CUBS LOSE! CUBS LOSE!
“We have the best team in the league, and we struggle in the playoffs. We did not play good, like a team. That’s the reason we didn’t win.”
-Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano
“I want to play more than the part of the good little congratulator, I want to do more than congratulating the other team in the first round of the playoffs.”
“Nobody yelled at people in Spanish. I don’t even know what you’re talking about. I talk to players in Spanish all the time. But I didn’t yell at them. My Lord.”
TO BE HONEST, I EXPECT TO LOSE
“Nothing is shocking. I said once you get into postseason, all eight teams start equal and they all have chances. I was concerned about our offense coming into this thing, to be honest with you. And basically my concerns were realized. What can I say? We gave an effort, played as well as we could. At home we were sloppy, but today we played a damn good baseball game. But we just didn’t take advantage of opportunities, and we didn’t create opportunities. So give the Dodgers credit. But let me tell you this, you could play postseason between now and another 100 years, and if you score six runs in a three-game series, it’s going to be another 100 years before you win here. So we’ve got to score more runs, period.”
“From now on I don’t want to hear about Fukudome, whether he’ll play or not. I’ll play [Mike] Fontenot or Reed Johnson or someone, and that’s the end of that.”
–Piniella after Game Two.
“I wish they don’t make a lot of changes. If they want to make a lot of changes, I hope it makes the team better.”
AND WHEN HE DOES, HE’LL TRY TO THROW IN A PUN ABOUT THE OPPOSITION BEING ALL WET
“That’s going to be our advantage. I’ll tell him to make sure you have a swimming pool at first base. But I don’t get into that. Believe me, I don’t. Because I think they’re going to run no matter what, even if the field is wet. The field is always wet here because that’s the way they keep it all around the bases.”
“Maybe that’s why my team is slow. Because our field is wet.”
–Guillen (Scot Gregor, The Daily Herald)
AND HE ONLY GOT A TWO-YEAR DEAL?
“You don’t see a lot of guys that have statistical numbers play well in these Championship Series. What you see is usually the little second baseman or somebody like that carries off the MVP trophy that nobody expected him to do. That’s because he’s comfortable in playing that form of baseball, so therefore when the stage comes, it’s not a struggle for him.”
–Mets manager Jerry Manuel, with a pretzel-logic argument of some sort about post-season performance.
“What has been done in the past is that you get so many statistical people together-they put so many stats on paper-and they say, ‘Well, if you do this and you score this many runs, you do this that many times, you’ll be in the playoffs.’ That’s not really how it works. And that’s what we have to get away from.”
“I would rather the emphasis, when the team struggles, be on me, and on them when we’re playing well. I don’t have a problem with where we are right now. It gives me an opportunity to prove myself over a period of time.”
–Manuel (Ben Shpigel, The New York Times)
HE’S PERIPHERALLY AWARE OF THE TEAM CONCEPT
“Pinch-hitting? I don’t even know what that is. I can’t change who I am and what I’ve done for the last few weeks of a season.”
-Injured Dodgers second baseman Jeff Kent
“As much suffering as I’ve done the last four years, I’m going to be miserable because we’re winning in the playoffs? That doesn’t make any sense.”
“If I’m in the clubhouse getting ready to pinch-hit and we win the World Series, you will see me sprinting back into the dugout and on the field. That will be enough for me.”
–Kent (Bill Plaschke, The Los Angeles Times)
“I’d have to think about it. I value my off-season time and I have to compete for a starting job again next year.”
-Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier, on Vinny Castilla asking him to play for Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic.
“I think Tony needs him. I know all the pitchers need him. They’d better have signed Dunc.”
–Cardinals pitcher Todd Wellemeyer on his pitching coach, Dave Duncan. (Derrick Goould, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
“Coming off 99 losses, we’re going to a little bit of a younger core club. I guess it’s worth at least exploring to see what he would bring back.”
–San Diego Padres general manager Kevin Towers, on Jake Peavy. (Ken Davidoff, Newsday)
“With the WaMu and Chase situation, we don’t know where that is going. They have an option on their current package. We’re going to be looking to see if they will still be interested. Chase has interest in sports nationally and has its name on the Phoenix baseball park, where the Arizona Diamondbacks play. But this is the time of the year where we meet with all our ongoing business partners to see what we can do. We don’t know what will happen until we get out there and work with them and see how we can help each other. They have new ownership. It happens. We hope the Mariners will become one of their best outside business partners.”
-Mariners executive VP Bob Aylward on the Mariners’ place in the crisis in the financial world. (John Hickey, Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
“Never say never. Cirillo thought he took it off and came back years later. You don’t know.”
-Free agent-to-be Ben Sheets, on whether or not he was wearing a Milwaukee uniform for the last time. (Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)
“It’s funny, because my [11-year-old] daughter said, ‘Daddy, I heard on TV that if you did something-something you’d be one of only five players to ever do it. Coming out of her mouth, I said, ‘Wow.’ I think she’s talking about the 400 home runs and something.”
-Cubs center fielder Jim Edmonds, on reaching 400 homers. (Joe Cowley, Chicago Sun-Times)
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.