$201,449,189 FINALLY STRETCHED FAR ENOUGH
“You go through periods like that. We’re not trying to get outs. Sometimes it doesn’t work out the way we’d like it to, but we’re going to grind. There’s a lot of heart on this team. Nobody’s going to quit. We’re going to play as hard as we can every day. I promise you guys that.”
–Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia, on being swept by the Yankees this weekend at New Yankee Stadium.
“I think guys were trying too hard. I was. I’m not going to lie about it. I want to score more runs, more than anyone in the world. There’s not a guy in the world that wants to score more runs than the other team than me. It’s tough when you don’t score.”
“Given everything that’s going on with the club right now, I don’t think it’s possible to make any definitive statements. Because we’re at a challenging time and things have gone not as anticipated the last few weeks, it’s certainly day-to-day with a lot of things, if not inning-to-inning or pitch-to-pitch. Last night, we made Verizon a lot of money with the cell phones, given all that was going on.”
-Red Sox GM Theo Epstein (Adam Kilgore, Boston Globe)
WE HOPE TO BE COMPETITIVE EVERY DECADE OR SO
“Every four or five years, if we can have a shot at the World Series and compete for the playoffs like we did in ’05, that’s as good as it gets.”
–Indians owner Paul Dolan
“After we traded Cliff, we had made a commitment toward a new direction for the franchise. At that point, you don’t go halfway. We needed to make moves that put us in the best position to compete as soon as possible. The sense was in our organization that Victor Martinez was at his highest value and what we got back in return put us in a better position than we would have been had we kept them.”
“They’re not happy with us now, but they weren’t going to be happy with us for years to come if we didn’t do the things we did.”
“Eric and his staff have achieved a lot in their time here. I think fans tend to forget that. When he took over in ’03, he took over what was, in essence, an expansion franchise. In a relatively short period of time, he turned it into a competitive team. He and others deserve a lot of credit for that. Despite that, we have not been successful the last few years with a team that should have been successful. We have to understand why that is. We also have to understand that sometimes fans want or need to hear a different voice. We have to balance that.”
-Dolan, on manager Eric Wedge‘s future with the team.
“I get the suggestion to sell the team a few times a day. We have not changed our plans in any way.”
“Since the early ’90s, we’ve had one pick in the top 10, and that was the year we drafted [pitcher] Jeremy Sowers. We’d like to see more of our higher-round picks perform at a higher level. We haven’t had that, so we have to understand why.”
-Dolan (Tom Withers, Yahoo! Sports)
MORPHEUS ASKED ME TO TAKE THE RED PILL OR THE BLUE PILL; I WENT FOR BOTH
“I never thought that buying supplements and vitamins, it was going to hurt anybody’s feelings.”
-Red Sox DH David Ortiz, during his press conference at Yankee Stadium in which he denied knowingly using steroids.
“Accordingly, the presence of a player’s name on any such list does not necessarily mean that the player used a prohibited substance or that the player tested positive under our collectively bargained program.”
-Future head of the MLBPA Michael Weiner
“I could care less what anybody else thinks. If David Ortiz said he didn’t knowingly take anything, I believe him.”
–Tigers manager Jim Leyland, on Ortiz’s assertion.
“David’s a good friend. I’ve been there, done that and lived it. Whatever he did, I hope he feels better about it, because I certainly did once I had my press conference.”
-Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez (Mark Feinsand, New York Daily News)
YOU MEAN EXPECTING HIM TO BE THE SECOND COMING WAS UNREALISTIC AND COUNTERPRODUCTIVE TO HIS REHABILITATION?
“I always knew there would be a chance it would come out. I believe I got to the point where if you have alcohol in your system, your inhibitions go out the window. The details don’t matter, what kind of drink it was. It just put me in a bad situation.”
–Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton on photos of him drinking at a bar that hit the internet.
“I’m embarrassed about it for my wife Katie, for my kids, and for the organization. I’m not perfect. It’s an ongoing struggle, and it’s real. It’s amazing how these things can creep back in. But I am human and I have struggles.”
“If I had one, I think I can have two, and then two snowballs into 10 or 12.”
“This guy I knew that is still in the program, he always used to joke, ‘I’m allergic to alcohol. Every time I drink it, I break out in orange jumpsuits and handcuffs.’ Some people, it just doesn’t mix with, and I’m one of those people… As soon as it happened, I called my support staff-Katie, the organization, and MLB-and told them what happened. I was open and honest about it. People with an addiction can make a mistake.”
“I’d hesitate to say it’s something we’re going to put behind us, but we’re not going to allow this to become a distraction the rest of the season, and we’ll try to move on as best we can.”
