THE POPUP HEARD ‘ROUND ALL FIVE BOROUGHS
“He still hasn’t.”
–Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, after reporter Kim Jones told him that Francisco Rodriguez hadn’t blown a save all season before the opening game of this weekend’s Subway Series.
“I really have never seen that before, and I’ve played for a long time. That’s why you play for nine innings-that’s why you play hard. The lesson we take from here is to play all 27 and hustle all the time.”
–A-Rod, on Luis Castillo dropping a popup that allowed the winning runs to score with two outs in the ninth.
“I don’t have a third, fourth, or fifth, so I just tried to run as hard as I could and get home.”
-Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira, on why he kept running during the apparent last play of the game.
“That’s why Tex has the belt tonight. A lot of guys in that situation might assume the catch. But Tex is busting his tail from first base and ended up scoring the winning run. That’s got to be a classic finish.”
-Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher, on the end of Friday’s game.
HEY, AT LEAST HE DIDN’T TEAR HIS ACL DOING IT
“I wasn’t embarrassed. I’ve done a whole lot of [other] things to be embarrassed about. The run was going to score, and a fan got a souvenir. I just made a mistake. I guess I’ll be in the bloopers.”
–Cubs outfielder Milton Bradley, on tossing the second out into the stands thinking it was the end of an inning on Friday.
“I’m sure he’s somewhat embarrassed. I’ve never seen that before.”
–Lou Piniella, on Bradley’s mistake.
“The only thing we can go over is how many outs there are. It didn’t cost us a run, but it’s embarrassing to the person when it happens.”
–Piniella (Bruce Levine, ESPN.com)
THE WRITING IS ON THE WALL, AND IN THE WASHINGTON TIMES, AND IN THE WASHINGTON POST…
“I would never talk about personnel, because I don’t. I’ve been asked a variation of that question-from some media outlet-almost every day since the first week of the season. And if I had a policy to talk about personnel, I’d have to do that story every single day.”
–Nationals president Stan Kasten, on the rumored firing of manager Manny Acta.
“Having said that, I can’t tell you how perplexed I am by this season and this team and the things that are going on. And our record is, you know, very troubling for me every single day… So yeah, I’m troubled by everything. We continue to look for solutions. Have I thought about every possible recourse? I have.”
“We always support everyone here, and always will. But, you know, we’re all just together trying to win every day, trying to turn it around. And we’re going to continue to try until we figure it out. We know the future is bright, but we’re not waiting for the future to get here. We’re going to do everything we can to speed it up.”
–Kasten (Chico Harlan, Washington Post)
CAN THE METS AND NATIONALS SIMPLY EXCHANGE MANAGERS IN A DEAL FOR NICK JOHNSON?
“In my opinion, that was not the case. A manager with his relationship with players knows when a player is, ‘I want in’/’I want out.’ At that point that was not an indication of ‘let me get this guy.’ As I have discussed with him, he said he got caught up in the emotion. Basically what he was saying was, ‘I’m a man.’ What that meant, I have no clue.”
–Mets manager Jerry Manuel, on taking the ball from Johan Santana contentiously during his start against the Phillies this week.
“That’s a lot of him… It’s different when that lineup is stretched. Our lineup is really not stretched at this point. All those were his decisions. That’s his game, and that’s how he plays.”
–Jerry Manuel, on shortstop Alex Cora‘s tendency to bunt.
“I did not see Tatis animated to where he felt he was safe. I talked to my third-base coach, Razor Shines, to ask him, ‘What did you see?’ He said, ‘Well, he was clearly safe.’ I said, ‘Well, I need to know.'”
–Manuel, on why he didn’t come out to argue a close call at first base during a game against the Phillies. (Mike Francesa, WFAN.com)
HE COULDN’T EVEN TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT HIS SHOULDER
“He’s got a tired act. I think that’s bad, but two years ago, when he lost the game… I don’t know if anybody saw it, I did. He was in Oakland and he was pitching for Anaheim, didn’t get a call, and so he was like complaining.”
