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September 5, 2005

The Week in Quotes

August 29-September 4

by John Erhardt

PUNCH THE STRAW MAN HERE, HERE, AND HERE

"I've been sat down and told they can give me a better way to do everything. They really are convinced that they can sit there and crunch out a formula that negates my power of observation."
--Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, on sabermetric researchers (New York Times)

"It's been a little irritating, because there's a certain arrogance with that whole group."
--La Russa

"The 'Moneyball' kind of stuff has its place, but so does the human. Really, the combination is the answer."
--La Russa

IF I CAN'T HEAR YOU, I CAN'T GET IN TROUBLE

"I've never really seen that. I didn't even notice it until the last at-bat when somebody said something to me."
--Orioles interim manager Sam Perlozzo, on Rafael Palmeiro wearing earplugs to drown out the fans who booed him (Baltimore Sun)

"As people in general, you want to be accepted. For 99 percent of his career, he has been. For that to completely change now, I don't know if any of us can comprehend what he's going through. By his expressions, you can tell it's definitely beating him up. It's a situation you wouldn't put your worst enemy in."
--Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts, on Palmeiro

"I can't make out the lineup worrying about who's going to boo and who's going to cheer."
--Perlozzo

"I didn't think it was a big deal. Maybe it wasn't the right thing to do. I've never been in a situation where I'm getting booed so badly, and I really don't know how to handle it."
--Rafael Palmeiro, on the earplugs

"I don't mind being booed. I've been booed before. I was just trying to concentrate on my at-bat and do the best that I can to help my team. And, at the time, I thought that was the best I could do. Maybe it wasn't the right thing to do, but I did what I had to do at the time."
--Palmeiro

"I've been booed before. Obviously, not this heavily. It's part of the game. But when I'm up at bat, I'm trying to focus on what I have to do, and it's just hard to really focus when the whole stadium is booing and yelling. I thought that would maybe be a way to block out some of the booing."
--Palmeiro

AND WHEN I HOLD MY NOSE THUSLY, IT MEANS BUNT

"Which team are you asking about? The team that struggles on the road or the one that uses the light in center field? Something's strange. They don't play so good on the road, and at home everybody's Babe Ruth."
--White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle, on how he thinks the Texas Rangers steal signs by using an elaborate system of flashing lights in center field (Chicago Tribune)

"I don't know if they do [cheat] or they don't. If they do, they haven't been caught and they're going to keep doing it. If they don't, they're a good hitting team at home."
--White Sox pitcher Jon Garland, on the cheating accusations

"The way Buehrle pitched, it seemed like they didn't need a sign. Everything Buehrle pitched was right down the middle of the plate--sinker, slider, changeup, whatever. He didn't have the stuff. I asked him what happened, and he said because their average is better here than on the road."
--White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, weighing in on the accusations the day after Buehrle lost to the Rangers

"It's interesting. Sometimes you have a bad day and have to look in the mirror."
--Texas center fielder Gary Matthews Jr. (Dallas Morning News)

"There are two things I know. We do play well at home and [we] don't cheat."
--Texas first baseman Mark Teixeira

"Hey, Buehrle. I'm stealing signs."
--a sign held up by the Texas Rangers' mascot

THE HALF-ASSED APPROACH TO FOUNDATION REPAIR

"Angry. Frustrated. Disappointed. A lot of emotions. This hasn't been a good day."
--Nationals General Manager Jim Bowden, on how he felt after his team was shut out by the Cardinals (Washington Post)

"You know what? Be a man. Wake up, and do some damage. Or guess what? After that, Frank's going to do whatever he can do...If they're not hitting, he might as well put other people in there. There are a lot of guys who can score no runs a game."
--Bowden

"They all know by the last game in Atlanta there's going to be enough choices for Frank that he doesn't have to play any of them if he doesn't want to."
--Bowden, on how roster expansion will make it easier to not play struggling players (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

