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March 5, 2007

The Week in Quotes

February 26-March 5

by Alex Carnevale

THERE COMES A POINT WHEN YOU JUST HAVE TO SAY, 'NO BASEBALL FOR YOU.'

"I've heard for years we have too much product out there."
--MLB commissioner Bud Selig on the Extra Innings deal.

"Everywhere I've gone… there's no market that has less than 350 to 400 [televised] games, and some have quite a bit more than that. We have an enormous amount of product out there."
--Selig

"As for this deal, what fascinates me is I have spent a lot of time going over it and trying to find out who can't get [DirecTV]. We're down now to such small numbers, that I'm really wondering [about the fuss]."
--Selig

"In a year or two, when people understand the significance of this deal… everybody will understand it."
--Selig

"All I know is what I've read in the papers."
--Bud Selig, on the Gary Matthews allegations. (Paul Sullivan, Chicago Tribune)

ACTUALLY, AARON ROWAND THINKS YOU'RE CRAPTACULAR

"I don't see Neal Cotts talking about me, I don't see Freddy Garcia talking about me. I don't see Timo [Perez] or Sandy Alomar Jr. or any of those guys. I think it was an unnecessary comment."
--White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, on Brandon McCarthy's complaints about the 2006 White Sox.

"I think Brandon should look at himself in the mirror. I say, 'Who is the bad guy in the clubhouse?' Then say it. You played with us 162 games and all of a sudden you leave and say you don't have a friend in the clubhouse, only Brian Anderson? Well, he picked the wrong guy to be friends with. People forgot that Brandon McCarthy got caught a couple of times out at night. I called him into my office and said, 'You been hanging around the city a lot, huh?' I said, 'I don't have a spy on you, but I know a lot of people in the bars in Chicago. I've been here for 20 years, and they will tell me everything.'"
--Ozzie

"All I can say is that I'm 23, I'm single, and I'm in a big city like Chicago. I don't believe going out after a game ever affected my performance. I was very responsible about it. I wasn't out partying. I was out just trying to be young and meet people. Ozzie and I had a meeting about it, and that was that."
--Brandon McCarthy

"He forgot he lost a couple of games for us. He lost at least five of the 72. We might be in the playoffs without him."
--Guillen (Mark Gonzales, Chicago Tribune)

HE SAID, 'BOY, THAT STARTING PITCHING IS ATROCIOUS', BUT HE WAS NICE THE REST OF THE TIME

"Lou kind of carried the conversation."
--Mets third sacker David Wright, of Cubs manager Lou Piniella, on his visit to the White House with Tim McCarver, Trevor Hoffman, and Vernon Wells, among others. (Mike and the Mad Dog, WFAN)

"He didn't ask for my advice on Iraq or anything like that."
--David Wright

"He spent a good three hours with us."
--Wright

"He congratulated me and Vernon on our contract extensions. He's actually very close to Ruben Sierra and Julio Franco. He went to Julio's wedding."
--Wright, who bopped .311/.381/.531 in 2006.

"There were sixty different knives and forks…I had to watch the First Lady the whole time."
--Wright, on the dinner. He took his dad.

WE ARE ALSO AGAINST THE NEW MANDATORY CODPIECE

"I know they want to quicken the pace of the game, but when we start not playing on ESPN and waiting 2 1/2 minutes before innings, it'll be much easier. I think it's kind of dumb. If you really want to speed up the rules, we can just fire up inning after inning, and when no one has commercials that pay the bills, then the whole world comes to an end. I think they're playing both sides of the coin, so I don't give it much merit."
--Red Sox 3B Mike Lowell, on some of the new rules. (Jeff Goldberg, Hartford Courant)

"My impression was that there's a mathematical formula in place that discounts all the other stuff and gets right to pace of game. And I would disagree that our games are longer. We're on TV every night and it's 2:25 between innings. If you ask us, we'd rather not be. Those games take 4 1/2 hours to play. We're always ready to play before the TV timeout's done."
--Red Sox starter Curt Schilling

"If I go out there and my guy Mikey Lowell or somebody like that gets hit, well, you're damn right I'm going to come get one of their guys. I'll go get him the very next inning. If I didn't do that, I'd get no respect from my teammates, you know? That's just not the way the game works. They're trying to change the game on us. You can't change the game. It's showing the team in that other dugout that, `Hey, we ain't gonna let this happen.'"
--Red Sox starter Jonathan Papelbon

"If you allow a certain amount of time to pass, the change-of-speeds element almost gets taken out of the picture, so the quicker, the better. This is a game originated on defense, and we can control that from a pitching standpoint. So the more you can dictate that tempo, the more we feel we have the advantage."
--Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell

"There's an inner struggle all the time on who is controlling the tempo of the game. Is it the guy in the box or the guy on the mound? That won't change. But now, we'll have an umpire almost mediate this to a certain point."
--Farrell

"I don't particularly agree with these rules. I'll follow them, but when we play the Yankees, it's going to be a long game. There's a pretty good chance it's televised. In between innings is like an hour. The games are longer. There's a lot of good hitters that just grind out at-bats; every pitch means so much. But the ballpark's full. Somebody's enjoying those games."
--Terry Francona

