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February 14, 2011

The Week in Quotes

February 7-13

by Alex Carnevale

A PROUD SUCCESS STORY OF THE MINOR LEAGUE DRUG-TESTING PROGRAM

"Sometimes I smoked before the home games or whatever, but only in the big leagues. I was just going along with the motions, started being myself. I was going along with it. Peer pressure. You are looking up to guys and at the same time these guys are saying, 'Hit some of this.' But guys smoke. That's why they don't test for marijuana."
–Former Nationals outfielder Elijah Dukes.

"I mean, guys always did. I never did it. But I know when we get to the hotel we were smoking good so it's like we got to the hotel we were smoking good so you had to bring it. I know I saw people bring it, so it's like the rules only apply for who they want them to apply for."
Dukes, on whether drugs were brought with the team on road trips.

"Dr. Westreich did not communicate any information from his conversations with Mr. Dukes to the Nationals or any other club. Despite well-reported issues surrounding Mr. Dukes, Commissioner Selig has taken no action that would have affected Mr. Dukes' ability to secure employment with a major-league club. And, at no time did Mr. Dukes disclose to Dr. Westreich any information concerning drug use by other major-league players."
–MLB VP Rob Manfred, responding to Dukes' contention that he has been blackballed from baseball after telling Dr. Laurence Westreich about his drug use.

"I got songs that's gonna come about as far as the struggle I had to overcome about being a black athlete in Tampa, Florida. I think Tampa don't know how to treat athletes with the proper respect. They go after athletes like an athlete is almost already condemned."
Dukes (Howard Altman, The Tampa Tribune)

A DISAGREEMENT BETWEEN FRIENDS OF MICHAEL YOUNG

"He doesn't view himself as a designated hitter at this point in his career. At this point, he still views himself as an everyday player. I understand the way he feels... I tried to assure him that, from a career perspective, I didn't think it was a step down. Michael's feeling is that once you go to DH, you're going to be considered a DH. He feels that limits him as far as his career."
–Rangers president Nolan Ryan

"The suggestion that I've had a change of heart and asked for a trade is a manipulation of the truth. I want to be traded because I have been manipulated and misled in this process, and I'm not going to take it anymore."
–Rangers DH Michael Young

"Throughout the process I think I've handled myself with integrity. I don't regret any decision that I've made. I've been up front in the things I believe in. Out of respect for the fans, my teammates and the coaching staff, I have not said anything to this point. Everybody should be focused on spring training."
Young

"I'm disappointed this came to light. I would have rather this be handled behind closed doors but I feel I need to straighten some things out. I think it's important to address the inaccurate portrayal that is being given."
Young (T.R. Sullivan, MLB.com)

MURRAY CHASS HASN'T BEEN THIS ANGRY SINCE MIKE PIAZZA WAS BORN

"We were able to show he pitched a lot better than a 1-11 record. He had historically low run support and over a three-year period, as bad as the Pirates have been, he was their best pitcher. And there's always a comparison to comparable players."
–MLBPA lawyer Rick Shapiro, after the Pirates lost their arbitration case against Ross Ohlendorf, and will pay him $2.025 million in 2011 instead of $1.4 million.

"The system does what it's supposed to do. The system is based on risk, and things which enhance the uncertainty of the process are good. We didn't want arbitrators to take a week. We didn't want them explaining their decision. We want them to just announce their decision."
Gene Orza, former MLBPA lawyer, on the arbitration process.

"You don't know why the arbitrators decided it that way, what persuaded them. From our standpoint, Ross is a very smart guy. He was involved in analyzing the market for pitchers. That factored in. we didn't feel wins and losses were appropriate to measure his performance. Other factors were involved. We felt we could persuade someone of that in these circumstances."
John Fetterolf, Ohlendorf's lawyer.

"There were other statistics that were important. And the year before I had a good record, so it wasn't like I always had a bad record. I felt there were other statistics that were more important. ERA and innings pitched are the two biggest statistics. I also served some time on the disabled list last year so I felt I was limited by that."
Ross Ohlendorf (MurrayChass.com)

GOODBYE TUCSON

"It's the best. There will never be another one like it."
–Diamondbacks CEO Derrick Hall, on Salt River Fields, the new training facility the team shares with the Colorado Rockies.

"I loved Tucson. It was a great place. But let's face it, teams didn't bring a lot of their star players to face us down there, and maybe now without all that time on the road this will help us get off to a faster start in April and May than we used to."
–Rockies chairman Charlie Monfort

"It's very interactive. Sidewalks allow fans to reach the backfields and they can go right up to the backstops. You know where to find Mickey Mouse on Main Street (USA), and you'll know where to find our players every day here."
Hall (Bob Young, Arizona Republic)

THE REST

"He hit it right on the head. When you play that many games, you have to like one another. You're going to have your fights, but you need guys that pull together and pull for one another and create an atmosphere that they like to be around."
–Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers, on Pat Gillick's view of team chemistry. (Paola Boivin, Arizona Republic)

"Just to continue to pitch off your fastball. Sometimes when your other stuff is good, you kind of fall in love with it. You have to understand that a located fastball is still probably the best pitch in baseball. If you can continue to pitch off that, it's going to keep your pitch count down and continue to get you ground balls."
–Yankees reliever Joba Chamberlain, on what he learned from the 2010 season. (Brian Costello, The New York Post)

"You don't want it to be an option for any athletic department, obviously. Let alone the flagship public university of the state of California. It's just not good. My whole life has been baseball, trying to develop men through baseball. You don't want to see that, you don't even want to think about. Let alone the school in arguably the best conference in America. To see a school drop the sport, that's hard to swallow."
–Cal baseball coach David Esquer, on the university's plan to cut the men's baseball program after 2011. (Aaron Fitt, Baseball America)

"I've worked with Carl for three or four years. I put some whuppings on him in ping-pong, and talked a lot of trash to him. I'm glad he's on our team. It's a pain in the butt playing against him. He's running wild. It's going to be fun having him on our side."
–Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia, on the addition of Carl Crawford. (Peter Abraham, Boston Globe)

"He obviously has worked very hard to rehab his knee and he's lost some weight, but he's still around 300 pounds. Clearly, he's a tremendous athlete and he can handle it, but it has to be managed so it doesn't become a problem. I just think 30 pounds would have been a lot more noticeable."
–Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, refuting reports that CC Sabathia had dropped 30 pounds. (Wallace Matthews, ESPN.com)

---

Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.

Related Content:  Ross Ohlendorf,  The Process,  Good Process

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