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May 5, 2003

The Week in Quotes

April 28-May 4

by Ryan Wilkins

SHOCKED AND AWED

"This kid had never had a tweak... I've never quite been around a kid like him, that could throw nine innings, then throw from 150-160 feet in the outfield the next day and never have iced [his arm]."
--Jeff Torborg, Marlins manager, on pitcher A.J. Burnett (Florida Sun-Sentinel)

"I can understand it... Somebody blows out an arm, somebody's always got to find blame with somebody. It's easy to talk from the outside."
--Torborg, responding to criticisms of his handling of Burnett

"We were trying to protect the kid from the first day we came into the organization... The kid was so healthy. Some guys just have the good mechanics and the God-given skeletal structure. [The injury] shocked all of us."
--Torborg

IF I COULD TURN BACK TIME

"There's a rumor out there our management had known there was a bone spur in my elbow upon arriving from Montreal, and [manager] Jeff Torborg and [pitching coach] Brad Arnsberg were not told about this... I'm sure if they were told about this, I'd have been handled totally differently."
--A.J. Burnett, Marlins pitcher (Florida Sun-Sentinel)

"Oh, a whole lot different... Sure. If you thought somebody had a bone spur, you'd absolutely be on top of it. ... If we had any idea A.J. had a bone spur, he never would have taken the number of pitches he was taking. Never."
--Torborg, on whether or not he would have handled Burnett differently, had he known he was injured (Florida Sun-Sentinel)

"I point no fingers... Brad Arnsberg and Jeff Torborg are very intelligent individuals, and they did the right thing. I'd pitch for them any day."
--Burnett

"I had a God-blessed arm that never hurt, and I could throw 120-some pitches... I don't think [high pitch counts] had anything to do with it."
--Burnett

"I think it was just a matter of time before it happened."
--Burnett

"I don't think pitch counts are what causes injuries... I think an elbow can't take 99 [mph] sometimes. I don't think a 10-pitch count difference saves you from having surgery or not."
--Mike Lowell, Marlins third baseman, on Burnett's injury (Miami Herald)

"They're called starters. They're not called 6 1/3 guys."
--Dusty Baker, Cubs manager (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

FEAR AND IGNORANCE

"I wouldn't want a gay guy being around me."
--Todd Jones, Rockies pitcher (Denver Post)

"It's got nothing to do with being scared. That's the problem: All these people say he's got all these rights. Yeah, he's got rights or whatever, but he shouldn't be walking around proud. It's like he's rubbing it in our face."
--Jones, on the prospect of a having an openly gay teammate

"I think my only mistake was that I made my views public."
--Jones

"I think the perception in the clubhouse would be one of, for lack of a better word-fear... Fear that they'd be stared at or (that a gay player might fall) in love with them. But I think if you're intelligent at all, you'd understand that homosexuals are just like us. They don't think everybody's attractive. Just because this guy's homosexual doesn't mean he's attracted to me."
--Mark Grace, Diamondbacks infielder (Denver Post)

"I've played for 16 years, and I'm sure I've had homosexual teammates that I didn't know about... If one out of six or seven men are homosexual-do the math."
--Grace

OPINIONS ARE LIKE ... "ELBOWS"

"I think that's good for the fans... I think, after last year, you don't want to see that anymore. I think it had everything to do with it. But the bottom line is, once you get to the World Series, you've got to win, regardless."
--Brian Jordan, Dodgers outfielder, on the decision to have the All-Star Game decide home-field advantage in the World Series (AP)

"I disagree with it, completely and totally... I think it just takes away from the whole idea of what the All-Star game is about, which is letting the fans vote and letting it be an exhibition game. Now they're trying to make it into something that it never has been."
--Kevin Brown, Dodgers pitcher

"I don't think it matters... The best team is going to win anyway."
--Barry Bonds, Giants outfielder

THE REST

"I respect Barry as a player, as a hitter and obviously what he's done... The inside part of the plate for me, for me to be effective I need it. I was just trying to back him off. He said what he had to say and I said what I had to say. I hold nothing against him. That doesn't mean the next time I face him I'm not going to go right back inside."
--Mark Prior, Cubs pitcher, after hitting Barry Bonds (AP)

"I'm sure it could have gotten heated. I wasn't going to back down from him at all... Just because he's got 15-20 years in the big leagues and 600 homers and I have been in the league a little under a year doesn't mean I have to stop doing what makes me a professional."
--Prior

"I'd rather just play baseball... I don't really like tributes. The last tribute I had I was with the Giants and we went to play the Dodgers in '84. They gave me a TV that quit working after about six months. They gave me a diamond I haven't gotten yet."
--Baker, on receiving an ovation from Giants fans during his return to Pac Bell Park (AP)

Related Content:  A.J. Burnett

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