March 20, 2006
The Week in Quotes
"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."
"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."
"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."
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."
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."
"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."
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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
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."
"I want to beat South Korea so badly, that the South Koreans won't want to play Japan for another 30 years."
"Let's win our own championship so we can make him take off that stupid ring."
"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."
"We've been working with him on his stride. He had those little Fred Flintstone steps. The stride is getting better."
"Every time I said something, he just laughed. He would chuckle his little chuckle, and that would be the end of it."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
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