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August 8, 2005

The Week in Quotes

August 1-7

by John Erhardt

DO I CONTRADICT MYSELF? VERY WELL THEN I CONTRADICT MYSELF

"That's not for me to determine. I hope that people look at my whole career and appreciate that I have given everything I've got. I respect the game, I respect my opponents, I respect the players who have come before me."
--Orioles first baseman Rafael Palmeiro, on whether he still belongs in the Hall of Fame (Baltimore Sun)

"I respect the Hall of Fame. And if they think I am worthy enough, I would be very honored. And if they don't, I gave all that I had to this game."
--Palmeiro

"Obviously, there's been a suspension. Does that indict him for the last 18 years? I don't know. You have to have an open mind."
--Hall of Famer Jim Palmer, on Palmeiro's positive drug test

"If you're a Hall of Fame player, it only takes a moment to damage your image. If you took something accidentally, I think you would do anything you could to clarify the situation. I hope he does that. I hope he does it for baseball. I hope he does it for himself."
--Palmer

"[I'll] grit my teeth while doing it."
--ESPN writer Buster Olney, on how he'd still vote for Palmeiro

"I think in five years you have to evaluate the culture of that time. What are you going to do, exclude everyone you suspect?"
--St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Joe Strauss, when surveyed about whether he'd vote for Palmeiro or not (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

"The 500/3,000 club is awfully exclusive. That being said, I've never been happier that there is a five-year waiting period between the end of a player's career and the year he is included on the Hall of Fame ballot. While I can't speak for all the voters, I think a lot of perspective is going to be needed on this matter because it's so unprecedented. The only way you can really gain that perspective is with time."
--Beaver County Times reporter John Perrotto, in the same survey reponse

"Not now, not ever. [Last] Sunday, I would have voted for him; 569 home runs, 3,018 hits--those are Hall of Fame numbers, but those numbers were enhanced by steroids. I've set my personal policy, and I won't vote for him."
--Dayton Daily News reporter Hal McCoy, on voting for Palmeiro

I WANT ANSWERS NOW OR I WANT THEM EVENTUALLY

"Everybody's been asking us that question today. We don't feel vindicated because we always knew it was the truth. We don't take delight in somebody being taken down."
--Canseco's attorney Robert Saunooke, on whether the Palmeiro suspension vindicates Canseco for the claims he made in his book (Baltimore Sun)

"This is perilously close to 'the dog ate my homework.'"
--Penn Sate epidemiologist Dr. Charles Yersalis, on Palmeiro's claim he unknowingly took the substance that caused him to fail his drug test

"I don't know Palmeiro, but elite athletes don't do cowboy chemistry. They don't walk into the store and say, 'This stuff looks neat. I'll try it.' Generally they have nutritional handlers, advisers, sports physicians, trainers."
--Yersalis

"With as much as we know today, you can look at it and say, 'Who knows? Maybe that could have been me.' When you're not getting answers about what people are caught for, how do you know?"
--Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts

"Until we start getting answers, I don't believe in accusing someone when I don't have a clue what the facts are. I guess somebody has the answers, but we don't."
--Roberts

"If it's stanozolol, this was a deliberate act. The likelihood of sabotage is remote and improbable, and to suggest as much would be to send people on a wild goose chase."
--steroid authority Dr. Gary Wadler, on the likelihood Palmeiro tested positive accidentally

STOP...MORGAN TIME

"All those years, I was the guy who said Pete needs to be punished, and he has, for 16 years. But how long are these guys going to be kept out? If you are going to let people into the Hall who have done steroids, then you have to let Pete Rose in, because this [steroids scandal] has hurt baseball more than what Pete did."
--Hall of Famer and ESPN analyst Joe Morgan (Philadelphia Inquirer)

"If I sound angry, it's because I am. I just hate what I've seen happen. We brought this on ourselves. Now, every number, the suspicion is there, and that hurts more than what Pete did."
--Morgan

"The game doesn't belong to these players today. It belongs to all the players who have ever played--Henry Aaron, Willie Mays, Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Frank Robinson, the guys who helped build the game, not to guys who have hurt the game. Now these great players' numbers are being pushed back."
--Morgan

"I have reservations, not only about Rafael Palmeiro, but a lot of the guys who are going to come in with numbers obtained during this era. I think there just has to be a penalty--I just don't know what that is yet."
--Morgan, on this generation's Hall of Fame candidates

"Baseball itself is at fault because it let it go on for so long and didn't do anything about it. All these people who they didn't know [about steroid use]--I say, let them take a lie-detector test. No one would pass. That includes managers and coaches... . I've known it for 10, 15 years, and I am not even on the field."
--Morgan

