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August 20, 2001
The Week in Quotes
"Early in his career, Sammy [Sosa] was very similar. He wanted to hit the
ball out of the ballpark, but he wouldn't get a good pitch. That's just a
matter of not waiting long enough. But he was aggressive. That was his
mind-set. If you look at Sammy now, he's a much more patient hitter. He has
lots of walks. He's hitting .300. But Sammy wasn't always that way. So I
know it takes time."
"He has a job here next year if he chooses to be here. He's really done a
great job for us. One of the amazing things about him is he just a year out
of surgery. We're piling a lot of innings on him, but they've been very
"That was a great play. We had finally got some momentum, and he took it
away with that catch. That's a perfect example of how defense wins games."
"Well, yes, Tony's going to be the manager next year. He's a good man, and
he's becoming a better manager all the time. With experience, all of us get
"It's the little things like that--taking the extra base, not making the
foolish mistakes. It's learning how to win. And I think that's an area where
Tony has grown and improved. And an area where he's teaching our young
players how to win. It's a number of little things that make the difference,
not the big dramatic three-run home run or whatever."
"I feel like I've died and gone to heaven, especially after being a dumbass
and signing with the Dodgers last year, which was the dumbest mistake I ever
made in my life."
"I'm just trying to put the team on my back and carry them to the
postseason. It's just like last year in that respect, but this year, the
supporting cast is a lot better."
"We've got a great staff that's really close to each other, but there's some
competition there, too. You don't want to let the other guys down, so when
Huddy or Barry or Cory throws a great game, that motivates you."
"We won, so I'm stoked. Sure, I get bummed to come out, like anyone else.
But Art's been around the game a lot longer than I have. Anytime I pitch and
the team wins, I'm pumped."
"I bet the whole bank that he would throw me that breaking ball there. If he
would have bounced it in the dirt, I probably would have swung at it."
"Let's talk about power. We probably have a player on this team right now
that nobody will forecast this, but he will probably hit 30 to 35 home runs
a year four years from now. I'm not going to tell you his name. I know he's
going to do this because, think about this, [Luis] Gonzalez had no power.
[Rafael] Palmeiro had no power when he was with Chicago. Power is a
"Come on, man, how are you going to let a guy like that walk out the door?
Tino doesn't get as much notoriety as Bernie [Williams] or Derek [Jeter],
but we wouldn't be where we are today without him. You talk about an MVP for
the season, it's Tino, no question."
"Sometimes people look at baseball players and it's like Janet Jackson's old
song, 'What Have You Done for Me Lately?' Kenny Lofton is still one of the
premier players in the game. Everyone says he's lost a step. He hasn't lost
anything. He struggled early and now he's going to get going. We need him."
"Some people need to check themselves, especially after what just happened.
Maybe I'm the problem. I really don't know what to do. I thought I tried to
help my teammates each time I went out there. Obviously, some people do not
"They fined Weaver, for God's sake--what [****] is that? I want to know what
they fined him for. For being in the way of the helmet? For not running out
to center field when he didn't know someone was running after him?"
HUMOR IN UNIFORM
"We had a professional cabinet maker/woodworker in the clubhouse on our
staff in San Francisco. I'm sure he wasn't there to hang jocks."
"I've played with some of the best and most notorious bat corkers of all
time--guys who turned it into an art form. They literally should have hung
some of those bats in a museum. There is no way in the world you could tell
they were corked without an X-ray."
"Let's put it this way. One of the keys to corking a bat is you have to
drill a hole down the middle of the bat into the hitting area. Then you pack
it with pieces of chopped cork as tightly as you can pack it. The key is the
plug you put back in the end of the bat."
"I played with a player who saved the last inch and a half of dozens and
dozens of broken bats. When he was ready to plug that hole, he would take
all the little caps and match them up so the grain lined up exactly perfect
with the plug he put back in. That's a master craftsman."
"Every team had two or three guys using corked bats. We had an expert at
doing it, and he wasn't a player. The guys who did it kept it a secret, and
there was no way you could tell unless the bat shattered."
"I have no idea who the Canadian prime minister is. I know George Bush is
the president of the U.S. After that, I don't know who the vice president is
or any of that stuff. No idea."
"He's amazing. When we first came up, he was more of a speed, line-drive
guy. Then, I never thought about how many he could hit. Now he's stronger,
and he's getting better with age. I think he can hit 700."
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