IF THIS IS HOW THEY TREAT THEIR MANAGER, WHAT ABOUT PEOPLE THEY DON’T LIKE?
“But no, I can’t assume anything because I really don’t know anything about what’s going on. All I know is what I read and hear and what you guys are talking about. Until I hear from someone, I’m just going to go out and win the ballgame and assume that I’m going to be here for a long time.”
“I don’t know what scenario has to happen today-if I have to win, split or win two. I might lose both and still might be on the flight, I don’t know.”
—Mets manager Willie Randolph, on his future with his team.
“These are our coaches today. I think we’re not playing up to our potential. I always leave room to evaluate things.”
–Mets general manager Omar Minaya
“It’s out of my hands. I’m here to do a job and hopefully I’ll be here for a long time. … I don’t know what people around here are thinking. I can’t assume anything. I haven’t heard from anybody.”
“I can’t answer that. He is my manager today, and I have the right to evaluate him as we go along. Let me put it this way, he is always being evaluated… It’s a situation that I am constantly evaluating.”
–Minaya, on whether Randolph will finish out the season.
“Strange things have been happening a lot lately.”
–Randolph, on his team’s struggles. (ESPN.com)
THE CANARY WANTS OUT OF THE COAL MINE
“Absolutely. I hear it from a lot of people. I hear it from a lot of players: ‘Man, you belong in the National League. You’d be in there almost every day in some form.’ But right now, I’m a Seattle Mariner. I signed a contract to do the best I can for this team. For me to start letting my thoughts wander to what it would be like to be in the National League, it probably wouldn’t be fair to myself or this team.”
—Mariners utility player Willie Bloomquist, on the increased value of his career .245 EqA in the National League.
“I’m sure at some point in the next few months I’m going to have to make that determination whether or not that’s something I want to consider. I’d be lying to you if I said that’s not something that’s crossed my mind.”
“I’m very disappointed in myself. I’m harder on myself than anybody is, whether it be media, whether it’s a fan, whoever. Whatever they expect of me, I promise I expect more of myself. However, that being said, I was anticipating being used a little bit more. Maybe it is the Catch-22. I don’t want to say I’ve had an abundance of opportunity, but when I do get a chance, obviously, everyone wants to perform their best when they’re in there. Based on 40 at-bats almost 2 1/2 months into the season, it’s tough to get into a groove.”
“The only thing I can control is my attitude and my preparation. I try to come every day with a good attitude. If this team felt better off to move me-please, by all means, move me.”
–Bloomquist, on his desire to be traded to the National League.
“I don’t think anyone would have expected us to be in the situation we’re in. It kind of seems like Murphy’s Law right now; everything that could go wrong, does.”
“Pointing at any one segment of the team would be inaccurate, because at times the hitting has been good, and at times it has been bad. There’s been times the pitching has been good, and it’s been bad.”
–Bloomquist (Howie Stalwick, Kitsap Sun)
NATURALLY THAT’S PAR FOR THE COURSE IN THIS FRANCHISE
“I think that’s basically what he is. That’s the way he was in Baltimore. Basically, he’s programmed to go 100 pitches. There’s not an easy way to put it. I’d love to see him go further, but if he’s not capable, he’s not capable….There’s no use dwelling on it. It is what it is. He’s a 100-pitch pitcher.”
–Mariners manager John McLaren, on Erik Bedard.
“He wanted just to show that he could do it. I don’t know what to say. I appreciate him wanting to get the bunt down and everything, but we didn’t want him bunting then, 3-2. We wanted him swinging the bat.”
–McLaren, on Yuniesky Betancourt bunting with two on, nobody out, and a 3-2 count.
“He’s got such heart and everything he does, he means it to do well. There’s nobody that feels worse than him. He was doing this from a team standpoint. This was not selfish at all.”
–McLaren, on Betancourt. (Geoff Baker, The Seattle Times)
RAISING TERRIBLE MANAGING TO AN ART FORM
“We’ve been stealing bases all year. This is what we do. We’ve emphasized it from spring training on. We’re going to try and steal as many bases as we can and be aggressive.”
—Astros manager Cecil Cooper, on his team’s play in the ninth inning of a loss to the Yankees.
“It was an ideal situation. There was one ball and two strikes on the hitter [Michael Bourn], the [pitcher, Kyle Farnsworth] had just thrown three straight fastballs. Surely there comes a breaking ball, surely on 1 and 2. It’s a perfect time to run.”
–Cooper, on getting Ty Wigginton thrown out at second base after Michael Bourn popped up a bunt. Farnsworth had walked the first batter of the inning.
“It wasn’t Wiggie, he had a real good jump. The guy just had a great throw. The [pitch] was up and away, and it was just like a pitchout. It was the perfect situation for him, and [Molina] throws pretty good. I would do that 100 times in a row.”
“I have no concern with stealing and running bases. That’s not why we lost. We lost because we didn’t hit.”
–Cooper (Krysten Oliphant, MLB.com)
YOU WOULDN’T LIKE HIM WHEN HE’S ANGRY
“He never met me, so, when the game was over, I wanted to introduce myself to him. Because it’s amazing when you actually meet somebody how different they become.”
—Rangers outfielder Milton Bradley, on attempting to confront Royals announcer Ryan Lefebvre after a game about comments made during the broadcast.
“When I went to the bus the other night, no cops. If anything, I need cops following me because of the crazy stuff I get from fans, and death threats and stuff I get in the mail. It just really wears on you.”
“If I went out there and did everything cookie-cutter perfect, I’d have no edge. That’s how I do everything or I wouldn’t be around.”
“Nobody in here is looking for him to change. We kind of feel that he is perceived unfairly, but every guy on this team has his back regardless of what happens.”
