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July 18, 2005

The Week in Quotes

July 11-17

by John Erhardt

ZING! ZORK! KAPOWZA! CALL IT WHAT YOU WANT, IN ANY LANGUAGE IT SPELLS MAZUMA IN THE BANK

"They know how much I want to come back. Hopefully, they don't use it to their advantage and disrespect me with a minimum of years and minimum of salary. I'm 31 now. [Jason] Varitek just turned 33 and they had no problem giving a catcher a four-year contract [worth $40 million], so I have a valid point there."
--Red Sox center fielder Johnny Damon, who's a free agent after this year (Boston Globe)

"I told him, 'You're the Farrah Fawcett of baseball.' He's got that rock star presence. He's sort of direct from Central Casting."
--Rick Horgan, executive director of Crown Publishing, who published Damon's book

"He scores very high on being relevant to young consumers, both male and female. It's very similar to how Tom Brady is with the Patriots."
--Dunkin Donuts' director of sports marketing Tom Manchester, on Damon

"They're all getting stolen. We know if the cutouts get stolen, it's a successful promotion."
--Manchester, on the life-sized cardboard cutouts of Damon appearing in Dunkin Donuts stores

"Puma has been pushing me big overseas. I think 90 percent of America knows who I am and probably 75 percent of the world knows me. It's pretty much a global thing."
--Damon

TO BE...

"I think more Canadians are realizing baseball's not just a recreational sport, something to do in the summer to kill time until it's hockey season again. I really do. Obviously, hockey's still the No. 1 game. Everyone knows that. And I love hockey. Don't get me wrong. But it's nice to see some Canadians looking at baseball as a career rather than just something to do."
--Pirates outfielder and Canada native Jason Bay, on Canada's interest in baseball (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

"When I was growing up, it was just basically Larry Walker that we all had to look up to. He was the guy we all followed as baseball players, the one we wanted to be. And it meant so much to be able to point to someone like that and see that you could do it, too."
--Bay, on growing up Canadian without many MLB role models

"Baseball became my passion right away. Every day, all I wanted to do was go to the park. The older I got, the more I wanted to play. Plus, when you're a little better at it than other people, you want to stick with it because that obviously makes it a little more fun."
--Bay

"For me, it's always an honor to represent my country. And doing it in a tournament like that will make it even more special."
--Bay, on playing for Canada in the World Baseball Classic

...OR NOT TO BE

"My season is when I get paid. I'm not doing that.... I'm not sacrificing my body or taking a chance on an injury for something that's made up. A lot of guys feel that way. They won't say it like I will, though."
--Yankees outfielder Gary Sheffield, on the World Baseball Classic (New York Daily News)

"This isn't the Olympics. That's a big difference. This is something you made up."
--Sheffield

ISN'T THE CHUCK LAMAR WAY THE WRONG WAY? YES! ONLY FASTER!

"There's no question I'm a better GM than when I took this job, and I think we're a better organization. People are tired of losing, and I understand that. I've been the GM the whole time, and we're tired of losing. Everyone's tired of hearing my rhetoric about what's going to happen in the future, and I understand that completely. I wish I had some of the decisions we made early in those 10 years back. But you can't. You just hope you learn from them and go on. We think we have."
--Devil Rays GM Chuck LaMar, on his tenth year "on the job." (St. Petersburg Times)

"The first five [years] went by so quickly they made up for the last five. In the first five we built what we thought was just an outstanding foundation for an expansion organization. We don't need to go into a lot of detail over what a struggle the last five have been. But I believe as strongly now as I ever have that there will be a winning team in Tampa Bay in the future."
--LaMar. *sigh*

"I think the nucleus of young players is there, I think the payroll will be increased in the future to the point to be competitive, and I think the fans will finally get what they deserve."
--LaMar

"There's no question they've been a disappointment."
--Commissioner Bud Selig, on the Devil Rays

MR. 3000 (THE GOOD ONE)

"I'm in a group with them, but that doesn't mean I belong with them. Aaron has 200 more home runs than I do and Mays has about 100 more. In my opinion, those guys belong in a class by themselves, and I shouldn't be anywhere close to that."
--Orioles first baseman Rafael Palmeiro, after getting his 3,000th major-league hit, on his company in the record books (New York Times)

"As somebody who played the game the right way, who respected the game, respected the history of the game and the players who came before me."
--Palmeiro, on how he'd like to be remembered

"I don't think too many people would recognize him as Raffy Palmeiro. In fact, he's probably better known for his Viagra commercial than he is as a player, and that's pitiful. It's pitiful for as much as he has done and he has achieved."
--Orioles bullpen coach Elrod Hendricks (Baltimore Sun)

SOMETIMES A CIGAR IS JUST A CIGAR

"In this game, you have your time where you have to go, but I wasn't just some kid who was in his first year in the big leagues. And you shouldn't even do it to that kid. If that happens, you should do it face-to-face and be professional about it and he wasn't."
--former Reds reliever Danny Graves, on being notified of his release by telephone (Cincinnati Post)

