IF THEY FEEL LIKE GIVING FINANCIAL SECURITY TO SOMEONE ELSE WITH ALMOST NO BIG LEAGUE EXPERIENCE, I’M AVAILABLE
“As a player, you have to look out for what’s best for you. For me, the security of a long-term contract and knowing that now I’m pretty much set for life, it’s just very assuring to me.”
—Rays third baseman Evan Longoria, 22, on signing a deal that will keep him in a Rays uniform through 2014.
“First of all, I like being here. It’s an enjoyable place to live and play. Why not be here and be part of the nucleus of the team, the core group of young guys? As a player, you have to look out for what’s best for you.”
–Longoria, who is off to a .259/.375/.444 start to his big league career.
“We’re always open-minded. On both of our parts there’s a risk reward. The point is, at this point in time, both sides feel very good about it and very comfortable.”
–Rays president Andrew Friedman
“It was something both sides wanted to explore. It was something both sides had to make concessions along the way.”
“Being a low-revenue team, we have to think differently to keep our nucleus intact. We’re very committed to this. We hope to demonstrate it a lot of the future.”
THE IMPORTANT THINGS IN LIFE
“My Bentley! I tried to treat myself a couple of weeks ago, and look what happened. I think somebody was trying to tell my something–that car’s not that important.”
—Angels center fielder Torii Hunter, on getting in a car accident on the way to a game this week.
“I saw him in the rearview mirror, but I didn’t know what he was doing. He put his signal light on to go into the right lane, which was stopped already, then he turned around and looked to see if anybody was coming from behind. Then he turned back around and had to jam on the brakes, and I caught the tail end of the stop. His bumper hit my bumper and messed up my rims.”
“My Bentley’s pretty much in bad shape. She’s going to have to go in the hospital for a while. You would think some lawyers would pull up after seeing a Bentley on the side of the road. It would be like, ‘Aw, hell, let me go represent him.'”
“I was so upset, I couldn’t feel nothing right away. I feel a little stiffness coming on now in my neck and my back, but I’m all right. It was like hitting the [outfield] wall. I haven’t had an accident in 15 years. Then I come to LA.”
IT ALSO MAKES THE STADIUM LOOK MORE CROWDED FOR TV
“Everybody talks about quality control. But that means evaluating things after they’ve occurred. Quality assurance means we’re evaluating things in advance-trying to head off our mistakes.”
–Rays manager Joe Maddon on coach Tim Bogar, who sits in the stands during games.
“With all the information that’s thrown out there today, I thought the one position I’d always like to have was an information coach-a guy who acts as a liaison between scouting and us [in the dugout]. I also thought we could use a guy to really organize our day, a guy who scouts us and analyzes videos-kind of an assistant to everybody.”
“Other teams spend so much time advance scouting opponents and not enough time scouting themselves. Tim will spend a lot of time looking at areas other teams might try to exploit.”
“Everybody tracks physical errors. I want us to keep track of the plays we didn’t make that we should have made-the mental errors. You talk about them all the time, but you never record them.”
“Sitting in the stands during a game, I don’t have the emotion of sitting in the dugout. I’ll be making sure Joe has all the information he needs going into a series. So, I’ll be checking the internet and reading the local papers in advance besides evaluating what’s going on during games.”
–Bogar (Seth Livingston, USA Today)
IT’S LIKE THEY’RE STILL MAD ABOUT SOMETHING FROM AWHILE AGO. DARNED IF I KNOW WHAT IT IS
“I don’t really want to care about the fans anymore. If they want to boo, let them boo. I’m not going to take them out to dinner.”
—Mets reliever Scott Schoeneweis, on the booing at Shea Stadium this season.
“If they’re booing for ridiculous reasons, you just let them look like idiots and go about your business. Their expectations are high, just like ours. It’s been 11 games and we’ve got a lot of baseball left. But they’re booing now because they must have expected us to go undefeated this year.”
–Mets closer Billy Wagner
“You can say it doesn’t bother you, but it gets to you after a little while. I’m not used to it happening on a regular basis like that. It was tough catching for Johan yesterday and seeing him get booed off the field. I didn’t think that was right; he’s a key factor for the team.”
–Mets catcher Brian Schneider, on the booing.
“We as a team play hard and want to win more than they do. That’s why I don’t understand that mentality. I guess they have a right to express themselves.”
–Mets manager Willie Randolph (Joshua Robinson, The New York Times)
LEAVE IT TO THE INDIANS TO COME UP WITH A WIN-WIN-WIN-WIN SITUATION
“The minor league system gives you the ability to escape. If you have four teams playing, there’s something good that happened the night before.”
