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May 16, 2005

The Week in Quotes

May 9-15

by John Erhardt

THE FAT LADY HASN'T SUNG YET

"I don't want to know how old I am. I want to go backwards."
--former Yankee Yogi Berra, who turned 80 this week (New York Times)

"I got a face they can't forget. Wherever I go, people say, 'You're not Yogi Berra, are you?' and I'll say, 'No, I just look like him.' "
--Berra

"They ask for a Yogi-ism, but I say, 'I didn't even know 'em when I said 'em.' They just come out."
--Berra

"If he's in, he makes me sit in his office with him and watch it on TV. He's very superstitious. If they don't score, he wanders. Then I go out and sit in his box."
--Berra, on watching Yankee games with George Steinbrenner

"They asked us what we wanted then. One year we got a silver cigarette box with everybody's autograph on it. Another year we got a silver tray with the autographs. They're nice."
--Berra, on what he got instead of rings when he won the World Series

"I'm just thankful for living this long. And maybe a few more years."
--Berra

WALKS: THE CAUSE OF, AND SOLUTION TO, ALL OF THE GAME'S PROBLEMS

"I'm just looking for guys to get on base and score runs, doing what they are supposed to do out there. [Drawing walks] is huge. If you swing at pitches that aren't strikes, you get yourself out. The goal is to try to have the pitcher get you out. You want to limit getting yourself out as much as you can, and Lyle has done that."
--Brewers manager Ned Yost (MLB.com)

"I always just wanted to swing the bat. Big league pitchers, they will get you out. They will throw that pitch, and you are going to roll over it and ground out to it every time. If I'm going to do that, I try to do that with two strikes instead of one strike, try to wait to get something better. And if not, it often results in more walks."
--Brewers first baseman Lyle Overbay, on his plate discipline

"What we want from our hitters is for them to get a good pitch to hit and be a tough out."
--Indians general manager Mark Shapiro (News-Herald)

"If the first pitch thrown to you is a pitch you can hit hard, go after it. But most pitchers are trying not to throw a pitch that can be hit hard on their first pitch. If that's the case, then work deeper into the count until you get a pitch you can hit hard."
-- Indians assistant GM Chris Antonetti

"The game comes down to runs and outs. You want to score more runs than the other team before you run out of outs. The way to do that is to get on base as much as possible, and there is a correlation between seeing a lot of pitches and having a high on-base percentage."
--Antonetti

"We beat ourselves. We walked too many people. Walks always will kill you on the big-league level. You make people hit the ball. We didn't hold the lead [because of walks], and that's why we lost. It's not because Shingo gave up the home run."
--White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, on his pitching staff allowing nine walks in Tuesday's loss to Tampa Bay (Chicago Tribune)

"I'd rather have someone hit a home run like they did to Shingo [Takatsu]. I can live with that. But you walk people, they'll kill you."
--Guillen

"That's where I lost the game. Two walks and a big hit. That's where I lost the game, walking people."
--White Sox pitcher Jose Contreras

THIRTEEN WAYS OF LOOKING AT A MANAGERIAL VACANCY

"The only thing I can say is: I gave everything I had. Baseball is about winning. We are not winning."
--former Royals manager Tony Pena, on his resignation last week (Kansas City Star)

"I lost energy, and it's not fun. It's better to turn it over to somebody who's having fun."
--Pena

"One thing is for sure. This organization is going in the right direction. Those young players, they are doing better."
--Pena

"I'm very, very, very surprised. I don't know if you can [use] the word 'resign' or he got fired. Tony did everything in his power to make players better. He's one of the baseball men I admire the most."
--White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, on Pena's resignation (Daily Southtown)

"If something opened in our organization, I would be more than pleased to have him here. I'm not sure if it would be at the big-league level. I'm happy with my coaching staff, but we would be more than happy to have Tony help us."
--Guillen

"Everyone knows where everyone is. I don't have to pick up the phone and call Allard [Baird] and say, 'I want this job.' You shouldn't have to sell yourself. If you're the guy they want, they'll find you."
--Royals AA manager Frank White, on the Kansas City manager's job (Kansas City Star)

"What have I learned? I know baseball. It's not a matter of learning. I've been in it all my life since I was 19. Yet it seems like with me, it's all about, 'He has to pay his dues,' or 'What has he learned?' I don't know. What more do I need to learn?"
--White, when asked what he's learned since he started managing

