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February 27, 2006

The Week In Quotes

February 21-26

by John Erhardt

RESPECT HIS AUTHORI-TIE

"Every time the Yankees go to Spring Training, you have to be thinking World Series. It's not a disrespect to any other team, but I think it's just the understanding of the pressure that goes along with playing here."
--Yankees manager Joe Torre (MLB.com)

"It's been a while; we haven't won it. We're going to win it this year. We're going after them this year."
--Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, on his team this year

"I can't do much to teach him anything, but I'm just there [for Torre] to know he's got my support."
--Steinbrenner, on his visits with Torre

"I remember when we signed Jason, he said, 'Johnny Damon is out there.' But he took all the money, so we couldn't do anything."
--Torre, on when the Yankees signed Jason Giambi

"You got some, didn't you?"
--Steinbrenner, to Torre

"Thank you, sir."
--Torre, to Steinbrenner

THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK

"Kenny left me one message in all this, and that's the day he signed Paul Konerko. He left it on the voice mail, said, 'I know you've seen we signed Konerko, and I can help you try to get signed somewhere else.' Those were the words that came to me over my cell phone. You think I'm going to call back on some [stuff] like that?"
--former White Sox DH Frank Thomas, on how he was treated leaving Chicago (Daily Southtown)

"I've got a lot of respect for Jerry Reinsdorf, I do. But I really thought, the relationship we had over the last 16 years, he would have picked up the phone to say, 'Big guy, we're moving forward. We're going somewhere different. We don't know your situation or what's going to happen.' I can live with that, I really can. But treating me like some passing-by player, I've got no respect for that."
--Thomas

"Jerry has done everything over the course of 16 years to protect that man, to make accommodations for him, concessions for him. He loaned him money at times when he needed money. And for him to forget that, for him to turn his back on all that, it's a crying shame."
--White Sox GM Kenny Williams, on Thomas' remarks about Jerry Reinsdorf (Chicago Sun-Times)

"Believe me, it's not easy to deal with an idiot. And this man over the course of the years has tried my patience and tried and tried it. If he was any kind of a man, he would quit talking about things in the paper and return a phone call or come knock on someone's door. If I had the kind of problems evidently he had with me, I would go knock on his [bleeping] door."
--Williams, on Thomas

"And we don't miss him, by the way. If you go out there and ask any one of my players or staff members, we don't miss him. We don't miss the attitude. We don't miss the bitching and the whining. We don't miss it. Good riddance. See you later."
--Williams

"I gave him the trophy [at the parade] out of respect so he could address his fans and address the crowd. We gave him the first pitch during the playoffs, and again, that was another acknowledgment. How many times do you have to kiss somebody's [butt]? He better stay out of our business. He better stay out of White Sox business."
--Williams

"He's brought us to this point. So, OK, you want to play this game? You've got it. He's the Oakland A's problem right now. He needs to be concerned about Oakland. And I don't even know why the hell I'm talking about a guy--play two or three games in a row first, before you start popping off."
--Williams

SHALL I COMPARE THEE TO A HALL OF FAMER?

"I think I was in [South] Carolina. One of my friends told me. I didn't have a reaction. I was playing golf. Either you're going to make it or you're not. I didn't make it. So all of a sudden you look at the people you're up against and the person who went in and it's like, 'I guess he was a more dominant player than I was.'"
--Jim Rice, on where he was when he found out he was not elected to the Hall of Fame this year (Boston Globe)

"Sutter went in. So, I was compared to Sutter. Would you want to start a game with Sutter or Jim Rice? Is he going to finish 29 games in a row? Is Jim Rice going to play 29 games in a row? Or 162 games? So, are you going to start with Sutter or are you going to start with me? Is Sutter going to drive in 100 runs, hit 30 homers, or get 400 total bases? So, why is Sutter in and I'm not?"
--Rice

"Is it longevity, or dominating? Gwynn didn't dominate nothing. Cal Ripken didn't dominate nothing. If you look at Bruce Sutter, Bruce Sutter ain't dominated nothing . . . If you are talking about guys that are going to the Hall of Fame, what are the criteria? Were you a dominant player? Was it longevity? It all depends on good guy/bad guy, I guess. I have no idea."
--Rice, on what makes a Hall of Famer

"Maybe. But that wasn't the point. The point was, what type of player, regardless of the criteria of good guy/bad guy. The player. You vote on a guy's ability. A lot of guys probably dislike their kids, dislike their wife, but they still go home, don't they?"
--Rice

"With my luck, nobody will get in that year."
--Rice, on 2008, his last year of eligibility

