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August 29, 2005

The Week in Quotes

August 22-28

by John Erhardt

HONEST DISAGREEMENT IS OFTEN A GOOD SIGN OF PROGRESS

"That's unfair to him, to single out one incident and I won't single out incidents. It's been a build-up of frustration of our season and this isn't pinned at Milton. This was just a clarification of what this team needs to continue to do if it wants to win."
--Dodgers second baseman Jeff Kent, on his heated conversation with teammate Milton Bradley after Bradley failed to score on a Kent double (Los Angeles Times)

"I was just checking in and making sure my hustle was up to par. I got approval. I'm happy with that."
--Dodgers center fielder Milton Bradley, tongue in cheek, on his gestures toward the Dodger dugout the day after his conversation with Kent

"Veteran players do more by leading by example and doing the things on the field that need to be done versus having everyday conversations with 25 different guys in the locker room. I'm a baseball player. I play baseball. It's not my job to be coach. It's not my job to police the area. It's my job to play baseball and try to win and every now and then [if] something needs to be said, say it."
--Kent

"It doesn't [bother me], because I play baseball. But I play it well and I play it to be a champion and I play it with respect and those are the things that I do. And I'm comfortable with that. So if you're comfortable with who you are and what you do out on the field, it doesn't matter what people say about you."
--Kent, on Bradley's comments that a certain teammate only cares about stats and Hall of Fame plaques

"If what happened was meant to make me step up my game to the next level, I have every intention of doing that. If it was personal, then that will be handled too."
--Bradley

"The problem is that he doesn't know how to deal with African-American people. There's a pattern of things that have been said. There are things said off-the-cuff that I don't think are funny. I think it may be funny to him or Jeff Foxworthy. But it's not funny to Milton Bradley."
--Bradley (MLB.com)

"Me being an African-American is the most important thing to me, even more important than baseball. There's always race. White people never want to see race in anything. But there's race involved in baseball. That's why there's less than 9 percent African-American representation in the game. I'm one of the few African-Americans that starts here."
--Bradley

"I don't think that Jeff Kent is particular at all as to who it would be if he's got something to say."
--Dodgers manager Jim Tracy

"He can go ahead and say those types of things, and it comes from an incident that he still doesn't get. And that's a shame. If you think that I've got a problem with African-Americans, then go talk to Dusty Baker. Go talk to Dave Winfield, who took me under his wing. Go talk to Joe Carter--all the guys that I idolized in this game and all the veteran players who taught me how to play this game."
--Kent

"I think (for Bradley) to make it a race issue is ridiculous. J.K. doesn't discriminate against anybody. He ignores Latinos, blacks and whites equally."
--Astros outfielder Lance Berkman, on the Bradley/Kent feud (Houston Chronicle)

"Jeff Kent is the best option around at second base, so why wouldn't I want to be on a team with him?"
--Bradley (MLB.com)

SHALL I REBUILD MY ROSTER? DO I DARE TO EAT A PEACH?

"To say we're contending with the Yankees and the A's was not our expectation coming into the season. If you told us our record would be 14, 15 games over .500, I would have said we'd be leading our division."
--Indians GM Mark Shapiro, on his team contending this year (New York Times)

"It's so unproductive to watch, but I do watch it. I have to watch it. Our manager is great. He doesn't even pay attention. He's so good at getting the players to focus on what they're doing."
--Shapiro, on looking at the Wild Card standings

"It was so much a shock to the system because our fans were used to eight years of being in contention. I stared into a lot of blank faces. They all wanted to talk about Bartolo Colon and Jim Thome being gone."
-- Shapiro, on adjusting after dismantling a contender to rebuild (Denver Post)

"I feel good because of the players we have in place. It should not be a small window of opportunity."
--Shapiro, on how his rebuilding program is paying dividends

"There's no telling what the heck (the team) is going to do during the offseason so I don't look that far ahead."
--Rockies first baseman Todd Helton, on the window of opportunity in Denver (Denver Post)

"It would have been a good year to be halfway decent. Any other year, we're in it right now. It gets harder each year. The body hurts a little worse. You can't play forever."
--Helton, on the weak NL West

HOW TO WIN A BASEBALL GAME

"We had the 'Rally Panties' up today. A woman's undergarment--a large undergarment--was our rallying flag."
--White Sox outfielder Aaron Rowand, on how teammate Timo Perez hung a large pair of women's underwear in the clubhouse to try and break their losing streak (Chicago Tribune)

"If you (can) figure this team out, you'd be a genius. We're either all swinging the bats well or none of us are swinging the bats well. It doesn't matter if Cy Young or any other guy in the league is out there."
--A's second baseman Mark Ellis, on what makes the A's offense work (Contra Costa Times)

"I've got to leave something on my face. I'm not that good looking. I just wanted to mix it up and see what happens. We're 1-0 with my bald head."
--A's outfielder Jay Payton, on leaving his beard after shaving his head to try and inspire the A's to win

"Oh, he's just now figuring that out? Of course our arms are weary. We're getting run through like a turnstile."
--Giants reliever Jason Christianson, after manager Felipe Alou said the bullpen was tired (San Jose Mercury)

"J.C., he's right. We know that, but we've been saying that for two months. What are you going to do, bring the center fielder in to pitch?"
-Giants manager Felipe Alou

"Pitchers are there to pitch."
--Alou

"Both are going to the instructional league. We're going to tell them to leave their bats at home."
--Twins minor league director Jim Rantz on A-ball infielders David Winfree and Trevor Plouffe and their defensive struggles (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

"AND TODAY THE BAD GUYS WIN, 'CAUSE HE TURNED HIS CAPE IN..."

