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May 2, 2005

The Week in Quotes

April 25-May 1

by John Erhardt

MEOW

"When you're playing a team with a manager who somehow forgot how the game is played, there's problems. This should have been over a little bit ago. Lou's trying to make his team be a bunch of tough guys, and the telling sign is when the players on that team are saying, 'This is why we lose a hundred games a year, because this idiot makes us do stuff like this.' They were saying this on the field."
--Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, on a WEEI radio program, on Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella (Boston Globe)

"I think he should just concern himself with pitching and not worry about what other managers do or don't do. I don't think I've forgotten how to play the game. I know exactly how the game should be played, and why. Quite frankly, I'm disappointed in his comments, very disappointed in his comments."
--Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella, on Schilling's comments

"Forget how the game is played? I have forgotten more baseball than this guy knows. He talks about making our players tough guys. Well, we do that quite well here but we don't do it by advocating fighting or throwing at opposing hitters. I don't know how many meetings I have had with my pitching coach on this subject."
--Piniella, in a written statement

"The problem is, Curt has a short memory. He doesn't remember when he was a young pitcher. We have a lot of young pitchers here and they're trying to learn to pitch at the big-league level. Our kids are learning to pitch inside and they have to do that to survive up here. Nobody here wants anyone hit, believe me."
--Piniella

"On the idiot subject, I'm appalled he would actually say something like that. I had a meeting with my team and to a man they denied it. He's questioning my character and integrity, and that is wrong. He's never played for me, never really spoken to me, so he really doesn't know what I stand for or don't stand for. If I were Curt, I would be really embarrassed at the cheap shot he took and get the story correct. I'll tell you I've always admired his pitching ability and competitiveness, but I can honestly tell you I've lost a lot of respect for him. I'm looking forward to talking to Curt myself and get this matter cleared up."
--Piniella

AND WHAT IF HE JUMPED OFF A BRIDGE?

"Maybe it's made me smarter. I don't know."
--Twins first baseman Justin Morneau, on the pitch that hit him in the head and sent him to the DL with a concussion. He's batting .483 (14 for 29) in seven games since being activated. (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

"That would be lift and separate, turning the fan on. Get yourself a piece of cheese. Everything Frank Howard would say, he did on that pitch right there. That's getting the No. 1 and putting the whistle on it."
--Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, on the 456-foot home run Morneau hit off Kelvim Escobar

"He's making it look easy. Why not?"
--Twins outfielder Shannon Stewart, on whether it would worth it for him to get hit on the head to see if it makes him a better hitter

"He couldn't hit in spring training. Now he's raking. I'm going to ask someone to run me over."
--Twins shortstop Jason Bartlett, on Morneau

FOLLOW ME, DON'T FOLLOW ME

"It's tough for me to talk about hitting when you are a real bad hitter. I have my philosophy. And I think my philosophy is not one that would help a lot of people."
--White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, on the paradox of being a mediocre hitter enforcing his personal hitting philosophy (Chicago Tribune)

"Everybody has his own way to hit. My philosophy is to keep your head down and swing. And I don't think too many people can do that. That's what I did all my career, keep my head down and swing and get lucky."
--Guillen

"When you're [coaches] Harold Baines, Tim Raines and those .300 hitters, you can [give hitting advice]. I don't think a manager who hit .250 should be talking about hitting."
--Guillen, whose lifetime batting average was actually .264, though with a .287 (!) OBP

"I can't say be patient at the plate when I was swinging at every first pitch all my life. But I want them to have quality at-bats and take it from there. Those guys have been good hitters for their careers; they're just not hitting right now. I don't want them to panic, to try to do too much."
--Guillen

"We have a hitting coach we have to respect, but all of my coaches are allowed to talk to the hitters. If you talk to the hitters and the hitting coach doesn't like it, that means [he is] not secure about [his] job. Everybody here is safe and I want all the coaches, if somebody asks and they know the answer, to answer it."
--Guillen

"I'm serious. I was grabbing the rule book because if someone needed to go on the disabled list, you wouldn't be able to get from [Class AAA] Charlotte to Oakland [in time]."
--White Sox GM Ken Williams, on contemplating activating manager Ozzie Guillen to play shortstop in Oakland (Chicago Sun-Times)

"I could have activated Ozzie for that day. I don't know if that would have contributed to his [major league] service time. If he can put [Jermaine] Dye out there, he should be able to go out there."
--Williams, referring to the ninth inning of the game on Thursday where, because of injuries and an ejection to Joe Crede, catcher Chris Widger played third base and right fielder Jermaine Dye played shortstop.

