation during the playoffs due to a stress reaction in one of his ribs. (Dick Kaegel,

“I want to wear that jersey for the rest of my career. I’m going to go from what my heart tells me… I'd love to be back here, I love the fans, I love my teammates. They taught me a lot of things, to respect the game and play the game right.”
—Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval, stating his desire to resign with the team. (ESPN)

“We had a chance to examine Koji at the end of the year and spent quite a bit of time talking to him and looking at what happened. After that process, felt really, really comfortable with where he was and where he will be going forward both from a health and performance standpoint… As we get into free agency, there will be a lot of other stuff to do. We had an exclusive window with him, so we felt like it made sense to take advantage of that time.”
—Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington, on resigning Koji Uehara to a two-year, $18 million deal. (Peter Abraham, Boston Globe)

“We knew when we acquired Denard from the Minnesota Twins two years ago what type of player we were getting. And he’s done nothing but bear that out the last two seasons. Denard was arguably our most consistent offensive player in 2014, keying so much of our offensive production, and his defense in center field is Gold Glove-caliber on a nightly basis. We’re excited to keep him in the fold for the 2015 season.”
—Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo, after picking up Denard Span’s club option for 2015, while also declining options on Adam LaRoche and Rafael Soriano. (James Wagner, Washington Post)

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