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March 13, 2006

The Week in Quotes

March 6-12

by John Erhardt

R.I.P.

"This is a sad day for the Minnesota Twins, Major League Baseball and baseball fans everywhere. Eloise and I loved Kirby deeply. Kirby's impact on the Twins organization, State of Minnesota and Upper Midwest is significant and goes well beyond his role in helping the Twins win two World Championships. A tremendous teammate, Kirby will always be remembered for his never-ending hustle, infectious personality, trademark smile and commitment to the community. There will never be another 'Puck'."
--Twins owner Carl Pohlad, on former Twin Kirby Puckett's passing away on Monday (MLB.com)

"It's easy to look at the numbers and the championships and see his impact, but it goes so far beyond that. His name is really synonymous with the Twins. He was the signature player for an entire generation and he carried the organization on his back for a long, long time."
--team president Dave St. Peter, on Puckett

"His work in the community, the relationship he had with the media, his teammates, opponents, and most importantly, the fans, is the legacy he will leave. Few have ever been as beloved as Kirby was."
--St. Peter

"A lot of young players we have on this club didn't know him and weren't around him. He had so much to offer. Those guys didn't have the opportunity to see how he went through a day and the way that he carried himself. He had a way of making people better just by being down here in a uniform for about a month. We are truly going to miss him."
--Twins GM Terry Ryan

"He was small, strong and didn't have a prototypical baseball body. And it was something that people really seemed to relate to. He was some kind of strong."
--Ryan

"Tomorrow is not promised to any of us."
--Kirby Puckett, in 1996

HE HAS ALL OF THE VIRTUES I DISLIKE AND NONE OF THE VICES I ADMIRE

"Bud Selig needs to resign. That's what he needs to do. He needs to resign and bring someone in who's capable of communicating with the players association and the owners, as well as the players, because there's so much hatred against Bud right now. It's a joke. Nobody likes him."
--Red Sox pitcher David Wells, on Bud Selig (Hartford Courant)

"And he's entitled to that [opinion]. He pays a lot of money to these guys. If he needs to apologize to the fans, so be it. They get a lot of traffic down there in Tampa to see the Yankees. People want to see Derek Jeter. So if he wants to post a sign that says I apologize for [him] not being here, he owns the place. If Bud has a problem with it, tell him to go take it down himself. And then I'd re-post it again."
--Wells, on Yankee owner George Steinbrenner's criticism of the WBC, and of a sign hanging in Tampa apologizing for the absence of A-Rod, Jeter, and Damon {Steinbrenner did not hang the sign}

"This is just something where Bud is bored. He has no clue. He's clueless. If you say something derogatory toward Bud, he wants an apology. My question is, why is he even wasting his time on something like that? What's the purpose? Does he have to let people know that he's there? Tell him to come talk to me. I've had issues with him the last few years. He said, `Oh, we need to talk.' He said, `I'll take you to dinner when I come to Boston.' Has he done it? [Heck] no. He's a piece of [expletive]. And you can quote me on that."
--Wells

"Bud has a hard time leaving Milwaukee, let alone going out and trying to do [anything]. It's almost a burden for him to have to go to New York or a city like that. If he has that much passion for the game of baseball, then why isn't he doing something good for it? Name one good thing he's done for the game of baseball."
--Wells

"He worries about what people say about him and he Googles himself. I'm sure he's going to Google [his name] tomorrow and say, `Oh, there's Dave talking about me.' You know what? Be a man of your words. He's ducked me for two years."
--Wells, on Selig

"I DON'T THINK THE TRUTH IS TELLING THE TRUTH."

"That captain stuff is overrated. I would never pick one guy as a captain. I wouldn't want that pressure on me. I wouldn't want to wear the 'C' on my shoulder. I mean, you see guys are wearing that thing reluctantly. That should stay in hockey."
--former White Sock and current Mariner Carl Everett, on the leadership of the White Sox (Chicago Sun-Times)

"You know, I could say a lot of stuff about all the moves he has made. But why waste the time? I mean, I'm over here [with Seattle]. The only thing I frowned upon was the thing with him and Frank. It was bad for both of them. Neither one of them will come out good on it."
Everett, on the public sparring between Frank Thomas and Kenny Williams

"A lot of times a GM doesn't see the player's perspective. I see Frank's perspective if I've been there 16 years. If it was me, I would want more than throwing out the first pitch or holding the trophy. I would want more. That's me as a player. On this end, I don't know the gist of all of it. But from looking on the television and hearing the stuff, I'm on Frank's side because I'm a player."
--Everett

"Being me and being honest, I'm going to say no, they can't repeat. They are not going to have the same chemistry. A lot of the chemistry in that clubhouse is gone. [Aaron] Rowand, myself, even Willie [Harris] and Frank. We all had a presence in there, and now the new guys will have to fit in."
--Everett, on the White Sox' chances in 2006

