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July 17, 2006

The Week in Quotes

July 10-16

by John Erhardt

SOPHISTS: MAKING THE STRONG ARGUMENT WEAKER AND THE WEAK ARGUMENT STRONGER

"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?'"
--Cincinnati GM Wayne Krivsky, on the eight-player deal that sent Austin Kearns and Felipe Lopez to Washington (MLB.com)

"It's difficult to get quality pitchers for the back end of the game. This speaks to the high price out there."
--Krivsky

"We spent weeks on this transaction. [We] must've exchanged nine, 10 e-mails a day."
--Nationals GM Jim Bowden

"Jim and I just started talking on Friday. [It] started out as one-for-one, then Jim and I went back and forth all over the place."
--Krivsky

"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."
--former Mets GM Jim Duquette, defending the Scott Kazmir for Victor Zambrano trade (Tampa Tribune)

ASK ME ABOUT OUR PRONATION!

"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?"
--former pitcher and current instructor Mike Marshall (St. Petersburg Times)

"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."
--Marshall

"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."
--Marshall

"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."
--Marshall, on the arm motion he teaches

"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."
--Marshall

"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."
--former pitcher and Marshall teammate Jim Bouton, on Marshall

"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."
--former Devil Ray and Marshall client Jeff Sparks, on the delivery

"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."
--Sparks

IF THERE'S SOMETHING INSIDE THAT YOU WANT TO SAY / SAY IT OUT LOUD IT'LL BE OK

"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."
--Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, on the Pirates (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

"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."
--Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter

"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."
--Jeter

"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?"
--Mets starter Tom Glavine

"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."
--Glavine

"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."
--Glavine

"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."
--Athletics pitcher Barry Zito

"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."
--Zito

"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."
--White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski

A YEAR AGO / I GAVE IT A YEAR / I HOPED IT WOULDN'T HAPPEN / NOW IT'S HERE

"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."
--Dodgers pitcher Odalis Perez, on losing his spot in the rotation and pitching relief in extra innings. He wound up surrendering a game-ending HR to Albert Pujols (MLB.com)

"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."
--Perez

"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."
--Perez

"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."
--Dodgers manager Grady Little, on why he didn't intentionally walk Pujols

"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."
--A's outfielder Nick Swisher, on becoming the de facto first baseman after Dan Johnson was demoted

THE REST

"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."
--then-Nationals Reliever Gary Majewski, on the All-Star Break (Washington Post)

"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."
--American League All-Star manager Jim Leyland, recalling when he managed the 1994 All-Star Game (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

"The goat is starting to look real."
--Cubs pitcher Mark Prior, on his team's struggles (Chicago Tribune)

"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."
--Cubs reliever Scott Eyre on being asked about Dusty Baker's job status

"OK, I need to say something controversial. I need to stir it up. My team plays better when I'm on ESPN every night because of something I said."
--White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen (Chicago Sun-Times)

"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."
--Guillen, assessing Mark Buehrle's performance in a loss to the Yankees

"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."
--Guillen, on the 19-inning Sox-Sox game last week (Boston Globe)

"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."
--Guillen, on recalling rookie Sean Tracey from Triple-A (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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