GUZMANIA

"The people are going to like the new Guzie. I've got a little surprise for them."
--Nationals shortstop Cristian Guzman, on recovering from his terrible year last year (Washington Post)

"We're not going to sit back and watch Cristian Guzman have another year like he did last year."
--Nationals GM Jim Bowden, on signing Royce Clayton to compete for the starting shortstop job

"It's okay for me. Everybody needs a job. That's not working for me. They can bring Derek Jeter. It's the new Guzie right now."
--Guzman, on having Clayton around as competition

YEAH, BUT THEY HAVEN'T GIVEN YOU THE SUPERFINGER

"Those people, it doesn't matter how successful you are. I don't get it. They boo you. They scream at you. Anybody who's going to boo you when you don't hit 100 miles per hour, what does that tell you? There are some fans who are fantastic, who were very supportive, and made you feel welcome there. But, for the most part, you had the guys who just came to the ballpark to yell at you. If you're having a bad season there, forget it. You can't get out of that funk. They won't allow you to. You have to go into Philadelphia and become so thick- skinned, somebody that you're not. It's hard."
--new Mets closer Billy Wagner, on the fans in Philadelphia (Newark Star-Ledger)

"Oh, I'm going to have a big, old bull's-eye on my back. But I'm going to approach it like I do everything else. I've got three hours to spend with you. You want to spend your three hours yelling at me? Go ahead. Then I'll go home and go to sleep. You'll get to tell your grandkids that you yelled at me for three hours. If you want to stand there and yell at me--as long as you're not saying anything about my family--you can call me whatever you want to call me. I don't care because I think it's hilarious. I spent most of my time (in the bullpen) laughing at these people. I think Major League Baseball should have some of these fans come down out of the stands. One's going to hit and one's going to pitch and it's going to be in a big situation. Let's see how easy it is. They sit up there and tell me how easy is it. 'I could do that. You bum. You (stink).' All right, find out how it is. Come down here."
--Wagner, on going back to Philly this year

"I think it was on the Internet. I'm going to be leery about her getting on the Internet from now on."
--Wagner, on how his wife learned about raising alpacas. Wagner and his family have 40.

ASSESS THE SITUATION

"I haven't thought much about it. I have been talking about retiring for five years now ... but the opportunity hasn't come yet. It was tough to leave my family this time. It's tougher every year. One of these days, it won't happen anymore."
--Dodgers second baseman Jeff Kent, on the possibility of him retiring (L.A. Daily News)

"I had a good relationship with Milton. I believe he will fix whatever needs to be fixed. We all have baggage. He will get it fixed, and he will be a good baseball player. I hope he understands the things that happened with this team were only for the betterment of what goes on on the field every day."
--Kent, on former teammate Milton Bradley

"A lot of things happened. But it still shouldn't affect the way we play the game. Barry (Bonds) and I fought all the time (in San Francisco), and we went to the World Series."
--Kent, on the Dodger clubhouse last year

THE REST

"Yesterday some guy told me he came all the way out here from Pittsburgh so his kids could meet me. They were twins. A boy and a girl, named Jason and Kendall. Can you believe that? I mean, what do you say to that? Thanks?"
--A's catcher Jason Kendell, on a strange incident at spring training (MLB.com)

"When he throws a head fake, everyone in the gym jumps."
--An A's Club Executive, on pitcher Matt Roney's size 8 hat

"The only thing that makes me mad is it messes up my baseball card. I was consistent for a long time and then that comes up. It was a learning experience for me. I'm a stronger person. I had to be. I had to bite my tongue a lot. I had to keep myself going and make sure I got my work in."
--Reds second baseman Tony Womack, on his abysmal year with the Yankees last season (MLB.com)

"My wife was cracking jokes about that. She came to the first game here and she was walking into the ballpark and she said, 'Oh, they're booing the hell out of somebody.' Sure enough, my name is on the scoreboard, and I'm coming up to bat."
--new Mets first baseman Carlos Delgado, on the first time he and his wife went to Tradition Field (New York Newsday)

"If anything it got people to follow me, and now I have a fan base, so when I go out and play well, I'll hear good things. If I go out and play bad, that goes with the territory."
--Cubs outfielder Adam Greenberg, who was hit in the head in his first major league at bat last year (Chicago Tribune)

"It's stupid."
--Twins center fielder Torii Hunter, on the World Baseball Classic (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

"As soon as I got it, I had to show it to them to prove it."
--Orioles pitcher Kris Benson, on a photo of his wife in FHM that he had to show his teammates (Baltimore Sun)

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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