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December 19, 2005

The Week in Quotes

December 12-18

by John Erhardt

YOU COULD HAVE AT LEAST SAID YOU WERE REHEARSING A PLAY OR SOMETHING

"I never said I wanted to be traded. I said I want to see a better team. I don't want to keep losing like we have the past two years."
--Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada, clarifying a report that he had asked to be traded (MLB.com)

"I don't want to take anything away from the pitchers we have, but we need more. We need an ace. I think they've got to make some moves. That's why I'm upset. I hope the fans won't be mad at me. But I think me speaking up might actually help the team get better."
--Tejada

"Look at the division we're in. It's not easy to win without pitching. I'm not saying I don't like the team or the city. If they trade me, I don't want people to think I just want to go to a winning team. I just want the organization to do something, go get pitching."
--Tejada

"If they don't [get pitching], they're telling me they don't want to win."
--Tejada

TELL ME, O MUSE, OF THE INGENIOUS HERO WHO TRAVELLED FAR AND WIDE AFTER HE HAD SACKED THE FAMOUS TOWN OF SEATTLE

"We've really come a long way. We've changed the economic landscape. I believe in the old hope and faith theory. You've got to have hope and faith. That's our sport. It means so much to so many people. So in 2001, the Diamondbacks win. In 2002, the Angels win. In 2003, the Marlins win. In 2004, the Boston Red Sox win. In 2005, the Chicago White Sox win. Yeah, it does my heart a lot of good. It's great. But at the same time, we have strong teams in New York and that's important, very important. We'll always have some problems. We've got some stadium problems we've just got to solve. But the grand old game is just really clicking along."
--MLB Commissioner Bud Selig (MLB.com)

"It's been a quite a run, for a guy who got off the plane in Milwaukee, with Tom Werner, who then owned the Padres, Bobby Brown, president of the American League, and George W. Bush, then the managing partner of the Texas Rangers. We flew back to watch Robin Yount get his 3,000th hit that night, which you well remember."
--Selig

"And my wife was waiting for us at the airport. And she said, in her typical voice: 'Buddy, what does this mean?' Because I hadn't had the guts to call and tell her, to be honest with you. And I said: 'Two to four months, Sue, don't worry about it, it won't affect a thing.' Here we are, 13-plus years later. Hard to believe."
--Selig

"When I took over on Sept. 9, 1992, the clubs had spent the last 25 years, and actually longer, fighting with each other, fighting with commissioners, all of my predecessors, fighting with the players association, just fighting with everybody. One of the reasons that our sport was drifting badly was that all a lot of people ever read about was our off-the-field squabbles."
--Selig

"I know that we're doing great when all the attention is one field. I'm proud of the fact I was able to take my John Fetzer training-he was one of the great visionaries of the sport, he owned the Detroit Tigers for 30 years-and he taught me that everything that I do I should view it in only one context. And that's what in the best interests of the sport. I'd ride to every owners meeting with him. And I remember once in 1970 or '71, he voted for something that was clearly not in the best interests of, as he used to say, 'the Detroit baseball club.' And I said to him: 'John, why did you do that?' He said: 'It was in the best interests of baseball.'"
--Selig

"I've tried to tell that to the owners, right from the beginning. We had some very painful times in the '90s. We had a meeting at the beginning at Kohler (Wis.) that was a disaster. But slowly, but surely, it changed. And I'm proud of that. The clubs have been magnificent."
--Selig

"We're doing things we never thought possible. Today we share over $300 million in revenue sharing and we have a payroll tax. Changed the scheduling format. Changed the umpiring. Changed everything. We've formed a partnership with the players' union on many fronts. It's been the most active decade in baseball history. But we did it in a very constructive and peaceful manner. No litigation, no threats, no nothing. Is there work to be done? You bet there is. But I'm very proud of what we've done and the fact that the sport is flourishing. As it should. It's the best game in the world."
--Selig

SHARP-DRESSED MAN

"I was kind of hoping it didn't get into the paper. I'm sure some of the guys will let me know about it this spring."
--Twins catcher Joe Mauer, on a photo shoot he did for Perry Ellis in Travel & Leisure Magazine (St. Paul Pioneer Press)

