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November 14, 2005

The Week in Quotes

November 7-13

by John Erhardt

BECAUSE MY UNCLE RICO'S AN IDIOT

"I don't think (the chances) are very good because they haven't spoken to me about anything. The ball's in their court, but maybe they just want to replace me or go in another direction. I realize we're in a position where people think we need to change. It started to happen in May, when we brought in (John) Olerud. That's part of the business."
--Red Sox first baseman Kevin Millar, on his impending free agency and the dismantling of The Idiots (Boston Herald)

"The Red Sox are not an easy team to play for. You have to have the personality and the makeup for it. Our group of guys won't be missed until we're gone. I don't think people will realize what we had until we're gone. It seems like it's starting to unravel a little bit."
--Millar

"We'd been very fortunate to have the same group of guys, basically, for three straight seasons. We've been the same, and that's been awesome. Plus, we were the (first team in franchise history) to win 95-plus games for three straight seasons. . . . Why is it such a thing that when a team has that kind of success, there's so much interest in making change? I've never understood that."
--Millar

"Look at the Patriots. The Patriots have been so good and won three Super Bowls because they've stayed the same. . . . I think we lost track of that a little bit. We start thinking about change so much, and I don't think we needed to."
--Millar

"Me, Billy and Johnny Damon have talked about that. If we don't come back here, let's go somewhere together and see what happens. You know, a lot of teams have gotten to a certain point, but they haven't gotten to the top, (and) is that (because of) character or something else? Whatever that organization is, I know we could help somebody."
--Millar, on going to the same team as Bill Mueller and Johnny Damon

"I'll always be thankful for the opportunity to come here. The last couple of weeks of the year were a dogfight for me personally, and it was a dogfight trying to play every day with these computer matchups and all of this baloney - in my eyes--but I'm always thankful to Theo (Epstein) and the organization for letting me come here, and I'll never let it taint the three years I've had here. I'd never trade that."
--Millar

"No, I think Boston and Sox Nation speaks for itself. Maybe there might be a guy who says, 'What's going on here?' But I don't think it's going to turn many free agents off."
--Millar, on whether the offseason turmoil will hurt the effort to sign free agents

AND IF YOU GIVE ME THE JOB, IT WILL BE SUMMER ALL YEAR ROUND

"I'm more qualified than all of the people they've marched in there."
--Dave Stewart, on the GM vacancy in Los Angeles (Los Angeles Times)

"Tradition and history are always close enough. You may lose it for a little while, but it won't take long to reclaim it. They may be in a little disarray right now, but they'll find it."
--Stewart, on the Dodgers' future

"Let's put it like this. In the right situation, I might think about it. I left baseball in a real bad mood. I'm still not real optimistic about the game. But there are a lot of guys in these positions that I'm better than."
--Stewart, on the GM job

"Being second, it wasn't even a thought with the Dodgers. You knew a Dodger player on the road. You knew a Dodger player just by looking at him."
--Stewart, on the Dodger mystique

"Stability needs to be brought back. The Dodgers had stability. As a person who's been there, you see all the things that are not characteristic of the Dodgers. Shoot, man, they were the cream of the crop. Other teams didn't hate us. They envied us. They aspired to be us. Can they be that again? You're doggone right they can. They gotta get back to who they were. I mean, we had a book ["The Dodger Way to Play Baseball"]! Where's that book now?"
--Stewart, prescribing something for the Dodger organization

ALMOST EVERYTHING THAT IS GREAT HAS BEEN DONE BY YOUTH

"It's just a great honor. I was happy to make the most of my opportunity. Unfortunately we didn't get to the postseason."
--National League Rookie of the Year Ryan Howard, on winning the award (MLB.com)

"It's outstanding. He did some unbelievable things for our team out of this six hole [in the lineup]. I don't know where we would have been without him."
--Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, on Howard

"I'm on vacation right now, trying to relax. I can't worry about that. That's not my call for what happens next year."
--Howard, on his future with the club

"We have two guys that we look at as regular players. One has a chance to go to the Hall of Fame and has some good years left, and one is a kid who has a chance to play and establish himself in the Major Leagues. His second half showed what his potential is. We haven't decided what we're going to do."
--Manuel, on having Howard and Jim Thome at first base

"It made my mom cry this morning. It's obviously a big deal if my mom's crying about it."
--AL Rookie of the Year Huston Street, on winning the award

"It's something that I'll remember my whole life. It's something that's pretty cool, because you only get one chance to get it done."
--Street

50% STORE BOUGHT, 50% HOMEMADE, YOU TAKE 100% OF THE CREDIT

"It's an honor again. I'm delighted. We don't set out to win these types of awards, but they are special."
--Braves manager Bobby Cox, on being named NL Manager of the Year (MLB.com)

