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February 7, 2005

The Week in Quotes

January 31-February 6

by John Erhardt

EVERYBODY KNOWS IN A SECOND LIFE, WE ALL COME BACK SOONER OR LATER

"It's a great place for me to come here and win the crowd like I'm going to do and be happy again. I like the situation in Baltimore. They have a great ballpark. I think I'll be perfect here."
--Sammy Sosa, on his new team and new city (Chicago Tribune)

"I loved the people in Chicago. Chicago was the place I wanted to be all my life. I wanted to finish my career there. I'll always keep Chicago in the bottom of my heart because they gave me an opportunity. All those beautiful fans, everybody in general was great to me. I don't have anything bad to say about Chicago."
--Sosa

"[Sosa] feels fabulous about the situation. There are not a lot of places he was willing to go, and [Baltimore] is his first choice, second choice and third choice."
--Adam Katz, Sosa's agent (Baltimore Sun)

"It's a nice bump, especially this time of the year. Tickets went on sale at SoxFest, and for premier games [Yankees, Red Sox and Dodgers], those have been moving well. The Baltimore series, there wasn't a ton of activity."
--White Sox director of marketing Brooks Boyer, on the spike in sales of right-field bleacher seats for when the Orioles visit Chicago May 12-15 (Chicago Sun-Times)

"Sammy is a big draw, and there will be people here to boo and Sammy fans who will cheer."
--Boyer

"I'm hoping to have Sammy promotion suggestions [from Sox fans]. Maybe we'll smash a boom box or something. I'll let the fans let us know."
--Boyer

FEB. 7TH, RESTATE MY ASSUMPTIONS: 1.) DON'T COUNT ON JEROMY BURNITZ, 2.) WE'RE COUNTING ON JEROMY BURNITZ

"I'm going to really go all out with the team attitude. I think it all is going to revolve around what we do as a team. Of course the fans are going to love me. They don't even care if you strike out if the team's winning. And that's basically the attitude I'm going to have. If the team's doing well, let's face it, the fans are going to love me and probably every other guy on the squad, more than they already do."
--New Cubs right fielder Jeromy Burnitz, preparing fans for the .230/.320/.440 line he's about to put up (Chicago Tribune)

"Jeromy said he's going to bring his boom box and blast Frank Sinatra."
--Jerry Hairston Jr., on Burnitz's clubhouse presence

"I've seen him very good, and I've seen him not so good. Our goal is to keep him where he's very good. This guy has had some mega-years, and last year he appeared to be back on the right track."
--Cubs manager Dusty Baker, apparently unfamiliar with Burnitz's 2004 home/road splits

"I know one thing--we're better already if we're healthy. With a healthy [Mark] Prior and LaTroy [Hawkins] in the league another year, a full year with Nomar [Garciaparra] and [Ryan] Dempster. … [But] it's going to be a tough year. Our division is tough."
--Baker

A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME…

"We have the resources now to go out and do some things that we would like to do. We're going to take it and look at all the avenues available to us going forward."
--J.P. Ricciardi, GM of the Toronto Blue Jays, on the renaming of SkyDome to the Rogers Centre. Rogers has pledged $210 million over the next three years for players' salaries (Toronto Globe and Mail)

"We pledge to you all our fans that we will investigate any and all ideas that will improve this building and the fan experience."
--Blue Jays' President Paul Godfrey

"No longer will the Blue Jays be the only team in major league baseball to play on AstroTurf."
--Godfrey

"This is our start, but by no means is it our finish."
--Godfrey

…WILL STILL COST AS MUCH AS A ROSE

"In the past, we were sort of on a three-year cycle but it was one of those things where we'd just fill in the same figure and wait. This is the first time we'll have a global budget. We'll have three-year guidelines all the time and it makes special sense for us because most of our long-term contracts are three-year deals."
--Godfrey

"It's like running the house. You have the necessities--mortgage, tuition, car payments--and in our case those are the guaranteed contracts we have with guys like Roy Halladay and Vernon Wells and now Corey Koskie. Then, you go from there."
--Ricciardi

"To be successful, to do what teams like the Oakland Athletics have done, you need to be able to re-create yourself. It's your own players that let you do that."
--Ricciardi

"The hard, cold fact is, as a small-market team we just weren't going to be able to keep these guys. That was borne out in this winter's market where the 'just okay' guys were getting big money. We couldn't even afford the 'just okay' guys and imagine next winter what Hudson, who has the third-best winning percentage in history, would command."
--A's GM Billy Beane, on trading Mark Mulder and Tim Hudson before they got expensive (New York Daily News)

"If [the Yankees] didn't have to pay the luxury tax, it might have been a different story. As it was, for them to pay [Beltran] $17 million a year, it's actually more like $24 million. I would say it certainly was a parameter that created an issue in their pursuit of the player."
--Uber-agent Scott Boras, on the Yankees' failure to sign Carlos Beltran (Washington Post)

AIN'T GOT NOTHIN' TO DO

"I have not swung a bat since my last game, my last time up...my last double play. No more of those, and that is great."
--Former Mariner Edgar Martinez, on what he's been up to since retiring in October (Seattle Times)

"I did my best. I wish I had been able to do more at times, but I always did my best. We had some great times, now great memories."
--Martinez

"I miss it all, the fun we had, the struggles years ago, the satisfaction of winning later, the friends. In some ways I miss preparing now and I expect I will miss playing this summer, but my body told my mind what I had to do. I will always miss it some, but that will fade, too. I tried to make it a good career, and I think I did all right. Now it is time for others. I'm like everyone else in Seattle. I hope they will do well, even better than we did our best years."
--Martinez

I WOULD HAVE LIFTED WEIGHTS BUT THEY'RE TOO HEAVY

"I really have no sympathy for the guy. Guys who take steroids are basically looking to cheat their teammates for the opportunity to play, and cheat the opposing team."
--Former Yankee and author of Ball Four Jim Bouton, on Jason Giambi's steroid usage (The New York Times)

"I see steroids as worse than gambling. They have affected the outcome of far more games than gambling. I just don't see him as a sympathetic character."
--Bouton

"The same commitment he had that made him a superstar in our game will be the driving force behind him excelling again. It won't be easy, but anything worth its weight usually isn't. My hope for him is that through all of the adversity, he finds the strength he needs to have to be a contributor on the field and the inner peace to persevere off of it. I know he can do it."
--New Diamondbacks first baseman Tony Clark, on Giambi (The New York Times)

"This book, which attacks baseball and many of its players, was written to make a quick buck by a guy desperate for attention, who has appeared on more police blotters than line-up cards in recent years, has no runs, no hits and is all errors."
--Giambi's agent Arn Tellem, on Jose Canseco's new book Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits and How Baseball Got Big (New York Daily News)

THE REST

"When I'm healthy, I'm still one of the best setup guys around."
--Jeff Nelson, who recently signed a minor-league deal with the Mariners (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

"I think I'm a little bit goofy, mentally unstable."
--Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster, on what qualifies him to be the closer in 2005 (Miami Herald)

"If I get through this one, I'll be 60-whatever. I'm not going to manage until I'm in a wheelchair. I know me."
--Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, on whether he'll manage through the three-year deal he just signed (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

"It's one of the best lineups in the game."
--Orioles GM Mike Flanagan, on his team's new offense (St. Petersburg Times)

John Erhardt is an editor of Baseball Prospectus. You can contact John by clicking here or click here to see John's other articles.

John Erhardt is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see John's other articles. You can contact John by clicking here

Related Content:  Fans,  New York Times,  Jeromy Burnitz,  The Who,  Baltimore Sun

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