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July 6, 2004

The Week in Quotes

June 28-July 5

by Ryan Wilkins

THEY COULDN'T PREVENT JACK FROM BEING HAPPY

"That's McKeon for you...Just another reason to kick their butts."
--Billy Wagner, Phillies reliever, on NL All-Star manager Jack McKeon not selecting 11-game winner Eric Milton for the '04 All-Star team (Philadelphia Intelligencer)

"I might be a little prejudiced, but Milton is very deserving, and Abreu's numbers are unbelievable...We've got to do something about our computers here [in Philadelphia] and contact some people in Japan because I know they vote a lot."
--Larry Bowa, Phillies manager (Philadelphia Intelligencer)

"I'm not going to vote for myself...That's not me. We just have to wait and see how it turns out."
--Bobby Abreu, Phillies outfielder and my favorite player, on not being selected by McKeon (Philadelphia Intelligencer)

"I voted for Bobby."
--Wagner, divulging the results of his Internet ballot

"What a [bleeping] joke...Pitching in this [bleeping] pitch band box, you ain't going to have a [good] ERA. I didn't realize ERA was part of the criteria."
--Wagner

"I think a 4.00 ERA in this ballpark ain't too bad...It's a tough ballpark to pitch in. I don't look at ERA. I just try to win, and I think there's something to say for 11 wins."
--Eric Milton, Phillies starter, on not being selected (Philadelphia Intelligencer)

"People take it for granted [Abreu is] going to hit .300...It's hard to hit .300. It's hard to get 25 to 30 stolen bases. It's hard to get 100 walks, 100 RBIs, score 100 runs. He does it every year, and people don't know about it."
--Bowa

"I know there are going to be people left off, but to constantly leave him off every year isn't right. People should recognize what this guy has done."
--Bowa

"I was surprised...But I was like, 'All right, not a problem.' You just have to move on. I just had it in my mind to do something to win the game."
--Abreu

WALK THIS WAY

"If he comes back, he will never catch me."
--Barry Bonds, Giants outfielder and all-time walks leader, on former-leader Rickey Henderson (CBS Sportsline)

"I don't know how to react to a walks record...It's just another one. I'd rather hit, but under the circumstances it's just what it is. I need a ring with all these other records."
--Bonds

"That's incredible...I never thought anybody was going to break it. That's unreal. Barry's a cleanup hitter. Henderson was a leadoff hitter who's supposed to walk. Wow. Unbelievable. Awesome!"
--Orlando Cepeda, former Giant and Hall of Fame outfielder, on Bonds' record (CBS Sportsline)

ENTITLED

"He feels like he's [entitled] to the contract that I did myself, like he assisted me, even though he didn't have anything to do with it."
--Gary Sheffield, Yankees outfielder, on agent Scott Boras (ESPN.com)

"If he didn't do it, why should he get a percentage? He didn't play any part of me getting traded, he didn't play any part in me getting my option year taken off, and he definitely didn't play any part in me sitting down with George and doing this deal."
--Sheffield

"Can you explain why [Miguel] Tejada gets six years, [Vladimir] Guerrero gets five years and I get three? He cost me two years of a contract because he was trying to tarnish my name."
--Sheffield

"The whole year in Atlanta, I had to get the players' association to stop him from writing me threatening letters saying, 'Either you let me do your contract or I'll be forced to sue you.' That's a threat and harassment...A lot of organizations didn't want to talk to him or deal with him. I wasn't going to let him cost me a contract like he did [Greg] Maddux and all those guys in college. I wasn't going to let him dictate my future."
--Sheffield

"He wants me to pay his lawyer fees. He didn't get enough money (from his contract) for Alex Rodriguez?"
--Sheffield

ALL SMILES

"Baseball had been like a dinosaur, unwilling to change...History and tradition are not to be tampered with, but they also should not be a burden."
--Bud Selig, MLB commissioner (Rocky Mountain News)

"When you make changes, there is anger because people care so much about the game, but time, I believe, has spoken well for the changes we have made."
--Selig

"The question isn't why we adopted interleague play but rather why it took so long...We'll have to let historians decide whether it's right or not, but I think it's obvious the fans like the idea."
--Selig

IN THIS CORNER...

