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March 22, 2010

The Week in Quotes

March 15-21

by Alex Carnevale

I'D LIKE TO CONGRATULATE US ON HOW UNDERSTANDING WE WERE IN THIS DIFFICULT SITUATION

"There's always going to be unforeseen circumstances that present a challenge. You deal with them as best you can and you move on. I don't think this changes, in any fundamental way, the road that lies ahead to reconnect with our fans and with our community. It was a powerful statement for how he's regarded in the clubhouse."
—Eventual Rangers owner Chuck Greenberg, on manager Ron Washington's admission of using cocaine last season.

"I think there's a distinction between what people do in their youth versus later in life. I'm sure there are things we all have in our past we're not proud of. Ron could have avoided the question or lied. He chose not to. I'm not going to punish a guy for being honest. That doesn't excuse the behavior, but that's the reality."
—Rangers general manager Jon Daniels, on his manager's admission of drug and amphetamine use during his time as a player.

"I don't want to minimize at all what Ron did or the clear lapse in judgment in doing that. But I also don't think that as a society we should kid ourselves and think that there aren't some great leaders who have some serious transgressions in their past, as well. Again, no excuses. I'm not by any stretch apologizing for what he did. But I think we need to be realistic about it, also. There are certain attributes outside of just winning that you look for. The players have always played hard for Ron. He always produces tremendous energy, he's upbeat. He's represented the organization well, this obviously not withstanding."
—Daniels

"We were just in agreement. It was not me overriding him or him disagreeing with me. And we knew there was a pretty good chance we were going to have to stand up together sometime and explain why we decided to keep him and deal with the criticism that came along with it."
—Rangers president Nolan Ryan, on his meeting with Daniels and their decision to keep Washington.

"People make mistakes, and after a while you can look through that lens, but when you first hear it, you don't have that perspective. I asked a lot of questions. It was an emotional discussion."
—Daniels (Evan Grant, Dallas Morning News)

WE KNOW ONE THING: COCAINE DOES NOT IMPROVE BULLPEN MANAGEMENT

"The way he has handled the situation, I have more respect for him now. He didn't hide behind anything, didn't make excuses. He was honest and that's a quality you want in a leader, somebody who recognizes the mistakes and can tell you about them so you can learn from it."
—Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton, on his manager.

"I am a good person. No, I'm not a good person. I'm a damn good person. And I'm proud. And I fight. And I'm hungry. And I made a mistake."
—Rangers manager Ron Washington

"We were all shocked. We didn't know what it was about. Everyone's face told the whole tale. Someone as strong as him to make a mistake like that was a big shock. It's unfortunate but we have his back and we'll be here for him 100 percent."
—Rangers catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia

“Absolutely not. Our organization expects more from its managers and people of authority than a positive drug test. That would have been inexcusable.’’
—rival American League general manager on what his organization would have done under the circumstances. (Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe)

FEELING LIMBER, PERHAPS TOO LIMBER

Well, if I went out and just threw today, it wouldn't be that hard. But if I went out and was able to condition myself for a month to throw, I would think the way my arm feels that I could still be in the 80s."
—Rangers president Nolan Ryan, on how hard he could throw today.

"The last time I was 100 percent I was about 16 years old. If we're looking for 100 percent, I think I might make two starts this year."
Red Sox starter Josh Beckett, on how he felt before a spring training performance. (ESPN.com)

"At the end of the day, I knew I wasn’t going to get 15 offers. I thought there might be a few teams that would have some interest. What I decided to do was stay in shape and throw, or not throw, and see what trends developed with some teams. My desire to work out every day is still there. But my desire to throw 50 to 70 times a day isn’t."
—Turner Sports and MLB Network analyst John Smoltz

"Obviously, you try to get to 20 wins, but going 200 innings, that as a starting pitcher is a mark to set your standards. Doing it for nine years in a row, and not being on the disabled list, not missing a start, except at the end of the year when we are out of it. ... It's just going out every five days and doing what I have to do."
White Sox starter Mark Buehrle (Scott Merkin, MLB.com)

WE'RE WORKING ON NIMBLIZING HIS TOES - IT'S A PROCESS

"He can be above-average. He might even be above average right now picking balls in the dirt. He's really got nice hands. But he's 6-foot-12. And because he's 6-foot-12, he's got to get on the ground so his legs work and his hands are soft. It's easy for a shorter guy to get down there."
—Nats quality control coach Tim Foli, on working with Adam Dunn.

