HE MAY HAVE WRITTEN HIS AUTOBIOGRAPHY TOO SOON
“He called me in the office, I was in the lineup, and he just went over the whole waiver thing with me because I guess a lot of people in the media were speculating a lot of different things, and he wanted to clear that up. So I asked him after that, well, if you pull me back and you’re keeping me from going to a contending team, what’s my future? And basically I got a maybe, maybe not. And that’s basically not much of a future.”
–Mets outfielder Gary Sheffield, on Mets general manager Omar Minaya telling him he’ll be with the team through the end of the year.
“This is why I came with a better attitude today and a fresh mindset. Because like I said before, I have great teammates, and if I don’t have any other options-they’re not going to release me, they’re not going to do this-I’m going to go out here and show up for all my teammates.”
“I just felt like our relationship was good enough that he could’ve called me and let me know what was going on.”
“I asked all the right questions; it was a logical question. If I’m not allowed to play somewhere else, what’s my future here?”
-Sheffield (Evan Drellich, Newsday)
THEY WERE WAITING FOR THE TEAM TO PLAY MORE LIKE THE CUBS BEFORE FINALIZING THE SALE>
“I wish it came about a month earlier. I think Jim’s hands were a little tied. Actually, I wish it came about eight months earlier. Hopefully, they are in this to win and not just to say they own the Cubs, and they’re willing to keep the payroll the way it is, and we can do what we need to do.”
-Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee on the new owners of the Cubs, the Ricketts family.
“Our family is thrilled to have reached an agreement to acquire a controlling interest in the Chicago Cubs, one of the most storied franchises in sports. The Cubs have the greatest fans in the world, and we count our family among them. We look forward to closing the transaction so that we can begin leading the Cubs to a World Series title.”
-New Cubs owner Joe Ricketts in a press release.
“Their entire family has an impeccable reputation. Tom seems like a guy that not only really cares about the Cubs but also the people of Chicago, and I think he wants to do the right thing for the franchise.”
-Cubs general manager Jim Hendry on Tom Ricketts.
“It’s going to be really interesting to see how everything plays out this offseason, and see where we go. It’s been a tough year for us as far as that stuff goes, no doubt about that. So it’s an exciting time for all of us.”
-Cubs shortstop Ryan Theriot (Gordon Wittenmeyer, Chicago Sun-Times)
CONFUSION, PANIC, AND FEAR: ARE THEY EVEN AWARE THEY’RE LEADING THE WILD-CARD RACE?
“Is he ready to pitch, or is he not? You know what I mean? I think our bullpen is good where we’re at right now. Don’t get me wrong. But I guess you could always make it better. It’s kind of like the (Eric) Gagne thing, I guess.”
–Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon, on the Red Sox making a waiver claim on Mets reliever Billy Wagner.
“There’s no decision here and now today. If you’re asking, ‘Is [Junichi Tazawa] going to start next Thursday, it’s our plan to meet tomorrow to speak as a group to decide what we have coming up. Obviously, with Tim Wakefield returning, it creates a decision for us to make to make out the rotation as a whole. What he did today certainly didn’t take away from his future opportunities or chances of making that start on Thursday, but we have not announced our rotation past [Sunday] night.”
-Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell, on the performance of Junichi Tazawa in a victory over the Yankees on Saturday.
“I don’t have any thoughts on somebody like him. I mean, when he walks in my shoes, then I’ll say something. Let him be 38 and have Tommy John and come back.”
-Mets reliever Billy Wagner on Papelbon’s less-than-welcoming comments towards him.
HE POPPED HIS CLOSER-SETTING-UP CHERRY, HOW SWEET
“We had an opportunity to save the game in the eighth inning and I just couldn’t resist it. Broxton struck out two last night and I basically decided to flip-flop them because of where they were in the lineup. It’s a nice situation to have. We’re not as concerned about who gets the stat as much as the only stat that’s important, the ‘W‘ in the left-hand side. The game dictates what you do, especially when you have options. If we don’t have Sherrill, we don’t do that.”
–Dodgers manager Joe Torre, on switching the bullpen roles of Jonathan Broxton and George Sherrill in a game.
“He can drive a manager nuts, not knowing when to pull the plug.”
-Joe Torre, on one of his new starters, knuckleballer Charlie Haeger.
“If somebody gets offended being picked to pitch to the 3-4-5 hitters in the lineup, they’re not the people I think they are. It’s a trust situation, and I trusted him with the most important inning of the game.”
-Torre, on Broxton possibly being angry that he pitched the eighth. (Ken Gurnick, MLB.com)
THEY’LL BE SPENDING LABOR DAY WEEKEND TOGETHER IN THE HAMPTONS
“I just make suggestions. It’s up to the pitcher to throw the pitch he wants. He’s the guy in charge.”