"I get the awards; I don't know what they get. They supply the players. They need more recognition than they're getting."
--Cox, on the Braves front office

"The fact is, they can play. It didn't have anything to do with I did. I put their name in their lineup, and they performed."
--Cox, on motivating his players

"This is the most fun year for me and my team, but it was the hardest year I've ever had. Winning's tough because all of a sudden you've got to keep winning and winning and winning."
--White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, on winning the AL Manager of the Year (Chicago Sun-Times)

"We kept winning, and people didn't believe we were winning."
--Guillen

"I want to be like Michael Jordan, have rings all over the place."
--Guillen

FIXING A HOLE

"It's unbelievable that we're the only sport that doesn't have a set amount of players on the rosters in the most important month of the season. How can we have let this go on all these years?"
--Brewers GM Doug Melvin, on roster expansion (New York Daily News)

"Houston had 33 or 34 players on their roster, while both my club and the Pirates were at 28. The reason for this was because both our clubs at Triple-A were in the playoffs and because we were all but eliminated from the pennant race and the Pirates were totally eliminated, we both elected to help our Triple-A teams out by leaving our players down there until the playoffs were over."
--Melvin

"... These games in September especially are deciding clubs' seasons and, in some cases, people's careers. The Phillies lost the wild card by one game and Ed Wade got fired. Did he lose his job over Houston having a five-six player advantage over teams in a half dozen or so games? I'm hoping to get support for this rule by impressing the other GMs that this could cost you your job."
--Melvin

"I don't have a particular magic number. but for argument's sake, let's say 30. Each team must be required to have 30 active players on its roster for each game in September, just as it has 25 for the first five months. "There would be no limit to the number of players a team could call up within the 40-man roster, but only 30 could be active and all clubs must have 30 players."
--Melvin

"I know we've tended to be pretty set in our ways. But it wouldn't be the first time I was able to get an age-old rule changed. For years, players put on waivers had to go through leagues instead of through all the teams in reverse order of the standings, like the draft. Then, in 2000, a situation arose in which San Diego put Desi Relaford on waivers. I was with Texas at the time, and we had finished last. I put in a claim for Relaford, but he wound up with the Mets, who had finished second. I said: 'This is not right. It's not what waivers were intended for.'"
--Melvin

THE SPORTS PLAYER FROM MY AREA IS SUPERIOR TO THE SPORTS PLAYER FROM YOUR AREA

"The key really has been more about getting an out with one or two pitches and using my sinker or my cutter. I stopped being a village boy and feeling I could throw any ball through a wall. I started to mix my pitches more and add more movement and it allowed me to become a more complete pitcher."
--AL Cy Young winner Bartolo Colon, on winning the award (MLB.com)

"It's one of those memories that will always stick in my head - we sat here until about 3 in the morning crying and talking about my career. I was ready to be done. She didn't think I was done. And that I would regret it if I didn't take that one more step and try to come back."
-National League Cy Young winner Chris Carpenter, on how he almost quit baseball in 2003, but his wife Alyson talked him out of it (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

"I know that if it wasn't for her I wouldn't be here."
--Carpenter

5 MIIIIIIILLLLLION DOLLARS

"I'm going to be there like last year. It depends on what Dusty [Baker, Cubs manager] and the general manager [Jim Hendry] want to do with me. I think I showed them I can play every day. I can't worry -- they have to decide who they're going to play at short, who they're going to play at second. I'm going to be there."
--Cubs shortstop, FOR THE NEXT TWO YEARS, Neifi Perez, on his new contract (MLB.com)

"I'm so happy. You don't even know how happy I am. I know I've got more than three years to play baseball. My body tells me that. I think [a two-year deal] is good enough. I enjoyed last year. I was hoping to stay in Chicago and that's why I'm so happy right now."
--Perez

"I played bad in Kansas City because my heart wasn't there. It was tough to play in San Francisco. If you go 1-for-4, you have to go 2-for-2 every day to play in San Francisco. When I was struggling [with the Cubs], I was hitting the ball hard and [Baker] didn't sit me. I think I was 1-for-27 and [Baker] gave me the confidence to get out of that slump."
--Perez

"When I came to Chicago, everything was different--the manager, the organization. I was happy there, I was happy with my manager. I was happy with everybody. I think that makes a lot of difference."
--Perez

"I've decided I really like the guys who catch the ball."
--Cubs GM Jim Hendry, on Neifi Perez (Chicago Tribune)

THE REST

"There is no data to do that. There's been a lot of innuendo, finger-pointing and accusations, but with no empirical data to support it."
--Commissioner Bud Selig, on revising record books for steroid violations (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

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
2005 HACKING MASS Resu... (11/14)
<< Previous Column
The Week in Quotes: Oc... (11/07)
Next Column >>
The Week in Quotes: No... (11/21)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Prospectus Matchups: S... (11/15)

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