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July 25, 2005

The Week in Quotes

July 18-24

by John Erhardt

THIS HOUSE IS NOT A HOME

"They'll prove me wrong if they win a championship. I've played a long time, and some of the balls that are leaving there--it's not right. It's a joke."
--Braves pitcher John Smoltz, on Philadelphia's Citizen's Bank Park (Philadelphia Inquirer)

"The park is not playing out as we expected, because we felt we designed a neutral facility. And right now, it's certainly gearing toward a hitters' ballpark. But do you think we tried to design a ballpark that wouldn't be fair? Is the fact that [the 369-foot sign in the power alleys] is further to the right here than [the 371-foot sign] at the Vet an issue? Yes. Was it something we discussed and did intentionally? Absolutely not."
--Phillies president David Montgomery

"Probably the hardest thing to do is to create a balance. It's easier to go toward one extreme or the other. If you want a hitters' park, you know what that is. If you want a pitchers' park, you know what that is. It's not an exact science."
HOK design consultant Joe Spear

"It plays like the Little League World Series."
--Red Sox pitcher David Wells, on Citizen's Bank Park

"With our offense, I love pitching in this ballpark. As a pitcher, how can you look at it any other way?"
--Phillies starter Cory Lidle

"The Vet was sort of impenetrable. They wanted the building to be transparent from the street--and we were right there with them. That's essentially what we did. I think maybe what is happening is, particularly when it's windy, the ball carries."
--Spear

"Then ask them why does it carry to right and left, but it doesn't carry to center? How does a southwest wind work that way? I don't see too many balls going out to center, and it's not like it's 450 [feet] out there."
--Phillies catcher Mike Lieberthal, on the wind excuse

"I'll have to check on which way I'm going to pitch a guy the next time I have the wind out there, because that's a crock. When has the wind had any effect in our ballpark?"
--Phillies closer Billy Wagner

"If I'm throwing 100 mph, and a guy just gets wood on it and hits it to right or left, it's gone. It doesn't matter what gale-force winds are blowing in. To say it's the wind, they haven't pitched. They can believe what they want."
--Wagner

WELL, TO HAVE A SUCCESSFUL BASEBALL CLUB, YOU NEED TEAMWORK. NOT SOME HOT-DOG BALLPARK MEASURER PLAYING BY HIS OWN RULES!

"It's been something that's been in people's minds. The dimensions were on pads that make up the outfield fence, but the pads with the 380-feet marks were in the wrong locations."
--Nationals V.P. of ballpark operations Andy Dunn, on it being revealed that the fences in RFK stadium are actually further back than advertised (Washington Post)

"I know myself. I know my power. You guys know if I'm in a different stadium, I have 28, maybe 30 home runs."
--Nationals outfielder Jose Guillen

"And if we're doing a contract with Jose, and I'm still here, I'll say, 'Jose, those count as home runs.' He can add them to his totals, and we'll negotiate from there. I know this isn't a hitters' ballpark."
--Nationals president Tony Tavares, on how contract negotiations will handle Jose Guillen losing six home runs to the ballpark dimensions

"Those balls are gone. Any other place, they're gone. It's stupid. I'll just stick to hitting doubles."
--Nationals outfielder Ryan Church, on RFK

"You have to know where you're playing. We play here. We don't play in those other parks. Why would you say, 'That would have been a home run in Cincinnati?' We're not in Cincinnati."
--Nationals manager Frank Robinson

"I understand from a personal perspective, but we're talking about a thing called 'team.' Personally, of course we all want numbers. That's normal. I don't blame them. But we also want to win. And when you're winning, it's not as big an issue as when you're losing. When you're losing, and you're not getting numbers, it's frustrating."
--Nationals GM Jim Bowden

MANAGERS ARE THE UNACKNOWLEDGED LEGISLATORS OF THE WORLD

"He bounced me from the dugout. The pitch was high. That's all I said, and he threw me out of the game. And then he tells me all I wanted was showtime. He can kiss [expletive]."
--Twins manager Ron Gardenhire (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

"The pitch was high. That's all I said. And then [Wendelstedt] tells me I want showtime. That was very unprofessional...the wrong thing for him to say. What he ought to do is get knocked [expletive]. You can print that one, too."
--Gardenhire

"I'm going to call Bob Watson. 'You want showtime.' That's a bad statement by an umpire. I'm on TV every night. I don't need that stuff."
--Gardenhire

"I expect more than that from a major league umpire, especially from a guy who comes from a baseball family. His father [Harry] was a great umpire, but I have no respect for [Hunter] anymore."
--Gardenhire

"The pitch [to Mauer] was high. That was his strike zone. [Wendelstedt] said, 'He's 6-foot-3.' What's that have to do with it? That pitch wasn't a strike all night."
--Gardenhire

