December 20, 2004
The Week in Quotes
"What I'm trying to do is set our pitching up for five years...That's something we can't do in free agency, so we have to be as creative as possible. There are risks, especially with so many young pitchers, but we have Harden, Blanton, Haren and Meyer for at least five years, Zito for two more."
"We're not looking at just right now, but on the horizon.... We wanted to get progressively better, rather than stay with the status quo. I felt that [status quo] would be the riskier road to take."
"I'm shocked, but what are you going to do? It's disappointing, but it's kind of exciting at the same time. The bad side is I'm leaving my friends I've been with since I've come up. The good side is that those guys [the Cardinals] were in the World Series last year. I was talking to Tim [Hudson] today and we were laughing about it, like who would have thought this would happen?"
"What the hell?...I don't understand. I don't know whether to be mad or shocked or what. I wasn't going to step in and say who we should keep, but I think this is getting borderline ridiculous."
"This is a whole new revamping of a team. We just lost two of the best pitchers in all of baseball, what are we looking for? I'm totally flustered right now. Who's next? Zito?"
THE HAND THAT FEEDS YOU
"It's crazy, isn't it? But I think from all our past experience with Billy, I have undying faith in his ability to do what's best.... This game is a business and we're reminded of that more than ever. I'm still here at this point and I'm excited for next spring. It's kind of comical at this point, but I guess the guys we picked up are kind of like the Big Three all over again."
"At least now I know they didn't get rid of me because they didn't like me...I guess they thought, 'Well, let's get it all over with in one offseason.' I feel bad for Chavvy and those guys who have been there a while. It's hard to sit back and see all this going on, but you've got to see that Billy is doing what's best for the organization. He's not going to do things to try to make the team bad."
"It's pretty shocking to lose two of those guys in three days, but I don't think Billy would do anything without having some angle or calculated strategy.... So I'm not going to rush to judgment."
"When he was hurt, when he was gone, people would say, 'It'd be nice to have him on the bench pulling for us'...It'd be nice, maybe, if he could pinch-hit, or be available for that, which is something everybody else would have to do."
"When you do something like that, you lose a lot of respect in the clubhouse real fast.... There were some things during the year he quietly lost respect for. But I think that was just the final straw. That 'C' that he wears on his jersey-he doesn't deserve it when you do something like that."
"He made that switch, but it took about two weeks for that to happen...and I think in a normal player's mind, they think, well, they could do that to me and I wouldn't have a say in it. In Sammy's case, I think he wants to be treated as a king, as, in the baseball world, he is."
"In the past, that wasn't even an issue...Sammy is Sammy, and everybody loved him on the team, regardless. Everybody in Chicago loved him, obviously. Now that probably has changed a little bit."
"If you create Frankenstein, you can't be real surprised if he eats the village.... It's not his fault. You created him.... The Cubs as an organization had a very permissive attitude toward Sammy Sosa."
"For 12 years, they allowed him to get away with exactly what he wanted to get away with, to do what he wanted to do. If Sammy wanted to have a guy sitting next to him on the bench, they let him do that. If he wanted to have a guy in uniform to work out with him, they let him do that. And if Sammy wanted to come to spring training late, they allowed
him to do that."
"If I look at it realistically, there aren't that many guys on our team who are young and fairly cheap like me and Kevin Youkilis and Mark Bellhorn, so I would expect my name to be out there a little bit.... It would be a disappointment if they traded me, but it's a business and I understand that."
"I want to thank A.J. for his contributions to the Giants last season.... A.J. did his job here under difficult
circumstances-changing leagues and learning a new pitching staff, etc.-and still led the league in RBIs for his position."