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October 31, 2005

The Week in Quotes

October 24-30

by John Erhardt

WHEN YOU PARTICIPATE IN SPORTING EVENTS, IT'S NOT WHETHER YOU WIN OR LOSE. IT'S HOW DRUNK YOU GET.

"In sports, I haven't had a greater feeling."
--White Sox GM Ken Williams (Chicago Tribune)

"In the off-season I sat down with Kenny Williams, and on paper he showed me the makeup of the team. I knew that pitching and defense win games, and starting pitchers and the bullpen would shut down a lot of teams."
--White Sox right fielder and World Series MVP Jermaine Dye, on coming to Chicago

"I knew our offense wasn't going to overpower anyone, but I thought we would score four or five runs a game."
--Dye, on the Sox' philosophy

"If we don't have Uribe out there playing great defense, we would still be out there playing. We played our best games of the year in the playoffs, and most teams don't do that."
--White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko

"Nothing. I think the players, I have a great communication with them. I do a lot of bad things with my players. They have to deal with all the questions and answers of Ozzie Guillen."
--White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, on what he contributed to the championship team (Chicago Sun-Times)

"It was a tough season for them, too. They trust me and I trust them. We're here together. We do this for one reason, that's to win or lose together. And [general manager Ken Williams] give me the best. I'm not saying this because we win; I'm saying it because I mean it. You can talk to others, and they'll say the same thing. Kenny gave me the best guys to fight for me and this team. And they stick together and the unity of this team, it was great. That's why we always feel we can win this game because we are all pulling at the same time."
--Guillen

"Hopefully, a lot of people were partying and they didn't get too rowdy or in too much trouble. But at the same time, I hope they lived it up and partied like it's 1917."
--White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski

"A lot of people didn't understand why at the trading deadline we didn't go out and get the big names. That's because David Wilder, our farm director, I kept asking him over and over again, 'Do I need to go get somebody?' He said, 'No don't get anybody, just bring Bobby Jenks up. He can handle it.'"
--Williams

"I really don't know how it happened. We probably had six, seven guys here that nobody wanted."
--White Sox backup catcher Chris Widger, on the building of the Champion White Sox team

"It's unbelievable. I went from not knowing if I was even going to be in the big leagues to making the big leagues to playing on the best team in the world and I really mean that. This is the best team in the world. It's not the [most talented] team I've ever played on, but the best group of guys I've ever been around."
--Widger

"That's what makes it even sweeter. In spring training I remember seeing a lot of stuff that people picked us to probably finish fourth, maybe even last in our division. It just shows we came out there and played hard no matter what anybody said about us. We're going to go out there and play hard and try to win it."
--White Sox pitcher Mark Buerhle

VIEW FROM THE TOP

"When the Bulls won those six championships, we had the best team in the NBA every single one of those years. Essentially, you expected it. This, I didn't expect this until the last out was made."
--White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf (Chicago Tribune)

"I thought about that the instant the Red Sox won last year that maybe we were next. And now maybe next year it will be the Cubs' turn, and that would mean even more for our city."
--Reinsdorf

"What a great thing this is for our fans. It's so much more to them. So many of them came down to Houston. So many people came up to me and thanked me and told me stories about their parents and their grandparents. Mail that I got all along the way. It's phenomenal how much a ballclub means to its fans."
--Reinsdorf

"A ballclub really belongs to its fans. People like me are just caretakers. We have it for a while, but it really belongs to its fans."
--Reinsdorf

"I thought we were going to win the division. Tony La Russa taught me that your goal in spring training is that you want to come out feeling you have as good a chance to win as anybody in your division and coming out of spring training. I thought not only did we have as good a chance as anyone, I thought we were going to win."
--Reinsdorf

"But I never thought we'd have a 15-game lead, and we had a 15-game lead. I never thought we'd blow 131/2 games of it. It has been an up-and-down ride. Then when we got into the postseason, it was just sort of a relief, and I personally didn't feel as much tension the rest of the way."
--Reinsdorf

"I think it's good for baseball when other teams besides the big Eastern teams win. I think it's important for the fans in the middle- and small-market cities to understand you don't have to be from New York or Boston to win the World Series and it gives them hope."
--Reinsdorf

"White Sox fans are all over Chicago. We are on the North Side, the South Side, the West Side, the suburbs. They're all over the place. I just hope they're behaving on the street that I live in."
--Reinsdorf

"IT IS BETTER TO FAIL IN ORIGINALITY THAN TO SUCCEED IN IMITATION."

"Every time a team wins, others will look at them as models of success and ask what do they have that makes them successful. Both of these teams have very good, dominant starting pitchers."
--Mets GM Omar Minaya, on whether the pitching-first models of the Astros and White Sox will be emulated by other GMs (New York Post)

"They both have great pitching, that is always most important no matter what else you have. Any baseball team starts with pitching. Your team ERA is the greatest determining factor on your record and the hardest thing to come by."
--Minaya

"Of course. You always continue to try and get good pitching. That is it, period. Pitching is a constant. It is the most important thing that you can acquire."
--A's GM Billy Beane, on whether or not executives will pursue pitching in the offseason

"Kenny Williams is not a big character guy. He plugs holes and thinks only about high-ceiling talent and ignores risks, and a lot of that talent hit at once with guys like Bobby Jenks and Jose Contreras. I don't know if you can flat-out copy that."
--an unnamed AL GM, on what can be emulated from Kenny Williams' team-building

"IF AT FIRST YOU DON'T SUCCEED, FIND OUT IF THE LOSER GETS ANYTHING."

