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March 20, 2006

The Week in Quotes

March 13-19

by John Erhardt

LOOK ME STRAIGHT IN THE EYE AND SAY / THAT IT'S OVER NOW

"It was great. The atmosphere, the caliber of play, the guys on our team, everything."
--Twins reliever Joe Nathan, on the WBC (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

"Guys on our team got more and more into the tournament as it went on, and we realized how good this event can be. And I think guys wished they had been more ready."
--Nathan

"I'm not saying we would have won or done anything differently, because the competition is unbelievable--it's unbelievable how good those other countries are. But I still feel strongly that if a lot of guys are close to game-ready, I think even the other teams would agree that we would definitely be a tougher team."
--Nathan

"Have the USA team start working together on Feb. 1. Then, you'd be ready by mid-March."
--Nathan, on how they can be better prepared

"I deposited it where it should be."
--Nathan, on the Canadian pennant Justin Morneau fixed to Nathan's locker after Canada beat the U.S. (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

"If those guys are in midseason form, it would be a different outcome. This is spring training. This is not September or October. This is March. Sometimes your swing isn't there. We faced a team that plays all year, and they played better than us."
--Dominican Republic outfielder Moises Alou, on being ousted by Cuba (San Francisco Chronicle)

"I'm not speaking for guys on Team USA, but it just seems like [other countries] are a lot more into it. It seems like when the Dominican is playing against Venezuela, they really, really feel like it's the Olympics ... They know that if they don't [execute], it weighs pretty heavily on their country. Sometimes it feels like you're playing for a whole country when you're on this team."
--Yankees pitcher Shawn Chacon, on the WBC and being a Yankee (New York Newsday)

IT'S CAMP! THE TRAGICALLY LUDICROUS? THE LUDICROUSLY TRAGIC?

"He's beautiful, absolutely beautiful. But through it all, when he's talking about baseball, he's right on. He comes down here, and it comes back to him. I should get a tape recorder--not to laugh at, but to see how much is in the tank."
--Yankee manager Joe Torre, on Yogi Berra visiting spring training

"I stayed in baseball, until I quit. But I enjoy it, I really do. It gets me away from the cold weather. But I enjoy watching the catchers. It's fun. You pick up stuff and talk to them."
--Yogi Berra

"I better get my arm ready."
--Yankee outfielder Bernie Williams, after hearing about Johnny Damon's shoulder trouble (New York Times)

"I may look like a Mercedes Benz. But I got 300,000 miles on me."
--Yankees announcer David Justice (San Francisco Chronicle)

"There was really no reason not to throw it, because the other one was almost non-existent anyway."
--Yankees pitcher Jaret Wright, on the new curveball Mike Mussina taught him (New York Newsday)

THIS IS HIS SUMMER HOME

"Occasionally he'll get naked out on the field when nobody's looking, but that actually grosses me out. He does all these things with the pictures that you can't even write in the paper what's on there. Kevin has brought character to the clubhouse, that's for sure. That's what we needed coming from the season we had last year. It's just leadership. He's helped us out tremendously."
--Orioles 1B/DH Jay Gibbons, on Kevin Millar (Miami Herald)

"I like to have fun, and I love my teammates. Really, I think this whole clubhouse is going to be a lot of fun this year, once everybody gets to know each other."
--new Oriole Kevin Millar

"There were days when I didn't want to laugh when we were down four or five runs. But you couldn't help it sometimes. It was genuine and unique and part of what made [Millar] such a big part of our ballclub. Even when he wasn't hitting as well as we needed him to I had to try to measure his importance in the lineup, because he did bring something extra to the ballclub. He's a good guy to have around."
--Red Sox manager Terry Francona, on Millar

THANK YOU FOR NOT DISCUSSING THE OUTSIDE WORLD

"I can't sit here and say, honestly, that I know that for sure. A lot of it will have to do with my arm and how my elbow feels and how it progresses after the surgery. That will be a big factor. We've got a big, long year ahead of us."
--Houston pitcher Andy Pettite, on possibly retiring (New York Times)

"My arm needed a serious rest this off-season."
--Pettitte

"If he thinks the end isn't too far away, then good for him. We love doing this, but you have to be just a little bit envious of a guy who does it all and is proud of his accomplishments and he says that's it."
--Yankee pitcher Mike Mussina, on Pettitte

