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January 3, 2006

The Week in Quotes

December 19-January 2

by John Erhardt

THAT IS THE SOUND OF INEVITABILITY

"It's just disappointing, man--it seems like the fricking wheels are falling off. Personally, I want to stay with the Red Sox but this could mean that I'm the pitcher who would have to go to another team if they need another center fielder. I'm just hoping we can get (outfielder) Dave Roberts (of San Diego) for David Wells to alleviate that."
--Red Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo, after Johnny Damon signed with the Yankees (Boston Herald)

"They're even talking about Theo coming back but I think this makes that less likely if he were coming back into this big mess."
--Arroyo

"I'm sure everyone was surprised by it, even though the Yankees said that they were going to be fine with Bubba Crosby in center field. But Johnny told me that the Yankees were talking about Bubba Crosby on purpose to keep his talks under wraps and on the down low."
--Arroyo

"Losing him is tough enough. Having him go where he's going makes it a lot more difficult. It's not going to be fun to see him 19 times. He's going to see a lot of pitches."
--Red Sox manager Terry Francona, on facing the Yankees with Damon next year

WHY OH WHY DIDN'T I TAKE THE BLUE PILL?

"It was such a stupid thing, but I was desperate. Maybe it was the pressure of playing in New York, I don't know. I never had the urge to take any of that stuff before, but I was talking to some guys, and they guaranteed it would get the pain out."
--former Yankee Matt Lawton, on testing positive last year for a banned substance (USA Today)

"I wasn't playing well enough to be on a Little League roster, let alone be on the roster of the New York Yankees. I just wasn't physically able to do the job. I had never been in the playoff hunt before. So I did something that will always haunt me."
--Lawton

"If I could, I'd call the Pirates, the Cubs and the Yankees and apologize. I wasn't myself. I wanted to play well, and then, all of a sudden, you get traded to the ultimate, the big stage in New York. If you don't produce there, you're out. I had a short rope and didn't get the job done."
--Lawton

"Everything was going so bad all I thought about was retiring. Well, I don't want to retire anymore. I want to play. I'm healthy. And I'm hungry."
--Lawton

"That's what really gets him. He told me, 'Hey, if I did it all season and hit 30 home runs, it would be something different.' But one game! That's what kills him."
--Kevin Kohler, Lawton's agent

"He was willing to do absolutely anything to be on that playoff roster."
--Kohler

"It was weird, after that one shot, I felt fresh again. Maybe it was mental, I don't know, but the ball started jumping off my bat again. I suddenly had oomph."
--Lawton

"It's a blessing to me to have just played one day in the major leagues. But I'm not ready to give it up yet. I know I have a few years left. But if teams don't feel the same way I do, I can't change that. What I really don't want is to be remembered just for what I did last year."
--Lawton

YEAH, BUT MY WIFE IS FURIOUS

"He certainly has the ability to be another historic center fielder for the Yankees. He has everything you could possibly want about bringing a player to the New York Yankees - except for his haircut. I don't think there's anything in that contract that says he gets an exemption."
--Agent Scott Boras, on Johnny Damon (New York Times)

"Johnny and I spoke a few times over the last week, and I strongly encouraged him to sign with the Yankees."
--Jason Giambi, on persuading Damon to sign with the Yankees

"It is good to know that our lineup next year will include a natural leadoff hitter whose presence allows Jeter and A-Rod to return to their preferred places in the batting order. Johnny is a good friend and a great guy to have in the clubhouse. I am very excited about having him as a teammate again."
--Giambi

"We had a goal of trying to get a contract which allowed him to get 3,000 hits in the same uniform. We felt we had the measurements to do that because of his durability. We had clubs that were very interested in Johnny, but winning was part of that, too. It was a combination of going to a club to win, and the contract."
--Boras, on Damon

"The fact of the matter is the Yankees valued Johnny Damon at a much higher standard than the Red Sox did. That's just something that was their choice."
--Boras

"We know George Steinbrenner's reputation. He always wants to have the best players, and I think he showed that tonight. He and Brian Cashman came after me hard, and now I'm part of the Yankees and that great lineup, and we're going to be tough to beat."
--Johnny Damon, on signing with the Yankees

