Potent quotables: Rice says he was 'misquoted'

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“Anybody who
reads that story knows I wasn’t talking about Jeter or Rodriguez. Look
at them. Do you see any baggy pants? Do you see any dreadlocks?”




– Hall-of-Famer Jim Rice says that just because you mention someone’s name doesn’t necessarily mean you are talking about them.



“That could be
part of it. I should have won the MVP that year, by the way. There was
a trial. I took responsibility for my participation in it. That
happened 24 years ago. And along with that, you’ve got the steroid
issue now. Baseball and the United States are supposed to be two
forgiving entities — why haven’t they forgiven me? Deal with me for
what I’ve done and for my numbers and just forgive. In ’75, my first
year as a regular (starter), people started identifying me as one of
the best players in the game, and then later on as the best player. If
the media can do that, they should be able to look at me and look at my
numbers and say, ‘This guy is a Hall-of-Famer.'”




– Speaking of the Hall of Fame, Dave Parker thinks his drug use is keeping him out.



“There were a
couple of heaters (when) I felt that I should have thrown a hook. I
step off and re-gather and that’s when the non-executed pitch came.
(Posada) calls fine back there. It’s just a matter of me throwing what
I want to throw. There’s no pattern there. I’ve had a great run now
with Jorge. So there’s no fingers to point but at me.”




– A.J. Burnett, who was visibly irritated in Saturday’s 14-1 loss to the Red Sox, denies any rift with his catcher Jorge Posada.



“Koozie’s the only guy who ever saw it. Maybe that’s Koozie’s urban myth.”



– Ron Swoboda comments on Jerry Koosman’s admission
that he was the one who rubbed the baseball on his shoe in Game 5 of
the 1969 World Series, granting Cleon Jones first base on a hit by
pitch. The Mets eventually defeated the Orioles 5-3, shocking the
baseball universe with their improbable World Series victory.

Wade Davis? Greg Holland? Who needs ’em?

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 21: Joakim Soria #48 of the Kansas City Royals throws in the eighth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Kauffman Stadium on August 21, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
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The story of the two-time defending AL champion and current defending World Series champ Kansas City Royals cannot be told without talking at length about their bullpen.

In 2014, Wade Davis, Greg Holland and Kelvin Herrera formed a shutdown brigade that not only made it next to impossible for the opposition to mount late rallies, but managed something which seemed utterly impossible before 2014: they turned Ned Yost into a tactical genius. Indeed, the only time Yost got criticism at all that fall was when he messed with the autopilot formula that had that three-headed monster handling the 7th, 8th and 9th innings.

Much the same happened in 2015, of course, despite Holland’s sharp decline and eventual injury. Davis and Herrera continued their dominance. They were joined by Ryan Madson and a cast of other effective relievers who, along with timely hitting, great defense and good health, helped propel the Royals to the title.

This year had not been quite the same story. Holland has been out all year and Davis, while effective when he’s pitched, has missed time due to injury. As has longtime contributor and presumptive next-man-up Luke Hochevar. Herrera is basically still Herrera, but Ned Yost has been presented with a decidedly different set of choices. Lots of choices and Ned Yost don’t always go together well, but lately that hasn’t mattered.

Last night the Royals’ bullpen came in to a close game and tossed three scoreless innings. That set a franchise record with 32 straight scoreless frames, besting the previous record set back in the club’s inaugural season in 1969. The streak is a huge part of why the Royals have won nine games in a row.

Unlike the success of 2014-15, the streak is not a three-man show. As Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star notes, eight different relievers have appeared for Kansas City during the streak, with Joakim Soria and Matt Strahm leading the crew with five and a third innings pitched. Herrera has tossed five scoreless. Otherwise it’s been a group effort with even Peter Moylan offering a couple of scoreless frames. And here you thought Moylan was, I dunno, gearing up for the upcoming Brisbane Bandits season. Nope.

The Royals are still not, in my view anyway, a lock to make the postseason. It’s a a crowded field right now. They’re seven and a half back in the AL Central and four back in the Wild Card with a bunch of teams in front of them. But they’re certainly playing themselves back into the conversation. They’re interesting. And they’re doing it in much the same way they’ve done it the past two years. Only with different dudes doing the do.

Video: Mookie Betts made a ridiculous throw last night

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Mookie Betts was an infielder once upon a time and the knock on him both then and since his move to the outfield was that maybe his arm was not fantastic. As an infielder there was talk that he was better suited to the right side than the left. As an outfielder people were saying that, with work, his arm could be average and/or serviceable. Not bad, of course, but not anything to write home about.

Maybe we need to reassess that, because last night he uncorked one from right field that would make Dwight Evans says “dang, man.”

 

And the throw mattered, as Kiermaier represented the tying run in a game that, at the time, the Sox were leading 2-1.

Betts is a dangerous middle-of-the-order bat at age 23. And now he shows that he’ll nail a fast runner with a frozen rope if he has to. The guy is going to win an MVP award some day. And maybe not just one.