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August 1, 2005

The Week in Quotes

July 25-31

by John Erhardt

THOSE BORN WITH A TALENT THEY ARE MEANT TO USE WILL FIND THEIR GREATEST HAPPINESS IN USING IT

"I have like three hitting streaks of 10 or more games. [Ted] Williams had them of more than 300 and he hit .340 for his career. And he went to war for his country twice during his baseball career. Never put my name in his category. I just happen to have the same number of home runs."
--Reds outfielder Ken Griffey, Jr., on being tied with Ted Williams and Willie McCovey for 14th place on the all-time HR list (Dayton Daily News)

"And he argued with me for 10 minutes. He was talking to me about hitting. I was just 22 and there are certain guys you just look at, listen to and say nothing."
--Griffey, on meeting Ted Williams

"I've never considered myself a Hall of Famer. I've never preached it or even talked about it, because I never thought that way. It was an honor to be on the ballot the first year. I just remember the big thrill of being out of the game five years, and my name was on the ballot for the Hall of Fame. That was an honor right there."
--recent Hall of Fame inductee Ryne Sandberg (Kansas City Star)

"Honing my craft was the ability to get on base, hit for high average, and score runs. It was as if I invented the word 'Billyball' or 'Moneyball.' ..."
--new Hall of Famer Wade Boggs, on how he played the game

"Back then I was going to arbitration, and they said, 'Well, you don't hit home runs, and you don't drive in runs, so we're not going to pay you.'"
--Boggs

"I call it seasoning - 5 years and hitting .300. The only thing that I was told by the Red Sox was that I don't hit for power and that I play in a power position and that I wasn't going to be able to play in the big leagues if I don't hit for power. That was sort of a stumbling block as to why I didn't make it to the big leagues."
--Boggs, on playing in the minors until he was 23

"ONE TIME THEY GAVE ME A STANDING BOO..."

"It wasn't good. There was no need for it. If you want to boo him when he comes in, fine, but chanting 'Hawkins [stinks],' and going on for the whole inning, is out of line. It was a little classless, I thought. They went overboard."
--Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee, on Cubs fans booing former Cub LaTroy Hawkins (Chicago Tribune)

"It was kind of disappointing that instead of them worrying about cheering for us, they seemed more preoccupied with booing him. Instead of being happy we were scoring runs, they were happier he was giving them up, and booing him."
--Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster, on Hawkins getting booed

"That's the expectations though. That's what happens when you're a couple of outs away from going to the World Series in '03. They have to understand we want to win just as bad as they want us to, and to be honest, we want to win more. The mood has definitely changed around here because of the expectations."
--Dempster

"It was worse last night [than when Hawkins was a Cub]. At least they didn't say 'Hawkins [stinks]' when he was here like they did last night. That was bad. I was in the dugout saying, 'Sorry, Hawk, but we have to beat you. I like you, but we have to beat you.'"
--Cubs manager Dusty Baker

"That's how it is. If you're going to boo, you boo and get it over with and go on about your business, and play the game. That sort of gave me the chills a little bit, to wonder who's next on the list?"
--Baker

"No, I ain't saying nothing. Possibility though."
--Baker, on whether he's next on the list

LASTDAY, CAPRICORN 29'S. YEAR OF THE YANKEE: 2005. CAROUSEL BEGINS

"I haven't been 100 percent since high school, and yet I'm still out there among the league leaders in innings pitched and games started. It doesn't mean I'm completely healthy, but I'll be out there."
--Yankees pitcher Randy Johnson (New York Times)

"You're like kids in the backseat: 'Are we almost there?' 'Are you healthy?' I'm telling you, I'm going to be out there."
--Johnson, comparing reporters to children on a car trip to Disneyworld (New York Newsday)

"He's probably a little irritated by it because everyone keeps reminding him how old he is. That's not fun for him."
--Yankees manager Joe Torre, on Johnson getting annoyed with reporters (New York Times)

IT'S HARD TO LEAD A CAVALRY CHARGE IF YOU THINK YOU LOOK FUNNY ON A HORSE

"It used to be that you would try to save $300,000 here or $400,000 there by moving a player. Then, you could take that money and sign a player for the next season. With revenue sharing, I don't think there is much concern about that any more."
--Brewers GM Doug Melvin, on the changing market (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

"With all the salaries, we could take (Geoff) Jenkins, (Wes) Helms, (Ben) Sheets and Carlos Lee out of the deal, and the rest of our 21 players would balance Manny's salary out. It would have been a 22-player deal and 21 of the players would have been ours. We figured we needed nine guys to play the game."
--Melvin, on whether the Brewers had a shot to get Manny Ramirez

"Right now, I just finished up talking to Kenny [Williams, White Sox GM], and there's nothing there. Kenny's pretty aggressive, and he will evaluate my team better than I do. But I talked to him and said, 'If you're going to bring somebody here, if you're going to make any trade, make sure you make it for the right guy, on and off the field.' If not, I'll lose with our people."
--White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen (Chicago Sun-Times)

