SHEFF GETS EXISTENTIAL
“I produced every year I was here besides the year I got hurt, and I’ll leave it at that. I don’t have a Boston uniform on, so I don’t know if that’s going to make a difference.”
–Sheffield, on his time in a Yankee uniform.
“If I lose friends, so what. I don’t need friends. I’ve got plenty of friends. I don’t really take myself too seriously. Whatever comes my way I just react.”
“When I have an issue with somebody within the Yankees organization or the Yankees, what [the media] try to do is include Jeter in that conversation to distort what I’m talking about. Jeter is an icon. Jeter is not going to get the same treatment as Shawn Chacon, Gary Sheffield, nobody else.”
–Sheffield (Mike Fitzpatrick, Seattle Times)
IT ADDED FUN TO THE GAME
“I guess heaven must have needed a shortstop. He epitomized the Yankee spirit–gritty and hard charging–and he wore the pinstripes proudly.”
–Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, on the death of Phil Rizzuto.
“He didn’t try to act like an announcer. He just said what he thought. It added fun to the game.”
“He would keep getting in trouble with WPIX for announcing birthdays and anniversaries.”
–Phil’s daughter Patricia Rizzuto
“Mr. Rizzuto serves as the ultimate reminder that physical stature has little bearing on the size of a person’s heart. Nothing was ever given to Phil, and he used every ounce of his ability to become one of the greatest Yankees to ever wear this uniform.”
–another Yankees shortstop, Derek Jeter (Mike Jaccarino, New York Daily News)
WE MAY ACTUALLY MOVE HIM INTO THE CLOSER ROLE-IT’S WHAT HE’S COMFORTABLE WITH
“I don’t think using him differently helps. You put a guy who pitches on adrenaline in a blowout game, it’s not going to help him. When a hitter goes through a slump, your good hitters, you stay with ’em. You might give ’em an occasional day off, and that’s what we’ll do with Gagné today, because he threw a lot of pitches.”
—Red Sox manager Terry Francona, on Eric Gagne.
“I don’t know if that’s [the media’s] lack of not paying attention or just the way the game progressed and that’s the obvious thing. So when you pitch late in the game, everything is more glaring.”
–Francona, on the attention paid to Gagne’s performance, or lack thereof.
“When you’re the closer, you know what you’re going to be doing and when you’re going to do it. If you’re the set-up man, it’s not as set. You have to prepare a little differently because you might be coming in in a different situation every time. He’s a great pitcher and we all know he’s going to turn this around. He’s got a history, so you’ll see, he’ll settle down and help us.”
–Red Sox pitcher Julian Tavarez, on Gagne. (Gordon Edes, Boston Globe)
“It’s a change of routine. You may not think it bothers you, but it does. You start leaving fastballs over the plate and you start doing things you’re not used to.”
–Red Sox consultant Luis Tiant
“If you’re talking about a guy pitching a mop-up inning to give him work, I understand the questioning, but flip-flopping the inning? The runs still count, and you’re getting the guy further away from his comfort zone. I don’t know if that makes sense. [Friday], we had it worked out where they could both …we had it worked out the way we wanted it, it just didn’t work out.”
SENATOR MITCHELL TOLD ME, “THIS GUY’S AWESOME” AND I WAS LIKE, “YOU’RE TELLING ME!”
“Jason was frank and candid with Senator Mitchell. That and his impressive charitable endeavors convinced me it was unnecessary to take further action.”
–Baseball commissioner Bud Selig, on Senator Mitchell’s meeting with Jason Giambi.
“In the days since your interview, your representatives have discussed with my office your commitment to off-field charitable activities. For example, your agent has informed my office that you intend to donate $50,000 to the Partnership of a Drug Free America. You have also committed to make an additional donation of $50,000 in cash or equipment to the Harlem RBI. You also have agreed to make an appearance at the Major League Baseball Academy in Compton, California during the 2007-2008 offseason.”
–Selig, in his letter to Giambi.
“Finally your representatives have notified the Baseball Tomorrow Fund of your willingness to participate in a check presentation ceremony.”
–Selig, in his letter to Giambi. (Jack Curry, The New York Times)
A-ROD MAKES ERROR, REWARDED WITH KEY TO THE CITY
“It’s a play I need to make. I feel badly for Moose. If I make that play, maybe Moose pitches a gem.”
–Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, on a misplay that extended an inning in a Yankees loss this week.
“One play doesn’t change it. It still would have been a fight all day for me.”
“It will be something I hold dear to me for the rest of my life.”
–Alex Rodriguez, on receiving a key to the city from Mayor Bloomberg. (Mike Puma, New York Post)
IT IS A FUN TIME TO BE A MARLINS FAN
“My nose is crushed [against the glass] because we’re so up against it. Every day that passes makes it more and more difficult. The longer this goes on diminishes the possibility of making the timing work.”
—Marlins president David Samson. His team is out of Dolphins Stadium after 2010.
“Bob [DuPuy] and I are going to talk about it in the next week or so. There are options [outside of Florida], but I hope we don’t have to use them.”
–Bud Selig, on the Marlins.
“Jeffrey has stopped writing out checks. Our payroll will pretty much match our revenue.”
–David Samson (Barry Bloom, MLB.com)
“We spend a great deal of time evaluating these players and where they fit in the draft and putting a dollar value on these players. It’s not different from with free agents.”
