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March 31, 2003

The Week in Quotes

March 17-30

by Ryan Wilkins

SHEER 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."
--Bud Selig, MLB commissioner, on how the small market, revenue strapped Angels (owned by a small business known as Disney) were able to win the 2002 World Series (ESPN.com)

"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."
--Selig

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."
--Jeff Torborg, Marlins manager (Miami Herald)

"I don't care (about home runs). I'd like to have six guys drive in 100 runs with all singles. Home runs are overrated."
--Tony LaRussa, Cardinals manager (MLB.com)

"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."
--Dusty Baker, Cubs manager, on his apparent preference for veteran players (Chicago Sun-Times)

FREE PASS

"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."
--Mike Sweeney, Royals first baseman (Associated Press)

"It is the statistic off which everything else follows... It is unquestionably the single most important statistic in the game. It's everything."
--Barry Bonds, Giants outfielder, on on-base percentage (ESPN.com)

"We don't walk at all... I think we must have a sign from the third base coach that says, 'Thou shalt not pass.'"
--Lou Pinella, Devil Rays manager (Sports Illustrated Online)

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."
--Joe Garagiola Jr., Diamondbacks general manager (Baseball America)

"I guess this is meaningful to somebody, but not me. It drills down so deeply, it's like, 'OK, when you hit the bottom, there are three people in the world that this matters to.'"
--Garagiola Jr.

"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?"
--Garagiola Jr. (CBS Sportsline)

"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?'"
--Garagiola Jr.

"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.'"
--Garagiola Jr.

"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."
--Garagiola Jr.

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."
--Ron Gardenhire, Twins manager (Miami Herald)

"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."
--Gardenhire (CBS Sportsline)

"It's great to have a guy with a .480 on-base percentage. But how many times does that guy go up and not swing with guys on base, and not drive them in?"
--Gardenhire

"You don't have to buy it because I'm not really trying to sell it to you... I'm just letting you know what I think."
--Gardenhire

"It doesn't matter what kind of numbers you have... You always want to have a better year."
--Corey Koskie, Twins third baseman (Miami Herald)

"We're not on OPS yet... Frankly, I don't know how much more technology we need in our lives."
--Pat Gillick, Mariners general manager (MSNBC.com)

THE REST

"A higher batting average, more home runs and three or four guys going to the other league."
--Carlos Guillen, Mariners shortstop, on what it would take to be named an American League All-Star (Seattle Post-Intelliger)

"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."
--Jeremy Bonderman, Tigers pitcher, on he and fellow-pitcher Preston Larson (Detroit News)

"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?"
--Pedro Martinez, Red Sox pitcher, on Mike Piazza charging the mound after being hit by a pitch by Guillermo Mota (ESPN.com Chat Wrap)

"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."
--Mike Lowell, Marlins third baseman, on the war with Iraq (Houston Chronicle)

Related Content:  Joe Garagiola Jr

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