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August 15, 2005

The Week in Quotes

August 8-14

by Dave Haller

BUT HE COULD BE MY SON! OR JULIO FRANCO'S GRANDSON!

"He's Johnny B. Good. He's every All-American boy cliché you could think of. That's Jeff Francoeur."
--Braves third baseman Chipper Jones (Baltimore Sun)

"I never thought it would be this much fun. In the middle part of my career, the rookies who came up -- you were just so sick and tired of their attitude, to be blunt about it. They knew everything. These guys are so respectful, so willing to learn."
--Braves pitcher John Smoltz, on playing with so many rookie teammates (New York Times)

"Young or not, we needed to get him to a level where he could learn. Fortunately or unfortunately, that's the major leagues. …He could make mistakes at Triple A and still get out of an inning because he has good stuff. He's a very mature kid. Any setbacks he has here, he'll handle well mentally and emotionally. He wants to learn. By any standard, he's ahead."
--Mariners GM Bill Bavasi, on 19-year-old pitcher Felix Hernandez (New York Times)

"There's been a lot of guys that showed up in the big leagues that had a world of potential and unbelievable futures ahead of them, and were just flashes in the pan."
--Twins graybeard pitcher Terry Mulholland, on Hernandez's future (Seattle Times)

"He reminded me an awful lot of the kind of stuff, the kind of presence, that Dwight Gooden had when he got to the big leagues. The same sort of command, same sort of polish, same sort of stuff."
--Mulholland

"He has to be wary of the hype. He has to be wary of the media blowing him up bigger than he is. Just stay focused on what you have to do to be prepared to play the game."
--Mulholland

…AND I BUMPED HEADS WITH CARLOS BELTRAN, DON'T KNOW WHEN I'LL BE BACK AGAIN…

"I can't imagine being a paramedic at the scene of a car wreck. And that's pretty much what this was -- a car wreck."
--Mets infielder Marlon Anderson, on the collision between Carlos Beltran and Mike Cameron (MLB.com)

"Hats off to those guys for giving such an effort for Tom Glavine. Baseball takes a beating for not being physical, guys are dogging it. You hear that all the time. But we're out there without protection, and there are times like this when it's dangerous. People will look at it as one of the top 10 all-ugly incidents. Why not one of the top 10 great efforts?"
--Padres utility man Damian Jackson, who pinch ran and scored for David Ross after the collision (MLB.com)

"To me, you had two center fielders going after it with everything they've got, and neither one was letting up or backing off. Cameron has been a center fielder all his life, and he still plays like one. Most right fielders will veer off or give way on a play like that, but he went all out, the way he always has. You have to respect that as a player."
--Jackson

"I just hope they're both okay. They have families just like you do, and we're all playing a game."
--Jackson

"I know he's looking forward to getting his face right because he's a pretty boy. He's in California. They've got the best plastic surgeons here, so I ain't worried about him."
--Mets left fielder Cliff Floyd, joking about Cameron's plastic surgery (Newsday)

JUST A FLESH WOUND

"If you wore one that was able to protect you, it would mess with your view. If you wore one like (John) Olerud has, you'd need a chinstrap for it. It wouldn't be comfortable and you couldn't see and it would mess up what you're doing if you wore a normal one. If you wore one with earflaps, it would be most protective for you. If you wore one like Olerud's -- I've joked with him about taking his out with me -- but you'd need a chinstrap the way my head and everything whips around. It would fly off."
--Red Sox pitcher Matt Clement, on why he would never wear a protective helmet while pitching (Boston Globe)

PRETTY SURE THIS NEVER HAPPENED WHEN BARRY WAS AROUND…

"…(T)his messenger of Satan, as I call this guy [Krueger] now. ... And I believe there is no forgiveness for Satan."
--Giants manager Felipe Alou, on ESPN's Outside the Lines, responding to KNBR radio host Larry Krueger's inflammatory comments against "brain-dead Caribbean hitters" on his show (San Francisco Chronicle)

