THE DEVIL WAS HOLDING THEM BACK
“He looked like he was just pitching a bullpen.”
-Rays first baseman Carlos Pena
“It’s no tougher than any other loss.”
-Rookie Rays third baseman Evan Longoria after Game Five.
“I think it’s a great thing that we came here and got two from these guys.”
-Rays center fielder B.J. Upton after Game Five.
“The biggest thing for all of us, I believe, is for us to understand that all it is, is a loss. Nothing else.”
-Carlos Pena after Game Five.
“When he brought out this 9=8 thing, we kind of all looked at each other like, ‘What’s this guy talking about?’ And it made sense in the end. We believed in it, and we believed in ourselves. I think that’s kind of what the point of all his slogans talk about; you’ve got to believe in yourselves before anybody else does.”
-Rays pitcher James Shields, on his manager’s motivational methods.
THEO EPSTEIN’S TEARS TASTE LIKE SOUR PATCH KIDS
“I tried my best, but it’s not going to be roses and flowers all the time.”
-Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz
“Of course you miss Manny. You know Manny’s the kind of guy that knows how to get it done in October. Manny’s one of the best hitters in the game. Of course we missed Manny. I’m not going to lie to you.”
“He means a [heck] of a lot to this team and to this organization. He exemplifies what a Boston Red Sox player should be. He’s always busting his butt. He’s said it before, but he can go 0 for 2,000 and we don’t care. As a team, as a pitching staff, what he does behind the plate is so much more valuable than what he does at the plate.”
-Red Sox starter Jon Lester on Jason Varitek, after what was possibly Varitek’s last game with the team in Game Seven.
“It’s probably pretty appropriate. We come down to the last game, and whoever plays better gets to move on.”
-Red Sox manager Terry Francona
A DREADLOCKED SHADOW LOOKETH ON
“Some wanted him to be paid days. It was obviously a somewhat sensitive subject with some guys, but we didn’t spend too much time on it. After the vote, we moved on.”
-Anonymous Red Sox player, on voting for Manny Ramirez to receive a playoff share.
“He pays for himself. You’ve got a free player with Manny. He’s an iconic player who’s changed the face and fortunes of the franchise.”
-Manny Ramirez’ agent, Scott Boras
“I don’t know how [McCourt] doesn’t bring him back. It’s got to be as much a business decision as a baseball decision. He’s [Manny’s] got the Dodgers by the balls.”
-Anonymous AL executive (Jon Heyman, SI.com)
AFTER THAT VIRTUOSO MANAGING PERFORMANCE, WE’RE SHOCKED TOO
“I just wish there wasn’t so much emphasis put on veteran managers.”
“I’ll match my knowledge of baseball and my ability to slow the game down with anybody.”
WAY TO HELP THAT HALL OF FAME CASE, BARRY
“There were numerous things that occurred that made me believe that the clubs were acting in concert. When I testify as a witness in the case, I will delineate each and every one of them.”
–Barry Bonds‘ agent, Jeff Borris
“We have the agreement about the timing of a potential grievance. Our investigation revealed a violation of the Basic Agreement. It’s a violation of the Basic Agreement related to Barry Bonds and free agency.”
-MLBPA general counsel Michael Weiner
“I am convinced, based on MLB’s actions in 2008, that they will never let him wear a major league uniform ever again.”
NOT THAT MANY FOLKS ARE EXCITED ABOUT RE-SIGNING WILLIE BLOOMQUIST TO A TWO-YEAR DEAL
“Is there something happening there I don’t know about?”
-Anonymous former MLB executive, on the GM search in Seattle.
“I don’t think so. I think these guys who are pulling themselves out of contention are making a huge mistake. Sure, you might like it where you are. Sure, you might have signed a deal where you are through 2010 or 2011 or so. But are you telling me that you’re going to be better off working for someone else for the next two or three years? The Mariners are going to be offering a three- or four-year contract for more money and the chance to run things. How can you pass on that?”
-Anonymous former MLB executive
“There aren’t that many of these jobs that come open. And most don’t let you live is someplace as terrific as Seattle. And most don’t have the Mariners’ financial resources. Turning your back on a chance at a job like that is just dumb.”
-Anonymous former MLB executive (John Hickey, Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
SIGNING A GUY TO A LONG TERM DEAL INSPIRES A LOT OF LOYALTY
“If you have something you value at one million dollars, it would be foolish to refuse to consider selling it for twenty million dollars. On the flip side, it would also be foolish to sell it for anything less than one million.”
–Padres executive Paul DePodesta
“The thing that makes the market work is that each player has a different value to virtually every club.”
“Furthermore, no one player makes a great team. This has been proven time and time again in baseball. We don’t need to look any further than the 2008 Padres that went 63-99 with Jake Peavy, but I will.”
-DePodesta (It Might Be Dangerous)
“I know what I want. I’ve known what I wanted to do for months. You never know how it’s going to play out. I’ve got ideas; you know I’ve got ideas.”
–White Sox general manager Kenny Williams (Scott Merkin, MLB.com)
“Juan has never questioned the players Joe Torre has put on the field. The team was winning with them out there. That’s not the issue. He understands the situation, he understands why those are the players that have been playing. It’s just an unfortunate situation as it relates to Juan.”
–Mark Pieper of SFX, Juan Pierre‘s agent. (MLB.com)
“At least we have a chance, whereas before, we wouldn’t have any chance with a pitcher of CC’s caliber. I do feel we will make him an offer, and at that point, it will be in his court.”
-Brewers general manager Doug Melvin on potentially re-signing CC Sabathia (ESPN.com)
“Maybe I didn’t do a good job with the infielders. But stats-wise, all four guys were as good as or better than the year before. Jason played 115 games at first; he played only 15 the year before. We had the best fielding team in the league. I’m not a real stats guy other than wins, but I’m trying to figure out how to answer questions for potential employers especially.”
-Fired Yankees third base coach Bobby Meacham (Murray Chass, MurrayChass.com)
“Jake strongly prefers the National League, and it would take major enticement to get him to agree to go to any American League club. He has obviously had a lot of success in the NL and feels very comfortable there. Also, he is a pretty good hitter, and he views that as an advantage.”
-Jake Peavy’s agent, Barry Axelrod (Ken Davidoff, Newsday)
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.