-Yankees catcher Jorge Posada, after a brutal start by A.J. Burnett on Saturday against the Red Sox.
“There were a couple of heaters (when) I felt that I should have thrown a hook. I step off and re-gather and that’s when the non-executed pitch came. He calls fine back there. It’s just a matter of me throwing what I want to throw.”
-Burnett, on Posada’s catching.
“There’s no pattern there. I’ve had a great run now with Jorge. So there’s no fingers to point but at me.”
“I had a good curveball, and I should’ve used it more.”
“They were on his curveball early on, so I wanted him to throw more fastballs to get them away from his curveball.”
“I was asking, ‘Why would I throw that pitch there?’ There was no reason to throw it there.”
-Burnett, on what he was yelling at Fenway Park after homers. (Bob Klapisch, Bergen Record)
BUD HATH SPOKEN
“I said at the All-Star Game that I had faith in the Lerners-faith that they knew what they had to do. They did what they had to do [to sign Strasburg].”
-Commissioner Bud Selig on the negotiations between Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals that ended with a record agreement before last week’s signing deadline.
“Mike was upfront and honest about the situation. He didn’t sugarcoat it. He didn’t lie to me and tell me that I was going to play right now. He said, ‘But I promise you that you will get to play. Bear with me.’ That’s all I can ask. I didn’t want him to tell me something that wasn’t going to happen. I appreciate him being honest with me.”
-Nationals outfielder Josh Willingham, on the virtues of new Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo.
“There’s no question in my mind, in 2011, certainly a [hard] slotting system and a worldwide draft are things we will be very aggressive in talking about.”
“If he didn’t get the job, I think it would have been definitely something wrong with that picture. He’s done everything to make this team better. He made great trades and he’s just a great baseball guy. I’m glad he’s going to be around.”
-Nationals outfielder Adam Dunn, on Rizzo. (Bill Ladson, MLB.com)
HE AND RYAN HOWARD ARE PUTTING TOGETHER A SUPPORT GROUP
“I don’t understand why the strikeout is such a bad stat. I know when you have a man on third and less than two outs and you punch out, it’s not good. But if there’s a man on first and one out and you hit a weak ground ball to second base and it’s a double play, what good does that do? If I strike out, at least the guy on deck still has a chance.”
–Diamondbacks third baseman Mark Reynolds, who has struck out 170 times this year.
“Dunn is great. He’s the poster child for not caring what people say. I don’t know if it’s a front that he puts on and he kind of cares, but he goes out and does what he does. If you like it, great. If you don’t, he doesn’t care.”
-Reynolds, on what he learned from Dunn during the big man’s stay with the Arizona organization.
“The minimum penalty for a manager must be suspension for an entire season, perhaps even for life. For the pitcher, suspension for the season should be mitigated only if the pitcher turned in the manager. There should also be penalties for any baseball player who hears the manager or coach order the beaning of a player without reporting it.”
-Lawyer Alan Dershowitz, in an op-ed on beanings in this week’s Boston Globe.
“I could read between the lines. It was kind of a cheap shot, but it is what it is. I’m not going to get into a pissing contest. It’s not worth it. I’m here trying to make the playoffs.”
–Braves outfielder Ryan Church, on Jerry Manuel somehow distinguishing between David Wright‘s concussion this year and Church’s last season. (Kristie Ackert, New York Daily News)
“We sat down and figured out a plan that works for both of us as far as keeping it as regular as possible. It gives my arm the rest that this whole thing is for, so it all worked out great. Mentally, for me to know that this is the plan for the rest of the year, it’s definitely calming.”
-Yankees starter Joba Chamberlain, on the plan to limit his pitching down the stretch. (Peter Abraham, The Journal News)
“I just didn’t want to come in here, because it kind of brought me down more than anything else. Last week, I felt better and I felt like I wanted to get in here on kind of a trial run just to see some people, get back here, and it did help a lot. It really did help a lot.”
-Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy, returning to the booth this weekend after struggles with illness and depression.
“I’m very hopeful it’s a 24-hour thing. But I think a lot of what we have to bear in mind is how bad it is from the standpoint of dehydration thing. When you revisit it, if it’s tomorrow or if it’s the day after, you want to make sure he’s completely hydrated so you don’t put yourself in harm’s way. If he’s a little bit dehydrated and he ends up pulling a hamstring or something like that, you would put yourself in a tough spot.”
–Rockies manager Jim Tracy, on shortstop Troy Tulowitzki‘s bout with FLS. (Jim Armstrong, Denver Post)
“The Mets have 50 years of history, well almost 50 years. The fans want to celebrate that.”
-Former Met Ed Kranepool, at the reunion of the 1969 Miracle Mets this weekend. (Adam Rubin, New York Daily News)
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.