January 16, 2006
The Week in Quotes
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
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."
"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."
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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
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