February 27, 2006
The Week in Quotes
"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."
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?"
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
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.'"
"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?"
"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."
"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?"
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."
"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."
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."
"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."
"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."
"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?"
"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."
"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."
"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."
If you have a quotation you'd like to submit, email John, and be sure to include the URL where you found it.