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July 12, 2004

The Week in Quotes

July 6-11

by Ryan Wilkins

THE DISMANTLING CONTINUES...

"This is the start of a process we need to start...There's a black cloud over us we need to get out from under. We have to start looking at kids and at veterans with an idea of finding out who's going to be here next year."
--Bob Melvin, Mariners manager, after the release of shortstop Rich Aurilia (Seattle Times)

"I wouldn't be surprised to see more changes. This does not mean we'll completely dismantle. The guys here are good players and we'll be looking at kids."
--Melvin

"I don't think you'll see more trades happen right away, but there may be some other kinds of moves...I think we all recognize that cycles end and that the Mariners had come to the end of one. As painful as it is to make changes, sometimes there are things we need to do."
--Melvin

"When you play as badly as we did, and see how the team is going, you can see the writing on the wall...No player wants to hear words like 'designate' or 'release,' and...I am sorry that I couldn't do more to prevent the club being in a place where they found this necessary."
--Rich Aurilia, former Mariners shortstop, after being designated for assignment (Seattle Times)

"This is not a result of Rich's play...He had a bad first half, as many of us have had, but this is a result of our team's play. This is a reflection of how we've played. He's not a scapegoat."
--Bret Boone, Mariners second baseman, on Aurilia (Seattle Times)

"I tried to blow it off at first, but I found it tough switching leagues...I think I hit the ball hard the last six weeks, but by that time the need for change was on us. Hopefully, that was me starting to get hot, and hopefully an NL team or two noticed. I'd like to be in a pennant race, where I got used to being the last seven years."
--Aurilia

"One, Rich is a good guy; two, he is an accomplished player; three, it was part of a gamble that didn't pay off."
--Bill Bavasi, Mariners general manager, listing the three reasons why it was tough to release Aurilia (Seattle Times)

"It could be part of the process, attention is divided, there is some looking over the shoulder...In our situation with a lineup filled with veteran guys that are not doing well, you didn't see the energy out there you'd like. This does not mean they weren't trying or they weren't playing hard. We have had no problems that way."
--Melvin

"THIS I FEEL AS THE DAWN/ IT FADES TO GRAY"

"I just want to remember somebody is capable of hitting the ball right back to you and destroying you again."
--Josias Manzanillo, Marlins pitcher, on being struck in the groin with a batted ball (Florida Sun-Sentinel)

"If you really look around, Latin players, especially pitchers, all have something they do that shows [their intensity]...I don't know what it is about us. It's just the way we approach it and go about the game."
--Manzanillo

"I'm telling you, if you keep a close look on every Spanish or Latin pitcher, there's something you're going to see that you won't normally see on an American player or an American pitcher...It seems like all the American pitchers, they are very calm. That's how they can execute. We are different."
--Manzanillo

STEALING SIGNS

"That happens here, and I know they hit a lot better at Fenway for whatever reason...But they had some bad swings, too. I don't know if they knew what was coming every time. But other times, it was like they did know what was coming. It was kind of strange."
--Barry Zito, Athletics pitcher (Boston Herald)

"I don't even know who was on second (base) for me...If they're doing it, I missed out because I haven't been here."
--Bill Mueller, Red Sox infielder, on whether or not teammates were stealing signs (Boston Herald)

"I ain't worried about what Zito thought. He's a great pitcher and I've got a lot of respect for him, but I ain't worried about that. We hear that all the time."
--Trot Nixon, Red Sox outfielder (Boston Herald)

"As I was having my fourth beer with [A's manager Ken Macha] last night, I wasn't aware of that...You know what, I wasn't aware of the (expletive) last year. I really wasn't aware of it. I kind of heard some rumblings, but somehow that one got by me."
--Terry Francona, Red Sox manager, on past accusations of the Red Sox stealing signs (Boston Herald)

"I have no idea (why these things are said)...I couldn't give you the slightest reason. It's flattering, I guess."
--Mueller (Boston Herald)

BURN ONE DOWN

"I think hitters would rather take a swing and take a chance of driving it out of the ballpark...We'd rather sit around and wait for that big hit. Players have gotten selfish and greedy. Small ball isn't as important as it once was."
--Johnny Damon, Red Sox outfielder, on bunting (New Jersey Star-Ledger)

"You hate to think people will allow personal numbers to get in the way of what's best to try to win a game...If a game calls for a bunt, you bunt. Hell, how many times could (Jason) Giambi lay a ball down the third-base line and get a hit? But he's paid to hit home runs. For the power guys, that's the reason. For the little guys, they're not little guys anymore. They can hit home runs, too."
--Joe Torre, Yankees manager (New Jersey Star-Ledger)

"Playing for one run now doesn't win you as many games as it used to...I probably take some criticism for not bunting enough. But you just don't bunt when the old book says bunt."
--Francona (New Jersey Star-Ledger)

"It's because of all the highlight shows now...The home run gets you on those shows. But bunting helps you win games. It might not get the headlines: 'Lofton Gets Down Perfect Bunt to Lead Yankees to Victory.' But it helps you win."
--Derek Jeter, Yankees shortstop (New Jersey Star-Ledger)

THE REST

"Absolutely not...He just signed for one year. Did you watch him on Jay Leno (Thursday) night? He spent 90 percent of his time talking about Houston. (Trading Clemens is) not even a consideration, and you can write that in permanent marker."
--Drayton McLane, Astros owner, on the rumor that Roger Clemens will be dealt to the Yankees (Houston Chronicle)

"Oh, God...I can't see that happening. Why would Drayton want to give up a packed house every fifth day? I'll tell you what: We’re not giving up right now. I really don't care what the trade rumors are."
--Jeff Bagwell, Astros first baseman, on the possibility of Clemens-to-the-Yankees (Houston Chronicle)

"He's an All-Star-caliber player...But I think numbers-wise, power numbers are what catch your eye. All those fantasy baseball team guys like the big numbers. I think it's a good thing he made it to the last final five. I think it's a testament to what he brings to the table."
--Mike Lowell, Marlins third baseman, on teammate Juan Pierre who was part of the final vote-off for the NL All-Star team last week (MLB.com)

"I don't consider myself a home run hitter."
--Ken Griffey Jr., Reds outfielder and newest member of the 500 home run club (USA Today)

"I heard (about his injury) and it breaks my heart...We're human. One year, one week you can hit seven home runs and the next week you're out."
--Sammy Sosa, Cubs outfielder, on Ken Griffey Jr.'s injury, suffered Sunday (MLB.com)

"He's doing OK...We've been down this road before, and the timing wasn't good. It never is, but he's obviously disappointed."
--Mark Mann, Reds trainer, on Griffey (MLB.com)

"Losing [Griffey] is going to be very tough...Just when we're about to get one guy back, we lose another one. It seems like right now it's one of those times where if we didn't have bad luck, we wouldn't have any at all."
--Adam Dunn, Reds outfielder (MLB.com)

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