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May 23, 2005

The Week in Quotes

May 16-22

by John Erhardt

STRIKEOUTS ARE BORING! BESIDES THAT, THEY'RE FASCIST

"Does it bother me? I can't say that it doesn't, but I know it doesn't bother me when there are two outs and nobody on base in the first inning and I strike out. Then, it's just another out."
--Reds outfielder Adam Dunn, who struck out 195 times in 2004 (Newark Star-Ledger)

"I see the ball too well, that's my problem. I see a pitch that might be four, five inches outside and it looks unhittable, but a lot of umpires will call that because it's so close."
--Dunn

"It'd be nice to cut down on them. But I think as long as you get your on-base percentage up around .400, it doesn't matter. That's the way I look at it."
--Mariners first baseman Richie Sexson, on cutting down on his strikeouts

"You don't want to strike out, but it's an out--just one out. I feel worse getting jammed and having the ball go 10 feet. I mean, look. Nobody ever talks about how many times Reggie [Jackson] strikes out."
--Sexson

"When I was going bad, they said I struck out too much. When I was going good, they said, 'Even his strikeouts are exciting.'"
--Reggie Jackson

"Ultimately, the strikeout, you get no value from it. There's no moving of the runner, no way for the defense to feel pressured. It's worthless. To me, it's the biggest offense you can commit on offense."
--Yankees GM Brian Cashman

"The guys who can hit home runs and still be productive despite being big whiffers, I still term those guys as inefficient. I'll look at that and say, 'Look how much better this person can be.'"
--Cashman

"To me, it's embarrassing. If somebody strikes me out, that means they defeated me in a certain way. That's the ultimate victory for a pitcher."
--Yankees outfielder Gary Sheffield

"If you look at the guys that strike out a lot, their RBIs come from home runs. I'll bet, if you look at those guys, their RBIs aren't as much as they should be."
--Sheffield

"I don't think it's shameful to some people, but if I was building a team, I wouldn't build my team on a guy who's striking out 150-plus times a year. If you've got five, six guys that strike out 100 times, that's going to hurt you."
--Sheffield

GROUND BALLS ARE MORE DEMOCRATIC

"Leadoff walks don't bother me. I'm a ground-ball pitcher; I can get double plays. But when they're hitting them where people aren't, it's tough."
--Atlanta Braves closer (for now) Danny Kolb (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

"Some pitchers make it a lot more difficult than it should be. You can't [walk the leadoff man] in a one-run game. Or any save situation, really. It comes back to get you."
--Braves pitching coach Leo Mazzone, on Kolb

"I pitch the way I pitch. I'm a fastball guy. I'm getting ground balls now. I'm just going to try to keep going [at] guys."
--Kolb

"Dan Kolb pitched effectively last year. He came to us with high expectations and has to get accustomed to pitching in this high-expectation environment. That has varying degrees of acclimation. Some guys do it faster than others. He's not the 11th pitcher or a utility infielder. He's a key guy. He's struggling. He's not doing well. No question about that."
--Braves GM John Schuerholz, on Kolb (The New York Times)

BUT AT LEAST A CALL TO LOU MALNATI'S PIZZERIA IS STILL A LOCAL CALL…

"I hate it. I don't hate playing against the Cubs; I hate it [when] people ask me if it's more important to beat the Cubs than win the division. I want to win the division, regardless of what happens against the Cubs."
--White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, on the Sox-Cubs series (Chicago Sun-Times)

"I don't like Wrigley Field. If you're a fan, you like going there to watch games. But if you go there to work, it's a terrible clubhouse, you have to walk through [crowds] and walk two miles from the dugout to the clubhouse [to use a bathroom]. There's no parking. I can't see my pitchers warming in the bullpen. Sorry, I hate it."
--Guillen

"I beg the league to play three here, and then next year, play three there. Six games is too much for Dusty and me. It's the biggest headache. I think Dusty only gave me one parking pass last year. I had to park in McDonald's, and I'm the manager. I know if you come to Chicago, if you don't go to Wrigley Field, it's like not seeing the museums. I like seeing the fans having a good time. But to work, no. It's terrible."
--Guillen

AL GORE INVENTED INTERLEAGUE PLAY

"Everyone who says it's another series is lying to you. It's a huge series. It always is, and I hope we go to the playoffs and that will be the biggest thing."
--White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko, on the Cubs-White Sox interleague series (Chicago Tribune)

"It's another series for me."
--White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski

"I think baseball has to do a little something because of the length of schedule and the way people's habits have changed. We've become a 'sound bite' society and when we talk about a 162-game schedule and watching a whole lot of the same people in the league, I think it can get stale. Interleague has helped. It gives you an opportunity to see other stars."
--Houston manager Phil Garner (Houston Chronicle)

