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December 26, 2006

The Week in Quotes

December 19-26

by Alex Carnevale

TAKE A BOW, THE NIGHT IS OVER/THE MASQUERADE IS GETTING OLDER

"Baseball under Bud Selig's leadership has done in one calendar year what for most people would be a great career."
--Fox Sports president Ed Goren, on Bud Selig.

"I've said it time and again: We're in a golden age of baseball, a renaissance. We're doing things that nobody thought possible. I've had tremendous support from the clubs and the Players Association, so it's not trite to say that I accept this on behalf of very many people…It's kind of funny that I'm getting patted on the back now for the same things that I got ripped for in the 1990s."
--MLB commissioner Bud Selig, recipient of Street and Smith's award for Executive of the Year.

"The WBC was just thrilling to me. Watching those games in San Diego gave me goosebumps. I remember the game between Venezuela and the Dominican Republic, and when David Ortiz hit that home run off Johan Santana, the reaction of the crowd made you think the Red Sox had just won the pennant. It was right then I said to myself, 'This is going to be good,' and it turned out to be a very good thing for our game."
--Selig, on the World Baseball Classic. (Jack O'Connell, MLB.com)

"Bud Selig is often viewed by sports fans as lacking the vision and leadership of his colleagues at other leagues. But if you're in the business, you have to appreciate his list of achievements in 2006."
--Abraham Madkour, executive editor of both SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily.

ANY DEAL THAT PUTS BOTH JAY MARIOTTI AND JAMEY NEWBERG INTO CONVULSIONS IS A WIN-WIN

"When you are dealing with prospects like we are, these are just good baseball deals. It has nothing to do with money or, in this particular case, with one club losing confidence in Brandon. I had so much confidence in Brandon, I ended up trading Freddy [Garcia] to put him at the front of the line to challenge for the fifth spot. The whole makeup of our club made Brandon expendable, as we believe there are other equal options for the fifth spot. But we also get stronger for the future."
--White Sox GM Kenny Williams, on dealing RHP Brandon McCarthy for LHP John Danks and RHP Nick Masset of the Texas Rangers.

"In our minds, we were bowled over."
--Williams

"It's not about saving money; it's about feeling comfortable with what we have. The problem is what's going on next door, [with the Cubs] throwing money around the way they have.''
--White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen

THE CRITICS DIDN'T KNOW, FOR INSTANCE, THAT BRANDON MCCARTHY POOPED ON KENNY'S HANDTOWEL

"With all due respect to those [critics], I'll continue to rely on my scouting instincts and scouting staff and the information that we have, I can't effectively put together a plan that sustains success and at the same time pleases the masses. Then it becomes a popularity contest and dealing with people that don't have as much information as we have."
--Williams. According to Nate Silver, McCarthy's PECOTA projected EqERA as a starting pitcher is 4.97, while the 21 year old Danks projects to 5.07 EqERA.

"We'll keep doing business the way we have and continue scouting the players and not the players' numbers."
--Williams

"I have an answer to that question but should keep that to myself just out of respect for players that played for you. I think Brandon McCarthy is going to go down to Texas and be everything they feel he will be."
--Williams, on whether John Danks has a higher ceiling than McCarthy. (Joe Cowley, Chicago Sun-Times)

IF WE'RE NOT GOING TO WIN, YOU'VE GOT TO AT LEAST LET ME HELP THE TEAM LOSE

"It doesn't appear that I will get a fair shot, and that is all I am looking for. I don't know what the reasoning is. I am not going to pout about it. I am here, and what I really want is to win. But do I think I should be given a shot to win a job? Absolutely. Why not?"
--Orioles infielder Jay Gibbons, on his chance at being the starting first baseman. Gibbons hit .277/.341/.458 last season, including .258/.277/.403 against southpaws in 62 ABs.

"You need to play there consistently. You can't just pick it up and be a Gold Glover."
--Gibbons, on switching to first base after losing the RF job to Nick Markakis.

"I want to be in the lineup every day like they want me in there. But you can't change the past. Right now, I am 100 percent healthy and the injuries are a non-issue."
--Gibbons (Baltimore Sun)

I ASKED FOR A PS3 THIS CHRISTMAS, BUT NOT BEING ABLE TO GET THAT IMAGE OUT OF MY HEAD SHOULD SUFFICE

"My brother and I get to shower together again."
--Padres OF Brian Giles, on why his mother Monica is excited that both her sons are Padres.

"You said you weren't going to mention that."
--new Padres 2B Marcus Giles

"I lied."
--Giles (John Perotto, Allegheny Times)

IF I HADN'T EATEN SO MANY CHEESEBURGERS AT THE SNACK SHACK, I'D HAVE THE MYSTIC LITTLE LEAGUE RECORD FOR STOLEN BASES. WHAT'S YOUR POINT?

