January 17, 2005
The Week in Quotes
"I'm glad we could come to an agreement.... It was the right thing to do. I think it was something that needed to be done, and I think players understand it needed to be addressed."
"The integrity of our game was beginning to come under fire, and there are too many great players, past and present, that deserve to be celebrated for their ability to play this game at a very high level.... If a stricter drug policy brings that level of appreciation back, we felt that it was worth pursuing."
"Everybody believed that the program we had in place was having an effect and definitely it was doing what it designed to do...but having said that, with the stuff that was going on and whatnot, it forced us to take a look at revising it or making it a little tougher. It was not a question anymore if that agreement was going to be enough. It was a question to address some of the new issues that came to light and get our fans to believe we were doing everything we could to make the problem go away 100 percent."
"I was tired of seeing 5-foot-8 guys hit the ball as far as I do.... I'm not going to shrink. I'm not going to change into a smaller person, so it's going to be nice to make it a level playing field."
"I want it to be an even battle, me against the pitcher, who is just playing with the tools he was blessed with...I wouldn't want to stand 60 feet, six inches away from somebody who already is a genetic specimen and is cheating as well."
STAND UP AND BE COUNTED
"If you tell me steroids help you hit major league pitching more often and farther, I see no evidence whatsoever. None...I think if you tell me that using steroids and bulking up like that will help the performance of a football linebacker, maybe. If you tell me it will help a professional wrestler, maybe. If you tell me it will help a beer hall bouncer, maybe. If you tell me it will help somebody become the governor of California, maybe."
"Did you ever see a picture of Babe Ruth in his youth? Slender as a rail, with skinny legs, which he maintained always, and [a picture of] Babe Ruth in his prime? People get older. Athletes train differently. This is what I mean by anecdotal evidence. So Barry Bonds is heavier and has more muscle at 41 than he had at 21. OK, that's a fact. Now, link it up with his ability to hit, and I don't see the evidence."
"To say that now you're going to reopen that agreement because there are outside pressures is about as unstabilizing as you can imagine. I say bluffing, because what is there that McCain could do, or what could George Bush do? Government cannot order random testing. Government cannot legislate that way. The Constitution forbids it."
"In most locker rooms, most clubhouses, amphetamines-red ones, green ones, etc., were lying out there in the open, in a bowl, as if they were jellybeans.... They were not put there by the players, so of course there was no pressure to test. They were being distributed by ownership. I can't remember ever having a proposal from the owners, that we're going to have random testing or testing of any kind."
"When I say you ought to start from what is, the fact of the matter is that not one player has been tested under that provision. Of course clubs don't do it, it's such an impossible concept when you think about it. What's a club employer supposed to do, bring a player before the committee because of probable cause, and when asked what's the probable cause says, 'He's hitting too many damn home runs?' That's the most illogical thing I've ever heard."
"That's a sign of maturity for Eric.... He's become a more patient, disciplined hitter. I think they sky's the limit as far as what he can do if he keep improving."
"The best thing I know is that I have a long way to go.... I took the offseason to prepare myself physically and baseball skills-wise. I have to try and be more consistent. You can't play like things are handed to you. You can't be complacent."
"We're a team that doesn't believe in stopping a player's progress.... Dallas doesn't have anything left to prove at the minor league level. He's ready to be a major leaguer."
ROLLING THE DICE
"Paul came to us, obviously, in a big deal last July 30, when we tried to fortify our club for the latter part of the season.... He was a major part of that trade, and he really came as advertised: Clutch hitter; Strong leader; just a very, very tough player; strong makeup that fit right into our clubhouse."
"He worked very well with our young and talented pitching staff. I'm sure Paul will have a much greater comfort level this spring. We think his leadership behind the plate will help us offensively, especially playing in [spacious Pro Player Stadium] as a doubles hitter. He's a player who gets on base and helps us offensively."