"A good leadoff hitter is tough to find. And I think New York just found the best leadoff hitter in the game."
--Damon, during his introductory news conference (St. Petersburg Times)

MIXED FEELINGS

"There will be moves, but we're going to be really, really young. Just because a guy is young doesn't mean he can't play. It just means that no one in the public besides maybe farm directors and the press know who they are. They can still play. There's a reason that they are top prospects."
--Marlins manager Joe Girardi, on his new look team (Miami Herald)

"It's no secret that the Marlins are going to struggle this year. They got some phenomenal players in return for all their trades. But [they have] limited big-league experience. So it's going to take some time for those guys to mature at the big-league level."
--former Marlin Jeff Conine, on his old team

"We're still third until we show we can move up the ladder. We've always enjoyed the season, but it's going to be nicer this year because we feel we have better matchups than in the past."
--Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi, on how the new-look Blue Jays fit in in the AL East (New York Times)

"I thought we were good last year. and if we play with the same intensity next season, we can be even better. I think we're a better club, but you don't know until you play the games."
--Ricciardi

"I don't want to say anything bad that can hurt my teammates. But look at Toronto. They have strengthened themselves and we haven't done anything."
--Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada

"There's 600 [major league] players every year that want to be traded to winning baseball teams and the fact is it's not always done. Miggy is a professional player and I have no doubts he'll come in and play as hard as he can to help the team. That part I don't worry about."
--Orioles Manager Sam Perlozzo, on Tejada's trade demands (Baltimore Sun)

"I actually think in some ways, saying what he said publicly, it hurts our chances of trading him. There is a perception in the marketplace that we now have to trade him and you'll take less than value for him. One thing we have been clear about is that we are not trading him unless we get value. No matter what he thinks or says, we will not trade him until we get value."
--Orioles Vice President Jim Duquette, on Tejada

THE REST

"This is a matter of some dispute. But the truth is that my first job as an intern was to go rent a baby crib for Bill Bavasi's daughter. He disputes it, he denies it, but it's absolutely the truth--and I'm going to find the receipt one of these days to prove it to him. That's as bad as it got. I don't think people realize--it's not hazing, it's do-what-you-have-to-do, and I was happy to do it. I was happy to pick up the meal money, I was happy to go get the sandwiches for Mike Port and Bill Bavasi."
--Houston GM Tim Purpura, on the worst job he was given when starting out in baseball (BaseballAmerica.com)

"The market for relief pitchers has gone a little crazy. We have to consider that our bullpen was good when Dan was here (in 2004) and it was good when he wasn't here (in 2005). I think in both of those years, we spent about $2 million on our bullpen. Now, you've got guys who threw 50 innings who are making $4 million. We've got to be careful of falling into that trap. We know what we want to pay him. We'll make the offer (today) and see what happens."
--Brewers GM Doug Melvin, on reliever Danny Kolb (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

"He's athletic, he has some pop, he's a left-handed bat, plays quality defense and he runs well. He's 30 years old and certainly has a lot of upside left in him."
--Cubs GM Jim Hendry, on new right fielder Jacque Jones (Chicago Tribune)

"This is the Major Leagues--I could hit 13th if they put me there. As long as you're in a Major League lineup, your dream come true, it doesn't matter where they hit you at. I just want to help the team in some way shape or form win a ballgame somehow. Just come out have fun and enjoy."
--new Arizona second baseman Orlando Hudson, on where he'll hit in the lineup (MLB.com)

"You have to be focused on outpitching the opponent. Every game, someone is going to win. It's whoever pitches better. You can't get caught up with giving up a hit or a run. You have to have your priorities."
--Rockies pitcher Jason Jennings, on pitching at Coors Field (Rocky Mountain News)

"I was told that they knew there needed to be some changes on the club and I was free to do what I thought we needed to do; just let them know."
--Dodgers GM Ned Coletti, on how he's in charge, but not really in charge (New York Times)

If you have a quotation you'd like to submit, email John, and be sure to include the URL where you found it.

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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