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November 21, 2005

The Week in Quotes

November 14-20

by Dave Haller

I CAN DO ANYTHING BETTER THAN YOU CAN

"Defense--for the most part, being a balanced player and saving a lot of runs on the defensive side--was a major factor."
--American League MVP Alex Rodriguez (MLB.com)

"I was tough on myself because I always expect to play very good baseball. My one regret is that I thought I could have walked 10 or 12 times, passed the baton and been a little more patient."
--Rodriguez

"He had a better season than me. He deserved [the MVP award] after he had that many years being that consistent and that good. ... I respect him a lot. He's a tremendous hitter. He's got a really good idea what he's doing at the plate."
--Braves center fielder Andruw Jones, first runner-up in the National League MVP balloting, on MVP Albert Pujols (MLB.com)

"If Derrek Lee had his team going to the playoffs, he probably would have won."
--Jones

"I tried to hide it, but I couldn't. It was bad almost since the season started. That treatment that we did last offseason helped me out a lot, but I played a lot of games in spring training, and I work real hard in the offseason and in spring training to prepare myself for the season."
--Pujols, on the plantar fasciitis that plagued him for most of the season (MLB.com)

"But at the same time, I did it in 2004. I played with the injury. I didn't think about it. And the same thing this year. I wasn't going to think about it. When the game started, I would just leave it in the past."
--Pujols

MR. SELIG, HOW IS THE OWNER SEARCH GOING FOR THE NATIONALS?

"It feels great. You have no idea. I think it's just sinking in now, frankly, to be very candid. I poured my heart out to the clubs today about all the stuff that's gone on during the last six to eight months. I'm glad we had this opportunity. It was a very easy ratification."
--Commissioner Bud Selig, on the new Congress-approved drug testing policy (MLB.com)

"Everyone cooperated--the Players Association--everyone. This week made me very proud."
--Selig (Boston Herald)

"I meant what I've said--this was a matter of right and wrong. This was our integrity. The [national] reaction to this proves not only that it's the right thing but that we have the toughest program in professional sports. And that's the way it's supposed to be."
--Selig

"I don't think we would have solved this problem if we had ignored amphetamines."
--Selig (MLB.com)

AND THEY ALL LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER...

"So many times we've seen guys test positive and then say they were just using supplements or vitamins. Now, with a 50-game suspension, there can't be any loopholes in the testing or margin for error. There can't be any mess-ups. You're dealing with guys who have to take care of their families, and 50 games is a good chunk of the season."
--Braves catcher and player rep Johnny Estrada (MLB.com)

"I'm 29 years old, I drink my coffee, and that's all I need. But 10 years from now, I don't know what it would take for me to be able to catch nine innings every night."
--Estrada

"The only reason I would think it's a little dangerous is because we don't, as players, really know how clean the testing process is."
--Red Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo

"You hope it is [clean], that way you don't have any false positives. If you do, you're kind of ruining a guy's season. As long as the testing process is pretty solid, I don't see anything wrong with it."
--Arroyo

"Everyone has enough notice now, so you have to be careful with everything you take. Even if you have a smoothie in some store, and you don't know what kind of supplements they use in smoothie stores, or if they wash all off their canisters really good, you just have to be really precautionary with everything you do."
--Free agent pitcher Mike Myers

"If it's illegal, we shouldn't have it, it should not be around. What makes baseball players bigger than the average person? Nothing, when it comes down to law."
--Free agent outfielder Johnny Damon

"I'm a big believer in hard-working people, and I'm a hard-working man. I'm going to support the policy 100 percent. We are now going to see who the true players are."
--Nationals outfielder Jose Guillen

"If someone's dumb enough to use steroids nowadays, with all the information that's out there about long-term health risks, they shouldn't be in the game. They should be getting help somewhere so they can lead a healthy life."
--A's catcher Jason Kendall

RESTLESS IN SEATTLE

"Winning isn't everything. Sometimes you're so happy about winning that you forget things that you could have done better. You need to always think about what you can do to improve."
--Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

"Even for teams out of the race, you need to think about how you played and how you can be better."
--Ichiro

