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September 20, 2004
The Week in Quotes
"Only two guys had 700, and he's the third? An amazing feat...I'll never be able to imagine 700 home runs. I used to think Tiger Woods was the most mentally tough athlete I've ever seen, but playing with Barry, I'd put him right there with Tiger. I don't think I'll be alive to see another player as good as him."
"I started talking to him from day one. I'm not intimidated by him...I think he's a good guy. He has a pretty fun side to him. For me, he's a joy to be around. There's a myth going around that if you sit in Barry's chair, he's going to beat you up. I've been on the chair a lot of times, and he says he doesn't care, so long as he doesn't want to sit there."
"I'm a player, so I know how hard it is to go out there and stay focused. I've got a few little numbers, but that stuff he's doing? And to stay that focused? And to have that much confidence? You just know he's different. I can say I was a witness to it."
"A long time ago, when I was chasing Ruth's record, before I ever got close, they said that was one of the records that would never fall.... Just like that fell, this will fall. And eventually, somebody's going to come along and do the same thing with Barry. That's the nature of the business."
BUT DON'T GIVE YOURSELF AWAY
"The first pitch was a curveball, which is rare for him to throw me...I about bit a hole in my tongue watching it. I didn't think he'd come back with the same pitch, but he did. He got the exact same pitch in the exact same spot. I don't think it's where he wanted it."
"You really can't put it into words to be in a class with those two great players...It's like you're dreaming and you're not dreaming. It's unbelievable."
"I don't want to get satisfied...I don't want to get caught up in it all. I guess when I retire, I'll have time to reflect and tell some stories-and probably a couple of lies here and there. Right now, I really want to focus on completing my career and winning a World Series."
I'M A LOSER, BABY
"I'm at fault...I made poor signings. I put this team together. I thought we were doing the right things. I thought we had a chance to win. But we have not, and it's my responsibility. Everybody underachieved. If three or four guys struggle, well, you overcome that. But when it's everybody--starting pitching, bullpen, offense, defense--well, what do you do?
"I understand that, believe me.... And, believe it or not, I really do appreciate that kind of passion. People care. They're mad at the team. They're mad at me. They should be. Nobody wants to hear me promise that great things are coming. But I really do believe we have the makings of something good here. It's up to us to prove it."
"I'm not sure if I want to come back now.... It's been incredibly frustrating and disappointing, this whole thing where fans are being told that I'm the cause of all the problems, and I have to wonder, why would I want to put myself through this again?"
"Somehow it comes across that I'm not motivated, or that I don't care.... That's just wrong. Part of it is my fault because I make myself accessible to the media and answer all your questions and go on and on and sometimes things get taken out of context. I guess it's just something else that's gone wrong, and I'm getting blamed for it."
SINCE WHEN IS COMPARING YOURSELF TO TOM ARNOLD A GOOD THING?
"I don't have hope...Tom Arnold had a drug problem and now he's back on TV. Winona Ryder was caught stealing and she's back in the movies. I have no hope. When I look at the end of the rainbow, there is no rainbow."
"He might get it.... He needs 27 hits to tie and he's got 20 games. You know why he probably will get it? Because he never walks. He's already got 630 at-bats. The closest I came was 230 hits, but I walked 75 to 80 times per year. He has walked only 20 times, that's 60 more at-bats."
"It will take him two more years and he will have to be lucky in terms of no injuries...but how is he going to get hurt? He only trots. He doesn't play defense anymore, he can't throw, and he can't run. How's he going to get hurt? How's he going to pull a muscle?"
"I call it an unauthorized hatchet job.... How do you do a movie on my life and leave 22 years out of 24 I played out of the movie? It will be all about gambling and they will put an extra zero in, where I didn't bet $1,000 but instead I bet $100,000."
MELEE BY THE BAY
"There is no justification for what they did. Fans are fans and they have a right to have some fun and do some badgering if they want."
"Obviously I can never condone under any circumstances players engaging in any kind of obstruction or violence.... Here, we are having our greatest season in a long time and I hate for this to happen."
SHALL I RETURN?
"I haven't decided what I want to do...I don't want to go play one more year just to go play. I'll go home during the winter and see how I feel, see if I have the drive to really start working out and get in really good shape. If I'm going to play I want to be able to put up big numbers again."
"I talked to him briefly the other day and I don't think he knows exactly what he wants to do next year.... He's done fine. He's done about what we expected. And we've gotten some nice leadership out of him."
"He's amazing.... We've talked a lot this season about Fred McGriff going to get 500 home runs and what a great accomplishment and how many home runs that is, and this is 200 more home runs and then some because he's not done yet. You don't know what he's going to end up with."