THAT JORGE POSADA FOR EXAMPLE IS SOMETHING OF A CUT-UP
“They’re probably the loosest, most enthusiastic clowns before games and workouts. Everybody is on each other, and everybody gets along. From day one this team just grew in this clubhouse. It started with [Girardi] and what he was teaching with teamwork. They say chemistry wins, and it’s true. When you’re on the other side, you think, ‘They’re all business and they don’t have fun.’ But this is the best group of guys I ever played with.”
–Yankees starter A.J. Burnett, on beating the Angels last night in Game Six of the ALCS.
“We’re trying to do this for him.”
-Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner, on his father George.
“Tex and I were just talking about how many great players never get to a World Series. We both realize what this means, and we both feel lucky and blessed to be part of a team like this.”
-Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, on what this means to him and to Mark Teixeira.
“Ridiculous. I don’t know. Can I say it any clearer than that? We should have never had a day off last Wednesday. We should never have three days off after the season. You shouldn’t even have two days off after the season.”
-Angels manager Mike Scioscia on the delays before Game Six in the Bronx.
“As I’ve said all along, every move is not going to work out. That’s the bottom line. That’s the human element of it. You prepare yourself for moves to work out. We had a lot of moves work out this year but we’ve had moves that haven’t worked out. And that’s why we haven’t won every game.”
-Yankees manager Joe Girardi, before Game Six.
HAVE A HEART AND LET TORII CAN REPLACE FREDDY GUZMAN ON THE YANKS WORLD SERIES ROSTER
“He speaks his mind freely, and we speak our mind freely, and I think at times maybe it might sting a little bit. But there’s not a guy in that clubhouse who wants to win more than Torii. I don’t think there’s anything that’s a negative about it. At times, I think, our guys have taken some things to heart and moved forward with it.”
-Mike Scioscia, on Torii Hunter‘s comments during the series.
“It comes from my heart and I’m telling you the truth. I don’t want to lie. I don’t want to be politically correct. No, I’m going to tell you the truth. I’m not thinking about what I’m going to say. I’m thinking about what I’m going to do to Pettitte. That’s the only thing I’m thinking about right now.”
-Angels center fielder Torii Hunter, before Game Six.
“They capitalized on every mistake we made. We were sound defensively all season, and we got into the playoffs, and things happened. I don’t know why. It’s probably mental. We didn’t play Angels-style baseball. We might have played it for one or two games, but we let things get away from us.”
-Hunter, after the Angels’ Game Six loss. (Mike DiGiovanna, Los Angeles Times)
NOTE: PSYCHO-BABBLE IS FOR INTERVIEWS ONLY
“We can’t build a team on sort of psycho-babble. We try and get 25 high-character guys. The bottom line is this team had a great personality. It was calm outwardly on the field, very professional, but behind closed doors they had a ton of fun. There were a lot of leaders who showed up hard to play every single day. We won 95 games in a really tough division, and if we had performed better in the playoffs nobody would be talking about our personality. I couldn’t care less whether they’re emotional and display their personality on the field, or in order to play well they keep their emotions under check. I couldn’t care less as they play well and they’re good teammates to one another.”
–Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein, on team chemistry.
“This year for some reason we really underperformed on the road. There are players who don’t have the pop to go out regularly on the road but do at Fenway, and those guys perform a lot better at home than on the road. But there are other players who don’t particularly don’t have characteristics that would make them better players at Fenway that also underperformed on the road. Maybe there’s something to it where we can’t have to many guys who have swings built for Fenway Park, but I think mainly it was just a fluky year almost every player just happened to play better at home than on the road.”
“What he’s done the first three years of that contract, just looking at straight free-agent dollars-obviously you can’t compare him to an arbitration market, or a pre-arb player-what he’s done qualitatively and when you even factor in the amount he’s played over these three years, yeah, he’s come out to a tick more than $14 million per year.”
-Epstein, on right fielder J.D. Drew. (Dennis & Callahan, WEEI.com)
THEIR FIRST CHOICE WAS ERIC WEDGE TAKING AP SPANISH
“After speaking with an impressive array of candidates, we feel that Manny is a very strong and experienced leader who possesses great energy and enthusiasm along with tremendous communication skills and a positive mindset that will command a presence in the dugout, clubhouse and with our fans.”
