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December 27, 2005

The Year in Quotes

2005 in Review

by John Erhardt

PROPHETIC

"I don't think they have the team to go to the World Series now."
--Magglio Ordonez, on his old team, the White Sox (Chicago Sun-Times)

DO YOU THINK MY BEING STRONGER OR FASTER HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH MUSCLES IN THIS PLACE?

"I was tired of seeing 5-foot-8 guys hit the ball as far as I do.... I'm not going to shrink. I'm not going to change into a smaller person, so it's going to be nice to make it a level playing field."
--Bucky Jacobsen, Mariners designated hitter, on the newly-implemented steroid-testing policy (Portland Oregonian)

"Why do you keep asking the same question? I'm not a child. You repeat things to children and then eventually they tell you; I don't."
--Giants outfielder Barry Bonds, during a press conference in the Spring, after being asked if he took steroids (San Jose Mercury News)

"I don't know what cheating is. I don't know if steroids [are] going to help you in baseball. I don't believe steroids can help your eye-hand coordination, technically hit a baseball. That's just my opinion."
--Bonds

"Canseco, you've got to come with a whole lot more than what you're talking about, and fiction's fiction, man. There's a whole bunch of those books and stories out there, basically to make a buck. That's all it is."
--Bonds, with a message for Jose Canseco

"I was better than Jose then, and I've been better than Jose his whole career.... If he wants to go make money, go make money."
--Bonds

"This is old stuff. I mean, it's like watching 'Sanford and Son,' rerun after rerun after rerun. We've got alcohol that's the No. 1 killer in America and we legalize that to buy in the store. You've got tobacco number two or three killer in America; we legalize that. There are other issues."
--Bonds

"Allow the drug testing program to work...let's go forward. You cannot rehash the past. If that's the case, we're going to go way back into 19th, 18th centuries in rehashing the past and we'll crush a lot of things in a lot of sports.... We can go back into the 1800s and basically asterisk a lot of sports if that's what you choose."
--Bonds

"I'm going to put a sign up over my locker. It's going to say, 'Knee is improving. Steroids are bad.' That's going to be the standing comments for the entire spring. That's why I'm getting the sign up, because I know they'll never change."
--Houston Astros outfielder Lance Berkman, on how he'll respond to reporters in spring training (Houston Chronicle)

"That's not for me to determine. I hope that people look at my whole career and appreciate that I have given everything I've got. I respect the game, I respect my opponents, I respect the players who have come before me."
--Orioles first baseman Rafael Palmeiro, on whether he still belongs in the Hall of Fame (Baltimore Sun)

"I think it's pretty good. If I were the philosopher-king, I would make the sanctions somewhat stiffer somewhat earlier. I'm a little bitter about the sanction issue because I threw Steve Howe out of baseball after seven drug violations, and the (players') union claimed that he deserved another chance. Why is eight a better number than seven? It seems to me that after two, maybe three, you forfeit your right to play baseball. I would be tougher on the sanctions. I think baseball has made progress. I think the testing is working. The fact that it coughed up a prominent player like Palmeiro is impressive. I think baseball can feel good about what's happened, though the existence of the problem is an embarrassment to everybody."
--former commissioner Fay Vincent, on the toughness of the new steroid policy (Berkshire Eagle)

"It's kind of ridiculous that you get a 10-game suspension for steroids and a six-game suspension for milk."
--Dodgers pitcher Brad Penny, after he offered $500 to a batboy to drink a gallon of milk in an hour without throwing up. The batboy was suspended for six games by the Marlins (Miami Herald)

THERE IS NO SPOON

"It might have been turned on really loud.... Sometimes the speakers will blow if it's turned up really loud. That has happened, especially if it wasn't, like, Sony. Some of the electronics out there nowadays can't handle the decibels a lot of times."
--Ryan Dempster, Cubs pitcher, on an incident which involved Sammy Sosa's stereo being mysteriously destroyed last fall (Daily Southtown)

"Doing the relieving thing, I don't have enough time to think of things like that. Although I know that one of the White Sox players, I heard, is using some sort of atomic bomb in his jockstrap."
--Dempster, responding to White Sock Mark Buehrle's allegation that a Cub has been cheating