"I would love to see Texas and us develop a serious rivalry. But I think for us to have that real rivalry you have to develop a dislike, and that's because somebody nails somebody or somebody's just been beating up on somebody for 50 years and somebody gets tired of it and you have a war and that's how it all gets going. And I don't think you can fabricate it."
--Garner, on how the Rangers-Astros rivalry isn't as intense as others

"I think it's neat when people get to see other clubs you don't see very often. I don't think it's worked as well as I thought. I thought they were going to alternate divisions every year. We've done some of that. With our geographical rivalry with the Rangers, I think that limits a little bit our ability to bring other clubs here."
--Houston GM Tim Purpura

"The Red Sox are playing in Milwaukee [Selig's old team] this year. I wonder why? That has been noted, by a lot of people. I think it'd be great to see the Yankees come through. But again, because of the geographical rivalry we're not going to be able to see as many teams come through as some of those others who don't [have prime rivals]. I'm sure the Cubs and the White Sox are on the same boat and the Yankees and the Mets are on the same boat, [as are the] Dodgers and Anaheim."
--Purpura

A LITTLE WORD I THINK'S IMPORTANT IN MANAGEMENT, CALLED MORALE

"I always try to preach that winning is the last thing that happens. If you prepare for the game, if you then play the game right, the result is the last thing to worry about. That has to be understood. I know that flies in the face of some of the old-school-type people who say that winning isn't everything, it's the only thing."
--former MLB manager Bobby Valentine, on his managerial philosophy (Kansas City Star)

"But when the only win that matters is on the scoreboard, then you're going to be chasing your own tail. You have to set up a structure. Get some wins within the game, real victories. Then you get some wins within the week, then the month, then the year. Then you can begin to build something that has a foundation and has real life."
--Valentine

"Would I be interested? Possibly. … I'll tell you one thing. You go ahead and write it. That way, people can write in to tell you what a complete idiot you and I both are. We all need to hear that now and again."
--Valentine, on being interested in the Kansas City job opening

"Because they don't know me. And generally, if they don't know me, they probably don't like me."
--Valentine, on why the Royals probably will not hire him

I'M IN MY TREE TALKING TO PAUL DEPODESTA AND HE'S MAKING ME FEEL BETTER

"It's fun to be creative, to give guys chances. I like the challenge. I don't want to say, 'Woe is us,' because of the injuries. After each injury, I said to [Ken Macha], 'This is an opportunity to find things out.'"
--A's GM Billy Beane, on his team's injury trouble (Seattle Times)

"I find it incredibly stimulating at times like this. In a weird way, it can be healthy, if that's not an oxymoron. It gives you creative license to do and try things we haven't been able to try. This has been a very stimulating year for me. I like trying to re-create and rebuild."
--Beane

"Those trades were necessary for us, because there were really no other options. I'd do it again, because I'd have to."
--Beane, on trading Tim Hudson and Mark Mulder

"For the type of trades we made, we weren't expecting them to be subject to evaluation six weeks into the season. Every player we got to be here for a number of years, so it's an ongoing process, not one to evaluate now."
--Beane

"One guy here wrote about my 'sagging self-esteem' over this, but it's quite the opposite. I'm still often wrong, but I never have doubts. This is healthy for the organization. I've been through these cycles before. I remember Sandy [Alderson] when he was here being really re-energized when we were the worst team in baseball, which we were."
--Beane

"I like what we have. The difference where we are now and in the mid '90s is we have a great young foundation, and one that's going to keep coming."
--Beane

THE REST

"The Yankees have that guy [Tony] Womack [a second baseman] playing left field. If I can't play that position at least as well as he can, I'll hang up the spikes right now."
--outfielder and future Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson, on why he still feels he can play (San Francisco Chronicle)

"It hurts when it happens. It's gut-wrenching. The toughest games are the ones you lose in the ninth. But it's going to happen to every closer. It's just that much more surprising when it happens to the good closers."
--Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon, on closer Jose Mesa giving up a home run to the Cubs' Derrek Lee (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

"We don't know the Korean word for 'run fast!' If we did, we would have been yelling it at him."
--Mets third baseman David Wright, on reliever Dae-Sung Koo scoring from second on Jose Reyes' sac bunt (New York Newsday)

"Two hundred sounds good. But I'd rather have 700 home runs than 200 pinch hits."
--Lenny Harris, after recently hitting his 197th career pinch hit (Miami Herald)

"When I was walking to the plate I was going to ask [him] if he only ejected Latin people. Then I remembered I was Latin and changed my mind. He might have ejected me."
--Giants manager Felipe Alou, on umpire Laz Diaz, who ejected Luis Pujols and Deivi Cruz on successive nights (San Francisco Chronicle)

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:  The Who,  Ejected,  Rivalry,  The Call-up

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The Week in Quotes: Ma... (05/16)
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The Week in Quotes: Ma... (05/31)
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Prospectus Triple Play... (05/23)

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