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May 10, 2004

The Week in Quotes

April 26-May 9

by Ryan Wilkins

WITH GREAT POWER COMES GREAT RESPONSIBILITY

"This is not a step toward wallpapering the ballpark."
--Bob DuPuy, MLB Chief Operating Officer, on MLB's temporary decision to include advertisements on the bases (ESPN.com)

"I guess it's inevitable, but it's sad... I'm old-fashioned. I'm a romanticist. I think the bases should be protected from this."
--Fay Vincent, former MLB commissioner (ESPN.com)

"This does nothing to impact the play of the game... The base doesn't know that it has a corporate name on it, nor does the foot that hits the base."
--DuPuy (ESPN.com)

"Some will say this reinforces the convergence of sports and entertainment, while others will suggest the only thing converging is bad taste."
--David Carter, principal of The Sports Business Group (ESPN.com)

"Imagine how much worse it could have been-especially in San Francisco-if baseball had partnered with a studio for the sequel to 'The Incredible Hulk.'"
--Carter

YOU DO YOUR JOB, I'LL DO MINE...

"What the [bleep] are you asking me for? I don't care... Our job is to play ball, not to worry about what add is on the billboard. I don't care. They can have [bleepin'] dog-poo as bases so I have to step in [bleep] as far as I'm concerned. What the hell."
--Barry Bonds, Giants outfielder, on MLB's temporary decision to place advertisements on the bases (N.Y. Post)

"Where do we go from here? Chico's Bail Bonds on us? ...Somebody's making money. They're using every place they can to advertise."
--Mike Mussina, Yankees pitcher, on MLB's decision (N.Y. Daily News)

THE PEDRO FUND

"How long is [Pedro] planning to stay, three years? ...I'll loan them a contract. Whatever they want. How much do they need? It's for Pedro."
--Manny Ramirez, Red Sox outfielder, on the possibility of Pedro Martinez leaving free agency (Boston Herald)

"I am serious... I want Pedro to stay. Pedro's the heart of the team. He's been here so long. I think it's going to be a sad moment to see him leave. That's why I said what I did. It's really no problem for me. Hey, how much money do I need?"
--Ramirez

"I'm just glad that I don't get paid to make those decisions... He's one of the great pitchers of his generation and it'll be interesting to see where he ends up next year."
--Bernie Williams, Yankees outfielder (N.Y. Post)

"It's hard for me to talk about Pedro, but I think he would want an opportunity to play for a team that wins."
--Williams

"He's not the enemy, he just wears the jersey."
--Mariano Rivera, Yankees reliever (N.Y. Post)

SELF-IMPROVEMENT

"It's no big deal because a lot of people bat right-handed against right- handers. I just have to make the adjustment, but don't hang a curveball. If you hang a curveball, you're going to pay."
--Neifi Perez, Giants shortstop (San Francisco Chronicle)

"Neifi is some kind of hitter from the right side... There was still some of us begging him to bat right-handed only, during the game. But we know he's not going to change that. We were kidding him."
--Felipe Alou, Giants manager, on Neifi Perez (MLB.com)

"To be honest, I did a lot of thinking in the offseason about how I could improve, especially in situations like that... I was too excited in the past when guys got on base."
--Jacque Jones, Twins outfielder (Minnesota Star Tribune)

"Barry makes it look easy. He got better with age. I'm trying to do that. I used to think walks were a joke. I didn't understand how important they were to on-base percentage, batting average, and how important it was to see a lot of pitches. I'm starting to grasp the whole concept."
--Jones

THE STREETS OF PHILADELPHIA

"They jumped out because of the four-hour plane trip... You get bored. I don't look at them every day. You see it with your eyes, but then you get on the airplane and you look at it and... oh."
--Larry Bowa, Phillies manager, on his team's offense (Philadelphia Inquirer)

"Our 1-2-3-4 hitters are hitting [.149] with runners in scoring position. We have six guys hitting .250 or less. Our on-base percentages are embarrassing. Embarrassing."
--Bowa

"We signed these guys to play... They're all established players with the exception of Marlon [Byrd]. The other guys are established big-leaguers. They all have pretty good numbers in their career. You've got to hope that they respond and start to hit. Because that's embarrassing. It's embarrassing. We're first in pitching and we're two games under .500. That's a miracle."
--Bowa

"When you're not hitting, it doesn't matter if nobody is on base or if the bases are loaded... I don't think we're pressing with runners in scoring position. We've been there before. If anything, we might be pressing to get hits. It doesn't matter if there are runners on base or nobody on. If you're not swinging the bat well, you're not going to get a hit regardless of the situation."
--Mike Lieberthal, Phillies catcher (Philadelphia Inquirer)

"I'm happy with where we are," Bowa said. "Three games out of first place doing that? I really am happy, because it could be a lot worse. Because unless all these guys are going to have bad years, you know they're going to do what they're supposed to do. You just don't want them to go bad at one time."
--Bowa (Philadelphia Inquirer)

SELLING THE GAME

"I think one of the biggest problems is baseball is one of the most difficult sports to play. In basketball, you can be a good shooter and be a good player. In football, you can just run or block. In soccer, you can be good if you can kick. There are so many things to master in baseball, and kids just don't want to spend the time at it."
--Lloyd McClendon, Pirates manager, on why fewer African-Americans are playing baseball (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

"The NBA and NFL have done a great job in marketing their sport better, and, as a result, the kids like that glamour."
--McClendon

"It can change, just like it changed for the worse... But it's not going to happen overnight, and we need to take a more active role in getting involved, particularly on the financial side."
--McClendon

THE REST

"He's had success against me? You must be smoking Kool-Aid... What success have you been reading? I don't fear no pitcher, dog."
--Bonds, on one writer's assertion that he had been unsuccessful (9-for-30) against Al Leiter (N.Y. Post)

"I want to keep you guys in a job. I don't want you guys to lose your jobs... Shoot, when I retire SportsCenter's going to just (have intro music)... that's it. Nothing else. You're not going to have [bleep] to write about. Y'all are going to lose your jobs when I leave."
--Bonds

"You got a crystal ball up your rear end? Nobody knows what's going to happen, dude. You can't predict the future. If you could, I would've won a ton of money on the Marlins."
--Bonds, on whether he'll walk 200 times this year

"Sometimes I feel like I can run but my mind is lying to me."
--Edgar Martinez, Mariners DH, after trying to score from third base on a ground out against the Tigers (Seattle Times)

"I don't compare years... but in my book, last year doesn't count."
--Darin Erstad, Angels first baseman (L.A. Times)

"There's not even a question... Hitting .220 with 100 RBIs is productive. There are benchmarks, certain statistics you want to get to, but what it comes down to is RBIs and scoring runs."
--Erstad

"We finally got sick of seeing our games being lost by our 11th or 12th best pitcher in some matchup situation... Too often, we never even got the game into the hands of our closer because we'd lost somewhere along the way with one of our worst pitchers. Now, we usually only warm up one reliever, then we bring him in--our Next Best Pitcher--regardless of who is hitting."
--Mike Flanagan, Orioles general manager (Washington Post)

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