October 18, 2004
The Week in Quotes
"He came back to the dugout after the strikeout and he was beside himself...I told him, 'David, don't worry. You can't physically get a hit every time up against pitchers that good.' It just eats at him."
"Seeing him a lot definitely helps...but he still has overpowering stuff. If he's off a little bit against us, we have a chance but the chance is pretty slim."
"It was hard for me to see the way we were playing.... We weren't playing good at all, and we were like 10 games behind in the wild-card standings."
"Obviously, one can take a look at their record since they got Beltran to where they are now. It's amazing, the turnaround they had.... He was the missing piece they were lacking."
"I think now the word's out. I think the world knows he's one of the greatest players in the game. There isn't anything he can't do, including throwing the ball. We've seen him throw guys out from center field. You don't see that very often in today's game."
"He can play defense, he can run, he can hit, steal bases. For guys like me who haven't seen him much until he came over here [to the National League], you really appreciate his ability."
"I don't know if the Yankees will be coming up to me.... Like when I see an owner that cares about winning-I like that.... He's a guy who cares about his players, and I think every owner should do a little more to put
[together] contending teams."
LIGHT UP THE STOVE
"I was absolutely exhausted at the end of that season, just drained.... But I'll never forget the next day, when [then-Indians GM] John Hart said, 'Today is the beginning of our season,' meaning the front office."
"This is just baseball operations in general.... Everybody's contract runs out on Oct. 31, and I would like to have our entire baseball operations team, from scouting and player development to our major-league staff, in place by the time I go to the GM meetings. I don't know if that's realistic, but that's the goal. That way, once we get to the GM meetings, we can focus totally on building our 2005 club."
"Looking back now at some of the things [Colangelo] said, I think he knew more than he was able to let me know, what was going to happen with his situation.... He assured me if a decision was strictly up to him, it was a decision not to be made."
"As we found out later, there were other people involved in the [firing] decision, and they had other ideas. As for some of the things said on the day I was fired, I now understand where Jerry was coming from."
"You'd like to believe as the situation changed, expectations should have changed.... With the injuries and force-feeding the young kids into the lineup and the other factors that went into it, we couldn't realistically expect to win our division with the team we were running out there on a daily basis."
"And it would have been nice to have the opportunity, not necessarily to turn it around, because we saw it didn't turn around, but at least to be able to have the organization have enough patience to allow me to fail."
"People were saying I couldn't work with kids, but the year before we had a 12-game winning streak with a bunch of kids who were fresh off the freeway.... I didn't feel like there was any problem with the young players. I actually enjoyed working with those kids. It was fun to see them start their major league careers and see them learn on a daily basis and see them get better. There was some information or misinformation out there that kind of painted the thing differently than it was."
"We won the World Series in 2001, we won the division in 2002 and of course all the injuries in 2003 with the two big guys, that killed us.... The first time there's the least sign of adversity, I got flushed. That was a little frustrating. I would have liked the opportunity to try to do the best I could to reassemble the team and start over again."
SEARCHING IN SEATTLE
"I would talk to people, let's put it that way.... But to be honest, they'd really have to sit down and talk turkey."
"I guess I'm not in their plans.... But I don't know. Maybe they want me to contact them, but I'm not going to do that."
BELATED TWINS/YANKEES QUOTES
"I thought the Yankees did well...given their financial constraints."
"I only remember once this season when Juanie really gave it up. It was a game with Tampa Bay weeks ago [July 22]. And, unfortunately, again today."
"I don't really believe in momentum to begin with.... We came into this series and everyone was saying Boston had momentum. We won the first two and now we have momentum. You just throw that out the window."