March 22, 2004
The Week in Quotes
March 15-21THE FOOL ON THE HILL
"In every generation there has to be some fool who will speak the truth as he sees it... I'm the fool."
"In a perfect world [where the players were tested for steroids], we'd know it was all about Brady and what he did. I don't know how he did what he did. The right thing is to have testing. It's not about infringing on the players' rights but to level the playing field."
"When Bonds goes from 49 to 73, you just wonder... You're trying to have a level playing field and maintain the integrity of the game. I'm sure it was a great year for Brady, and it was a great year when Bonds broke McGwire's record, but you just wonder."
"I'm just saying it's a concern when you have aberrations in people's performances... I know how hard Brady worked to be a good player. But who knows? You just don't know, and that's the fault of baseball, not Brady."
"Because I only hit 50 home runs once, it was, in fact, an aberration. However, it was not a fluke... Nothing can be considered a fluke that takes six months to accomplish. Rather it was a culmination of all my athleticism and baseball skills and years of training peaking simultaneously. This was my athletic opus."
"Perhaps what offended me the most was his comment that he knows how hard I trained. How could he possibly know that? Pushing myself to become a better athlete was truly my passion and still is. Many people don't possess the desire to test the limits of what the body and mind can accomplish, and others I'm certain possess the desire but lack the expertise to achieve the desired results."
"I know what I accomplished, am proud of it, and know that it was done with integrity. I'll state this once again: It was 26 more home runs than I hit in any other season, but that's just one more home run per week, just one more good swing. That is the data that simultaneously comforted me and haunted me, the small difference between greatness and mediocrity."
"I just don't understand that. I've seen the interviews that say '[Beane's] biography' or whatever. I don't comprehend that. It's just ignorance."
"It flies in the face of baseball, a lot of old-school theory... People that aren't open to anything new, I could see how this would be offensive. Billy was a scapegoat. He was the main character."
"People have taken different interpretations of the book... In my view, the book is really not about the Oakland A's. It's about a group of people that really were trying to find a better way, that were in a system that was very difficult for them to be successful and, to use a Darwin analogy, here's an organization that was pushed to the edge of extinction and they had to find a way to survive."
ONIONS ON BELTS
"The issue has to be approached head on... It'll only benefit these young men who think they're immortal."
"What I more or less got from his agent is (that) this is the first time in his career that he had to battle for a job, and I think he looked at his competition and he thought (Greene) was playing very well."
"He thought that his chances probably weren't real good, and he was probably right. He had a good spring for us, but I think he realized that Greene was our future shortstop and likely to make the team as a starter. Rather than continue to fight it out with him, he decided to take off."
"I hear Gene Orza talk about how cigarettes are more dangerous than steroids. I've lost three people to cigarettes-Dave McNally, Mike Cuellar and Cal Ripken Sr. They were all smokers and cigarettes contributed to the poor health that led to their deaths. When you read crap like that, it makes me angry."
"The biggest challenge is for me to learn how to use a computer... There's a lot of things that go down before a ballgame, before you go out there even for batting practice, the preparation, going over the opposing pitchers, and their hitters vs. our pitchers. It's become a very computer stat-oriented situation. So you look at those things and get those gut feelings and you move on them."
"The trend is set, and I think it's going to continue. Back in the old days most general managers died with their boots on. It's probably the worst job in baseball now. You're strapped with high salaries. (Owners) want younger guys who, to be honest with you, are more apt to say yes."