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January 30, 2006

The Week in Quotes

January 23-29

by John Erhardt

LOVE ME FOR ME

"I don't want to be the guy in the spotlight. That's what people thought I was going to be after we won. People think, 'Oh, Ozzie wins a world championship, he's going to be all over the place, on TV all the time.' I hope this shows people they've got the wrong idea about Ozzie."
--White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, on turning down numerous sponsorship deals in favor of a few select companies (Chicago Tribune)

"Because I don't want people using my name just to use my name and to make a couple of bucks. I ask [potential sponsors], 'Do you want to use me for who I am or just because I won the World Series?'"
--Guillen

"I was asked to go on this program and that program. I said, 'Well, this is my 20th-something year in the big leagues. Why are you asking me after we won the World Series?' I don't believe in that. I don't want to waste my time."
--Guillen

"If you're going to use me or my name, then I expect you to use me for years, not because of this. I'd rather you say we want you for five or 10 years, not one year because right now you're the hot thing. That's not going to happen."
--Guillen

"I don't want people coming in the middle of the season and saying, 'Oh, you have to come here and shoot this commercial.' I just want to live my life the way I've been living it."
--Guillen

AND THEY CAN READ YOUR ELECTRONIC ORGANIZER FROM SPACE, TOO

"This snapshot--you got this much, and your payroll is this much less--is such a Mickey Mouse, unfair form of analysis. I think the toughest job in the game remains being the general manager and owner in a small market."
--Rob Manfred, MLB's Executive VP of Labor Relations, on revenue sharing analysis (Kansas City Star)

"Teams have to be accountable to themselves for spending the money to become competitive. If I were a high-revenue team paying revenue sharing, I'd want the recipient to use the money to make themselves more competitive. If (other teams) tried to dictate that, all you're going to do is drive up the market. Teams have to manage their own needs."
--Royals owner David Glass, on revenue sharing

"This was a system that's supposed to create competitive balance. If all it does is take $20 million or $30 million from one team and give it to another, it might make David Glass happy, but it doesn't do anything for competitive balance. The system right now penalizes success and rewards failure. It might sound clever, but it's true."
--Sports economist Andrew Zimbalist

"The Royals are an example of a team that has benefited from the dole in baseball. Insofar as if you can say there's welfare abuse from laziness anywhere in our country, they'd be a potential candidate."
--Zimbalist

"Look at it this way: You pay taxes if you have income, right? We'd rather be in a position where we are successful and revenue sharing is in place and voted on than needing to receive money."
--John Yee, CFO for the San Francisco Giants

"We have a responsibility, where there should be a platform that says if an owner is unsuccessful for a long time, there should be a mandate given to him about his ability to stay in the league. That may give him (the incentive) necessary to stay competitive."
--superagent Scott Boras, on a lack of accountability in baseball

SUPREME EXECUTIVE POWER DERIVES FROM A MANDATE FROM THE MASSES, NOT FROM SOME LETTERING STITCHED ON A SHIRT

"I don't know if there will be too many 'too many men on the ice' penalties where I have to talk to the referees."
--White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko, on being asked to be team captain (MLB.com)

"But I don't want to make fun of this because I'm flattered that even came up. It's something that as a player you should work to. If you are considered for captain, I'll take that over the numbers. You still want to perform, but you work toward that as a player. You can't do that in one year."
--Konerko

"We have a handful of guys on this team who guys look toward, but the way our team operates best is that everyone has an equal voice. Everyone right down to the guy who has 10 days in the big leagues are all treated with the same respect."
--Konerko

"Again, I don't know if the mix is right in baseball and even more so on our team. We have a good thing going and let's keep it going or start a new thing going. Ozzie might see it as a bigger deal. I haven't sat down and talked to Ozzie. I'm not saying I wouldn't do it, but I would have to sit down and talk about it. It's best we are all on the same page."
--Konerko

"We won some games that were too close to call, where if we tried to do it again, it could go the other way. Some would even call it luck. To not address those needs and try to ride that wave through Spring Training, the regular season and the playoffs, it's asking a lot."
--Konerko, on the team's chances in 2006

"It's signaling out one person, and I don't know if I agree with that. I don't want to offend anyone, but this team operates best when we are all uniform and the same."
--Konerko, on why he's not wild about wearing the captain's C on his uniform

THE LEADER IS GOOD, THE LEADER IS GREAT

"In October, there were really two things going on. One, for as much as we accomplished as an organization, we had our flaws. We're not ashamed to admit that. One flaw at the time was that there was a bit of a fundamental disconnect with respect to several important issues--at least that are important to us as the leadership of a baseball club."
--Red Sox GM Theo Epstein, on the state of the Red Sox in October (MLB.com)

