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June 7, 2010
The Week in Quotes
Week of May 31-June 6
EVEN OZZIE IS EXCITED
"I respect the scouts' opinion about how low or how high they have my kid. In the meanwhile, if they want him, that's fine. I talked to [White Sox general manager] Kenny [Williams] and [White Sox chairman] Jerry [Reinsdorf] and said, 'Just treat him like another kid. You think he'll be 30th? Pick him there. You think he'll be second? Pick him two.' They shouldn't think anything about the last name or manager."
"I saw him a month ago in a restaurant in Baltimore. We were there playing Bowie, and they were there playing the Orioles. We didn't sit and have dinner, but as soon as we saw each other, we sat and talked for a while. We were never teammates, but we're baseball friends."
“I’ve had a lot of people who are picking in the top 10 picks that say, ‘God, this would be the year we would love to trade a pick with you guys. I think we’re in a pretty good spot. Like (Red Sox GM) Theo (Epstein) said, late end of the first round through the sandwich, if you have extra picks, you’re in a pretty good spot to get some players that may end up being just as good as you’re going to take in the top 10.”
"Some people think that he will get between (Mark Teixeira) and (Stephen) Strasburg. I can definitely see that, at around $11 and $12 million, but (Scott) Boras really pushing for $15 million or above would really not surprise me. He has more leverage than Strasburg, in my opinion, as a bat. I would ask for more and do so with hard evidence about bats. If I had to bet on it, if Washington draws the line, I'd probably go conservative and say $11 or $12 million because he will not walk away from that."
"I do know this. He's a lot better than I was. He's bigger, stronger and has a better arm. Amateur scouts are the most important ingredients you have in your organization. Those guys who can look at a kid and project what he's going to be, and have the courage to go out on a limb for them, they're the backbone of an organization. I've said that for years. I don't think I could go look at a 17-year-old and say, 'Yeah, give him a couple of million dollars.' I don't think I could do that."
HE HAS A NICHE AS THE GUY WHO COMMENTS ON PERFECT GAMES
"I don't know how I would react, but I'd hope to think I could handle it with half the class Galarraga did. He did exactly what you needed to do. Shrugged it off, got the next out, got his team the victory and handled it with the utmost respect, and that resonated throughout the clubhouse, and that was carried onto the field the next day."
"No I did not tell him I missed the call. Because at that point in time I thought I got the call right. I thought he beat him to the bag, and at that particular time I thought he beat the play, and now that I am standing here and I've seen it on the replay...the first thing I did when I came into the clubhouse was to say, 'cue it up.' I missed it."
"It's been nonstop crazy. It's been better than pitching a perfect game. How do people know where I live? There were flowers at the front door of my condo. Flowers and chocolates, from people saying I showed a lot of class."
"This is a history call. And I kicked the (stuff) out of it. And there's nobody who feels worse than I do. I take pride in this job, and I kicked the shit out of it. I took a perfect game away from that kid over there who worked his (butt) off the whole night."
SIMILAR OPINIONS AND SKILL SETS
"There's always been the human element in the game. I don't think we should take that away. You could actually do everything from a video tape or a robot. I don't want to see that. I like keeping everyone in the rhythm of the game. If we've got a red flag and we're able to throw it out, it's going to change the dynamic of the game a little bit. I like the consistency and keeping the pitchers on the mound. Even when there's a home run (review), think about it. A lot of times, it only takes 45 seconds to a minute or a minute and a half, but it's a lull."
"The game's the game. Play the game. You can't do it. Nobody's perfect. With the exception of probably the media, nobody's perfect."
"From here we salute Armando. The umpire was wrong ... but, well, the umpire is the umpire."
NOT JUST THE MOST ACCOMPLISHED NAPPER IN THE GAME
"I guess my coattails are now hung up in the closet. I can’t ride the coattails no more."
"He's got a lot of personal pride, OK? And you sit there and not get a chance to play and a week or 10 days go by ... what kind of contribution can you give a team when you are not playing? He's just not going to sit there. He's got a lot of personal pride. He thought he could still contribute. ... I mean, he doesn't have to prove anything to anybody."
"He could literally be playing Nintendo at 6:45 or 6:50 and, at 7:06, he'd make a Spiderman catch. And then in the bottom of the first he'd hit one in the upper deck at the Kingdome, 475 feet, and do it all with a smile. You look at yourself and you're like, '... I've been getting ready since 5:45 for the game.'"
“We had a rehab program where he had to go to the hotel swimming pool for some water work, and Junior was telling me the whole time that he could not swim. I’m thinking, OK, here’s this No. 1 draft pick and he can’t swim, so I’ve got to be pretty careful with him. So I tell him, let’s just go down to the kids’ pool on the end, and we’ll do the work in the shallow water and you’ll be OK. Well, he proceeded to be kind of confused and walked over towards the deep end, and I tell him no, we’re going over here – I’m trying to be very professional with him. He proceeded to do a double somersault, from a standing position, into the deep end, and of course he comes up laughing like crazy. He got me the first time I worked with him."
"I can't get into that. It's Kenny's call. You know, certainly I'm one of the guys, if he did something, that would be something done with. I'm not getting into that. He can do what he pleases."
“It’s unfortunate that I can’t have a legitimate discussion about strategy with the manager without him feeling as though he’s being attacked (or at least reacting as though he’s being attacked — I don’t know what he was feeling), but such is life. I don’t need to be belittled by the skipper in front of the entire [media] assemblage when I’m asking legitimate, rational questions about a situation that he brought up earlier in a conversation.”
"This, purely, is Oliver Perez. Oliver Perez came in and said his knee is bothering him. I've been [with the Mets] for a number of years and the integrity of those men has not wavered when it comes to these situations."
"It goes to show you that it's really not that difficult to do this. If you want to stay somewhere, you must play at a certain level. And you have to be willing to make sacrifices. Tony Gwynn made sacrifices. Cal Ripken made sacrifices. I'm not sure Derek Jeter made sacrifices given the ungodly deep pockets they have. I have made sacrifices."
"I feel as bad as anybody. This is probably one of the few teams I've ever had that hasn't hit what they can hit; usually it's the other way around. Teams always hit a little better than what's expected of them. This is the opposite and it doesn't sit well with me. It probably cost a dear friend of mine his job, and we are going to have to do something about that."
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.