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July 8, 2002

The Week in Quotes

July 1-7, 2002

by Derek Zumsteg

MANAGERS AND EX-MANAGERS

"You never expect the pitcher to get a base hit, especially against a guy like Randy Johnson, and especially after the swing he put on the pitch before that. It just goes to prove anybody with a bat in his hand at this level is dangerous, even Hideo Nomo."
--Bob Brenly, Diamondbacks manager, after Dodgers pitcher Hideo Nomo hit a go-ahead double

"You'd love to have that feeling all year long, that we can score and score again. I'm sure it's a settling feeling for the pitchers."
--Bobby Valentine, Mets manager, after scoring 12 runs against the Phillies

"I'd rather fill the ballpark with line drives. You win more games that way."
--Tony LaRussa, Cardinals manager, on his team hitting 15 home runs in 6 games

"Who'd have thought that a team would miss its ninth hitter (Ray Sanchez) as much, if not more, than its cleanup hitter (Manny Ramirez)? I had no idea how good Sanchez was until I watched him every day. He does a lot of things that make his team better."
--Grady Little, Red Sox manager

"When you lose Young and Gutierrez, guys who were 1-2 at the top of your lineup, it makes a difference for all of us. [Corey] Patterson is not a true leadoff hitter at all. It's more out of necessity."
--Don Baylor, Cubs ex-manager

"I get sick and tired of people saying you have to motivate. Motivation, everyone talks about it, but that's a bunch of [bleep] if I ever heard it. Sometimes people get carried away with that term. I don't think I ever had to be motivated by a manager."
--Baylor

VETERAN PLAYER DEVELOPMENT

"They're not prepared to pitch up here. That's been very evident. And it's not their fault. We've got some great arms coming up that don't know how to work out of trouble because they don't have to in the minor leagues. It has been discussed here."
--Phil Nevin, Padres infielder, regarding many of the Padres' starting pitchers who have been promoted this season

"The thing I've noticed is none of them are used to pitching in the sixth, seventh inning, because they don't have to in the minors."
--Nevin

"They have the three-run trap rule, and that could be why these guys have such gaudy numbers (low ERAs in the minors), the starters especially, when they get here. To be honest, I don't think the pitchers in our minor leagues are being properly prepared to play in the big leagues."
--Nevin

"From what I understand, the starting pitchers don't have to work past a certain number if they get in any trouble. To me, when they're down there, you're preparing them to pitch through trouble. I'm not saying to run them out there for 120 or 130 pitches, but to me it's ridiculous. A starter's a guy who can get out of (trouble) and get the game into the seventh inning and save our bullpen. That's how you learn to pitch up here."
--Nevin

"Phil needs to remember this is development. We want to find who our big leaguers are and who are not. If you look at young pitchers, when you end up throwing them 115 to 120 pitches, they're more at risk for injuries. We build them up month by month to where they can throw more pitches. It's to protect the arms and to allow all of our relievers to have opportunities."
--Kevin Towers, Padres GM

"It's very clear that Nevin has no idea what we're doing in the minor leagues. If he can rehab to the extent that he can get back on the field and run minor league operations at the same time, then he's a very, very interesting man. He has absolutely no idea what's being done in minor league operations. He should stick to rehabbing, and he should stick to getting himself back on the field."
--Ted Simmons, Padres Vice President of Player Development and Scouting, who developed the Padres' system for using minor league pitchers

"We're not telling (Simmons) how to run his organization. But I can tell you I agree with what Phil is saying and all of us here agree... it's unanimous. Look what's been happening. And it is our business to see how it's run because we signed long-term contracts here."
--Ryan Klesko, Padres infielder

PLATE DISCIPLINE: PRO AND CON

"I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing. You can't force walks. I mean, you can try to be disciplined and patient at the plate. But a lot of times, the pitcher has to cooperate."
--Mike Scioscia, Angels manager, on infielder Benji Gil's inability to walk

"A lot of times you don't think about it, but the walk is a very valuable thing in baseball."
--Bobby Kielty, Twins outfielder

"I've always been an on-base percentage guy. I was looking in the zone for something to drive, and he didn't give me anything."
--Kielty

"I didn't want to lay off of that first pitch."
--Mike Caruso, Royals infielder, on his early strategy

"Why would they do that to me? Now I know why. They knew I'd swing at it."
--Caruso, on finding pitchers were feeding him breaking pitches early in the count

TEAM PLAYERS

"I know I can play there. I have no doubts. You can't keep a good man down. There's no way you can do that, regardless if you think you can."
--Carl Everett, Rangers outfielder, after refusing a minor-league rehab assignment, on his return to center field

"I'm not saying, 'Trade me, trade me, trade me,' but I wouldn't mind the chance to go somewhere I'll play more than once a week."
--Shane Halter, Tigers infielder

"There's such a thing as keeping your utility guys sharp. Plus, a day off every once in a while keeps your starters sharp."
--Halter

THE REST

"That's what you get for playing in Kansas City."
--Mike Sweeney, Royals infielder, on the low All Star vote totals for him

"He gave me a little pep talk. In a very nice way, he told me, 'You suck.'"
--Carlos Delgado, Blue Jays infielder, on advice from his father

"I think it will come down to whether [Yankees owner George] Steinbrenner is willing to share more with the middle markets or the smaller markets. It does seem that every plan we hear seems to benefit Milwaukee."
--Johnny Damon, Red Sox outfielder, on labor negotiations

"Even from a baseball standpoint, I couldn't understand this deal. I mean, we were winning. I was pitching well. I thought I was helping."
--Ted Lilly, Athletics pitcher

"I was praying to somebody (that the ball would stay in the park). Then I thought, Oh, he got it! Then I thought, Oh, son of a ...! Then, the next thing you know, the umpires are running around screaming at people, and I'm yelling, 'Call 'em both out. Call 'em both out.' "
--Billy Koch, Athletics pitcher, after Royals outfielder Michael Tucker sent a 400-foot shot to deep center off Terrence Long's glove and over the wall in the 10th inning, only to be called out for passing teammate Mike Caruso 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:  Quotes,  Plate Discipline,  Phil Nevin

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