April 11, 2005
The Week in Quotes
April 4-10THINGS ARE GONNA CHANGE, I CAN FEEL IT
"I took all of this in and I asked myself: Does he deserve another chance? I'm a Catholic. I went to Villanova. I was watching all those people lining up this week to see the Pope and I wondered, 'What would the Pope do?' He would give him another chance."
"He didn't commit a crime. He's paid for making inappropriate remarks as a 25-year-old."
"I know we are a family-friendly ballpark. Rocker has to come here and respect the fans and respect the organization. I'm convinced he will do that."
"I think if we sent John to Anchorage, Alaska, some people will feel it's necessary to give him a hard time. John worked very hard to get to this point. He's ready for the challenge. He's very excited to be coming here. John will drive the bus and write the rest of the story. It will be, most importantly, about how he pitches. But it's also about how he handles the fans, the media and himself."
"What he said about New York happened a long time ago. John has changed a lot. He's not angry with anybody. John has paid dearly for the mistakes he made. Does it have to be a lifetime sentence?"
"I told him this is the best place to show he can get back to the big leagues. We're like the Yankees of the independent leagues. Everyone is out to get you."
NO, THEY WERE SAYING 'BOO-URNS! BOO-URNS!'
"After everything he's done for this team in this ballpark. I was shocked."
"There are always about 20,000 Red Sox fans here when we play them. Maybe it was only Sox fans who were booing."
"It's inconceivable to me if he was getting booed by Yankees fans. They wouldn't be champing at the bit to get in here if it wasn't for him."
"If he gets booed you really have to question the fans, after what he's done [throughout his Yankees career]. You hope there aren't boos."
"I'm totally flabbergasted that the fans booed Mariano Rivera. Would you boo Sinatra because he hit a bad note? I'm shocked!"
"Nobody is immune [to being booed]. I heard them boo Mickey Mantle. I was in Philadelphia when Mike Schmidt, who was voted the greatest Phillie ever, got booed more than anybody. ... Mariano realizes it's not personal. It's that he didn't do the job. That's the natural thing that comes out in boos. ... Where much is given, much is expected."
"New York is going to be the place where free agents don't want to come again. People are going to look at each other and say, 'Wait a minute, Mariano Rivera got booed. I'll take a million dollars less and go play someplace where I'm not going to get booed.'"
PEOPLE CAN COME UP WITH STATISTICS TO PROVE ANYTHING, BILL. 14% OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT
"In the broad culture, people have a lot of respect for opinions and pay a lot of attention to opinions. But I've always tended to think that everybody has 10 million opinions and they don't really mean anything. What matters is evidence, and the ability to demonstrate what you say is true."
"The field is well past its goal to rate players' performances, they've exhausted that trail. What statistics are really used for now is projecting player performance. The statistics community, they're not arguing Willie Mays against Mickey Mantle - no one cares. What they're doing is they're saying, is Paul Wilson worth X million dollars, given the type of pitcher he is? Is he going to repeat his performance from last year? What are the chances that he will repeat it, and how much is that worth compared to the other options that are out there? It's all very pragmatic."
"There has been a growing community of people who understood the point of analysis for 25 years. That community continues to grow, and the Red Sox are the first time I've dealt with people actually running a baseball team who understood that type of analysis."
"It's not the end-all and be-all for us, and I think we've kind of been painted in that light. We still value scouting and I guess contrary to what some people think, we're not going to be the first club to fire all the scouts and just go off statistical analysis."
"For us, it's just a mixture, we try to be a hybrid. We take both the statistical analysis and the scouting analysis. We've been right with the statistics and wrong with the statistics and we've been right with scouting and wrong with scouting. I don't think it's anything more than that, and I think the people that want to make more of it are people that have an ax to grind in some way, shape or form."
"We take a look at all aspects of it, but I don't have a stat guy. We use scouting first and foremost, and then we use statistics to support the scouting. There's an important place for statistics in the game, without a doubt, but not to the point where you replace good scouting opinions."
"You still have to have scouts and you still have to have analysis, because sabermetrics doesn't cover everything. We don't have any way of looking at a high school kid and saying 'Here's a guy who's going to be a good player.' I don't think sabermetrics is ever going to have a method to approach that problem."
"The advances that can be made in the analysis of pitching and batting are pretty minimal. The next great frontier is fielding. It's very difficult to measure fielding. But if there were a way to capture data that measured fielding, whether it was the speed and position of batted balls, the position of the fielder before the ball was struck, so we can measure, hey, the ball left the bat at trajectory X and velocity Y, and the fielder started at position A, did he or did he not get to the ball? That's his job. Right now, there's really no way for us to measure that, except with our eyes, and our eyes can lie."
I AM SO SMART. S-M-R-T. I MEAN, S-M-A-R-T
"It's not very smart. He must not have been watching TV screens for the last couple of months."
"His downfall here was that he didn't work. He has tremendous ability, but he feels like he can make it on his ability alone."
"When he was traded to the Tigers, I called [Tigers GM] Dave Dombrowski, a friend of mine, and said, 'Dave, this guy is going to light your eyes up, but you need somebody to stay on him constantly.'"
"I don't know if he didn't get the memo or what. At this point, if you're taking something, you're going to get caught. Being on the inside and talking to everyone here, no one is even thinking about taking anything."
"I'm not glad because you don't want to see any players on the [suspended] list. But at the same time, you have to prove to the fans that you're cracking down on it."
EVERYTHING LOOKS BAD IF YOU REMEMBER IT
And Todd [Walker] is really one of the good guys. Most of the guys I thought we got along with, but there were a few that we didn't. One [Moises Alou] left the ballgame with a calf injury. But when you're 70, that stuff happens."
"I think last year the Cubs were distracted by too many things other than winning on that day. The guys can say it wasn't the case, but it was. … When you have bullpen guys complaining about umpires and vendettas, when you have players moaning about the number of cameras in the locker room before the game, what the guys were writing and what the broadcasters were saying, it was absurd. It really was a three-ring circus."
"Ultimately, I think the players embarrassed themselves and embarrassed the team and, fortunately for both Steve and me, we were able to land on our feet at other places where people appreciate our honesty."
"We saw the Bartman thing happen and I remember Mark Redman, one of our pitchers, say, 'Let's make him famous.'"
"It cost me $55 to fill up my tank today. Fifty-five dollars! In Venezuela, $55 will pay for your gas for a year."
"You guys are killing a dead dog. You wore it out in spring training."
"[He had] nothing. Probably the worst stuff I've ever seen. The guy throws 83-84 mph. Come on! He was like [Baltimore's] Rodrigo [Lopez] -- very mediocre stuff. You think that we could get 20 hits off a guy like that. That's the way it is in baseball. Sometimes it's hard to explain."
"If they want to keep the [World Series] ring, that's fine. I just know I contributed to that team to win, and I'm proud of it. They can never erase what I did in Boston. Most important, I had a job in Boston for seven years, and I appreciate that. And that's the most important thing. I had a job, and I did what I had to do in my job. Every time I could pitch, I did. Hurting, or not hurting."
"My ex-teammates, I'm rooting for them, and I'm watching every game just to see them do well. About my teammates, I'd love for them to win and do as well as they can. If it's management, I don't care."
"It's kind of a freak thing. It's not like I was running the bases and hit the bag funny or anything like that. ... It's silly, I know."
"He bought into our plan, which is to bring in the best players possible."