AN OCTOBER TRADITION
“We had some opportunities that we squandered, and when you do that, you open the door. You open the door to keep their adrenaline going, you open the door for them to stay on top, you open the door for them to pump their fists and run off the field and do the things that they were doing.”
–Cubs outfielder Cliff Floyd
“I should have known. He’s been doing it all year, jumping on that first pitch, and he did it again.”
–Cubs starter Rich Hill, on D’backs center fielder Chris B. Young.
WE HAVE A MISSIVE
“His job is on the line. I think we’re paying him a lot of money. He’s the highest-paid manager in baseball, so I don’t think we’d take him back if we don’t win this series.”
—Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, on his manager, Joe Torre.
“He’s been good for us over the years.”
–Steinbrenner, on Torre.
“The umpire was full of [expletive]. He won’t umpire our games anymore… [Selig] just said, ‘That’s in the umpires’ hands.’ But Jesus Christ, it was terrible. It messed up the whole team, [Derek] Jeter, all of them.”
–Steinbrenner, on the Canadian soldier ants that infested Jacobs Field in Game Two of the series. (Frank O’Connor, The Bergen Record)
“It was a nothing deal. It was an irritant. And as far as comments, I don’t take them one way or another.”
–umpire Bruce Froemming (Larry Stone, Seattle Times)
“The bugs caused a lot of drama. But Fausto [Carmona] didn’t flinch. He didn’t blink. … The other guys on the Yankees were acting like there were bullets flying around their heads, not gnats. I mean … this is the big leagues.”
—Ryan Garko, Indians first baseman, on his blog.
STAY OF EXECUTION
“We’re playing for a manager that we love. We’re playing for fans that we love. So we’d like to prolong the season as long as we can.”
–Yankees outfielder Johnny Damon, on the Yankees facing elimination on Sunday.
“It’s obviously an uncomfortable situation for me. I don’t want to be caught in the middle of this. On the back end of that, Joe knows how I feel about him. He knows I would never do anything behind the scenes or anything else to backstab anybody. It’s not my character; it’s not part of me. I’m comfortable with that part of myself. Joe knows me, too, that I wouldn’t be doing that.”
–Yankees bench coach Don Mattingly, on Torre’s job status.
“My loyalty to him is as long as it has to be, really forever. He’s treated me great, he’s taught me tons.”
HE MEANT HE WAS LOCKED INTO A RETIREMENT PLAN
“If you’ve been paying attention, I’m locked in. Like I said, I’ve got a lot of will and desire, doesn’t matter my age. And I’ve had that again, if you guys have been following me for not only the time I’ve been here but my entire career. That’s what I draw on. I draw on a lot of energy.”
–Yankees starter Roger Clemens, before his less-than-stellar Game Three start.
“The only thing you have to concentrate on is winning [Sunday]. I mean, we need to win one game just to get the momentum switched around a little bit, and Roger, of course, is certainly capable. He feels good, and we feel good about him.”
–Joe Torre (Howard Bryant, ESPN.com)
“I don’t want to say it’s heartbreaking because he wouldn’t want me to say that. But the way he goes out there, he was very unhappy when we took him out. Not the fact that, you know, he felt he could pitch more, it was just the fact that he was there to do a job, and he was really upset that he had to leave.”
–Yankees manager Joe Torre, after Clemens was removed for Phil Hughes in Sunday’s game.
“Roger’s got a lot of guts. He was trying to tough it out out there, and I think he took it about as far as he could go.”
–Indians manager Eric Wedge
IT’S REALLY TOO BAD YOU USED THE ‘BAT MY BEST HITTER 8TH’ SHAKEUP LAST OCTOBER, JOE
“I am not sure where, but we are thinking maybe Jason. We’ll look and see what we are going to do. We’ll look at matchups and stuff, but we’ll probably shake it up a little bit.”
–Joe Torre, on changing his lineup for the last three games of the series.
“I’m just thinking about getting his bat in there, and the fact of what he brings to the table. Just because he hasn’t played doesn’t mean we necessarily ignore what he can do for us. But I think the fact that we’ve been struggling a little bit offensively, you may want to adjust either first base or DH.”
