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May 17, 2004

The Week in Quotes

May 10-16

by Ryan Wilkins

A BRIGHT SPOT IN MILWAUKEE

"I'm not a big strikeout guy, so this is all new to me. It's pretty cool, though."
--Ben Sheets, Brewers pitcher, on his 18-strikeout, one-walk performance on Sunday (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

"I've seen some pretty good outings, but that's definitely got to be the most impressive. He was just power all day, using his fastball, curveball, just mixing pitches. It seemed like he didn't throw a ball all day."
--Geoff Jenkins, Brewers outfielder, on Sheets' performance (ESPN.com)

"He was good. He was outstanding... He had everything today. Our reports were good on him. He probably had the best breaking ball we've seen all year."
--Bobby Cox, Braves manager, on Sheets' performance (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

"It was kind of a blur... But it was a fun blur."
--Sheets (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

PULLING THE PLUG

"I really believe that if [former Red Sox manager Grady [Little] had gone to the bullpen and the bullpen had given it up, he probably would have taken even more crap. That's the reality of sport-any sport. But especially our sport... The great majority of the time, if the decision works, it was a great decision. If it doesn't work, you should have done something else. What he decided to do was bank on one of the great pitchers of our era."
--Tony LaRussa, Cardinals manager, on Grady Little's fateful decision to leave Pedro Martinez in Game Seven of the ALCS last October (ESPN.com)

"If it scared me, I'd do something else for a living... That's just the reality of major league managing, and NFL coaching, and coaching in the NBA."
--LaRussa, on knowing when to remove his starting pitchers from the game

"For some people who believe that a lot more managerial decisions today are based on printouts and statistical analysis... that ain't happening."
--LaRussa

"With younger guys, the reason there are so many injuries is that, with young guys, their answer when they start to struggle is to reach back. So of those 120 pitches, 40 are their best sliders and 80 are their best fastballs. So there's wear and tear on their arm. That's why you pay attention to pitch counts."
--LaRussa

"Jim Kaat pitched 250 innings for me as an 18-year-old in Missoula, Mont., and no one ever thought of pitch counts. He later told me that was the best thing that ever happened to him. He could pitch a lot of innings and work on all his pitches, and he was in the big leagues the next year."
--Jack McKeon, Marlins manager (ESPN.com)

"I've stopped asking pitchers how they feel because most of them are going to lie to you anyway. That's the lesson I've learned-in some cases the hard way. I've learned you have to trust your eyes, watch a pitcher's body language, watch how the hitters are reacting, rather than believe what he tells you."
--Bob Brenly, Diamondbacks manager, on when to take pitchers out of the game (ESPN.com)

"There are too many things you can't control... You crunch the numbers. You use the scouting reports. You try to do the best you can. But I've come to believe that whatever is going to happen is out of our control. We're just the vehicles."
--Brenly

"I really think that there's some big guy up there in the sky putting quarters in this thing, and guys are running around, and we have absolutely no control. It feels like that sometimes."
--Brenly

"Your eyes can deceive you... If you see a bunch of numbers, that's the truth. If something has happened 99 times out of 100, there's a pretty good chance it's going to happen again."
--Terry Francona, Red Sox manager (ESPN.com)

AND YOU WANT TO STICK AROUND BECAUSE...?

"I've told you guys I didn't see myself in another uniform... By signing me, it's a sign we are going to have a home next year. We don't have a permanent home but I feel like in this team I'm in my home."
--Jose Vidro, Expos second baseman, on his four-year $30 million contract extension (ESPN.com)

"He wanted to be here... This means we are able to hold onto one of our better assets. We're going to be able to have a nucleus of players here to build upon."
--Omar Minaya, Expos general manager, on re-signing Vidro (ESPN.com)

"I'm very happy that this deal got done."
--Vidro (ESPN.com)

TO CHALLENGE, OR NOT TO CHALLENGE?

"In the NBA, Jordan was never denied the opportunity to get the ball... Gretzky was never denied the opportunity to get the puck. No defensive back was allowed to stand between the Cleveland quarterback and Jim Brown to stop a handoff, Even Pele had a chance to be passed the soccer ball."
--Ned Colletti, Giants assistant general manager, on teams pitching around Barry Bonds (ESPN.com)

"You know how much I love walks... But I think it would be shortsighted to make any rule changes based on the skills of one player. Didn't they want to raise the basket when Wilt (Chamberlain) was playing basketball? Somehow, everyone survived. I think the walks are further evidence of his greatness-and whether you do or don't (walk him), it's part of both teams' strategy."
--Billy Beane, Athletics general manager (ESPN.com)

"Are we really going to change the rules because of one guy-and a guy who probably will retire within two years? That's crazy. The intentional walk is a non-issue in any game where he's not playing."
--Keith Law, Blue Jays assistant general manager (ESPN.com)

"When [Bonds] gets on base he creates an opportunity for them to score. He's not making an out. He's creating an opportunity for them to score a run and win a ball game."
--LaRussa, on the value of a baserunner (ESPN.com)

"If you start paying attention to the entertainment value of one player and start messing with the game, you're really messing with the most important reason we're out there. When we're playing in San Francisco, we're there for the Cardinals to beat the Giants. We're not there for the Barry Show."
--LaRussa

"And the way it stands now, the best solution with Bonds is just to find a better guy to hit behind him. And not just in the fifth spot, but in the fifth and sixth spot. That's how you make teams pitch to him. You don't have to change the rules."
--Sandy Alderson, MLB's Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations (ESPN.com)

"There is no solution to the problem except for me and Fonzy (Edgardo Alfonzo) and (Pedro) Feliz to hit-and hit well."
--A.J. Pierzynski, Giants catcher, on teams pitching around Bonds (ESPN.com)

THE REST

"Every team when they're struggling or when it's a close game, they're doing it every time now... It doesn't happen when it's 6-1, only when the game is on the line. That's what they do-try to mess with my mind, get me thinking about something else. Always the same thing."
--Julian Tavarez, Cardinals pitcher, on having his hat ejected from the game because of the distracting amounts of grime on the brim (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

"He probably could pitch through this... It's possible. [Sandy] Koufax pitched two years with pretty much no elbow ligament. But for our peace of mind, why take a chance? I have seen Kerry pitch through as much stuff as anybody in the old days would have."
--Larry Rothschild, Cubs pitching coach, on Kerry Wood (Chicago Sun-Times)

"It's a different era. I'm not going to make excuses. In the old days you could get away with pitches and they wouldn't go anywhere. But with the home runs and offense you have today, it's a little different."
--Rothschild

"It's hard for people to come here and see day-in and day-out the same stuff... If our hitters don't start changing, there will be some changes because I have to do the best I can to make the White Sox winners."
--Ozzie Guillen, White Sox manager (Chicago Sun-Times)

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