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May 13, 2013

The Week in Quotes

May 6-12

by Pete Barrett, Jonah Birenbaum and Andrew Koo

“When they were growing up, it was baseball 24/7. And it's still baseball 24/7. The other day, we had Kyle on TV, Justin on the computer, and were listening to Corey on the radio. That's what we do all night, every night. [...] When the boys were born, you took 'em outside and got a ball and bat and ran around the yard. That's all we've ever done. Let's put it this way: They have broken a lot of my figurines in the front room with either a baseball or basketball.”
—Baseball mother Jody Seager, who has raised her three sons to be successful athletes. Kyle Seager is with the Mariners, Corey Seager is in the Dodgers’ system as a first-rounder, and Justin is playing at UNC-Charlotte. (Greg Johns, MLB.com)

"I would wear a whole pink uniform if I could. I know [my mother] is up there watching and all of the other moms are up there watching us. We're out there to support all the moms."
—Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman, on MLB’s pink initiative. Freeman lost his mother to melanoma when he was 10 years old. (Mark Bowman, MLB.com)

"It's unfortunate that we can't use whatever we want. I like to honor my mom, my wife, my grandma, breast cancer survivors everywhere and want to be able to do that and be able to wear the stuff I have to wear as part of my contract. I can't really do that. It's frustrating in a way, but it is what it is."
—Cubs infielder Cody Ransom, on Louisville Slugger’s exclusive rights to the pink bat. (Carrie Muskat, MLB.com)

"I love representing my mom. If it wasn't for my mom, I wouldn't be the athlete and the man I am today. It's to show all the moms out there that we think about them, and we try to represent and show the love toward them. That's what it's all about."
—Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips, on the importance of rocking pink on Mother’s Day. (Mark Sheldon and James Warnemuende, MLB.com)

“There is nobody like your mom. Dads can be a little rough on you, but moms, they see the good in you—even if you strike out four times.”
—Marlins outfielder Juan Pierre, on a mother's unconditional love applied to baseball. (Joe Frisaro, MLB.com)

"And now I preach it on the field with the guys: Be prepared, strive for perfection. Understand that you won't reach it, but you want to strive for a benchmark. Mom made sure we always did that. Our guys now are doing it, too."
—Pirates hitting coach Jay Bell, on the lessons he has imparted onto the Bucs from his mother. (Tom Singer, MLB.com)

"Still to this day, I'll have some voice mails or text messages if I say some bad words on camera or something like that. Your mom, whether you're 2 or 32, is always going to look out for you and make sure you do things the right way."
—Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, explaining that his mother holds him accountable to this day. (Andrew Simon, MLB.com)

“I’m in good spirits. I definitely appreciate the support of the baseball community. It’s been overwhelming, the messages and kind words I’ve been getting. I just want to thank everyone for that. And I look forward to getting back out there soon.”
—Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ, in a statement, after taking a line drive off his head in Tuesday’s game against the Rays. Happ was wheeled out on a stretcher and taken to a hospital. (John Lott, National Post)

"By the loudness of the sound, I got pretty scared for him. I started running in toward the mound, then I saw the ball, so I went after the ball. After that it was one of those moments where you don't really know what to do. You know that the play is still alive, but you want to go aid your teammate. It was tough."
—Happ’s teammate, Jose Bautista (Adam Berry, MLB.com)

"You certainly know it's a possibility. Every time you get in the car, you know there's a possibility you could get hit by another car. You don't think about it, but you know it's a possibility. If you dwell on that, who knows how that would manifest in your mechanics or your mentality attacking hitters. I've never really thought about it."
—Starter R.A. Dickey

"You need time. You need strength, and you need to stay on line to home plate."
—Rockies starter Juan Nicasio, on preparing oneself to pitch after such an incident. Nicasio was struck in his temple in 2011 and is still flinching after delivering pitches in a bullpen session.