-Rangers general manager Jon Daniels
“That would be counterproductive. We knew that going in when we acquired Josh. We know the risks of dealing with someone with substance abuse problems. Ultimately, he’s a grown man and he has to make his own decisions. Nobody’s here to baby-sit him, but we should help him make the right decisions and help him get through this.”
-Daniels, on whether the team would discipline Hamilton.
“More than likely. I don’t necessarily know when it would be, but I won’t let it linger too long. What I do off the field affects my teammates and the name of this organization. They know who I am and what I want to accomplish.”
-Hamilton, on whether he would apologize to his teammates for letting women lick whipped cream off his stomach at a bar. (Dallas Morning News)
HE WAS ADDICTED TO CHECKING HIS E-MAIL IN THE CLUBHOUSE DURING THE GAME
“If they say that, they are saying something I am not. Why don’t players say it to my face if I’m a bad teammate? We’ll talk about it.”
-Former Rangers starter Vicente Padilla on his club’s dislike for him.
“About time. It’s absolutely a positive for this team. We have to get rid of the negatives to make a positive, and I believe this is a huge positive for this team.”
-Rangers outfielder Marlon Byrd
“I had a good time. The fans treated me well. I don’t know what has happened this year. I never had a problem with them. I had three years with the organization. I’m going to keep training. I can pitch if I get the opportunity. They want to wash their hands of me? That’s fine.”
“You have to be a good teammate. You have to help teach younger guys the right things. He wasn’t a positive influence on the young guys. You started questioning his character, and about how much he cared.”
-Byrd, on Padilla. (Jeff Daniel, Dallas Morning News)
IT’S ALWAYS GOOD TO HEAR STORIES ABOUT SUBSCRIBERS
“At the end, it really comes down to the same thing-get ahead of hitters. It goes without saying that if you can throw strike one well, and get ahead of hitters with two strikes, you’re going to pitch well.”
-D’backs starter Max Scherzer, on using performance analysis to improve his game.
“(The advanced statistics) are a different way to look at the same game and realizing what the driving forces are that make a pitcher successful. If I want to go out there and lower my ERA, I’ve got to do certain things that are the driving forces.”
“When you have to ride the bench because you’re not throwing strikes, you learn quick to throw strikes. That’s when I think I really bought into the idea of really taking a systematic approach to pitching.”
“It took about a year of arguing with him for me to realize that actually is the correct way to think.”
-Scherzer, on discussing the utility of BABIP with his brother Alex.
“The numbers are more for the macro side. They’re for the long term. I’m well aware that the numbers aren’t everything. They just explain a good portion of what happens.”
“When I go out there, I don’t say a word. I let the trainers determine those things; I have no input. I will say that in order for him to have kept pitching, he needed to show if he could pitch or not. And he felt he could have pitched or he wouldn’t have thrown the pitch, I don’t think. I don’t know whether that tore it or whether it was already torn.”
–Mets manager Jerry Manuel, on whether or not Jonathon Niese got hurt while throwing a test pitch in front of the team’s trainer during the game. (Bart Hubbuch, New York Post)
“I just think the fact that he was able to come back after two years and take the ball four times, that was something that he was satisfied with.”
–Dodgers manager Joe Torre, on Jason Schmidt‘s time with the team this year before returning to the DL. (Dylan Hernandez, Los Angeles Times)
“It’s definitely going to be a shot of tonic, that’s for sure. I’m just excited that I’m going to be on a team that’s playing meaningful games in August and September. And it makes it even better that I get to go live in my house.”
-New Rays catcher Gregg Zaun, on getting traded within the AL East. (Marc Topkin, St. Petersburg Times)
“To go from being a leadoff guy and last year hitting two, three, maybe four… it’s just like I’m back where I started. I was in the nine-hole, the eight-hole, and kind of worked my way up. I know I’m not a nine-hitter. I know I’m not a bottom-of-the-order type of guy.”
-Rays center fielder B.J. Upton, who has hit .242/.317/.366 this year. (Mark Topkin, St. Petersburg Times)
“Yesterday I get upset, they hit one guy and they throw in into another guy. I got upset. I know for a fact they’re ‘not throwing at nobody,’ but enough is enough. I have Konerko bruised all over the place. Around the league, be careful, because we’re going to hit people. I don’t care if I get suspended, because I need to protect my players.”
–White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, vowing to protect his players from getting hit by pitches. (Scott Merkin, MLB.com)
“I think he can get major league hitters out with his stuff. I know it was a minor league club, but when you have 11 strikeouts and no walks, that’s good in Little League.”
–Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro on new acquisition Pedro Martinez‘ performance in the minors. (ESPN.com)
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.