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July 5, 2005

The Week in Quotes

June 27-July 4

by John Erhardt

YANKEE INGENUITY

"As I have said many times, 'You must let the young elephants into the tent.'"
--Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, announcing that his son-in-law is in line to succeed him (New York Daily News)

"I think he's trying to kill me."
--Yankees DH Jason Giambi, on being exhausted after playing first base with Tino Martinez out (Hartford Courant)

"Somewhere, in April, our team bus hit a black cat."
--Yankees GM Brian Cashman, on his team's bad luck this year (San Diego Union-Tribune)

"IN ALL MY YEARS OF PLAY I NEVER SAW AN UMP DELIBERATELY MAKE AN UNFAIR DECISION. THEY REALLY CALLED THEM AS THEY SAW 'EM."

"You can't have a bogus call in a tight game like that. I didn't do anything to deceive the runner. It was a [expletive] call. I think [the umpires] favor the Yankees. The umpires suck up to them. They are the cream of the crop."
--Orioles reliever Steve Kline, after he was called for a balk last week (San Diego Union-Tribune)

"Four games, that's my whole career. That's two-thirds of an inning if I'm lucky, if I get somebody out."
--Kline, on the four-game suspension he got for screaming at the umpires after the balk (Baltimore Sun)

"They're coming down hard on me a little bit, just trying to make a point. I think it's because I might have said fudge cookies too many times on the field. But that's the story of my life."
--Kline

HE PURPOSELY GAINED 61 POUNDS SO HE COULD BECOME A BASEBALL PLAYER

"Every time I see Matty [LeCroy] running the bases, I cringe. My goal is always to watch Matty slide, because when Matty slides, that's more entertaining than baseball itself."
--Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, on the 6'2", 230-pound Matt LeCroy (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

"A man falling down a stairwell."
--Gardenhire, describing LeCroy's slide after going from first to third on a single

"I just said, 'What the heck, I'll take a chance.' If I'm out, then I get booed, and Gardy never plays me again."
--Twins C/DH Matt LeCroy, on taking the extra base

"Seriously, when the game is based on failure, you have to have guys like him around, who can keep it light. He'll tell [Gardenhire], 'I'm tired of carrying this ballclub.' He'll say, 'I've got to get out of here to do a photo shoot. Sports Illustrated wants me in a Speedo.' He spoofs what is happening in this game."
--Twins bullpen coach Rick Stelmaszek, on LeCroy

"And he's one hell of a dancer. He'll dance with the stewardesses on the team plane. He's a regular Billy John Travolta."
--Stelmaszek

"He's also the pin-up boy for the anti-steroid movement. I like to think Matthew and I have brought gout back into vogue."
--Stelmaszek who, along with LeCroy, suffers from gout

YOU ALL MADE THE TEAM. EXCEPT YOU, YOU, AND YOU.

"He got robbed."
--Astros outfielder Lance Berkman, on teammate Morgan Ensberg not being named to the NL All-Star team (Houston Chronicle)

"My personal opinion is Scott Rolen is the best third baseman in the game. Ramirez has had just a great year and certainly deserves to be there. The fact I would be considered third is not such a terrible thing."
--Astros third baseman Morgan Ensberg

"The people didn't think I'm good enough to be there so I'm not going to be there."
--Red Sox pitcher Matt Clement, on not being named to the AL All-Star team (Boston Globe)

"I'm not very happy about it. I spent so much time on this. The system is what it is, and you make your decisions according to that, but you're seeing a lot of good players aren't going."
--manager of the AL squad in the All-Star game Terry Francona, on not choosing Clement because of the selection rules

DO NOT GO GENTLY INTO THAT GOOD TRADE MARKET

"It was my first choice to come here. I made a lot of concessions to come here, and I'll make it very clear; If I have to go somewhere else, a lot of things are going to have to be changed or you're going to have an unhappy player."
--Yankees outfielder Gary Sheffield, on recent rumors involving him being dealt awayfrom the Yankees (MLB.com)

"I'll ask for everything. Period. You want to inconvenience me, I'm going to inconvenience every situation there is. The only reason I'm playing is that I wanted to play for the Yankees. If I don't get that opportunity, things change."
--Sheffield

"Every name is always involved in trade rumors, but when you're in New York, the rumors become a little bigger than other places. With his ability, people are going to ask about him. He has the kind of talent that can pick a club up."
--Yankees manager Joe Torre