"When you've got No. 59 on the back of your jersey, there's no guarantee."
--Ben Grieve, on the chances he'll make the Pirates out of spring training (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

"The sun was bad, but was it any worse than it's been the last 10,000 years? I'm gonna say no."
--A's outfielder Eric Byrnes, on losing a ball in the sun, barely catching the next one hit his way, then watching two more fall in for doubles (InsideBayArea.com)

"I need to get down here early so all you media guys can say I'm being a good leader."
--Braves outfielder/third baseman Chipper Jones, on why he showed up early for Spring Training (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

I LIVE FOR THIS

"Today, I was walking out the door and my oldest one, Koby, said, 'Dad, don't say something, anything, about retiring, because I might be in the big leagues in a couple of years and I want a piece of you."
--Houston pitcher Roger Clemens, on not retiring for 2005 (ESPN.com)

"And I miss looking that pitcher in the eye. I can't look my son in the eye when he's throwing me a Wiffle ball and say, 'I'm going to rip one off your forehead.'"
--former A's infielder and current sports radio talk show host F.P. Santangelo, on what he misses about playing professional baseball (Sacramento Bee)

"When you're 25, you can eat hamburgers and pizza and drink beer and stay out all night and come out the next day and drink a couple cups of coffee and just play. If I did that today, my heart would stop and I'd need a stretcher and an IV. I started kind of noticing that in my early 30's, and now that I'm in my mid-to-late 30's, it's even that much more."
--Mets catcher Mike Piazza, on getting older (New York Times)

"If that's not the play of the year, I'll protest. He had better not get a girlfriend between now and the ESPY's, because I want to go with him."
--Mets first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz, on a backwards, diving, bare-handed catch by teammate David Wright

"Where else do you get to approach your job and get to choose the music playing before you go ahead and do your work? If you go into an office meeting, no one's going to play music for you when you open that door up."
--Tigers outfielder Curtis Granderson, on choosing the music that plays when he walks up to the plate (Detroit Free Press)

PRICELESS

"I could have left after the pregame. It was everything I wanted it to be. It was one of the rare moments in my job when you are proud to be commissioner."
--MLB commissioner Bud Selig, on the pregame championship flag-raising ceremony in Boston (Boston Globe)

"There's no question they've been a disappointment."
--Selig, on the Devil Rays (St. Petersburg Times)

"The only thing that keeps this organization from being recognized as one of the finest in baseball is wins and losses at the major-league level."
--Devil Rays GM Chuck LaMar

VIEW FROM THE TOP

"If I'm going to get chased around the shower, it's going to be by my wife."
--Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, on how he won't shower in the clubhouse with Johan Santana and Carlos Silva around (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

"I've never really seen that. I didn't even notice it until the last at-bat when somebody said something to me."
--Orioles interim manager Sam Perlozzo, on Rafael Palmeiro wearing earplugs to drown out the fans who booed him (Baltimore Sun)

"He's a guy who's gotten better. I remember my old general manager Al Campanis telling me that a player doesn't reach his peak until he's somewhere between 32 or 36 [years old] and beyond, and it depends on how his legs are and his desire and if he keeps his weight down and his waistline down. I don't see D-Lee having any problem with that."
--Cubs manager Dusty Baker, on the origins of his veteran fetish (MLB.com)

"Most of these guys have never been in this situation, but I have. And I have to lead them. You might want to go to your room, call your mom and cry. But when you come to the ballpark and put on the uniform, you have to be a man. I have 30 men to lead."
--White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, a few days before his team clinched the AL Central (Chicago Sun-Times)

"After games, I go home and watch Venezuelan soap operas. Before I'd watch 'Baseball Tonight.' Now I can't watch it anymore."
--Guillen, on not being able to watch baseball highlights down the stretch (MLB.com)

"You cannot buy a World Series ring on the streets. Ask Alex Rodriguez, he's got millions of dollars and no rings. That's why I say, 'God bless Derek Jeter. He's got a lot of money and a lot of rings.'"
--Guillen (Los Angeles Times)

"Yes, he offended everyone in the Bay Area."
--Giants manager Felipe Alou, when reminded that A.J. Pierzynski is a more offensive catcher than the defensive-minded Mike Matheny (Sacramento Bee)

