IS DONOVAN McNABB AVAILABLE TO CLOSE GAME FIVE?
“I kept chasing that slider down, and I was able to force it to 3-2, and then I kept sitting slider, and he kept throwing the fastball. They really don’t teach you to do it that way. They normally always tell you to look fastball because if you sit slider, it would be too tough to catch up to a fastball. But I felt like his slider made me look silly on a couple pitches. So I kept sitting slider and just reacted to the fastball.”
–Yankees outfielder Johnny Damon, on his ninth-inning at-bat against Phillies closer Brad Lidge.
“The whole thing came down to a really good at-bat by Damon. He fouled off some real good sliders. We kind of kept going back and forth. And finally, he got a fastball away and did a really good job of serving it out to left field.”
-Phillies closer Brad Lidge
“I’m the captain of the infield. It’s my job. … I didn’t signal to Brad to make sure he gets to third on a throw. All you’ve got to do is take two steps in that direction and you stop it right there. But I didn’t do my part in making sure he knew the defense we were in.”
-Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins, on Damon stealing second and then third when he saw the base was unoccupied as a result of the shift.
“The one time I got hit in yesterday’s game, my first at-bat, kind of woke me up a little bit and just reminded me, ‘Hey, this is the World Series, let’s get it going a little bit.'”
-Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, on his decisive hit in last night’s Game Four.
“What happened yesterday is over. There’s nothing I can do about that now. What can I do today to prepare for tomorrow? I stick with that. I don’t really look into, well, this guy did this for this long and now he’s doing that, what’s the reason behind it? I don’t know. I don’t think along those lines. I think along the lines of what can I do today to prepare for tomorrow, and then after today is done, it’s done. Move onto tomorrow. What can I do now to take care of today?”
-Game Five starter Cliff Lee
“I think we take a lot of pride on being resilient and the way we bounce back. I’ve seen us go through it before. We’ve blown 22 games from the seventh inning on or something this year. That’s got to tell you something about the resilience of our team.”
-Phillies manager Charlie Manuel (ESPN.com)
NOT SURE WHICH HE’S BETTER AT: PITCHING OR PRESS CONFERENCES
“It’s something ugly. I hope it never happens again. But it was something that we have to kind of let go and forget about because it was a disgrace for baseball. It’s something I’m not happy about. It’s something I don’t condone, and it’s something that I don’t want to see in baseball.”
-Phillies starter Pedro Martinez, recalling his encounter with Don Zimmer before his Game Two start at Yankee Stadium.
“I saw a man in the front row with his daughter in one arm and a cup of beer in the other hand and saying all kinds of nasty stuff. I just told him, ‘Your daughter is right beside you.’ God, how can you be so dumb?”
-Pedro, on the Yankees’ home crowd’s reaction to him.
“This team doesn’t need to be told. This team has proven over and over that this team is all about business. If we were a car, right now we probably would be in trouble with the law. This team really speeds up and never lets down. I think we’re more of a NASCAR type of team. We feel like we are in the driver’s seat… in a NASCAR driver’s seat. I think we have a very good chance to actually win it, and we’re going to try. But that team is good. The other team is good. We have to pay attention to them and just stay focused.”
-Pedro, on his team.
“I did some background on what he’s like in a clubhouse and how he’s perceived in the public, and it is vastly different from how he’s perceived in the clubhouse. This guy is absolutely fantastic in the clubhouse.”
-Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. (Paul Hagen, Philly.com)
HE HAS THE HEART OF A LION… LIKE THE ONE FROM THE WIZARD OF OZ, MAYBE
“I can’t wait for it to end. It’s been mentally draining … It’s one of those things, a year in, you just can’t wait for a fresh start.”
-Phillies starter Cole Hamels, on his 2009 season.
“I was totally surprised with what he said. I was totally surprised. I don’t know exactly what he meant by that. I don’t know exactly his meaning of what he was talking about, really. But at the same time, I understand his frustration.”
-Charlie Manuel, on his Game Three starter.
“I thought I made it pretty clear. I told him I would pitch whenever he wanted me to pitch. I think I can do it. … I’m not disappointed or mad or frustrated or anything. My job is to pitch when Charlie wants me to pitch, and that’s what I’m going to do.”
-Phillies starter Cliff Lee, on being saved for Game Five.
“As a player, it makes you feel good. It makes you feel like he’s really got your back. He’s not listening to everybody else and what they’re saying and kind of maybe, ‘I should do this because I think they’re going to think this.’ He’s not going to do that. He knows what he’s going to do.”
