EVEN JOHN LACKEY ISN’T SURE WHY HE THREW AT HIM
“When the first pitch of the next game to that hitter is behind him, that’s a red flag. We gave [Lackey] the benefit of the doubt because maybe he was a little amped up coming off of the DL. When he hit him with the second pitch, that was something else.”
–Umpire Tim Tschida, on John Lackey throwing at Ian Kinsler for two pitches before being ejected in the bottom of the first.
“I haven’t pitched in six weeks. I was obviously trying to come in on him, but there was no intention to hit him or to come in behind him. It was definitely surprising.”
–Angels starter John Lackey
“I don’t know what that was all about. I don’t know what he’s trying to prove. We’re just focused on tomorrow. We got the win today, and we’re focused on the sweep tomorrow. And that’s it.”
–Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler, on Lackey throwing at him.
“He hasn’t thrown in two months. It looked bad, but John’s trying to make sure the two-seamer is in.”
-Angels manager Mike Scioscia
“We have to get this criteria uniform, because I’ve seen it happen against us, and a lot of leeway is given, and we didn’t get that today. As wrong as we know Bob was in his evaluation, it certainly wasn’t John’s intent to hit Kinsler.”
–Scioscia, on a previous ruling involving Josh Beckett. (Mike DiGiovanna, Los Angeles Times)
SOMEONE NEEDS TO DISCONTINUE SERVING CRAZY JUICE IN ANAHEIM
“If there’s a guy who all he does is hit, like a DH, he’s definitely not going to come here.”
-Angels center fielder Torii Hunter
“You hit some balls hard, and you know, in any stadium, it’s gone. Here it might barely go out, or it might not go out and they’d be sitting there catching it. It’s a can of corn. It’s kind of a graveyard.”
“He’s into every pitch. We feed off that. Not only is he driving in runs, making Web Gems, running, and stealing bases-you just can’t explain how great a teammate he is. He’s always in the dugout lifting guys up.”
-Angels catcher Jeff Mathis, on his teammate Torii Hunter. (Lyle Spencer, MLB.com)
MANAGER ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN
“At some point in time, these guys have got to look in the mirror. It’s not their stuff. Their stuff is fine. But they’ve got to concentrate and pitch to spots. You can’t miss by a foot and a half when you’re trying to throw the baseball. It’s ridiculous.”
–Indians manager Eric Wedge, on his underachieving bullpen.
“I respect the heck out of these position players. It’s not how many times you get kicked in the face, it’s how many times you get up. And they will. But these [pitchers] have to start holding up their end of the bargain, too.”
“I’m tired of watching him throw. He’s got to pitch. He’s got a lot of moxie. A lot of guts. He has good stuff.”
–Wedge, on right-hander Jensen Lewis.
“If you’re going to make it up here, you can’t miss spots by a foot to a foot and a half and expect to have success. We’re up against it right now, but he’s got to pitch. If you miss, you have to miss in the right area. You certainly can’t miss by a foot-and-a-half to two feet. That’s ridiculous. I know it’s not easy, but this is the best of the best, and only the ones who execute survive.”
–Wedge (Anthony Castrovince, MLB.com)
WE’RE THINKING ABOUT GIVING HIM A FEW MONTHS OFF TO CLEAR HIS HEAD
“Even when David’s struggling, I love his presence in the lineup. But I think also if there’s a time to step back and take a deep breath, it will help us in the long run. I just think today was an obvious one after talking to him.”
–Red Sox manager Terry Francona, after Ortiz went 0-for-7 on Thursday afternoon in Anaheim.
“People don’t know. Sometimes they think we just come here to play baseball and that’s it. We’re human beings like everyone else. We have things to worry about. Sometimes that gets in the way. It’s hard to have that free, open mind you need to play this game. There’s no way you can play this game with a busy mind. No way.”
-Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, on possible off-field distractions that might be affecting his performance.
“I don’t feel like talking right now. Just put down, ‘Papi stinks.'”
–Ortiz, on not talking to the media after Thursday’s effort. (Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe)
I THINK THE PROBLEM IS OZZIE NOT BEING VOCAL ENOUGH
“I think we’re 30 games in and nothing has paid off or not paid off yet. It’s not our job as players to understand what the front office does. The moves they make are not for us to comment on.”
