ANYWHERE YOU GO, THE GAME’S THE SAME
“When you don’t give the other team any runs, that is a shortcut to victory.”
-Japanese manager Tasunori Hara, on Japan’s winning ways in the World Baseball Classic.
“As Buck’s bench coach, I was able to see all the problems, and I can tell you, this year we’re much better prepared mentally and physically.”
-US manager Davey Johnson, on his experience as Buck Martinez‘s bench coach in the first World Baseball Classic.
“I’m kind of a dinosaur. I couldn’t even survive when I was successful!”
–Johnson (Wayne Graczik, MLB.com)
KINDA MAKES YOU WISH HE’D HELD A PRESS CONFERENCE WHEN A-ROD STARTED DATING MADONNA
“Eventually there is going to be pain. … You have to be realistic. We could be on the verge of having an incident. … What’s best for him is what’s best for us.”
“It would be like using a nail instead of a steel girder to repair it. Eventually, the nail would have to be replaced with the steel girder.”
–Anonymous Yankees source, on the compromise surgery.
“The main reason is we have to put him on the fast track. We will check on Alex twice a day. … Every milestone that we have, we want to have an analysis between our physical therapist and myself, to make sure that we’re not progressing him too fast.”
-A-Rod’s hip specialist, Dr. Marc Philippon
“What I’m hoping is they sign Grudzielanek. That way, we get a draft pick.”
–Anonymous Royals official, on the Yankees’ plans at third.
“It hurts not having A-Rod, but I’m not sure it kills them. When they throw those five starters at you, that’s awfully tough. They still have good hitters who can score runs, and if I were a betting man, I’d bet they’re trying to get another hitter in that lineup.”
–Anonymous American League official
LOU’S IN MIDSEASON FORM
“My view is Lou doesn’t have a great deal of patience for assimilation into culture, assimilation into the team. He is just not the most patient guy around, and he tends to verbalize his frustrations in an angry way. I think that may have affected [Kosuke Fukudome] a little bit.”
-ESPN baseball analyst Steve Phillips, on Cubs skipper Lou Piniella.
“Let him be around a little more and see what transpires before he makes assumptions. I’ve lost total respect for this guy. If he had something to say, let him say it to me.”
-Lou Piniella, in response.
“I don’t have much respect for Steve Phillips.”
–Piniella, driving the point home. (Paul Sullivan, Chicago Tribune)
PLAN B: PRAYER
“I think it’s more important that we watch his pitches, that we skip him if we have to. If he has two or three games where he pitches six innings, 100-plus pitches, really back him off. Maybe just skip him a full turn. I think that would be better.”
-Lou Piniella, on Cubs starter Rich Harden.
“When you try to prevent somebody from having an injury, that’s when they get hurt. If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen-unless you’re taking chances by letting them go too long for four or five starts in a row. We don’t do that here with our pitching, so it’s not going to happen that way.”
“But if you’re too careful, if it’s not your shoulder, it’s going to be your groin. If it’s not your groin, it’s going to be your knee. Or your back. Something is going to happen.”
–Piniella (Gordon Wittenmeyer, Chicago Sun-Times)
HE’S GOING TO BE THE GREATEST SHORTSTOP EVER TO PLAY THE GAME
“It’s crazy, because it almost seems he was way out of position at second base. He was almost overqualified. You can just tell that he can cover more ground than what’s really required at second base. He was probably feeling a little sheltered over there.”
–White Sox outfielder Brian Anderson, on teammate Alexei Ramirez.
“He’s going to be exciting to watch. I mean, people are going to see balls hit in the hole to his right that they thought were automatic hits, and he has the range and arm to make them outs.”
“He’s going to make people forget about Ozzie Guillen playing there.”
-White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen
WITH HIS CONSISTENCY, THIS WAS A SHOCK
“I understand that Billy is the boss and so is Bob, so they can put me in the lineup wherever they want, and all I can do is be ready.”
-Newly minted A’s utilityman Bobby Crosby, after being told he was no longer the starting shortstop.
“I’ve always liked Bobby, I think he’s a great shortstop and a great player. I’ve just come here to do my job and not worry about stuff like that. I can’t, I’m not the GM, I’m a baseball player. Bobby will always be my friend, whatever happens.”
-New A’s shortstop Orlando Cabrera
“I understand the whole process as it goes along. I understand I cleared waivers. I understand they have to do something. I’m just going to wait and see. I’m not going to bash the A’s. They just decided to move on. It’s as plain and simple as that. I don’t have to be happy with it. In fact, if I was, they’d probably think something was wrong.”
–Crosby (Barry M. Bloom, MLB.com)
“I think David will use his judgment. I would never tell Felipe who to play. I was just caught by surprise. That wasn’t anybody’s fault. We don’t play him at first because we’re trying to keep him healthy. But, again, I would never tell someone. These games mean a lot to them, and I understand that. But there’s a reason we DH him.”
–Red Sox manager Terry Francona, on Felipe Alou playing David Ortiz at first base in the WBC. (Adam Kilgore, Boston Globe)
“He looks completely overmatched. The thing about Andruw is, he was never a great hitter to begin with. He played great defense, had some power, and would occasionally have a big year production-wise. But it doesn’t look as if he’s changed much, and that’s probably his stubbornness, because he’s got one of the best hitting coaches in the game [Rudy Jaramillo] working with him.”
–Anonymous baseball official, on outfielder Andruw Jones‘ performance so far in Rangers‘ camp. (Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe)
“I never got to 40. I kept getting to 39 and cheating myself. If I would have went to sleep at night, not having such a hangover some days coming to the ballpark and playing, I might have hit one more home run.”
-Former MLB outfielder Darryl Strawberry, on not reaching 40 homers in a season during his career. (Adam Rubin, New York Daily News)
“It just feels like I’m paying for the wrongdoing of other people.”
–Phillies relief pitcher J.C. Romero, on being suspended but allowed to play in the WBC after he tested positive for a banned supplement. (Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe)
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.