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October 10, 2005

The Week in Quotes

October 3-9

by John Erhardt

THE GAME YOU MAY HAVE HEARD ABOUT

"He's not of this planet. He's part superhero, part cartoon character."
--Astros GM Tim Purpura, on Roger Clemens (MLB.com)

"I don't really relish what those guys have to go through. Next thing I know, I'm out there by myself. There's not a lot to do; flick seeds, chew gum, talk to the fans. That's about all there was to do."
--Astros pitcher Roger Clemens, on heading to the bullpen during the 18-inning game

"He's one of my idols now. How can you not love the way that this guy plays and the preparation that he goes through? Who knows what was going through his mind out there in the bullpen. He just shut everybody down."
--Astros starter Brandon Backe, on Clemens and his three-inning relief performance

"The only surprise is that [Clemens] didn't hit a home run when he batted in the 18th. I mean, this guy's life is a Hollywood story, right? I just figured that's how it had to end."
--Astros manager Phil Garner (Houston Chronicle)

"I was looking down the bench and I was looking at a lot of guys with tennis shoes on. We had played every single guy. I wanted to let Phil know I could probably come from down under to throw a couple of innings if they need it. That's where we were coming from."
--Astros third baseman Morgan Ensberg, on the state of the bench and bullpen during extra innings

"I don't plan on an 18-inning game. I play to win in nine."
--Garner

"Which 'Rocky' movie is this?"
--Purpura

"Fastball ran up and in. It had a little bit of late movement, but luckily I was able to stay inside of it enough and get enough of it to get it out. I knew I hit it well enough. Luckily, we don't have that deep of a left-field fence, so I had a pretty good idea it was gone."
--Astros 2B/LF Chris Burke, on his game-winning home run

"Once Roger gets his hands on you, you have no choice. Whatever he wants to do to you, that's what's going to happen."
--Burke, on being lifted in the air and twirled around by Clemens

"Everyone was congratulating me, patting me on the back. I had several people say I should buy a lottery ticket or go to Vegas."
--Houston Astros fan Shaun Dean, who caught Chris Burke's game-winning home run, and also caught Lance Berkman's grand slam in the eighth inning

MAN WILL NOT MERELY ENDURE. HE WILL PREVAIL.

"At this point, I call it a train. Get on it, and keep riding it."
--White Sox DH Carl Everett, after sweeping the Red Sox (Chicago Tribune)

"I was hoping we could get out of it with a run. I have to give [manager Ozzie Guillen] credit. There was very serious debate whether El Duque was on the roster, but Ozzie and [pitching coach] Don Cooper wanted him and [general manager] Kenny Williams deferred to [them]. He came up big."
--White Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, on El Duque shutting down the Red Sox

"He's the only experienced guy in the bullpen. I wasn't afraid, but players get nervous … anxious, and I was a little worried about it. He's a big-time, postseason player. He has cold blood."
--White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen

"This team is special in the playoffs. They went through the worst time in September and built character. They're loose again. It's just like the first part of the season when the wins were coming, and everyone was saying, 'Is this team is for real?' It's for real. I wish I were playing."
--injured White Sox DH Frank Thomas, who celebrated with his team after the win

"Every day was somebody different. I feel proud of the players. They busted their tails for the fans. They never panicked."
--Guillen

MY WAY'S NOT VERY SPORTSMANLIKE

"I just think there's a code of honor when so much is on the line. You hope people do the right thing, but you can't control what people do. It is what it is."
--Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, after Rangers manager Buck Showalter removed his starters in the third inning of a game that would decide home field advantage for the Yankees (The New York Times)

"It's surprising. If his team was in the playoffs, I could understand it a little bit more. It's just surprising he pulled them so soon."
--Yankees manager Joe Torre

"Those guys posted up every day. They deserved that cookie."
--Rangers manager Buck Showalter, who said he removed his starters so they could get an ovation

"If we had won one more game, we wouldn't have to be worried about what anybody else did."
--Yankees GM Brian Cashman, on the controversy

"I think they certainly deserved that acknowledgement. I do believe there were 161 other games played this year, if I'm not mistaken. And certainly I am not going to get into who started for the Yankees [Sunday] or which players were taken out of their game that they played or what somebody's payroll is and all that stuff."
--Showalter, on his decision and the Yankee criticism (New York Newsday)

WELL, YOU HAVE A SWEET BIKE. AND YOU'RE LIKE THE ONLY GUY ON THE TEAM WITH A MUSTACHE.

