Potent quotables: 'I lost it'

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“Once it went through the lights, I lost it. There’s
really nothing else you can do. I mean, it’s not like I took my eye off
of if. People were saying they’ve seen many, many balls lost here. It’s
not the first. It’s not going to be the last.”




– The Metrodome isn’t going away without a fight, and neither are the Twins. Don Kelly lost an Orlando Cabrera flyball in the lights
during the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Due to the misplay,
Denard Span was able to advance to third base and Cabrera reached
second. Both runners came in to score on a Jason Kubel single, as the
Twins cut the Tigers lead to two games with a dramatic 6-2 win.




”I felt two hits. One was me catching it, and the second one was me
hitting the fence. And I knew when I looked up after I hit
the fence and didn’t see the ball, it was going to be bad.”




– In a play that is sure to be included on blooper reels between innings at baseball stadiums from now until the end of time, Bobby Scales gave Brendan Ryan an assist on his fifth-inning home run on Saturday afternoon.



”I see why he won a Cy Young. I like the attitude he has. He’ll help
this club. The people playing behind him better be ready. Guys should
learn from him. He prepares himself and expects his teammates to do it.
You have to prepare and back him up.”




– Ozzie Guillen reflects on Jake Peavy’s successful debut
against the Royals on Saturday night. Peavy allowed three runs over
five innings while walking two and striking out five in a 13-3 victory.

“That’s just a number. If you didn’t tell me today, I
wouldn’t realize. I would just go home, try to get some sleep and a
muscle relaxer, and forget about it. To lose 100 games in the big leagues is a great honor, to be honest.
Many people don’t have the opportunity to lose three games, two games,
or maybe none. I’m a very blessed man.”

– Pedro Martinez, upon learning that he took his 100th career loss
against the Braves on Saturday night. He gave the first-place Phillies
a bit of a scare when he tweaked his neck during an at-bat in the second inning, leaving after just three innings, but he should be on track for his next start.

Pirates sign reliever Eric O’Flaherty

Eric O'Flaherty
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Left-hander Eric O'Flaherty has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Pirates that includes an invitation to spring training.

O’Flaherty was one of the best relievers in the league for the Braves from 2009-2013, posting a combined 1.99 ERA in 249 innings, but Tommy John elbow surgery derailed his career and he struggled for the A’s and Mets in 2015 while dealing with shoulder problems.

It’s tough to know if O’Flaherty is healthy at this point, but the 31-year-old southpaw certainly has a chance to be a nice reclamation project for the Pirates on a no-risk contract.

Mariano Rivera to get his plaque in Monument Park on August 14

Mariano Rivera
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The greatest closer in history is going to get the ultimate honor the New York Yankees bestow on August 14. That’s when Mariano Rivera will get his plaque in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium before a game against the Rays.

There was some chatter in the last year or two about whether the Yankees were somehow lowering their standards out there, what with guys like Tino Martinez getting honored. But if that’s something you care about it won’t matter in this instance. Rivera would’ve been worthy even if the old snobby ways had held and only inner-circle types got a plaque, what with him being a key member of five World Series-winning teams and his status as the all-time saves leader in the regular season and the postseason.

The Yankees retired Rivera’s No. 42 in 2013. He’ll get his plaque in August. Then, on the first ballot for which he is eligible, he’ll be voted into the Hall of Fame, likely with a percentage in the mid-to-high 90s.

Dodgers “trying to trade” Alex Guerrero

Alex Guerrero
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Alex Guerrero is a potentially good right-handed bat without a position to play in Los Angeles, so Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reporting that the Dodgers are “trying to trade” him makes sense.

Guerrero, who signed with the Dodgers out of Cuba for $28 million in October of 2013, spent last season in the majors hitting .233 with 11 homers and a .695 OPS in a part-time role that generated 230 plate appearances. He logged a total of just 355 innings defensively, mostly as a left fielder and third baseman.

Guerrero could be intriguing–particularly to an American League team for whom his defense isn’t much of an issue–because he hit .329 with 15 homers and a 1.113 OPS in 65 games at Triple-A in 2014 and was consistently a .300 hitter with an OPS around 1.000 in Cuba. He’s also 29 years old, so Guerrero is no doubt looking to play regularly.

The New Zealand World Baseball Classic team performs the Haka

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It’s World Baseball Classic time again. Just the qualifying rounds. The actual tournament happens in 2017. Qualifiers will happen in Sydney, Australia, Mexicali, Mexico, Panama City, Panama and Brooklyn, N.Y., periodically, between now and September.

The Sydney round just got underway yesterday, so yes, some actual baseball is going on. As I’ve written and ranted before, the WBC is not my favorite thing that happens in baseball and certainly not the most important thing, but it’s pretty fun. Especially when there are displays of enthusiasm and pageantry and the like.

Such as the Haka, which basically every New Zealand sports team does and which never gets old:

 

Down in Sydney, the Australia, New Zealand, Philippines and South Africa teams are competing in a six-game, modified double-elimination format. In the other three qualifying rounds, Mexico, Czech Republic, Germany, Nicaragua, Colombia, France, Panama, Spain, Brazil, Great Britain, Israel and Pakistan will compete. Each qualifying round puts one representative in the WBC.

Those four qualifiers will compete in the WBC itself against countries that performed well enough in the past that they need not submit to qualifying: Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, United States and Venezuela.

Someone make sure Jon Morosi is well-hyrdrated. It’s gonna be a long year.