"A lot of guys gave up on the season too early. The veterans who make the most money, none of them stepped up. We had no leadership."
--Former Mariner and current Royals pitcher Bobby Madritsch

"When you have a young team like we did, you look to the veterans, the older guys. But they weren't saying much. Playing cards is not how you prepare for a game, but that's what we did."
--Madritsch

"Put it this way: in a rough season, when you have so many young guys, they're just happy to be in the big leagues. They're out of the minors. They're going to different cities. They're making big-league money. Who cares if they win or lose?"
--Mariners pitcher Jeff Nelson

"With guys like [Yuniesky] Betancourt or [Jose] Lopez, it's hard to tell them, 'Hey, it's time to win.' It's overwhelming. Give them some time to shine. Maybe next year you tell them that it's time to buckle down."
--Nelson

"If anybody were to call Ichiro a selfish person, I'd love for them to tell that to my face. What I see in Ichiro is beyond unselfish. He has one goal. Win. He was doing whatever he could to help the team out."
--Madritsch

AND THEY ALSO LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER...

"They are a piece of the puzzle, but just part of it. There's character, work ethic, credibility, approach to life. And at the end of the day, you look at the stats, but they don't tell the story."
--New Dodgers GM Ned Colletti (MLB.com)

"Ned and I hit it off. We had chemistry immediately and that's a very good sign. It's a big piece of building a successful team."
--Dodgers owner Frank McCourt

"There were all sorts of messes in San Francisco, and not all of them became public. Ned dealt with all of them."
--An unnamed agent (Los Angeles Times)

IT'S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS

"He's got a lot of the same attributes makeup-wise that [Ryan] Dempster has. He's a gutsy guy, wants the ball every day."
--Cubs GM Jim Hendry, on pitcher Scott Eyre, who signed a three-year, $11-million contract with the Cubs Thursday (MLB.com)

"Without taking my medication, it's hard for me to do two things at once, and pitching and getting people out is two things at once for me. Since I started taking the medication in April '02, the results have been completely different. You can say maybe I grew up, but I don't believe that."
--Eyre

"Maybe it's a test from a higher power to come back to the same place. I guess the good Lord wants me to get rid of my fears."
--Newly acquired Padres center fielder Mike Cameron, on returning to Petco Park, the site of his outfield collision with Carlos Beltran last August (MLB.com)

"I didn't have to rehab anything. My limbs are fine. It was all facial injuries. I had to lose my beauty for three months."
--Cameron

"That's a whole lot more money than I've ever had in my life."
--Marlins pitcher Dontrelle Willis, on potentially going to arbitration (Palm Beach Post)

"Look, the Diamondbacks are a classy organization. They are decent and respectful people. This has nothing to do with the Diamondbacks as an organization. Arizona is just a geographical nightmare for Javier."
--Seth Levinson, agent for Diamondbacks pitcher Javier Vazquez, who has requested a trade in order to be closer to his family in Puerto Rico (MLB.com)

"We're going to be aggressive. We're not going to be foolish, but we know where the market is going."
--Royals GM Allard Baird, on his plans to add $22 million to the team payroll for next season, as sanctioned by team owner David Glass (Kansas City Star)

"I'm a man. You're not going to hurt my feelings one way or another. If you think I'm older and my best years are behind me, that's OK. If you want to play Ryan Howard, that's OK. You don't win the rookie of the year without being a good player. I understand the business side of baseball."
--Phillies first baseman Jim Thome, on the team's dilemma of having two powerful, left-handed, no-defense first basemen (Philadelphia Inquirer)

"At the time I signed with the Phillies, I never even thought about the no-trade clause. I signed a six-year deal, and I honestly thought it would take me to retirement. But I am thinking about it now because my name is out there and they haven't said, 'Jim Thome is our first baseman.'"
--Thome

"I am leaning toward hanging up the cleats and possibly putting on the broadcaster's blazer. Maybe a very colorful crazy tweed like Lindsey Nelson's jacket."
--Free agent pitcher Al Leiter, in an email (Newsday)

Related Content:  The Who,  What You Need To Know,  The Process,  Mlb.com

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