–Rangers outfielder David Murphy (Mark Dent, MLB.com)
“I interact with fans, but it’s not anything malicious. … I go out and play well and rub it back in their face.”
–Bradley (Kate Fagan, Philadelphia Inquirer)
RACHEL CARSON WITH TOOLS
“With all of the rumors flying around, you don’t want to get caught not being used to an ash bat. I can tell the difference. Maple bats are definitely harder, and they feel better in your hands. The ash bats normally don’t break as much.”
–Yankees outfielder Johnny Damon, on the continuing attention to the fragility of major league bats.
“It’s amazing how bad they’re blowing up now. Maybe we get real scientific and see how the forests are where they’re getting these maple bats. Maybe there’s an excess amount of rain or of drought, who knows? They’re definitely cracking a lot more.”
“Maybe it’s global warming.”
WE SALUTE OUR FALLEN VORPERS
“Nothing against A-Rod and [Jorge] Posada but, when you lose a front-line starter, that’s a big deal. There are seven other guys in the lineup. When you lose your No. 1 starter, that’s very hard. He is the ace.”
–Yankees starter Mike Mussina, on the foot injury to Yankees ace Chien-Ming Wang.
“I knew it sounded like they hit pretty hard. I was turning and I saw Duncan throw it and the ball short-hopped, and the next thing I know Yaddy’s on the ground.”
—Cardinals closer Ryan Franklin, on the injury to catcher Yadier Molina.
“We have to find a way to get it done. It’s not easy to replace 19 wins. We were without A-Rod, Jeter, and Posada. You have to find a way.”
“It gets your stomach a little bit because you fear the worst. It was very scary and we’ll see. Hopefully, we’re OK. That’s all we need, is for him to be OK.”
–Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, on Molina’s injury.
“Obviously I hit him hard enough. Obviously I feel horrible and hopefully he’s feeling OK. That’s the last thing you want to see, especially when you’re involved. It makes you kind of second-guess the play-Did I do the right thing there?-and what should I have done. I was trying to look for a place to slide and right at the last second I didn’t really have anywhere to go.”
–Astros shortstop Eric Bruntlett, on the play that injured Molina.
RIGHT NOW BASEBALL IS MORE BRUNCH…IT’S DISAPPOINTING
“As of right now, I’m a Blue Jay, and I’m going to pitch to the best of my ability as long as I’m part of this club. But if something were to happen and I’d have the opportunity to go to a place where baseball is breakfast, lunch and dinner, that would be awesome. Right now, my focus is with this club, but if something like that were to happen, I’d accept it with open arms.”
–Blue Jays starter A.J. Burnett, on his desire to be traded to the Cubs.
“I have an opt out in my contract. So people are going to have their own opinion on that. Everybody’s talking about me opting out, but nobody’s talking about me staying. There’s a 100-percent chance of that as well.”
“My focus is toward this team and helping this team win. Everything else is out of my control. Who would not want to play for the Cubs? That’s the bottom line. I did say that my focus and my loyalty right now is with the Toronto Blue Jays and, until I’m told otherwise, it’ll stay that way.”
“That’s just how it is there. It’s nothing against Toronto–that’s just how it is in Chicago.”
–Burnett, on the greater focus on baseball in Chicago. (Jordan Bastian, MLB.com)
“They like him a lot, and think he is worth the gamble. The injury isn’t that significant that he didn’t deserve a chance. But to close him on a Friday and start him on Sunday, that’s typical college abuse. The pitching coach there is Mike Mayne, and his son, Brent, played in the major leagues for a long time. He knows what he’s doing and is probably cringing about this. It was the head coach. Shame on him for doing that with this kid.”
–Anonymous Fresno State source, on the abuse of Pirates draft pick Tanner Scheppers that led to him dropping out of the first round. (Kevin T. Czerwinski, MLB.com)
“It was a difficult time in my life. I was in and out of my first marriage. I was fooling around with drugs, the coke, we all know that. I don’t want to say on a recreational basis–I hate that word. There were some nights when I was up all night. I didn’t sleep. It was very destructive. This is not a performance-enhancing drug; this is a performance-destructive drug. I just made up my mind I wanted to stop… It is that alluring.”
–Former Mets first baseman Keith Hernandez, on his addiction to cocaine. (Steven Marcus, Newsday)
“It’s not something I am exploring. But I never rule out anything. The day I traded Carlos Lee, I went to work with no plans whatsoever to do it, and by midnight he was a Texas Ranger.”
—Brewers general manager Doug Melvin (Joel Sherman, New York Post)
“When they ask him, ‘Are you proud of your son and all that,’ I think he always says, ‘Which son?’ I get choked up on that. He says I’m the public son, but he’s got four kids. He loves us the same, so that’s huge.”
—Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell, on his dad. (Ian Browne, MLB.com)
“You can never let anybody tell you you can’t do something. You can’t succeed in this game and in life with that thought process at all. You have to believe you can do it and you have to know you can do it. We’re talking before the game about the improvement in Brian Roberts, how he’s swinging the bat right-handed.”
—Orioles manager Dave Trembley (Amanda Comak, MLB.com)
“I think it’s a slap in the face for the umpires. You’re opening the doors for everything else. Later on, you got instant replay, next year there’ll be something else. They’re going to have robots playing in a minute.”
—Angels center fielder Torii Hunter, on the prospect of instant replay. (Bob Nightengale, USA Today)
“It taught me to be smarter. I’ve grown a lot and learned a lot from what I’ve done as far as what I put my family and everybody else through. I watch my steps closer.”
—Indians first-round draft pick Lonnie Chisenhall, on his troubles with the law. (Justice B. Hill, MLB.com)
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.