EXCEPT FOR HIS CHOICE OF AGENT, HE’S REALLY WOWED US
“This kid is so impressive. We have nothing but the highest regard for him. If he wants to come and begin his career right now-and do so with the largest contract ever given to any drafted player in the history of Major League Baseball-we can help him accomplish that. But if this is more about changing the whole way an industry does business, then we won’t be able to reach a deal. We think he’s not just a draft pick-we think he’s a special player, which is why we extended ourselves as much as we did, and will continue to entertain any other issues or concerns he might have in order to get him signed.”
–Nationals president Stan Kasten on the possibility that the first overall selection of this year’s draft, Stephen Strasburg, won’t sign with the team.
“The day you draft them, they’re the most excited kid in the world. To me, the agents put a stop sign on it. They take some of the fun out of it. But you know why the kids have them, and you deal with it.”
–Angels scouting director Eddie Bane on the draft process. (Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times)
“Major league teams, in the best interest of baseball, must stop penalizing American boys and American families. The fact of being born in the United States should not result in a dramatic diminution of value, even though your talent exceeds that of a talent born elsewhere.”
–Scott Boras, Strasburg’s agent, who compares his client’s situation to that of Daisuke Matsuzaka‘s. (Jon Heyman, Sports Illustrated)
“They have to sign him. If they don’t sign him, what are they in business for?”
-Anonymous rival executive, on Strasburg’s negotiations with the Nationals.
“For any player, what an opportunity. I would hope any player, especially someone drafted as high as a player like this, would relish the opportunity to be part of what we hope is going to be a turnaround here. It’s a great area of the country, great fan base, great community, great ownership. I think we have a lot to offer players. You have a player of this caliber… you certainly hope things will work out and he can be part of our future. Because we like him an awful lot as a player.”
–Mariners general mananger Jack Zduriencik, on trying to sign second overall pick Dustin Ackley. (Larry Stone, Seattle Times)
SATURDAY, BLOODY SATURDAY
“It was nice to see him walk off the field. It was definitely a situation where you hoped there’s no blood. I’ll see if I can get a hold of him tomorrow.”
–Giants starter Matt Cain, after beaning David Wright during his team’s 10th-inning win over the Mets on Saturday.
“One of the first things he asked out there was if anybody caught the ball out there, if it was an out.”
–Dodgers trainer Stan Conte, after Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda took a line drive off of his head in a game against the Diamondbacks.
“We worry about, even though there’s no bleeding now, that there could be in the next 12-14 hours. That’s why we want to keep him at the hospital. The first 12-to-24 hours is important. The doctors feel very, very good.”
“No, I am absolutely not wearing that. I could care less what they say, I’m not wearing it. There’s got to be a way to have a more protective helmet without all that padding. It’s brutal. We’re going to look like a bunch of clowns out there.”
-Mets outfielder Jeff Francoeur, on a new helmet design with more padding that has been developed by Rawlings.
“It’s just something that’s scary. You never want to be a part of something like that. You’re not thinking it’s intentional or unintentional in the process. Me and Varitek had words, we had a chance to talk later and put it behind us. We talked after the game on the phone, and everything is fine. I understand it was not on purpose, it’s just the way you react when the ball is thrown at your head. They were throwing inside on me all day yesterday.”
–Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler, after getting hit in the helmet by Fernando Cabrera this weekend. (T.R. Sullivan, MLB.com)
PROBABLY BETTER TO JUST BLAME ANDY MARTE
“I say it’s an organizational disappointment because I think we’ve underachieved with the talent we’ve got. Ultimately, we’ve done that too many times in the last few years… We’ve got to look to address why our team isn’t achieving up to the level of talent that we think should create wins and losses. Not only us, but other people within the industry, objectively and subjectively, believe this as well.”
–Indians general manager Mark Shapiro
“I definitely feel I have unfinished business as a general manager. There’s always been that kind of chatter going around because throughout my conversations with Paul [Dolan, Indians president] … the ability to continue to grow professionally and personally is important to me and may involve a shift in roles.”
“I don’t see it as a strength. One of the challenges with the draft is that we’ve only picked in the top 10 once in my tenure. There’s a clear decline in talent level when you don’t pick in the top 10. That being said, I do not view that as a strength. We haven’t been extremely effective in that area. We need to get better in that area.”
-Shapiro, on his team’s record with the amateur draft.
“I’ve been here almost 18 years now, and I prefer to see this thing through.”
-Shapiro (Paul Hoynes, Cleveland Plain Dealer)
DID ANYONE ASK THE MEDIA IF THEY USED ADDERALL TO STAY UP AND WRITE A STORY? NO?
“It’s all about the money. All these [media members] I’ve been dealing with through the years, guys who have come to me and tell me, ‘You’ve made the difference in this clubhouse because you might be the only superstar here who makes our life easy. When we want to talk to you we can talk to you. You’re a nice guy and you do nice things.’ All that [expletive] went in the garbage when this [expletive] came out. That hurt, bro.”
–Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, still upset about the treatment he’s received since his name came to light with a positive PED test.
“People don’t always make money with good things. They make money with bad things. Basically that’s what people worry about. So when I hear people talking about, ‘This guy is horrible and sets a bad example. He’s not a role model,’ from now on I’m not going to pay attention to that [expletive] anymore because, seriously, people don’t give a [expletive]. People don’t make money with that.”
-Ortiz, on the media.