–Indians general manager Mark Shapiro
“We get voicemails. We went to the computer and found it missed the emotion you want from a minor league manager.”
“We try to factor in all the information. The best subjective information, which is scouting. The best objective information, which is statistics…we’re looking for very specific things in Cleveland Indians players. We identify what those characteristics and attributes are.”
“You’d like to not make decisions day-to-day. But you’re emotionally impacted day-to-day.”
CASTING SNOOP DOGG AS A VICIOUS CURSING SOCIOPATH…WANG KNOWS FILM
“It’s not because I think they’re scary; it’s interesting for me to think how they make a scary movie, how to make that work.”
—Yankees pitcher Chien Ming-Wang, on why he likes horror movies. (Steve Serby, New York Post)
–Wang, on who his favorite singer is.
“When he was around, he cursed a lot, so I thought it was very funny.”
I COUNT DEFENSE-INDEPENDENT SHEEP BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP
“It’s like the Good Will Hunting line-‘This stuff is so easy to me.'”
—Brian Bannister, on his mastery of advanced baseball metrics.
“What it has stirred up is really fun, because here’s a whole group of baseball fans that were kind of outcasts, or ignored, or everyone said they were crazy. The truth is coming out that they have some interesting things to say. If I can bridge that gap a little bit, I’m happy to do that.”
“I appreciate all the guys who publish that material, because it kind of inspired me to realize there’s more to the game than just the box score in the paper. I just try to use it to see how I can make myself a better player.”
–Bannister, on being introduced to sabermetrics by Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson.
“I take the stats out there, and I make my own stats. Most guys are using them for the purpose of projection. I’m using them for the purpose of changing the future projections. I want to find my weaknesses and find which stats will help me do that, and change my pitching style accordingly.”
–Bannister (Larry Stone, Seattle Times)
THE PECOTA REAPER HAS COME FOR HIS SOUL
“We were laughing the other day about his slump. And I mentioned his little spring training thing, when he went 0-for-21. He reminded me that it was 0-for-25. He always knows what’s going on.”
—Mariners manager John McLaren, on Ichiro Suzuki.
“I can remember past years, when he would be hitting .270 or .280, and the next thing you know, he’s going 10-for-14 and his average is back up to .360 where he always is. He will get red-hot shortly.”
“Nothing has changed. He looks the same, the swing looks the same and he doesn’t have any injuries. They are just making good pitches on him, but he always seems to respond when he encounters little bumps in the road. A couple of big games and that would be that.”
–McLaren (Jim Street, MLB.com)
THE ROCKY ADOLESCENCE OF GENERATION TREY
“I don’t want to get into semantics, OK? Minor, major–you’ve got to throw strikes. That’s the bottom line. I am not a mechanics guy. You’ve got to throw strikes.”
–Yankees skipper Joe Girardi
“It doesn’t test me. I hate losing. That tests me. People, I believe in my people.”
“I assume he’s finding a catcher where he lives. I don’t know if I’d want to be that catcher; I hope the kid has some experience.”
–Girardi, on Joba Chamberlain‘s leave of absence from the team. (ESPN.com)
“It seemed like a fastball. It was something like 80 mph. Maybe it was a change-up. It was right there.”
—Red Sox left fielder Manny Ramirez, on taking Joe Borowski deep in the Red Sox’s two-game sweep of the Indians last week.
“Basically, I’ve been told that I’m not going to be in that lineup. Gibby told me that this morning. I see it as something else is going on. We’ll see how that plays out. You know what’s going on and I know what’s going on. We’ll see how it plays out. I’m just a little frustrated right now. There are some things going on around here this year that I haven’t been happy about.”
–former Blue Jays designated hitter Frank Thomas (Jordan Bastian, MLB.com)
“What can I say? The fans have always been unbelievable to me there. I don’t really know how to explain it. It makes you feel good that the fans still think of you as wearing that number.”
–YES commentator Paul O’Neill, on the fans booing LaTroy Hawkins for wearing his number 21.
“I obviously understand the feelings for Paul O’Neill because I was here, and I know what he meant to me as a teammate and what he means to me as a friend, and what he means to the people of New York, Yankees fans. But LaTroy was trying to honor Roberto Clemente, someone he looked up to; it was nothing against Paul O’Neill. I think LaTroy has the ultimate respect for Paul O’Neill. It’s a tough spot.”
–Yankees manager Joe Girardi, on the controversy.
“There is no question about it, you don’t have a guy with a 100 mph fastball
and keep him as a setup guy. You just don’t do that. You have to be an idiot to do that.”
–Yankees owner Hank Steinbrenner, on the future role of Joba Chamberlain. (Michael S. Schmidt, The New York Times)
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.