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March 14, 2005

The Week in Quotes

March 7-13

by John Erhardt

YOU'LL GET NOTHING, AND LIKE IT

"I'm going to keep spending until we win."
--Tigers owner Mike Ilitch (Detroit Free Press)

"Yeah, I would. But you know how sports are, you can go backwards, too. There are always injuries, and sometimes things just don't pan out. It keeps you humble."
--Ilitch, on whether he would consider it a disappointment if the Tigers don't play .500 ball in 2005

"I wish we would have added another pitcher. We all know the name of the game is pitching, and I just missed getting Carl Pavano by a hair. That would have made a big difference."
--Ilitch

"There were opportunities for him."
--Illitch, on whether or not he offered Pavano some Little Caesars' franchises as part of the deal

"I missed Pavano by a hair. I blame myself for that. I kind of let up. I tried to be real cool. If our young guys don't deliver in the future, I'll have to focus just like 'Georgie, Porgie' does on pitching."
--Ilitch, on having to change his focus to be more like George Steinbrenner (New York Daily News)

LET YOUR POSITION GO AND YOUR CAREER WILL FOLLOW

"The frustration of not being effective, not being able to go out there and replicate my mechanics, and the way it affected me off the field wasn't worth it. The reward wasn't there. I feel relieved now; it's time to move on."
--Cardinals pitcher Rick Ankiel, on his decision to stop pitching and become an outfielder (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

"I'm just concerned about taking care of me as a person. Whatever else happens will fall in place. I just felt after coming back from Puerto Rico, when I was hurt there, I changed mechanically. I couldn't really replicate it. This whole time the frustration has built up. It seemed like it was really eroding my spirits and affecting my personality off the field as well. It just became apparent it was time for me to move on and become an outfielder."
--Ankiel

"Everybody just said they understand, as much as they can understand."
--Ankiel

"As an organization, we feel bad for him. He's a gifted pitcher and had a great career ahead of him. It had to have been a daily grind for him to have to go through this every single day. None of us have ever gone through that. Just knowing there was constant pressure, constant scrutiny, weighed very heavily on him."
--Cardinals GM Walt Jocketty, on Ankiel's decision

"It affected my personality. Being that frustrated, it was hard to leave your business at the field. You leave the field, you're constantly thinking about it. I don't want to go through that. I'm 25. I feel like there's more to life than that."
--Ankiel

"I can't give them to him because he's not going to make our team."
--Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa, on the possibility of giving Ankiel some at bats in spring training

JUST A STRAIGHT SHOOTER WITH UPPER MANAGEMENT WRITTEN ALL OVER HIM

"As a manager, you've got to be who you are, you can't try to be something you're not - copy somebody else. I'm not always right. I know that. But I'm just trying to do it the way I know how. To win the game, you have to bunt sometimes, you may have to steal bases, whatever it takes."
--Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, (Toronto Star)

"He's never come in (the dugout) to say `Why did you do this? Why did you do that?' We've discussed situational baseball, different options at different times. If we disagreed, I wouldn't tell you what the disagreements were. But I don't think it's healthy to always agree. When two guys agree on everything, it's the guy below who's kind of a yes-man."
--Gibbons, on J.P. Ricciardi

"Obviously, I love what I do. But there are definitely nights I go home, and I know I won't be doing this forever. That's for sure. Heck, there've been nights when I've wondered how I got here in the first place."
--Dodgers GM Paul Depodesta (Contra Costa Times)

"I never wanted to do another book, other than something on the strategy of the game after I retired. But I've got to find a way to pay this loan down. I want a lot of people to read this book, so I had to do what I could to make it interesting. If I didn't owe $4 million, I wouldn't have done it."
--Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa, on why he wrote his new book Three Nights in August (New York Daily News)

"I guess we could have used a different title - the words my wife, Elaine, has matted and framed in the front hall of our house - 'We interrupt this marriage to bring you another baseball season.'"
--LaRussa

"NEO MCCARTHYISM." I LIKE THAT

"If Congress wanted to, in this particular instance, do something about the youth of America and their attraction to steroids, they should have approached this very differently. It shouldn't be in response to Jose Canseco's book."
--Smith College Economics Professor Andrew Zimbalist, on the Congressional inquiry that begins this Thursday into steroid use (New York Times)

"It's politicians 'soapboxing.' It's a popular subject right now. It's a good way (for politicians) to put themselves out there on a subject that has a lot of public awareness."
--Phillies pitcher Randy Wolf, on the Congressional investigation into steroid usage in MLB (Delaware County Times)

