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January 16, 2006

The Week in Quotes

January 9-15

by John Erhardt

DAY OF ENJOYMENT TO WHICH EVERYONE CHEERS!

"My sons remember me most as a Cardinal. My one son is 26 years old and I don't think he's ever seen me without a beard. It's not as black as it used to be, but it's still there."
--newest HOF inductee Bruce Sutter, on wearing a Cardinals hat on his HOF plaque (MLB.com)

"My family identifies with me throwing that last pitch to Gorman Thomas. I'm certainly thankful for what the Cubs did for me. I respect their organization. It's the same way with the Atlanta Braves, an awfully fine organization. I respect everybody who's down there and that's still where I live today. But the Cardinals represent the best years of my career."
--Sutter

"It's the Hall of Fame's call now. Because Bruce played with three great organizations, we agonized about what logo we'd place on the cap on his plaque. But in the end, I think he and we thought the Cardinals were the most appropriate choice, recognizing that he had some great years in Chicago and finished in Atlanta. But all that will be documented on his plaque."
--Hall of Fame president Dale Petroskey

"The Cubs gave me a chance to play. They signed me as a free agent and brought me to the Major Leagues. The first day I walked into Wrigley Field was one of the best days of my life. And I owe them an awful lot."
--Sutter

"I hurt my shoulder down there and if I had one regret, it's that I could never pitch. But if I hadn't thrown the split-finger, I would've never have made the Major Leagues. I would've been at best a Double-A player. So if they told me it was going to hurt my arm I'd do it all over again."
--Sutter

STUCK INSIDE OF COLORADO WITH THE COOPERSTOWN BLUES AGAIN

"I've felt the best this year, though, about the possibility of going in. I don't know if that's because of the feedback I'm getting from the writers who are calling me or what. The funny thing is, I always hear the good things. Nobody ever calls to tell me why they didn't vote for me. I guess they never would, but I never even hear it through the grapevine."
--former major league reliever Goose Gossage, the day before the HOF vote, on his chances (MLB.com)

"I just don't get it. I'm at a loss for words."
--Gossage, after learning he wasn't elected to the Hall of Fame, but Bruce Sutter was (New York Post)

"I just can't believe Sutter got in before me. He deserved it. I was hoping Sutter and I could go in together. ... I don't know if I ever will make it."
--Gossage

"You know what, I never hear from these guys who don't vote for me. But I'll take on any writer, anywhere, on any show, and I will bury him."
--Gossage

"If Jim Rice had played in the Metrodome, he would have torn the place down, and that's nothing against Kirby Puckett, that's just the way it is."
--Gossage, on fellow ballot compatriot Jim Rice

"The job is so easy because they're only pitching one inning. Writers have forgotten how the role has changed."
--Gossage, on how the role of the closer has changed

"Hitting in a game is no different than hitting in a home run contest. It [ticks] me off to say Barry Bonds is the greatest hitter. He's playing in a wussy era. The game is soft. You never get thrown at today. Last thing a hitter has to worry about today is getting hit. The first thing Hank Aaron had to worry about is: Am I going to survive this at-bat because I'm black."
--Gossage

"There are more important things in life to worry about. Some of my best friends have lost kids to drug overdoses in just the last couple of months. That's how I keep the game in perspective. The war in Iraq, great kids are losing their lives over there. That's the stuff that really matters. Real life sets me straight."
--Gossage, on keeping things in perspective

"I don't know what to say. I think he belongs, too. It's not like I'm in competition with him for this."
--Sutter, on Gossage not being elected

"There's 10 spots on that ballot. I think he's a great pitcher, and I think he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. But I don't have a vote."
--Sutter, on Gossage

MOVING ON

"I'm not ashamed of who I am. Of course I'm ashamed of the things that have happened. But with life experiences, you're able to give back and help others."
--former Mets outfielder Darryl Strawberry, at Mets minicamp, on his past (New York Newsday)

"I'm a living testimony of what happens to someone who had a great deal of talent and made a lot of wrong choices in his life."
--Strawberry

"You can all sit around and say I wouldn't want to go through that. But there's millions of people who suffer in all aspects of life who need people like me to say, 'Hey, look, this is what happened, but you know what? I came back and I fought through it and overcame it and got a lot of victories. Not just playing baseball. I have a lot of victories in life. I have a lot of failures. But the victories are greater than the failures."
--Strawberry

WEASELING OUT OF THINGS IS IMPORTANT TO LEARN. IT'S WHAT SEPARATES US FROM THE ANIMALS..EXCEPT THE WEASEL.

