BOY GENIUS ENTERS TURBULENT ADOLESCENCE
“I think we’re a good offensive club having a horrific month. When you go through slumps like this, one, it’s important to assess any areas where you can improve without overreacting, and two, to put in perspective. We have the potential to be really, really good. But we’re not the most prolific offensive club in recent Red Sox history. We certainly have the ability to score enough runs to get where we want to go.”
-Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein, on trading for Pirates first baseman Adam LaRoche.
“When we got Adam, [the roster] got a little redundant. It doesn’t make it a fun decision or a fun message. This is a guy who came in last year and immediately became a leader in our clubhouse.”
-Red Sox manager Terry Francona on Mark Kotsay being designated for assignment.
“This was one of the free-agent signings that doesn’t work out. We were paying for past performance, not current performance. That’s the true definition of a mistake, and as the decision [goes], that’s on me. We’ll just move on and be a better organization having gone through it, and we’ll make better decisions going forward.”
-Epstein on the deal his club gave to shortstop Julio Lugo, who they shipped to St. Louis with the cash to pay him off for struggling outfielder Chris Duncan last week.
“We looked at ourselves in a dead-even, three-way race. Five days later, we look it at exactly the same way. We’re in a three-way dead heat.”
-Epstein, on the race in the AL East.
“The big second-half numbers are nice. I don’t think we go so far as to say they’re definitely predictive. It does provide some reason for optimism. Despite the fact that it might not necessarily be predictive, you can’t deny the monster second halves this guy has had… If things fall into place, the trend continues, and we do get the big second half, we would certainly benefit from that.”
-Epstein, on LaRoche’s second-half hitting exploits.
“We’ve been in the market for a player who could do some damage against right-handed pitching and help our club’s depth at the corner infield. We’ve checked in on a number of players that fit that category and found that-by a large, large margin-the Pirates had the most reasonable acquisition cost.”
-Epstein, on why they dealt with the Bucs.
“[Losing] starts to wear on you. The hardest part is leaving my little brother. Obviously we would have loved to play together for the next 10 years, but not on a losing club. Other than that, I can not think of a better situation than to be here in Boston.”
-Red Sox first baseman Adam LaRoche, on leaving Pittsburgh.
“I would say no. Obviously, through the process of evaluating the club and understanding that offensively we weren’t getting the job done, their making a move for a bat didn’t surprise me. Getting caught up in the situation was more unexpected [for me], I think.”
-Former Red Sox outfielder Mark Kotsay, on whether he expected to be gone as a result of a trade. (Chris Fonsberg,
JEFF WILPON’S SECRET WEAPON WENT OFF BY ACCIDENT
“If you’re developing people by saying, ‘Look, I can fire you,’ is that really development, or is that intimidating people?”
-Former Binghamton Mets pitcher Nick Abel on his experience with Tony Bernazard, assistant to the general manager.
“I know he did have a team meeting with them. It was not a ‘you-guys-have-been-great meeting.’ I know he spoke to them in a stern voice. But as far as what he was wearing, what kind of shoes he was wearing, I don’t know anything about that.”
-Mets GM Omar Minaya, speaking to the media about Bernazard’s behavior during a reported incident where he challenged everyone in a minor league clubhouse to fight him.
“It’s ridiculous that anyone in a professional baseball environment thinks it’s acceptable.”
-Anonymous source close to the Binghamton players, on Bernazard’s actions.
“I started out working for them when I was 18 years old. This guy is nothing like any executive I remember, whether it be Frank Cashen, Joe McIlvaine. I said, ‘This can’t last. If he exploded like that on me, it’s just a matter of time before he does it to somebody else.’ And, sure enough, when we saw the articles in the paper, my wife said, ‘Oh my gosh, totally what you said is coming true.'”
