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January 29, 2007

The Week in Quotes

January 22-28

by Alex Carnevale

THE GUY ACROSS TOWN MAKES $7 MIL AND SLAMS HIS BEST PLAYER IN THE MEDIA...PAY ME

"Going into the season we didn't know how things would end up. Obviously I was on the middle of the contract. As the season went on, you have 3.5 million people coming out and they're talking a new ballpark, and SNY was doing well, you start thinking about sharing some of the wealth, of course."
--Mets manager Willie Randolph, who got a raise from the Mets this week (Mike and the Mad Dog, WFAN.com)

"He changed the culture in the clubhouse from a country club to a work environment."
--Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon

"Willie was a guy I had always admired as a player…The only thing was, when we interviewed him, he didn't, at that point, really have a game plan for what he wanted to do as a manager."
--Brewers AGM Gord Ash

"Without any minor-league track record of managing a ballclub, and without, in his own mind, a formulated game plan of how he would do it, it was tough to take a chance at that point."
--Gord Ash

WITH THAT KIND OF LEVERAGE, I'M SURE THIS WILL BE TAKEN CARE OF SOON

"Urge is probably not strong enough."
--MLB commissioner Bud Selig, on whether or not he urged MLB teams to comply with George Mitchell's investigation into performance-enhancing drugs in the sport.

"I believe it will be in your best interests, and the best interests of baseball, if I can report that I have received full cooperation from your organizations, and from others, in conducting this investigation."
--George Mitchell

"I believe that a report that is not credible and thorough will significantly increase the possibility of action by others, especially if it's the result of a lack of cooperation by the clubs, or by anyone else who is or has been involved with baseball."
--Mitchell

"Look, some clubs have been more cooperative than others, but at this stage, I'm not concerned about that. He will have cooperation."
--Selig (Newsday)

"IT MUST HAVE BEEN LOVE, BUT IT'S OVER NOW"

"I want to be back, but I've seen direct quotes from Kenny saying that Mark Buehrle won't be in a White Sox uniform in 2008. I'm just kind of going off what he said."
--White Sox SP Mark Buehrle. Buerhle's PECOTA has him at a 4.81 ERA in 2007.

"Obviously, I know if I am going to stay here, it's going to have to be [taking] a discount. Like Kenny said, he's got the quote out there saying I won't be here, so I only know what kind of discount. ... I could play for free and he said I won't be here, so I don't know."
--Buehrle

"Assessing what our focus is and what our direction is, is there something there that's a realistic opportunity in retaining Buehrle? Only he knows the answer to that. Have we explored the possibility? Yes. Am I optimistic? Not at all. Not at all."
--White Sox GM Kenny Williams

I WILL JOURNEY TO THE HIMALAYAS TO TALK TO THE MAN THE LOCALS CALL BELICHICK

"I apologized because I should know better now than to answer direct questions with direct answers. I have to change the way that I'm doing this job."
--Kenny Williams

"In an effort to be truthful, honest, candid--it just doesn't work. On the surface, it would work if everything you said, every channel it went through after you said it, it would be interpreted the same way, in the same context. But that's not just the case. That's not just reality."
--Williams

"But you know what would be more unpopular? It would be if we did nothing and got old and got too expensive and then had to go out scrounging for leftover talent and overpaying for mediocre talent."
--Williams (Mark Gonzales, Chicago Tribune)

"Because we've missed on our evaluations from our amateur scouting department too often. The scouting department has been put on notice. I expect more from them."
--Williams, on why the White Sox have had to make trades to bring young pitching to the organization. (Joe Cowley, Chicago Sun-Times)

MO' MONEY MO' PROBLEMS

"It always seems to be a risky proposition when you're not only reaching fewer fans but raising their ire in the process. I've already seen reports that fans are not happy."
--David Carter, executive director of the University of Southern California's Sports Business Institute, on MLB moving its Extra Innings package exclusively to DirecTV.