"When I step away, I will miss competing, but I won't be too far from the game. I'm going to work with other pitchers."
--Roger Clemens, before his start in the WBC (MLB.com)

"A lot of guys, when they retire they want to stay here (the major leagues). When I retire, I'm going to Little League. That's where they need the teaching. If you teach kids the basics there, it will stick with them."
--Mariner DH Carl Everett, on what he'll do when he retires (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

"In Little League parks now, they are teaching 'SportsCenter.' It's not about catching the ball or throwing. It's all about (hitting home runs). At that level, it should be about baseball. It should be about fun."
--Everett

NOT LOST IN TRANSLATION

"The big difference between us and the other teams, is if we qualify for the semifinals, which means we go to San Diego, the government is going to give a waiver to the players for military service."
--Korean pitcher Jae Seo, on his team's incentive to reach the finals of the WBC (New York Times)

"He's the most handsome."
--Seo, on how to distinguish teammate Seung Yeop Lee from the other two Lees on the team

"I want to beat South Korea so badly, that the South Koreans won't want to play Japan for another 30 years."
--Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, before Japan lost 2-1 to Korea in the WBC (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

THE REST

"Let's win our own championship so we can make him take off that stupid ring."
--Dodgers first baseman Nomar Garciaparra, on GM Ned Colletti's NL Championship ring he got with the Giants (San Francisco Chronicle)

"The swing has been there. If there wasn't nine guys out in the field, I'd have a hit every time except when I strike out."
--Devil Rays outfielder Delmon Young, on his struggles this spring (St. Petersburg Times)

"We've been working with him on his stride. He had those little Fred Flintstone steps. The stride is getting better."
--Seattle manager Mike Hargrove, on infielder Jose Lopez (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

"Yeah. You know, when Fred goes to start his car."
--Hargrove, asked to define "Fred Flintstone steps"

"Every time I said something, he just laughed. He would chuckle his little chuckle, and that would be the end of it."
--former Angel Jarrod Washburn, on how Angels' GM Bill Stoneman acted every time Washburn brought up his impending free agency (Los Angeles Times)

"I got dropped by the worst team in the game, so I guess that doesn't look good on my resume."
--Orioles utilityman Desi Relaford, on getting released by the Rockies (Baltimore Sun)

"Why do we have to go with that every time? Can we just talk about baseball? Please? Please? Please? Can we just talk baseball? Please? Can we? I appreciate it."
--Giants outfielder Barry Bonds, when asked about Jeff Pearlman's new biography of Bonds

"I'm taking piano lessons now, so I might as well join them."
--Bonds, on drawing small musical college Belmont University in the team's NCAA pool

"Rick Aguilera. We traded for him at the deadline in '95 . . . Luis Alicea . . . Brian Barkley . . . Stan Belinda. I played with him in Pittsburgh, too. Sean Berry. He was here for one day."
--Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield, figuring out how many players he's played with in his Boston tenure, starting alphabetically in the Red Sox media guide (Boston Globe)

"Have I felt I've aged? No, except when I look on the board and see guys who are born in '83, '82. That's when I feel old. Physically, I don't feel my age at all."
--Wakefield

"I was going to give him the day off (yesterday) but he didn't want it. He might have seen that (three-hour) Dunedin trip coming (tomorrow). He might be one step ahead of me."
--Red Sox manager Terry Francona, on Manny Ramirez (Boston Herald)

"Don't swing. Just stand there. Pitchers all love to hit. They think they can."
--Mariners' manager Mike Hargrove, giving hitting advice to Felix Hernandez (Seattle Times)

"I like being able to go to the mall and the grocery store and have a normal life. I've seen what those guys go through. I witnessed it with Frank. He could barely walk in the mall without getting mauled, and people following him. They can have all that. I just want to make a good living, be able to support my family and stay under the radar. I like my privacy too much."
--Ray Durham, on privacy and being a relatively anonymous player (San Francisco Chronicle)

"A lot different. In the Yankees' camp, usually they have one [spot] on the 25-man roster where they're not sure who they're taking. We have like two that we do know we're taking."
--Marlins manager Joe Girardi, on the differences between being part of the Yankees and part of the Marlins (New York Newsday)

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:  New York Times,  Mike Hargrove

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