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April 10, 2006

The Week in Quotes

April 2-9

by John Erhardt

YOU GET ME CLOSER TO...CLOSERS

"I know Mariano's got it. Lord forbid, the Earth should crumble if two people have it."
--Mets closer Billy Wagner, on entering the game to Metallica's "Enter Sandman." Yankee fans were outraged on talk radio shows, insisting Rivera be the only one to use the song (New York Daily News)

"I met (Metallica's) James (Hetfield) last year, but I don't listen to that kind of music. Everyone just identifies me with the song. I listen to Christian music."
--Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, who also enters to "Enter Sandman"

"If the guy feels comfortable using the song, then let him be. I know Billy. He's a great guy. He has all my respect....To all the people that are fighting over this, I appreciate the loyalty."
--Rivera

"Oh, I heard it. I was waiting for my song to come on, then crickets. It was disappointing. There's definitely a big difference when you come in and it's 'YMCA' instead of my song being played loud. That gets the adrenaline going and the crowd into it."
--Colorado closer Brian Fuentes, on entering the game to "YMCA" instead of his preferred "For You" by Staind (Denver Post)

WHAT THE FOULKE

"You guys are always talking about me being the closer--I tell you what, I don't wake up in the morning and go to the grocery store and say, 'I'm the closer.' He's the manager of the Boston Red Sox, he's not Keith Foulke's dad. (Papelbon's) been throwing the ball great."
--Red Sox reliever Keith Foulke, on manager Terry Francona giving the closer job to rookie Jon Papelbon (Boston Herald)

"I'm fine--I've told you guys for three years, what's important is the team winning. Maybe I'm not in the closer's role now but the Sox won. I have to prove myself to Terry, the 24 other guys in here, to the front office--but I've had to prove myself . . . my whole career."
--Foulke

"It's a long year, I don't think Foulke is quite ready yet to be the guy we need him to be. (Papelbon's) throwing as well as anyone. By no means is this an indictment of Foulke. He's going to pitch and he's going to be brilliant."
--Red Sox manager Terry Francona, on Foulke

"Yeah, yeah, I understand that. I totally understand that's probably going to happen, but you know what, man, I'm just going to go out there when Tito gives me the rock."
--Sox rookie Jon Papelbon, on how his promotion might be a little controversial

"'THE DOER' IS MERELY A FICTION ADDED TO THE DEED--THE DEED IS EVERYTHING."

"If it was up to me I would probably drop the devil. But it's up to them and I'm going to support the team no matter what."
--St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker, on the proposal to change the name of the Devil Rays (St. Petersburg Times)

"St. Pete anything. I just think it's time to recognize where the team plays and the commitment of the community that built the stadium."
--City Council Chairman Bill Foster, on making the name of the city the Devil Rays play in part of their new name

"There are some that don't have a positive reaction to the word devil. There are some who don't have a positive reaction to a devil ray. What is a devil ray? If we make a change, it will be something that will be more accessible and appeal to everyone . . . or at least not drive people away."
--team President Matthew Silverman

"It's probably a good idea in this case, primarily because there hasn't been effective branding of that name. Probably within baseball, there's a stronger case for the Devil Rays to change their name than for any other team."
--Sports economist Andrew Zimbalist

"It could only inject ridicule and scorn because it's a substitute for injecting talent. If you want to inject talent and then change the name, great."
--Baseball writer/analyst John Thorn

"They're an 8-year-old team and they're kind of starting over. I'm okay with that. We are all enthused at what we've seen so far with the 'Under construction' banner. And they needed to do that. They needed to gain the respect of the community and the baseball community."
--Foster

ON YOUR WAY UP, UNDERSTAND I'M GOING DOWN

"I basically told them who to tip, how much to tip, where to go to pick up the (team) bus. The good thing is when they need to be somewhere, they're there, and they're there early.
--Marlins traveling secretary Bill Beck, on giving the young Marlins team a primer on how to travel in the big leagues (Palm Beach Post)

"Here you get one big bed in a nice hotel vs. sharing a room with somebody at La Quinta with two double beds."
--Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla, on the differences between the majors and minors

"You've got to tip an awful lot. It seems like we're tipping everybody."
--Marlins center fielder Eric Reed, naming a drawback to big-league life

"Those aren't aliases. Those are their actual names."
--Beck, when asked by a hotel clerk why there were so many aliases for the Marlins

"[It was] the complete Single-A experience."
--Cardinals center fielder Jim Edmonds, on running out of hot water during post-game showers at Wrigley (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

