LET’S KEEP IN MIND THAT THIS IS IN THE SAME LEAGUE BRAD PENNY HURLS SHUTOUTS
“He’s amazing. He reminds me a lot of me, only twice as better at the same time in the big leagues. This is his second or third year, right? Yeah, he already has a Cy Young.”
–Phillies starter Pedro Martinez, admiring the young talent of Giants starter Tim Lincecum.
“It’s ridiculous how nasty his stuff still is. When you watch him, it’s obvious he knows what he’s doing out there.”
-Giants starter Tim Lincecum, after he was outdueled by the Phillies veteran in Thursday’s 2-1 loss.
“I have a great sense of satisfaction to show I’m able to still do it even I’m not 100 percent there yet. I wanted this kind of game. I want to help this team win not just now, but in the future.”
“We’ve got to figure out a way to get some runs for this to work.”
-Giants manager Bruce Bochy, on his team’s struggles to get a hit off of Martinez, let alone score much against the rest of the league.
“We’ve got to stop worrying if we’re scoring runs, and just play baseball.”
-Lincecum, obviously not getting any gray hairs on the subject. (San Francisco Chronicle)
WHEN YOU’RE UNDER .500 IN SEPTEMBER, YOU TAKE YOUR FUN WHERE YOU CAN GET IT
“Did you see that celebration? You would like to think professionals would have a lot more respect for the game and their opponents. That was choreographed.”
-Giants bench coach Ron Wotus, on the Brewers‘ team celebration after Prince Fielder‘s walkoff home run on Sunday.
“It was fun, especially the way the season is going now for us. “It’s always good to have some fun.”
-Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder, on the team’s unique behavior, which you can view here.
“I don’t know what that was. I don’t get concerned with that.”
-Giants manager Bruce Bochy, on the celebration. (Henry Schulman, San Francisco Chronicle)
IT’S NOT A PENNANT RACE IF TONY ISN’T CRANKY
“It’s a sign of nothing. It’s a sign of a potential distraction for our team. What you need to do is crank out series and try to get to the finish line. Anything that the team thinks about other than that-it’s a distraction. … It’s got zero value. It’s only value is a negative one. It’s a distraction.”
–Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, upon matching the Dodgers for the best record in the National League.
“I’m not scoreboard-watching to see what happens, although at this point you’re curious to see what Texas does, Tampa Bay, the Yankees. I think that’s only human nature. If you don’t look at it, I think you’re probably lying… We gained a game on three people. That’s a good sign for us.”
–Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell on his team taking the third game of its weekend series against the White Sox.
“When they win, we have to win. When they lose, we have to win. We can’t take any game for granted from now on. It’s crunch time, and we really have to get on a streak.”
–Rangers outfielder Marlon Byrd, on chasing the Red Sox in the wild-card race.
WE’VE HEARD OF BLOOD BROTHERS, BUT THIS IS CRAZY
“It’s not funny, obviously, but Adrian [Beltre] and I were talking about it before it happened to him. We were taking ground balls at third, and he brought it up and talked about why he doesn’t wear it. Sure enough, about a week later, I hear what happened and I felt so bad. That has to be one of the worst things ever.”
-Former Mariners infielder Chris Woodward, on not wearing a cup.
“I think he has to wear one now. It’s just like if you foul a ball off your leg and you break your leg, you’re always going to wear a shin guard.”
-Woodward, on Adrian Beltre wearing a cup forever more after his in-game cupless testicle injury.
“I don’t know if it’s because I don’t have wide hips, but the cup would always make my groin sore, so I only wore it for batting practice. It just feels so much better without it and my legs are so much freer. When you dive on turf, it’s like diving on concrete, and if you fall on your cup, sometimes it would be even worse than if you got hit not wearing one.”
“I was playing third every day for a while, and that’s a different position. I think you have to wear one there. You get a lot of rockets hit right at you. So you have to smother it. At short, it’s different, because you can use your feet to position yourself to catch it.”
“Every guy hears that story about Adrian and cringes. More wear them than don’t wear them. A lot of outfielders don’t wear them but they wear them when they hit because they’re afraid of a ball coming up.”
