October 4, 2004
The Week in Quotes
September 27-October 3
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
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."
"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."
"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."
"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.'"
"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."
"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."
"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."