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May 30, 2011
The Week in Quotes
IF ONE MORE JOURNALIST WRITES "THAT'S BASEBALL," JEFF BERRY WILL EXPLODE
"You leave players way too vulnerable. I can tell you Major League Baseball is less than it was before this. It's stupid. I don't know if this ends up leading to a rule change, but it should. The guy is too exposed."
"I don't know how frequent they are to warrant any rule change, and certainly sometimes when there is something that happens it is unfortunate, but I don't know if there's enough there to rewrite the rulebook."
"I'm sorry Buster got hurt, but that's the chance you take. That comes with the trade of being a catcher. It was a good hard slide. If he would've had the ball waiting for him, he could have really given it to Cousins."
"It's awful, but it's part of the game and you have to play it as hard as you can. That's why I'm here. You wish his legs could come out from under him and he could roll over, get up, dust himself off, maybe even say something to me mean. I'll take it, but you don't want to see his leg get broken. It's the worst."
"If you go helmet to helmet in the NFL, it's a $100,000 fine, but in baseball, you have a situation in which runners are [slamming into] fielders. It's brutal. It's borderline shocking. It just stinks for baseball. I'm going to call Major League Baseball and put this on the radar. Because it's just wrong."
HIS MAJOR STRENGTH IS GIVING INTERVIEWS
"Someone might have said, 'Well, you should have had more stock portfolios, whatever'... I don't know shit from shinola. I never bought a stock in my life. That's not what we're good at. You can say, you should have had the money in U.S. Trust or Citibank or whatever. In retrospect, you can say yeah. And call that stupid or lack of judgment."
"Bernie didn't want to be in the public eye, which I can now understand more."
"I did talk to Frankie Rodriguez and I said, 'How did you avoid getting mentioned in that article?'"
"Not by his formula, if you believed his formula of what he did with puts and calls. Markets going this way and markets going that way didn't affect the basket of stocks he was allegedly buying. We had no feeling that that was unusual. There were times when his returns were a little higher and times they were a little lower. I think generally he used to say he would double [the return on] Treasuries."
THE LOOK OF CONSTIPATION ON BOB GEREN'S FACE SIGNIFIES IMPERFECTION ONLY
"There's just no communication. Two games, on the road, bring the closer in a tied game, with no previous discussions of doing so. And then, tonight, in the seventh inning, I get up. I haven't stretched, I haven't prepared myself. If there was some communication beforehand I would be ready to come into the game–which I was, when I came into the game, I was ready. Just lack of communication. I don't think anybody really knows which direction he's headed."
"Bob was never good at communication, and I don't want to speak for anybody else, but it was a sentiment reflected in many conversations during the two years I spent in Oakland, and even recently when talking to guys after I left. For me personally, he was my least favorite person I have ever encountered in sports from age 6 to 27."
"If you look at our club the last month and a half, our pitching has been fantastic. We haven't scored a lot of runs, so it makes it challenging at the end of games for managing decisions or relievers coming in, and we expect perfection in an imperfect world."
IT WAS CERTAINLY NOT A PITCH COUNT ISSUE
"I wanted to be doing the job for 20 years. But I'll look back on this grateful that I took the risk and had three weeks of fantasy baseball play-by-play experience and enjoyed every minute of it."
"We just felt like for the overall broadcast, John could help us at pre- and post-game coverage. That job had not been filled and he's a big asset there and helps the entire package."
"They said that there was a lot of negative feedback and that the learning curve was just too great to overcome."
"The security guard says Major League Baseball has determined that the shirt constitutes profanity. He tells me to get another shirt, cover it up, turn it inside out or leave the stadium."
"Instead of having the bat model be 'AG28' or something like that, with my initials or my number, I talked to them and we were able to get Psalms 27:1, which is my favorite verse, the verse I like to go to. It talks about, 'The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; whom shall I be afraid of?' It really just tells me if there's any situation where I feel any kind of pressure, I just look at that psalm and feel God's in control."
"I threw my glove out there the first time because if I didn't like any of them, I was just going to go play with my glove. I felt sorry for the infielders. They had a little target out there."
"It's definitely a strength; he has that tunnel vision about him. You're seeing the next hitter, maybe the next three guys, but you're not here for the camaraderie, for the fun of it all. He's here to dominate, and that's what he tries to do, day in, day out. I don't agree with it–that's his style, not my style–but it obviously works for him."
"I walked in and said, 'Promise you won't think I'm crazy.' And he looked at me like, 'I know that you are, so I can't promise that.' He was expecting me to tell him I wanted him to hit lower in the batting order, I'm sure. I said, 'I'd like you to hit leadoff.' And he gave me that Longo smile. And I said, 'I really believe this can help.' Then I gave him my entire explanation of how I wanted him to approach it. We'll see where it takes us."
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.