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February 6, 2006

The Week in Quotes

January 30-February 5

by John Erhardt

IMPR-YOU-VEMENT

"He's a cocky kid, like [Carl] Pavano. He'll tell you to go to hell. But I love the kid, I love his competitiveness. A super kid, one of my favorites. I'd be getting on [him], riding him, and sometimes he hated [me]. He might not talk to me for four or five days. But then he started to see the results, and realized that I was trying to do things for him, trying to help him be a 20-game winner."
--former Marlins manager Jack McKeon, on Josh Beckett (Boston Globe)

"People talk about [A.J.] Burnett, how he had the greatest arm in the National League. And he does. But you've got to have more. If someone said to me, who'd you take, [Burnett or Beckett], I'd say, 'No question, I'll take the guy Boston got. Because he's a winner."
--McKeon

"Don't worry about his shoulder. Hell, no. If we'd still been in the race at the end last year, he would have made his last start for us. We just gave him a breather."
--McKeon

"Alex González is the best I've ever had. Definitely the best I've ever had, defensively."
--McKeon, on Boston's recent signing of Alex Gonzalez

NEO-MAZZONE

"It was wonderful. I woke up at 5 o'clock and couldn't sleep. I made coffee and tried to settle down before I came out here to see what presents were under the Christmas tree."
--New Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell, on participating in the Braves early throwing program (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

"It says Braves on it, not the Walla-Walla Walla Bears. It's pretty much an honor to be able to put on this uniform and represent this ballclub."
--McDowell, on his Braves cap

"That's going to be the biggest difference--having a [pitching coach] who actually set foot on the field. A guy who had a long career, and was successful doing it. It'll probably be a little easier getting some things across to the younger guys, since he did do it himself."
--Braves pitcher John Thomson, on having a pitching coach with big-league pitching experience

"I wasn't up here very long [in 2005], so I didn't get a chance to get to know 'ol Leo. I didn't talk to him much. I just remember my first bullpen. He was watching. I was like, 'Don't throw one in the dirt.'"
--Braves rookie Chuck James, on being around Leo Mazzone last year

AH, COMMISSIONERS. THEY MAKE THE HIGHS HIGHER AND THE LOWS MORE FREQUENT.

"The fact is, last year we were under one percent, so we're getting there."
--MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, on how well the MLB drug policy is working (MLB.com)

"I've said all along that the program was working. I said that all last season. I also said it wasn't enough."
--Selig, on the MLB drug testing system

"If I threw everyone out of the game who has a temper, I'd have nobody left."
--Selig, on how he controls temperamental managers and players

I'M VERY IMPORTANT. I HAVE MANY LEATHER-BOUND BOOKS AND MY APARTMENT SMELLS OF RICH MAHOGANY

"I mean, it's Howard Stern, you know? It's meant to attract attention, it's meant to be wild. No one can possibly take those comments literally. ... I just mean, it's more of a touche to all these male athletes that run around on their wives, that 'Hey, look what we can do.'"
--Baltimore Orioles pitcher Kris Benson's wife Anna Benson, on the time she said she'd sleep with the Mets team if Kris ever cheated on her (Baltimore Sun)

"My main point ... was, if the Mets were going to be liberal enough to allow Carlos Delgado to play for their team after he had turned his back on the flag for all these years, then they had to be liberal enough to allow me to pose for Playboy if I wanted to."
--Benson, referring to Carlos Delgado's refusal to stand during "God Bless America" in protest over the war in Iraq

"You cannot always take everything that I say literally. If you have a shred of intelligence, you're gonna know when I'm horsing around."
--Benson

"I'm sorry to see her go, believe me. She was great."
--The New York Post's Page 6 gossip columnist Richard Johnson

"I've got, you know, tons and tons of guns, and so does Kris. We really feel like, when it comes to protecting your family, you should be able to do that ... All the people that say: 'Oh, we need to get rid of all the guns?' Well, that's a lovely thought. But it's never gonna happen. There's too many of them. So I think everyone should have one."
--Benson

"I don't want people to think I'm a big redneck, or anything like that. I am a true belle."
--Benson

60% OF THE TIME, THEY'RE RIGHT EVERY TIME

"I feel almost like I've been given a blood transfusion, but I've been transfused with life."
--Royals first baseman Mike Sweeney, on his offseason rejuvenation (Kansas City Star)

"From top to bottom, we've got a great lineup. Or at least a better lineup, definitely."
--Sweeney

"Manny really wants out of Boston, just so he can relax and chill. If he played for the Mets, he probably wouldn't be able to chill much. But I think the Yankees would be a perfect fit for him, as well as for David Ortiz."
--new Yankee center fielder Johnny Damon, on his old Boston teammates (Boston Globe)

THE REST

"Two split-fingers hurt my elbow like you wouldn't believe, and I've got a heartbeat in the back of my shoulder right now."
--Roger Clemens, after pitching to Astros rookies at minicamp (Kansas City Star)

"There will be a week I get up and I feel like I can do it again, and then the next week, I don't want to get out in the outfield and start running those poles and doing those things. If last year's World Series was it for me, I'm more than happy."
--Clemens

"The way I run businesses and build businesses is to get a strong foundation in place before you take the next step. I don't want to build a 50-story building just for the sake of getting it 50 stories high."
--Devil Rays owner Stuart Sternberg, on rebuilding the Devil Rays (St. Petersburg Times)

"We're not going to sit back and watch Cristian Guzman have another year like he did last year. This [signing] gives us a viable option to go to in the event we don't see improvement from Guzman."
--Nationals GM Jim Bowden, on signing Royce Clayton to provide Guzman insurance (Washington Post)

"We both apologized. We're going to go out there and play the game. We're like brothers. We're together every day, and you're bound to disagree on something. It's about making up and we made up. It's like a marriage. Well, not like a marriage."
--Twins center fielder Torii Hunter, on apologizing to Justin Morneau for a fued (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

"Winning more games, makes my hot tub [at home] feel a lot better after games."
--Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, on his team

"'What are you going to say? Are you going to inform them that if they don't get a stadium built, the team is going to leave? Are you going to inform them that if they don't come to games the team is going to leave? Are you going to inform them that the contribution from the team is the fourth-largest in the history of baseball in a market that has never proven to be completely baseball friendly?' I said I probably wouldn't mention those things."
--Marlins President David Samson, on what Jeffrey Loria asked him before Samson's speech last week (Miami Herald)

"The only thing I would say is this isn't the first time an insurance company has denied a claim."
--Cardinals President Mark Lamping, on how an insurer has denied a team claim for $14 million of cleanup costs at the new stadium site (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

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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