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June 28, 2004

The Week in Quotes

June 22-28

by Ryan Wilkins

"THIS IS LIKE DISCOVERING PLUTONIUM ... BY ACCIDENT!"

"This is obviously huge for our organization. Carlos Beltran is one of the most exciting, complete players in our game today...He's the prototype we've been looking for for a long time. He's going to be a very exciting force for us in the middle of our lineup."
--Gerry Hunsicker, Astros general manager, after acquiring Carlos Beltran (ESPN.com)

"When you have a chance to get an All-Star like Beltran, you do it, then you worry about filling in holes. He significantly makes us better, he is an impact player and will have an effect on our ballclub."
--Hunsicker

"I feel pretty good about this. Obviously, it's bittersweet."
--Allard Baird, Royals general manager, on the deal (ESPN.com)

"It was obvious we were not going to be able to sign Carlos. But I think we've helped this club and gotten some players that should have very productive major league careers...I'm going to bring Buck and Wood to the majors right away."
--Baird, on acquired minor leaguers John Buck and Mike Wood

"At the time I went to bed it didn't look like this would get done...There were other possibilities. To Gerry's credit, he said, 'We have worked so hard on this one. It would be a shame if we don't get it done.'"
--Billy Beane, Athletics general manager (ESPN.com)

"It's not that we had our eye on Dotel. It was a case of finding a guy in that position and role that's both available and also affordable."
--Beane, on acquiring reliever Octavio Dotel

"Face it, it's hard to find a premier guy at the end of the game that's going to be available. There are very few guys who fit that bill."
--Beane, on Dotel

BAD CHEMISTRY

"We had two starters on this team say that the bullpen needs to step it up...You shouldn't say that. You shouldn't say that. If we lose as a team, we all lose. If we win as a team, we all win. You can't have two starters saying that."
--Arthur Rhodes, Athletics reliever, on comments made by Mark Mulder and Tim Hudson (San Francisco Chronicle)

"If you're not man enough to come to somebody on the field and tell them to do a better job, don't say in the paper that we're doing a bad job..."
--Rhodes

"It's one of those things where if they can do better, they can go nine innings. Let 'em go nine innings."
--Rhodes

"You start throwing zeroes for two or three months, and what are they going to say then?" Rhodes said. "They'll come and kiss our butts and say we're so much better.
--Rhodes

"Well, no, you can never forget what was said by your teammates."
--Rhodes

"But if it comes up again, it's not going to be a pretty sight...If it comes up again, I won't be nice."
--Rhodes

ABANDON SHIP

"They'll get a good pitcher. Freddy came into spring training very, very focused. He has maintained his focus under a very, very tough situation. There were a lot of rumors. He's dealt with those well."
--Bill Bavasi, Mariners general manager, on dealing Freddy Garcia to the White Sox (CBS Sportsline)

"Ultimately, the decision I had to make was were we better positioned with Freddy Garcia on our roster or Miguel Olivo on our roster, and not just this year but hopefully for future years, as we have every intention of trying to sign Freddy to a long-term deal."
--Kenny Williams, White Sox general manager, on receiving Garcia and Ben David in exchange for Jeremy Reed, Miguel Olivo, and Mike Morse (CBS Sportsline)

"Today we made what we think is a good deal for us...The White Sox made a good deal. It puts them ahead in their division, as far as personnel and trying to win that division."
--Bavasi

SOMEONE UP THERE DOESN'T LIKE ME

"I think that since the days of Jackie Robinson, nothing much has changed. I know there are a lot of other black pitchers who can pitch in the majors. I've seen them in the minors. Turn on the TV and when you don't see that many black pitchers, you wonder what is going on. My numbers are better than a lot of guys in the big leagues and some are making four to five million."
--Willie Banks, Newark Bears pitcher and former major-leaguer (New Jersey Journal)

"I know I didn't get released because I stink. I didn't get released because I was being hit all over the park, but because of politics. I've done it and proved I can pitch in the majors so this shows me I am being blackballed or someone doesn't like me."
--Banks

THE ETERNAL DEBATE

"Each pitcher is different...I believe that there cannot be a universal theory on how many pitches guys can throw each game or each year. Some can handle more than others, plain and simple. I don't think that in the big leagues, letting a guy throw a lot of pitches can be linked with injury."
--Russ Ortiz, Braves starter, on pitcher workloads (Arizona Republic)

"When I started in the 1950s, (the norm) was the complete game...But when you threw a complete game then, it was 'so what?'"
--Roger Craig, former major league pitcher and manager (Arizona Republic)

"I screamed to pitch the ninth inning from time to time...Now it's 'five (innings) and fly.'"
--Vida Blue, former major league pitcher (Arizona Republic)

"Hey, I understand the money, but I'm retro...I was watching the A's game at Chicago last Saturday on TV, and I couldn't believe that (Mark) Mulder came out after eight innings."
--Blue, on Mulder being removed after eight innings and 123 pitches against the Cubs

THE REST

"That celebration is just the ultimate celebration you can have in baseball...I can only imagine how it would feel to win a World Series."
--Carlos Pena, Tigers first baseman, after hitting a walk-off grand slam to beat the D'backs on Sunday (MLB.com)

"In modern-day baseball, on-base percentage is the thing...And if you look at his on-base percentage, he's just been incredible over his entire career...The way he works pitchers, it seems like every at-bat, the count is 3-and-2. Bernie's long at-bats really set the tone for our lineup."
--Alex Rodriguez, Yankees third baseman, on teammate Bernie Williams (Newsday)

"It's hard for me to focus at times and keep myself motivated...I've got only 39 RBIs right now because I never get to swing the bat. And when I do swing it's hard to stay sharp. It's gotten ridiculous."
--Barry Bonds, Giants outfielder (MLB.com)

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