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September 3, 2001

The Week in Quotes

August 27-September 2

by Derek Zumsteg

2001 NL MVP

"Guys work out all year round now. We have personal trainers--we all do. Guys don't want to go on breaks. The game has changed.... When we came in the game, a second baseman was a 4-foot-2 slap-hitter. Now you have second basemen that hit 40 home runs. I don't know what they're feeding these kids now."
--Barry Bonds, Giants outfielder

"[Barry Bonds] was always cocky, always fearless. He is the most fearless hitter I've ever seen. Throw one under his chin, and he would move maybe an inch. He was so cocksure of his ability."
--Rich Donnelly, Rockies coach and a Pirates coach in 1986

"We always said it was like Williamsport. [Bonds] was playing against Little Leaguers. And what about his defense? He started as a poor left fielder, and Bill Virdon worked with him so much he became a Gold Glover. He's made himself into a complete player."
--Donnelly

NOT MVPS

"They finally threw him a 3-2 pitch he couldn't swing at and hit him in the rear. We're getting closer."
--Tony Muser, Royals manager, on Mark Quinn being hit by a pitch during his 230-PA streak without an unintentional walk

"I'm the home run king. That's my destiny."
--Jose Lima, Tigers pitcher, after a loss to the Blue Jays

"I think with experience he's gaining discipline. He may not have the discipline an Edgar Martinez has yet. But with the increased discipline he's showing, he has the right approach you want from a guy in those pressure situations."
--Mike Scioscia, Angels manager, on outfielder Garret Anderson, owner of a .307 OBP

SOMEBODY SHOOT US

"In all my years of managing, this is as frustrated and disappointed as I've ever been."
--Phil Garner, Tigers manager

"I don't know. To tell you the truth, I don't know. I hear guys frustrated, I hear guys angry. That generally tells me they haven't quit--because when you quit, you don't care. So I don't think it's quitting. What I see is a departure from the right way of doing things and the discipline required to play the game."
--Garner

"The bottom line is we're playing to lose."
--Garner

"When a team is going like this sometimes you say 'I wish the season was over tonight.' I don't see anybody fired up. It's scary the way we're playing."
--Lima

"When I saw Shane circling the bases, I said, 'What's he doing?'"
--Garner, on a Shane Halter home run

"You've got to know what winning's all about to be successful. The experience means a lot. I can see now by the way we're playing that we don't know a lot about winning baseball."
--Lance Parrish, Tigers third-base coach

BACK IN OUR DAY, WE DIDN'T HAVE TO SHOOT OURSELVES

"It's all about fundamentals. Sparky used to impress that fact on us all the time and it worked. Sparky would say, 'The less mistakes your team makes, the better your chances. Make the other teams beat themselves.' It boiled down to us playing sound, fundamental baseball every day and meeting the challenge to win every day."
--Parrish

"I don't get in the clubhouse that much, so I don't know. I know when I played, we had a lot of leaders. It was their responsibility to push other guys. It was everybody's responsibility to go out there and try to play winning baseball every day."
--Parrish, asked if the Tigers have team leaders

FIRING FROM AFAR

"The guy who is the manager probably hasn't talked to me since June. Like I'm punished. Like I'm grounded. I'm a grown man! This ain't Little League. Regardless of what a guy is doing, you've still got to respect him like a man. If I'm going to be judged by my stats, let's check out his stats."
--Ray Lankford, Padres outfielder, on his rocky final year with Cardinal manager Tony LaRussa

"I was basically told by the GM [Walt Jocketty] to take a couple of days off, and that's what I did. People made it sound like I was just a no-show. I was told that I was traded, and it fell through. I came out [to Busch Stadium] and started packing my bags. That's what I was told to do, because I was supposed to get traded. I didn't abandon my team. I had permission. But they don't say that. C'mon, I'm not stupid. I don't abandon my team."
--Lankford

"They just sit here and try to make me be a bad guy and try to destroy my dignity and my manhood as a player, as a husband and a father--c'mon, it's not right. I'm made out to be a cancer. The guys I played with have never said anything negative. I don't get into fights with anybody. I go to the park and do my work. I don't bother anybody. If anything, I joke with everybody."
--Lankford

RICK SUTCLIFFE, M.D.

