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June 5, 2006

The Week in Quotes

May 29-June 4

by John Erhardt

"ROYALS FANS, I'M GOING TO TELL YOU A STORY OF A TEAM THAT CAME HERE AND FAILED. WELL, THAT IS THE STORY. I SHOULDN'T CALL A SENTENCE A STORY."

The Royals were my team. That was the team I rooted for growing up. I continue to root for them. I want to see them pull out of this. … It's sad, but they just kind of want to sit there now and collect revenue sharing."
--former Royal Johnny Damon, on the situation in Kansas City (Kansas City Star)

"It's not as if we're where we want to be here [in Seattle]. But Kansas City was where I got my break, where I became a regular. I wasn't playing much here my first time. If not for the chance I got with the Royals…"
--former Royal Raul Ibanez

"They've got a legit fan base. Our good year, 2003, we drew 30 percent more than the year before. So I feel for them, too, like I feel for our fans suffering with us."
--Ibanez, on his good year

"They said the last time I pitched in extended (spring training) in Arizona was the biggest crowd they ever had. And it was just my mom in the stands."
--Royals pitcher Zack Greinke, returning to the team

ISN'T HE A BIT LIKE YOU AND ME?

"As many players as I've come across, a lot of them will give you a sales pitch when they want to land with your club. Many don't follow through. This man told me what he was going to do and told me who he was. He's shown me who he is and done what he said he was going to do."
--Los Angeles GM Ned Coletti, on Nomar Garciaparra (New York Times)

"Before spring training, he showed up with Eddie Murray and worked at first base. In spring training he worked hard every day. I knew where to find him. He was at first base working with Eddie."
--Coletti, on Nomar learning a new position

"It definitely was difficult. I didn't want to go anywhere. Then one day I'm told they no longer wanted me. That was very difficult. You give your whole heart and soul and suddenly you have to pack up and move."
--Nomar Garciaparra, on being traded from Boston

"I felt such a part of it. Guys were calling me through the whole run. 'Did you see the game? We're thinking about you. You're with us.' They called from the bus. I called them and congratulated them."
--Garciaparra, on his old Boston teammates

"It's a championship season, not a championship series."
--Garciaparra, on his Championship share and ring

SO MUCH TO DO SO MUCH TO SEE / SO WHAT'S WRONG WITH PICKING YOUR OWN PLAYERS?

"I'm not surprised. We don't have popular people. Fans vote for guys they know for a long time, their favorites. I'm going to manage the Red Sox and the Yankees."
--White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, on being told the Yankees and Red Sox have most of the All-Star leaders

"If they give me a chance, I'll take 10 White Sox. They will be ripping my [butt] all over the country: 'Look at Ozzie picking his own players.'"
--Guillen, on taking his own players to the game

"Baseball is like that. You have to be a fan favorite. If you are not a fan favorite you are not going to be at [the All-Star Game]. But ask the coaches. If I have respect from the coaches and other players, I don't care about anything else."
--Devil Rays outfielder Carl Crawford, on his All Star ballot status (Baltimore Sun)

MORE JUICE, PLEASE

"I think it bothers everybody. It bothers everybody. I think it bothers everyone."
--Giants outfielder Barry Bonds, on the steroid allegations in baseball (New York Daily News)

"I have never heard that, but I can tell you it never happened. I'm scared of that stuff. I don't even take pills. Why would I do that? First, it's bad, bad for you. No one knows what can happen later in life. Then, the year they must be looking at, they were testing that year."
--Mariners third baseman Adrian Beltre, on the accusations that his 2004 season was the product of steroid use (Seattle Times)

WELL, YOU PUT THE VIBE OUT TO 30 MILLION FANS, SOMETHING'S GONNA HAPPEN

"We didn't take ring sizes after the first six weeks. We're not going to hang nooses from branches now."
--Rockies manager Clint Hurdle, on his team's struggles lately (Rocky Mountain News)

"My cigarettes have filters on them. I'm not sure that guy's did."
--Tigers manager Jim Leyland, on a sign held up by a fan that read "When Do Playoff Tickets Go On Sale?" (MLive.com)

"I just didn't want him to have a heart attack. But I wanted to see how many 360s he did."
--Tigers third baseman Brandon Inge, on Leyland arguing with umpire Paul Nauert