"If you look at the last six world championships, it hasn't been the most talented team. It's the team that plays together. So they know each other, they sacrifice themselves for the other player. You separated a lot of that. You can't win games on paper."
--Everett

"If [Everett's] such a team leader, then why is he on so many teams? He's on a different team every year."
--White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle, on Everett's comments

"I don't think he was one of our leaders last year. He came to the field, and there wasn't anyone else that came ready to play and hustle as much as he did during the season, but I think he might be a little mad because he's not on our team anymore. I don't know."
--Buehrle

"[Everett's] 'The Truth,' so whatever he said, go to Vegas. We're not winning the division, so don't put any money on us. That's why he's got the nickname 'The Truth.'"
--Buehrle, on how Everett predicted the White Sox would finish third

THERE'S NO JUSTICE LIKE ANGRY WOMACK JUSTICE

"People just keep throwing stats in your face--like, this guy has a better on-base percentage. Who cares about on-base percentage? It's a matter of where you go at the end of the year. I haven't been home after the end of the year in five out of the last seven years, and I don't plan on going this year."
--Reds second baseman Tony Womack (Cincinnati Post)

"I don't play for those people. I play for me, and I play to help my team win and go to the postseason and become champions."
--Womack

"I'm not an outfielder. I'm not a utility guy. I'm just trying to win the second base job, and I don't think about anything else. I'll only think about something else if I don't win the job."
--Womack

"That's just the Yankees. They do whatever they want to do. Unfortunately, I was the odd man out."
--Womack, on becoming a utility player after losing his job to Robinson Cano

"The Yankees took the year away from me, basically. That's how I felt. They took the year away, and it could have been done differently. I just had to deal with it. I dealt with it, and I'm here now and I'm smiling every day."
--Womack

THE RECORD BOOK*

"I certainly believe the commissioner has the power to invalidate records. In my view, it's inherent in the 'best interests of the game' clause. I think if a player was found to have cheated his way to a record, that record could be and probably should be invalidated."
--former commissioner Bowie Kuhn, on what to do with Barry Bonds' records (New York Newsday)

"That's why I'm glad I'm no longer the commissioner."
--Kuhn, on the decision to invoke the "Best Interests of the Game" clause, should it come to that

"Obviously you can't go back and invalidate entire seasons. But I do believe you can declare individual records invalid. It's too important for the game and its integrity."
--Kuhn

"I haven't shot anyone yet, so I'm feeling pretty good. I haven't killed anyone or gone psycho."
--Giants outfielder Barry Bonds, on his current mental state (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

THE REST

"As a hitter, you hate seeing that Electric Slide move after he strikes somebody out. But as a fielder, it fires you up. On the bench, sometimes you want to quiet him up a little bit. But he brings a lot of energy, and it rubs off on a lot of guys. He's the complete opposite of a prototypical starting pitcher. Most guys sit in their space and don't say anything. He gets in your face and talks about whatever he talks about. And he wants feedback."
--Mets third baseman David Wright, on teammate Jose Lima (New York Times)

"Every time I get on a show, like a radio show, it's, 'Well, today we have the fiery Larry Bowa.' Why not use the word intense? Or, 'a guy that likes to win'? But it's got to be fiery, I guess, because it's a better adjective. I don't know. That's never going to go away. No matter what I do, that's not going to change."
--current Yankee third base coach Larry Bowa, on his reputation

"The first reason I play this game is because I want to win. I want to be the best baseball player I can be, but I want my team to be the best. Second comes the financial aspect, where I can help take care of my family. Three, yeah, three is the honeys. No doubt, the honeys are No. 3."
--White Sox center fielder Brian Anderson, on why he plays baseball (Chicago Sun-Times)

"I'm old, bald, and skinny. Who would want me on TV?"
--Tigers manager Jim Leyland, on why he didn't become a TV commentator between his managing gigs (Boston Globe)

"Bottom line is, that ball should not have hit him. You've got to be able to get out of the way of that . . . There's just no way that they shouldn't be able to get out of the way of that pitch."
--Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, on hitting the Pirates' Chris Duffy in the head with a pitch

"I am not comfortable employing players just based on numbers. We don't know what'll happen in baseball and or to the condition of players. If somebody is in a good mood, I will prefer to use him rather than players with good statistics."
--Korean manager Kim In-sik, on choosing which players to play (The Korea Times)

"Jerry Narron is a smart man, not using the DH."
--Reds pitcher Brandon Claussen, on his two-run double (Dayton Daily News)

"It's more of a middle finger sitting on my shoulder."
--White Sox reliever Bobby Jenks, on how he doesn't have a chip on his shoulder (Chicago Sun-Times)

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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