“My teammates were there at my press conference, and they all came and hugged [me]. They said, ‘Hey, you’re right.’ The good things nobody talks about, and that’s what kills me. Nobody talks about the good things. All they want to do is put the fans against you, and that’s bad, man.”
“They’re calling you names and shit. You go to New York, you go to Baltimore, you go to all the other cities and you bring your family, your kids. Your son hears people calling you [names]. It’s my family, my kids. With all the good things I’ve done, what’s up with that? All the good I’ve done and all the good things I will get done-what’s up with that? Somebody screwed up and somebody wanted to put money in their pocket and somebody talking shit, is that fair? I don’t care anymore.”
“A lot of things have happened. Sometimes you have to make room for it. God would never give you something you could not handle. You just have to stay focused. It’s hard, but it won’t go on forever.”
-Ortiz (Joe McDonald, Providence Journal)
HE ALSO MANDATES THAT EVERY PLAYER HUNT DEER IN THE OFFSEASON
“I told them, ‘Every once in a while, I need you to walk over by a young kid and whisper in his ear if there’s something that needs to be addressed, before I have to get into the middle of it. Basically just a, ‘Hey, that’s not how we’re gonna do things here.'”
–Rockies manager Jim Tracy, on the leadership role he asked Todd Heltn and Brad Hawpe to assume once he became the team’s manager.
“They’re two peas in a pod for me, and two of the best I’ve ever been around. They are so similar, it’s ridiculous.”
-Tracy, on the similarity between Helton and Robin Ventura.
THERE’S A CRANKY OLD MAN IN THE CLUBHOUSE, AND HE’S NOT TONY BERNAZARD
“I feel a little disheartened. I feel a little bit like I’ve been misled. I feel like I’ve played this game long enough that the respect factor should be there. I’m really not happy with the decision that the Phillies have made.”
-Phillies pitcher Jamie Moyer, after being moved to the bullpen with the callup of right-hander Pedro Martinez
“Ultimately, I’m a little disheartened because this past winter, when I was negotiating with the Phillies, this was a sore thumb, if you will, about this potentially happening. You can’t promise anything in this game, but I really felt Ruben parlayed to me that this type of situation would not happen.”
-Moyer, on assurances by general manager Ruben Amaro that he wouldn’t be used out of the bullpen.
“We’re in first place. I probably feel like I haven’t contributed as well as I could have, but I think if you go around to the other 24 players on our club, they would probably say the same type of thing.”
-Moyer; the 46-year-old has posted a .436 SNWP in 22 starts for the first-place Phillies this season. (Todd Zolecki, MLB.com)
“I want people to steal on us because [catcher Miguel Olivo] is going to throw out everyone who tries to run. I was trying to go slow enough to make him think he could make it to second. I do that to everyone. I go just slow enough to make them think they can go, but Olivo is always just a little bit faster.”
–Royals starter Zack Greinke, on his revolutionary way of controlling the running game. (Bob Dutton, Kansas City Star)
“The only thing I have to say about that is I was not intentionally trying to hit Kevin Youkilis. It was unintentional.”
–Tigers starter Rick Porcello, after rolling around the field with Youkilis after the Red Sox infielder charged the mound this week.
“I think he wants to please all the guys in here-produce on the baseball field, do what he knows, and finally be himself. For so long, he was trying to be this person that made everyone happy and tried to be the guy who pleased everyone, and now I think he’s number one. He wants to make sure he’s in a good spot, because if he’s in a good spot, the rest of us are, too.”
–Yankees outfielder Johnny Damon, on teammate Alex Rodriguez. (Tyler Kepner, The New York Times)
“I was just sort of walking around in the dugout, and they were like, ‘Hey, go get your jersey and cleats on because… if Jason gets on second, you’re going to pinch-run for him. So I ran up in all in a frenzy and the first thing that came in my head was, ‘Road game, we’re away.’ So I got down there and [Francona’s] like, you got the wrong jersey on. I was like, ‘Oh my God,’ so I had to run back up here, put the blue one on. Finally I got back down there-obviously I got back down there an at-bat late-but I went out there anyway.”
-Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz, on getting thrown out at the plate after pinch-running for Jason Varitek in the ninth inning of his team’s Friday night win over the Rangers. (Amalie Benjamin, Boston Globe)
“We appreciate and admire the dedication and tireless work ethic put forth by Bill Castro over the last 18 seasons. A move like this is never easy to make, especially given Bill’s longevity with the organization and considering how hard he worked to reach this position.”
–Brewers general manager Doug Melvin, on firing pitching coach Bill Castro, who had been with the organization for nearly two decades. (Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)
“I have a lot of guys who think I’m out of (my) mind because I’m taking a lot of things not on the list. I take 10 to 12 different things a day, and on the days I pitch, there’s four more things. There’s a caffeine drink I take from a company that (former teammate) Curt Schilling introduced me to in ’05. I take some Korean ginseng and a few other proteins out there that are not certified. But I haven’t failed any tests, so I figured I’m good.”
–Reds starter Bronson Arroyo, supplements fiend. (Michael Obernauer, New York Daily News)
“It’s a special time for me, but I’m sad because I showed too much emotion on the field. I apologize to Mike Scioscia and the players on the other team. It’s part of the game, emotion, but I showed too much.”
-Orioles outfielder Felix Pie, after hitting for the cycle this week in a game against the Angels. (ESPN.com)
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.