"At the beginning of the year, we have a budget that provides for a call-up of 'X' amount of players. We're going to be over budget on that as it is. You can't call up 30 guys."
--Nationals team president Tony Tavares, on being restrained during roster expansion (Washington Post)

"The average amount of guys to call up is something like five. I pushed back on Jim and said, 'Make sure you're calling up people that are going to be used.' If you bring up 11 guys, you start talking about changing the size of the [chartered] airplane and all kinds of things. Everybody, including the Yankees, has to have some kind of budget."
--Tavares

"I would rather wait three or four days on a couple of guys if that means saving money to get another player up here. From a manager and a GM's perspective, the more call-ups you can have, the more you want. Now, you have to make it work within the budget. It benefits you by waiting, because every day you wait, you won't have to pay salary, hotel, meal money, et cetera, et cetera. It's a lot of money."
--Tavares

THE FABULOUS BAKER BOYS

"We don't have a whole bunch of kids. Really, we have two kids as [position] players. Most of our kids are pitchers. We're going to play them. They're going to get I can't say the majority of playing time [but] they're going to play."
--Cubs manager and noted veteran supporter Dusty Baker, on the youngsters in his lineup (Chicago Tribune)

"It's tough, it's very tough. On the personal side, I don't like to have a losing record on the back of my bubble gum card. You deal with [bad seasons], you learn from them and you get stronger because of it, and I think our guys are going to learn a lot this year, especially the guys that have been with us for a while. We know we've got work to do."
--Baker

"I just can't take the ball and glove out of Neifi's hands."
--Baker, on not playing rookie Ronny Cedeno (San Diego Union-Tribune)

WE LOVE THE LEADER...

"I don't even know what the point was to even have a hearing,"
--Red Sox pitcher David Wells, on losing his appeal hearing after he made contact with an umpire July 2nd (MLB.com)

"I know Selig doesn't like me. The guy reads everything and anything online about him every day, I'm pretty sure. He worries about what people say about him. For him to do that, obviously he's ... I don't know. I better not say anything."
--Wells

"The athletes are in a no-win situation because the mediator works for the Commissioner. I think they need to bring in an arbitrator from outside the system so that way at least we'd have a fair shake."
--Wells

"That's just the way my contract is done. I didn't have the luxury of having a guaranteed contract. And having that foot problem earlier didn't help, either. My thing is, I can't miss a game or I lose out on a big chunk of money. I wouldn't have a problem losing that money if I was in the wrong. But I clearly see the video and what went on. I have a hard time dealing with that."
--Wells, on how he misses out on incentive money if he loses playing time due to suspension

"I'm all for steroid testing. I've been tested three times this year, but it's obvious that there's guys that are getting away with it doing it and [Selig's] not doing a thing. I think in the [Rafael] Palmeiro case, Palmiero already tested positive and didn't serve his term. But from what I understand from a few sources, [Selig] said, 'Let's just wait until the Hall of Fame election is over and then we'll suspend.' That's what I heard."
--Wells

"If the guy's guilty of steroids, suspend him right then and there--and Palmeiro single-handedly whipped our butts that series [in July].And [Selig] knew that he was guilty. He tested positive for steroids prior to that. He probably did it because he didn't want the Hall of Famers or electees to have to answer questions about steroids because it's a distraction."
--Wells, on Palmeiro

"I met today with Major League Baseball and the Players Association and was happy to have the chance to answer questions about my press conference the other day and to learn more about the drug testing program and on-field disciplinary suspensions."
--Wells, in a statement after meeting with MLB officials about his comments

"Now that I have had this opportunity to sit down and discuss the issues, I better understand the procedures that go with steroid testing. I now know that neither Bud Selig nor anyone else delayed the Palmeiro case and that the Commissioner's Office has worked with the Union to improve the steroid policy. I also understand that John McHale, rather than Bud Selig, was the ultimate decision-maker relating to on-field disciplinary suspensions imposed by Bob Watson.
--Wells

"I understand that I was wrong in my statements about these issues and for that I apologize."
--Wells

"WITHOUT PROMOTION SOMETHING TERRIBLE HAPPENS--NOTHING!"

