THE MORE GAMES THEY LOSE, THE LOUDER HE GETS
“I think we’re a good team, I also don’t think the Rockies have outplayed us, because they haven’t. Not even close. They’ve had a little luck go their way. Definitely, the ball has bounced in their direction. They’ve been the beneficiary of some calls.”
–D’backs outfielder Eric Byrnes
“So when we look at that as a group, we look back on those first two games, we have not been outplayed. If anything, I think it’s the other way around, so that gives us confidence knowing that we can play with them. That and the fact that we faced them about 9,000 times this year. We are not really fazed by what’s going on right now.”
“I can’t control what other people say, think, or do. Perception’s a wonderful thing. Everybody’s got one. So my perception is our club has done enough good things to win two games.”
–Rockies manager Clint Hurdle
LISTEN WELL, NLCS UMPIRES
“I have just never seen that call before [and] I’ve been playing this game for a while. And you know, I didn’t even know if that was a rule, that if you went in there with intent that they would call you and the runner out. I don’t think I’ve ever in my life in playing this game have gone into second base without intent. Therefore, I think I should probably be called out every time I slide into second base trying to break up a double play, because I have intent every time.”
“And this is when I think you want to see that type of baseball more than any other time. You know, baseball, often times, can get labeled as an apathetic sport for people that don’t really know the game. And you’re telling me that you want to take out one of the few and exciting times that this game brings to you? I think that’s wrong.”
“Yeah, there’s a lot of things going their way right now, the ball’s definitely been bouncing their way. But as we’ve seen before in this game, luck can change real quick. And I’m Irish, so you never know. Got a few Irish guys on our team. So hopefully it helps us out.”
–Byrnes (Jim Molony, MLB.com)
HE HITS .340 AND IS READY TO BEAT UP D’BACKS FANS, WHAT’S NOT TO LIKE?
“I’ll take my chances. I lift weights for a reason. Mayhem starts breaking out on the field, I’ll just jump in there and muscle them.”
—Matt Holliday, Rockies outfielder, on bottles thrown at Rockies players at Chase Field during the NLCS.
“I was shocked because I’ve never seen anything like that from these fans. It didn’t show very much class. … Usually, I would expect that out of Shea [Stadium] or Philly.”
–Rockies reliever Brian Fuentes
“In the Dominican, they throw Brugal [rum] bottles, which are glass. It’s a common occurrence down there. I’ve been hit with one. [Tonight] may have been a little overreacting.”
–Eric Byrnes (Amy K. Nelson, MLB.com)
MEANWHILE, THE WIT AND WISDOM OF RED SOX MANAGEMENT
“Anytime there have been bugs on my body, I’m not sure I felt real comfortable about talking about it. I don’t know what to say. I guess it’s kind of like rain. If it rains, you handle it. If it snows, you handle it. If it’s cold, you handle it. I guess if there are bugs, you get bug spray.”
—Red Sox manager Terry Francona, on the Yankees‘ Game Two loss in Cleveland.
“It would have been a nice idea if you could run through the postseason without losing. I don’t think it’s realistic.”
–Terry Francona (Projo SoxBlog)
“I think this time next year we can look back and say this is a Josh Beckett 2006 year for him. Josh came to the American League for the first time and learned some things along the way, went home during the winter, made some adjustments, and put it all together.”
–Red Sox GM Theo Epstein, on Red Sox starter Daisuke Matsuzaka‘s first season. (USA Today)
THE LAST PERSON TO BE ENVIOUS OF CHUCK LAMAR IS ENVIOUS NO LONGER
“I’d been an assistant GM for four years when (the Tampa Bay) opportunity came along, and I thought I was ready. But every year you spend in the game better prepares you. When I went to Baltimore, I was sure I was ready. There’s just things that as an assistant you say, ‘When I’m a GM, I’m going to do this,’ but when you sit in that chair, it’s a lot tougher than you think. After another eight years as an assistant with John and (manager Bobby Cox), I don’t feel that nervousness, I don’t feel that anxiety. I’m ready to go.”
–new Braves general manager Frank Wren
“You never know. It may have been good for me. It may have been bad for me. It may have been good for Tampa Bay. It may have been bad. Chuck and I were both assistants looking to get our first GM job.”
–Wren, on former Devil Rays GM Chuck LaMar.
“Look, it worked out for Chuck because he got to be a GM for nine or 10 years. And it worked out for me because I get to be GM of one of the greatest sports franchises in the world.”
BEAUTY IS IN THE EYE OF THE MAN WRITING THE CHECK
“I think it’s obnoxious. I admire and respect Alex Rodriguez as much as any ballplayer in the game, but to suggest that ($30 million a year) is a valid salary…it’s absolutely asinine.”
–Braves executive John Schuerholz, on A-Rod’s free agent status.
“In 2000 the YES network didn’t exist. Now it’s worth $3 billion to $3.5 billion easily. What is it going to be worth in 12 years when Alex will be at the end of his career, chasing records and people wanting to say, ‘I saw him play.'”
