When baseball fans hear the name Zack Greinke, they normally think of two things: great pitcher and headcase. While yes, Greinke has dealt with some personal issues, calling him a headcase is like calling Phil Mickelson a choker. Sure Phil’s choked in the past, but he also has 4 Majors and 38 wins on tour.
Today the Royals essentially handed him to the Brewers along with Yuniesky Betancourt. In return the Royals acquired prospects Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain, Jake Odorizzi, and Jeremy Jeffress. Escobar is the centerpiece of the package, but is one of the more overrated prospects in the game. He does have a quick bat and a good glove, but no power or future power and seems to have no idea what pitch is coming, not exactly what you want out of a guy traded for a Cy Young winner.
What you may not know about Greinke is that aside from being one of the best pitchers in baseball, he is also one of the most quotable. Milwaukee also acquires a walking soundbyte in the mold of Barry Zito. Here are some of his best:
- “I could hit me if someone were on base. It wouldn’t be easy, but I could do it. If no one were on base, I wouldn’t care as much, so I could get me out.”
- On making the Sports Illustrated cover: “There’s a lot more interesting stuff going on right now. They should have something else on the cover. Playoff basketball or something else. So it’s a mistake. They’ll probably sell their least amount of magazines in a long time — except when NASCAR was on the cover.”
- “I’d say the average person wouldn’t eat a Chipotle burrito and still do his running, full speed, like me. That’s why they call me special.”
- On trying to help Alex Gordon by showing him tape of Greinke hitting one out. “In case you forgot,” Greinke said, “this is what a home run looks like.”
- “I was giving Brian Bannister all the credit for being the best-hitting pitcher on the team, until today. Now, I’ve got my confidence back. They’re throwing me sliders, and it doesn’t matter.”
- “For the first month of the season, (Billy Butler) has definitely been an above-average first baseman. That’s hard for me to say because I never thought anyone would say that but him and his family.”
- “Nice effort by the defense. They didn’t get tired of running after balls to the wall. I was pretty impressed by that.”
- On meeting President Obama at the All-Star Game: “None of the White Sox guys like me. So I was hoping that he’d recognize me and be like, ‘You punk, I hate you.’ But he didn’t do that.”
- After Jeremy Affeldt thought he threw a good pitch, but gave up a HR. “Really, I went back to the clubhouse and looked at the pitch on video. It was a really bad pitch. Right over the middle of the plate, and you got it up. I mean it was a bad pitch.”
Affeldt: “Thanks, Zack.”
Zack: “Right down the middle. I could have hit it out.”
Affeldt: “Thanks, Zack.”
- On whether or not he regretted signing an extension with the Royals.“Not really. I’ve been playing this ‘World of Warcraft’ game.”
After today’s news, Greinke will be taking his wit, Samurai Sword collection, and ‘World of Warcraft’ talents to Milwaukee, and the real winners in the trade are Brewer fans.