"I'm in charge of the product on the field, and I hold myself accountable first. If it doesn't work the way we want it to, [the blame] should start with me."
--Cubs GM Jim Hendry (Chicago Tribune)

"Obviously [Greg Maddux] doesn't have quite the same stuff he used to. I have no problem at all with him wanting to come back."
--Hendry, perhaps hoping none of us notices that this statement doesn't address how he feels about Maddux actually coming back

"We all thought not too long ago he was heading to All-Star-type potential. He still has talent and he still has aptitude. He's still capable of being a very good player."
--Hendry, on struggling center fielder Corey Patterson

"That's just how it goes, and so be it. It's just a game, you know?"
--Patterson, after grounding out with the bases loaded in a 4-2 loss. This was later confirmed as a misquote, with Patterson really saying "It's just THE game."

"I'm not with Corey Patterson in the clubhouse, but if someone tells me it's just a game, they're telling me it doesn't really matter whether they win or lose. To me, that's a copout statement and something I would never say. If it's just a game for him, he doesn't have a passion for the game."
--former Cub Mickey Morandini, on Patterson's comments

"Maybe that's part of the problem with Corey. You either have that desire or you don't. And if you do, you would never say, 'It's just a game.'"
--Morandini

"People who say it is only a game make me laugh. It affects your life. It affects your family."
--Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling

"In my experience, when a guy says 'it's just a game,' that's a code expression for 'I need to relax.' There might be no relationship to what they say and what's really going on inside."
--Dr. Joel Fish, director of the Center for Sports Psychology in Philadelphia

"In the case of a slumping player or one who puts undue pressure on himself, it could be something he says to put it into perspective and keep it from getting bigger than it is. The word [just] is dangerous. There maybe were some better words he could have used."
--sports psychologist Dr. Eddie O'Connor

MILK DOES A BATBOY GOOD

"It's kind of ridiculous that you get a 10-game suspension for steroids and a six-game suspension for milk."
--Dodgers pitcher Brad Penny, after he offered $500 to a batboy to drink a gallon of milk in an hour without throwing up. The batboy was suspended for six games by the Marlins (Miami Herald)

"It's ridiculous that they worry about stuff like that. It shows they [the Marlins organization] don't know anything about the game. That kind of stuff goes on everywhere. It didn't affect the way he worked, the way he did his job."
--Penny

"Similar to a rehab stint, we want to help this kid stay on top of his game. Instead of crying over spilt milk, we decided to offer him the honorary post."
--Single-A Fort Myers Miracle GM Steve Gliner, on inviting the suspended batboy to work minor league games during his MLB suspension

THE REST

"You can't get comeback player of the year because you suck [the previous years]."
--Marlins reliever Todd Jones, on how he's up for Comeback Player of the Year (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

"Just another day. Cakes? I don't eat cake. I don't celebrate birthdays. Thanksgiving, Mother's Day, Father's Day, the Christmas tree at Christmas time. ... All man-made holidays. I don't need to wait for someone to tell me it's a holiday or a day to eat turkey; I eat turkey almost every day. I don't need to wait to buy something for someone. If I see a bouquet of flowers I want to buy for my wife, I buy it."
--Braves first baseman Julio Franco, who turned 47 last week (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

"I don't worry about breaking that record because I plan on playing a long time, until I'm 50."
--Franco, on how his next home run will make him the oldest player to homer in the majors

"My whole hand went numb, and that was it. When you can't feel your hand, you know something's not right."
--White Sox third baseman Joe Crede, on getting hit by a pitch (Chicago Sun-Times)

"Scott knows I'm three steps faster than him. Seriously, I'm not a Scott Podsednik, and I'm probably not a leadoff hitter. I might have to go down when he comes back, but I'll do the best I can until then. I'm still learning up here."
--White Sox rookie outfielder Brian Anderson, on filling in for the injured Scott Podsednik (Chicago Sun-Times)

"My experience with being an agent with a son that's a minor-league baseball player is that you send them money. His first year's W2 form I think he made something like $4,800. I think I did his taxes his first couple years. But when he got to Triple-A, he says it's time to get another agent. He said, 'Dad, I love you and I want to help you, but I think it's time to get some guys that really know what they're doing.' I had encouraged him to do that also."
--Houston Astros third baseman Morgan Ensberg's father Martin Ensberg, who was Morgan's agent for two years in the minors (Houston Chronicle)

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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