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October 24, 2005

The Week in Quotes

October 17-23

by John Erhardt

PLEASE! ENOUGH WITH THE 'HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM' AND 'HOUSTON, WE HAVE LIFTOFF' HEADLINES.

"I thought about Craig more than anything, all the time we've spent together, working, trying to get to this moment. Running out there, that's for the kids. Young guys jump around. Us old guys would just get hurt."
--Houston first baseman Jeff Bagwell, on finally making it to the World Series after 15 seasons (Houston Chronicle)

"I thought about the 18 years I've been here and the 15 for Bags. I thought about the city of Houston in general. There's been a lot of stress, a lot of pain and now, finally, the baseball gods shined down on us and let us go to the World Series. There were a lot of years racing through my mind right there. We finally get to go."
--Houston second baseman Craig Biggio, on making it to the World Series after 18 seasons

"Those two guys in particular, they're top-shelf. They set an example for competing and toughness and respect and playing the game right. I mean, they are as good as they come. Reluctantly, I'm really pleased for both those guys."
--Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, on Biggio and Bagwell

"Monday night, after an out in the ninth, our guys were jumping. Two outs, more jumping. Then disaster struck. Tonight, no one moved. We learned about what can go wrong. You have to play nine innings, and you have to play three outs an inning. These guys learned that."
--Astros GM Tim Purpura, comparing the ninth innings of Games Five and Six (MLB.com)

"I'm sure the city of Houston, after Monday night's home run by Albert, collectively inhaled. And I don't know if they exhaled until about now."
--Astros catcher Brad Ausmus, on the dramatic end to Game Five of the NLCS

ONLY TIME CAN HEAL THE WOUNDED

"They tell us about certain latitudes you get in post-season play, because you're supposed to be emotional and try and win this. See what their explanation is allowing Jim to get thrown out for the little that he did and the little that he said. I don't think he cursed anybody, from what I understand."
--Cardinals manager Tony La Russa (Toronto Star)

"I thought there were some good pitches. That being said, I have to make the pitches. I'm not pitching against the umpires. I'm pitching against the Astros lineup."
--Cardinals pitcher Jason Marquis, on the questionable umpiring during the series

"The last time I looked (Lance) Berkman hit a three-run homer, and (Jason) Lane hit a homer. I think they just have a versatile offense. They do run the bases, handle the bat and bunt, but they also have guys like (Morgan) Ensberg, who's had as productive a year with power as anybody. They just have a complete, versatile offense."
--La Russa, on whether the Astros beat the Cardinals because of "little ball" (Houston Chronicle)

"For some of us, it will be awhile before we're back. For some of us it will be the last time we're here."
--Cardinals starter Matt Morris (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

"It wasn't a health problem. It was an Astros problem."
--La Russa, when asked if the Cardinals weren't healthy

"We pitched great. They pitched better. You could say we didn't hit. But I'm not going to lie. That was the toughest stretch of pitching I've ever faced."
--outfielder Larry Walker

"I hear this all the time, 'The club looked flat.' You know when you look flat? When the guy on the mound is shutting you down. You walk to the plate, three guys walk to the plate, they make outs. Nobody gets on base, nobody is sliding, and all that kind of stuff."
--La Russa

"I want to take my (clubhouse) chair with me. But I've got to fight the front office. I have great memories in my heart and that's enough for me."
--Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols, on Busch stadium's scheduled demolition (San Diego Union-Tribune)

TAKE ME BACK TO CHICAGO

"I did ask Ozzie, 'You want four or five more position players? But I have a feeling that the relievers will come into play in a big way in this series."
--White Sox GM Ken Williams, on how relievers only threw 2/3 of an inning in the ALCS (Chicago Sun-Times)

"I don't know what they could be thinking about with that--obviously the theme, believe in what we're doing, I would imagine. But that's kind of fluffy for me. That's something the chicks would like."
--pitching coach Don Cooper, on the White Sox' unofficial theme song, Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" (Chicago Daily Southtown)

