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June 7, 2004

The Week in Quotes

June 1-6

by Ryan Wilkins

GENUINE DRAFT

"Some people think we draft only college players using laptops...We've taken high school players in the first round, like Eric Chavez, and there have been years that there was a high school bat we would have selected if someone hadn't banged him in front of us. But we have to have some cost predictability."
--Billy Beane, Athletics general manager (ESPN.com)

"When we took over, we needed to restock the organization quickly and do it with college players...People forget I am a scout, first and foremost. I look forward to the day when we've come far enough as an organization that we draft a high school player in the first round."
--J.P. Ricciardi, Blue Jays general manager (ESPN.com)

"There is no one way of doing anything...We are looking for pitchers who control and pound the strike zone. We look for hitters with a certain kind of approach. We took a high school outfielder in the second round last year. (Director of amateur scouting) David Chadd did a great job drafting two years ago."
--Theo Epstein, Red Sox general manager (ESPN.com)

"We absolutely don't believe in 'Moneyball.' We don't believe it works. I believe (longtime Angels scouts) Tom Kotchman, Jack Uhey and Jeff Malinoff are going to find me better players by going out there and watching them play than by plugging numbers into a computer."
--Eddie Bane, Angels director of scouting (MLB.com)

"Our guys are real comfortable with computers, but they're not going to tell me to draft a kid just because he's put up great numbers at UConn or he's hit a bunch of homers at New Mexico State."
--Bane

"We won't overlook good college players at all...But to put all your emphasis on only one thing doesn't make sense. We'd lose out if we thought that way."
--Bane

"I'm frankly glad all those teams are starting to think that way. I feel better knowing they're all going to ignore players that we've identified. A lot of high school players and junior college players are going to be available in places where they probably shouldn't be...We'll be more than happy to take them."
--Bane

"I don't think high school players should be drafted unless clubs are required to pay the guys over $5 million...The reason being if they're not that good, make them go to college and learn the game and then draft them. But if you draft a high school player you have to guarantee his future. And if the player is not that good the team won't take the risk. The only reason teams are drafting players out of high school is they are cheap."
--Scott Boras, super-agent and advisor to 2004 draftees Stephen Drew and Jered Weaver (CNNSI.com)

YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR

"When we traded for Milton, I think we knew everything that came along with it...We knew the past, we don't necessarily think that everything's going to be completely different because he came to a different place. That's fine. I would take nine Milton Bradleys if I could get them."
--Paul DePodesta, Dodgers general manager, on Milton Bradley, following his four-game suspension (L.A. Times)

"In the first 50 games we've had him, he's been nothing but a model citizen and a good teammate. I've seen him make efforts to avoid confrontation. I think Milton's making a concerted effort."
--DePodesta

"Milton and I have had different conversations, not over something like this...Milton doesn't need me to tell him we'd rather have him playing."
--DePodesta

STICK A FORK

"No surgery is perfect, but that's about as good as surgeries get in general...There is about a 10 percent chance of failure where the labrum, for some reason, does not heal to the bone."
--Michael Lee, Diamondbacks team doctor, on Richie Sexson (ESPN.com)

"In that sense, he may have a little higher chance [of further injury]...You rarely see a player, first of all, dislocate their shoulder through the back to begin with. So does he have a predisposition for that? Possibly so, but I don't believe that it's going to be any greater than it was previous to the surgery."
--Lee

"I thought it was going to be fine...It didn't swell up too bad because after I came out of the game we got some ice on it, so I wasn't too worried about it. I mean, I knew I wasn't going to be able to play [Wednesday] because there's no way I could grip a bat, but I thought maybe I'd be out a couple of days at the most...Obviously I was wrong."
--Eric Chavez, Athletics third baseman, on his broken hand (MLB.com)

"I've never broken anything in my life, so I have no idea how long this is going to take. It all just depends on how I heal. It's gonna be at least three weeks, they said, but it could be more."
--Chavez

HEADHUNTING

"You take the years I've been a manager and total up the number of guys who have been hit above the shoulder. That's how I know it can be controlled...One of the problems is that there are some pitchers and pitching coaches who get careless with the ball up and in. They have the fallback that it wasn't intentional (when a batter is hit). They say it's part of the game. Well, it's a dangerous part of the game. Let's do something about it."
--Tony LaRussa, Cardinals manager (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

"Baseball has turned it into a joke...They've created this mess by taking it out of the players' hands. Believe me, the players would police it if they were allowed. But with all these warnings and suspensions, they've turned it into a joke."
--Cal Eldred, Cardinals reliever (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

"You're pitching in the big leagues. Pitching above the shoulder should not be allowed."
--LaRussa (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

"If someone tries to take one of your offensive players away, you send a message back...There was a player once who said, 'This guy is all about revenge.' That's probably accurate. Calling me a headhunter has never been accurate."
--LaRussa

APPROACH

"One thing about myself, I'm never going to apologize for being aggressive...Yeah, I went out of the [strike] zone. I know I can do better, but I'm never going to apologize for being aggressive. I'd rather swing at a ball in the dirt or outside the zone than take one down the middle."
--Corey Patterson, Cubs outfielder (Chicago Sun-Times)

"I didn't change nothing in my last at-bat from my first three at-bats and I got a base hit. It's not like I'm hitting .180 or .150. I'm just a couple big games away from turning things around. Should I be playing better? Absolutely. Every pitch is a learning experience."
--Patterson

"It's a matter of getting a good pitch to hit in the zone. Most of those balls were out of the zone. The pitcher is in trouble in that situation, we're not in trouble. We'll have to change our thought process and realize he's the one with bases loaded."
--Dusty Baker, Cubs manager (Chicago Sun-Times)

"You have to be aggressive in the zone. [They] got me to chase some balls out of the zone tonight. [The coaches] want me to be aggressive, but in the zone. That's what we're working on. It's a long year."
--Patterson (Chicago Sun-Times)

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