Potent quotabes: Lidge is puzzled

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“It’s puzzling.
It doesn’t mean that it’s crazy, because this is baseball. The ball’s
not bouncing the right way. Last year, it bounced the right way every
time.”




– With Brad Lidge’s latest implosion against the Braves on Saturday,
he became the fifth player since 1954 to have a loss, blown save and
two errors in one game. Wow. By the way, if you are into crazy
statistics like this,
follow STATS LLC on Twitter.

“I sent him a
letter over there to tell him best wishes, get well soon and I hope to
see him back out there. I just wanted to go up there and see for myself
if he was doing OK or if I could hear anything about him talking or
just to show that I care about people. You don’t want to see that
happen to anyone. It was just unfortunate.”




– Rusty Ryal after a line drive off his bat hit Hiroki Kuroda in the head on Saturday night. Fortunately, Kuroda never lost consciousness and a CT scan came back negative.



“With 48 hours to go, I simply have no idea whether we’re going to be able to reach a deal.”



– Nationals president Stan Kasten as the clock continues to tick with No. 1 pick Stephen Strasburg.



“I have two things, try and get hitters out and make a good throw. The
rest is out of my hands. That’s some of the best throws I can make.
They might not be good enough.”




– Jason Varitek, after the Rangers ran roughshod over him for eight stolen bases on Saturday night.
The Red Sox have allowed 118 steals this season by far the most in the
majors — the White Sox are second with 101 allowed. David Pinto of Baseball Musings has a pretty good argument why this might not matter.

Why Ryan Zimmerman skipped spring training

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All spring training there was at least some mild confusion about Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman. He played in almost no regular big league spring training games, instead, staying on the back fields, playing in simulated and minor league contests. When that usually happens, it’s because a player is rehabbing or even hiding an injury, but the Nats insisted that was not the case with Zimmerman. Not everyone believed it. I, for one, was skeptical.

The skepticism was unwarranted, as Zimmerman answered the bell for Opening Day and has played all season. As Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal writes today, it was all by design. He skipped spring training because he doesn’t like it and because he thinks it’ll help him avoid late-season injuries and slowdowns, the likes of which he has suffered over the years.

It’s hard to really judge this now, of course. On the one hand Zimmerman has started really slow this season. What’s more, he has started to show signs of warming up only in the past week, after getting almost as many big league, full-speed plate appearances under his belt as a normal spring training would’ve given him. On the other hand, April is his worst month across his entire 14-year career, so one slow April doesn’t really prove anything and, again, Zimmerman and the Nats will consider this a success if he’s healthy and productive in August and September.

It is sort of a missed opportunity, though. Players hate spring training. They really do. if Zimmerman had made a big deal out of skipping it and came out raking this month, I bet a lot more teams would be amenable to letting a veteran or three take it much more easy next spring. Good ideas can be good ideas even if they don’t produce immediately obvious results, but baseball tends to encourage a copycat culture only when someone can point to a stat line or to standings as justification.

Way to ruin it for everyone, Ryan. 😉