"Obviously my health is one issue, but we'll see what my wife wants to do. She does all the traveling with my kids, and if she says, `Honey, stay home,' I wouldn't fight it off too hard."
--Red Sox pitcher David Wells, on possibly not returning to the Red Sox next year (Boston Herald)

"This town is really hard to live in. I couldn't go out this year. Everyone wants your autograph, wants to take your picture. It's not fun and me and my family got annoyed by that. Now, I understand why fans do that and that's never going to change. I do understand that and don't blame them. The fans here, they're supportive as anything, but they have to understand us. We go through this (expletive) and wind up having to live like hermits."
--Wells, on playing in Boston

"This was the worse I've ever seen, ever. They're good fans. It's hard not to recognize me, I know, but I like to keep to my own."
--Wells

"I definitely know what she's thinking, but we'll see how I feel. I still love this game very much, but for me to walk away, it wouldn't be tough. It would be pretty easy to walk away."
--Wells

"My competitive nature is still there. I had a good team behind me if I won 15 games. Why give it up but then again, the injuries, all the shots I had. We'll see."
--Wells

AND DID YOU SUCCEED? YES! YOU DID INDEED! 98 AND THREE QUARTERS PERCENT GUARANTEED!

"It's unbelievable. I'm speechless. I'm definitely honored. It's been a lot of hard work and a long road."
--Yankees first baseman Jason Giambi, on winning the AL Comeback Player of the Year Award (MLB.com)

"I know there were other things, but just coming back from being sick, knowing where I was last year when I couldn't get out of bed. To come in, play well and help this team get to the playoffs, it's unbelievable."
--Giambi

"I'm so proud of where he came from and where he is now. That starts with him flying to New York in the winter to address the media the best that he could, and not running or hiding from anything."
--Yankees GM Brian Cashman, on Giambi

"It's not really [an award] you want to have, as far as the things you've had to go through to get it. But it's one that I will cherish forever."
--Reds center fielder Ken Griffey Jr., on winning the NL Comeback Player of the Year Award

"Anytime somebody takes time out of their day to push a button for you, that means a lot. That means they care about you and they want you to go out there and play. That includes the All-Star Game and things like that. When the fans vote for you, it means a lot."
--Griffey

"IF YOU ARE PATIENT IN ONE MOMENT OF ANGER, YOU WILL ESCAPE ONE HUNDRED DAYS OF SORROW."

"We're the (expletive) Dodgers. We should be like the Yankees. The Yankees don't rebuild. They go out and get what they need to win. We have the resources to be like that; 3.6 million fans came out this year. We get, what, $40 million from TV revenue without doing a thing."
--Dodgers closer Eric Gagne (Orange County Register)

"I don't want to be here if we're just going to play kids and rebuild. Yeah, I put my name on a contract, and I respect that. But the Dodgers' logo was on top of that contract - not the Milwaukee Brewers or the Las Vegas 51s."
--Gagne

"Is it going to help? Absolutely. But we need a lot. We're in L.A. It's an embarrassment to the city. It's an embarrassment to the fans. It's an embarrassment to everyone who came before us and wore the Dodger uniform to have a year like this."
--Gagne, on whether or not it will help to get the injured veterans back for 2006

"I know what the Dodgers represent, and this not what it represents at all."
--Gagne

"You need to add a 40-home-run guy and a guy who hits .310, that's two hitters. You need to re-sign Jeff Weaver, the innings he gives us are priceless."
--Gagne (Los Angeles Times)