TAKE ME OUT OF THE BALLGAME, TAKE ME OUT OF THE GAME

"I recognize the need for progressive discipline, but a third-time offender has no place in the game. Steroid users cheat the game. After three offenses, they have no place in it."
--Commissioner Bud Selig, in a leaked letter he wrote to Union head Don Fehr that outlined his new proposal for punishing drug offenders, where they would be suspended for 50 games after testing positive once, 100 games for testing positive twice, and receive a permanent ban after the third (The New York Times)

"It is time to put the whispers about amphetamine use to bed once and for all. To the extent that our culture has tolerated the use of these substances, the culture must change."
--Selig, on including amphetamines as one of the banned substances

"I have no problem with a three-strikes-and-you're-out policy, but I'm not going to say 50 games is the right number. But that aspect of the agreement is an area we could look at and make a lot tougher."
--Mets pitcher and senior union representative Tom Glavine, on Selig's proposal

"Guys are serious about cleaning it up, and most of us think if you leave the program alone it is going to work, but other people obviously don't believe that. We're not going to dismiss this proposal out of hand; we're going to work at it."
--Glavine

"Put me on the record as saying that's ridiculous--I mean, until they come up with a list of banned substances. They still don't know what you can buy over the counter and what you can't buy."
--Dodgers catcher Jason Phillips

FADING INTO BOLIVIAN

"That's definitely a possibility. I'm young, but I've accomplished what I wanted in this game. I'd like to accomplish more titles and more great seasons, but the ultimate goal [the World Series title], I've accomplished."
--Red Sox center fielder Johnny Damon, on possibly retiring after this season (MLB.com)

"I've accomplished everything I wanted when I left Kansas City. Three of the last four years since leaving Kansas City, I've been in the playoffs. I'll keep playing hard and keep on shooting to get another one [World Series ring] this year."
--Damon

"There's no way I can go play for the Yankees, but I know they are going to come after me hard. It's definitely not the most important thing to go out there for the top dollar, which the Yankees are going to offer me. It's not what I need."
--Damon

"There are a couple of teams I'd consider signing with. If it doesn't pan out, I'll be more than happy to enjoy my summers."
--Damon

"I'd like to finish my career [in Boston]. I'm not sure they'll let me do it, if they offer me [only] two or three years [on a contract]. I want at least four or five."
--Damon, all but guaranteeing that he won't be finishing his career in Boston

DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN

"I'm not celebrating until [Thursday]. We're winning [Thursday]."
--Royals pitcher Runelvys Hernandez, when asked how he was going to celebrate his birthday last Wednesday. He started against the Twins on Thursday, and the Royals lost (Kansas City Star)

"It makes you not want to play, when you know you are going to get beat."
--Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, in a sarcastic response to Hernandez's statement (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

"I wouldn't guarantee a win in baseball at all. If it is Michael Jordan, yeah. I'm never going to say, 'I'm going to take him deep.' It's not guaranteed. Happy birthday."
--Twins outfielder Torii Hunter, on Hernandez's guarantee

"He's a good pitcher, no doubt about it. But you have to clean your act up. Baseball is a game where you can't talk smack at all. It's a game of inches, all about the right timing, and the time is not now."
--Hunter, on Hernandez

"It was such a screwed-up day…Luckily we came out on the top edge of it and didn't make Hernandez's birthday happy. He said it, not me."
--Gardenhire (Kansas City Star)

"I did my best. [Today], it's going to be [Zack] Greinke. And we're going to win."
--Hernandez, following up his first unsuccessful guarantee by guaranteeing a win before Friday night's game against the Indians. The Royals lost 6-0.

THE REST

"I told Ken [Kendrick, Diamondbacks Managing General Partner], 'Don't make this mistake. You'll regret it.' . . . Arizona has a golden opportunity here, but it is up to them."
--agent Scott Boras, on Arizona's failure to meet his signing demands for draft choice Stephen Drew (Arizona Republic)

"You can't do much more than Alex did … that's a pretty good understatement - the guy had 10 RBIs. It was a great game by a great player. He had an incredible night. Unfortunately, it came at our expense."
--Angels manager Mike Scoscia, on Alex Rodriguez's 3 HR, 10 RBI night against the Angels (Los Angeles Times)

"It can. It can. You never know. We might start taking off."
--Royals outfielder Eli Marrero, on whether his team's 8-1 victory against Cleveland on Saturday portends things to come (MLB.com)

"It went as good as it can go. I didn't look as much as I should have. That's the one thing I regret. I was too scared."
--Red Sox infielder Kevin Millar, on his wife Jeanna giving birth to twins last week (Boston Globe)

"Lose two starting pitchers, gain two babies."
--Red Sox GM Theo Epstein, comparing Millar's new children with losing both Curt Schilling and David Wells to the DL

"[Infielder Nick Punto]'s out there and has played well the last couple of days. I see no reason to change that. Luis [Rivas] has not played well on this road trip. He has struggled at the plate. And when a guy goes out there and has played as well as he has the last couple of days, I think he deserves to be out there."
--Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, and by "has not played well on this road trip" he means "has not hit, ever." (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

"That's really unfair. How could I have that attitude? I'm trying to play the best guys to win, young or old. You have to consider what [Todd Hollandsworth] showed us last year. I know Holly can hit, and I know Dubois is going to hit."
--Cubs manager Dusty Baker, responding to the criticism that he doesn't like to play young players (MLB.com)

"I've always said before my career is over with I'd like to have a whole team of young players. It's easier to get them young and teach them."
--Baker

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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The Week in Quotes: Ap... (04/25)
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