"Now we kind of go into bars when we're as a team and try to get them to play it. We always seem to be able to finagle a way to get them to play it."
--catcher A.J. Pierzynski, on the song

"It started out as a big joke, but you (media) guys have somehow found out about it. Now it's turned into this big media thing, which kind of makes us laugh even more. Now it's even a bigger joke because everyone keeps talking about it, you see reporters on the street trying to get people to sing it. It makes it even better."
--Pierzynski

"That's manly. Journey is manly. Why is Journey not manly? I heard Joe Theismann say on the radio that Journey was his favorite group, and Theismann was pretty manly, wasn't he?"
--Pierzynski, when asked why they didn't choose a song that's more manly (MLB.com)

"The farther you get in the playoffs, every little move is scrutinized. It's fine if it is on me, it means it's not on anyone else. What happened in the last series is over. It all worked out for us. And the best part is that I didn't do anything wrong. I'm becoming a villain and I didn't do anything wrong. I just did my job."
--Pierzynski, on being perceived as a bad guy

YOU'RE THE INSPIRATION

"Back in my country, yes, I do."
--White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, on how he practices Santeria in Venezuela (Miami Herald)

"I pay people to do it."
--Guillen, when asked if he sacrifices animals himself

"You bleed, I'm there."
--Guillen

"You take somebody who is going to a good school and you put him in Caracas -you just drop him right in Caracas - and say, 'Here, survive.' He can't. But you drop me into the best college, I will survive. Because I know how to deal with people."
--Guillen

"I'm smarter than a lot of guys who go to Harvard. You know why? When your English is terrible, when you come to this country at 16 years old and survive, and have success like I did, I have to have something smart in my body."
--Guillen

"This game, you see a lot of computer bull (feathers), and they don't bring people who know the game. Everything's computer. Here's computer, here's paper. When you've got (an eighth-grade education), you can't even write, you think I want computers?"
--Guillen

"That's easy. Delete, delete, delete, delete, get the (expletive) out."
--Guillen, when asked if he hates computers, why does he constantly check his email

"We play Minnesota a hundred times. Why do I have to read a Minnesota scouting report every day? Why do I have to be at the ballpark at 10 o'clock in the morning when the game starts at seven? What would I do there, get fat? If I'm going to get there at 10 o'clock in the morning and stay until 12:30 at night, and lose a game, why not show up at three and leave at 10? You lose anyway."
--Guillen, on managing on his own schedule

"A lot of people try to control the game too much."
--Guillen

THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES, LARRY

"I struck out in my last at-bat. It stinks. Unfortunately, we came up a little short."
--Cardinals outfielder Larry Walker (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

"Coming here for many, many years as a visitor, you can't imagine how nice it is to play here and how knowledgeable these people are and how awesome they are. Then you put a Cardinals uniform on and that quadruples over and over. It was a complete honor to put this uniform on for the year and two months that I did."
--Walker

"I would've loved it if I was doing this big interview now and saying what a joy it was to beat the Chicago White Sox in four. This isn't the way I wanted to go out. But it happened. It's tough to swallow. It's tough to swallow for everyone in this clubhouse. We worked hard."
--Walker

"I couldn't even breathe. All these emotions were going every direction. I knew it was it. I'm not coming back."
--Walker, after home plate umpire Gerry Davis told him to step out of the box during his final AB to enjoy the moment

"ALL TRULY GREAT THOUGHTS ARE CONCEIVED BY ROCKING."