"(The use of pitch counts) is really delicate...Sometimes it's overprotective, but it's also in the best interest of the player. Especially young guys."
--Dave Wallace, Red Sox pitching coach (MLB.com)

"You look at guys like Bill Pulsipher and Jason Isringhausen with the Mets (in the mid-'90s)...Pulsipher was throwing 200-some innings as a 19-year-old, and look what happened. These guys worked hard, got up to the pros and-boom-their arms went out. I think that's when organizations started to take a serious look at pitch counts."
--Wallace

"What we're looking at is a guy can have 75 very difficult, grueling pitches, and another guy can have 100 easy pitches...So, we're looking at the big innings, the tough innings. Those are the things that can create the wear and tear on a pitcher's arm."
--Mark Shapiro, Indians general manager (MLB.com)

"Most (young) guys are maxing out every throw...They're not putting a little on, taking a little off, like you do as a veteran. As long as you consider a pitcher young and developing, it would be foolish to put strains and stresses and demands on a guy's arm before he's physically ready to take it."
--Tony LaRussa, Cardinals manager (MLB.com)

"(A pitch count) is a factor...It's something you pay attention to. But you can't be a slave to it."
--LaRussa

AND IN THIS CORNER...

"Fads come and go in everything, including baseball...Most of the theories on pitch counts come from people who have never pitched a day in their life. If you pace yourself, pitch counts aren't so important."
--Bob Feller, former Indians pitcher (MLB.com)

"There's a lot of over-managing and over-coaching now."
--Feller

"All men in all walks of life should finish what they start-including a baseball game...Most pitchers don't throw enough. I used to pitch 15 minutes of batting practice in my middle off day."
--Feller

"Pitch counts are of limited value...Their biggest value is in monitoring rehab progress. There is some value in limiting how many pitches a pitcher throws, but the absolute value is unknown."
--Dr. Mark Schickendantz, team surgeon for the Indians (MLB.com)

"There's no absolute way of ensuring arm health simply through (enforcing) pitch counts...Pretty soon, you're going to need a seven- or eight-man bullpen, because we're only going to be allowing our starters to throw 85 or 90 pitches. I don't agree with that."
--Bryan Price, Mariners pitching coach (MLB.com)

"There are all these different studies on how many pitches a particular pitcher should pitch, based on their body type and their history or whatever...I don't like that. I don't like anybody else deciding how many pitches is the right amount for the guys on our staff."
--Price

THE REST

"There's absolutely no question that the nature of this market is different than nearly every other in baseball...I don't know that any other team approaches it the same way."
--Chuck Armstrong, Mariners team president, on the M's decision to emphasize the 'sentimental' aspects of their players rather than the on-field success of their team in its promotion because surveys found that more women and families attend games than teams in other markets (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

"I don't know if the word 'fault' is right, but it's probably our doing...We said, 'You gotta love these guys.' We end up keeping players longer than other teams."
--Armstrong

"There is probably no bigger proponent of college baseball than I am, but that's disappointing that an adult wouldn't have the responsibility to put a kid's long-term interests ahead of his own selfish concerns. That was selfish and self-serving."
--Billy Beane, Athletics general manager, on Cal St. Fullerton manager George Horton's use of pitcher and Athletics draft pick Jason Windsor (San Francisco Chronicle)

"Wrigley Field is different from U.S. Cellular Field...I don't want to upset people in Chicago. When the game starts, it's a nice old park. But it is the worst park in baseball. The clubhouse, the tunnel to the dugout, showers, everything, parking, it's a pain in the butt. When the game starts it's a nice, beautiful field, but when you go play against them it's bad, horrible."
--Ozzie Guillen, White Sox manager (Chicago Sun-Times)

"[Saturday], if we hit, we'll hit there...It's nice to take batting practice there, the only fun thing about Wrigley Field. The fans and the crazy people, I like that."
--Guillen

"I told him, 'I'm glad it worked out...The thing is, when things like that work out, nothing's said. But if it doesn't work out, it's my [fault] because I didn't teach him how to run the bases. In this case, [stuff] turned to sugar, but you can't overlook those things [just because] you win."
--Lloyd McClendon, Pirates manager, on Jack Wilson's "Little League home run" from last Monday night (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Related Content:  This Time It Counts

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