SOMETHING GOES WRONG
”The whole plane has a parachute on it. Ninety-nine percent of pilots that go up never have engine failure, and the 1 percent that do usually land it. But if you’re up in the air and something goes wrong, you pull that parachute, and the whole plane goes down slowly.”
–Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle, 34, last month. Lidle died on Wednesday after his plane crashed into an Upper East Side apartment building. (The New York Times)
“Certain times are tougher than others. I had a little bit of a tougher time when I was trying to sleep. But right now, I’m pretty busy. I don’t know what I’m doing in my brain. It’ll hit me when it hits me. I’m not going to force anything.”
–Lidle’s fraternal twin Kevin Lidle, former minor leaguer. Lidle’s beneficiaries may be denied $1.5 million from baseball’s benefit plan if he flew the plane. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
”He was probably my best student. He learned very, very quickly, and a lot of it is desire. He had huge desire.”
–Lidle’s instructor, Tyler Stanger, 26, last month. Stanger also died in the crash.
”On the mound, he has to hold in all the emotions and keep completely focused. It’s the same thing flying: If you’re in an emergency, you can’t waste any time worrying. You have to take command of the situation. A lot of people I fly with don’t have that mentality. Cory does.”
FIRST AND FOREMOST
“First and foremost, he’s leaving behind a young kid, and being a parent, my heart breaks because he has a young son, who I believe is 6 years old. He came over here and won 12 games and threw about 200 innings for us. He gave us everything we wanted.”
–Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi
“I wouldn’t call it a hard maneuver to pull off. It’s just turning around. I’ve done that before, and it is not what I would term tight.”
—John Fiscus, flight instructor (ESPN.com)
“That was terrible. Her sister met her at the gate, and they got Melanie off to the side before anybody could get to her. They didn’t want much media interface, asking questions and her not even knowing what they’re talking about. That made it even weirder. He was three or four hours deceased and she had no idea that she was going to find out once she landed. That was disturbing.”
–Kevin Lidle, on what happened when Melanie Lidle disembarked in California on Wednesday.
“Not while you’re playing for the Toronto Blue Jays.”
–Ricciardi, on what he told Roy Halladay when Halladay asked him whether he could do some piloting.
“This is the first time this has ever occurred where an aircraft has accidentally hit a building.”
YOU GET CRANKY ONE TIME…
–Pujols’ comment on getting doubled off in Game One.
“I didn’t think anything.”
–Pujols, on what was going through his mind on that play.
ACCORDING TO ESPN, YES, YES YOU ARE
“Why get frustrated? I can’t make a mistake? I’m perfect?”
“Let me tell you, Albert is an outstanding baserunner and I’m not exaggerating. An outstanding baserunner. Part of it is aggressiveness and, almost always, he mixes in good sense. That was the exception. When he first read it, he read blooper, but the ball hung up in the wind and basically, a mistake; a rare one for him.”
–Cardinals sensei Tony La Russa
“You get a guy who’s a hot competitor. As soon as it’s over, he’s not happy about losing. So he makes a statement. It’s not a good statement. Glavine deserves credit. Now it gets blown up like he’s some kind of disrespectful pro.”
–Tony La Russa (Newsday)
“The answer is, [if] that player’s not talking then they’ll never be embarrassed, right? And they’ll complain, say, ‘Oh, he won’t talk to the press.’ Somebody takes a guy, right after the competition. They’re very vulnerable to say something.”
“No! You guys should know better than to make a big issue out of it. This guy’s a great pro. That’s what the answer is. Use some common sense.”
–La Russa, on whether Pujols was wrong to speak out like that.
“Is that what I said? OK, then. Keep that one.”
–Pujols on his quotes, the next day.
MAY I SUGGEST ONE PARTICULAR 26-YEAR OLD FOR THE JOB?
“How long is Jim Hendry going to be there? What if Jim Hendry goes and they bring in some 26-year-old guy with a computer who says, ‘We don’t need a manager. I can run the club and see what happens.'”
–Bruce Bochy’s agent Mark Attanasio
“Sandy has a sense of fairness, and that is important to the whole story. Sandy’s sense of fairness is inherent in the whole personal situation–he would allow Boch to explore any possibility and make his decision.”
“Boch made the playoffs two years in a row with clubs that probably shouldn’t have been there. If Boch does get some interest coming both ways, he’s in the best of both worlds. If someone wants to guarantee him for four or five years, why should he not do it? If he stays in San Diego, he wouldn’t be disappointed.”
NOTHING A 26-YEAR-OLD WITH A COMPUTER COULDN’T DO, BILL
“You know, the first year I was part of one was in 1983. That was a real short series. Best-three-out-of-five to get to the World Series. That’s the way it was. And now three-out-of-five gets you to this; four-out-of-seven, you know what I mean? It gets tougher. But, I don’t know . . . It is what it is.”
–Cardinals manager Tony La Russa (Boston Globe)
“I’m a Tony La Russa fan. Tony is a great leader and manager, tactician . . . Just the way he handles the team . . . He’s into baseball like I’m into football.”
–New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick
“I met him in person the first time this year in the spring. I was introduced to him by Buzz Bissinger. They were in high school together. Met him over the phone, had nice conversations. He was so down-to-earth. This is a Super Bowl champion. I was interested in what he was doing. He was very forthcoming and he would ask questions about our sport and he said, ‘I’d like to visit.'”
