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August 11, 2003

The Week in Quotes

August 4-10

by Ryan Wilkins

BY THE NUMBERS

"I'm the worst? I don't think I would say that. But I couldn't really care less what some mathematical equation comes out with."
--Derek Jeter, Yankees shortstop, on being ranked as the worst defensive shortstop in baseball in the new book, Fielder's Choice: Baseball's Best Shortstops (Newark Star-Ledger)

"How to you rank defensive shortstops? ...I don't see how a formula can evaluate how somebody plays."
--Jeter

"The run support last year wasn't there... I was losing a lot of games 3-1, pitching eight innings, complete games, 2-1, 2-0. This year, they were giving me six runs a game. Everybody thinks I'm having a better year. I'm not."
--Sidney Ponson, Giants pitcher (SF Chronicle)

"I think the pitch counts are kind of putting the handcuffs on pitching coaches and managers throughout baseball."
--Spin Williams, Pirates pitching coach (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

RADAR LOVE

"I don't worry about what people think or say, but there were a lot of people who told me--even when I was in the minors--that I didn't throw hard enough. People always told me I didn't throw hard enough. Now, I could care less what they say. But I always felt like I had to put good numbers up in the minors because they might give up on me a lot sooner than a guy who throws harder."
--Kirk Rueter, Giants pitcher (Marin Independent Journal)

"He threw a lot of slow stuff... Then he threw slower than slow stuff. Then he came back with slower stuff."
--Covelli Crisp, Indians outfielder, on Jamie Moyer's seven-inning, three-hit performance against the Indians (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

EXECUTION

"Yeah, I can bunt."
--Brian Buchanan, Padres outfielder, after being asked to bunt by manager Bruce Bochy in the top of the 10th against Philadelphia (San Diego Union-Tribune)

"I can bunt, but I'm not very good at it."
--Buchanan, after hitting a game-winning three-run homer in the subsequent at-bat

CLOSE CALL

"Now I looked at the replays, and I know the replays aren't very good, but I don't get a second chance at it. It was a tough night sleeping last night."
--Tim Welke, major-league umpire, admitting that he made an incorrect call in the 9th inning of the Rockies/Pirates game last Saturday (AP)

"Sure, I would have liked another whack at it. It was a close play, and I understand the situation. But every day you turn a new page. You have to."
--Welke

"You hear people say that umpires don't care--that was living proof...(Country singer) Ronnie Milsap could have made that call, and he's blind."
--Larry Walker, Rockies outfielder, on Welke

"I totally disagree with that... Games are full of close plays and close pitches. As umpires, we get one shot at it, and you have to call it the way you see it. At the time, I thought absolutely it was the correct call. There was no doubt in my mind."
--Welke, on Walker

"I don't know what happens when umpires make bad calls, but I know what happens to us: We get fired and sent to Triple-A."
--Clint Hurdle, Rockies manager

"As an umpire--and I can speak for my profession--our goal is to have nothing to do with who wins or loses the game. Our goal is to judge the game fairly, to the best of our ability. As an umpire who's done this for a long time, I take a lot of pride in that."
--Welke

"It was obviously predetermined that if we hit a groundball, it was going to be a double play, and everybody could watch the (postgame) fireworks show... It was probably the worst call I've seen all year."
--Jason Jennings, Rockies pitcher, on Welke

FACE VALUE

"At some point, we just have to take things at face value. You don't want to get too subjective, but there's a lot of things... in Jose's case, you're talking about a guy whose career path was really interrupted. He was a Rule 5 guy, I think. So you're talking about a 21-year-old who's leapfrogged like that, and his development was completely interrupted. And he's still young, 27 years old, so part of his own development was the fault of Baseball."
--Billy Beane, Athletics general manager, on acquiring outfielder Jose Guillen (ESPN.com)

"There's no question, you have to ask yourself about the track record. There's no question, this is one of the best years he's had. But if we're going to take it at face value, in our minds he's hitting as well as any outfielder in the major leagues, this side of (Barry) Bonds. And we have him at the minimum (salary) for two months. If there is such a thing as the 'hot hand'--and I know there are people who don't believe in that--this is the kind of guy to get. And I don't think we've ever acquired a guy with his kind of numbers at the trade deadline since I've been here."
--Beane

THE REST

"Today, everybody's afraid they're gonna hurt a guy's arm, a guy gets a hangnail and they're out for a week. I had aches and pains, but I never had an arm I couldn't throw with. Now, guys are on the disabled list forever. I don't think we had a disabled list."
--Warren Spahn, former Braves pitcher and Hall of Famer, on today's wimpy ballplayers (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

"I had to get into the group... Everybody's been hitting home runs and I've only been hitting singles. I had to get in the group. I was lonely."
--Roberto Alomar, White Sox second baseman, after hitting his first home run with the team (AP)

"He's feeling great. He says there's no pain. We, of course, don't believe him. How's that saying go? Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. I see in my crystal ball at least two minor-league starts for Kirk."
--Stan Conte, Giants trainer, on injured starter Kirk Rueter (SF Chronicle)

"I want to fistfight the scorekeeper. You can quote me on that."
--Marcus Giles, Braves second baseman, on having an error called against him (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

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