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August 23, 2004

The Week in Quotes

August 15-22

by Ryan Wilkins

OFFERED WITHOUT COMMENT, ONLY TEARS

"God willing, Bud's health will be good. His own interest may change. But right now I'd say yes."
--Fred Wilpon, Mets owner, on whether he'd approve Bud Selig for a "lifetime" term as MLB commissioner (MLB.com)

"In September 1992, I told my wife when I got on the plane, she asked how long it would be, and I said, 'Two to four months'...It's got to be the longest two to four months in history."
--Bud Selig, MLB commissioner (MLB.com)

"I had a series of owners who asked me after that time not to close my mind, and they were a little surprised that I had said that...Once they have articulated that, I believe that my responsibility and my feeling for the sport is such that I want to do what they think is in the best interests of the sport...I finally felt it was the right thing to do."
--Selig

"This sport was a dinosaur. It didn't change, and then when you tried to change it, it obviously had a lot of critics...But the competition among other forms of entertainment and other sports will just intensify, and we have to be smart enough to always stay ahead of that curve."
--Selig

RIDE THE WAVE

"I think that was my first curtain call...It's been great. I'm loving the moment. Like 15 minutes after the game, they're still cheering for me."
--Adrian Beltre, Dodgers third baseman, after his game winning home run against the Padres (L.A. Daily News)

"I don't care what other people think...To hear that makes you feel special. Whatever happens, happens. My main thing is to get to the playoffs."
--Beltre

"He deserves it...It almost seems like people are ready for me to get my act out of the way so he can get up there."
--Milton Bradley, Dodgers outfielder, on Beltre for NL MVP (L.A. Daily News)

"He hasn't missed a mistake yet that I've seen...In that at-bat (in the ninth), I was facing the hottest hitter in the game."
--John Smoltz, Braves pitcher, on Beltre (L.A. Daily News)

"He's amazing. That's the MVP right there...Nobody can get him out.... He's the MVP by far. It's easy. East Coast people won't see it, but it's easy. Nobody is even close."
--Eric Gagne, Dodgers reliever, on Beltre (L.A. Daily News)

'HURRICANE' BOB HAZEL, v20.04

"What I saw out of him was better than any hitter I've ever seen in my life."
--Zack Greinke, Royals pitcher, on former minor-league and current major-league teammate Calvin Pickering (MLB.com)

"One time he hit three home runs in this one game...He pulled one home run in the upper deck of the stadium. And then he hit a ball to the zoo which is about 800 feet away in center field. Then he hit an opposite-field home run later in the game."
--Greinke

"I've always put up numbers my whole career but, being young, you have a tendency to waste an at-bat. What I mean is you get two hits in your first two at-bats and you end up giving up your last two."
--Calvin Pickering, Royals outfielder (MLB.com)

"I finally came to the conclusion that I have four at-bats and I'm not going to give one away. If I get four home runs, I'm going to try to get them-put a good swing on them and see what happens."
--Pickering (MLB.com)

"It's easy for me to sit here and say this now, but if you look back we signed him because he has the ability to walk and the ability to hit the ball out of ballpark."
--Allard Baird, Royals general manager, on Pickering (MLB.com)

OUT TO GET ME

"It's going to end up being six days, technically...They could have told me Sunday, and I could have started [the suspension] Sunday. They obviously wanted me to miss a start."
--Kerry Wood, Cubs starter, after last Tuesday's suspension for arguing balls and strikes (Chicago Sun-Times)

"I'm a little upset, but there is nothing I can do...I have seen a lot worse get a lot less days as far as suspensions. If inciting the crowd is the reason I got suspended, we should have been on the road, and that wouldn't have happened. Then I probably wouldn't have gotten suspended."
--Wood

"It seems like we are sort of victimized by having a lot of fans who are into it a lot of times...My suspension earlier was basically because I incited the crowd. What if you don't have a crowd? Then you get a different suspension? I don't understand it."
--Dusty Baker, Cubs manager, who was also suspended (Chicago Sun-Times)

"I'm a competitor. When you work almost three hours and feel like you get screwed, it's human nature to be upset. But we have to be careful going down the stretch. We need everybody from now on."
--Wood (Chicago Sun-Times)

"You're two outs away from a W in a 10-2 game...In my opinion that's common sense. I'm obviously not trying to throw at [Kent]. Calling balls and strikes and safe and out aren't the only things these guys have to be aware of. They have to know the game of baseball. And that's not knowing the game of baseball."
--Wood, after Sunday's ejection against the Astros (Chicago Tribune)

"[Hohn] is set up over the catcher, and he realizes the catcher is setting up away. I throw a two-seamer [fastball] that rides in, and Kent is diving, like he's been doing all year. You're going to throw me out of the game? I don't get it. You've got to know the game."
--Wood, on umpire Bill Hohn

"As frustrating as it was for us, it was probably the right thing to do."
--Michael Barrett, Cubs catcher, on Wood's ejection (Chicago Tribune)

"Even though it was unintentional, you can't determine that based on the pitch and who's at bat. You want to try to keep things as settled as you can."
--Barrett

THE REST

"I don't know where it says that a veteran player has to get worse as he gets older...Vinny is showing what you can do with experience and knowledge. It's a comfortable feeling knowing he's out there."
--Royce Clayton, Rockies shortstop, on third baseman Vinny Castilla (Denver Post)

"It used to really (upset) me. I don't worry about it anymore...If that were true, how did I hit 22 homers last year for Atlanta? This year I have 12 homers on the road. I know I can hit."
--Vinny Castilla, Rockies third baseman, on accusations that his superficial numbers have been helped by Coors Field (Denver Post)

"The wild card is the purgatory of the lost...It's a place souls go and wait millions of years until redemption. We have had a tough time, but there was always the possibility of the wild card. There are so many teams in this purgatory."
--Felipe Alou, Giants manager (San Francisco Chronicle)

"I never thought my last game would come unexpectedly, but it did. I mean, I thought I'd outlast Syd Thrift, but I didn't."
--Brady Anderson, former Orioles outfielder, after being inducted to the Orioles Hall of Fame (Baltimore Sun)

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