"He screws something up but I get fined. He's got rabbit ears and looks over at me in the dugout. He says I want showtime, and I'm the one who gets fined. Why don't umpires get fined?"
--Gardenhire

"Gardy is a fiery guy, a colorful guy, a great guy. He was doing his job, standing up for his player. That's part of the fun of baseball."
--umpire Hunter Wendelstedt

"I would have to 'no comment' that."
--Wendelstedt, on Gardenhire saying he has no respect for Wendelstedt

"I gave him a couple of warnings, and when it didn't stop, I threw him out. Gardy was standing up for his player, like I said, and I'm like anyone...I don't like to be yelled at. He knows my reputation, that I'm not going to take it."
--Wendelstedt

"You throw a pitch at the knees, what are we going to do at home plate, go ask the first-base umpire if it was at the knees? Did the guy at second base see if it was on the outside corner when the home-plate umpire thought it was three inches outside? You've got one base to call; make the call and stand by it."
--Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella, on an overturned call against the Red Sox (St. Petersburg Times)

"I have the same thoughts, and the thoughts are that Dana DeMuth is a good umpire, he was six feet away from the play and he called the play. Why does he need help? I don't know why the umpire at home plate had to interfere with that call at all. I really don't. I do know that this help system of 'We've got to get it right' works in different situations, but not on a play like that."
--Piniella, on umpire DeMuth asking for help on the call

HISTORY IS MORE FULL OF EXAMPLES OF THE LOYALTY OF DOGS THAN OF FRIENDS

"It's pretty brutal, actually. He's an All-Star. He's been here for three years. He takes the ball and never complains if he's hurt or not."
--Devil Rays DH Aubrey Huff, on reliever Lance Carter being sent to the minors (St. Petersburg Times)

"Absolutely. Christ, the guy's an All-Star. Lance is a good friend of mine and it kind of (ticks) you off a little bit. ... A lot of teams make bad moves. Not to say it's a bad move or right or whatever. It's just a shame because he's given a lot to this organization."
--Huff, on whether Carter deserved some loyalty

"He wasn't happy. I didn't expect him to be."
--Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella, on Carter

"It's a tough game. That's just the way it is. Hell, I've been getting fired for five years. And you know what? One day, I will be fired. In this job and, if I'm lucky enough, I'll be fired two or three times. That's the nature of this business. You can't worry about those things. If I start worrying about those things, then I'm not concentrating on doing my job."
--Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

"We've really struggled. We suck, basically. And it's frustrating as can be. Guys are losing it. We're at the height of frustration."
--Pirates utility player Rob Mackowiak

HE HAS A GREATNESS THAT OTHERS CAN'T SEE...AND IF IT'S NOT TRUE GREATNESS HE HAS, THEN HE'S AT LEAST AVERAGE

"I wouldn't keep calling if I didn't think there was a chance [to lure Larkin out of retirement]. Would I like to see him put [a uniform] on and help us out the last two or three months? Yeah."
--Washington Nationals GM Jim Bowden, on trying to get Barry Larkin to come out of retirement and play for the Nationals (presumably taking ABs from Cristian Guzman) (Washington Times)

"Everybody knows I'm an everyday player. I know I'm not a bench player."
--Washington Nationals shortstop Cristian Guzman, who's hitting .187/.228/.277

"We have to solve Guzman. Solving it isn't going to be trading him. ... Solving him means we've got to get his bat going somehow. It's going to be magnified when you lose. When you win, you can carry him because of his defense."
--Bowden

"He's in the big leagues, he's playing,"
--Nationals manager Frank Robinson, on Guzman

THE REST

"It's hard to change something when you're having continued success."
--recently demoted Cubs outfielder Corey Patterson, who was hitting .232/.270/.379 before being sent to Triple-A Iowa (Chicago Sun-Times)

"[Hudson] saves you a bunch of runs. You add the amount of runs he saves you (with his glove) onto his RBIs at the end of the year, he's the MVP of the league."
--Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, on Orlando Hudson (Toronto Star)

"I'm really into the Harry Potter books. I'll probably be at the Barnes & Noble in town and I'll start reading it tonight. When they first came out, I wasn't into it. But then I saw the first movie and I was hooked. When the last book came out, I went out that night and got it."
--Modesto Nuts closer Jim Miller (MLB.com)

"The sun has been there for 500, 600 years . . ."
--Mets outfielder Mike Cameron, after teammate Carlos Beltran lost a ball in the sun against the Dodgers (New York Daily News)

"The only consistency we've had is that when we're playing well, we win games consistently for a week. And when we're playing bad, we lose games consistently for a week."
--Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter (New York Times)

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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<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Fantasy Focus: Flags F... (07/22)
<< Previous Column
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The Week in Quotes: Ju... (08/01)
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