Happy Labor Day! Regularly Scheduled Articles Will Resume on Tuesday, September 2.
August 9, 2004
The Week in Quotes
August 2-8LAST OF A DYING BREED
"It's pretty special...I like to look ahead. I've never really looked back. When I'm done playing I'll look back. I'm sure I'll pat myself on the back then."
"It's more of a sense of relief more than anything...Hopefully, we can move on. I don't think anybody got too caught up in it to begin with. We can put it behind us and do what we can to get to postseason."
"That's the most amazing thing about him. If you saw him going about his business, you'd think he was just another guy trying to stay in the big leagues...He's there every day, doing all the little things you need to do to be successful. It makes you strive to have the same approach."
"OH, AND ONE MORE THING..."
"I'll just give you the facts. We were concerned with how the Achilles was going, so I talked to the trainers and the manager to make sure we were all on the same page."
"Was it sore? Yes. Did it hurt? Yes. But it was about avoiding going on the disabled list, it was about avoiding time off. I also was saying that I couldn't continue playing every single day that season. I never said I couldn't play."
"I called him to wish him good luck and good health, and said thanks for all you've done.... Then I asked him, 'How's the heel?' He said, 'Great.' I said, 'Great? A couple of days ago you said you had serious concerns.' He said, 'That was then. It's great now.'"
"Maybe that was a medical assessment--an injury like that does go up and down. But I was puzzled by that. I said I was a little puzzled. He said, 'It's great now.' I said, 'Oh, I guess. Good luck, and I'm glad you're in the other league.'"
"I had just gotten traded.... He had just gotten rid of me.... Do you think I really wanted to talk to him? He was the last person I wanted to talk to, to be honest with you."
"I wasn't saying much. I was really short. He was saying 'thank you' and stuff. Then he said, 'By the way, how's the Achilles'?' That's the first time he'd ever asked me about the Achilles'."
"'THE LEADS ARE WEAK'? YOU'RE WEAK."
"He said, 'Are you going to consider Chicago after this?' You know what? I am definitely going to consider it afterward, but we'll address that when the season is over. Let's get to the postseason and then get to our goal of winning the World Series."
"That was the biggest part of the negotiations.... He asked me if I was working for [general manager] Jim Hendry. I told him that for me it's been a great place to play and I've been really comfortable, and I want him to be comfortable. I really hope he wants to hang around."
ONE FOR ME, AND ONE FOR MY HOMIES
"You think about a guy in his first year as GM...to have that kind of conviction and to do what he did, ultimately in the face of criticism, and to stand up to it all, that's the kind of guy you want leading your franchise, someone not following mass opinion."
"I thought it was outstanding...I absolutely understand why he did it. Listen, there's a long way to go in the season. Paul is extremely intelligent, and he's probably going to continue to do extremely smart things and continue to make that franchise better."
"I told him I was envious of him, making all those moves. Making splashes, making what you perceive as good deals is fun. Obviously, the reaction came out sort of weird. But I promise you, if in fact it works out and the Dodgers end up winning the division, no one will come back and say, 'I was wrong.'"
"The fact is, they appear, at least in early returns, to be a better team. They appear to have more flexibility to make themselves a better team next year. Maybe I've got this wrong, but getting better and creating flexibility would be my approach whatever market I'm in."
TAKE YOUR BALL AND GO HOME
"I would say half a dozen teams were changing series to series, from week to week, and you can figure them out by the standings and the win-loss records.... That's why I believe that if baseball is going to experience this kind of parity, I don't know where this deadline is good for business."
"Is it fair to teams that a week or 10 days for now will crystallize whether they are contenders or pretenders that they get locked up in the waiver process? I don't get it. Now having gone through this and seen what's going on through both leagues, I hope as GMs we can legislate something else."
"I'm not one of these guys who relishes this day...All of the guys who take this as the biggest day in baseball, or the biggest day in their organization, are mistaken. It's not easy to admit that what you did in the offseason isn't good enough. It's not easy to say goodbye to players. There's always a calculated risk. But it's a necessary evil part of doing business."
KICK 'EM WHEN THEY'RE DOWN
"I have a good relationship with Paul [third-base umpire Emmel] and he's a good umpire, but that is a horrible call...You cannot end a game unless you are 100 percent sure that there is obstruction."
"No. 1, he's not even going home. No. 2, [Jose] Lopez has to go to the bag because Willie [Bloomquist] goes to the cutoff position. And No. 3, the angle where Lopez was and where Raul [Ibanez] was, wasn't even close to obstruction."
"In this case both the shortstop and the third baseman attempted to impede the runner tagging from third from seeing when the ball was caught, by screening him from the play.... What they did was intentional, you can tell. I can listen to Melvin tell me they didn't do that. I have to believe my umpire. That's what I did."