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April 24, 2006

The Week in Quotes

April 17-23

by John Erhardt

YOUR CAREER IS A WONDERLAND

"That really stuck out and bothered me. To hear that something that happened when you are 12 would be the highlight of your life seems a little bit harsh. While I won't say that was the sole motivation shaping who I am today, I will say that it did sort of get to me. One more stick. One more stick to throw into the fire. It kind of pushed me into a competitive nature."
--Wesleyan student Jeff Maier, who turned a fly ball into a home run in 1996 for the Yankees, on Tony Kornheiser saying that his life had peaked at 12 (Boston Globe)

"A lot of these fans know who you are. Jeter said if he's not booed the loudest in Boston, he's not having a good year. I kind of treat it the same way."
--Maier, who plays on the Wesleyan baseball team, on playing in Massachusetts and being heckled

"My real goal is to play until somebody tells me I'm not good enough to play anymore, and after that I'd like to get involved in baseball operations, ultimately becoming a general manager."
--Maier, on his career aspirations

"I believe we could put our partisan issues aside."
--Maier, on maybe working for the Red Sox despite being a Yankee fan

"If they want to give me a chance to play, I'll bury the hatchet and go down there."
--Maier, on the possibility of playing professionally for Baltimore

"You don't really have much time to think about it. It's an instinctual thing. Anyone who goes to a game and is under 15 years old who tells you they don't want to catch a ball is lying to you. It's sort of the thrill of going to a game. It's why you bring your glove."
--Maier, on "the play"

"It kind of hits the heel of my glove, comes up into my chest and rolls onto the floor. I have it on the floor. But a 12-year-old weighing 115 pounds doesn't have much of a chance against a bunch of drunk 30-year-olds. So I did not come away with it. It's like a kicker trying to come away with a fumble in a football game. No chance."
--Maier

"You live life without regrets. Everything happens for a reason. I haven't quite figured out what the reason is yet, but I don't have any regrets about it."
--Maier

FLYIN' FREE TENACIOUS LEE

"They're going, 'Here, take this, take this, take this.' Afterwards, I've got sterazolidin, butazolidin, Clenerol, Indicin. I've got everything in me. I can pitch in the American League, but I couldn't run in the Kentucky Derby. Holy cow, I'm glowing in the dark. Now all of a sudden (current players) are doing it on their own and now it's a crime?!"
--former pitcher Bill "Spaceman" Lee, on when he hurt his elbow once and was given drugs by the Red Sox (Marin Independent Journal)

"I'd hire him right now as my own advisor. Anything that can take the pain out of the inside of my knees and allow me to hit a three-run homer at the age of 62, I'll do it. If I die rounding third, so be it. What a way to go."
--Lee, on BALCO founder Victor Conte

"I felt so sorry for BALCO when all this happened. If you can take a follicle of my hair and tell me what I'm deficient in my life, I want to know."
--Lee

"He's an arrogant, (jerk) and he's got a show that I would never watch, but he's still has the best swing that I've ever seen and the best eye. He's the best hitter we'll ever see in our lifetime. I rather face Bonds than Frank Robinson, though."
--Lee, on Barry Bonds

"It doesn't bother me. I'm going to get him out. I'm going to throw him sinkers in on his hands and jam him and make him run the ball off his armor-plated foot and armor-plated elbow and everything else. I'm going to pitch him like he's a little tank."
--Lee, on how he'd like to pitch to Bonds

"And he steps out and says, 'Why don't you challenge someone you gray-haired old fart?' I drop down and throw him a hard sinker in on his hands. He hit it like two inches from his hands. He went down on one knee."
--Lee, recalling the time he pitched to Bonds in 1984 at Arizona State

"That's why we used them, because we were hung over and you couldn't get that much caffeine in you in a short period of time. You can drink five cups of coffee and run to the bathroom all day or you can take one black beauty. It was better work through chemistry."
--Lee, on amphetamines

"Oh, really? Bummer. They got discos out, too. That's the only reason we were doing drugs: To stay up late. That's where the girls were."
--Lee, after being told that MLB was cracking down on amphetamine usage

"Everybody's gotten bigger. Everybody's gotten stronger. The thing is the Perdue chicken matures at 6 1/2 weeks now. It used to take eight. They come off the truck and they don't even have feathers. You just give them a couple of shakes. Are our kids getting smaller or are they getting bigger? And they talk about how we're all concerned, 'Oh my God. There's a couple of ballplayers out there who are chemically enhanced!' Everyone's running around like the sky is falling."
--Lee

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

"I never say it can't get worse."
--Royals manager Buddy Bell, after his team lost their 10th straight (Kansas City Star)

"If it doesn't turn around, we'll have to change things. We can't wait too long. I'm not willing to go through a season like we did last year. None of us are."
--Royals owner David Glass, on his team

"Once again, Forbes is not accurate in the information they are reporting on the Royals. We continue to operate as David Glass has directed, and that is to operate the club overall on a break-even basis (for the long term)."
-- Mark Gorris, senior vice president for business operations, on a Forbes report that the Royals made $20 million last year

"We all know we're a better club than we've shown. Offensively, guys are pressing. It doesn't help that we've faced a lot of good pitching. But, that said, you have to figure out a way."
--Royals GM Allard Baird, on his team's abysmal start

"We can't go against the plan and start rushing guys up here. We're just not going to do that. That said, none of us are content and in a pause mode to see what happens."
--Baird, on....what plan?

