HE’S DEFINITELY UNAWARE OF THE YEAR KEVIN MILLWOOD HAS HAD
“Sentimentality, body of work, and of course the season he’s having. I’m very much aware of his stature in the game and the kind of guy he is. Believe me, I’ve done the proper homework here and taken this very seriously. It’s funny, but up until a couple of days ago, I didn’t really know the kind of season he was having, because you kind of get tunnel vision and worry about the team you’re playing next. But I’m definitely aware of the kind of year he’s had.”
–Rays manager Joe Maddon, on Red Sox starter Tim Wakefield before he named him to the American League All-Star team.
“When the door opened up, he called me into his office, and I saw the other guys walking out with their All-Star packages. He sat me down and tried to play it off like it wasn’t good news. He couldn’t hold his laughter in any longer, and he finally told me that I had made the team, too.”
-Red Sox starter Tim Wakefield, on how he found out from manager Terry Francona that he was an All-Star.
“I told Matt, ‘Even if you’re not the one the fans vote for, just to be in that group is an honor.’ I went to Broxton and asked him, ‘If you make the All-Star team, will your wife be able to go?’ He said yes and I said, ‘Congratulations. You made it.’ And O-Dog, it’s got to help his spirits. He’s down now.”
–Dodgers manager Joe Torre, on telling his players they made the All-Star team; Matt Kemp is part of the five-player ballot for the last spot on the team.
IF I EVER NEED TO START A RIOT, REMIND ME TO TAP MIKE LUPICA AND JAYSON STARK
“I want to say that God is good, and good is God. And I don’t want to get into my medical records right now.”
-Dodgers outfielder Manny Ramirez, returning to his team for their weekend series against the Padres after his 50-game suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs.
“The only thing I do know is that Manny is a legitimately good hitter. You know, Jason was more a power-type guy, and I remember encouraging Jason early on to just think about hitting line drives the other way. And it really wasn’t the right advice, because it wasn’t until he started-that Donny [Mattingly] sort of encouraged him to pull the ball-that he got more of his bat speed back. But I was just trying to keep him from trying to hit home runs at the start. Manny’s a little more-even though Jason, in my opinion, is a .300 hitter-Manny is probably a little more adept at using the whole field and has his whole career.”
-Dodgers manager Joe Torre, on his left fielder.
“You know, this is not my first rodeo.”
-Ramirez (David Lassen, Ventura County Star)
MAYBE THEY CAN GO TO JAPAN AND WIN SOME GAMES
“It seems like we get down one or two runs and no one [cares] anymore. This is the major leagues. You can’t go out there and make three errors a night and expect to win a game. We look like the Bad News Bears out there and it’s frustrating. It’s to the point where stuff’s got to change.”
-D’backs third baseman Mark Reynolds, who’s bopping .269/.355/.562 to at least hold up his end.
“You can give all the rah-rah speeches you want and have all the team meetings you want and yell at guys, but guys have got to [care]. I don’t really see it. I know I care. I’m out there busting my tail every night trying to win. Physical errors are fine, but guys loafing, guys not being where they’re supposed to be or guys giving up on ABs, it’s not acceptable at any level.”
“We have a core of players, a lot of our very best players, and they’re going to be here for a long time. We still believe in them, and a lot of them are performing at a high level right now. So we’re not going to reinvent our core. But we’re always building talent for the long term… getting assets and putting a roster together. We have an idea where our holes might be. It’s a cliche, but if we make a deal, it’s really just trying to get the best players we can.”
-D’backs general manager Josh Byrnes
“I feel sorry for the fans, for A.J., because he’s trying to do everything he can to get us to snap out of this. We’re not responding. It’s a poor effort and it feels like night in and night out it’s the same old song. It’s just not fun to be in this clubhouse right now. I don’t know what it’s going to take to change it. It’s frustrating, and I don’t know what else to say.”
-Reynolds, not blaming new manager A.J. Hinch for the team’s continuing struggles.
“I don’t want to say guys are packing it in, but it sure seems like it and it [upsets] me.”
-Reynolds (Steve Gilbert, MLB.com)
WE HAVE ENOUGH TO GET IT DONE, UNLESS BY ‘GET IT DONE’ YOU MEAN WIN INSTEAD OF SIMPLY COMPLETING THE GAME
“I think it’s a no-brainer. I know the headline (today) is going to say, ‘Jerry says we need a bat and we need it now.’ That’s all good though.”
-Mets manager Jerry Manuel, expressing his desire for reinforcements after the previous weekend’s sweep at the hands of the Yankees.
“Jerry’s a very smart man. He’ll never just blurt anything out for the sake of blurting it out. He’ll always let you know what he’s thinking, and as a player that’s a good thing. You always like to know where you stand.”
-Mets catcher Brian Schneider, on his manager’s approach.
“When you reflect back on what we’ve lost, then you have to feel good about where we are. When you reflect back on some of the losses we’ve had, then you’ve got to be somewhat discouraged about where you are.”
“It was to tell them that we have enough. We have enough in here to do what we need to get done. Let’s get it done. just don’t want us to feel sorry for ourselves. That’s the bottom line. It’s hard not to because of the losses. That’s what we’re based on-wins and losses. You have to check that negativity at the door. Sometimes that seeps in and you have to address it. Because when that seeps in, individualism seeps in, and we can ill afford that as a group the way we are designed right now.”
-Manuel, recanting his desire for a trade. (Ben Shpigel, The New York Times)
“We still like his ability. We still like his talent. I’m not going to try to pretend there’s not a difference between 17 and 20. There certainly is in terms of projection, but the fact of the matter is he isn’t who he said he was.”
–Indians assistant general manager John Mirabelli, after the organization learned that 17-year-old shortstop Jose Osoria is actually 20-year-old Wally Bryan. (Ben Badler, Baseball America)
“The Yankees seem to do things one way. We try to do them another. They’ve built the eighth wonder of the world as a ballpark, as a grand stadium, a grand edifice. We just have a nice little ballpark here. They’re also in the largest market in the world. We are in the most avid or passionate market in the world. There are real differences between us, and I like to be reminded of those from time to time.”
-Red Sox president Larry Lucchino (Dennis & Callahan, WEEI.com)
“I do feel badly for him because he’s my best friend and he’s not getting to play. But we’ve seen what happened with the Manny Ramirez situation and the fact that he did do something that was illegal. In retrospect, they should see that a player that hasn’t done things like that is putting up numbers that are natural. It should be shown that we deserve more respect than what we get. Now he’s a so-called bench player, which isn’t accurate. Bench players don’t get a five-year contract or get 200 hits over the last couple years, behind Ichiro. Stats are stats.”
–Angels third baseman Chone Figgins (Jonah Freedman, SI.com)
“I’ve gone through spells before where you kind of lose your contact point. You’re just really flailing. You’re fighting yourself. Today, I finally felt again like I was just hitting. I was trying so hard before. ‘I gotta get a hit.’ Today was a lot more relaxed. That’s how it’s supposed to feel. When you don’t have it, it’s the hardest thing to get back.”
-Red Sox left fielder Jason Bay, who hit .230/.301/.400 in the month of June. (Adam Kilgore, Boston Globe)
“You can’t walk that many. You can’t. That’s just the way it is. It’s not part of the major league game.”
–Tigers manager Jim Leyland, on his team walking seven hitters in a game this week.
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.