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April 18, 2005

The Week in Quotes

April 11-17

by John Erhardt

FAME WAS LIKE A DRUG. BUT WHAT WAS EVEN MORE LIKE A DRUG WERE THE DRUGS

"Andro, for me, was amazing. It gave me better results than anything I'd taken in my career. The gains I got were incredible. I did it during the offseason and it was like my body kept telling me to work out more. I had more energy. I could do more sets, more reps. I wanted to get down and work out the next day. It was like I had to feed my body by working out."
--former Phillies first baseman Rico Brogna, on using andro while active (Philadelphia Daily News)

"Baseball was going through a creatine phase then. It was in every locker and everybody was putting it in their juice and their drinks. It was something you could buy over the counter, so you could feel good about it. And you felt like, 'Wow, I'm really powerful.'"
--Brogna

"It wasn't talked about, although we certainly talked about players around the game. But on a scale compared to other teams, I don't think steroids were a quote-unquote problem. I would probably guess that three or four guys experimented with it. And that would have been my guess for every team. But I think I was a little naive. I think it might have been a bigger problem than I thought at the time."
--Brogna

"Now being a scout, I realize that I was a below-average power-hitting first baseman. The prototypical guy at my position hits at least 30 home runs a year. I'd hit 20-something if I played 150 games. So I was a perfect candidate. I was starting to make some money and you think about your family and the personal gratification you could get. But I never inquired how to get it. I guess maybe I figured if I asked, I'd probably try it."
--Brogna

"I understand the athlete's mind-set. At that elite level it's, 'What can I do to get better today?' It's not about down the road. It's this at-bat. You don't really think about the consequences. It's, 'How can I compete right now at the highest level?'"
--Brogna

"I definitely drew a line [at injecting steroids]. I wouldn't have felt right. I would have felt guilty, like I had crossed over a line. And the line was that I could go to GNC or the grocery store to get what I was using. I was like, 'If it's right next to the Oreos, how bad can it be?'"
--Brogna

"If I had delved into the black market, that would have been different. I couldn't look myself in the mirror and say, 'Yeah, I used steroids.' I guess I felt I would have let my parents down, let my father down for all those years he worked with me. I don't feel bad about using [andro]. But I think I would have had a guilty conscience if I had used the needle."
--Brogna

I WAS DEEPLY UNHAPPY, ONLY I DIDN'T KNOW IT BECAUSE I WAS SO HAPPY ALL THE TIME

"I'm miserable. It's not what I thought it would be. Sometimes you miss the old places. But you've got to play the hand you're dealt."
--former Cardinals and current Baltimore reliever Steve Kline, on regretting his decision to leave St. Louis for Baltimore (St Louis Post-Dispatch)

"I'd like to rub that bottle and have that genie come out and grant me a wish that I could go back."
--Kline

"I feel like I'm going through the motions right now, I guess, instead of being all pumped up, rocking and rolling and coming in cussing. I need to start concentrating on every pitch or something. I guess I have to try something different."
--Kline

"I'm rolling with the punches. I'm not having any fun on the field. Going to the ballpark is the only thing that stinks right now, and that's the worst thing to hear from a professional athlete."
--Kline

"I'd be lying ... well, I'm a little disappointed. But I'm happy for Neifi. He's a good guy and works hard and I'm happy for him."
--Cubs infielder Jerry Hairston Jr., on being benched in favor of Neifi Perez when Todd Walker got injured (Chicago Tribune)

"I regret doing it now. Guys like Raffy [Palmeiro] and Miguel Tejada were in my corner, telling me, 'You don't want that tag.' I've learned it. The label says 'utility,' and I don't like it. I don't want that tag, but it's on me."
--Hairston, on regretting the decision to learn the outfield to help the Orioles last year

"I remember last year there were teams interested in me [as a second baseman], and I begged the Orioles to unload me. Now that [utility] tag is on my back, and I have to shake it. It's not the worst thing in life, but it doesn't help."
--Hairston

"I'll do whatever it takes to help us win. I'm expecting us to do great things, and I want to be part of that. But I'm a second baseman. My athleticism has gotten me into trouble. This will be the last year I do it [utility play]."
--Hairston

THE UNBEARABLE FRANKNESS OF GUILLEN

"I don't think they're going to be more than Dominicans and Latin Americans; they're cheaper down there. Every time you sign a Japanese player, it's a lot of money. In the Dominican and Venezuela, you can sign them with rice and beans."
--White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen (Chicago Sun-Times)

"I'm from Latin America. The first time I signed, they signed me for like $1,000. What can I buy with $1,000 in Venezuela? Nothing."
--Guillen, who last week said 55 dollars could buy gas for a year in Venezuela

"If you sign 10, 11, 12 [Latin American] players, at least one is going to take a shot in the big leagues. Japanese rules are different. You've got to be a free agent and do all kind of different things to come to the big leagues. But when Japanese players come to the United States, they're ready to play in the big leagues."
--Guillen

"I keep saying that it's not small baseball, it's smart. That's what we're playing now. How long are we going to play like this? That's up to my players. Everybody has to be ready for the hit-and-run. Everybody has to be ready to take the extra base. It will be 162 games just like this. We might fail, but that's the way we're going to play."
--Guillen, defining the "speed and defense" makeup of the team

"Too bad the only good player from Cairo was [Robinson] and not Willie Harris. I told Willie, `What happened to you?' Jackie didn't leave anything for Willie."
--Guillen, on how White Sox infielder Willie Harris and Jackie Robinson both hailed from Cairo, Georgia (Chicago Tribune)

THEY HAVE THE INTERNET ON COMPUTERS NOW?

