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April 17, 2006

The Week in Quotes

April 10-16

by John Erhardt

'TIS A POOR CARPENTER WHO BLAMES HIS TOOLS

"We're not going to sit here and watch another 10 games like the 10 games we've already had. We have to right the ship. They have to right the ship. And if they don't, then we can release guys, we can trade guys. We'll do what it takes to get better."
--Nationals' GM Jim Bowden, on the team's early struggles (Washington Post)

"Hell, we ain't ever been on track."
--Nationals manager Frank Robinson, after saying that they need to get back on track

"What did you make of them? I saw four home runs today. The other team didn't seem to have a problem."
--Nationals team president Tony Tavares, after being asked about Jose Vidro's complaints that the fences at RFK should be moved in

"If we're going to start complaining about the size of this ballpark now, we just might as well pack it in and go home. Because if we don't, they're going to be putting us in a little white jacket and carrying us out of here."
--Robinson

OH YEAH, DRUGS. YOU GOTTA HAVE DRUGS.

"That is naiveté that borders on moronic. We're really still at the front part of the drug era in baseball. It's evolving. When you see silliness about juicing the ball, and every other excuse, my mouth is agape."
--Penn State professor and expert on steroids Dr. Charles Yesalis, on the tendency to refer to now as the "post-steroid era" (Seattle Times)

"What we saw last year and the year before is a learning curve. Guys had to learn how to get around drug tests."
--Yesalis

"It's got to be something, right? I mean, it just can't be that the players are good."
--Joe Garagiola Jr., Major League Baseball's senior vice president of operations, on the offensive revival this year (The Denver Post)

"Frankly, there is nothing for me to comment. I'm sure Senator Mitchell and his staff are monitoring everything very closely."
--MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, on the investigation into whether Barry Bonds perjured himself (Houston Chronicle)

"I've given up trying to predict what our wonderful commissioner will do--and in many ways, he's been OK. But he would not be well advised to do that. The union would jump all over him."
--visiting Harvard Law School professor Roger Abrams, on whether Selig will suspend Bonds during his quest to break the home run record (Boston Globe)

"This isn't just about baseball, but normal labor relations law. The only way you can suspend an accused employee is you have to show that his continued employment is dysfunctional for the company, and how do you do that with Bonds? I'd be surprised if the commissioner tried."
--Abrams

"Does he have the power to do something? Of course. He can invoke the 'best interests of baseball' clause. But I believe there is still a presumption of innocence for the accused in this country."
--Abrams

IT IS EASIER TO BE CRITICAL THAN CORRECT

"He's an exaggerated version of the Darryl Kile school. When you lose, you take all the blame."
--Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, on closer Jason Isringhausen's tendency to beat himself up when he doesn't perform well (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

"Izzy takes the blame, and then he gets knives out and he starts cutting himself to pieces until he's all blood and scabs."
--La Russa

"I'm never too hard on myself. That's the way it is. If I'm not, nobody will."
--Jason Isringhausen,

"Well, I haven't talked to Dad yet. He hasn't yelled at me. He will."
--Isringhausen

JUST LISTEN TO THIS GUY

"I heard that I was being compared to Bobby Knight, and I thought to myself, 'Well, heck, the last I looked he's going into the Hall of Fame.' That actually was one of the best compliments I could have gotten."
--current Baltimore pitching coach Leo Mazzone (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

"Well, I tell you what. I've got all that I can handle right here. I mean, (Wednesday night) we had a ball game where we had a young kid named Daniel Cabrera, and listen to this line score: Five innings, three hits, one run, nine walks and 10 strikeouts and 110 pitches."
--Mazzone

"I always look up on the scoreboard for 'Atlanta,' and, of course, you always think about Bobby (Cox), and you think about Smoltzie, and you think about (bullpen coach) Bobby Dews, and you just root like heck for them. On a couple of balls this year, I'm thinking to myself, 'Well, there's an out,' and then it's like, 'Uh-oh. It got through.' When you watch the game being played, and you don't have Rafael Furcal at shortstop or Andruw Jones in center, it's a little different there."
--Mazzone