"He bought into our plan, which is to bring in the best players possible."
--Mets GM Omar Minaya, on signing Pedro Martinez (ESPN)

"Trying to win a 2-1 game here is like eating spaghetti in a white shirt. When you're done, you look down and say, 'My God, I didn't get any on me.'"
--Rockies manager Clint Hurdle, on playing close games at Coors Field (Dayton Daily News)

OFFENSE ON THE OFFENSIVE

"He worries after just one game of 0-for-4. I went 0-for-4 every day and didn't worry."
--Guillen, on Scott Podsednik's worrying (Chicago Sun-Times)

"It's tough for me to talk about hitting when you are a real bad hitter. I have my philosophy. And I think my philosophy is not one that would help a lot of people."
--Guillen, on the paradox of being a mediocre hitter enforcing his personal hitting philosophy (Chicago Tribune)

"Everybody has his own way to hit. My philosophy is to keep your head down and swing. And I don't think too many people can do that. That's what I did all my career, keep my head down and swing and get lucky."
--Guillen

"He led off for four years in Colorado, so he knows how to do it. I'm just searching for runs."
--Baker, on Neifi Perez hitting leadoff (Arlington Heights Daily Herald)

"People just dismiss Burnitz - 'He strikes out a lot. He can't do this, he can't do that.' If you look at it objectively, he was sixth in the game in slugging percentage of people who struck out more than 120 times. He hit .307 with men on base. He hits left-handers well. He hit .287 with men in scoring position. To me, he's not striking out at the wrong times. The analysis is being done."
--Cubs GM Jim Hendry, on new right fielder Jeromy Burnitz, who ranked sixth in the game in the new SPPWSOMT120x statistic (Arlington Heights Daily Herald)

UNINTENTIONAL COMEDY

"My game on paper really doesn't look good, but you appreciate it more if you see it on a daily basis. The things I do don't really show up in the box scores or the papers or things that people like to come see at a game."
--new Chicago Cub Juan Pierre, marketing himself to his new fans (Chicago Sun-Times)

"Everybody knows I'm an everyday player. I know I'm not a bench player."
--Washington Nationals shortstop Cristian Guzman, who was hitting .187/.228/.277 at the time (Washington Times)

"The Yankees have that guy [Tony] Womack [a second baseman] playing left field. If I can't play that position at least as well as he can, I'll hang up the spikes right now."
--outfielder and future Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson, on why he still feels he can play (San Francisco Chronicle)

THE REST

"You can't get comeback player of the year because you suck [the previous years]."
--Marlins reliever Todd Jones, on being eligible for Comeback Player of the Year (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

"We're the (expletive) Dodgers. We should be like the Yankees. The Yankees don't rebuild. They go out and get what they need to win. We have the resources to be like that; 3.6 million fans came out this year. We get, what, $40 million from TV revenue without doing a thing."
--Dodgers closer Eric Gagne (Orange County Register)

"That's manly. Journey is manly. Why is Journey not manly? I heard Joe Theismann say on the radio that Journey was his favorite group, and Theismann was pretty manly, wasn't he?"
--White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski, when asked why they didn't choose a song that's manlier than "Don't Stop Beliving" by Journey (MLB.com)

"As long as we have a little boy doing a man's job, the stadium is not going to happen in this city."
--Miami city manager Joe Arriola, on Marlins president David Samson (Miami Herald)

"I would appreciate it if you identify us as Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles By The Sea Near Marina del Rey."
--Frank Cruz, Loyola Marymount University baseball coach, commenting on the Anaheim Angel's name change (L.A. Daily Breeze)

"I'm from Alabama, and they have a different alphabet."
--allegedly what Orioles pitcher Eric DuBose told police when instructed to recite the alphabet after being pulled over for erratic driving (Baltimore Sun)

"Bo Junior. After my dad. That's just straight redneck-ology, right there."
--Free agent B.J. Ryan, on how his given name "Robert Victor" became "B.J." (Toronto Star)

"Strikes."
--Dodgers pitching coach Jim Colburn, when asked what pitches Kaz Ishii has the most trouble throwing (Bergen Record)

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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