"I wouldn't tip these guys. I wouldn't tip 'em."
--Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, to his team, within earshot of the visiting clubhouse personnel

JUMPING SOMEONE ELSE'S TRAIN

"He hit it and kind of looked like he knew what he was doing."
--Reds outfielder Adam Dunn, on new teammate Bronson Arroyo, who hit a home run in his Reds debut (MLB.com)

"I hadn't hit one since high school. Guys were laughing because I guess I kind of walked it off a little or something. I didn't run hard. I knew I hit it out of the park, but I wasn't especially trying to jog around the bases. I was in another world after hitting it."
--Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo, on his home run

"For a guy that doesn't get a chance to hit a lot, he helped himself out, and it was a little boost for us. We were teasing him about having a double ear-flapped helmet. It worked for him. If he keeps swinging like that and putting down the bunt like he did, you'll see all of us with double ear-flapped helmets on."
--Reds outfielder Ken Griffey Jr., on Arroyo

HEY EVERYBODY! THIS GUY'S A PHONY!

"Oh, gosh. When you stop and think what these guys have done and what this stuff has done for them, it's amazing, and if you're a pitcher, you have to be upset. People say to me, 'Well, they still have to hit the ball.' No doubt about that, but those fly balls that were on the warning track are now flying into the seats, and that's the difference. It's just not right."
--former manager Tommy Lasorda, (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

"I mean, here's a guy, Hank Aaron, who exemplified what it meant to be a truly great athlete, and he set his record in an honest and a sincere way and a hard way, and the other guy did it with [power] enhancing drugs."
--Lasorda

"No, Hank can't be too happy with this, and he's a good friend of mine, and I think the world of him. We know records are made to be broken, and Hank doesn't have a problem with somebody breaking his record, but, by golly, you have to do it legitimately. These guys are producing phony records with a bunch of phony numbers."
--Lasorda

"Believe me, this is going to bring out a lot of names, and that's good. No. 2, we're going to find out a lot of things that we always had in our minds but didn't know for sure, and that's also good."
--Lasorda, on the Mitchell commission

"What would I do? Whatever they achieved after [they took steroids] would not be counted. They're cheaters."
--Lasorda, on what he would do if he were commissioner

"I wouldn't say anything, just, 'God bless you.' "
--Home run king Hank Aaron, on what he'd say to Bonds should he break the record (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

"I knew his father very well. And yes, I think I would owe it not only to Barry, I owe it to his father to respect everything that this young man has accomplished."
--Aaron

THE REST

"I know people are getting impatient. But enjoy baseball right now."
--Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre, on whether or not he'll retire (NFL.com)

"It's one game. If you want to say we're going to go out and stink up the season, go ahead, but it's not going to ruin my season. If you want me to say we're going to go 0-162, I'm not going to do that. I'm not writing off my season because of Opening Day."
--Reds outfielder Adam Dunn, on misplaying three balls on Opening Day against the Cubs (Chicago Tribune)

"I really like not strong. It's good for both (men and women). It smells really good."
--Blue Jays pitcher Gustavo Chacin, on a cologne he helped develop, named after him (Toronto Star)

"It smells like a 20-win season."
--Blue Jays radio host Don Landry, on the cologne

"Millar? No. He'd always joke around, 'Don't watch me. Go watch John Olerud.'"
--Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis, on whether or not Kevin Millar ever gave advice on how to play first (Boston Herald)

"It's like having calculus the first period of the day. Then the bell rings and it's over."
--A's GM Billy Beane, on the Opening Night 15-2 loss to the Yankees (New York Post)

"It was one of the worst innings I've seen since I put on a uniform, and my first uniform was made out of an onion bag in the Dominican."
--Giants manager Felipe Alou, on an eight-run inning against the Braves (MLB.com)

"When they give you lemons, you've got to make lemonade, and when they give you oranges, you've got to make orange juice. Tonight, we tried to make tomato juice out of lemon juice or something. It just didn't work out. I don't know if that's a good quote."
--Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, on trying to do too much with the pitches they saw against the Angels (New York Times)

"When you get guys out, you're big. When you don't get guys out, you're fat."
--White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, on closer Bobby Jenks (Arlington Heights Daily Herald)

"I don't think you deliberately try to get a guy to hit a ball 450 feet and have the wind knock it down."
--Cubs pitcher Greg Maddux, on not pitching differently when the wind blows in

"You have to feel bad for Barry Bonds. He said his life is in shambles. Well, of course. If you read the warning labels right there on the steroids, it says, 'May cause shambles.' What's the matter with this guy?"
--Late Show host David Letterman, on Barry Bonds

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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