–White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko, on his team’s struggles to this point.
“But having said that, I’ll say this: He’s had offseasons where he’s made moves where things have worked out, so he should be afforded the time for everything to come out. If it doesn’t, I’m sure he’ll say, ‘Hey, this move or these moves are something I would have done over.’ He’s usually pretty honest about what works and what doesn’t. Again, 30 games in, it ain’t time for the season recap yet.”
–Konerko, on the White Sox being 15-21.
“There is a lot less pressure on a GM when you say, ‘You know what? We’re going to take a step back here. We’re not really going to go for it, we’re really not going to try and win. We’re going to slash payroll and go with the young team.’ That makes it almost a free year for the GM.”
TIME TO GRAVITATE TOWARD THE TEAM MARK CUBAN DOESN’T OWN
“It doesn’t matter who we face. We’ve faced Lackey enough. They probably feel they need to throw him out there at some point in time, and why not against us? I don’t know what his success rate is against us, but he better bring his A-game.”
-Rangers outfielder Marlon Byrd
“It’s my personality. You can’t fool these guys. I’m genuine. I don’t have to be fake. They know it. They don’t have any bigger cheerleader than me. I’ve got their back in good times and bad times. I know what it feels like to struggle and you know you’re better than your numbers.”
-Rangers manager Ron Washington
“I told them that we just got beat. It happens. We didn’t give them the game. I told them to put their music on and we’d win tomorrow.”
–Washington, on what he said to his team after a loss in Chicago last week. (Jean-Jacques Taylor, Dallas Morning News)
ALL IS FORGIVEN, EVEN MADONNA
“I gave you guys something to talk about and write about in the 11th inning, and I didn’t have to open my mouth. That’s kind of the way I want things. Stay out of my own way.”
–Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez
“Mark and I, we’re going to make a good team. More often than not, if he doesn’t get you, I will.”
–Rodriguez, on batting behind first baseman Mark Teixeira.
“It’s very exciting, this place is absolutely gorgeous. I feel very lucky to be able to play here every day.”
LONN TROST WOULD LIKE YOU TO GET THE HELL OUT OF HIS HOME
“If you purchase a suite, do you want somebody in your suite? You purchase a home, do you want somebody in your home?”
-Yankees executive Lonn Trost, on not allowing fans to enter the areas behind home plate to get autographs during batting practice.
“We liberalized the policy even more. This is part of living in a new home and making adjustments. It’s only been a month.”
-Yankees spokeswoman Alice McGillion, on a move this week to allow fans to occupy a few sections close to the field during batting practice.
“I’m never satisfied with anything. Every day we look at it and analyze it… Can you really tell what’s taking place in two homestands with 90 percent of them in rain? I can’t.”
–Trost (Neil Best, Newsday)
“The one tool we talk about more than any other tool in the draft room is makeup. And it’s the one tool you really can’t put a grade on. You can put a stopwatch on a guy and time him from home to first and it’s 4.2, and that’s an average runner… That’s something solid you can put your finger on. But makeup is really the difference-maker.”
–Mariners scout Jim Fitzgerald (Brock and Salk, 710 ESPN)
“I doubt Omar would do it, because it’s such a high-risk move, trading that kind of talent. But if they don’t get it done this year, I would think they’d have to do something fairly dramatic. You could get an impact hitter or maybe a front-end starter for Reyes, and then go out and get a shortstop. Last winter a guy like Orlando Cabrera was out there forever. Obviously he doesn’t have the same talent, but he’s a heady player and that’s what you want from your shortstop.”
–Anonymous NL general manager, on Jose Reyes‘ future with the Mets. (John Harper, New York Daily News)
“We told him no way, because we didn’t want to hurt him… He just threw 12 innings the day before. He told us that he was a senior that will never play pro ball and he was going to be an accountant in just a few weeks. He said he didn’t care about his arm and told us he will give us a chance to win.”
-Campbellsville assistant coach Jake McKinley, on the performance of right-hander Bryan Fuller, who threw 21 shutout innings in 26 hours to lead his team to the NAIA World Series. (ESPN.com)
“I don’t know how you can screw up playing yourself, but I’m afraid I will.”
-Former Athletic Scott Hatteberg, on playing himself in Steven Soderbergh’s adaptation of Moneyball. (Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle)
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.