WINNERS JUST KNOW HOW TO WIN
“His first three innings were pretty good, then he walks the pitcher, we don’t get any help from the defense, then he walks Freddy. At that point I couldn’t trust him to make a pitch.”
-Milwaukee manager Ken Macha, on Manny Parra‘s season debut.
“It felt like we beat the White Sox. I was expecting champagne to be in the air when I got in the clubhouse, but it was only the first one of the season.”
–Twins outfielder Denard Span, on his team’s win over the Mariners.
“The chemistry on this team is unbelievable.”
-Mariners center fielder Franklin Gutierrez
“Nobody expected us to be in this situation. But we’ve just got to keep grinding away. Tomorrow is another day. We’ll try to win another ballgame.”
-Yankees left fielder Johnny Damon, after his team started out 0-2.
“A lot of these guys in here have never lost anybody in their family that’s close to them. I hate that this happened, but this is part of life. This is the real deal. That’s why you’ve got to kiss your kids, kiss your family every day when you get up in the morning and before you leave for work.”
–Angels outfielder Torii Hunter, after Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart was killed along with several others in a hit-and-run car accident.
“He felt like a major leaguer. His life’s goal was to be a major league baseball player, and he certainly achieved that standard.”
-Adenhart’s agent Scott Boras
“The easiest time for these guys will be between the lines, when they’re playing the game. Once you play the game, it becomes almost a haven. The least of our worries will be playing baseball, and we’ll deal with the rest of it as we go along.”
-Angels manager Mike Scoscia
“It’s very difficult. Very difficult. Any time you get called up, you’re happy to go up. But under the circumstances, it just didn’t feel right.”
-Angels outfielder Reggie Willits, on taking Adenhart’s roster spot. (Amalie Benjamin, Boston Globe)
DID HE LOOK FOR AN IMMUNITY IDOL IN THE CLUBHOUSE?
“I was having a couple drinks to help me go to bed at night, and it became a vicious cycle. This whole LA thing, well, you’ve got young guys like Clayton Kershaw, and it’s like they’re immune to it. But I wasn’t one of those guys.”
–Dodgers catcher Russell Martin, on his lifestyle last year.
“I liked having a good time when I was a kid, and now that I’m 26, I was having a good time, but I wasn’t recovering like I’d like to recover. I thought going out with the guys, listening to music, and having a few drinks-that was fine for me.”
“I thought I could tell myself, ‘I’m feeling pretty good,’ and everything will be OK when I get to the yard, even though I was really feeling banged up. I was lying to myself.”
“I let my ego get the best of me at times. I was giving everything I had in every game, but after the game I needed to depress and go out. That’s how I handled it, and as the season went on, I just didn’t have the energy.”
–Martin (T.J. Simers, Los Angeles Times)
ONE OUT TO GO
“You just hope that the young man is all right, that everything is good and that he’s safe first and foremost. I just hope that he gets a chance to go back on the field again. I couldn’t stop shaking. It’s kind of a helpless feeling. I was just trying to pray for him because I know how dangerous that can be.”
–Brewers center fielder Mike Cameron, on hitting Giants reliever Joe Martinez in the head with a batted ball in the ninth inning of a game this week.
“It’s always a scary moment, it makes you sick when that happens. With one out left in the game, that’s what makes you even sicker about what happened. Where it hit him, hopefully he’s going to be fine.”
-Giants manager Bruce Bochy, on the incident.
“Unless you’ve had a traumatic experience, you don’t know. I’m pretty sure the same things were going through his mind on the way to the hospital that were going through mine.”
–Cameron (Adam McCalvy, MLB.com)
CALLING TIME LATE ON JOSH BECKETT IS NOT WHAT YOU WANT TO BE DOING ON EASTER SUNDAY
“And it’s Easter, so everyone wanted to get together and have fun, I guess.”
-Red Sox right fielder J.D. Drew, after both benches cleared when Beckett accidentally hurled a ball at Bobby Abreu‘s head when time was called late.
“That’s what I always do. I’m not going to stop when I’m that far in. I’ve never hit anybody in the head, and it’s not on my list of [stuff] to get done. People can think what they want to think.”
-Red Sox starter Josh Beckett
“I know Bobby Abreu. He knows I’m not trying to hit him in the head.”
“That was about as flagrant as anything I have seen in this game, and it’s unfortunate. Usually the pitcher will show a little bit of remorse. We didn’t see any of that from Beckett. There were some things that happened on the field that were disturbing, and I feel the league has to look into it.”
“What Beckett did was totally uncalled for. To throw a 94 mph fastball at his head is totally disrespectful to us, and disrespectful to the game. Then he has the gall to chase Abreu, and then start talking smack to Abreu and our manager.”
-Angels reliever Justin Speier, on the incident.
“There were just some words said that were just outrageous. And it wasn’t from the Red Sox.”
-Angels outfielder Torii Hunter, on going after the umpire in the melee.
“The Angels were the aggressors. That’s why they were ejected. They were the aggressors and Beckett was warned. We even charged the Red Sox with a trip to the mound, because the manager and the pitching coach were standing there when we separated everybody. They weren’t happy about that either, so we had everybody mad at us.”
–Umpire Joe West (Adam Kilgore, Boston Globe)
“I just think everyone tried to stir it up and make such a big controversy about it. That’s not really our style. X and I are great buddies; we hang out all the time.”
-Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher, on the playing-time crunch between him and outfielder Xavier Nady. (Bryan Hoch, mlb.com)
“He’s got to be willing to cut [his swing] down with two strikes and go the other way. I’m pleased with his attitude. He said he wasn’t pleased with the year he had last year, and I was happy to hear that.”
-A’s hitting coach Jim Skaalen, on outfielder Jack Cust‘s approach at the plate. (Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle)
“Just a terrible idea by [Red Sox senior vice president] Sarah McKenna, that was the person who came up with this idea, very stupid of her. And if she pulls another act like that, she can go down to Pawtucket.”
-Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon, on having to walk through the stands to get to the field on Opening Day. (Comcast Sportsnet)
“I think Philly’s our best, closest National League rival. We always have great games with them here, because there’s so many Philly kids in college here. So we always have great, enthusiastic crowds, and we hope you all come back again. We have an Opening Day here Monday, we’d love for all our Philly fans to come down, because I know it’s gonna be so hard to get tickets in Philadelphia this year. It’ll be much easier if you drive down the road and come see us in Washington… You can come here early, we open two and three hours early, have a good time.”
–Nationals president Stan Kasten (Dan Steinberg, DC Sports Bog)
“We need to be tough, have broad shoulders, and fight through this. As bad as these four games have been, we need to separate from them.”
–Indians manager Eric Wedge, on his team’s rough start to the season. (Anthony Castrovince, MLB.com)
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.