"As a general manager you're not going to make these comments unless you can back it up. I'm not going to be wrong [about] the player. You don't hear me making these great comments about too many players since I've been here, have you?"
--Nationals GM Jim Bowden, on comparing recent call-up Ryan Zimmerman to Cal Ripken Jr. and Brooks Robinson (Washington Post)

"So many things change when you've been in the big leagues for that one day. For me, it meant that my family didn't have to live with my parents anymore. I have an 8-month-old girl and a 5-year-old boy. I don't have to substitute teach in the off-season. I don't have to grind it out paycheck to paycheck. People talk about it as a lifelong dream, and that's true, but it's a practical matter as well."
--Oakland pitcher Ron Flores, on getting called up to the majors for the first time (San Jose Mercury)

"It's almost like the night before Christmas. Are you going to get the gift you want? Or are you going to get stuck with a pair of sweat socks?"
--Fresno Grizzlies broadcaster Doug Greenwald, on watching minor leaguers before roster expansion day

"Everybody wants to ride that major league wave. Not too many people want to ride that Triple-A wave."
--Oakland minor leaguer Jermaine Clark, on how he got more phone calls when he got promoted than when he got demoted

GENUINE ANIMAL MILK

"Before I drink this milk, am I going to get in trouble or am I going to get sick? He goes, 'How are you going to get in trouble for drinking milk? And if you get sick, all you're going to do is throw up.'"
--Marlins batboy Nick Cirillo, in his appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman. Cirillo was suspended by the Marlins for drinking a gallon of milk as part of a bet with Brad Penny (Miami Herald)

"I told him...I'm not a big chocolate eater, I don't think I would be able to consume all of it. So he pitched that night and, after he came out, he's like, `I've got a better idea. I don't want you to get sick and die from eating all that chocolate. So I'll see if you can drink a gallon of milk.'"
--Cirillo, on how Brad Penny initially wanted him to eat a ten-pound chocolate bar

"The first 15 minutes I drank three 16-ounce glasses, but I got real cold. I had a sweater on. I thought I was going at a good pace, then I was like, `Oh boy.'"
--Cirillo

"I'm waddling back and forth because I'm already off balance because the milk's in me."
--Cirillo

THE REST

"And to be honest with you, I just kind of find the whole thing a little humorous. I didn't go anywhere. I got hurt last year and I came back last year. That's in the past."
--Diamondbacks third baseman Troy Glaus, on being eligible for the "Comeback Player of the Year Award" (Arizona Republic)

"No, but I'm willing to learn."
--Diamondbacks head athletic trainer Paul Lessard, on whether he's resorted to witch doctoring to keep Troy Glaus in the lineup

"It's good to get out of a situation where if you pitch a good game, you're asked, 'Did you guys miss Barry today?' Life goes on without that guy coming out to the park. The last five months we saw him about 20 days. It's tough to answer questions about someone you don't know anything about unless you go onto his website."
--Angels reliever Jason Christiansen, who was traded from San Francisco last week (Los Angeles Times

"I am novocaine from the waist up. I give the edge to novocaine tonight. Nothing really felt good. My head is spinning. I don't feel good right now. And the hand was a lot worse than the jaw."
--Padres pitcher Jake Peavy, who had three teeth pulled before his start, and had stitches in his non-throwing hand after getting cut by a can of green beans (Kansas City Star)

"Those aren't good hitters. Nothing for nothing, but they're hitting .240 for a reason."
--Toronto pitcher Josh Towers, after Cleveland's Aaron Boone and Casey Blake each hit home runs off of him

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 Prospectus Matchups: M... (09/02)
<< Previous Column
The Week in Quotes: Au... (08/29)
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The Week in Quotes: Se... (09/12)
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Premium Article Prospectus Today: Don'... (09/05)

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