"I'm not saying steroids are good. I'm not defending anybody who does this. But a lot of it comes from a guy who wrote a book -- and his honesty is definitely in question -- and it's all things that happened in the early 90's, when there was no rule against it."
--Wolf

"It's a little bit ludicrous. There are so many other things the government should be doing that they don't do. It's such a waste of time and money."
--Wolf

"It's kind of an [Orwellian], '1984' deal where basically, they want to know everything you're doing at all times, and because we're in the public spotlight our civil liberties are flushed down the toilet. It's 'chemical McCarthyism' It's kind of like how it was back then, when everyone was guilty until proven innocent -- no doubt about it."
--Wolf

"Sunlight is the best disinfectant. They ought to let as much sunlight on the problem as possible. People may have made mistakes. Maybe I made a mistake back in '91 not chasing it harder. All Congress wants to know is that baseball is deserving of the trust, and they want to know that baseball is handling things properly. I think baseball should go in and explain what it was doing."
--former MLB commissioner Fay Vincent (New York Post)

THAT'S WHAT I LOVE ABOUT ROOKIES, MAN. I KEEP GETTING OLDER, AND THEY STAY THE SAME AGE. YES THEY DO.

"Of all our young players in camp, he's definitely made the biggest impression. He has a strong and accurate arm, runs good routes and has swung the bat well."
--Indians manager Eric Wedge, on outfield prospect Franklin Gutierrez (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

"I feel like I'm in the best situation I can be in right now for my career, and I'm going to go with it. I'm not going to live in the past. I don't even know if I'd have a shot with the Mets this year. I definitely look at this as a positive."
--Devil Rays pitcher Scott Kazmir (St. Petersburg Times)

"I'm just going to keep swinging the bat and trying to elevate my game. [Alomar] is a future Hall of Famer and I'm so glad to be playing with him. Whatever the team decides to do, if their answer is for Roberto to be at second, that's fine with me. I'm just going to play my role and whenever I'm out there just do the job."
--Devil Rays second baseman Jorge Cantu, on having Roberto Alomar ahead of him on the depth chart

"He probably could pitch in the big leagues and have some success. The question is, are we doing the right thing by putting him that situation."
--Mariners pitching coach Bryan Price, on 19-year old prospect Felix Hernandez (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

"We don't have 1,000 18- to 19-year-old ex-major league pitchers whom we can refer to. Of that handful, very few had long, distinguished careers."
--Price, on looking to history to determine what to do with Hernandez

"He pulls his head, flies open, and his arm drags, and it overloads the shoulder. He's not going to have a long career using his bad delivery."
--Price, on the "bad delivery" that Hernandez uses when he gets in trouble

THE REST

"I looked at Grant and told him he's going to have a bullpen [session] tomorrow, and two days after that, and two days after that ... And, if that's too much, we have a number of pitchers here who would like a job on this staff."
--Twins pitching coach Rick Anderson, on reliever Grant Balfour, who has had a reduced workload after complaining of arm soreness this spring (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

"I don't even know why I'm here. I don't know what happened. Maybe because I accepted arbitration... I don't know what my role is going to be. If David [Bell]'s hurt, I guess I'll be playing third. I don't know what's going to happen. I don't think they know. I just hope David comes back at 200 percent."
--Phillies infielder Placido Polanco, on his role with the team (Philadelphia Enquirer)

"This guy might be the most impressive first-impression guy I've ever met in my life. We talked for an hour in my office one day, and he never even talked about grabbing a bat. It was all about pitching."
--Giants Assistant GM Ned Coletti, on new catcher Mike Matheny (ESPN.com)

"I was surprised, and it made my decision very easy not to go back to San Francisco."
--Former Giant and new White Sox pitcher Dustin Hermanson, on being shortchanged $200,000 in incentives after moving to the bullpen in 2004 (Chicago Tribune)

"It sounds like he must not be happy where he's at if he's slamming us, as well as it's pretty ironic we took him off the scrap heap [in 2003 after St. Louis released him]."
--Giants GM Brian Sabean, responding to Hermanson

"The only thing that keeps this organization from being recognized as one of the finest in baseball is wins and losses at the major-league level."
--Devil Rays GM Chuck LaMar (St. Petersburg Times)

"If you don't know what he's apologizing for, you must've been in a coma for two years."
--White Sox hopeful Jeremy Giambi, on his brother Jason's vague apologies last month (Kansas City Star)

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:  New York Times,  The Who

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