"I look at it that baseball has high standards for their umpires, and I have high standards for myself, and I didn't meet those standards last night, so I am absolutely OK with everything."
—Umpire Fieldin Culberth, who was suspended by Major League Baseball for allowing Astros manager Bo Porter to make an illegal pitching change in a Thursday game against the Angels. (Brian McTaggart, MLB.com)

"I would say the first thing is me, personally, I want to apologize to their whole crew for putting them in that position. And it's unfortunate for the game of baseball, but at the same time, I had a chance to speak to [Culbreth] last night after the fact, and he called over and I stand corrected of my thought process and interpretation of what it is I believed the rule to be. I want to give them my apology, and I wish the whole thing never happened."
—Bo Porter

"I look at it that the players and the managers, they go out and play the game and it's our job, whether they are knowingly or unknowingly getting outside the boundaries to get them back in, and I fell short of keeping them inside those lines. And that falls on me."

"I just think it's unfortunate. It's a terrible situation for everybody involved. It's kind of embarrassing for the game of baseball. For him to get suspended in that type of deal, I think it's unfortunate. When they told me I was out of the game, I was, 'Maybe I don't understand the rule. It was a little bit of a weird situation."
—Astros reliever Wesley Wright, who was replaced without facing a single batter. (Brian McTaggart, MLB.com)

“I expect that. I expect a lot out of myself, but at the same time I’m not going to sit there and take all that from people that I don’t know. So if I want to say something back, I have more than the right to. Freedom of speech. People want to come at me with something, then I’m not scared to say something back.”
—Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie, who sent an irate tweet denouncing fans that was met with criticism. He later deleted the tweet. (Brendan Kennedy, Toronto Star)

“It ignites me. That’s what it’s always done. People that are going against me or coming at me... I guess I could say it just fuels my fire and puts a smile on my face because I know I’m going to come back and I know I’m here to help my team. It doesn’t bother me, really... if people have a problem with it, I guess it’s their own problem.”


—Vernon Wells is enjoying a comeback season. (Vernon Wells, @VernonWells10, New York Yankees)

—$126 million could buy a lot of hands-free belt satchels...

—Autograph session by baggage claim! (Mike Olt, @molt2222, Round Rock Express / Texas Rangers)

"It's just something I felt probably would have cheered him up a little bit. Help him out a little bit. I just did it. Hopefully that made that kid's day."
—Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp, who gave a boy, ailing from cancer, his jersey, cleats, and cap. A wonderful moment captured on video. (Tim Brown, Yahoo! Sports)

“Seriously. Don’t ever shush me again. I don’t get to see my family very often.”
—Yankees reliever Joba Chamberlain to closer Mariano Rivera, when the latter asked for some quiet as he spoke with reporters. (Mark Feinsand, New York Daily News)

"His stuff was too good. His stuff was moving so much that they just kept foul ball, foul ball, foul ball, and his pitch count went up. … It was A-plus stuff."
—Rays infielder Ryan Roberts, on teammate Alex Cobb’s 13-strikeout performance. Cobb broke the 4.2 inning record for strikeouts but ended the team’s streak of 34 straight starts of at least five innings. (Joe Smith, Tampa Bay Times)

"Obviously I need to perform. But I've done it the majority of my career, batting fourth, and we were winning games even when I wasn't doing well hitting fourth. Hopefully putting me back there, that starts us getting on a couple winning streaks."
—Mets first baseman Ike Davis, on being reinserted to the cleanup spot. (Anthony DiComo, MLB.com)

“You can talk and question, but you can’t write an article that millions of people read insinuating the fact that he might be doing it, that’s not OK. If that would affect some player’s value or leverage against some sort of endorsement deal negotiation or contract negotiation, where does the line cross where it becomes damaging? That person might be liable for it.”
—Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista, speaking out against a Boston Globe column that insinuated that David Ortiz wasn’t playing fairly. Bautista has also faced unproven allegations in the past. (Shi Davidi, Sportsnet.ca)

Jonah Birenbaum is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Jonah's other articles. You can contact Jonah by clicking here
Andrew Koo is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Andrew's other articles. You can contact Andrew by clicking here

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