"The segment, featuring inappropriate comedy sound bites, demonstrated an utter lack of regard for the sensitivity of the issues involved and a premeditated intent to ridicule Felipe Alou's commentary."
--Part of a statement from KNBR senior vice president Tony Salvadore, on the station's decision to fire Krueger and two other employees after they mocked Alou's comments the next morning by playing Satan references from Comedy Central's cartoon South Park (San Francisco Chronicle)

JUST SMILE AND NOD, AND THEY'LL GO AWAY SOON

"That's just ignorant, man. The thing that made me mad is to talk about a guy [Alou] who worked very hard to be where he is, and then some idiot makes some comment and don't know what he's talking about."
--White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, on the controversial comments made by Krueger (Newsday)

"It's ignorant. It's just ignorant. You have someone dealing with the media, dealing with people, to say something like that, that's ignorant, man."
--Guillen

"Hey, everybody, this guy's a homosexual! He's a child molester!"
--Guillen, in jest, harassing a clubhouse passerby just moments later

"I'm not pleased with the manager."
--Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, after New York's 2-1 loss to the White Sox on Tuesday (New York Daily News)

"I don't know about why they left the lefthander in. He had a good inning and they kept him in there. He should never have pitched to Konerko - he's their best hitter."
--Steinbrenner, second-guessing Joe Torre's decision to leave Yankees lefty Alan Embree in to face Paul Konerko, who led off the ninth inning

"He pitched great."
--Steinbrenner, on opposing pitcher and ex-Yankee Jose Contreras

"The other pitcher I was pleased with. Chacon, I was very pleased with him."
--Steinbrenner, on recently acquired pitcher Shawn Chacon

"I'm not pleased with the manager. I don't know why he left him in."
--Steinbrenner

"Everybody is talking about we're not scoring runs. But they are scoring a whole lot of runs."
--Cubs manager Dusty Baker (the Cubs have averaged 3.4 runs per game in August) (Chicago Sun-Times)

WEB GEMS, OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT

"I didn't ask (Luis) Terrero what kind of shoes he was wearing or anything. He took a step off and I got him."
--Marlins third baseman Mike Lowell, on the hidden ball trick he pulled against the Diamondbacks Wednesday (Baltimore Sun)

"There is no question he let that ball hit him on purpose. Now the questions are, 'Is it heady? Is it in the realm of doing whatever you can to win ballgames? Is it chicken (expletive)?'"
--White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko, on a play in which Jermaine Dye hit Alex Rodriguez with a throw while trying to double up Gary Sheffield (Boston Herald)

"If that's not the play of the year, I'll protest. He had better not get a girlfriend between now and the ESPY's, because I want to go with him."
--Mets first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz, on a backwards, diving, bare-handed catch by teammate David Wright (New York Times)

"Luck."
--Wright, explaining his catch (New York Times)

HE SEES YOU WHEN YOU'RE SLEEPING, HE KNOWS WHEN YOU'RE AWAKE…JOHN DOWD IS COMING TO TOWN

"We have come full circle [in the steroids controversy]. The criminal arrogance of [players' union leader Donald] Fehr and Gene Orza is destroying the game, just like the abuses of owners years ago."
--Washington-based attorney John Dowd, author of the infamous Dowd Report (Dayton Daily News)

"Fehr's recent complaint about who in Major League Baseball leaked the type of steroids that Rafael Palmeiro used … well, my, my. The inmates are running the prison."
--Dowd

"Giamatti believed the fans had a right to know [everything Dowd discovered about Pete Rose], thus he told me at the beginning, 'Whatever you do, the world will see.' He was right."
--Dowd, on former Commissioner Bart Giamatti

"This commissioner [Bud Selig] has no power. My dad would have called him counterfeit or a front man. There is no cop on the beat. The major-league game is in big trouble. The victims of this reckless neglect are the game itself and the youngsters in this country who love the game."
--Dowd

"I want to say that I'm happy to be back. I'm anxious to get back on the field and playing the game that I love very much. It's been a tough time for me and my family over the last couple of weeks."
--Orioles slugger Rafael Palmeiro, addressing the media upon his return from a 10-game suspension for violating baseball's substance abuse policy (Baltimore Sun)

