March 8, 2004
The Week in Quotes
March 1-7IF YOU WANT BLOOD (YOU'VE GOT IT)
"Cigarettes are worse... And I didn't say that steroids shouldn't be prohibited. They in fact are. The point, conveniently overlooked by Mr. Sweeney, is that it is not banning steroids to which we object, but the manner in which he proposes to detect use--the unlimited, forced analysis of someone's urine--even in the absence of a particularized suspicion. I know Congressman Sweeney hasn't read our Joint Drug Agreement. But I didn't know he hadn't read the Fourth Amendment [search and seizure without probable cause]."
"Mr. Orza's flippant remarks comparing steroids and cigarettes suggest he is sadly misinformed on this issue... Every major athletic association except baseball bans steroids and steroid precursors. The IOC routinely strips athletes of Olympic medals if they are found to have broken the rules. That's why Ben Johnson is now nothing more than the answer to a trivia question instead of a former world-record holding gold medalist."
"The union needs to be reaching out, not shutting its doors... This isn't in the best interest of baseball, and it's not in the best interest of America's youth. If they won't do it, I hope the players speak up and demand that their union bosses do the right thing."
TRADING BARBS ACROSS THE BAY
"In terms of competitive balance it is not good for baseball... The Rodriguez trade moves us back to where we're escaping. The team with the highest payroll can add the highest salaried player. It's good that A-Rod is playing in a big market, but it should be another big market."
"I think all of us in baseball would prefer to get a salary cap if we could... The Yankees are probably the only ballclub that would not want to have one. They have a payroll of $185 million. We'll probably start the season at $80 million. The Yankees could be the only team to have to pay a payroll tax."
"I think they regret having done that. Everyone knows that with just a little (financial) hiccup over there, they've got serious problems."
"Magowan obviously feels strongly about that... He came out the other day with a statement--I don't know if it was to diffuse the bigger problems he might have--but he said (the South Bay) is his territory and blah, blah, blah."
"I just know that the only way the Giants ended up with territorial rights was because they planned to build a stadium in San Jose. They had to get permission from the A's. Now they build another stadium, closer to Oakland than they were before, and if we start talking about the South Bay, they go berserk. It's like my four-year-old granddaughter says sometimes, 'crybaby, crybaby.' They like to cry a lot about it."
"It's not something I'm really going to concentrate on, I'm going to throw a lot of pitches. That's how I've been my whole career. I don't want to focus on that and take my focus away from other things I need to be doing and worry about pitch counts. I'll let Larry (pitching coach Larry Rothschild) work the clicker."
"There's no way to shield anybody from hype in New York... That's a given. But what they can shield from is going out there and throwing 130, 140 pitches a game."
"It happens quick... If you get on a roll in the minor leagues and they've got some guys struggling up there, especially with the back-page competition between the Yankees and the Mets. If this kid is doing good and someone is struggling, I'm sure this kid will be up there."
IT'S GOOD TO BE BACK
"I didn't even know where the entrance was, I was lost coming into the park... I put my first hit-and-run on, it worked pretty good. I put a squeeze on right away. That's the way I'm going to manage, do the little things to win games. I'm going to make sure I set the tone for the season. I have to get ready for the season right away."
"Last year, I was nowhere... I was making $3,000 a month. My cell phone bill is higher than that. I thought my career was over. To be in a Dodger uniform...it's like the Yankees; all the tradition.
"People talk about shortstops, but, to me, first base is as important, if not more important, than any position in the field. So much goes into playing first base."
"That's a bunch of crap... I know how I play this game best. I play with all the emotion I need. I'm not going to be whirling a towel around like Derek Jeter. I just don't play well with that mind-set."
"He is not ready to be a No. 1, Just because he is short and fast, that doesn't make you a No. 1. It takes years to learn to be a No. 1. He doesn't know what he's doing. He doesn't know how to take [pitches]. These are things you have to learn in the minors or earlier. If they wanted him to be a leadoff hitter, he should have been groomed to do this in the minors."