-Phillies starter Joe Blanton, on Manuel giving him the Game Four start. (Ben Shpigel, The New York Times)
THE DISCREET CHARM OF THE PHILADELPHIA BOURGEOISIE
“Our ballpark is so loud and rowdy, I was really expecting some of that here. It was very tame and civil. Expensive tickets running loud people out.”
-Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins on Yankee Stadium.
“They’re the best fans I’ve ever been around. I like the energy that our fans bring to the ballpark. When we’re down, our fans are still making enough noise and everything to keep us going.”
-Phillies manager Charlie Manuel
“It’s nice to have 47,000 screaming people rooting for you.”
-Phillies left fielder Raul Ibañez
BEST NOT TO BAIT AN OLD MAN
“Andy Pettitte, he’s a lot like anybody else who ages-his stuff is kind of starting to dwindle down.”
-Charlie Manuel, before Game Three.
“It’s kind of the way I expected they would go. It really all depends on how the starter does. In my eyes, that’s kind of what it all depends on.”
-Yankees starter Andy Pettitte, before his Game Three win.
“I’ve seen him pitch on TV a lot, and I’ve definitely seen him pitch against our Cleveland team. We used to have some pretty good success against him, and I think we are ready for him.”
-Manuel, before Game Three.
AS MANY AS SIX OTHER PEOPLE SHARE YOUR OPINION
“I think the umpiring has been terrific.”
-Former umpire Bruce Froemming, on the umpiring in the World Series.
“The play that Gorman had Thursday night was an impossible play. It was a 999,000-to-1 shot.”
-Froemming, on a blown call during Thursday’s Game Two.
“Nobody could help Gorman. Did it tick the dirt or didn’t it tick the dirt? He’s behind the play, and the only guy you can get help from is the home-plate umpire, and he’s calling the pitch. The ball hits 130 or 140 feet away, so he can’t tell if it’s a trap or a catch.”
-Froemming, on the ball hit to Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard that resulted in a double play.
“Everything on the table was set for an impossible play to call. And to go a step further, replays wouldn’t have helped. They came back from commercial and ran it with stop-action slides and you couldn’t tell one way or the other. The media right away jumped on it, saying, ‘It’s another missed call.’ But who the hell could call that one?”
-Froemming (Rick Hummel, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
“I have no misgivings about this at all. Mark McGwire is a very, very fine man, and the Cardinals are to be applauded.”
-MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, on the hiring of McGwire as the Cardinals’ new hitting coach. (Kansas City Star)
“Almost every collective bargaining I’ve been involved with, we’ve had demands to have day games on getaway days. It makes perfect sense. And the owners’ response isn’t, ‘Travel is easy for you guys, don’t worry about it.’ It’s, ‘We understand how much easier it would be on everyone if you play Thursday afternoon in Philadelphia before flying to Houston for the Friday game, as opposed to playing Thursday night in Philadelphia before flying to Houston.’ The revenue difference, not just in gate but in local TV revenue-the value of a Thursday evening game if the Phillies are playing the Mets say, as opposed to a Thursday afternoon game-is huge. Every day in the postseason when I meet with the players, I hear something about schedule. This year: ‘Too many offdays.'”
–Michael Weiner, director-designate of the MLBPA. (Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe)
“Cito felt that past 2010 it was time for him to move into a new role. We had talked about it in the past, that there was going to be an opportunity for him to move into a consulting role. And he even talked about it a little bit last year that 2010 might be his last year with us. At this time, after reviewing everything, this was the right move for the organization going forward. This was carefully thought out, everyone had a chance to state their opinions, give feedback.”
–Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos, on manager Cito Gaston. (Robert McLead, The Globe and Mail)
“He’s wanted this. I’m so proud, not just of him, but for him. He’s not going to shortchange anybody on effort. He embodies so much of what’s good in our game. I’m so happy for him. This meant a lot to him, as it should. I’m so thrilled for him. How much we’re going to miss him, sure, but it’s so far outweighed by happiness.”
–Red Sox manager Terry Francona, on his bench coach Brad Mills getting the Astros‘ managerial position. (Amalie Benjamin, Boston Globe)
“The locker room was maybe not much bigger than my office. We had two showers. You flush the commode, and the shower would absolutely scald you. I had a good time, really. I even drove the bus.”
-Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, on his time managing in the minors.
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.