QUOTES

The Washington Times Daily - - SPORTS - — Gru­den

I’ve never done any of that. I’ve never thought about

do­ing any of that.” — Na­tion­als first base­man Ryan Zim­mer­man on Char­lie Sly and the al Jazeera Amer­ica doc­u­men­tary, “The Dark Side”, in which Sly claimed he gave Zim­mer­man per­for­mance-en­hanc­ing drugs. An MLB in­ves­ti­ga­tion cleared Zim­mer­man of PED use. The first base­man’s li­bel suit against al Jazeera is on­go­ing.

March

“I don’t know if it’s an old church song or not, but it says weep­ing may en­dure for the night, but joy comes in the morn­ing. We will have some tough nights be­cause you’re so close you could taste it, but ab­so­lutely joy will come in the morn­ing for what these guys have es­tab­lished for Vir­ginia bas­ket­ball.” — Vir­ginia coach Tony Ben­nett af­ter the Cava­liers dom­i­nated the first half against Syra­cuse, only to be ousted from the NCAA Tour­na­ment one step from the Fi­nal Four.

“We lost to the best team in the coun­try, 33-4 now, No. 1 seed in the tour­na­ment. They’re play­ing re­ally well. They’ve just crushed peo­ple lately. And in the end, it looks like they crushed us.” — Mary­land coach Mark Tur­geon fol­low­ing the Ter­rap­ins’ 79-63 loss to Kansas in the Sweet 16.

“I just have such an empty feel­ing that we never got the ul­ti­mate goal.” -- For­mer Cap­i­tals cen­ter Brooks Laich, who was traded to Toronto af­ter 12 sea­sons in Wash­ing­ton.

April

“I love this job. I’m go­ing to come to work un­til they tell me I can’t. I love this job. I’m proud of what we’ve done here. I took over four-and-a-half years ago, and this was a sideshow. All right? And we slowly changed the cul­ture of this team. We had a slip-up this year.” — For­mer Wizards coach Randy Wittman min­utes be­fore he was fired.

“I’m sure you all woke up this morn­ing think­ing you

can’t wait to hear me talk.” — New Wizards coach Scott Brooks in­stantly in­ject­ing self-dep­re­ca­tion into his po­si­tion the day he was in­tro­duced to the me­dia.

“If we had var­ied from the plan, and the plan didn’t work, then I think I would have been within my realm of re­spon­si­bil­ity to take a look. But, we were ex­e­cut­ing a plan we agreed to when I bought the team five years

ago.” — Wizards owner Ted Leon­sis on why he has made mul­ti­ple changes at coach but has not re­placed the gen­eral man­ager. “Yeah, [ex­ple­tive], yeah!” — Baker atop the dugout steps fol­low­ing a Bryce Harper dou­ble.

“I’m sure my momma is gonna be on the phone,” — Baker about 30 min­utes later when in­formed in the postgame press con­fer­ence cam­eras caught him shout­ing a swear word.

April-Oc­to­ber

“Just try­ing to get my ‘A’ swing off.” — Na­tion­als sec­ond base­man Daniel Mur­phy, with his re­peated an­swer for the re­peated ques­tion of how to ex­plain his suc­cess last sea­son. Mur­phy fin­ished sec­ond in the MVP race.

May

“It was a slam dunk.” — Red­skins gen­eral man­ager Scot McCloughan on draft­ing wide re­ceiver Josh Doct­son in the first round. Doct­son played two games this sea­son be­fore be­ing placed on in­jured re­serve be­cause of Achilles ten­don pain.

“We made some progress but ob­vi­ously not enough. We need to get through this round. That’s part of the deal. That will al­ways be thrown at us un­til we get through

that.” — Cap­i­tals coach Barry Trotz af­ter his team was elim­i­nated in the East­ern Con­fer­ence semifinals by the Pitts­burgh Pen­guins.

June

“I just wanted to feel like my­self. Play­ing with this the last three years and it get­ting worse and worse and hurt­ing . ... It was time for me to come back healthy.” — Wizards point guard John Wall on why he opted to have surgery on each knee in the off­sea­son.