"One thing we know about sports fans is they want to consume content on their own terms and not be arm-twisted into a way the league wants."
--Carter

"The challenge is how to maximize (revenue) without turning off your core audience."
--Carter (Dan Wetzel, Yahoo Sports!)

THE REAL SURPRISE HERE IS THAT HAFNER HAS A MOTHER

"The truth is, I hardly ever call him Pronk. I prefer the Pronkinator."
--Travis Hafner's mom, Bev Hafner

"In rookie ball I was told if I didn't improve, I'd be released."
--Indians slugger Travis Hafner

"I thought the Pronk bar was pretty cool until I found out the same Cleveland candy company used to make an Albert Belle bar. I haven't eaten one since."
--Indians outfielder Casey Blake

"He reminds me of Barney Rubble in a uniform, and I mean that in a complimentary way. I'm not going to talk about what we'll try and do against him differently this year in detail, but soft stuff seems to have positive results. If I have my say, this guy will no longer have a chance to beat us. We'll pass and go onto the next guy. Use our get-out-of-jail-free card with him."
--White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper (Sports Illustrated)

WE SHALL CALL THIS SCHOENBALL

"If you look at the prices that are being paid for relief pitching, and you guys know how big I am as far as relief pitching. I believe in a lot of ways to build the staff backwards, to start from the bullpen and then take care of the starters."
--Mets GM Omar Minaya (Mike and the Mad Dog, WFAN.com)

"We tried to invest dollars in a frontline starter. We weren't able to get one. Instead of investing dollars in a mediocre market, I said, 'Who is the best reliever in the market?' and it was Schoeneweis."
--Minaya

"We scored the second-most runs in the league and our starters' ERA was third in the league. I knew what I had to do."
--Indians general manager Mark Shapiro

"THESE ARE THE DAYS IT NEVER RAINS BUT IT POURS"

"On average, it can take an umpire as long to reach the major leagues as it takes one, educationally, to become a neurosurgeon. Openings can be rare, and competition among those aspiring to get there is indeed keen."
--Mike Port, Major League Baseball's vice-president for umpiring,

"It's military in mentality. I don't care what experience you've got. We'll break you down to the very smallest thing and we'll build you back up."
--Tripp Gibson, "an instructor who graduated second in his class last year."

"And from there, the upside is you've a chance to make it to the big leagues. All of these people here have that dream of becoming a major-league umpire. And to their credit, they have taken the steps to follow that dream. There's no telling how many people are sitting at home right now kicking themselves for not coming down."
--MLB ump Sam Holbrook (Kevin Baxter, Miami Herald)

THE REST

"Looking back, it makes you a little distraught. They made a lot of moves. It makes you wonder, but you get over it. I like Lou. There are a lot of guys I'm pulling for over there."
--Dusty Baker, on the money the Cubs spent this offseason. (Mark Gonzales, Chicago Tribune)

"I am going to promise two things. We will be good and we will stay good."
--Cubs general manager Jim Hendry (The Cub Reporter)

"When you talk about the status of the contract, guarantee provisions are not customarily applicable in normal major league contracts. In this contract, the guarantee provision is in place with the exception of a very, very myopic element of this, so this is something that is certainly treated for all intents and purposes as a $70 million contract."
--J.D. Drew's agent Scott Boras (New York Times)

"You have parameters of being happy where you are at and trying to get as much as you can because when you are 40 years old and you are out of the game, not many of us have brain surgeon jobs waiting."
--White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko (Scott Merkin, MLB.com)

"When you hit .230 and have two home runs and 39 RBIs, you don't get a lot of awards."
--Astros catcher Brad Ausmus, on receiving the Darryl Kile Award. (Richard Justice, Houston Chronicle)

"I'd turn on the TV and watch 'Friends' with the sound off and make up my own words."
--A's first baseman Nick Swisher, on his travels to 10 U.S. military bases. (Gwen Knapp, SFGate.com)

"He swings like a girl and runs like a woman."
--A's starter Dan Haren, on his ex-teammate Barry Zito. (Athletics Nation)

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: Minnesot... (01/26)
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