"No, sir. I barely know how to turn the computer on."
--Nationals manager Frank Robinson, when asked if he uses his computer to analyze statistics (Washington Post)

"Me? I don't use them."
--Robinson, when asked if he uses numbers

"It's not all gut. Of course, I read them. But numbers-wise, the only time I look at numbers is to see what a guy is hitting against us. I know he's had great success against us. I know [Miguel] Cabrera has had great success against us; I don't need to look at any damn numbers. I know he does. I don't rely on numbers."
--Robinson, when asked if he just manages with his gut

"In the past, experience in this game used to mean something. It really did. You went after people that had experience, and put them in these jobs. And all of a sudden, the computer age coming in and whatever. . . . The experience didn't count. It was whether you can handle the computer and read the charts, and whether this guy is 15 for 20 against this guy, plus this and that."
--Robinson

"I didn't read [Moneyball], and I won't read it. I'm not knocking Billy Beane or anything. That's his approach to it. Some players can hit late in the count. Some players cannot hit late in the count. I'm not going to force a player to work the count and make him take pitches early in the count or take strikes, and try to get a walk or get in a more-desired hitters' count if he's not comfortable. Why try to force that on them?"
--Robinson

"Numbers don't win you ballgames, I don't care what they say."
--Robinson

HERE I COME TO SAVE THE DAY

"I was trying to get out of the way, and the kid was running the other way. He was about to run into the street and I kind of just put my arm around him. We both almost got run over."
--Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, on saving a young boy's life in Boston (New York Newsday)

"The kid was running into the street and he was about to get run over by a car. From his vantage point he couldn't see the truck coming."
--Rodriguez

"It was just unbelievable, truly a God moment. A-Rod could have been seriously hurt, but that didn't stop him. It was the best catch of his career."
--Joe McCarthy, whose son Patrick was saved

"Brian [Cashman] wrote a great letter back and said they're going to keep the cards on file. Patrick just keeps saying that when he becomes a pitcher for the Yankees, he hopes Alex is still playing."
--McCarthy, on how Brian Cashman responded when Patrick sent his Little League baseball cards to the Yankees

THE REST

"He goes to get a driver's license and ends up with a marriage license. I don't know if anyone told him you don't have to be married to drive in this country."
--Astros manager Phil Garner, on outfielder Willy Taveras, who was married early last week (MLB.com)

"The clubhouse guy from Arizona called me and said, 'What kindergarten did you fail?' I always check the back of the jerseys for the players' names, but never thought about the front."
--Reds equipment manager Rick Stowe, on how Aaron Harang had "Cncinnati" on the front of his jersey in St. Louis (Dayton Daily News)

"He's a pretty good hitter. We tease him that he swings at the junk. But we all do."
--Giants outfielder Marquis Grissom, on Jason Schmidt getting two hits last week against the Rockies (Denver Post)

"I didn't even see it. They told me I had a hole, and I had to come back [to the clubhouse] and change."
--White Sox reliever Neal Cotts, on sitting too close to a space heater in the bullpen and burning a hole in his pants (Chicago Sun-Times)

"He jumped into it and bathed for about 10 or 15 minutes. And when he got out, all his skin, up to his neck, was bright red."
--Mariners first baseman Richie Sexson, recalling the time he dumped 20 packets of red Gatorade mix into a hot tub and dyed then-Milwaukee teammate Curt Leskanic's skin red (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

"We were in Baltimore, and it was about 100 degrees, but he had to wear sleeves and a turtleneck to cover up."
--Sexson, on Leskanic's cover-up

"Velocity comes when it's not 35 degrees outside. I'm not a guy that can go out there without sleeves on and John Wayne it. I like it a little bit warmer than it was."
--Cubs pitcher Mark Prior, on his subpar velocity in his return start (Chicago Tribune)

"It shocked me. If they knew who I am, on and off the field, I don't think they would boo me. They only see the performance part."
--Brewers infielder Wes Helms, on being booed during the home opener (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

"I could have left after the pregame. It was everything I wanted it to be. It was one of the rare moments in my job when you are proud to be commissioner."
--MLB commissioner Bud Selig, on the pregame championship flag-raising ceremony in Boston (Boston Globe)

John Erhardt is an editorial assistant at 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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