"I don't know Dr. Andrews, but I'm pretty sure he's going to say, 'You have a bad shoulder, sir.' I already know that. That doesn't mean I can't play. No matter what he says, I'm still going to go to spring training to play baseball."
--Astros first baseman Jeff Bagwell, on the status of his arthritic shoulder (Houston Chronicle)

"We're trying to get some objective information. A healthy Jeff Bagwell is what we want. If he can't be a full-time player, we have to figure out if we can collect on the insurance or not."
--Astros GM Tim Purpura, on how if Bagwell aborts his comeback and retires before January 31st, insurance will pay over $15.6 million of the $17 million he's due in 2006

"I don't blame them. But the fact is, Jeff has a contract. Whether the Astros are happy about it is not the point."
--Bagwell's agent Barry Axelrod, on Houston's attempt to avoid paying Bagwell

COWBOY UP IN CRABTOWN

"You can look at teams on paper, but in spring training everybody starts out 0-0. If you can get everybody believing in the same thing, you can compete with anybody."
--new Orioles 1B/DH Kevin Millar (Baltimore Sun)

"I can't stand cliques. I'm not a very good player, but I will bring a presence that there is not going to be any cliques."
--Millar

"I put a lot of guys in headlocks, but I'm smart-crazy. I know who to put in a headlock and who not to. You never saw me put John Olerud in a headlock. You never saw me put Trot Nixon in a headlock. You pick your spots."
--Millar

"This division is where you want to be, as a baseball player. There's nothing like it, the American League East. I grew up on the West Coast. You go to the game in the third inning [there] and leave in the seventh, see which movie star is sitting next to you. That's not baseball."
--Millar, on remaining in the AL East (MLB.com)

"Here, they're out here and it's like 162 playoff games. They're barbecuing, they're eating hot dogs, they're throwing beer at people. It's baseball. ... I like being thrown in the fire."
--Millar

"You're not looking at a team that needs 10 pieces. I think it's just a matter of things going the right way and pitchers staying healthy. And just going for it. That's the bottom line. You get a good group of guys believing in each other, you've got a shot."
--Millar, on the Orioles' chances to compete in 2006

THE REST

"I'm a guy who can get on base, and if I can steal bases and get into scoring position, that would really help the team."
--new Orioles outfielder Corey Patterson, he of the lifetime .293 OBP (ESPN.com)

"I can tell you Jim Colborn has had success in getting results out of pitchers with a lot less talent than Kip Wells. I have every reason to think that will happen here."
--new Pirates manager Jim Tracy, on pitching coach Jim Colborn (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

"I'm looking forward to learning from [Curt] Schilling. I don't really consider myself in his class yet. I'm looking forward to just picking his brain; it's going to be nice. Where I'm coming from, it's always been a bunch of young guys. 'Here's the ball, just go out and try to throw it by everybody.' It's going to be fun. Finally, last year I had Al Leiter for half a season. I learned so much just in half a season with him. It's going to be fun talking to another guy of that caliber."
--Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett, on what he's looking forward to (MLB.com)

"As soon as I signed my three-year deal [in 2004], probably a week after I signed my deal, there [were] rumors of me getting traded already. That's happened every year since then. If you want to trade me, trade me. Just get it over with. I'm sick of hearing the rumors. If you want to do it, do it. If not, let's stop talking about it."
--Devil Rays DH Aubrey Huff, on trade rumors (Tampa Tribune)

"If I had a chance to go to a contender, it would be great. I really don't think with what we've done in the offseason, we've become a contender. We really haven't made any moves. We really haven't done anything. The Red Sox and the Yankees, they are what they are. The Blue Jays spent a lot of money this year. Last year the Orioles spent a lot of money to get better. It just seems like we're in limbo every year."
--Huff

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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