July 21, 2003
The Week in Quotes
"I'll take the blame for the NL not having the home field advantage in the World Series... I'm sorry, but that's the way it works when you're a closer. Hopefully, it will be the Dodgers in there so I can redeem myself. It bothers me, but it's over. That's what closers have to deal with."
"Certainly, our guys in the clubhouse are going to be in the World Series, so I'm glad that I could help them out."
"I think there were a lot of little subtleties... At times, I think we were more conscious of late-inning matchups than we might have been if it was more of an exhibition game."
"Babe Ruth is symbolic of baseball... If there is a record you want to go after, it's Babe Ruth. Because Babe Ruth is Mr. Baseball, right? ... He's considered the greatest baseball player, and if you want to compare yourself, you want to compare yourself to the greatest player."
"Henry Aaron, to me, you're getting back to the history of it all... I'm in the next generation of Negro League ballplayers, and Henry Aaron is one of the pioneers. (Aaron) can keep (the homer) record. Where he has come from, he has given us opportunities as African-American ballplayers."
"To suggest that those feats are somehow capable of 'wiping out' Ruth illustrates a complete disregard for the history and tradition of our national game, and its greatest player and star."
SPEAKING HIS MIND
"That's what's wrong with baseball. That's what's wrong with the commissioner's position, in my opinion... The commissioner of baseball should not be an owner of a team. It's a little bit of a conflict of interest."
"It's not his job to do what's best for the owners. It's not his job to do what's best for the players. It's his job to do what's best for this game, to keep this game thriving well after we're gone."
"People commenting, particularly on things they have no clue, is just not worth responding... I know a bunch of people who would be glad to rip a lot of people. The guy who's paying his way into the ballpark, frankly, doesn't care."
"The wild card, the additional round of playoffs, additional revenue sharing, the push to get new stadia have all been fan-friendly and have all worked to the advantage of the players."
"His comments show a very unfortunate lack of understanding as to what the game is all about... To impugn the efforts of the commissioner over the last 11 years in ludicrous. We're trying to market the game to fans, and his comments show ignorance."
"It's time we start shaking this ballclub up to see if we can get it going in the right direction."
"I had heard some things that maybe I would be traded but you don't really ever expect it, but when it happens you're in shock... I won't really know until I put on a different uniform."
"[Laughter] Why did you have to bring up Lemke's name? Lemke was Babe Ruth. When I turn 80, if I get to 80, I will always remember Lemke. No, I don't believe in clutch. I was just trying to do my job against some people who were very good at doing theirs, too. Small sample size."
"We think we're right in the thick of it... We've got to get better. We've got to get healthier. I'm just going to plug along and hope I can do something to help the ballclub within the next couple of weeks, because they've certainly done their part in the first half. Their resiliency has been admirable."
"I think it's a possibility he could come back and be close to the player he was when we acquired him... In the five games prior to the All-Star break, we all saw what a special player he is when he's healthy."
"Sure, in a perfect world, would I like to give it to the team with the best record? Of course, I would. But we need 10-to-12,000 hotel rooms. You can't get that in 24 hours."