"What really has bothered me for a long time is that if we hadn't traded him, he would have his 3,000 hits, and he would be a lock for the Hall of Fame. We traded him twice -- and into bad situations where he was a platoon player. If he stayed with us, he would have gone over 3,000 hits. If he doesn't get in, it would really bug me. I talk to him about it, and he just shrugs it off."
--Jerry Reinsdorf, White Sox owner, on Harold Baines' HOF candidacy.

"He's going to have a tough time because for a good part of his career he was a designated hitter and a lot of writers won't vote for a DH."
--Reinsdorf

"It's part of the game and definitely should be included. If not, then get rid of it all together. Frank Thomas has been a DH a long time, and he's not a Hall of Famer? That has to be addressed. But I'm not going to go out there and push the issue. I don't think you just go off of numbers from what I'm seeing. I don't know the criteria, and I don't know exactly what voters are looking for. Maybe someone should write about the criteria."
--Harold Baines

"I was taught well in the minors by Tony La Russa. From the seventh inning on, pitchers shouldn't want to face you because you should try to be a tough out. I never wanted to make the last out of a ballgame, and the true hitters, the consistent players, were the guys who could hit with two outs and men in scoring position."
--Baines

AND THAT'S COMING FROM AN UNBIASED SOURCE

"Don't tell me what a guy hits. Tell me when he hits it."
--White Sox television announcer Ken Harrelson, on Harold Baines' clutch ability. (Scott Merkin, MLB.com)

"I was one of the five best pitchers the Yankees could find in baseball for the last four or five years. I didn't strike guys out and I gave up hits, but I didn't let runs score and I won ballgames. That's what you're supposed to do. I think my win total, my longevity, coming back from the arm surgery, all of the wins I had post-surgery -- that should be enough."
--former Yankee hurler Tommy John. (Tom Singer, MLB.com)

AT LEAST TERRY FRANCONA KNOWS HOW PAPER IS MADE

"I was assigned to Machine No. 11. Wood chips and water went in one end. Paper somehow came out the other."
--Padres manager Bud Black, on his work experience at Longview Fibre, a pulp mill in Washington.

"We'd established deep, deep roots in San Diego, and I didn't want to uproot the family. But when the Red Sox made an overture and I decided against going after it, my wife said, 'You're crazy! It's the Red Sox!'
--Black

"Buddy went to the ballpark that day and didn't say a word to anybody. He pitched and did horrible, for obvious reasons. I think he gave up something like three homers (to the Cincinnati Reds). We heard later that the Padres had scouts at that game to see Buddy to make a possible trade for him, but they lost interest after the three homers."
--Bud Black's wife, Nannette Black, on her husband's performance while their daughter's life was in jeopardy due to a life threatening condition. (Chris Jenkins, San Diego Union Tribune)

THOSE PEOPLE IN CHICAGO HAVE NEVER SEEN SOMEONE PUT UP AN ERA OVER FIVE FOR $7 MILLION PER, NOSIREE

"I have something to prove to myself and the city of Chicago, and that's about it. I know what I'm capable of doing, and the Cubs know what I'm capable of doing. There's a big upside."
--Cubs SP Jason Marquis

"He was going to get $20 million to $21 million from three or four different teams. That was definite."
--Cubs general manager Jim Hendry, on signing Jason Marquis.

THE REST

"Alex is one person, and as it's been shown in New York, one person can't win a championship. He couldn't do it here. He can't do it there. You have to have a team, and you've got to have pitching."
--Rangers owner Tom Hicks, on Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez. (Danielle Sessa, Jerusalem Post)

"Leagues formed throughout internment camps. Every camp had a baseball field. There were 10 camps throughout the United States. Focusing on baseball in the camps was a positive ... for the internees, who really didn't have many positives."
--Kerry Nakagawa, founder of the Nisei Baseball Research Project. (Kenny Cress, Santa Maria Times)

"I can pitch at 89 (mph), and that's what's important. Everybody has to make adjustments in their careers. I'm looking forward to pitching."
--Eric Gagne, Texas Rangers closer. (Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

We withdrew the application for slot machines because the rules in baseball are very clear. Rather than try to come up with a structure that maybe would have subverted the intent, we thought it was appropriate to respect the intent of the rule and withdrew."
--Pirates chairman Bob Nutting, on his idea to include slot machines in a resort he owns.

"I just want to hang out more with Brad Ausmus and Mike Lamb. That's really all I want. I just want them once to acknowledge the fact that when we're out somewhere other than the ballpark and I'm within 20 feet of them, we're technically 'hanging out.' I want them to acknowledge that. They don't even have to speak to me. Like at the baseball dinner in January, Brad will be there and I will be there. Technically, absolutely, we're hanging out."
--Astros broadcaster Dave Raymond, on his dream for the 2007 season. (Alyson Footer, MLB.com)

Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus. You can reach Alex by clicking here. You can also find his Football Outsiders work here.

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Premium Article Future Shock: San Dieg... (12/27)

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