"I don't want to be in [the Hall of Fame]. That's a bold statement, and a lot of people are going to say, `Well, how dare him even say that.' I don't care. It's my life. I can say what I feel, and I don't believe in cheating."
--Retired pitcher Jack Morris, on what his reaction would be if a steroid-enhanced player were elected to the Hall of Fame (Pioneer Press)

THOROUGHLY DEPRESSING

"We're winning by that much going into the ninth inning with our stud on the hill and still we lost. I've never seen one like this in my 10 or 11 years in Kansas City. It's a heartbreaking loss."
--Mike Sweeney, after the Royals' 13-7 loss to Cleveland (in which three errors led to an 11-run ninth inning) (MLB.com)

"They kind of gave it to us."
--Indians right fielder Casey Blake, on the big comeback (MLB.com)

"I just dropped it. I've got no excuses, period."
--Kansas City outfielder Chip Ambres, who dropped a fly ball that should have ended the game and the Royals' 10-game losing streak (MLB.com)

"They hit the ball good and it didn't work out."
--Royals closer Mike MacDougal, who allowed seven of the 11 runs in the ninth inning (MLB.com)

"Hopefully, this is rock bottom. If it's not, I don't know what is."
--Royals manager Buddy Bell (MLB.com)

THE REST

"I'd prefer to win."
--Ken Griffey Jr., when asked if he'd prefer to keep playing in Cincinnati (Cincinnati Post)

"When I grew up here, I figure I booed enough guys that I've got some coming to me. I'm confident I won't pitch that way again."
--Mike Remlinger, native of Plymouth, Massachussetts, on his Red Sox debut (Boston Globe)

"It gets to the point where you can educate all you want. Unless it's a hard-and-fast rule, I don't know if they're paying attention."
--Stephen D. Keener, President of Little League Baseball, on the dilemma of young pitchers throwing curveballs (New York Times)

"Billy and I worked with her on her mechanics taking her arm back to get her a little more energy to home plate. She got it there. It's a great thing to see Mom basking in the glow."
--Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr., on the strike thrown by his mother for the ceremonial first pitch that opened Cal Sr.'s Yard, a scaled-down replica of Camden Yards, which hosts the Cal Ripken World Series for youth baseball (Baltimore Sun)

"If before the game you go out to home plate and don't think that's cool, you shouldn't be out there."
--New Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo, after delivering his first lineup card to home plate (Baltimore Sun)

"We obviously were going through rough times. We had to get our house in order and needed to do some financial things. We don't have bad contracts anymore. We're in position to keep our players, but we have to keep the right guys. In the past, we gave contracts to players who turned out not to be productive."
--Pirates GM Dave Littlefield, on the state of his team (New York Times)

"I think absolutely there is a hard deadline here."
--Mike Rizzo, Arizona Diamondbacks scouting director, on the August 30 cutoff for contract negotiations with first overall pick Justin Upton, who might attend Louisburg (N.C.) Junior College (The Arizona Republic)

"He's got probably 18 at-bats, and he's got a bunch of RBIs [eight]. His at-bats have counted. You get a new guy, they don't just play, he winds up hitting in the middle of our order and does some damage."
--Red Sox manager Terry Francona, on Boston's new first baseman, Roberto Petagine (Boston Globe)

WAIT A SECOND, ISN'T SANTO AN ANNOUNCER OR SOMETHING? UH…OH…I GET IT…

"I didn't know they put up flags for the day's starting pitchers."
--Reds pitcher Jason Standridge to teammate Kent Mercker, noticing a flag that reads "WILLIAMS 26" at Wrigley Field (Cubs pitcher Jerome Williams was pitching that day; the flag was in honor of Cubs Hall of Famer Billy Williams) (Dayton Daily News)

"Yeah, they do. And Ernie Banks is pitching Tuesday and Ron Santo Wednesday."
--Mercker, to Standridge, pointing out two other flags flying at Wrigley

Dave Haller is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus. You can contact Dave by clicking here or click here to see Dave's other articles.

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