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March 28, 2005

The Week in Quotes

March 21-27

by John Erhardt

PURISTS WILL OBJECT

"It all starts on the field. When is the last time you've heard of a team with great chemistry that stinks? It's all about the field."
--Dodgers second baseman Jeff Kent, on team chemistry (Los Angeles Times)

"Hey, Barry Bonds and I fought more in one year than anybody could imagine, and we went to the World Series. Now that was chemistry."
--Kent

"If guys hate each other, sometimes I think that's better. If they are fighting with each other, competitive with each other, they take it out on the field, on the other team, and that's great."
--Kent

"Let's say I go up there, bases loaded, and I don't get a hit. The guy batting behind me, if we're fighting in the clubhouse, he wants to show me up. He wants to say, 'That at-bat proves Kent stinks. Let me show everyone how I can do it.' Then he does it, gets a big hit, wins the game, just to spite me. Now that's chemistry."
--Kent

"Works for pitchers too. Let's say a pitcher is mad at somebody in this room. He goes out to the mound. He looks at the batter's box. He picks up the ball and looks at the batter and is like, 'I wanna kill you with this ball.' That's the guy I want on my team. I want that edge. Now that's chemistry."
--Kent

"Roy says that our chemistry is always just a three-game winning streak away."
--Dodgers GM Paul Depodesta, quoting his assistant GM Roy Smith

FROM THE GROUND ON DOWN

"You wanted me to jump off a bridge; I finally jumped. You wanted to bring me down; you finally have brought me and my family down. You've finally done it, everybody, all of you."
--Giants outfielder Barry Bonds, on finally being worn down by the media (Sacramento Bee)

"You guys wanted to hurt me bad enough; you finally got there. You guys wanted to hurt me bad enough, and you finally got me. So now go pick a different person. I'm done. I'm mentally drained. I'm tired of my kids crying."
--Bonds

"Me and my son [Nikolai], we're going to try and enjoy each other. That's all we've got. Everybody else has tried to destroy everything that's supposedly been positive or good. I'll try to enjoy my family now, take care of my knee the best I can and spend time with my son, my kids, my wife."
--Bonds

"I've had three knee surgeries in [five] months. I'm 40, not 20. I'm going to take it slow."
--Bonds, on when he might return to the lineup

"I feel bad for the guys because I want to be out there for them. I'm going to try to let myself heal. I've got a lot of work to do to try to get back for these guys. I don't know. I don't know if I'm going to be back yet."
--Bonds

GO, GO YOU PILOT -- YOU'RE GONNA DO SOMETHING GOOD!

"Yes, I do second-guess myself a lot, even with the revisionists running wild with no basis in fact. But I've come to learn that I can't do that. People have said I should've fought for a tougher policy in the 2002 [collective bargaining] agreement, when I knew what we got wasn't what we wanted. People have said I should've taken out the union right there and then."
--Commissioner Bud Selig, addressing critics who said he should have acted differently in the past (Arizona Republic)

"But I don't know if the sport would've survived another late-season work stoppage. So I agreed to it, and understood immediately that I had reason to be worried, very worried. You know what? I'd make the same decision today because we would've had little sport left if I hadn't. But you want to know if this is bothering me? You bet it is. Oh, you bet it is."
--Selig

"On January 14, people were quite complimentary of our [drug-testing] agreement. I went home that night feeling really good. Two months later, we have this fury, and the only variable that changed is what? Jose Canseco wrote a book."
--Selig

"I have not said this publicly, but baseball had a significant cocaine problem in the '80s, and I mean significant. We never had a drug-testing policy for that, did we? [Former commissioner] Fay Vincent, who comments on every subject, got overturned [in suspending Steve Howe], so what does that tell you about our drug policy in 1992? There was no drug policy."
--Selig

"Let me say this. Everybody loves all the changes in baseball - the three divisions, the wild card, the $300 million in revenue sharing, although there needs to be more. But at that time, do you know what they were saying about me? They were all over me. Now, we get to this issue and it's a matter of trust?"
--Selig

RELEASE THE…BEES?

