June 19, 2006
The Week in Quotes
"They swore they wanted character guys, but then they signed a DUI guy and a guy sleeping with a reporter and that's fine, but I got character issues?"
"I kind of lost a lot of my spirit after leaving L.A. For me now, being successful is not having a problem occur. Dusty Baker gave me this little book during the off-season: 'Don't Sweat the Small Stuff.' It kinda got me to the point--if it's not life and death, then just let it go."
"I'm having a blast. Baseball is fun again. I enjoy coming to the park here and being in the clubhouse. In L.A., I just enjoyed playing. When I got there in '04, I liked everybody, but everybody I liked either got fired or traded."
"Now I've got a grasp of that. I didn't react to things in a positive, helpful manner. It was a defensive mechanism I used growing up. I'd be this little kid playing basketball on the courts in Long Beach, and a problem would occur and I'd act crazy and nobody would mess with me."
"But some stuff isn't my fault, but because it's me and I messed up before, it's always my fault. When I threw that bottle out there, that was my fault. But everything after that, that wasn't my fault. People think they have to deal with me differently. I've never put a hand on anybody. You'd swear I beat the world up. Sure, I go off verbally at times, but then I'm done with it."
BUT HE NEVER INHALED
"It was almost word for word the conversation we had, except there's a couple of key words left out. You know, 'legal' was one of the major--probably the most major omission in the affidavit ... I was, you know, deemed human growth hormone deficient through blood work ... the doctor put me on human growth hormone, monitored my levels, monitored blood level, blood work periodically, regularly."
KNOCK ME DOWN, IT'S ALL IN VAIN / I'LL GET RIGHT BACK ON MY FEET AGAIN!
"I'll tell you one thing, if Padilla hit me twice, right now I'd be in the hospital or I'd be dead. But I will fight. I will fight because the way he hit him."
"When you get hit like that, that means there's something wrong. You don't go from having a great game to hitting the same guy twice. Padilla wasn't throwing inside; Padilla hit the man because he wanted to hit the man. He knows, the manager knows, baseball people know."
"Everybody has a different way of going about their business. They hit me, we'll fight. I'd get my butt kicked, but I will fight. I grew up fighting. I play this game the way it should be played, I coached this game the way it should be coached and I manage this game the way people have to manage in this game."
"I remember in the '80s, players would solve the problems for the manager. Now everybody's got to be involved in things. Now they send people to you when you have a problem with another team. Let the game go. There's too many things, too much money around. The game changed. People say that's Ozzie talking. No, I've been here 20-something years."
"I don't understand how these guys can not hit people. The other day, that guy [Houston's Russ Springer] had to throw at Barry Bonds four times before he could hit him. If I missed a guy once, I don't think I'd throw at him again on the next pitch. I'd be too embarrassed."
"He says, 'I want you to hit that blankety-blank Billy Sample in the head.' I throw 100 miles an hour. If I hit him in the head, it'll kill him. Martin says, 'I don't care if you do kill him.' I said I wasn't going to hit him, and Martin says, 'You're telling me you're not going to do it?' He hated me from then on."
"I told [the coach] that I don't have a problem with [George] Scott. And I don't think I can outrun him. So he put it in his book that I refused to hit George Scott. At the end of the year, they let me go and said they didn't think I was tough enough to make it in the majors."
"I was taught how to play this game, and that's not the way you play the game--unless someone changed the memo and didn't tell me."
RAISE THE ROOF
"Oh, I see! No, that's good. It seems like a lot of people think that we're not playing good baseball. But to play .500, that's pretty good. It's just that the guys ahead of us [Detroit and Chicago], they're doing much better."
"My mom knows that I don't get [tickets] for free anymore. I have to pay for these things, so everybody's getting their own."
"He can do anything he wants to. Mauer can run pretty good, but Ichiro hits a ground ball to shortstop and it's a hit. He can get 10 hits in 5 at-bats."