July

“It means that I have a huge re­spon­si­bil­ity in terms of be­ing a leader, in terms of be­ing one of the best play­ers on the team. It’s re­quired of me to be able to have a great game al­most ev­ery night. It re­quires me to play 80-plus games through­out the year. I have to be able to with­stand all those re­spon­si­bil­i­ties be­cause they made a com­mit­ment to me. They be­lieve I can help lead this fran­chise to where we’re try­ing to get to.” — Wizards guard Bradley Beal af­ter sign­ing a max­i­mum con­tract for $128 mil­lion.

“We have ar­eas we can im­prove on in the next cou­ple

of weeks and hope­fully that will pay off in Rio.” — Katie Ledecky at the U.S. swim tri­als be­fore win­ning four gold medals and set­ting two world records at the Sum­mer Olympics a month later.

Au­gust

“It was a base­ball de­ci­sion.” — Na­tion­als gen­eral

man­ager Mike Rizzo on re­leas­ing Papel­bon. “I think my kids are most ex­cited about the pres­i­dents’ race.” — Then-Na­tion­als closer Mark Me­lan­con fol­low­ing the trade that brought him to Wash­ing­ton from Pitts­burgh.

Septem­ber

“We’re a baby-mak­ing team.” — Baker when pinch­hit­ter Chris Heisey left the team for the birth of his child shortly af­ter for­mer short­stop Danny Espinosa’s wife had a baby.

“The lig­a­ment is good.” — Na­tion­als trainer Paul Les­sard in his open­ing com­ments about Stephen Stras­burg’s arm in­jury.

“It’s easy for you to get lined up but the other guys, it’s dif­fi­cult and that’s why most of the time, peo­ple get talked out of it, es­pe­cially with of­fenses that move their guy around.” — Red­skins de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Joe Barry, ra­tio­nal­iz­ing his de­ci­sion to not have cor­ner­back Josh Nor­man trail the other team’s best re­ceiver. He later changed his mind.

Oc­to­ber

“You feel like you get right there and you get it taken away from you right at the last sec­ond. This one’s tough, it hurts. It was a crazy series. We bat­tled, they bat­tled. It was right there. Right there for us to get. Didn’t get it done, man. It sucks.” — Na­tion­als out­fielder Jayson Werth af­ter los­ing Game 5 of the NLDS, which lasted 4:32 and was closed out by Clay­ton Ker­shaw.

“It will get bet­ter.” — Baker in his of­fice af­ter be­ing elim­i­nated.

“It def­i­nitely feels more like a loss than a win, be­cause we moved the ball so well and had so many op­por­tu­ni­ties to win.” — Red­skins quar­ter­back Kirk Cousins af­ter Wash­ing­ton tied Cincin­nati in Lon­don.

Novem­ber “There’s a cou­ple Twit­ter bat­tles that I re­ally don’t even read any­way.” — Gru­den on man­ag­ing Nor­man, which he said was not an is­sue in his eyes.

“[Have you] seen my body?” — Gru­den when asked why he was do­ing push-ups be­fore a Red­skins prac­tice.

“It just ver­i­fies ev­ery­thing I try to do out there and set out to achieve, and the method I try to go out there and do it. By win­ning the sec­ond one con­firms that ev­ery­thing I try to do works.” — Na­tion­als pitcher Max Scherzer on win­ning his sec­ond Cy Young Award.

De­cem­ber

“We felt we reached as far as we were go­ing to reach for the trade, and we fell short.” — Rizzo af­ter the Bos­ton Red Sox stunned base­ball by ac­quir­ing pitcher Chris Sale, whom the Na­tion­als made a big of­fer for.

“We knew what we had at stake, we knew what we had on our hands and we can’t re­ally talk about play­offs un­til we han­dle who we need to han­dle and play bet­ter.” — Red­skins wide re­ceiver DeSean Jack­son fol­low­ing a loss to the Carolina Pan­thers.

“We’ve played re­ally well at times, and not played well at times. It’s kind of been like our own mini roller coaster ride, to be hon­est with you. But, I like where we are. We have a chance in the fi­nal game of the sea­son.”

ASSOCIATED PRESS

“[Have you] seen my body?,” Jay Gru­den asked in Novem­ber on why he was do­ing push-ups.

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