"I guess I must have smelled good. It was kind of funny at first, but after a while, I started getting a little nervous and scared out there."
--Rockies pitcher Darren Oliver, who was chased off the field by bees during a spring training game (Rocky Mountain News)

"There were like little packs moving around. They were all over the pitcher and [Sergio] Santos when he went out."
--Arizona outfielder Luis Gonzalez, on witnessing the swarm

"I think it was either their cologne or deodorant or something. They've got to switch it up."
--Gonzalez

ALL MARINERS, ALL THE TIME

"If I broke Ken Griffey Jr.'s home run record, that might be something. But to break his consecutive-game hit record or to break anything that Ken Griffey Jr. did gives me pleasure."
--Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, on breaking Ken Griffey Jr.'s record of consecutive spring training games with a hit (MLB.com)

"It's Vladimir Guerrero, so I'm thinking, 'I have to strike him out.' "
--Seattle pitching prospect Felix Hernandez, on facing Vlad Guerrero last week (Seattle Times)

"The way things are, some people are going to say I stopped using steroids - and some people are going to say I started using them."
--Mariners infielder Scott Spiezio, on people's perceptions about the deterioration of his game (Tacoma News Tribune)

"I'd be angry to be lumped in with guys who cheated. That sucks. I did the work, and a lot of other players in this game have done the work. It makes you wish you'd kept vials of your own blood the last 10 years, so you could yank one out and say, 'See? I was clean that year, too.'"
--Spiezio

WALK THIS WAY

"He's won 36 games in three years for us. You know, his style, one needs a lot of patience to allow him to win his games because the way he does it can be nerve-wracking - that's the best word. But there's no question in my mind, and I've been around baseball a long time and been around a lot of competitors, that there is no question that he's a successful person and to me that means a winner. How he does it is a little different than a lot of people, but he is a winner."
--Dodgers pitching coach Jim Colburn, on exiting pitcher Kaz Ishii, who was traded to the Mets for C/1B Jason Phillips (Bergen Record)

"You've got to believe in him. You've got to believe he's going to win the game. That's one of his strengths. He's unbelievable in the clutch. He seems to need to have his back against the wall to pitch his best. That's why he's been a winner. Tracy and I have leaned on the side of patience, belief and trust. It hasn't been easy."
--Colburn

"Strikes."
--Colburn, when asked what pitches Kaz Ishii has the most trouble throwing

"It's kind of like in scripture now because everybody reads [Moneyball]. They only hear what that book says and they can't look past it. I heard a guy in the stands yell, `Hey Youk, get a walk.' I'm like, `What, you don't want me to hit a three-run homer here and win a ballgame?' I've had more people come up and go, `Hey, do you go up there looking for a walk?' I'm like, `Are you crazy? If you go up looking for a walk, you'll be sitting down in about four pitches.' Hopefully I can shed it some day."
--Red Sox infielder and Greek God of Walks Kevin Youkilis, on how his nickname changes the way fans view him (Hartford Courant)

"When I walk a lot of guys, I'm not happy about it."
--Mets pitcher Victor Zambrano, who led the AL in Walks Allowed in 2004, despite being traded to the NL in July (The New York Times)

YOU DON'T MAKE FRIENDS WITH SALAD

"When he was Charlie Hustle, he was a coney kind of guy. Now that he's a retired athlete, he's eating salad."
-- Kim White, agency partner and creative director of Freedman, Gibson and White, a Cincinnati ad agency. Rose will resume his spokesman appointment with Gold Star Chili on 3/28, endorsing salads instead of hot dogs. (Cincinnati Enquirer)

"We think Pete Rose is Cincinnati's hero and always will be. And this spot will run in Cincinnati."
--White

"Pete Rose in Cincinnati is an absolute god. On a local level, his credibility will bring tremendous value to Gold Star."
--Rob Riggsbee of Inside Media, on Rose's new gig

"If you're not active - and I'm not active - and you don't watch what you eat, you can get big as a horse."
--Pete Rose

"The one with oranges."
--Rose, on which of the four salads he sampled was his favorite

THE REST

"I'm from Alabama, and they have a different alphabet."
--allegedly what Orioles pitcher Eric DuBose told police when instructed to recite the alphabet after being pulled over for erratic driving (Baltimore Sun)

"You don't know how to pencil it in. You may be worried all year and you may end up with three Rookies of the Year. It's possible. You can't pencil it in. You just don't know. You can project, but even the sabermetricians aren't always right."
--Astros manager Phil Garner, on possibly starting the season with three rookies in his lineup, plus a fourth in the rotation (MLB.com)

"Whatever it takes to help a team win -- when I'm at my best, I'm getting hit by pitches, I'm laying down bunts. I'm making all the plays. That's what I need to do."
--Cardinals infielder David Eckstein, on being on top of his game (ESPN.com)

"The sun was bad, but was it any worse than it's been the last 10,000 years? I'm gonna say no."
--A's outfielder Eric Byrnes, on losing a ball in the sun, barely catching the next one hit his way, then watching two more fall in for doubles (InsideBayArea.com)

"They should win the division. Sure, no doubt. I'm telling you, this team is going to be real good."
--Detroit pitcher Ugueth Urbina, on how the Tigers will do in 2005 (The Detroit News)

"Happy Birthday, Cheryl."
--Me, to my wife (Since I Won't See Her Until Tomorrow)

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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Prospectus Today: AL C... (03/25)
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