-New Jersey teacher and former clubhouse attendant John Romano (Adam Rubin, New York Daily News)
I ASKED HIM TO POLITELY STOP CALLING ME A VOLATILE ASSET
“You never know what’s going to happen. I talked to Billy [Beane], and he said he wasn’t necessarily going to trade me [because] he wanted to get the equivalent of two first-round draft picks in order to trade me. So I hadn’t really thought about it a whole lot because I figured it could go either way.”
-New Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday, on being traded to St. Louis for third baseman Brett Wallace and two other players.
“The opposition has a different feel for Holliday. He’s had almost six years of production in this league. So it’s a different feel. It’s a different decision.”
-Cardinals manager Tony La Russa
“We may be pulling away from cost-control players a year or two from now. But the window for winning may not be there a year or two from now. It’s also true the health of this club and where it’s at is much stronger.”
-Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak (Joe Strauss, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
RICKEY’S GOT A PLAQUE
“My journey as a player is complete. I am now in the class of the greatest players of all time. And at this moment, I am very, very humbled.”
-Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson, speaking in the first person no less, during his induction speech on Sunday.
“I’d stand in the parking lot waiting for Reggie Jackson to give me a autograph. Reggie, you used to come out all the time, and I’d say, ‘Reggie, can I have a autograph?’ and he’d pass me a pen with his name on it. You never gave me your autograph.”
-Henderson, addressing fellow Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson from the podium.
“It’s not difficult for Rickey to speak intelligently. What’s difficult for Rickey is to slow down. When he slows down, as he did [Sunday], he’s clear, he’s entertaining, and he’s funny. I was proud to tears. That was my proudest moment in the game to date.”
-Retired pitcher Dave Stewart, Rickey’s childhood friend and former teammate. (San Diego Union-Tribune)
WE’RE SHAKING IN OUR BOOTS
“He played hard. He slid hard. He was one of the most feared players that I ever played with. I was really really fortunate to have played with him as along as I did. I’m glad I got a glimpse of him in the 1986 World Series, because we really missed him in 1975.”
–Jim Rice‘s teammate Dwight Evans, watching Rice get inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday.
“I am a husband called Rice. I am a father called Dad. I am a brother called Ed. I am a grandfather called Papa. I am a friend that doesn’t call… Finally, and I do mean finally, I am Jim Rice called a baseball Hall of Famer.”
-Former Red Sox outfielder Jim Rice
“To me, it didn’t matter that I got this call. What matters is I got in.”
-Rice (Mychael Urban, MLB.com)
“Remember Montreal had all those shadows. He threw a ball that I thought was going to hit me in the ribs, and it didn’t, but I kind of like whimpered. And I got in the box and then got back out of the box. I said, ‘You know what, I’m not ready to do this.’ I’ve never felt like that before. I thought that ball would hit me and it would kill me. And I never remember feeling that way about anybody else.”
-Red Sox manager Terry Francona, on batting against Nolan Ryan. (Julian Benbow, Boston Globe)
“We started a process about rebuilding a franchise from the ground up, doing it the right way. And we’re faced with, in the middle of that process, a decision to kind of go back and kind of stop that process and blow it all up.”
–Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, on the prospect of moving one of his young pitchers for Roy Halladay. (Ken Davidoff, Newsday)
“Tony is still young enough if the pitching doesn’t go the way we think it has the possibility of going or if the arm doesn’t react, he can always go back the other way and continue to play winter ball, see if his at-bats gets better, see if he can become more of a productive hitter.”
–Royals manager Trey Hillman on the plans to move shortstop Tony Pena Jr. to the mound. (USA Today)
“It’s hard for me to accept that a player’s desire is to play in the major leagues yet he wants to play in Japan.”
–Rangers general manager Jon Daniels, on possibly signing draft pick Tanner Scheppers. (Jeff Wilson, Dallas Morning News)
“It could find itself in player development. It could find itself in player acquisition. It could find itself in our medical and training systems. It could be re-invested in the development of more fan services.”
–Dodgers team president Dennis Mannion, making up places that money saved from the insurance on Jason Schmidt‘s contract goes. (Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times)
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.