THE MAN WHO BROUGHT THE 1-0 MENTALITY TO THE BRONX
“I think everyone is going to get on that plane and fall right asleep. I think at that point in time, we don’t really think of it as 2-0. We just feel like we’re going at it the same that we did when it was 1-0. I think that we want to take the field and we want to be successful every day. We want to take the field and win every single game we play, and whether that happens or not, it’s just a mind-set of having that before you step on that field. Yeah, we feel good about where we are, but are we going to be complacent? Absolutely not. Are we going to keep battling just like we did tonight? Absolutely.”
–Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher, on his team’s mood after winning two games at home to begin the ALCS.
“I tried to elevate it. I got ahead like I wanted to. I haven’t seen the replay. But I don’t guess I elevated it enough.”
–Angels closer Brian Fuentes, on his 0-2 fastball that Alex Rodriguez sent into right field in extra innings to tie the game.
“It was a lack of communication between me and Chone Figgins. That’s exactly what happened. I didn’t hear anything. I saw him standing there, and I thought he was going to catch it. But I didn’t hear him at all.”
-Angels shortstop Erick Aybar, on a popup that dropped between him and Figgins for a hit during Game One.
IF THEY LOSE, CAN HE REPLACE TIM McCARVER ON COLOR COMMENTARY?
“I saw the glove go up, and in my head, I said, ‘Noooo!'”
-Angels center fielder Torii Hunter, on watching the pitch to A-Rod from center field.
“CC Sabathia was good, man. You’ve got to give him credit. I tip my hat to him. We tried to get to him, I tried to put a bunt down, and he showed me his athletic ability, his basketball skills and everything. So, CC’s the real deal, man.”
-Hunter, on his friend’s Game One performance.
“It feels good. I’m pretty sure the Yankees feel good, too. They’re warm; everybody’s warm. Trust me, there’s nothing but positive energy going in here right now and over there, I’m pretty sure.”
-Torii Hunter, on the teams moving to Anaheim for the next three games. (David Waldstein, The New York Times)
THE BELIEVER WHO FEARS ANGELS
“To be honest, I think they look down on us. They’ve had their way with us for some time, and now we have something to prove to them. It’s not the other way around. I think the Angels feared the Red Sox, but they don’t fear us. I think they’re happy they’re playing us.”
-Yankees general manager Brian Cashman
“That was the coming-out party where, on a national stage, this game of baseball got introduced to Mike Scioscia, who is probably the Bill Belichick of our sport.”
-Cashman, on the Angels eliminating the Yankees from the playoffs in 2002.
“There’s no perfect team that we had. Those teams in the past had chances to run the table too. But you’ve got to recognize that this team is deeper, that’s all.”
-Cashman (Bob Klapisch, FoxSports.com)
JOHN SMOLTZ LIED TO ME, DAMMIT!
“There’s a tendency on the heels of some of those buy-low, one-year deals not working out to go in the other direction, and say we’re not going to do that, we’re going to avoid anyone who’s coming off a bad season or anyone who’s got health concerns.”
-Red Sox manager Theo Epstein
“But the reality is, you sign one-year, buy-low deals for a reason, because a lot of them don’t work out, but they provide you flexibility. So when they do work out, hopefully you have an option and you can keep that player for next year. If they don’t work out, you move on and you have flexibility both during that season and in future years to address needs.”
“I have a natural instinct to say ‘Let’s shy away from that a little bit.’ But the reality is, looking at our club, we want sort of a complement to Tim Wakefield in the fifth starter’s role. We’re probably not going to end up with a front-line free-agent starting pitcher with the way we look at the market and the nature of the market these days. Could we end up with another buy-low, high-upside, low-risk starting pitcher somewhere on the roster? Sure. And if it doesn’t work out, we’ll move on.”
-Epstein, on whether the Red Sox would gamble on arms for their rotation.
IF YOU’RE NOT IN HELL YET, JUST WAIT FIVE BUSINESS DAYS
“My relationship is fine here. It’s far from the living hell that it seems to say I was going through. You know, managing is tough during the course of the year, and you get worn out by the time the year is over, especially when you get to this time of year. But you get regenerated for the postseason.”
–Dodgers manager Joe Torre, on his situation in LA after Peter Gammons reported that he was unhappy this season.
“Frank McCourt is the owner of the team. He has always been the owner of the team. There should be no change at all with respect to anything the public is used to.”
