August 28, 2006
The Week in Quotes
August 21-28THE PHANTOM PUNCH
"There were no punches thrown, so I don't think John had a bloody nose. I don't know how that would have happened."
"Gibbons just went at him. It looked like Gibbons grabbed him and they disappeared. Then the whole dugout emptied back there. It was mayhem down in the tunnel."
"We were on the verge of something regrettable happening. We were yelling at each other face to face."
"I overreacted, no question about that."
"I'm not proud of that. That's not who I am. But I am a passionate guy. ... It should never get to that point, but it did happen. I can't run from that, I can't make excuses. I've got to live with it now."
"He thought he should have been left in the game. I didn't think so."
"At a time I was already upset with myself, I didn't handle it well at the time. It wasn't very good, but this thing could have gone over a little better if I would have held my emotions."
"The farthest thing from it. The only time you see John get mad, it's justifiable."
"Ted Lilly's a great guy. Ted Lilly's an intense competitor. He was a great teammate when I was over there. So I'm surprised that confrontation happened with Ted Lilly."
"Stuff like that's been going on all season over there. I had my issues with the manager. ... They say I'm the cancer of the team and things are still happening, so I don't know how you can make that assumption or that statement. Things like that begin to come out when times get tough."
"Who knows how long I have left here. Maybe a month. Maybe longer. It was a bad day. I embarrassed the organization."
"It's a little strange to seen that happen. I liked Ted. He was a good teammate when he was here."
"Two guys were upset. It happens at home and it happens here. That's life. You just have to deal with it."
IS HIS BIOGRAPHER GETTING THIS?
"I told Carlos I hope he asks for a lot of money from the Tigers, because they'd have to dump a couple of guys to sign him."
"It's a funny thing about me. I will root for you after the game or before the game, but not during the game. You have to appreciate players who go about their business right in baseball. "
"I don't like the cocky attitude. Just go and have fun and play the game right."
"He is a fun guy. He has fun off the field, but he's a gamer. He gets fired up. He's a good teammate. It was my first year in the league, and he would push me, something like having competition in batting practice to see who could hit the ball in the six hole over there [between shortstop and third base]."
"It seems like he was the same guy he is right now. As a player, honesty, that's all I look for. You might not want to hear what he's going to tell you, but he's going to tell you the truth. You respect that."
THE PRICE OF DOING BUSINESS
"I wonder why it hasn't. I know what the pat answer is: That's how we do business around here. But even if it's going to ruffle some feathers me saying something - you know what? I just don't understand it."
"You've never heard me be bitter about something, other than bitter that we lose another chance at a World Series. But when people ask me questions, I have to be honest and say I can't talk about next year because I don't know what next year is going to [bring]."
"I've come back from so much, I've worked so hard that I'm not going to concern myself with being the prisoner of an environment. I've been here 19 years, so the overwhelming feeling is, 'They'll never get rid of you.' But after every single year, I've had to work 10 times harder just to work this out."
"All I know is, after these last two years and with my desire to work out, I've got two or three more years, easy. I used to always be of the mind-set that, 'If it's not here, it won't be anywhere else.' But that's not the case any more. I'll pitch somewhere else."
"Every time I answer that, homeboy upstairs criticizes me."
"All I said was, now that we're playing good, I hope management will do whatever it takes. And he went off. Why? What did I say that a normal competitive player wouldn't say?"
"I'm going to keep doing it. Someone told me they think I'm better left-handed."
"He was just goofing off (in batting practice), and his first four swings were one bounce to the warning track. He's never done that right-handed, ever. We all told him, `Hey, do that in the game. At least you've got a chance to put a good swing on the ball.'"
"Obviously he's doing it for a reason; he thinks he's better left-handed than right-handed. He made an adjustment. He looked better swinging from the left side than when we saw from the right side. But those are situations that are hard to swallow. Anytime a pitcher is able to drive in runs, that's tough to swallow."
GOOD HARD DRUGS
"I definitely know there are some guys who get to a Sunday day game, after a Saturday night game, and say, 'Man, I wish I had a greenie.' I've heard guys say that. So there's probably been some small effect. But I don't think it's been as noticeable as people thought it would be."
"Guys are substituting - getting things at GNC that are legal. Obviously, it doesn't give you the same ride. But it probably helps. And espresso - that's the biggest thing. It seems like every clubhouse now has an espresso machine."
"Sugar-free Red Bull."
"More energy drinks."
RULE NO. 1: IT DIDN'T HAPPEN. RULE NO. 2: IF YOU HEAR OTHERWISE, SEE RULE NO. 1
"As I understand it, the Blue Jays approached Vernon Wells' representatives and said, 'We want to talk about a contract extension.' The response from Vernon Wells' camp was, 'We're not interested in a contract extension.'"
"It's so comical that I don't know whether to laugh or to throw up."
"Nothing could be further from the truth. I've always said [writers] can say we stink, they can say we made a bad trade, but to write something that has no truth to it? Come on."
"I didn't go through any kind of inappropriate channels to acquire this. It was actually something that came to me from people who had direct and indirect knowledge of the conversation that I believe took place between Vernon and/or his representatives and members of Blue Jays management."
WE'RE IN A REBUILDING/CONTENDING SITUATION RIGHT NOW
"I think probably right now it's going to take longer than that. Realistically, I think it's going to take a little longer than that. We've got some younger people, specifically on the pitching staff, and with young people you have inconsistency. They need time to get their feet on the ground."
"We're in the hunt. We want to do everything we can to win it. It's an indication to the players and the fans that we want to get this thing."
WE'D LIKE TO BELIEVE A LOT OF THINGS
"Although Julio will always remain professional, it's becoming a frustrating situation. I'd like to believe the Dodgers did not trade away one of their top prospects for an All-Star-caliber shortstop to sit the bench."
"He's a player that wants to contribute on a daily basis, and has, at a high level, for the last three years. If the Dodgers don't feel like he can contribute every day, they should trade him."
"There is nothing I can do. It's out of my control. I just have to be ready to contribute."
A HONEYMOON CUT SHORT
"It's so tragic because he was so happy last night. It's just an incredible turn of events. It's really painful."
"Jon Hooker and Scarlett Parsley were on the Atlanta-bound flight, heading to their honeymoon after they were married Saturday night at Headley-Whitley Museum."
"My cutter has been my bread-and-butter the last few years, and I bet on all of the big hits that I've given up this year probably 99.9 percent of them have been on the cutter. The home runs are what's alarming to me. They've been on the same pitch. I don't have an explanation."
"I won't be on the DL next year, unless they have the DL at the Muirfield Village Country Club."
"I just realized that I've got to do what is right. I kind of got confused on a couple of things, but now everything is settled down. I'm going to stay with Adam and Tom [Reich], and all the way until the end. I want to concentrate on baseball and let them take care of the business part."
"There's never a good time in Red Sox Nation for Manny to come out of a game. Either he's gonna catch shit or I'm gonna catch shit. He's  and his knee hurts."
"No, not really. It felt not quite like being in Boston, but somewhere in the middle, like Kansas, I guess."
"On-base percentage is great if you can score runs and do something with that on-base percentage. On-base percentage just to clog up the bases isn't that great to me."
"Baseball. The Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers could be playing for the championship, and I'd rather be here watching the Angels and Yankees."
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus. You can reach Alex by clicking here.