"I allowed them to defer money that no player has ever done, to try to prove to people that it isn't about the money. How many people that are my caliber as a player would have done what I did? There are players on this team making the kind of money they're making and they didn't defer anything. I look at the whole scenario. I sacrificed, and now you're putting me in a [compromising] position, we're both going to be uncomfortable."
--Sheffield

"I would never sit out. I'd go play, but that doesn't mean I'll be happy playing. If I'm not happy, you don't want me on your team. It's that simple. I'll make that known to anybody."
--Sheffield

"I remember seeing him the first time at the Himes complex [in 2004] before Spring Training, and he said, 'I want one of those,' pointing to my World Series ring," Torre said. "I said, 'You have one.' And he said, 'No, with the NY on it.' He wants to be here."
--Torre

THEY SAY EV'RYTHING CAN BE REPLACED

"When you first come back, you realize you're trying to fit back in but after the first couple weeks--even a bunch of [the media] came up and said, 'Is everything all right?' You're pitching when you get blown out or every fourth, fifth day. I realized after a couple weeks that I wasn't fitting in and pretty much didn't have a role. It's unfortunate, but hey, it happens."
--Cubs reliever Joe Borowski, who was designated for assignment last week (MLB.com)

"It was a tough decision. You never like to do this to a good man who has accomplished so much. I've watched him for a number of years. He's a tremendous competitor."
--Astros manager Phil Garner, on 44-year old John Franco being designated for assignment

"Yes, I do. Never underestimate the heart of a champion."
--Garner, on if he thinks Franco will pitch again

"It's been no secret that one aspect of the club that has struggled is the bullpen area. This move is trying to address that. Mike Stanton and Paul Quantrill are two of the best people I've met. They're fighters, they stand for all the good stuff, but ultimately, the performance hasn't come at the same time, and that's what this is all about."
--Yankees GM Brian Cashman, on designating relievers Mike Stanton and Paul Quantrill for assignment

"Designating him for assignment is a real difficult thing to do. It's no fun for anybody involved. It's no fun for him, it's no fun for his teammates and it's no fun for me or his manager. Bret did everything on the field hard. He played his very best, gave his very best effort here and I think everybody appreciates that."
--Mariners GM Bill Bavasi, on designating Bret Boone for assignment

"Bret Boone is not the only reason that we have not played well so far. But are we a better club today than we were yesterday? Yeah, I think so."
--Mariners manager Mike Hargrove

"I feel that it's the best thing for Bret and this ballclub, to tell you the truth. There comes a time when it's time to move on. I personally think that it was that time for Bret. Something like this is never easy. You don't like doing this to your worst enemy, much less a guy or player that you respect and like."
--Hargrove

THE REST

"For hitters, boning bats in the bathroom is not considered cheating. Corking, however, is. Guys bone their bats in broad daylight. When a guy corks, he does it in private. If you cork and word gets out, it's bad news. You're a marked man."
--Marlins reliever Todd Jones, on cheating (The Sporting News)

"I think it's great, because I remember last year there was nothing but Yankees in the lineup."
--Red Sox DH David Ortiz, on having four Red Sox in the starting lineup in the All-Star game (MLB.com)

"I don't know if they'd be able to get it ready by one o'clock [in the morning]. Pretty wet. First time I've seen it where they couldn't get the canvas on, then couldn't get it off."
--Marlins manager Jack McKeon, on the grounds crew not being able to get the tarp on the infield after umpteen attempts (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

"It's just a lot of times…You have no understanding of how painful it is over the years."
--Astros infielder/outfielder Craig Biggio, on breaking Don Baylor's HBP record this week (San Diego Union-Tribune)

"Oh, yeah, I've been doing it every day all season: strike out or hit a home run. No, it's a fun time. If they want me to do it, I'll do it. If not for me, then for all my golfing buddies back home. It gives them a reason to go to the club and run up the tab. I don't know if they want me to, but I will. It might be embarrassing in that ballpark. I might get shut out."
--White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko, on the home run derby in spacious Comerica Park (Chicago Sun-Times)

"I think this is too important an issue to be dealt with by trivial measures like a constitutional amendment. That's just putting a Band-Aid on it."
--Red Sox consultant Bill James, on a Constitutional amendment banning batting average as a meaningful statistic (Kansas City Star)

John Erhardt is an editor of 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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