–Tony La Russa
“He came to spring training. He wanted to know, you know, ‘How you guys do this, you guys do that?’ Just comparing. We went to dinner twice. It was just a great experience. And the other day he called and he said, `We’ve got a bye week and if you guys get in and it’s the Mets, I think I’ll be there.’ “
“I really don’t understand it that well. I was in the dugout with him in spring training and I couldn’t believe how much was involved. He calls every pitch. Every pitch! He’s involved with the pitcher stepping off the rubber and moving guys in the outfield, figuring out whether they’re going to steal, whether they’re going to squeeze. It was fascinating.”
–Belichick, on managing a baseball team.
“I’d say he has way more. We call every play, but we have 11 guys moving on that play. He’s controlling every single guy. It was amazing.”
“Tony and I were talking about that. He’s got to know all 25 guys, both teams. Who they’re going to bring in, how to pitch to this guy. We change every game and start with a team we don’t know. They play six or seven games against the same team.”
–Belichick, on the difference between the two sports.
BUT STEVE, THERE ARE
“Steve Lyons has been relieved of his Fox Sports duties for making comments on air that the company found inappropriate.”
–network spokesman Dan Bell said.
“Lou’s habla’ing some Español there, and I’m still looking for my wallet. I don’t understand him and I don’t want to sit close to him now.”
–what Steve Lyons said during Game Three of the ALCS, after Lou Piniella spoke a little Spanish.
“He’s not a practicing Jew. He didn’t marry a Jewish girl. And from what I understand, he never had a bar mitzvah, which is unfortunate because he didn’t get the money.”
–Lyons, in September 2004, after then Dodgers OF Shawn Green didn’t play in a game on Yom Kippur
“No, he’s not here today.”
–Lou Piniella, on Lyons’ status, upon his arrival to Comerica Park for Game Four.
BUD SELIG COMPLAINING? YOU DON’T SAY?
“I can’t imagine, given the abuse I took, that anybody can imagine this sport without wild cards. The only question I get now is, ‘Why aren’t there more?'”
–MLB commissioner Bud Selig (MLB.com)
“It’s something we’re going to look at after the World Series. We’re going to review that. I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about it.”
–Selig, on whether or not he’s considering giving the wild card team less home games
“I’m a devotee of the 154-game season, but nobody wants to cut the regular season. I don’t see it.”
AND THAT WOULD BE THE FIRST TIME THE GREATEST PLAYER IN THE GAME WAS COMPARED TO ROGER CEDENO
“New York is a tough town and A-Rod is such a lightning rod, it’s almost like the Mets when they had Roger Cedeno and the fans booed him every single time he came to the plate. It affects the whole team. Jeter obviously doesn’t like A-Rod. It’s so clear. So get rid of the guy: they don’t need him. Go get a team guy. They don’t need a guy who cares about his stats and his image. Go get a Scott Brosius. Go get Mark DeRosa to play third base; that guy can bat eighth or ninth.”
–an AL GM
“They need guys like Paul O’Neill, like Joe Girardi, like me.”
–the brainy Jim Leyritz
WHAT THEY NEED TO DO IS DOWNGRADE THEIR
“Everyone knows, this All-Star at every position thing. That’s a recipe for disaster.”
–unnamed AL GM (New York Daily News)
“They have the best lineup that’s ever stepped onto the field in the postseason.”
–Blue Jays center fielder Vernon Wells, on the Yankees (SI.com)
“The best thing for A-Rod is to be traded. I don’t think it can ever work the right way here because he is always going to be compared to Derek Jeter. I don’t think that is fair because you are being compared to one of the great clutch players of all time. He is in an un-winnable situation.”
–YES Network broadcaster Michael Kay (New York Post)
“I’m very independent, and I need my own time, so I can’t have somebody really clingy.”
—David Wright, focused on the postseason, on what he looks for in a woman. (People)
“The guys give me a hard time about how the girls are all like, 10, 11, 12 years old. Women show me pictures of their daughters and granddaughters.”
“There’s a thing called the Chaos Theory, where you just can’t control certain things. We had no control. We did our best. There wasn’t a lack of effort, just a lack of execution.”
–Athletics outfielder Mark Kotsay (SFGate.com)
“I’m a Christian man. I believe God has a plan and a purpose in my life, and I try to be obedient to that purpose. My family comes before my occupation. Beyond that, my goals are to eventually coach or manage at the major-league level.”
–Rangers managerial candidate Trey Hillman (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
“There are a lot of different ideas about hitting. I just want to win. I don’t like strikeouts. I’d give up home runs for [fewer] strikeouts.”
–Reds general manager Wayne Krivsky (Cincinnati Enquirer)
“His power numbers are down some.”
—Dusty Baker, in his Baseball Tonight debut, on Cardinals 3B Scott Rolen. Rolen’s slugging percentage this season is three points above his career average.
“I just feel I was made for this. The pressure. Giving it all you have. It was such a great ride. Most fun I’ve ever had in baseball. Best team I’ve ever been with. Maybe someday I’ll smile, and be happy, over having played well. Right now, it hurts.”
–Athletics OF Milton Bradley, on the Tigers’ sweep of the A’s in the ALCS (SFGate.com)
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus. You can reach Alex by clicking here.