-Woodward (Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe)
IT TAKES HIM LONGER TO BREATHE THAN OTHER PEOPLE
“After this, I don’t know, man. I think they’re going to call my parole officer and put me away.”
-Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon, on being fined for the second time by Major League Baseball for slow play.
“It’s something I’ve got to get used to. When I come in from the bullpen, I’ve got to speed it up. I know it’s a new rule and everything, and they’re trying to enforce it. I guess I’m just the one they decided to enforce it on. A rule’s a rule. I don’t know who else is getting fined. I can’t say I’m being picked on. They may be saying the same thing to everyone else.”
“If I have to get my agent involved and see if there are other guys doing the same thing I’m doing and not getting fined, then I have a case. If I don’t, then I don’t.”
-Papelbon (Adam Kilgore, Boston Globe)
MAYBE HE CAN START HANDING OUT DEMERITS
“The punishment fits the crime. Part of what we do is our style of play, and the expectation of a high standard that we hold ourselves to, so what he did was intolerable. That’s not malicious. It’s a poor mental error that resulted in him not playing any more. It is what it is. It’s too bad, because it hurts our team when he comes out of the lineup.”
–Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch, after removing right fielder Justin Upton from Sunday’s game after he didn’t run out a base hit.
“It’s difficult because, one, he’s very talented and, two, he really cares. We never view these kinds of decisions as some sort of a public demonstration or to be punitive. We do it because we think it’s the right way to fix it.”
-Diamondbacks general manager Josh Byrnes, on sending outfielder Chris Young to the minors earlier this season.
“Probably. Putting it all together, our position-player side is starting to shape up. We kind of know the names and have a general idea of the cost. Potentially a bullpen spot to fill, maybe internally and maybe outside. And then the rotation we have to take a look at. We certainly know how much money we’re going to have available and [Brandon Webb‘s] option will probably be the first order of business, what we do with that. But now, adding Mulvey to a group with guys like Jarrod Parker, [Yusmeiro] Petit, [Billy] Buckner, [Bryan] Augenstein, [Cesar] Valdez, lots of young guys, and all but one have options, to create some competition in the back of the rotation.”
-Byrnes, on adding to the pitching in his organization. (Nick Piecoro, Arizona Republic)
“I hope to have some resolution before the season is over… hopefully. If I was told today that I was going to be back, if I was told today that I wouldn’t be back, I wouldn’t do anything differently the rest of the way. That’s not who I am. I want to put us in the best position to be the best team we can be next year regardless of whether I’m here or not.”
–Indians manager Eric Wedge, on whether he’ll be back next year. (Paul Hoynes, Cleveland Plain Dealer)
“I like things to be spontaneous. Besides, there’s not much you can do with it. The number one Yankee in hits in history? The names are Gehrig, Ruth, DiMaggio and Mantle-what an honor. What else is there to say?”
-Yankees play-by-play man John Sterling, on how he’ll call Derek Jeter taking over the Yankees mark for career hits. (Mark Feinsand, New York Daily News)
“The one thing David has done this year a little bit that we’re not used to is when he’s swung the bat good, it hasn’t carried over as much as it used to. He’s lost his lower half sometimes, and I don’t know why… But he’s come out and swung the bat real good, then the next day his lower half’s not quite been there.”
–R ed Sox manager Terry Francona, on designated hitter David Ortiz‘s struggles this season. (Amalie Benjamin, Boston Globe)
“I thought it was definitely going through. Those guys have excellent pitching. We made them go to their closer in the eighth inning. The guy throws 101 mph. That makes it tough.”
-Brewers manager Ken Macha, on a game against the Giants this weekend in which closer Brian Wilson came in before the ninth. (Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)
“When I was spitting blood, I thought I probably broke my nose. After a while, when I looked in the mirror, I thought, ‘Ah, my face is swollen. I’m fine now.’ Nothing growing up in New York City that I haven’t experienced.”
–Blue Jays designated hitter Randy Ruiz, on getting hit in the face by a pitch from Josh Towers in Sunday’s game against the Yankees. (ESPN.com)
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.