April 18, 2005
The Week in Quotes
April 11-17FAME 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."
"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
"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."
"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
"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?'"
"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?'"
"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."
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."
"I'd like to rub that bottle and have that genie come out and grant me a wish that I could go back."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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]."
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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
THEY HAVE THE INTERNET ON COMPUTERS NOW?
"No, sir. I barely know how to turn the computer on."
"Me? I don't use them."
"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."
"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."
"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?"
"Numbers don't win you ballgames, I don't care what they say."
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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"He's a pretty good hitter. We tease him that he swings at the junk. But we all do."
"I didn't even see it. They told me I had a hole, and I had to come back [to the clubhouse] and change."
"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."
"We were in Baltimore, and it was about 100 degrees, but he had to wear sleeves and a turtleneck to 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."
"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."
"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."