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October 4, 2004

The Week in Quotes

September 27-October 3

by Ryan Wilkins

MUFFLED GAG

"That is a very strong word...I mean, they played better than us. We didn't play very well during those games. We had some near-wins, [although] they don't count. I think it's sort of disheartening people feel like that, but you can't stop the way people feel."
--Dusty Baker, Cubs manager, on the notion that the Cubs "choked" down the stretch (Chicago Tribune)

"That's what they all could say...did Florida choke? Did Philly choke? Does that mean that everybody who doesn't win is a choker? I mean, we played a lot of games in a short period of time. I think it's just a word people use for not having another [better] one."
--Baker

"It's hardest because of 'stuff,' stadium stuff, steroid stuff, stuff with the media, stuff with [broadcaster Steve] Stone.... To culminate things, I went to the gas station [Saturday morning] and I had a flat [tire]. I haven't had a flat in 20 years."
--Baker

PARTING WORDS

"If you let pettiness get in your way, you're not being professional. And there are some people here in Philly who haven't been very professional.... Does it bother you? Yeah. But I'm not going to let it affect the way I manage."
--Larry Bowa, Phillies manager (Philadelphia Daily News)

"I've protected these guys a lot. Public perception outside of Philly is that I don't, but I make it a point to do that...because I know how hard it is to play, and sometimes you say stuff out of frustration, because I said it, when I played. Did I ever say anything I regret? Yeah."
--Bowa

"By the weekend those same players came in and apologized. I didn't say a word to them; they did it on their own."
--Bowa

"You know why? We were ahead in six of those nine losses, and, up until that point, our bullpen had been more consistent than I thought it was going to be.... They're entitled to have a lull, but the timing...at our own park...we played some good teams [the Giants and Astros swept them]...and we were ahead in a lot of those games. The fact we had the game in hand, with our strength coming in, that probably hurt more than anything else. We found a way to lose."
--Bowa

IN THEIR DEFENSE

"They can say whatever they want.... The bottom line is we didn't get it done. Whatever label you want to put on that, whatever. We battled all year long, and it didn't work out."
--Todd Walker, Cubs infielder (Chicago Tribune)

"It's unfortunate the season ended how it did...I don't think you can pinpoint one reason or another. Obviously, we didn't want it to end this way. I think we all knew it didn't take the finale [Saturday], we pretty much assumed it after the last couple of days."
--Jim Hendry, Cubs general manager (Chicago Tribune)

"I don't think it was from lack of effort. I don't think we were playing tight. This is the same bunch of guys who played great in the clutch last year."
--Hendry

"I don't have any answers.... It's not for me to speculate what went wrong."
--Mark Prior, Cubs pitcher (Chicago Tribune)

"I'm sick and tired of fans bringing that up.... You're lucky or unlucky. It's unfortunate for this city and this team [a World Series championship] hasn't happened in a long time."
--Moises Alou, Cubs outfielder (Chicago Tribune)

"We can't believe in that stuff. You [media] guys keep bringing it up and you make the fans believe that."
--Alou

MOVIN' OUT

"If those two goals can be accomplished, and I feel the franchise would be secure and the revenue stream is protected and the asset value is secure, it might be possible to make a deal."
--Peter Angelos, Orioles owner, on Washington D.C. receiving its third MLB franchise (Baltimore Sun)

"As far as my personal interests are concerned, as far as paying me $100 million or $150 million, all that would do is take care of Peter Angelos. That's not what it is about."
--Angelos

"You have to start with the premise that baseball already has $170 million into the Expos, in the purchase price and operating losses. They want to recover that...I don't think it's in baseball's best interest to put encumbrances on the Expos."
--John Moag, Chairman of Moag & Co., a Baltimore-based investment banking firm with a specialty in sports (Baltimore Sun)

MELTDOWN

"He allowed his emotions to spill over...and that's something you can't let happen."
--Jim Tracy, Dodgers manager, on Milton Bradley's season-ending incident (L.A. Daily News)

"The fans were all over him, more than home fans should be.... We're all trying out there, and what they did is inexcusable, but what Milton did was inexcusable too."
--Steve Finley, Dodgers outfielder (L.A. Daily News)

"Maybe he went overboard, but if somebody throws something on the field, it's dangerous."
--Eric Gagne, Dodgers closer (L.A. Daily News)

"In that moment, it's all reaction. He lost it because they threw the bottle. It was bad of him to throw the bottle, but it's all instinct. We're having a great year, and I don't want our own fans booing us. He didn't want to make the error. It's crazy sometimes."
--Jose Lima, Dodgers pitcher (L.A. Daily News)

GOOD NIGHT, SWEET PRINCE

"I know I'm finished...I know I can get by. But playing at the level I like to play, I know that's going to be way too difficult for me. The body's not responding the way I want to. It's very frustrating not to be able to compete at the same level."
--Edgar Martinez, Mariners DH, on the decision to retire (Seattle Times)

"The respect he gets around the league from the other side is as much as anyone I've ever seen...I've never heard anyone say a bad word about Edgar Martinez. And in this game, that's almost impossible."
--Bob Melvin, Mariners manager, on Edgar Martinez (Seattle Times)

"Edgar takes great pride in doing things professionally and doing it the right way. I think, through thick and thin, he has been the benchmark of what a Mariner player is supposed to be all about. It's been a very classy organization with good people, and a lot of it fed off the example Edgar set."
--Buck Showalter, Rangers manager (Seattle Times)

"You look at [Barry] Bonds, and yeah, everyone respects him as one of the greatest hitters of all time.... When you look at Edgar, you say, 'He's one of the best hitters of all time, AND he's one of the best people you've ever met.'"
--Scott Spiezio, Mariners first baseman, on Edgar (Seattle Times)

"As a ballplayer, you always want to live big, with a homer or something like that.... You can play in your mind all these fantasy things, but I'm realistic. It could happen that way, but I could also strike out and walk back."
--Martinez, on his last major-league at-bat

THE REST

"I always wanted to go to New York at the beginning of the trip and not the end of a trip, rest-wise, tolerance-wise, money-wise.... Everybody is borrowing money and writing checks by the end of the trip, especially when you go to New York. I used to think somebody broke into my window on the 30th floor in the middle of the night and stole a couple hundreds."
--Baker (Chicago Tribune)

"It happens sometimes. We were busting our butts, but they were busting theirs too. You didn't hear any of my guys complaining or using being tired as an excuse. Sure they're tired. I was tired, and I don't even play."
--Baker

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