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April 3, 2006

The Week in Quotes

March 27-April 2

by John Erhardt

THE OLDER YOU GET, THE MORE RULES THEY ARE GONNA TRY AND GET YOU TO FOLLOW. BUT YOU JUST GOT TO KEEP LIVIN', MAN. L-I-V-I-N.

"I never specifically mentioned Sammy (Sosa) as a steroid user, but he's definitely a red-flag guy in an era when a lot of guys were abusing steroids. He looked the part and acted the part, and now that there's testing, he got smaller, he can't hit it out of the park, and he's out of work."
--former Cub Mark Grace, clarifying comments he made last week about Sammy Sosa (Arlington Heights Daily Herald)

"You add it up and those are a lot of red flags, and if Sammy has a problem with me, he can come and see me and we'll talk about it. I'd look forward to that."
--Grace

"The only person I've talked to about that is myself. The answer is, I'm not going to get into that. I want to see what he finds."
--Commissioner Bud Selig, on whether he'd push for suspensions of players who had used steroids previously (New York Times)

"You can say we should have picked things up earlier. I've asked myself that over and over."
--Selig

"Anybody who thinks you can go through the season normally and your body can just respond normally, after what we go through, is unreasonable. I'm not saying taking away greenies isn't a good thing, but guys are definitely going to look for something as a replacement."
--Oakland third baseman Eric Chavez, on how MLB now punishes for amphetamine use

"I guarantee guys are trying to find something simply because it's a grind going out there every single night. Someone needs to put a Starbucks or a Dunkin' Donuts, or both, right by Shea."
--Mets pitcher Tom Glavine

"Guys will always find something. Even if they have to go to the local truck stop to get some No-Doz, they'll find something to get them through."
--recently retired pitcher Al Leiter, on how players will find a replacement for greenies

I LOVE TO SING-A / ABOUT THE MOON-A AND THE JUNE-A AND THE LAST DAYS OF SPRING-A

"Veteran guys [that] don't feel the need to announce every time they get a chance, 'Hey, I'm a veteran guy, this and that or whatever.' They just blend in with everybody else. You wouldn't know how much time anybody has [in the majors] because everybody's just blending in and jelling together."
--A's outfielder Milton Bradley, on what he likes about playing for the A's (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

"He's fired up about it. He's going to be shirtless for a while. He's a tough guy, but he got to the tattoo parlor and he was nervous. He kept asking me, 'Millar, will it be all right?'"
--Orioles 1B Kevin Millar, on convincing pitching coach Leo Mazzone to get a tattoo that reads "14 Straight" (MLB.com)

"I didn't get it just to get it. It means a lot to me. I don't think [the streak] will ever be done again in the history of sports."
--Leo Mazzone, on the tattoo and what it means to him

"I have a responsibility to 23 or 24 guys that says, 'Trust me, I'm gonna take the best guys I can take.' If one or two guys aren't the best guys, I have a responsibility to the team not to take them."
--Astros manager Phil Garner, on making cuts in camp (MLB.com)

"You have to tell a young man--'Hey, go out and find your life's work. It ain't baseball.' That can be devastating."
--former manager Lloyd McClendon, on releasing players

"IN ORDER TO BE SUCCESSFUL, ONE MUST PROJECT AN IMAGE OF SUCCESS AT ALL TIMES."

"I was never, ever comfortable, and that to me was the biggest thing. It was that fear that made me good. You can't take anything for granted."
--Hall of Fame closer Dennis Eckersley, on his success in the ninth inning (Contra Costa Times)

"Every position is important, so you've got to allocate your dollars wisely, especially when you're in a situation like ours. You have a $40-50 million payroll, even a $50-60 million payroll, then giving $8 to $9 million to one guy is a lot of money."
--Oakland GM Billy Beane, on how much to spend for one inning of work each game

"You have to have that guy at the end of the game. You can change that guy whenever you want, but you have to have that one guy, because without him none of the guys in your bullpen are going to feel comfortable."
--White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, on needing stability in the bullpen

"It's hard enough to be a reliever without knowing when you're going to pitch."
--Padres reliever Alan Embree, on having predefined bullpen roles

"What happens is a club develops a confidence if they work their (butt) off, get a lead and know they're going to walk off with a win. It's an intangible, but it's a tangible thing. You can feel it."
--St. Louis manager Tony LaRussa, on an intangible tangible

