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June 1, 2004

The Week in Quotes

May 23-June 1

by Ryan Wilkins

STOP THE PRESSES!

"With the exception of one or two issues that must be put to rest-such as finding a permanent home for the Montreal Expos and the need for a stronger and stricter drug-testing program-our game is in the midst of a great renaissance...Our television ratings are up tremendously, on both the local and national level, and our attendance is 15 percent greater than it was last year at this time."
--Bud Selig, MLB commissioner (Rocky Mountain News)

THE JOY OF BEING A DEVIL RAY

"Is anybody trying to stay in a slump? Absolutely not. Is anybody trying to make outs? Absolutely not. But at the same time, sooner or later we're going to be in the middle of the summer here, and we're going to be celebrating the Fourth of July, and if we don't kick it in the butt a little bit, we're going to be in the same malaise we are now. And if we are, I hope it's with a bunch of different players, I can tell you that."
--Lou Piniella, Devil Rays manager (St. Petersburg Times)

"I think everybody needs to look in the mirror a little bit myself. The mirror doesn't lie. It tells the truth, you know? It's frustrating for everybody. I've got to answer to it every night. The players can go run and hide and go into the training room, they can go into the kitchen, they can go into the shower. I've got to sit over here and explain it every night. I get asked the same questions all the time. And I get tired of making excuses. I get tired of making excuses. I can't go hide. I've got to answer."
--Piniella

"We're busting our (butts), we're working hard, we're just not hitting. It's not a lack of effort. We don't go to the plate and say let's see how many times I can get out tonight. It's just things aren't going our way."
--Aubrey Huff, Devil Rays DH (St. Petersburg Times)

"I wish we had a formula, I wish I could say a magic word, I wish we could sprinkle some magic dust around here, but that's not the case unfortunately."
--Piniella (St. Petersburg Times)

BILE AND BLISTERS FOR BECKETT

"He's a Hall of Famer and he did what Hall of Famers do...He hit that (ball) nine miles. That's what they do to pitches right down the middle."
--Josh Beckett, Marlins pitcher, after surrendering a 433-foot blast to Ken Griffey Jr. (Palm Beach Post)

"That's (expletive), that's what it is. I didn't see it. I do take offense to that. I don't give a (expletive) if he's a Hall of Famer or not. I don't think I'll forget it. I don't know what the hell he was staring at. I don't know if he was questioning the intentional walk before that or what. You just have to make a note of something like that."
--Beckett, upon hearing that Griffey had stared him down following the homer

"We didn't even assess it...It was an immediate thing, going on the DL. We cut the skin that was hanging there off and nothing else. I put the Stan's stuff on there and that was it."
--Josh Beckett, Marlins pitcher, after joining the DL for blisters on his pitching hand (Florida Sun-Sentinel)

"We definitely know procedures to go through now a lot better than we knew back then. I think that we have a better chance this year to nip it in the bud in six days than we did two years ago when we didn't have a clue what the hell to do except stick your finger in a pickle jar."
--Beckett

FLAGS FLY FOREVER

"If the question is 'Will I sacrifice a little bit of our future for present glory?' the answer is yes. But if the question is also 'Would I do something stupid?' the answer is...maybe."
--Kenny Williams, White Sox general manager (Chicago Tribune)

"Two words. Nineteen seventeen."
--Williams, stating the last time the Sox won a championship, on why he'd trade the future for a ring today

YOU'RE KILLING MY SCORESHEET TEAM, SHEFF

"I look at the strike zone as being different in the American League than it was in the National League...but I can't explain it when you have the same umpires. When they throw the ball over the plate I am going to hit it. The thing is that when I do get my pitch, I am missing it. That comes from being worried about more things than I should be."
--Gary Sheffield, Yankees outfielder, on why he's struggled so far this season (N.Y. Post)

"A lot of people tell me about what's going on with my at-bats...I see a lot of things I can't say because it sounds like you are complaining, so I don't say anything."
--Sheffield

"I have got caught looking 10 times because I know when I strike out because I don't do it that often...One thing leads to another. Once you start thinking about things you never had to worry about, then it changes your whole way of hitting. It makes you start wanting to do more than you have to and try to hit more than you want to."
--Sheffield

THE EVER-BROADENING DEFINITION OF "GREAT"

"There is plenty of Rey Ordonez left. He's young, and I hear he was playing real good [at Iowa]. He was playing good last year in Tampa Bay [before a season-ending injury]."
--Dusty Baker, Cubs manager (Chicago Sun-Times)

"Rey will probably start [today]...Then we'll see. [Ordonez] has been a great regular. We gave Ramon a couple weeks to play, a pretty good shot, and it just didn't work this time. Ramon is sort of worn down a little bit at shortstop."
--Baker

THE REST

"I don't know where [that report] came from."
--J.P. Ricciardi, Blue Jays general manager, on the rumor that Carlos Delgado had been dealt to the Dodgers for Juan Encarnacion and left-handed pitching prospect Brian Morris, who doesn't exist (Toronto Star)

"When you play this horse (manure), it makes no difference what the venue is...We'd get away from home, away from some of the negativity we were getting, and it didn't happen. We just have to play better ball. That's all. This is getting ridiculous."
--Bob Brenly, Diamondbacks manager, on whether or not his team is glad to go home (Arizona Republic)

"Guys pitch good, we don't score. We score a bunch of runs, we don't pitch good. We're caught in a vortex of horse (manure) right now, and it's just sucking us right down. I can't figure out how to stop it."
--Brenly

"I don't know how many (expletive) times I see a guy get hit and nobody does anything...How many times have I been hit and there's no retaliation? I'm giving it everything I've got. I'm playing hurt, I'm playing in pain. And I'm not getting any help from no (expletive) body?
--Jose Guillen, Angels outfielder (L.A. Daily News)

"I'm not afraid to get behind in the count. I'm proud of being patient...You can't teach that."
--D'Angelo Jimenez, Reds second baseman (Cincinnati Enquirer)

"We've won more games than anyone in the division? ...Hopefully, we won't figure it out."
--Barry Larkin, Reds shortstop (Cincinnati Enquirer)

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