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March 17, 2003

The Week in Quotes

March 4-16

by Ryan Wilkins

WAIT FOR IT...

"He has been programmed, before we got him, by the A's... Their philosophy is taking a lot of pitches and getting deep in the count. Most times, I notice guys who come from the American League to the National League weren't used to being aggressive and took a lot of pitches. It's going to take time to change your mind-set. We're trying to let him be himself at the same time."
--Dusty Baker, Cubs manager, on infielder Mark Bellhorn (Chicago Sun-Times)

"Everyone talks about patience. But you know what? Too much patience is stupidity. There's a fine balance there."
--Lou Piniella, Devil Rays manager (MLB.com)

"At this particular time, I'm trying to work the count to 3-2 on every at-bat... Basically, I'm trying to see as many pitches as I can. The more pitches I see, the better chance I feel I have a getting a hit."
--Reggie Sanders, Pirates outfielder (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

"Those are things we try to get some of our younger players to do, particularly in spring training... When you see the veteran players do it, it should rub off on some of our younger players who have high strikeout numbers."
--Lloyd McClendon, Pirates manager

CUE THE DEVIL RAY QUOTES!

"It was either here or a softball league in Colorado... I mean, it was a tough decision, because I was going to get to DH and drink beer during games in the softball league."
--Lee Stevens, Devil Rays first baseman, on joining the Devil Rays (Tampa Bay Online)

"Winning is the only thing that really sells... It doesn't matter what we tell the fans. There's only one thing we should ever try to sell. And that's winning. So we're not trying to sell anything here anymore. We've positioned ourselves to get better and start putting a winning team on the field. We're past trying to sell tickets through words."
--Chuck LaMar, Devil Rays general manager (ESPN.com)

"No matter what it looks like, this is a baseball area."
--LaMar, on Tampa, Florida

THE NATIVES ARE RESTLESS

"This is really a joke. I said it last year and I'm still saying it. This is a joke. We should have an owner. We shouldn't be owned by 29 other teams. The way I see it, why would they want to do anything except beat us?"
--Javier Vazquez, Montreal Expos pitcher (Chicago Tribune)

"I want to get it done before the end of spring training, or I'm not coming back... I'm not playing for free anymore. It's too late for this year (to renegotiate), but they better take care of me beyond that. I want two or three years.
--Benito Santiago, Giants catcher (Sacramento Bee)

"They want me to work with the young pitchers, but I'm not going to do it for free. I will play hard, but I'm not happy. This has been on my mind a long time. Only Ivan Rodríguez and Paul LoDuca can catch with me in this league.
--Santiago

"If they don't take care of me, it's goodbye. Who else is going to do it around here? I've been playing for free for three years. I helped the pitchers get to the playoffs, I helped the team get to the World Series. What more do they want?"
--Santiago

YOU COULD MAKE A KILLING

"If he comes [today] and I face him, I'll hit him... I won't try to hit him in the head, but I'll hit him. And if he charges me, I'll kill him."
--Jose Mesa, Phillies pitcher, on Indians shortstop and former teammate Omar Vizquel (ESPN.com)

"I really like Jose... No matter what happened on the field, I still think he's a good guy."
--Omar Vizquel, Indians shortstop, on Mesa

"If he comes to apologize, I will punch him right in the face... And then I'll kill him."
--Mesa

"I didn't mean to do anything bad... I just wanted to let the fans know a little about what's going on out on the field."
--Vizquel, on critcizing Mesa in his book Omar! My Life On and Off the Field

"If that would make him happy, I will fight him... Anything can happen. Everybody says I have soft hands, so I don't know. It would be flyweight vs. heavyweight."
--Vizquel

THE REST

"Definitely, I think last year was my best year... You can't go by number of errors, but I know I got to more balls that I didn't get to in the past. I felt my range was better and all-around agility was better by far."
--Derek Jeter, Yankees shortstop, on his defense in 2002 (Sports Illustrated Online)

"I don't much care for fast starts... But I guess it's good catching some attention early. It might buy me a few more weeks. I might be able to make my full IRA contribution this year."
--Jody Gerut, Indians outfielder, on his spring performance (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

"My first major-league spring training, there were like 70 guys in camp... Josh Bard and I had lockers in the shower. It was actually an auxiliary room next to the trainer's room. I got cut before the first game. They needed the space."
--Gerut

"Who's protected me? Kent never protected me. Benito never protected me. Those guys just got up in opportunities to drive in runs. They never protected me. If you're protected, you're not walking 198 times. I wouldn't call that protection. I'd call that good hitting by those guys."
--Barry Bonds, Giants outfielder (Contra Costa Times)

"I'm telling you, somebody this year is going to hit 30 (home runs)... Might not be me. Maybe it'll be Jacque or Corey (Koskie). All that filet-of-fish swinging? Forget about it. Straight hot links."
--Torii Hunter, Twins center fielder, on the team's new hitting philosophy (St. Paul Pioneer Press)

"The days of giving up first-round picks for star players and overspending just to make the fans happy in January or February, those days are over. The Red Sox want to please their fans in late October, not December."
--Theo Epstein, Red Sox general manager (Sports Illustrated Online)

"When I got here, Gary (DiSarcina) was playing short, and he was obviously a great shortstop."
--Troy Glaus, Angels third baseman (MLB.com)

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