"I had to honor [a prior] commitment, and I explained to Danny that this was not necessarily the way that we would prefer to do it. But nonetheless, this was the best we could do under the circumstances."
--Reds GM Dan O'Brien, on why he had to release Graves by phone

"I just wish I could have been in this type of situation a long time ago. I feel like the last few years was a job and it shouldn't be that way. I had fun, joking in the clubhouse and talking to the guys. But when it's all said and done at the end of the night, it was just your job. If you did good, great, if you don't, oh well."
--Graves, on the differences between playing in Cincinnati and New York

"Here we're expected to win. [Friday] night was tough, I wasn't pitching and I had nothing to do with the game and I was [upset] we lost. When I was with the Reds, it was just another game. That's all they're doing right now, is they're trying to get by."
--Graves

"It's not going to be there for a while, I don't think. The plan for that team, to me, is that they're not looking to win, which is unfortunate because you have a lot of great players on that team, but to me, the atmosphere isn't there. I don't know if it's from upstairs in the organization, but it's a shame because it's the Cincinnati Reds, the oldest team in baseball."
--Graves, on the winning attitude of the Reds

"It kills me, it breaks my heart that these guys have to sit through that. Some guys are going to be lucky enough to be traded by July 31. These guys that do, they are going to call the other guys and tell them they wish they could get out. Every time I talk to these guys, I wish they could get out."
--Graves, on his former Cincinnati teammates

"He's had all these different guys come in during his time and they keep saying, 'Gully can fix him, Gully can fix him.' Give him a top-notch guy where he doesn't have to fix him and he's going to look like a better pitching coach. I was the only one there with him for so long, there were always other guys coming in and out, in and out with him trying to fix them. There are a lot of pitching coaches that have great staffs and don't have to fix them."
--Graves, on former pitching coach Don Gullett

"I think they're really big on making examples of people, and it shouldn't be that way. I was an example, D'Angeleo [Jimenez] was an example, sending Austin [Kearns] down was an example. We're not going to help you, we're going to get rid of you. It's unfortunate."
--Graves, refusing to entertain the notion that he was simply terrible

"By no means do I feel like I want to go. This is the greatest group of players and personalities I've been around in a long time. I enjoy the city. It's very similar to Kansas City. My kids like coming to the ballpark here. There's a lot of things I'm not happy about with leaving."
--Reds third baseman Joe Randa, on playing in Cincinnati (Dayton Daily News)

I WANT TO TELL YOU / MY HEAD IS FILLED WITH THINGS TO SAY

"Baseball has work to do, but I think it reflects the culture of today."
--former commissioner Fay Vincent (Philadelphia Inquirer)

"Baseball has its problems, but it is the American game. And when baseball is safe, we are all safe."
--Vincent

"When I was younger, there were things we knew were legal but wrong; we called it immoral. It was legal, but people didn't do it."
--Vincent

"Now, it's hard for me to think of anything that is legal that the public thinks is immoral."
--Vincent

"We believed it was a muscle-builder and was a football problem, not a baseball problem. We were totally wrong. Our fault."
--Vincent, on steroid usage under his watch

"If Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris were given part of the Yankees as compensation in 1961, they would have been better off than if they took the cash that was paid to them."
--Vincent, on players owning part of the team they play for

"They say they use them [instead of wooden ones] because of economics. Economics? These are schools that have 26 football coaches."
--Vincent, on colleges using aluminum bats

THE REST

"We hit a bump in the road. There's no reason to take the whole truck apart."
--Angels manager Mike Scoscia, on their recent losing streak (L.A. Times)

"This is like a ref in an NBA game, with a tenth of a second on the clock, and he calls a touch foul and sends a guy to the free-throw line to win the ball game. They just don't do it."
--Nationals manager Frank Robinson, after Mike Stanton balked in the winning run in Milwaukee in the tenth inning (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

"It was the first double I hit since [the] Vietnam [war] ended."
--Reds first baseman Sean Casey, on his first double since June 3rd (Cincinnati Enquirer)

"Godfrey said he picked the best man. I thought that was garbage then, and I think that's garbage now."
--former big leaguer and perennial GM candidate Dave Stewart, on Blue Jays CEO Paul Godfrey choosing J.P. Ricciardi over Stewart (Sacramento Bee)

"It's always been a big deal. Its just more coverage of it as far as being a big deal. When I played there wasn't ESPN making trades for you. There wasn't Fox or so-and-so.com. Or CNN.com. Now, it's everybody.com."
--Cubs manager Dusty Baker, on the media attention around the trade deadline (Daily Southtown)

"I was part of the youth movement, then I wasn't part of any movement, unless you count getting traded."
--pitcher Joe Kennedy, on being traded from the Rockies to the A's (Denver Post)

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

Related Content:  The Who,  Danny Graves,  The Call-up

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