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June 19, 2006

The Week in Quotes

June 12-18

by John Erhardt

I'M FREE NOW / FREE TO LOOK OUT THE WINDOW

"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?"
--former Dodger Milton Bradley, on the team's treatment of his character problems while in L.A. (Los Angeles Times)

"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."
--Bradley

"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."
--Bradley

"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."
--Bradley, on his anger management problems

"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."
--Bradley

"I didn't pay anything. The Dodgers paid me $4.2 million over two years, and the checks were always on time. I have no bad feelings about the Dodgers."
--Bradley

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."
--former first baseman David Segui, on being named in the Grimsley affidavit (Outside the Lines, ESPN)

"... It was perfectly legal. You know, I was under doctor's prescription."
--Segui, on his use of HGH

"I told him, I was speaking as a friend ... Do it under the doctor's supervision. And my exact words to him were, if you're going to do it, do it the right way."
--Segui, on what he told Grimsley

"That would be difficult to imagine."
--an anonymous baseball spokesman, on the possibility a player would be allowed to use HGH (Kansas City Star)

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."
--White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, on Texas' Vicente Padilla hitting A.J. Pierzynski (Chicago Sun-Times)

"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."
--Guillen

"Padilla can't say he wanted to hit him because he'd get in trouble. Everybody knows he hit him. If that situation happened to Ozzie Guillen, right now I'd be bleeding with a broken nose."
--Guillen

"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."
--Guillen

"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."
--Guillen

"Ozzie went nuts. He had the ass, big-time."
--a source, on Guillen reacting after Sean Tracey didn't hit a batter in retaliation

"You want to play hardball? You want to fight fire with fire? Here's fire. It stops [stuff] from happening."
--former reliever Goose Gossage, on throwing at players

"No manager ever had to tell us. We knew when we had to do something. That's the game. If you don't agree with that, then you don't understand."
--Gossage

"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."
--Gossage

"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."
--Gossage, on a conversation he once had with Billy Martin

"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."
--former Cy Young winner Steve Stone, on being ordered to hit a batter

"I drilled Al Bumbry in the hip. I thought he was dead. And that was the end of it. I came into the dugout, and Willie very quietly came over and said, 'Hey, thanks a lot, man.'"
--Gossage

"It's a joke. How could Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa have hit all those homers that year [1998] without being hit by a pitch? Did you ever see either one of them get knocked down?"
--Gossage

"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."
--Cleveland first baseman/outfielder Eduardo Perez, on getting hit by a pitch (ESPN.com)

RAISE THE ROOF

"Five hundred what? Five hundred what?"
--Twins pitcher Johan Santana, when asked about the importance of reaching .500 (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

"Batting average? I just couldn't see the ball today."
--Santana, thinking he was being asked about his batting average

"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."
--Santana

"It was way gone--450 feet."
--center fielder Torii Hunter, on a David Ortiz sure home run that hit a speaker on the Metrodome roof and turned into a single

"There's some angels catching my stuff. That ball was supposed to hit [the Kirby Puckett banner in the upper deck]. What can you do?"
--Red Sox DH David Ortiz, on the blast

"It's like playing putt-putt golf, you've got to go around the windmill. This is Major League baseball. That's embarrassing."
--Red Sox manager Terry Francona, on the single

THE REST

"Maybe they'll get mad enough to get somebody out."
--Nationals manager Frank Robinson, on whether or not his relievers will be upset after bullpen coach John Wetteland was fired (Washington Post)

"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."
--Tampa manager Joe Maddon, on his homecoming to Philadelphia (Tampa Tribune)

"You look like you're trying to catch a butterfly with a stinkin' waffle iron."
--catcher Josh Bard, on trying to catch Tim Wakefield (San Diego Union-Tribune)

"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."
--Yankee manager Joe Torre, comparing Joe Mauer to Ichiro (New York Times)

"Happy Father's Day, and happy retirement, Dad."
--me, to my father, who's retiring this week from his teaching position at Horace Greeley High School in Chappaqua, New York

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:  Character,  Fight

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