"There is no standard way. A lot of it is stuff, a lot of it is mentality, a lot of it is smarts. And a lot of it is luck. ... It's a pretty strange animal."
--Giants catcher Mike Matheny, on developing a closer

PRANKS ARE A CRIMINAL OFFENSE PROSECUTED UNDER PENAL CODE 653M

"He used to take people's cars and hide them down the street. He put peanut butter in people's shoes, hot sauce in their jocks. He's got some classics. He's the best I've ever seen. He'll stay up late at night, plotting things to do."
--Mariners outfielder Matt Lawton, on teammate Eddie Guardado (Seattle Times)

"I've burned a few shoes in my day. There are so many, I forget whose I've burned. Alcohol and a lighter, bro. That's all it takes. They call me 'The Arsonist.' "
--Mariners closer Eddie Guardado, on his pranks

"I walk in one day before the game and all my stuff in my locker was bolted down. I mean, bolted down. My glove. My spikes. My shower shoes. My toothbrush. Everything. Terry Steinbach, Bob Tewksbury, Paul Molitor, they were crying. It took me until about 15 or 20 minutes before the game to unscrew all of it."
--Guardado

"The whole day before, I told Kenji Johjima I had done it before, lifted three men off the ground at the same time. I told him we were going to win a bunch of bets, had guys in the clubhouse 'bet' against me. We went outside. Everybody knew what was coming - except Johjima. I wore a weight-lifting belt, then moved out of the way.They hit him with everything - mustard, orange juice, soda, syrup. Man, I never laughed so hard in my life. That was the best three-man lift I ever did."
--Guardado, on a prank he played on new catcher Kenji Johjima

ALLERGIC TO THE ROYALS

"He is one of my favorite players of all time. I love Jimmy. But I hope he doesn't do that every game against us. Or in any game, really."
--Royals manager Buddy Bell, on Chicago slugger Jim Thome hitting two home runs against the Royals (Kansas City Star)

"My whole body turned red, and my face was swollen. Then I took some Benadryl and spent the game sleeping (in the clubhouse)."
--Royals outfielder Shane Costa, on an allergic reaction he had to some doughnuts that contained soy

"People are just (messing) up the world."
--Bell, on the allergy incident

THE REST

"They should outsmart everybody. They've got all managers."
--former Yankee bench coach Don Zimmer, on how the Yankees have four former managers as part of their coaching staff (New York Times)

"I think he acted like an idiot. I would have liked to see him do that against Bob Gibson or Don Drysdale or Rick Sutcliffe. They would have had to surgically remove that ball from his ear hole."
--Mark Grace, on David Ortiz admiring his home run in the WBC (Arlington Heights Daily Herald)

"I figure this is the same group that (was no-hit into the 10th inning) at Mesa the other day. So we don't need any bats here."
--A's manager Ken Macha, on how visiting clubhouse manager Mike Thalblum forgot the team's bats for a recent road game (San Francisco Chronicle)

"I think that some people have the idea that we understand baseball and there are some gray areas we just have to tidy up. My notion is that baseball is an ocean and what we have figured out is about the size of a swimming pool. That's not just about baseball. It's about the world in general. What we have figured out is really insignificant compared to everything that's out there, but it doesn't diminish our ability to get it done."
--writer Bill James, on using baseball statistics to understand the game (Palm Beach Post)

"I haven't gotten any [fan mail from women]. I guess I'm underappreciated. Most of the girls that do cheer for me, I don't know if they can write because they're so young. I'm thinking once I'm 30, they'll all be out of high school then."
--White Sox reliever Neal Cotts, on his growing female following (Chicago Sun-Times)

"[I'll] probably be in the bathroom throwing up."
--Indians DH Travis Hafner, on what he'll be doing during the ceremony when the White Sox receive their rings

"Every era has different things that change records. You had the live ball era. You've got the new stadiums, so you're playing on completely different square footage than we used to. You had Astroturf come in. You had the mound lowered in '68. Everybody's got a controversy about their stats for their generation. This is going to be our controversy over stats. But this one's going to really stick out."
--ESPN analyst Orel Hershiser, on adjusting the record book to account for steroid usage (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)

"But if you want to help your major league team, you can't just draft one or two pitchers and say, 'This guy is going to be my No. 3 starter in 2010.' There's got to be 15 of those guys, because of the attrition rate for pitchers. You've got to find as many quality arms as you can."
--Ben Cherington, Boston's VP of Player Personnel, on drafting (Boston Globe)

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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Premium Article Prospectus Today: NL P... (04/02)
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