"It wasn't my job to speak out, because I just would have been another reporter at that moment, speculating. But in hindsight, the only thing I wish I would have done is approach the commissioner's office sooner, but I didn't know how they would react."
--Morgan, on why he regrets never speaking out after hearing rumors for years about steroid use

"The game was booming. The home run was the thing. They even advertised it--'Chicks dig the long ball.' The game was prospering, in love with the long ball... . McGwire, Sosa, the home-run chases. We took a game which was great and turned it into Home Run Derby."
--Morgan

"It's not just the home runs, but stamina, the way the game is played. Little things don't matter--speed, stealing bases. It's all tied together. Players are locked onto first base waiting for the home run. They don't need us anymore."
--Morgan

"There's not a big enough asterisk to handle all of this. There has to be some penalty. I just don't know what it is."
--Morgan

OH, THIS LEADER! HE SOUNDS LIKE A GRAND FELLA!

"I know who the leader is on the team. I ain't going to say who it is, but I know who it is. I know who the team feeds off. I know who the opposing team comes in knowing they have to defend to stop the Yankees."
--Yankees right fielder Gary Sheffield (New York Daily News)

"Why shouldn't I tell the truth? I ain't trying to get no Pepsi commercial."
--Sheffield

"It's not a family-oriented team. In L.A., wives can fly on the plane; with the Yankees they can't. With other teams, the wives always have functions to bring them together. Not here."
--Sheffield

GREAT JOB, GUYS

"It was a bad situation. But I'm proud of the way we handled it as an organization."
--Reds Security Officer Bill Summee, on responding to an emergency at GABP. A man died in the stands and his 6-year old grandson had to be taken care of before family members could arrive (Cincinnati Enquirer)

"With all the commotion, I wanted to get him out of there. I took him down to the concourse. He laid his head on my shoulder and asked, 'Is my Pawpaw going to be all right?'"
--Summee

"We didn't think we should be the ones to tell him. We didn't lie to him, but we thought his parents should tell him."
--Summee, on knowing the boy's grandfather didn't make it

"Win or lose, he was coming in the clubhouse."
--Reds outfielder Ken Griffey Jr., on the boy, who the Reds included in their post-game high-fives

"We play a game. What he was going through doesn't compare. It was important that the little guy not be by himself."
--Griffey, on how the team took the little boy into the clubhouse after the game to keep him company

"Jacob Cruz, Jason LaRue, Junior, they were all great with him. They gave him bats, balls, wrist bands. Felipe Lopez signed the helmet he wore in the All-Star Game and gave it to him."
--Reds clubhouse manager Rick Stowe

"We just tried to make a bad situation a little better."
--Griffey

THE REST

"It really makes me mad because I think good pitchers win games and horse-[bleep] pitchers hit people. I think that is the weakest [bleep] I ever see because if you can't get people out, get out of here. Get another job. You're going to hit somebody? It's not anybody's fault you got a [butt]-kicking. Throw strikes and get people out."
--White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, after Orioles pitcher Todd Williams hit Tadahito Iguchi in the third inning of a blowout (Chicago Sun-Times)

"I had a great sense [Saturday] night that teams were doing one or two things: Either being unrealistic or too engaged in hypotheticals. I hate to say this, but there was too much rotisserie conversation for anybody to keep up with. People got caught up in tangents, and it affected business."
--Giants GM Brian Sabean, on the quiet trade deadline last Sunday (Seattle Times)

"Mr. Pohlad says this is a game of cycles. We had two flat tires on ours, but we're climbing back on."
--Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, on his team's recent slide to third place in the AL Central (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

"They had the best scouting report in the world, or they're the best guessers. Every guy in that lineup hit me and they hit me hard. It was just a case of I sucked tonight is what it was."
--White Sox pitcher Jon Garland, on getting pounded by the Blue Jays (Toronto Star)

"To me, it's amazing Jose Canseco is going to end up being Woodward and Bernstein in this situation. He's turning baseball upside down."
--"Best Damn Sports Show Period" host Chris Rose (L.A. Times)

"The objective of the Veterans Committee is to elect someone."
--former pitcher and current Senator Jim Bunning, in a letter to Hall of Fame Chairman Jane Forbes Clark (New York Daily News)

"I would ask Jim, 'What is the purpose of Congress? They vote on bills. They are not required to pass them, only to vote on them."
--Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver, responding to Bunning's complaint

"I thought that was a dance. Oh well, maybe I can use these as weights in the morning."
--Hall of Fame catcher Yogi Berra, on being told the jars that Jane Forbes Clark gave her guests as party favors were filled with salsa

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
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: ... (08/05)
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The Week in Quotes: Ju... (08/01)
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Premium Article Under The Knife: Leade... (08/08)

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