–Alex Rodriguez’s agent, Scott Boras
“The same core players were there in 2002 and they drew 3.4 million and now they draw 4.3 million.”
–Boras (George King, New York Post)
“He (A-Rod) is very comfortable there, he enjoys New York, but he also enjoys some other venues in baseball.”
–Scott Boras (Bob Raissman, New York Daily News)
“We sell all of our tickets. We have our media deals in place. If you’re trying to gain added revenue through ticket sales, a team that needed that would certainly get great economic benefit.”
–Red Sox president Larry Lucchino, on how other teams might benefit more than the Red Sox from signing Alex Rodriguez.
I WANT TO COME BACK TO PLAY WITH MY BFF JOBA!
“During spring training a lot of things happened, and I realized then, definitely, this is a business.”
–Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, on whether or not he’ll resign with the Yankees.
“He left a lot of big footsteps to fill, not only as a baseball player so much, but also mostly as a friend.”
KEEPING THE FOCUS WHERE IT BELONGS-ON BUD
“I don’t like instant replay because I don’t like all the delays. I think it sometimes creates as many problems or more than it solves. But I am willing to say we’ll at least talk about these if people want to talk about it. I’m going to let the general managers discuss it, let them come back and make recommendations. No, I’m not a big advocate of instant replay.”
–Commissioner Bud Selig
“No, it would not shorten the game. In the other sports that use it, one thing we can be assured of is it hasn’t shortened the games. It takes time. But look, you won’t say you wouldn’t consider something. There are controversial decisions, and I understand it. But this has been going on 130 years, too. So, we’ll see.”
“I don’t think there’s anything freakish about it at all. I think it’s something we set out to do a decade ago and through a lot of economic reforms we got to where we are. I’m satisfied that this is not just an aberration. Other clubs with low payrolls had very good years. Well, this couldn’t happen in the ’90s.”
“Money is important, and nobody understands that better than I do. But I think what you’ve seen is management looking at things differently and some clubs doing things differently. And so I don’t think it’s bad that you’ve got three teams left standing that aren’t big spenders.”
THE WRONG THING TO DO
“When you got a parent hammering that it’s going south and everything that’s going south, and everything south, and your daddy did it… I had nothing to do with it, it’s your dad’s fault.”
—Cecil Fielder, on his estrangement from his son, Prince. He claims his wife turned his children against him.
“With her mashing, she wanted to involve those children and I told her, to this day, that was the wrong thing to do. And the fact that she let him think he was the man, Prince felt that he could talk to me any way that he wanted to at that point and I was like, ‘Look dude…it ain’t going down like that.'”
“I ain’t going to turn my back on my grandkids because my son is acting crazy.”
“So I said, ‘Hey, before I leave, let me take a picture of my grandkids.’ So this girl says it’s up to their father. I said, ‘I will never, ever go to a baseball game to see my son play. I ain’t going.’ I will watch him play, but I ain’t going. Because that was probably the worst thing that I have ever dealt with on the baseball field or at a ballpark. My son, this kid that I raised in baseball, telling me to leave the ballpark. I ain’t never going. Until he grows up enough to talk to me like a man, I ain’t going.”
–Cecil, on his trip to watch Prince play. (Bob Wolfley, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)
“It wasn’t fun, that’s for sure. It was one of those teams where if you bring back all of the same guys and replay the season this year, you’ll get a reverse of the record we had this season. I don’t know how to explain it.”
—Astros catcher Brad Ausmus (Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe)
“No one should feel bad in this clubhouse but me. You knew we were going to ground it out on [Fausto Carmona], put together a great inning, take a lead. Up to the Peralta at-bat, I still had it. But I let it get away, put our bullpen in a bad situation. This is all about me coming up small in a big game.”
–Red Sox starter Curt Schilling (Kevin Paul Dupont, Boston Globe)
“I know managers don’t want to say this, but I got to say it. In all the years I broadcast basketball, baseball, football, hockey, that is the unluckiest loss. It had nothing to do with baseball. I know this–if there hadn’t been the bugs, Joba would have done the job. And the Yankees would’ve won the ball game.”
–Yankees play-by-play radio man John Sterling (Bob Raissman, New York Daily News)
“This one’s getting me angry, because I don’t play this card a lot, but this is as sexist as it gets. What’s the big damn deal? That I cried for four seconds of a 10-minute postgame? The idea that I can’t choke up because a man I went through cancer with 11 years ago is going to lose his job and I was describing his coaches crying? It’s absolutely ludicrous.”
–Yankees radio analyst Suzyn Waldman, on her tears after what was potentially Joe Torre‘s last game as manager of the Yankees. (Neil Best, Newsday)
“I can’t explain my success in this park. I think it’s just a small sample size of me having a good run against one team.”
–Rockies ace Jeff Francis, on his success against the Snakes. (Yahoo! Sports)
“That’s duck-hunting weather right now, not baseball weather.”
–Rockies first baseman Todd Helton, on the conditions in last night’s Game Three of the NLCS in Colorado. (Lynn DeBruin, Rocky Mountain News)
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.
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