"You don't want to do things too quickly. We spent all winter and all spring putting this thing together, and we thought we were on the right track. But we need to see results. You want me to give you a date? I can't do that. You have to evaluate it on a day-to-day basis. If I say it has to be better by the All-Star break, that might be too late."
--Glass

"[Forbes makes] these numbers up. We just think it's important that people understand and realize these are not real in any sense of the word."
--MLB Executive of labor relations Rob Manfred, apparently hoping that MLB's word is just as good as an independent audit of their books (Toronto Star)

A BYRNES FOR ALL SEASONS

"There was no head contact, but I couldn't stop smacking kids around in tournaments, so I kept getting disqualified."
--Diamondbacks outfielder Eric Byrnes, on when he took karate as a kid (Arizona Republic)

"Dude, I was like John McEnroe. I was good, but I threw my racket all the time. Once, I nailed the kid on the other side of the net. I never hit the judge, but I did fire some balls at him."
--Byrnes, on his tennis career as a kid

"I don't think there's an extreme sport I haven't tried."
--Byrnes

"The thing now in baseball is, you've gotta be careful. But what are they gonna do? Take away my multiyear contract? I don't have a multiyear contract. I never have. I'm pretty much a year-to-year guy, so what's the worst that can happen?"
--Byrnes

"Personally, I think it's a breath of fresh air. And I don't want to be the one to tell him to slow down. It's too much fun watching him play. It's too much fun working for him. Hopefully, nothing will happen and so far, the walls have taken more of a beating than he has."
--Byrnes' college friend and agent Mike Sasson, on his client's recklessness

"People have told me my style of play probably isn't conducive to a long career, but you know what? I don't care. This is the only way I know how to do it. My response to them is always, 'When it's done, it's done.' But I'm going to enjoy the ride."
--Byrnes

"I'm not afraid for it to be over. There are plenty of things in my life I want to do beyond baseball. As long as I'm playing this game, I'm going to have as much fun as I can."
--Byrnes

I LOST MYSELF IN A FAMILIAR NEWSPAPER...

"It must have been from playing too many video games growing up. I'd never experienced a thumb cramp before. Just looked too strange, so we got him out."
--Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon, on taking pitcher Scott Kazmir out of the game because of a thumb cramp (Boston Globe)

"I asked if I could get a new count. It's too much of a delay. It can't be 2 and 2. I asked if we could have a do-over."
--Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell, who was at bat and had a 2-2 count when Kazmir was removed

"If he says something to me, I'll say something back. If he apologizes or says anything to me, I'll talk to him, but I have no reason to go out and try to fight him. That's stupid. It's baseball, not UFC [Ultimate Fighting Championship]."
--Tampa Bay outfielder Joey Gathright, on Boston reliever Julian Tavarez

"David Ortiz is a great player, and an even better person. Yes, sometimes an umpire will miss a pitch or a play. However, happily for the Red Sox, if David did his job to the extent the umpires statistically do theirs, he would be hitting over .900."
--Director of umpires Mike Port, on David Ortiz' assertion that he's 90% right when he argues about a pitch that was called a strike

THE REST

"Those stats show you a whole lot. But it's like that woman on the beach in a bikini. It shows you a lot, but it doesn't show you everything. I'll never be accused of taking the human element out of it."
--current Dodgers manager Grady Little, on why he won't ever just use stats to make decisions (Boston Globe)

"I'm not hitting, you know what I mean? I know what they're doing. They're trying to walk me, but I won't let them. They're throwing everything in off the plate. It's a ball. They're trying to walk me. They're just not throwing strikes."
--Cubs outfielder Jacque Jones, on his hitting struggles (Arlington Heights Daily Herald)

"I feel sorry being compared to him. I mean, it's Ken Griffey."
--Mets second baseman Kaz Matsui, on joining Ken Griffey as the most recent players to homer in their first at bat of the season three years in a row (New York Times)

"I'm not ashamed of what I did. When I talk to people I tell them I'm crazy, I tell them, hey, I'm nuts."
--Royals pitcher Zack Greinke who left camp for personal reasons, on how he'll respond to teammates (MLB.com)

"If I waited five days last time, why not wait 10 or 15 days, make sure we get it out of there for good, whatever it is. There's a shark floating around in there and we got to get it out."
--Toronto pitcher A.J. Burnett, on the source of his elbow pain (Toronto Sun)

"I was 250, probably. I was soft. I was athletic, don't get me wrong. I was Ken Harvey times three. Picture him, but times three of that."
--Milwaukee first baseman Prince Fielder, reflecting on his AAU playing days (Baseball America)

"He's very consistent in his personality. You can't hardly tell whether he's high or low. His mound presence is full of quiet confidence. He's a quiet young man. You can tell internally that he's confident. He knows what he wants to do, and has a pretty good idea of what he's doing and not doing."
--Cubs manager Dusty Baker, on rookie Sean Marshall (Chicago Tribune)

"I think we all know what kind of player X was and is. I was always high on X. Obviously, that hasn't changed."
--Padres pitcher Jake Peavy, on former teammate Xavier Nady (MLB.com)

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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