March 29, 2004
The Week in Quotes
"I was only here for a month with Maddux... But some of the stuff he'd talk about, I had to try to forget--because I didn't understand what he was talking about. I thought he was talking about baseball, but I'm not sure. I guess I'm just a simple guy."
"There isn't enough sake in Japan for that... Not right now. But we are better. And we are going to be competitive."
"If you get there enough times, you're going to (advance)... I think every team going into the playoffs has at least a 10 percent chance of winning it all, and even the best team has no better than a 15 percent chance. It's a crapshoot, and I love saying that because it (upsets) everyone. It's just like the NCAA Tournament."
"The fact is we just want to get there, and there's going to be a year when our team is probably maybe the worst team in the playoffs, but through some luck or circumstance, we'll go farther than we should. And there have been years when we've had a better team and haven't gone on."
DUSTY, THAT'S YOUR QUEUE...
"Chemistry is very important. I remember a few years ago when I was with the Giants, a guy told me there was no such thing as chemistry. I said, 'Well, there is no such thing as chemistry when you don't have any.' But for those that have it, it means a lot."
"Dusty and I give (chemistry) a lot of thought in the off-season. It's not just talent. We try to get as many guys as we can that we feel are winning-type players. As Dusty does such a marvelous job of blending the guys over a 162-game schedule, that's important."
KING OF THE HILL
"Throwing 100 doesn't hurt, but Kerry Wood has an excellent curveball, and he's throwing a slider. Mark Prior has the ability to locate the fastball, and he has a very good curveball. Carlos Zambrano throws hard but has tremendous movement. He doesn't have to use that many off-speed pitches because his fastball sinks so much, he gets a lot of ground balls or swings and misses. The velocity stands out, but these guys have other weapons."
"On ESPN I saw Harold Reynolds didn't even know the Cubs had a closer. Didn't he say the Cubs are going to try a closer by committee? I don't get any recognition as it is, so I guess I shouldn't expect any. Whatever. The only thing that bothers me is that a lot of times, it always seems to be a question."
"A lot of guys are very open talking about their own players and other teams' players, We're not like that. I never appreciate how open people are to feed ESPN or Baseball America. People learn about your organization from the outside. Peter Gammons doesn't call me--they know better. I'm not on the call sheet. I know that information isn't off the record. It's being traded and bartered all around."
"We've said from the beginning when we traded Richie (Sexson), we're trading home runs for doubles and the ability to manufacture runs... Doubles are almost better. I mean, home runs are great, but when you've got guys who smack those doubles, you're in good shape, you've got a lot of guys in scoring position."