March 31, 2003
The Week in Quotes
March 17-30SHEER NONSENSE
"If we don't have revenue sharing from 1996 on, (the Anaheim Angels) never make it and they never put their team together... It was the first thing that bore fruit from our revenue-sharing deal and you're going to see a lot more of that in the coming years. I don't think people understand how dramatic the economic landscape of this sport has been changed."
"I keep reading in certain newspapers that clubs weren't spending that money on players... That's just sheer nonsense. We went through and traced every single revenue-sharing dollar and couldn't find one club or one dollar that hadn't been spent on player development of a team."
SQUAD LEADERS, SOUND OFF!
"We've said from Day One, and even before that, that we've got to do the little things... And these guys, they play the game now and they encourage one another and then celebrate moving a guy over with a productive out. Get 'em over, get 'em in. They've been doing that so much. And to watch them respond in the dugout, it's neat. It's like a game-winning home run when a guy gives himself up to get a runner over."
"That's a bad, unfair rap... That's probably the most unfair rap I have. I got it because the Giants always had veteran teams, and I would get credit for trading away [young] guys."
"The key to good hitting is getting a good pitch to hit and not missing it when you get it... Barry Bonds hit .370 last season and had 198 walks. That tells me you have to be selective to be a good hitter. That's what I have to continue to do."
"It is the statistic off which everything else follows... It is unquestionably the single most important statistic in the game. It's everything."
ARCANE, DENSE, IMPENETRABLE
"Maybe I'm hopelessly old school in this regard, but to me statistics that you can derive from sort of the basic building blocks I think have real value... I look at 'Baseball Prospectus' from time to time, and some of
those stats are so arcane, dense, impenetrable--whatever the word you want to use is."
"I was looking through the Baseball Prospectus the other day and reading the section on us. They were talking about some formula that predicted Junior Spivey will have a year this year similar to the year Charlie Neal had after his 1959 season (with the Dodgers). What does that mean?"
"What gets me about some of the commentaries you read is what I think is a kind of superior, almost patronizing tone that suggests if you don't understand or embrace all of this, you're some blockhead who fears it and retreats into the cliche of, 'Well, can he really play?'"
"I think there will always be a place for some recognition of intangibles... As I'm overly fond of saying, 'This is not Rotisserie League.' We don't put the numbers into the computer. We actually hand out the balls and the bats at 7:05 and tell 'em to go play.'"
"I'm sure by any measurable statistics, (Mariano) Rivera gets Gonzo (Luis Gonzalez) out in the ninth inning (of Game 7 of the 2001 World Series). But those are real people playing, real guys pitching, who have to get real guys out."
DOCTORING THE NUMBERS
"Jim Thome hits 30 or 40 home runs and drives in 130 runs, and Doug Mientkiewicz drives in 60 or 70 runs. But Doug Mientkiewicz saves us about 40 or 50 runs a year defensively, by making plays and saving our other infielders. So I add that up to about 110 runs. And then Thome, we all know, is not the defensive player you like to see over there. He might cost his team 30 runs. So take away his 30, and add 40 to Dougie, and we got even."
"I don't put stock in those numbers... Our top two guys may have walked 30 times between them... We just play. I put stock in watching players play, and in their heart. Those numbers lie a lot."
"A higher batting average, more home runs and three or four guys going to the other league."
"We could be together a long time... Like Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling. That's what I think [Preston Larrison and I] are going to have in the Tigers system for a long time."
"Maybe he felt like he had to show off his testosterone. But this may be more
embarrassing than the one before. Why would you go after skinny Guillermo Mota in spring training and do nothing to Roger Clemens in the World Series?"
"I don't feel comfortable making a political statement because I'm not a politician. I support what we're doing. If we don't do it, who is going to do it? Unless Saddam starts throwing heaters middle in, there's nothing I can do."