"Since when does everybody listen to Rick Sutcliffe and what he has to say?"
--Kerry Wood, after ESPN analyst Rick Sutcliffe reported Wood had a torn rotator cuff, setting off a flood of speculation

"There's absolutely no chance [it's torn], and I have an MRI to prove that. We've taken every image you can take. If it was serious, I don't think I would be throwing today. If there was really something damaged in there, I don't think we would even think twice about trying to come back this year."
--Wood

"I talked to [Sutcliffe], but there were never any comments about being done for the season by any means. It was just a casual conversation that we won't be having anymore. He said it probably wouldn't be a bad idea if you were shut down and I said, 'Well, we'll see, but I doubt it.' Rick and I are fairly close. I was a little disappointed when I heard what he said."
--Wood

ATMOSPHERE

"Atmosphere has a lot to do with it. If the fans are behind the guys out there, that means a lot. When they're not, that's when guys might start wanting to go on road trips. We just haven't gotten that feeling that they're behind us. Guys like me, I get booed everywhere I go, so it's no big deal to me. But to the younger guys, [Cinergy Field] is their home. They expect the fans to support them."
--Ken Griffey Jr., Reds outfielder

"Not only are we going out there to represent the Cincinnati Reds, but to represent Cincinnati the city. Sometimes when you get beaten up by your fans, it makes it tough to play, and it also makes it tough for guys to want to do things in the community and things like that. I mean, we shouldn't even be having this discussion. It's about taking pride in your city."
--Griffey

BACK IN MY DAY, WE CARRIED TOTAL BASEBALL TO THE PARK

"When I was growing up, you had fans who were knowledgeable about the game and knew exactly what was going on. They knew when it was time to bunt, things like that."
--Griffey

"Look at the support we had when Tony Perez came in, and when Eric Davis came in after he made it back. That's how it should be for our club. They shouldn't have to wait for somebody who played for this ballclub 15 years ago or eight years ago. I'm not saying anything negative about that. It's great, because the fans still respect what those guys did. But if they did that for us, we wouldn't be having all these discussions about certain guys being traded away."
--Griffey

"Now, you've got guys coming there just to yell at players. It's like that everywhere, but we seem to get it the most."
--Griffey

THE REST

"I miss being with those guys. I don't miss Oakland. I don't miss that stadium. I don't miss the fans. But I do miss the guys."
--Ben Grieve, Devil Rays outfielder

"The union is like Rocky Marciano. They're 49-0, and there's no reason to believe it won't be 50-0."
--Fay Vincent, former Commissioner, on potential labor troubles

"I think I've made good strides defensively. I don't want to be known as an offensive shortstop. I want to be considered a complete player."
--Rich Aurilia, Giants shortstop

"Every once in a while, it's important from a mental standpoint to win a game a certain way. We haven't been great at coming back. Tonight we did that. It gives you the confidence that you could do it."
--Tom Glavine, Braves pitcher

"I definitely think young kids out of high school and college are getting paid way too much money before proving themselves on a professional level. I truly believe there has to be some kind of a cap for high-school and college players. Take it or leave it. Where you're going to make your big money is when you get into the big leagues. And if you prove yourself there, then you've earned it."
--Mark McGwire, Cardinals infielder

"My catcher was running like the malt-liquor bull."
--Lou Piniella, Mariners manager, after a play in which Tom Lampkin passed David Bell on the basepaths

If you would like to submit a quote, please email Derek and be sure to include both the quote itself and a URL pointing to the quote.

Related Content:  Rick Sutcliffe

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