"It's like learning a new position. You can ask Foli. The first couple of days, it was awful. I knew how to catch it. But I didn't even know which foot to start with. I've been on the left side of the field my whole life. Then I get over here and it's just very weird. But it feels really comfortable now. I can only imagine that if you give me another month, month and a half, it's going to feel natural."
Nationals first baseman Adam Dunn

"He doesn't want to be a big donkey. He wants to be an athlete. And he is an athlete. To me, the sky's the limit with him over there."
—Foli

"I'm not doing it for all that. I'm doing it because I know we need that for this team to win. I don't want to be the reason why we stink."
—Dunn (Ken Rosenthal, FoxSports.com)

SOMEONE FIND OUT WHERE THIS GUY GOT ALL THE FRESH RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION FROM

"We continue to read statements from the MLB Commissioner and MLBPA. representatives questioning the appropriateness of implementing blood-testing in the league. This is nonsense. If they are serious about getting rid of cheaters, the MLB and the MLBPA should listen to those players who supported blood collection in the past few weeks and start implementing a testing program.”
—World Anti-Doping Agency president John Fahey

"Our attitude toward any kind of testing, blood or urine, is really the same, that we have to make sure the science is down and with the commissioner's office we will continue to investigate whether the science behind the blood test for HGH is 100 percent sound. The test has to be administered in a way that's safe for the players, and obviously drawing blood has complications that don't exist with respect to collecting urine. And the test has to be administered in a way where the players can actually go to work. Drawing blood is harder to do."
—MLBPA executive director Michael Weiner

"We want to make sure it's accurate. We definitely are not subjecting the players to something that could be inaccurate, plain and simple."
Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson, on blood testing for HGH. (Associated Press)

THE REST

"I've always believed in realignment, we've done a lot in the last 18 years. But we really have not discussed that subject. It's a subject that's been in my mind for a long time, but is there anything really to report? No. I know there have been some stories but they're way ahead of where we are — way ahead."
—MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, on talk about realigning baseball's divisions. (Dick Kaegel, MLB.com)

"Oh yeah, and I appreciate great talent. It’s like if you’re a singer and you’re watching another great singer. You appreciate the talent. It’s no different for us as players. Mauer . . . oh my God. What a hitter."
—Red Sox third baseman Adrian Beltre (Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe)

"To me, it's almost like a witch hunt. It's almost embarrassing to me that egos get in the way and [Bradley] doesn't even get a chance. It's pretty blatant that some guys have it out for him."
Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu, on Milton Bradley getting thrown out of his second straight spring training game. (Doug Miller, MLB.com)

"We knew it was a long shot, but what this did do is clear my head. Definitely was no gray area. Definitely was on the black side, where it didn’t go as well as we like, and we know now we’re going to have to go in and get some surgery done, get this thing fixed up. Any time you’re going to be out for the season — but especially the timing of this, with this ballclub, this new stadium, the excitement — it’s definitely tough."
Twins closer Joe Nathan, who will undergo Tommy John surgery this week. (Joe Christensen, Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

"We're getting to the point of the spring where, earlier you were just watching them work, but now you start to evaluate. Tomorrow is two weeks left, right? So you start narrowing down, if you can, what the possibilities are. ... By next Sunday, you have to, I think, pick somebody. Maybe before next Sunday. But no longer than next Sunday."
Cardinals manager Tony La Russa (Matthew Leach, MLB.com)

Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.

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