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August 9, 2004

The Week in Quotes

August 2-8

by Ryan Wilkins

LAST 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."
--Greg Maddux, Cubs pitcher, after his 300th career win (San Francisco Chronicle)

"Obviously, to win 300 games, you've got to have a lot of help. I've played on a lot of good teams, and a lot of times, you're only as good as the guys behind you. Today was a good example."
--Maddux

"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."
--Maddux

"I didn't really pitch all that good today.... It was a total team effort. It was great to see."
--Maddux

"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."
--Mike Remlinger, Cubs reliever, on Maddux (San Francisco Chronicle)

"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."
--Nomar Garciaparra, Cubs shortstop, on the health of his Achilles' tendon, prior to being traded from the Red Sox (Boston Globe)

"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."
--Garciaparra (ESPN.com)

"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.'"
--Larry Lucchino, Red Sox CEO, on Garciaparra (Boston Herald)

"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.'"
--Lucchino (ESPN.com)

"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."
--Garciaparra (ESPN.com)

"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'."
--Garciaparra

"I'm not mad at them. I'm not going to rant and rave. I'm not jabbing anybody.... If they don't want me, fine. They traded me. Why can't that be enough?"
--Garciaparra

"'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."
--Garciaparra, on Cubs catcher Michael Barrett (Chicago Sun-Times)

"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."
--Michael Barrett, Cubs catcher, on giving Garciaparra the jersey No. 5 (Chicago Sun-Times)

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."
--Billy Beane, Athletics general manager, on former assistant and current Dodgers general manager Paul DePodesta (San Francisco Chronicle)

"I talked to Paul this morning and asked if he could acquire some chemistry from another GM whose team is out of the race. But I'm concerned chemistry might not clear waivers."
--Beane

"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."
--Beane, on DePodesta's moves

"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.'"
--Beane

"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."
--Beane

TAKE YOUR BALL AND GO HOME

"This whole thing is asinine, the deadline, the process."
--Brian Sabean, Giants general manager (San Francisco Chronicle)

"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."
--Sabean

"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."
--Sabean

"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."
--Sabean

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."
--Bob Melvin, Mariners manager, after Friday's loss to the Devil Rays on a ninth-inning obstruction call that allowed the winning run to score (St. Petersburg Times)

"There is no way that was obstruction.... That's the worst call I have ever seen...from a good umpire. And you can't appeal because it's a judgment call."
--Melvin

"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."
--Melvin

"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."
--Joe West, MLB umpire, crew chief for Friday's game (St. Petersburg Times)

"The rule makes him score; we didn't make him score."
--West

"In a season where every break is going against us that's the worst I've seen."
--Melvin

THE REST

"Classic Weaver...His ball still moves like Nintendo."
--Jack Wilson, Pirates shortstop, on Jeff Weaver's seven-inning two-run performance against Pittsburgh last Thursday (Los Angeles Times)

Related Content:  Achilles Heel,  The Call-up,  Good Process

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