"When you smoke three packs (of cigarettes) a day and you're out of breath after saying, `You're (awful),' no, it didn't feel good."
--Leyland, on his argument

"That's high school stuff. This is professional baseball, and all that rah-rah stuff doesn't get it. If I need to go out and stir my team up by arguing with an umpire, then I've got a bad team. And I've got a good team."
--Leyland, on whether or not he argued to inspire his team

BURNING OUT HIS FUSE OUT HERE ALONE

"Here we go again. I'm going to give it a shot. I don't necessarily know that I need to or that I want to, but I'm committed. Again, it's about winning."
--Astros pitcher Roger Clemens, on signing with Houston (MLB.com)

"A piece of my heart's in each of those cities that I've played. I think all four teams come September are going to be right in the middle of things. I've got deep roots in that Boston tradition up there. I left nothing in the bag when I was in New York. But the bottom line is winning and the success we've had here the last few years. I had the opportunity to come home. I seized that moment. You don't want to look in the past, but you've got to give it some merit."
--Clemens

"Last time I checked, we were in the World Series last year. It's the same team if not better. I know I've got my work cut out. I've got to do it step-by-step, get into a game situation. I push my body hard, but I still need to get some competitive innings. I still need to get what I call stressful innings. I call them stressful innings because at my age, it's stressful."
--Clemens

"God bless the Houston Astros to pay that kind of money. If I asked [chairman] Jerry Reinsdorf for Roger Clemens for that kind of money, I might get fired."
--White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, on the Roger Clemens signing (Chicago Sun-Times)

"YOUR PITCHER IS GOING TO NEED ONE THING: TOUGH LUCK."

"One of these days, he's going to get tired of getting hit, he's going to get tired of giving up runs. When that day comes, he'll get meaner. He will get more mature."
--Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, on the recently demoted Gavin Floyd (Philadelphia Daily News)

"He'll get toughened up. When he does that, he'll be in the right frame of mind and he'll be ready to come up here and pitch. If he never gets that, then he will not."
--Manuel

"Well, I did hit 1.000 down in Triple A."
--Phillies reliever Brian Sanches, on being told he would be removed from the game for a pinch-hitter

THE REST

"We're aware of his ability, but that's the extent of what I can say. We're aware of him, because that's the job of our scouts. Have we seen him pitch? Yes. Do we have an opinion? Yes. What that opinion is, I'm not going to say."
--Yankees manager Brian Cashman, on Danny Almonte's draft eligibility (New York Times)

"He said, 'Dad, you look like you can still play. You don't run as well at times when you play every day, but you can still hit a ball a long way. If you work at it all the time, you can keep on doing it.' I'll sit back and think about that one. I told him, 'You get straight A's and I'll think about playing.'"
--Barry Bonds, on his son's advice (Contra Costa Times)

"When I go home each night, I can look at myself in the mirror and know I've done everything I can to make sure our team is prepared. I can't field. I can't throw. I can't hit. I'm not allowed to do those things. As a manager, there is so much you can do, and then the rest is up to the players."
--Pirates manager Jim Tracy (Kansas City Star)

"Sometimes you're the windshield, and sometimes you're the bug."
--Tiger closer Todd Jones, after blowing a save to the Red Sox (ESPN.com)

"There were three, four guys with that Rochester dugout who were out to kick our rear ends that day, and they did. They were mad at me for going to the minors. Tiff was one of them. He slid hard--that's the way he plays--but I can't say I appreciated him trying to kill my shortstop in the last exhibition game. Now, if he had slid into the dugout and spiked me, I could've understood that."
--Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, on an exhibition game during spring training between Minnesota and Rochester (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

"He's been gone from the Twins for two years, but when he's in Dallas, he stills calls my dad and says, 'Cook some barbecue ... I want to come over.' He always said he was a minority anyway ... a Canadian."
--Twins outfielder Torii Hunter, on former teammate Corey Koskie

"I think I was a little surprised that they ended up cutting the guy they traded me for."
--Padres pitcher Chris Young, on being traded from Pittsburgh to Montreal for Matt Herges, and then the Pirates promptly cut Herges (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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