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July 28, 2003

The Week in Quotes

July 21-27

by Ryan Wilkins

THE FIRST OF MANY

"I was a little nervous at first... but once I settled down, everything went pretty well."
--Rich Harden, Athletics pitcher, on his major-league debut

"It was kind of tough coming into today, with the team having lost four straight... But that didn't change my game plan. I still had to go out there and pitch, just like any other game."
--Harden

"He was terrific... He needs to work on a couple of things. He was tipping his pitches a little bit, and I think they picked that up in the first inning. But his stuff was so good it really didn't matter."
--Ken Macha, Athletics manager, on Harden

ON THE BLOCK

"I'm not surprised after what's happened... A lot more guys are going to leave. I'm just glad I'm going to a good team."
--Aramis Ramirez, Cubs third baseman, on being traded to Chicago from Pittsburgh

It seems like every year at this point I hear stuff like this, so I've really become accustomed to dealing with it. Sometimes you get traded, sometimes you don't. I mean, obviously, I want to stay here and I want to win, which is something I think this club is capable of doing."
--Ted Lilly, Athletics pitcher, on the prospect of being traded

TWENTY YEARS LATER...

"I have that bat I used for the 3,000th hit on a wall in my basement and I guarantee you it has far more pine tar on it than the one I got called out for. The 3,000th-hit bat is ugly. It's a mess. Pine tar all the way up it."
--George Brett, former Royal and Hall of Fame infielder, on the infamous "Pine Tar Incident"

"Some guy asked me once if I put the pine tar on the bat on purpose... Now, how stupid is that? Of course I put it there on purpose. It's what I used."
--Brett

"I understood that there was a time when you didn't want pine tar on the balls because you'd have to throw the balls out all the time. It was kind of a financial thing for baseball in the old days. But when the incident happened, it's not like the game couldn't afford new balls."
--Brett

"I always wondered what George was thinking. I'm 6-feet-5, 260 pounds. What exactly was George going to do once he got to me?"
--Tim McClelland, major league umpire, on the Pine Tar Incident

"I could have prevented the whole thing if I'd just grabbed the bat and got rid of it... I could sense something was up, but I didn't react. If I had reacted, nothing ever would have happened. No case."
--Hal McRae, former Royal and teammate of Brett

"I remember walking into Office Depot one time and the guy waiting on me said, 'Oh, sorry, I think we're out of pine tar' ...Or if I go golfing at some charity event, someone will always say, 'Hey, don't be loading up on the pine tar on that driver.' There's usually about nine guys who say that and think they're the first ones who've ever thought about it."
--Brett

"What would you rather be known for, pine tar or the guy who had hemorrhoids in the World Series?"
--Brett, making light of the fame generated from the Pine Tar Incident

THE REST

"I wish I'd told him I'm a whole-year player because maybe I would have done better in the first half."
--Rich Aurilia, Giants shortstop, referring to the fact that he told manager Felipe Alou he was a "second-half hitter" back in March

"I'm human. It happens."
--Brendan Donnelly, Angels reliever, on being hit up for two runs on Friday, raising his season ERA to 0.71

"We've been able to win games with our gloves, our pitching and timely hitting... You need all those things during the course of a 162-game season."
--Mike Hargrove, Orioles manager

"(QuesTec) has taken away from the game... I don't think they should have machines at all. It's a game played by men and judged by men. That's the human element."
--Jason Grimsley, Royals reliever, on QuesTec

Related Content:  George Brett,  Pine Tar

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