–Marshall Grossman, Frank McCourt’s lawyer, on the McCourt divorce.
“We are disappointed that Mr. McCourt’s attorney has chosen to express legal positions in the press, in violation of the parties’ specific agreement not to make any public statements about this private matter. Jamie McCourt had desired just to focus on the Dodgers’ success in post-season play.”
–Dennis Wasser, Jamie McCourt’s lawyer.
“I firmly believe each of them is going to try to keep the team. I think it’s going to be pretty ugly.”
-Anonymous “high-ranking official” (Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times)
RUBEN ALSO CONVINCED FRANK McCOURT HE WAS UNHAPPY IN HIS MARRIAGE
“We just would have had to beat him. Ruben [Amaro Jr.] is pretty smart. He would have found somebody else. But he did a great job in getting Cliff Lee, a guy who fits in this clubhouse very well. And he happens to be a pretty good hitter.”
–Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins, on what the club would have done if the Dodgers had acquired Cliff Lee.
“I’m going to do whatever it takes to help us win. If that means being in the bullpen or not throwing at all or whatever it is, I’m going to do as much as I can to help us win and help us achieve our goal that we’ve been working for all year.”
-Phillies starter Joe Blanton, on his role in the NLCS against the Dodgers.
“We don’t get too high and we don’t get too low. And if we get knocked down, we can get back up, and we try to keep a level head. That’s kind of who we are.”
-Phillies manager Charlie Manuel
HOW NOT TO HIRE A MANAGER
“We’re excited about the entire group of candidates. All 10 candidates have a great deal of experience and are held in high regard throughout major league baseball. Clarkie and Al are great internal candidates, and are very well respected both inside and outside the Astros family.”
-Astros general manager Ed Wade, on his searching for manager to replace Cecil Cooper.
“It’s going to be a fun atmosphere, it’s going to be a winning atmosphere. We’re in the transition of getting this team back to prominence, and as someone who’s been in the organization and knows the philosophy of the organization, I think I’m the right man for the job.
-Interim manager Dave Clark, on interviewing for the position.
“All of sudden on the caller ID it showed Phil Garner was calling, and I picked up and said, ‘Are you a candidate?’ I was being facetious. ‘Well,’ he said, ‘I wouldn’t mind it, but it’s up to you guys.'”
-Astros president of baseball operations Tal Smith, on the rigorous procedures that led to their adding former Astros manager Phil Garner to the field of candidates. (Brian McTaggert, MLB.com)
“I lost my mind. I lost it completely. I barely remember anything because I just completely lost it. When something gets you real bad, and you have a hard time controlling yourself, that’s what happened. I just started hitting my locker with my left hand. I didn’t feel it at the time because the adrenaline was just pumping so much. I calmed down, started getting undressed, and didn’t feel anything at the time.”
–Mariners pitching prospect Philippe Aumont on blowing his second save. (Jim Street, MLB.com)
“Rudy is unbelievably good. He understands hitting, how to work with all kinds of hitters, and he busts his butt to get the best from hitters. He helped me get better when I was in Texas, sometimes making me work when I wouldn’t have if he hadn’t been on me. I’ve seen him do it with other guys too.”
-Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, on hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo, who left the Rangers this week. (Phil Rogers, Chicago Tribune)
“The demons he’s had to fight off-I don’t know how he’s done it. It’s amazing, because the scariest things are the ones we create in our head and with him it snowballed into that. You see guys with the yips that never recover from it. For some reason, that’s a problem that can stick with you. For Kuo, he battled back and conquered it. We are all so happy for him. Hong-Chih doesn’t have quit in him.”
-Dodgers starter Randy Wolf, on the struggles of teammate Hong-Chih Kuo. (Ken Gurnick, MLB.com)
“I drank a Red Bull in the fifth inning and said to myself, ‘Man, this thing didn’t do anything for me today.’ And then I started warming up in the eighth inning and the Red Bull kicked in hard. When I got on the mound I was like, ‘Whoa, man. I’m wired right now.’ I had to step back.”
-Phillies reliever Scott Eyre, on his blog.
“I’m not the right man to answer that kind of question. I’m a worker. I’m not the one who makes prices. I want every fan of New York to come-to be able to come-and enjoy the game.”
-Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, on the lack of sellouts at NuYankee Stadium for the ALCS. (Jeff Passan, Yahoo! Sports)
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.