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July 10, 2006

The Week in Quotes

July 3-9

by John Erhardt

SUDDENLY EVERYTHING HAS CHANGED

"You reach a point in any career where you get more philosophical and enjoy different things."
--Padres catcher Mike Piazza, on getting older (San Diego Union-Tribune)

"There was a lot of pressure in carrying teams. I couldn't enjoy some things at those times. I'm having fun again. My goal now is to prove I was a bargain for the Padres."
--Piazza, on being with the Padres

"I've been underpaid and overpaid. I'd like to think I might be underpaid again. It completes the cycle."
--Piazza

"This is the first time I've ever played for a manager who was a catcher. He sees the nuances. He understands what we've been through and go through. It's been a long time since I felt this good midway through a season."
--Piazza, on manager Bruce Bochy

"I'd never had two days off in a row before. Honestly, I didn't know if I liked the idea. But I felt a lot better and coming out of that, I had a bit of a surge. Bochy understands."
--Piazza, on how he felt when he'd been told he'd get several days off in a row

"It benefits Mike to get more time off. It just so happens we have two other catchers who make that possible. It's worked well, and it's worked well because Mike's accepted it."
--Padres manager Bruce Bochy

"I don't look at my life in terms of records. Not a lot of catchers look real good walking when they are 50 or 60. I admire the way Sandy Koufax left the game ... at peace with himself and his accomplishments."
--Piazza

"It's tough to let go. I'll be the first to admit it. Eventually, I want to leave on good terms and not be pushed out the door. I don't want to be in a position that I'm only playing for the money."
--Piazza

"THERE ARE NO NO-HITTERS IN AMERICA, AND THE STREETS ARE PAVED WITH PITCH COUNTS."

"Fans want to see no-hitters. I think back on my first one. There were only about 5,000 fans in the stands in Philadelphia. After about five innings they weren't Philly fans anymore; they were rooting for a no-hitter."
--Angels GM Bill Stoneman, on his first no-hitter (New York Times)

"Pitchers don't pitch complete games anymore. You got to go nine to pitch a no-hitter."
--Stoneman

"When we pitched, we went nine innings. Now pitchers are conditioned to go 100 pitches regardless of where they are in the game. That gets them into the seventh inning usually. Managers would take them out anyway. They're saving them for their next start."
--Angels assistant GM Ken Forsch

"There's not that type of pitcher anymore. They're few and far between. If you look at the pitchers who pitched no-hitters, you're talking about a potential no-hitter every time they went out there. Who can you name today whom you'd say he can pitch a no-hitter?"
--Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson

"The lineups are deeper than they were in the past. There are no Ray Oylers or Dal Maxvills or Gene Michaels or Fred Stanleys in the lineups. You get to the No. 8 and No. 9 guys and you're still facing pretty good hitters."
--Brewers GM Doug Melvin, on the paucity of no-hitters

GEORGE WASHINGTON WAS IN A CULT, AND THE CULT WAS INTO ALIENS, MAN

"It's part of life, it's natural, it's from the earth."
--Yankees center fielder Johnny Damon, on marijuana (New York Daily News)

"He'd tell me, 'If you ever want to experiment with anything, let me know.' He smoked a little bit, so he said just let him know. Like, 'Don't have me get a call when you're in jail. If you want to skip school, that's cool, as long as you get good grades.'"
--Damon, on his father

"[It] was all right, but you have to grow up sometime."
--Damon, on his marijuana use

"If you f--- up, I'm out of here. ... And I said, 'That's cool, that's the way it should be.'"
--Damon, on what his wife Michelle told him at the beginning

"I'm already living any guy's fantasy playing ball."
--Damon

THIS IS WANTING SOMETHING, THIS IS REACHING FOR IT

"It was joy. I couldn't really put into words how I felt at the moment. I just never thought I could get back here."
--Josh Hamilton, on getting back in the batter's box after not playing a game since 2002 (MiLB.com)

"Seemed like it was never going to happen, but it's good to be on the field. It's good to be around the guys again."
--Hamilton

"It's amazing how people give people second chances. People want to see you do good, but there's no way I should be in the shape I'm in right now."
--Hamilton

"She's never seen me throw, never seen me run. She cried a bunch. She saw me in my uniform for the first time before the game and just started bawling. It feels good to have her here."
--Hamilton, on his wife Katie

WHY CAN'T I BE YOU?

"Maybe they just can't pick two Devil Rays for the All-Star Game, you know because nobody can ever imagine that. But they're going to have to get used to it one year."
--Tampa Bay outfielder Carl Crawford, on not being selected to the All-Star Game (Tampa Tribune)

"You don't have to be old to be good. It has to bolster his confidence even more. And obviously within the league, it set him apart a little bit. It's wonderful. As an organization, it indicates that we're getting better in some areas."
--Tampa manager Joe Maddon

"When you look at all the outfielders, a lot of them are having good years. Maybe I just picked a bad year to have my best. It definitely gives me motivation for next year. It will definitely give me something to think about in the offseason."
--Crawford

"I haven't voted for myself yet, and I don't intend on it, unless I hear through the grapevine I'm just one vote away. I think that's for the fans, and that's their decision, not mine."
--Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander (MLB.com)

"A lot of people have come up to me and told me they've voted for me 50 or 100 times. The support of all the people in Cleveland has been great."
--Cleveland DH Travis Hafner, who was not voted onto the AL All-Star Team

"It's hard when nobody likes you and you have the most votes."
--White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, on A.J. Pierzynski going to the All-Star Game

"It's true what they say--good guys really do finish last."
--White Sox catcher Chris Widger, on teammate Pierzynski (Chicago Sun-Times)

"It's a tough decision, but I can't lie--I voted for myself."
--White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski, during his appearance on "The Best Damn Sports Show Period." (Philadelphia Daily News)

THE REST

"I wanted to be Terry Bradshaw and I wanted to be Nolan Ryan. Turns out, I was neither."
--new Yankee Kris Wilson, on his dreams as a kid (The New York Times)

"I was so nervous, I thought I was balking every time I came set because my legs were shaking so much. Last night, I felt calm. I felt like I belonged."
--Wilson, comparing his major league debut with the Royals to his appearance with the Yankees

"Mr. Anderson, this is going to be a learning experience and probably one you won't forget for a long time."
--U.S. District Judge William Alsup, to Barry Bonds' trainer Greg Anderson, after finding him in contempt of court and sending him to federal prison(San Francisco Chronicle)

"I was fine with that. I just wanted to make the team--bullpen, anywhere. I just didn't want to go back to Triple-A."
--Twins pitcher Francisco Liriano, on starting the year in the bullpen (New York Times)

"If he hits .400, I'll buy him a car."
--Twins outfielder Torii Hunter, on what he'll do if teammate Joe Mauer hits .400 (Kansas City Star)

"A Hyundai."
--Hunter, when asked what kind of car

"David [Wright] should get Jose [Lima] to throw to him. He'd win for sure."
--An unnamed Met, on how teammate David Wright may win the Home Run Derby (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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