July 17, 2006
The Week in Quotes
"There are probably some nasty messages already on my voicemail. Cincinnati leads the nation in polls. There's probably something on the crawler now--'Is this good or bad?'"
"What people haven't really focused on a lot is that at the time the Mets were in a transition and the projected payroll for the next year was in the $80 million range, about what it was that year. And the feeling was, with the pressure to win in New York and the payroll projected as what it would be, we had to do some creative things. Our evaluations on Zambrano were very high. Our feelings on Kazmir also were very high, but we thought at the time it would take a couple years to see him at the major-league level. Our opinion at the time was he was another year-and-a-half away."
"The reverse rotation is destroying pitching arms, and you think I can get a single major-league pitching coach to understand that or a single GM to call me up and ask me to come talk to them?"
"Not at all. They're dealing with some fantasy Earth-is-flat reality. You can't convince them to do otherwise. And I don't know how to beat this wall of ignorance. The problem is, I know how to eliminate all pitching-arm injuries. I know how to do it. I swear to God I do."
"What they don't understand is that when you take your pitching elbow laterally behind your body, before you can throw the ball to the plate, you have to bring your elbow back to the pitching arm side of your body and then redirect the ball toward home. Well, anything you've done sideways is counterproductive. You have to stop that side force in order to start it again toward home plate."
"So we can drive behind it as hard as we want and we'll never hurt ourselves. With the traditional motion, you can tear the heck out of your shoulder and elbow. Professional baseball started about 130 years ago and baseball has just been copying the guy who won the most games that first year. But it was a terrible motion then and it still is."
"You don't need steroids to get very, very powerful. In fact, we get more powerful than (athletes who use them) will ever get because we not only strengthen the muscles, we strengthen the bones, ligaments and tendons, and we do it in a manner the body is supposed to do it."
"How would it hurt baseball to bring Mike Marshall to spring training or some sort of special camp and listen to what he has to say and try out his theories? Give him a minor-league team to work with. See what happens. It isn't that they dismiss an idea. It's that they don't even want to give it a chance. I mean, he has some credibility. He's not just some guy out of the woodwork."
"As far as Mike's program, the only thing I can say about it is there's no better way to throw a baseball in the world. You cannot injure your arm. Can't."
"My driving force now is to pitch 'til I'm 56 or 60 and prove to everybody that this is the way to throw a baseball, despite how it may look."
"I'm sure it's frustrating for everyone here. But with the system we have in place right now, every team has hope. If you look at what revenue sharing has done, if you look at the way Oakland, Minnesota and now Detroit operate, you can get to where you're a player or two away, or a good decision by the manager away. Good baseball decisions can be made in Pittsburgh, too."
"I don't see it as hopeless here at all. There are teams that have won without a big payroll. Look at the teams that have beaten us. The 2003 Marlins didn't have a huge payroll. Neither did Anaheim."
"Just because we have money doesn't mean we're going to win. You have to do things the right way. I'm unfamiliar with the Pittsburgh organization, but I know they have a great stadium and some great players, and I'm sure things will turn around."
"I don't know the ins and outs of what's going on here with the ownership group, but you have to take a look at that and see if that's a source of the problem. You have teams over the past few years that weren't doing well before, but they're doing well now. You have to ask that question: Have the economics of those other teams changed so dramatically? Or have the people who run those organizations done a better job of putting a team together?"
"You can't get a whole lot more parity in baseball than we have this year. There are some pretty even races across the board. It can be done. Obviously, it's not easy, but I don't care what anyone says, you're not going to have a system that allows everybody to have the same opportunity that the Yankees have because the Yankees are in a unique market."
"I'm sure the people of Pittsburgh are hungry for playoff baseball. I'll bet, if you ask people, they'd tell you they'd rather have a playoff game here than the All-Star Game. But you know what? I think there are a lot of us around baseball who would like to see the Pirates get back to where they were."
"People always want to point to payroll as a reason they're not winning, but you could also point to someone poor and say they'll never amount to anything. There are teams that have overcome it."
"Billy is a huge example. If you manage the team right, come up with your own ideas or just have a great eye for talent, you'll be able to sign guys no one ever heard of. We've done that all the time, and they actually help us in the playoffs. Payroll's an easy thing to point the finger at, but it's a scapegoat."
"Rob [Mackowiak] would always say how bad it was, how hard it was to come to the park. The park is beautiful, but you don't get big crowds and you don't come to the place with the sense you're going to win every day ... it's tough. You feel sorry for the players, for the fans, for everyone because you'd like to see everyone have a chance."
"If I'm at this level, it's because I can pitch at this level, not for people to ignore me. I'm too good for that. I don't know who it's coming from, why I'm in this situation. If I did something wrong, tell me what it is. I'm treated like trash and I don't want to be in this situation. What did I do to these people? Why am I treated like this? I don't have the answer. I want people to tell me the truth."
"I need to get my confidence and prove to these guys I'm able to go out and pitch. It's been very hard for me to come here and see people around me say they have no confidence in you no more. It's killing me."
"Two or three bad games and I'm no good? I'm too professional for this. Believe me, I love L.A. But for my family and me, I'm not comfortable. I want to be considered as a pitcher. My son goes to games and sees me not pitch and asks why, and I don't have an answer. I hate to be ignored. I have to cry. I haven't said nothing before, but I'm tired. If I have to move on, I move on."
"They've got too many people coming up behind him. Sooner or later, there's not enough bases to intentionally walk everybody you want to."
"Fine by me. I like it over there. I don't like to see a teammate get sent down, but Dan's a good player. He'll be back."
"The bullpen's a little worn down. We need to take these four days, relax, go to the beach. If there was something to shoot around here, I'd go hunting."
"I had a meeting before the game and told the players, 'I'm going to do everything possible to win the game, and that means some of you aren't going to get in.' I didn't use Jeff Conine, so people said I hated the whole state of Florida."
"I think if we keep playing the way we played this series, and if everyone would stop talking about Dusty's job, we could all play and relax a little more. If something happens, it happens, but if everyone would stop talking about it, maybe it would take pressure off of everyone else."
"His ball is just up [in the strike zone]. The cutter is not cutting, the changeup is not changing and the fastball isn't fast. Buehrle didn't pitch good, and our defense didn't help out. We didn't execute on the field."
"In the 15th I told the umpires we should have a Home Run Derby to win this. I saw that Italy won the World Cup [on penalty kicks] and I thought we should do the same thing."
"A lot of people will be happy because I didn't send a guy down just because he didn't hit somebody. Now, everyone can see Ozzie is not a bad guy, he brings this kid back up. All the people say this kid was sent down because he didn't do what he supposed to do or I was mad and I sent him down."