"I'm all about doing as much as I can in baseball while I can still do it. I love baseball, and I'm probably about as true blue of a Royal as there is, because I'm here [in Wichita]. I didn't just talk the talk. I came down here, and I'm doing the job. I think that says a lot."
--White

"Winning and developing at the same time is not an easy thing to do, and very few teams have success doing it. Experience usually wins. You can have some young players on a team but, boy, when a lot of your nucleus is young, it becomes very, very tough."
--Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella, speculating on why Pena resigned (St. Petersburg Times)

"One thing you can't do as a manager is put the blame squarely on yourself. You can only do so much. As long as the team is out there playing hard, doing the best they can, you've got to be satisfied with that."
--Piniella

"The losing really wears down on managers. It keeps you awake a lot and thinking a lot. I respect Tony. I know he did the best he possibly could. Sometimes it just doesn't work out. It's out of your control."
--Piniella

"I was born in Kansas City, Missouri, so that job would always be intriguing to me. My key is that I just want to go through the process."
--Twins coach Al Newman, on being considered for the job in Kansas City (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

"If they are talking about development and playing fundamentally sound, that's my forte. Would I seek it out? No. If they ask for an interview, I would like [General Manager] Terry Ryan to give permission."
--Newman

SO IF YOU COULD JUST GO AHEAD AND MOVE YOUR DESK TO THE BASEMENT, THAT'D BE GRRRRRREAT

"I was pissed."
--Yankees DH Jason Giambi, on how he felt when the Yankees asked him to accept a minor league assignment (New York Daily News)

"That's a situation where [going to the minors] was something they wanted to talk about, then okay, let's talk about it. But then they can come to [reporters] and say this is out there. It wasn't right."
--Giambi

"[The minors] might have been a viable option if I hit .190 in spring training and then I was hitting .190 now. But I mean, that's not what happened. I was hitting really well in the spring and everything was great. Then I went through a tough stretch, but give me five more hits and I'm back where it's not a problem. No one would be making a big deal of it then."
--Giambi

"He may have hidden those feelings a lot of times. I still think he's interested in doing what's best for the team and that's what matters."
--Yankees manager Joe Torre, on Giambi

"We've talked a little bit about everything, but nothing decisive."
--Indians manager Eric Wedge, on possibly asking Aaron Boone, who's hitting .128/.186/.257, to accept a minor league assignment (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

"The one thing Aaron has, moreso than most of our players, is a proven track record of more than one or more years. We're trying to be as positive and supportive we can be. We believe in Aaron."
--Wedge, essentially giving Boone the kiss of death

THE REST

"To be honest, my career could be over."
--Astros first baseman Jeff Bagwell, on the severity of his shoulder injury (MLB.com)

"There are only two things you do not want on a valuable piece of real estate. One is a cemetery, and the other is a football stadium."
-- University of Chicago sports economist Allen Sanderson, on the proposed plan to build an NFL stadium on the Edison Field parking lot (Los Angeles Times)

"I still feel pretty confident about my swing. Even though I haven't been swinging."
--injured Twins prospect Jason Kubel (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

"I've got notes on Johan Santana. And my notes say that he's not very good. It said, 'Nothing overpowering,' or something like that."
--Brewers first baseman Lyle Overbay, on how the copious notes he takes on pitchers aren't always reliable (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

"We're all grown enough men and we all know what we're doing."
--Washington Nationals outfielder Jose Guillen, not buying the language barrier excuse for why so many Latin American players have tested positive for steroids

"I hope this is where I stick."
--outfielder Michael Restovich, on being traded to Pittsburgh, which will be his fourth team since March (Denver Post)

"I'm glad I didn't [set goals] this season. I probably would have said, 'Two homers.'"
--Orioles infielder Brian Roberts, who has 10 home runs so far this season (Baltimore Sun)

"How many managers can win a game for their team? I tell my team, 'You want to win? Don't give me a chance to [bleep] it up. Go throw a shutout and then I'll just sit here and look smart. Don't give me a chance to [bleep] it up."
--White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, on the secret to his success (New York Daily News)

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

Related Content:  What You Need To Know,  Yogi Berra

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