"The Dodgers make money. The fans show up. You have to give back. As a business, you have to make money. But you have to take risk to make money and in baseball that means paying for players."
--Gagne

"We want to win as much as Eric Gagne does. We will spend what it takes to win. I've said it over and over and over again, so all our fans hear it loud and clear."
--Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, responding to Gagne's comments

"I close games; I can't save losses. I'll be in a situation in a year where I can choose a team that wants to win. I love the Dodgers and want to be a Dodger. I really like the McCourts and their attitude. I want them to know that they can make a lot of money by winning."
--Gagne

"We have resources for trades. We have a lot of money. This year, we didn't have the Dodger brand. They bought the brand and we have to put that back in the minds of fans and throughout baseball, that we are the Dodgers."
--Gagne

"But I also don't want to be fooled by the fact that you spend $144 million on free agents and it's a magic elixir to win. It's more complicated than that. It requires a long- and short-term commitment to win."
--McCourt

"Tracy is a great man, a great manager and I thought we should have kept him. He built something here. Now they have to rebuild it. It doesn't happen overnight. Now, whoever comes in has to get to know everybody. We didn't lose because of Tracy."
--Gagne, on recently fired manager Jim Tracy

"In terms of the gist of what [Gagne] is saying, that this is the Dodgers, this is L.A. and we need to be thinking of ourselves as a great franchise, I agree with that sentiment wholeheartedly. It's a big job and it's not easy. We're committed and energized by that."
--McCourt

"We've now tasted the high of victory and the frustration of this season and how agonizing and painful it is. I know our fans feel it. I have no intention of repeating it."
--McCourt

THE REST

"If someone is going to get traded, I think it would be me. But I'm not sure that somebody is necessarily going to be traded."
--Brewers first baseman Lyle Overbay, on how he and Prince Fielder are both first basemen (MLB.com)

"At one point, I think we had five hits, and they had four. We had a run. They had five. So that's so much for small ball."
--Houston manager Phil Garner, on Game Two of the Astros-Braves series (Houston Chronicle)

"I was just sitting back and letting him enjoy it over there. I have to say I was pretty excited for that kid."
--Astros pitcher Roger Clemens, on surrendering a home run to Atlanta rookie Brian McCann

"That's like comparing Figgy [Chone Figgins] and Bengie [Molina] running, isn't it? Is that bad to say?"
--Angels pitcher Paul Byrd, comparing his matchup with New York's Randy Johnson (Los Angeles Times)

"It's the Big Diesel Freight Train vs. the Little Engine That Could. I'm just a guy who is not going to overpower you. I'm going to change speeds, I'm going to work corners and try to keep you off-balance…. It will be as contrasting as styles could possibly be in my mind."
--Byrd

"I just close my eyes, and hopefully they go into my glove."
--Angels first baseman Darin Erstad, on his secret to digging throws out of the dirt

"I didn't quite know he was going to turn into the teen idol he turned into. Back then, he had like a flat top, like he had when he first came over here. I never envisioned him with long hair, but I'm glad he did it because it made him kind of famous."
--White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski, on his friend and neighbor Johnny Damon (Chicago Sun-Times)

"I like being associated with a winning franchise."
--Rick Schlesinger, Brewers' executive vice president of business operations, on how the Milwaukee Admirals will be wearing the Brewers' logo (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

"It's that old thing that they always look at: wins. This game has always looked at wins as a big deal. It's one of those categories that's kind of out of your control. You can only do so much to get a win. Sometimes, you come up short. You can't blame it on Johan."
--Twins closer Joe Nathan, on teammate Johan Santana (St. Paul Pioneer Press)

"That guy, did you see the movie 'Multiplicity,' with Michael Keaton? I think they keep making a bunch of Chone Figginses. He keeps making big plays no matter where they put him."
--Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, on the Angels' Chone Figgins (New York Times)

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: ... (10/09)
<< Previous Column
The Week in Quotes: Se... (10/03)
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The Week in Quotes: Oc... (10/17)
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