"I'd only take back one pitch--the one to [Albert] Pujols."
--Astros closer Brad Lidge, on his postseason struggles (Chicago Sun-Times)

"Obviously, we got outplayed, so I think you can accept the fact they made more plays than we did. But it's tough to deal with the fact we had so many chances and couldn't make the most of them. At the end of the day, I think it will be a hard loss to get over, but it will be good for the young guys to give us the taste of what it's like to be in the postseason and play in the World Series. For me, it makes me hungrier to get back."
--Astros infielder/outfielder Chris Burke (Houston Chronicle)

"The guys, all these rookies, they grew up this year. That's going to be invaluable. I'll stop short of a guarantee, because that's a tricky word to be throwing around. But the next time the Houston Astros get in the World Series, it's going to be different."
--Astros first baseman Mike Lamb

"I never thought we'd ever be in the World Series. Some people play their whole careers and never get the opportunity to play in the postseason, and this has just been a tremendous honor."
--Astros reliever Dan Wheeler

"I'm real proud of the season we had. Our guys did unbelievable this year. We came from just a bad spot to get to where we are. We didn't quite finish it off, but we have nothing to hang our heads about. We accomplished so much this year, and we got to the World Series. That's pretty amazing."
--Lidge

"I remember how it was when I first got into pro ball. In the Minor Leagues especially, you have a plane ticket for six in the morning. The game's done at 11:30 at night, and you're on a plane in the morning. Baseball's really abrupt."
--Astros third baseman Morgan Ensberg, on the end of the baseball season (MLB.com)

"It's probably the only sweep in World Series history where the team that got swept could have done the sweeping also. We really could have, with a break here or a break there. They took the games from us when they had to. They deserve to be the champions."
--Astros pitching coach Jim Hickey, on the closeness of the series

"They can't take the National League championship away from us. We beat a good Cardinals team, and we're proud of that."
--Astros outfielder/first baseman Lance Berkman

THE PROBLEM IN THE WORLD TODAY IS COMMUNICATION. TOO MUCH COMMUNICATION.

"I get criticized a lot for the things I say and the words I use to say it, but that's who I am."
--White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, on how he won't watch his language when around reporters (Chicago Sun-Times)

"If I curse in front of women and they don't like it, sorry."
--Guillen

"Baseball is a man's world, I have been in the major leagues for 20 years and there always have been women around. [Sun-Times reporter] Toni Ginnetti has been here all that time."
--Guillen

"She understands Ozzie Guillen. Not everyone does. I understand that, but I'm not going to change just to please men or women."
--Guillen

"I respect female reporters and hope they have respect for me and my team. If they don't, tough. Don't listen to me. I'm not here to teach anyone how to speak English. I'm here to speak baseball."
--Guillen

"I lead the league in throwing my players under the bus."
--Guillen, on his honesty with the media when analyzing who didn't play well (MLB.com)

<DONALD TRUMP>YOU'RE FIRED</DONALD TRUMP>

"It's very surprising to everybody within the industry. A lot of people scratched their heads that after two years Paul would be out."
--Jim Duquette, V.P. of baseball operations for the Baltimore Orioles, on Dodger GM Paul DePodesta, who was fired this weekend (Los Angeles Times)

"Paul is a capable, bright and talented guy. It's hard for me to believe that given enough time in the right environment, he wouldn't be extremely successful."
--Cleveland GM Mark Shapiro

"Every market is different as far as the expectations go and when the won-loss record is an accurate reflection of the GM's ability. It goes back to what was clearly conveyed from the owner to the GM in a private room with the doors closed."
--Shapiro

"It was an honor and a privilege to do the job. I'm grateful for the opportunity."
--Paul DePodesta, after being fired

"Typically, the first year is for evaluating the operation. Year 2 is often a transition year, and Year 3 is the make-or-break year for many GMs. From Paul's standpoint, I think it is a little unfair to pull the plug on a process that he was just in the process of building."
--Duquette

THE REST

"I don't feel overly excited right now. I feel a little tired and hungry. That was a screwy game."
--White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko, after the 14-inning Game Three (Chicago Tribune)

"Bobby Cox called me [Tuesday] and said, 'You'll never retire from baseball; make them retire you.' He called me like 4 o'clock [Tuesday] and said, 'You're too good a man, baseball man. We need people like you. Make those guys fire you. Keep taking the money away from them.' And I said, 'Skip, I already signed the contract.' He said, 'Make them renew the contract now.'"
--White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, on possibly leaving after winning the World Series (Chicago Sun-Times)

"Their guy goes in the stands. I don't know how he pulled that ball out. If I was a fan, I would have mauled him."
--Astros infielder Craig Biggio, on White Sox shortstop Juan Uribe's catch in the ninth inning of Game four

"You keep seeing names getting marked off and marked off the lineup card and eventually it gets down to the last guy on the totem pole."
--White Sox utility infielder Geoff Blum, on his home run in Game Three

"I felt all 88 of those years. I think I even felt the years that the Cubs haven't won on my shoulders."
--White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, on the amount of time between White Sox championships (New York Times)

"I can tell you the level of play is equal. [The Marines] are as good as any team I've ever managed. I'd put them up against the winner of the World Series and I know we'd win at least a couple of games."
--Chiba Lotte manager Bobby Valentine, on how the World Series champion should play the winner from Japan (ESPN.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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Premium Article Prospectus Matchups: L... (10/28)
<< Previous Column
The Week in Quotes: Oc... (10/24)
Next Column >>
The Week in Quotes: Oc... (11/07)
Next Article >>
Internet Baseball Awar... (10/31)

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