–Torre, on Giambi.
“I believe in him probably more than anybody else outside of his family. I’ve seen him do it before. He’ll do it again. We’ve just got to keep plugging along and get him in situations to where they have to come right at him. He’s gonna come through, I promise.”
–Yankees first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz, on A-Rod. (Kristie Ackert, New York Daily News)
THE KEY TO WINNING BASEBALL IS ACTUALLY NOT HITTING OR PITCHING WELL, DIDN’T YOU KNOW?
“I laugh. I just laugh. Because it doesn’t really apply to what this team is. It doesn’t apply to winning baseball.”
–D’Backs outfielder Eric Byrnes on the D’backs’ now-infamous poor run differential.
“I mean, I don’t blame the number-crunchers, the computer geeks, for not being able to come up with a formula for how we got here.”
“But there’s a lot more that goes into sports than numbers.”
–Byrnes (Jayson Stark, ESPN.com)
BRING BACK THE BLOODY SOCK!
“His style has changed, but the results in the postseason remain the same. That’s a real tribute to him. That’s what makes him special.”
—Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein, on grand old man Curt Schilling.
“It’s like Josh goes through the lineup with a bazooka. Daisuke is like a machine-gun guy, and I’ve turned into a guy who has to use a sniper rifle, pick my spots, pick my targets and execute perfectly.”
–Red Sox starter Curt Schilling, on his Game Three victory.
“Pitching is everything, and our guys were pitching. In the playoffs, you got to have pitching. Schilling’s the man. He’s got a lot of spirit, he knows what he’s doing out there and he came through for us today.”
–Red Sox left fielder Manny Ramirez (Sean McAdam and Joe McDonald, Providence Journal)
“Bunting is pretty outdated. Everybody scores so many runs nowadays, it doesn’t make sense to play for one run unless it’s late in the game and it’s close. I hardly ever bunt early in a game, unless it’s with a pitcher. A big inning can win you a game. One run in the third inning can’t, unless you have Pedro pitching.”
—Nationals manager Manny Acta (SquawkingBaseball.com)
“When it gets hot, I’m going to sweat a little more, and when I was throwing my changeup, the sweat was dripping down in my hands. I wasn’t able to get a good grip on the ball. A lot of changeups in the second inning, they took, and they obviously weren’t strikes.”
–Phillies starter Cole Hamels, on a second-inning breakdown that may have cost the Phillies Game One after he wore long sleeves. (Joe Frisaro, MLB.com)
“Philosophically I’m looking for a manager with energy. I’m looking for a manager with passion, I’m looking for a manager that is a tireless instructor, I’m looking for a manager that’s going to instill some discipline, I’m looking for a manager that’s an exhaustive communicator and I’m looking for a manager that wants to return the pride to the Pittsburgh Pirates–not only externally, but internally. How we wear the uniform, how we present ourselves within that uniform, and how we play the game.”
–new Pirates GM Neal Huntington, on his search for a new manager. (George Von Benko, MLB.com)
“I think we’ll re-sign him. I think he’s going to have a good run the rest of the [postseason]. I think he realizes New York is the place to be, the place to play. A lot of this [postseason] is laying on his shoulders, you know, but I think he’s up to it.”
–Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, on A-Rod.
(Frank O’Connor, The Bergen Record)
“I have submitted my body of work for the season.”
—Chipper Jones, after he finished with a career-best .337 average this year.
“I probably shouldn’t say this–there was a time when I wouldn’t even think it. But I think we’re going to see a time in the future, the near future, when we are going to pass the NFL in producing revenue.”
–unnamed MLB exec (Phil Rogers, Chicago Tribune)
“The kid’s out there pitching the game of his life, and it’s like he’s facing Whitey Ford. Jamie Moyer, how good was he tonight?”
—Rockies manager Clint Hurdle, on Rockies rookie Ubaldo Jiminez. (SI.com)
“But I guess when you don’t feel good and you still get hits, that’s when you know you are a bad man.”
–Red Sox left fielder Manny Ramirez (Jack Curry, The New York Times)
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.