"It involved a plane ticket to Puerto Rico. That was pretty appealing. And Perry Ellis is a nice brand of clothes, too."
--Mauer

"It was different. It was fun. Except for this one sweater. It was kind of tight-fitting with bright colors. It would draw a lot of attention I think. That's not my style."
--Mauer

"I told them I didn't want to do any underwear shots."
--Mauer

"Well, I'm kind of hoping this baseball thing works out."
--Mauer, on whether this could be a new career for him

IF YOU SMELL WHAT THE SOCK IS COOKIN'

"This is perfect for A.J. because wrestling is all about controversy, and he won't even get in trouble for this. People actually love him for doing this. It's a perfect situation."
--White Sox reserve catcher Chris Widger, on teammate A.J. Pierzynski's pro-wrestling debut (MLB.com)

"Being on the Oprah [Winfrey] Show probably has to be No. 1 because it's Oprah, but this isn't far behind, I'll tell you that. It's pretty cool because I was a wrestling fan growing up. How could I say no to getting a chance to get in the ring?"
--A.J. Pierzynski

"He was incredible. I think A.J. missed his calling as a wrestler. I couldn't be any prouder of him. He took to this like a fish to water. It was awesome."
--Dale Torborg, White Sox minor league conditioning coordinator and pro wrestler

"Hell, yeah, I would love to do this again. Maybe next time, I can actually get in the ring if the White sox would let me."
--Pierzynski

"I think he's an unbelievable baseball player. But he could have done equally well or better in this sport."
--Torborg

"I knew A.J. wanted to do this, and I knew this was going to be on TV. If A.J. was doing it, they were going to get some press out of it. Plus, we know A.J. just hates the attention."
--Widger

IF YOU HAVE A FAILING, IT'S THAT YOU'RE TOO HARD ON YOURSELF. IF YOU HAVE A FAILING.

"I had no control over a lot of what happened last season. The changes weren't made because I did anything wrong. They took an opportunity away from me and asked me to be a bench guy. I didn't whine about it. I still needed to get my work in."
--new Reds infielder Tony Womack (MLB.com)

"I'm going to put a question mark next to last season's numbers on my baseball card. They took the whole season from me."
--Womack

"I'm not good with words. If you're looking for someone to motivate you, I'm not the guy. I show it on the field. Fitting in won't be a problem."
--Womack

"Simply put, we struggle to manufacture runs. We have the power component. Tony Womack provides speed and a stolen base threat that we sorely need."
--Reds GM Dan O'Brien, conveniently omitting that his team led the NL in runs, and was worst in run prevention

"Obviously, we are looking for a ground ball/fly ball ratio that fits our profile. The market is thin, but there are still some trade possibilities to explore."
--O'Brien, hopefully having learned from the Eric Milton signing of last winter

THE REST

"Maybe we can get [Miguel] Tejada to start and [Omar] Vizquel as middle relief."
--Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, on the rumor that free agent Nomar Garciaparra was considering playing for New York (MLB.com)

"I'm running out of time with the Tigers -- we're in our 13th year. If we hit the 15-year mark, I'll be very concerned."
--Detroit Tigers owner Mike Ilitch (Detroit Free Press)

"He's got the most unique set of stats. He keeps driving in runs and keeps hitting the ball over the fence, but there are some things that don't equate. It's not ideal, but you're getting a tradeoff here."
--Twins GM Terry Ryan, on newly signed third baseman Tony Batista (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

"Those checks were small, but they were steady."
--new Dodger manager Grady Little, on his minor league managing jobs after his Red Sox gig (Los Angeles Daily News)

"Come watch me play. I've been booed here. I enjoy it. I don't mind the boos. You get booed when you can play. If no one ever said anything about me good or bad, you'd kind of second-guess yourself."
--new Mariner Carl Everett, with a message to Seattle fans (Seattle 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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<< Previous Article
Premium Article The Class of 2006 (12/16)
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The Week in Quotes: De... (12/12)
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Premium Article Can Of Corn: Getting D... (12/19)

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