"I had a great teacher: Johnny Sain. His motto was, 'You throw more often with less exertion.' ... What you have to do is regulate effort. You're trying to acquire command and touch. ... Your arm injuries occur from overexertion and overthrowing."
--new Baltimore pitching coach Leo Mazzone, on his pitching philosophy (Baltimore Sun)

"I think they should throw radar guns out the window. ... It isn't how hard you throw. It's what you selected and where did it end up."
--Mazzone

"I wish they wouldn't put pitch counts on the scoreboard because they might convince some pitcher that they are getting tired."
--Mazzone

"You go to these other camps, and they're running these pitchers up and down these mountains and over these hills with parachutes and around these cones. Know what good that does you? Nothing, if you can't put a fastball where you want it."
--Mazzone

"Don't get me wrong. I've had the greatest 15 years of my life in Atlanta. I've told everybody that I've come in contact with that the biggest influence on my life, other than my father, is Bobby Cox and I think the finest organization in the world is the Atlanta Braves. They've taught me so much, maybe I can impart some of that to the Baltimore Orioles."
--Mazzone (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

"No, because he never asked to. It appeared as if Leo was going to go somewhere where he would be able to get more money and a longer contract than we provide, as we understood it. We did not talk to Leo about it. He did not talk to us about it. He just began to pursue those opportunities, with our permission."
--Braves GM John Schuerholz, on how there were no negotiations with Mazzone

"Here's what came into my thinking. No. 1, I've been here for 15 years. I know that pretty soon Bobby [Cox] and John [Schuerholz] will retire. But I also know that opportunities don't come along very often where you can work with your best friend in the dugout and also go back to your home state. And those were very important things to me."
--Mazzone, on why he left his long-time position with the Braves

THE REST

"If I see that pitch 250 times, I'm still not going to hit it."
--Houston first baseman Jeff Bagwell, on striking out on a Bobby Jenks fastball that Fox clocked at 100 mph (Houston Chronicle)

"I love this job. There's nothing better than eating and drinking for free in Chicago."
--White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, on the rumor that he'll retire should the White Sox win the World Series (Chicago Sun-Times)

"Don Zimmer with stats."
--Yankees manager Joe Torre, describing bench coach Joe Girardi, who was hired to be the Marlins manager (New York Times)

"You know if you hold a guy, you're going to get booed. If you send a guy, and he does get thrown out, you're going to be chastised . . . People from ESPN jump on the bandwagon and they blow everything out of proportion. I'm not saying we all don't make mistakes or would like to have something back, but it does get a little overwhelming . . . You can never make the right decision."
--former Red Sox third base coach Dale Sveum, who took a job with the Brewers (Boston Globe)

"He was just another guy that probably fit in a little better culturally here than over there. That was something we had to factor into it, along with just letting him go out and play with his style and not try to turn him into a textbook-type shortstop. You try to turn Juan Uribe into a textbook-type shortstop, you're asking for problems."
--White Sox GM Ken Williams, on bringing shortstop Juan Uribe over from Colorado (Rocky Mountain News)

"I know Joe Mauer was waiting, but I thought at the time the Twins were crazy to trade A.J. Joe probably has more talent than A.J. I'm sure he does. But until Joe gets his guys to the playoffs . . . I'll take A.J."
--former Twin Doug Mientkiewicz, on former teammate and current White Sock A.J. Pierzynski (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

"He doesn't understand we run the cash register when he goes to the mound."
--FoxSports President Ed Goren, joking about how Fox runs fewer commercials when Ozzie Guillen doesn't go to the bullpen (Chicago Tribune)

"Whoopee. If this were 2006 right now, today, we'd be picked second in our division and you know it. Even if we win [the Series], I'll bet we'd be picked second in our division if we brought back the same people."
--Ken Williams, when told he had to be considered the favorite to win the WS

"One guy who's a little sad [about going to the World Series] is Lance Berkman, because he can't play flag football yet."
--Astros pitcher Roger Clemens. Berkman tore up his knee in a game of flag football following the 2004 season (MLB.com)

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 World Series Prospectu... (10/23)
<< Previous Column
The Week in Quotes: Oc... (10/17)
Next Column >>
The Week in Quotes: Oc... (10/31)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Prospectus Today: An U... (10/24)

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