I WANNA BE WITH YOU / IF ONLY FOR A GAME

"I don't even know why these questions are coming--why are you guys making a big deal out of this? It's a big issue for you guys, not us. There's no problem between me and Randy."
--Yankees catcher Jorge Posada, on how he doesn't catch Randy Johnson (New York Newsday)

"Flaherty is gone, Stinnett caught him before, but that [Johnson] is the guy I want. It comes with pride, it comes with a lot of things I want to get done. Obviously he's our number one ... I'd like to sit down together with him and talk. I'm going to make the effort to get him to feel comfortable like Flaherty did. That's the main goal ... I'm going to be there for him. And I expect him to be there for me, also. Even when he's not pitching, I want to ask him, 'What do you think about this hitter? How do you get him out?' I didn't have that conversation with him [last season]. At all."
--Posada

CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES

"We watched it on replay, and we said it went into the second row. That wasn't the reaction we were expecting for a ball that went two rows deep."
--Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo, on Ramon Hernandez's bat flip after hitting a walk-off home run against the Angels (Los Angeles Times)

"You hit a big game-winning home run, hey, you beat me, you can do what you want. Especially on a walk-off."
--Angels reliever Scot Shields, who surrendered the home run to Hernandez

"The bat talks. It speaks English, Spanish or whatever language you want to put it. That goes for all of us. It's an advantage for the team to be able to go with the hot hand."
--Orioles outfielder David Newhan, on the struggle for manager Perlozzo to find ABs for all the available outfielders (Baltimore Sun)

THE REST

"No, 2.000, baby. I got two hits."
--Devil Rays shortstop Julio Lugo, on his batting average after going 2-for-2 on Opening Day (MLB.com)

"We've all been there. I say all the time this is a hard game. It's a humbling game and it's a hard game. We've all been [there]--maybe [Albert] Pujols hasn't. But the other 24, we've been there."
--Cardinals third baseman Scott Rolen, on teammate Jim Edmonds' recent slump

"The first game there, they had about 300 people in the stands, and there was a group of about 10 guys who were all over me every time I came up."
--A's outfielder Bobby Kielty, on being heckled during a recent trip to the minors. Among the chants were "no more ma-jors!" and "Ma-cha hates you!"

"They were pretty good."
--Kielty, on the hecklers

"These are thin mints. I put them in the freezer. My favorites. So good."
--Reds outfielder Adam Dunn, on the girl scout cookies he keeps in his locker (Dayton Daily News)

"I was on the mound in the bullpen, warming up, when they announced the lineups. I heard Redmond was in the three hole and said, 'Are we even trying to win?' I was joking."
--Twins pitcher Kyle Lohse, after hearing backup catcher Mike Redmond was hitting third (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

"I'm going to make a lot more mistakes than Hanley this year, so I'm not worried about that."
--Marlins pitcher Matt Herges, on a Hanley Ramirez error in a game against the Nationals (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

"It was so minor that I don't even think about it anymore. It's not like this is some big controversy like Watergate."
--Pirates pitcher Zach Duke, on a change in his pitching mechanics (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

"I was going to ask him, 'What do you want?' I threw him a changeup, a curveball, everything, and he kept fouling it off, so I was kind of looking at him and saying, 'What do you want?' But it was a great battle and he came out on top when I walked him, but thank God it didn't come back to haunt me. So that was a big key."
--Mariners pitcher Joel Pineiro, on a 12-pitch AB from Red Sox catcher Josh Bard (Boston Globe)

"He's got more homers than Wily Mo already."
--Reds outfielder Adam Dunn, after Bronson Arroyo hit his second home run of the year (Cincinnati Post)

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:  Bobby Kielty

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