–Indians general manager Mark Shapiro, on hiring former Nationals manager Manny Acta.
“It benefits me and the players basically because I can communicate with them without leaving anything lost in the translation. That doesn’t mean that’s what’s going to win me a job over here. Obviously, they’ll make the best decision for the Indians not only for [Jhonny] Peralta, [Rafael] Perez, and [Fausto] Carmona. It really helps me because a lot of those guys do feel more comfortable when tough situations come up when they can hear pretty clear in their own language what is expected out of them and what is to be done. … That being said, I hope I’m not getting the job only because I’m bilingual.”
-New Indians manager Manny Acta, on his communications skills.
“I’m a baseball manager and they’re looking to hire one of those type guys. They have a Major League Baseball team and there are 30 of them in the world. I think those 30 people are special and lucky people. I consider myself lucky to be considered.”
-Former Mets manager Bobby Valentine, on being considered by the Indians.
“We met, and we made an offer, and we knew that he was scheduled to have another conversation with Cleveland [Saturday] night, and Tal was actually the direct line of communication with Manny and us. Tal called me late [Saturday] night and made me aware Manny had accepted Cleveland’s offer. We knew going into this process he had multiple suitors, and that’s one of the reasons why we had multiple candidates. We have a strong group of candidates remaining, and we’ll make good decisions and have a very effective manager for now and long haul.”
–Astros general manager Ed Wade, on losing Acta to the Indians. (Brian McTaggart, MLB.com)
THIS IS COMING FROM A MAN WHO BEAT PROSTATE CANCER
“I couldn’t be happier for him, both personally and professionally. The stability and continuity that extending his contract provides will further help us achieve the goal of being a consistent winner and I’m thrilled that he will continue to lead our baseball operations into the future.”
-Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, on extending the contract of GM Ned Colletti.
“Ned is a great baseball man. I’ve come to watch him work his magic. And he has a feel for baseball, which sometimes we forget how important that is. He values my opinion, (but) it doesn’t keep him from yelling at me or something if he thinks we should do something else, and I respect him because he’s a very fair individual.”
“If she was having those issues, why wasn’t she terminated before? What makes it interesting is the overlay of pending divorce.”
-California employment lawyer Angela Reddock, on the Dodgers firing Jamie McCourt. (Ken Gurnick, MLB.com)
“But that’s one of the situations that you know you have to do it. Because if there’s a ball in the gap, you have to make sure that guy can score. Alex runs the bases very well, but sometimes it’s that extra step that can tie or win a game for you.”
-Yankees manager Joe Girardi, on pinch-running Freddy Guzman for Alex Rodriguez after he was intentionally walked by Brian Fuentes in Game Five.
“Hideki believed he was going to be a free agent at the end of his contract this year. There was some reason for him to believe it, but he was not misled by the agent.”
–Joe Rosen, Hideki Okajima‘s agent, on the misunderstanding that led to his client firing agent Peter Greenberg. (Michael Silverman, Boston Herald)
“I think all five teams in the division are set up well going forward. I think nationally the division doesn’t get enough credit for the competitive aspect and the talent that’s in this division. We didn’t have a very good year, and really nothing went right for us from the start, with Brandon Webb going down so early. But we feel we have some talent, and the good news for us is many of our younger players continued to have good seasons.”
–Diamondbacks general manager Josh Byrnes on former co-worker Jed Hoyer becoming general manager of the Padres. (Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe)
“Not that I’ve been thinking about this, but players who can get on the field every day and score 100 runs, how many guys do that? Johnny just plays, and he’s got the body type that allows him to do that. If stem cell research were around, you’d want to tap into that gene pool.”
–Scott Boras, Johnny Damon‘s agent, on his client’s impending free agency. (Peter Abraham, Boston Globe)
“I can’t imagine somebody going five or six straight years to the World Series and winning three or four straight. I can’t even think about that. I’m dying like heck for us to win two.”
–Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, on his team’s upcoming World Series against the Yankees. (Jayson Stark, ESPN.com)
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.