—Padres general manager Kevin Towers, on the draft.
“We have the wherewithal to do it. We’re not trying to save money. It’s just that we’re not going to give a guy double what he’s worth. It doesn’t make sense. It’s a crapshoot anyway. We’re very, very thorough in our evaluation.”
–Towers (Tom Krasovic, San Diego Union-Tribune)
“It was fairly close. There was certainly a sense of urgency as we got into the last hour or so. I don’t know about sweating it, but we didn’t have any more time.”
–Rangers GM Jon Daniels, on negotiations with outfielder Julio Borbon.
“Those are two guys that we would have loved to have added to the system. We negotiated with those guys right down to the wire and they both made personal decisions to attend school.”
–Daniels, on lefties John Gast and Drew Pomeranz, who decided to attend Florida State and Ole Miss, respectively. (Dave Sessions, Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
YOU KNOW BORAS HAD A GOOD TIME
“The fact is, there probably isn’t going to be a player like Matt in next year’s Draft or many other Drafts. When you get a catcher, a premium position player with skill, fortitude and all the characteristics Matt has, these are franchise decisions.”
–Agent Scott Boras on Orioles first round draft pick Matt Wieters. (Geremy Bass, MLB.com)
“One thing that Matt is very good at is he’s a great athlete, but he also has that temperament, that Varitek quality, where he understands people, he understands how to evaluate situations and go forward.”
“In managing this process … his preparedness and his ability in a very unemotional fashion to lay information and evaluate what he wanted to do says a lot about how he plays the game and what kind of player he’ll be in the major leagues.”
HE DIDN’T HAVE THE ‘VARITEK’ QUALITY…HE HAD MORE ‘SUBMISSIVE TO THE WILL OF THE CLUB WITH HIS RIGHTS’ QUALITY
“Both sides came to a compromise. Mr. Boras and the Royals both made a compromise. They came up to where we were, and we came down from where we were. It just worked out.”
–Royals first-round draft pick Mike Moustakas
“Mike made a decision once the compromises were made, and the benefits and detriments were evaluated. Mike told us late in the process what he wanted to do. We told him all along it was going to be his decision and that we work for him.”
“We’ve got to get in a position where we have 20,000 to 40,000 people out here every night. Whether it’s a Thursday afternoon game in 100 degrees in the middle of August or a Friday night in June with fireworks. We want this place packed, and we want interest from our fans, and this is the way you’ve got to do it. You’ve got to win negotiations of good players. Hopefully they end up being the special talents we expect them to be.”
–Royals general manager Dayton Moore, on the Moustakas signing. (Doug Tucker, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
YOU WON’T HAVE SAMMY TO KICK AROUND ANYMORE
“We are in a tough situation with him, but he has not cried one bit. He said what he had to say when we first told him. We listened, but we could not change the direction in which we were going. The classiest thing is that he decided to stay here. He said he would do the best he can and do the best he can to help every young player.”
–Rangers manager Ron Washington, on Sammy Sosa.
“Inside of him, he’s burning because he has a desire to play this game. He’s handled it like a class act, but he’s feeling it. I do feel like it will get to a point with him, after this year is over, that he will say, ‘My time is through.’ Unless somebody gives him the opportunity or the Texas Rangers decide to continue along with him.”
“The numbers I have are not the numbers that I wanted to have right now. I could have better numbers, but I can’t be that greedy because I was out for a year. To come back to baseball and have the numbers I have right now, I can’t ask more of myself.”
–Sammy Sosa (Jesse Sanchez, MLB.com)
“We get a lot of phone calls from guys that are like, ‘Well, you guys aren’t afraid to work with knuckleballers.’ I’m thinking we got two of them already (in the minors), we don’t need five.”
–Mike Hazen, Red Sox director of player development. (Maureen Mullen, Boston Herald)
“It’s parity, but not NFL parity. How can you have parity when Boston and New York spend all of that money? They should be head and shoulders above the rest of the teams in baseball. They aren’t, because they haven’t spent all of that money wisely.”
–anonymous AL executive (Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe)
“I feel like my pitches are improving, but I can’t tell you how good I am until I get a big-league hitter out. This is Rookie ball and A-ball, and they are scoring three, four, five runs on me. I am not really looking for strikeouts. I am actually working on pitches, where do I want pitches to fall, what specific zone I want in my pitches and forget about the kids.”
—Mets starter Pedro Martinez, (Mark Hale, New York Post)
“I only said to him in Anaheim, ‘Listen, I think you are looking at the (catcher’s signs) every time you are hitting.’ He was turning his face to look. I said, ‘If you are doing it, stop, because I will hit you.’ I said it in the right way. But he said, ‘No, I’m not doing it,’ and that was the only thing I said to him.”
–Red Sox starter Julian Tavarez, on what he said to Angels shortstop Orlando Cabrera in the past before plunking him during Sunday’s game in Boston. (Mark Murphy, Boston Herald)
“We feel really confident in what we have here right now. It’s just a matter of what the other two guys bring. Ubaldo (Jimenez) has the talent to be lights-out, and who’s pitching for us today?”
—Rockies starter Aaron Cook, on his team’s rotation. (Troy E. Renck, Denver Post)
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.