-Yankees reliever Brian Bruney, on his disgust with the antics of Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez.
“The catcher threw it back and he just kind of did one of these, and hit off his glove and bounced behind and the guy from third scored and they won the game. He gets what he deserves, man. I just don’t like watching the guy pitch. I think it’s embarrassing.”
“I’m not going to say I was joking. I learned to play the game a different way. You won’t see me do it. He doesn’t know who I am, so it doesn’t matter.”
“We talked about our dinner plans. That was it.”
–Bruney, on an altercation in the outfield with K-Rod before Sunday’s game at Yankee Stadium. (Peter Abraham, LoHud Yankees Blog)
HE WAS MISTREATED TO THE TUNE OF $36.2 MILLION OVER TWO YEARS
“As things were going along, I didn’t think I was in their plans. I had to make a decision and move on.”
–Rangers outfielder Andruw Jones, on why he asked the Dodgers to buy out the rest of his contract with the team.
“I know they had Matt Kemp, who was going to play center field all the time, so I didn’t feel like I was in their plans.”
“I got paid that money because that was my value. I know it’s his money, but sometimes they need to stay away from what’s going on in the field. He never played baseball before. He might have a sense of it from running the team, but he can’t be too involved like that.”
–Jones, on Dodgers owner Frank McCourt. (Dylan Hernandez, Los Angeles Times)
“The rules are the rules. But I’m trying to figure out ways to where I cannot get fined. Obviously, I don’t want to get fined or slow the game down, or be a nuisance to slow the game down. The fans want to see games that are three hours or so. I’m trying to figure that out right now to not get those fines, for sure.”
–Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon, on getting fined by MLB this week for taking too long to get underway once he enters a game. (John Schlegel, MLB.com)
“They got him a giant cake with a picture of his face on it. I don’t know how they did that.”
-Yankees reporter Suzyn Waldman, on the Japanese photographers’
celebration of Hideki Matsui‘s birthday on Saturday.
“I told somebody in the dugout, only me could rob me. But when he went up and I saw the ball disappear, I thought he caught it. I put my head down and acted like I knew it was a home run.”
–Angels outfielder Torii Hunter, on bopping three homers in Saturday’s game against the Padres. (Lyle Spencer, MLB.com)
“There are going to be critics. I can’t worry about what people think. People are going to see what they want to see and say what they want to say. I think this prepares him for life, playing the game of baseball. People question your parenting and what you’re doing. Honestly, we don’t think it’s that big a deal. He’s not leaving school to go work in a fast-food restaurant. Bryce is a good kid. He’s smart, and he’s going to get his education.”
–Ron Harper, Bryce Harper’s father, on allowing his son, who is a sophomore in high school, to pursue his GED and enter junior college in the fall to begin his baseball career. (Matt Youmans, Las Vegas Review-Journal)
“I asked if we were prepared to take Strasburg or Ackley, as they were the top two on our board, and there’s no question we would have signed them. We had that discussion, and we were prepared to do it, prepared to adjust as needed. Now, given our level of preparation, we had a sense that was not likely to happen. But we were ready if it had.”
–Pirates chief operating officer Bob Nutting (Dejan Kovacevic, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
“I don’t give two f—- what Joe Girardi says. I’m coming inside. I don’t care. Anybody can say that. We can say that about the time they hit our guys. I’m just trying to pitch inside. Maybe he should worry about managing and not trying to be the commissioner. Why wouldn’t he say that the night before? Don’t wait a day, then say it. He should worry about managing, and let the umpire crew do their job.”
-Red Sox starter Brad Penny, on Joe Girardi’s complaint to MLB after he threw at Alex Rodriguez. (Marc Carig, The Star-Ledger)
“The birds aren’t there unless there’s a game. They sit down on the field waiting for opportunities to go into the stands and get some of the wasted food.”
–Harvey Webster, director of the wildlife resource center at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, on the seagulls haunting Jacobs Field. (Anthony Castrovince, MLB.com)
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.