"In some of these situations the holdup is probably the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. They know we want prospects and they throw out, quote, young prospects. But their definition of young prospects for these kinds of players and mine might be different."
--Devil Rays GM Chuck LaMar, on insisting on top prospects for his available players (St. Petersburg Times)

"At the end of the day if we don't make a trade, yours truly again will be looked upon as if we were asking too much. Well, okay. But if we don't get our hands on that caliber of player, we're not going to make a deal."
--LaMar

HEY RICKEY YOU'RE STILL SO FINE, YOU'RE STILL SO FINE YOU BLOW MY MIND

"I would love to play anywhere. I think my skills are there. To me, it's just the chance. Why can't I have a chance? I see [the current] players and what [teams] need, and you're saying I don't have none of that? That shocks me. Then I'm not a Hall of Famer. I should have never played the game."
--San Diego Surf Dawgs outfielder Rickey Henderson (New York Post)

"I don't know why, unless I've done too much in the game. Most people say you're a Hall of Famer and they've got a certain date that they want me to go to the Hall of Fame. They feel that if I continue playing it would screw up when I go into the Hall of Fame. I don't think that's fair to me."
--Henderson, on not being in the plans of any major league club

"To me, it's a shame that with how much time I've put in [in] the major leagues and have done so much in the major leagues, for me, at the end there's something sad that you've got to try to see if you can continue playing the game," Henderson said. "Sometimes I get thinking about it and think I should have never played the game. I should have played football."
--Henderson

"I don't need anything. Everything I need, I've been blessed to have. The love and the passion has to be there for me to still play the game way down here."
--Henderson (Los Angeles Times)

"I got so many tools. Dominating on base paths and controlling a game. There's nothing I can't do. I think it's a disgrace to the game of baseball how they're doing me."
--Henderson

"If it ain't that, then give me a reason why. [Atlanta Brave first baseman] Julio Franco's older than me. And he doesn't have the numbers I have, so they let him play. I know I can outplay him. They want to see if they can destroy me or upset me."
--Henderson

"They know I can make a club. They just won't give me a chance. Just give me a chance to do the things I know I can do and what I love doing."
--Henderson

NOT A GOOD OLD BOY, MEANING SOME HARM

"I didn't get a fair shake here. I came here to pitch in key situations and I became a mop-up guy, not getting in any games; you tell me what that looks like to you. You know, you come here, you don't get a chance unless you're one of the boys."
--former Yankees pitcher Buddy Groom, on being DFAd recently (New York Daily News)

"Don't come here thinking you might get a lot of opportunities, because unless you're one of Joe's boys, you're not going to get much of a shot."
--Groom

"They just said they got Embree and that's it. It wasn't that I hadn't done the job or whatever. They didn't want to give me a reason other than I didn't get in to pitch. That's not really any reason to me, but it happened, so, I just became the odd man out, I guess."
--Groom

"I don't know what that means. The only thing I try to do as a manager is do what I think is the thing to do at the time the game is being played. If I started pitching or playing guys because I like them or because I didn't like them, I'd be doing a disservice to the rest of the team. If I've ever done that, I'm not aware of it. I've had people here I've had disagreements with and I've always brought them back. It's always about baseball to me."
--Yankees manager Joe Torre, on Grooms' accusation that there are "Joe's Boys"

"If I started pitching or playing guys because I liked them, or didn't play them because I didn't like them, I'm doing a disservice to the rest of the team."
--Torre (New York Newsday)

THE REST

"There's no getting around it: We know we're bad."
--Padres manager Bruce Bochy, whose team is in first place despite a sub-.500 record (San Diego Union-Tribune)

"I knew how important it was to him. It was getting late in the game. I didn't want (the fan) to leave. I took a ball out there. He said he'd exchange. He asked me to sign it. Then his pen didn't work."
--Reds outfielder Adam Dunn, on holding up the game while obtaining teammate Edwin Encarnacion's first career home run ball by trading with a fan (Cincinnati Enquirer)

"Bad bed, that simple."
--Diamondbacks third baseman Troy Glaus, blaming his back spasms on a lumpy mattress (East Valley Tribune)

"That's going to happen when you throw 2,000 pitches in one game, with the heat and stuff."
--White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, on Jose Contreras cramping in the dugout due to dehydration (MLB.com)

"You just don't want to look like an idiot. Then everybody remembers that."
--Devil Rays outfielder Jonny Gomes, on the AB where he hit his third home run of the day (St. Petersburg Times)

"Some of the dumbest deals I've ever seen were the deals that were made for pitching this winter. There are a lot of clubs that wish they could take those deals back."
--Rangers owner Tom Hicks, conveniently cutting off the time period to exclude the deal he gave to Chan Ho Park (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

"I hate facing guys like that. On the one hand, I guess you could say it's a challenge, but there are plenty of challenges out there and I don't need one more."
--Astros outfielder Lance Berkman, on Pedro Martinez

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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Premium Article Transaction Analysis: ... (07/31)
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The Week in Quotes: Ju... (07/25)
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The Week in Quotes: Au... (08/08)
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