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March 21, 2005

The Week in Quotes

March 14-20

by John Erhardt

TOO MANY SECRETS

"I'm not here to talk about my past."
--retired first baseman Mark McGwire during his Congressional testimony on Thursday, when asked if he took steroids (San Francisco Chronicle)

"I'm not going to go into my past."
--McGwire, who, like Martin Bishop, doesn't seem to have a past

"What I will not do, however, is participate in naming names and implicating my friends and teammates. I retired from baseball four years ago. I live a quiet life with my wife and children. I have always been a team player. I have never been a person who spread rumors or said things about teammates that could hurt them. I do not sit in judgment of other players, whether it deals with their sexual preference, their marital problems, or other personal habits, including whether or not they use chemical substances. That has never been my style, and I do not intend to change this just because the cameras are turned on."
--McGwire

"Nor do I intend to dignify Mr. Canseco's book. It should be enough that you consider the source of the statements in the book, and that many inconsistencies and contradictions have already been raised."
--McGwire

"He had the opportunity to say something, and it looked like he had been coached in the other direction. It surprised me. That's exactly what I'm saying."
--Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa, on McGwire's testimony (St Louis Post-Dispatch)

"The shame of it is [McGwire] wouldn't even be up there if Canseco wasn't trying to sell a book."
--Jim Edmonds

"Any player who tests positive, you can count on it, is gone."
--Comissioner Bud Selig, on the consequences of failing a test under the new testing policy. The policy has been criticized for being "toothless" (Baltimore Sun)

"I heard somebody on the radio say, 'If only Kenesaw Mountain Landis were alive.' If he were, he wouldn't have a union to deal with. This is not 1937."
--Selig

TWO MORE RETIREES IN TAMPA

"Everyone's kind of dumbfounded today. We just lost our cleanup hitter and we don't know what happened. It's kind of a weird situation. It's a zoo around here today."
--Devil Rays DH Aubrey Huff, on right fielder and cleanup hitter Danny Bautista announcing his retirement just a day after Roberto Alomar did (St. Petersburg Times)

"When your body doesn't allow you to play, there is nothing you can do."
--Devil Rays second baseman Roberto Alomar, announcing his retirement

"My back, my legs were not the same, my eyes. I couldn't play no more. I have no excuses. I did it for 17 good years and have no complaints. It's time for me to move on."
--Alomar

"I knew my body was not going to allow it. In the morning you feel sore. You try to go out there and push yourself one more time, but I knew I was done."
--Alomar

"I don't want to be embarrassed on the field. I don't want to embarrass my teammates, Chuck [LaMar], Lou [Piniella]. I don't want to do that. They're great people and they deserve to have somebody else at second base. They have some good young talent here. Hopefully, they can go out and do their job."
--Alomar

"Baseball will miss one of the best players I've ever seen. To me, in his time, he was the best player besides Barry Bonds to play the game. Good for him. He will leave with his head up all the way straight to the Hall of Fame."
--White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, on Alomar (Arlington Heights Daily Herald)

"It was a privilege to play with him and manage him. He was my teammate and my player and a good friend. I know his back was bothering him. He was worried about the 3,000 hits, but I talked to him and told him, 'You don't need the 3,000 hits. You are going to be a Hall of Famer no matter what.'"
--Guillen

STRATEGERY

"Our team is not as deep as it has been in a couple of years, as far as the long ball, but we're going to generate enough offense. We have guys who can hit home runs, but we're not contingent on winning or losing with the home run. There's other things we can do to score runs."
--Angels manager Mike Scoscia, on his team's offense (Los Angeles Times)

"He helped lead the Twins to three straight division titles. He's got a lot of upside. And it's hard to win when you don't have a shortstop who can catch the ball. If you don't have a shortstop, your pitching staff isn't going to be any good."
--Washington Nationals GM Jim Bowden, on his new shortstop Cristian Guzman (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

"We've got great players everywhere. Lots of teams lose a big guy or two and it's tough. You take three or four big guys away from us and we've got more where they came from. I definitely think so."
--Giants second baseman Ray Durham, on how the Giants will still win if Bonds misses time with his knee injury (San Diego Union Tribune)

"In the eighth spot, I hit last year with a lot of runners on base. If the first pitch is there, I want to be aggressive and try to make good contact."
--Marlins shortstop Alex Gonzalez, on balancing aggressiveness with discipline at the plate (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

"Those opportunities when you have a runner on, you have to take advantage of them. The pitcher comes up next, and it's likely he's going to make an out."
--Gonzalez

"This organization has drafted, signed and developed a winning major-league player in Lance Berkman. And today we have signed him to a long-term commitment that will keep him with the Astros for six seasons, including the 2005 season. That's a tremendous accomplishment for the organization to have Lance on contract this long."
--Astros GM Tim Purpura, on signing outfielder Lance Berkman to a 6-year contract worth $85 million (Houston Chronicle)

"I firmly believe that there are two ingredients that are important to sustain success at the major-league level. The first is a strong player development and scouting system that produces winning major-league players. The second is the ability of an organization to retain those players once they are on the brink of free agency. Today we're here to announce that we've achieved those two objectives."
--Purpura

WHEN YOU DO THINGS RIGHT, PEOPLE WON'T BE SURE YOU'VE DONE ANYTHING AT ALL

"Everybody has a voice. Everybody is entitled to their opinion. I think there are a lot of guys who try to make a living off analyzing guys like Mark Prior and Kerry Wood. I don't know what the agendas are and I really don't care. We have a job to do here."
--Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild, on people analyzing his two injured pitchers (Chicago Tribune)

"Really the proof is going to be in what happens through the years-not what has happened this spring or last spring or any other time. I'm looking at this long-term, and you hope Mark has a long and fruitful career."
--Rothschild

"There are not many people with perfect mechanics."
--Rothschild

"If you think you're just going to change them instantly, it's almost impossible. There are ways to do it, and you do it slowly. I think we have a pretty good grip on what we need to do."
--Rothschild

"It's going to be interesting to see who will step up and [lead the team]. It could be a Jack [Wilson]. It could be a [Ty] Wigginton. It's got to be someone who's going to be there 162 days -- a guy who's been around and could step up a little bit and lead the team."
--Pirates second baseman Bobby Hill, on who will fill the leadership role in Pittsburgh now that Jason Kendall is in Oakland (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

THE REST

"If Lee Smith can't get in with 478 saves, I ain't getting in with 246."
--Phillies closer Billy Wagner, who has said that he'll retire at the end of this season if the Phillies win the World Series, on his Hall of Fame chances (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

"Once an ass, always an ass."
--Giants pitcher Brett Tomko, after being told former teammate A.J. Pierzynski offered his new White Sox teammates $100 for every home run they hit off Tomko last week (Sacramento Bee)

"Yes, he offended everyone in the Bay Area."
--Giants manager Felipe Alou, when reminded that A.J. Pierzynski is a more offensive catcher than the defensive-minded Mike Matheny

"He looks pretty good to me. His back looks bigger."
--Red Sox GM Terry Francona, on Kevin Millar, who reported to camp about 20 pounds heavier (Hartford Courant)

"I read a lot of Socrates over the winter. Don't print that. You'll ruin my reputation."
--Indians DH Travis Hafner, on the origins of his new philosophical outlook (Akron Beacon-Journal)

"I'm not smart, but I can lift heavy things."
--Hafner

"It's a sad day, it really is. It signifies a couple of things, too, that this team is going in a different direction. I think hopefully a winning one."
--Mets catcher Mike Piazza, on teammate Joe McEwing's release (New York Newsday)

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

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