"It ranged from baseball philosophy, issues that were related to our long-term approach in baseball operations, to communication, both sort of internally and externally and how that would operate, and the priorities of the organization. So that was one issue, and that's important."
--Epstein

"The approach we took with Johnny Damon, I was proud of. I think that setting a dollar figure for a player and then sticking to it, while it might cause heartache for fans in the short term--and we're understanding of that--in the long term, I think it's the best policy, because it will help lead to winning teams year in and year out."
--Epstein, on the departed free agent Johnny Damon

"We're not going to go into any of the terms. What we don't want to do is set up a situation where we have a repeat in whatever period of years or time that you guys say, 'Hey, isn't it time for you guys to start focusing on this issue again?' We're just not going to; we're going to do everything we can to avoid that."
--Red sox President Larry Lucchino, on the length and terms of Epstein's contract

"If there's no end date, we can't have an all too public negotiation ever again, and that's part of the point."
--Epstein, on his contract

"My conclusion is that Oct. 31 helped get us here. It was actually a perfect catalyst--not perfect--actually an imperfect but necessary catalyst to get us to this point. Because it's hard to do the things we've done in the last 10 weeks--very difficult. We've had really honest conversations that are difficult but necessary and constructive in the end."
--Epstein, on how his leaving has strengthened the club

"I like that we're younger, I like that we have a little bit more pitching depth and I like that our farm system has stayed largely intact. I think we're very well positioned for the future. We don't have a lot of long, onerous financial commitments. We have a farm system that's gone from 29th- or 30th-best in baseball, depending on who you listened to, to a clear top 10 if not top five farm system, so I'm pretty bullish about the future."
--Epstein

EARLY RETIREMENT?

"Who knows if the Twins will want me back after this year? It depends on how I feel. It has to do with the family and some personal things, and I'll just weigh my options."
--Twins pitcher Brad Radke, on whether or not he'll return to the Twins next year (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

"My shoulder didn't bother me when I was fishing."
--Radke, on his sore shoulder

"It's not all about the money. Once you sign a couple contracts you are pretty much set for life if you play your cards right. It's just healthwise and personal things."
--Radke, on how much of the decision is financial

"I told Brad, 'Look, if you're going to retire, I can put you in the bullpen for about three, four years.' He was like, 'Nooooooooooo.' "
--Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, on trying to prolong Radke's career

THE MYTH OF FRANK THOMAS PLAYING AWAY FROM CHICAGO: CONFIRMED

"They made their decision and I'm not going to be bitter. I just think I deserved better, some closure, in Chicago. ... If they'd just said they were going in a different direction, it would be fine, but no one gave me any heads up about what was going on."
--new A's DH Frank Thomas, on his exit from Chicago (San Francisco Chronicle)

"I was shocked when they brought in Jim Thome--he was more injured than I was and they gave him all that money. I don't understand where they were going with that."
--Thomas

"This guy probably represents nirvana for us from an offensive standpoint."
--A's GM Billy Beane, on Thomas

"That's very light for me."
--Thomas, on how he's down to 270 pounds

THE REST

"With our guys, it shouldn't a problem. They're probably too young to shave anyway."
--new Marlins manager Joe Girardi, on instituting a clean-shaven policy in Miami (Palm Beach Post)

"They're killing me. They're ripping me apart. It's like my head is in Haiti, my legs are in China. I never said anything to anyone about the team being incompetent. I never said Panama is incompetent. They have a chance to win like any other team, as long as they play hard. This is about my arm."
--Yankee closer Mariano Rivera, on his decision to not pitch for Panama in the WBC (Bergen Record)

"I know I'm not 25 anymore, I can't use my arm the way I used to. I've been working out this winter, but not for my arm. Everyone who knows me knows that's the reason I start slow in spring training. I can't just pick up a ball anymore and start throwing like it's the middle of the season."
--Rivera

"To me more than anything else, it's just amazing how bad they don't want me to play. Anything else said--it's just not the truth. They just want to collect their money. It's an awkward situation."
--Houston first baseman Jeff Bagwell, on how the Astros are trying to get out from under his contract (Houston Chronicle)

"That's great. He'll be another year older and fatter."
--an anonymous GM, on Ben Molina's threat to sit out 2006 if he doesn't get a $6 million salary (FoxSports.com)

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

Related Content:  Paul Konerko,  The Who

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