AND THEN HE KISSED ME

"I remember being 18, almost in tears... I just felt like, 'Get me back in my senior high school uniform.' Then sure enough (Piniella) gives me a big kiss on top of my head. He goes, 'Son, I love you. I love you. I just want you to do well.'"
--Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez

"From that day on, for the next 12 years, he's been just like a father to me."
--A-Rod

"I don't take it as (a slight) if it is. It doesn't bother me at all. We look for whatever way to make players better. If they can do this on their own, find someone that gives them that secure feeling, so be it."
--Joe Torre (New York Daily News)

HIS DEFENSE WILL IMPROVE WHEN I SAY IT WILL IMPROVE

"I'm surprised, because I know he was an outstanding outfielder, and Jimmy (Leyland) is real pleased with the way he approaches his outfielders. But I'm surprised that he doesn't remember experiences where a guy starts out struggling defensively and is permitted to work and becomes better than average."
--Cardinals manager Tony La Russa on Andy Van Slyke's comments about Chris Duncan's defense.

"Average at worst? He might be average at best, not worst. It's sort of like me at third base [for the Cardinals]. Some things just aren't going to happen."
--Tigers coach Andy Van Slyke

"If you're willing to work and you work on the right things… if you have below-average skills you can become average. If you have average skills you can become above average. If you have above-average skills you can be terrific. Chris really runs well for a big guy. He's got a nice arm. He's going to work and get confident."
--La Russa (Joe Strauss, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

A CHANCE FOR MARCUS TO ESCHEW THAT OUTDATED BRAVES POLICY OF 'CLASS'

"You get nervous when you see those guys come into the shower. Let's put it this way: You definitely don't close your eyes in there, even when you're shampooing."
--Padres righthander Chris Young, on the Giles brothers.

"Ah, we just like to shave in there. Chris, for some reason, thinks it's gross."
--Brian Giles

"It's a little looser in here than Atlanta."
--Marcus Giles, who hit .262/.341/.387 in 550 at-bats.

AND AMIDST ALL THE CRAZINESS, A MOMENT OF COMPLETE SANITY

"I'm waiting for the Charger schedule to come out before setting the date."
--Brian Giles, on the timing of his pending nuptials. (Bob Nightengale, USA Today)

"I'd be in (former manager Bruce) Bochy's office having a serious meeting and Brian would come in there fully naked, showing his batting stance. He's normal except for the tanning booths, shaving his body, and walking around with no clothes. One Giles is enough. I'm not sure if I can handle two of them."
--Padres General Manager Kevin Towers

"That's a sick boy, right there. The stuff he does around here, you can't even get in your newspaper. And now there's two of them."
--Padres center fielder Mike Cameron

"They're funny lookin' anyway, so they're even funnier when they say something."
--the venerable Greg Maddux

LEGENDS OF SPRING TRAINING

"When I watch him play, he makes the game look pretty easy. When I played the game, I knew how hard it was. He's better than I was at (23). Much better."
--George Brett, on Alex Gordon. (AOL Sports Blog)

"He's more talented than I was at his age. He weighs about 200 pounds. When I was that age, I maybe weighed 175. He's a very strong kid."
--Carlos Beltran, Mets CF, on Mets farmhand Fernando Martinez, who's all of 18 years old (Ken Rosenthal, Foxsports.com)

"We spent the winter looking at spray charts, seeing where balls were hit and looking for trends. We saw some tendencies we want to try and address."
--Rockies manager Clint Hurdle (Tracy Ringolsby, Rocky Mountain News)

UNFORTUNATELY, LARRY DEMANDED WE SACRIFICE THE INTERNS TO ATONE FOR OUR MISTAKES

"We were last in baseball in OPS out of the #5 hole in the lineup (683) and we felt that we couldn't endure that again."
--Red Sox AGM Jed Hoyer

"The other night Brian O'Halloran, our Director of Baseball Operations, and I were at a Kinkos in Phoenix putting together arbitration binders until 4:30 in the morning. It doesn't get more mundane than sticking each individual number on a divider while the guy behind the counter is listening to a sci-fi book on tape--and somehow trying to stay awake. That task is up there on the list--and is certainly the most recent."
--Jed Hoyer

"As an intern, I spent a lot of time making 'name' magnets for the draft room. That's pretty monotonous."
--Hoyer

"But I don't have any regrets about trading him for Josh Beckett. While Josh didn't have the kind of year he had hoped for in 2006, that certainly hasn't changed the way we look at him as a pitcher."
--Hoyer on Marlins SS Hanley Ramirez (Rich Lederer, Baseball Analysts)

THE REST

"I was watching the Anna Nicole (Smith) trial and looking to see if Manny (Ramirez) showed up at that."
--Terry Francona, on his day in bed with the flu. (Jeff Corrigan, Boston Herald)

"By the time he retires, he'll be considered one of the best ever. It was an honor him telling me what to do in there. It would be like me getting him in the ring…I really admire these guys because of their work ethic and the way they go all year long."
--TNA wrestler Kurt Angle, who won an Olympic gold medal with a broken neck, on Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

"Bobby can bench you, but your wife can really bench you."
--John Kruk, back for another season of Baseball Tonight, on Braves manager Bobby Cox.

"They've got a heated booth in the bullpen with fantastic hot chocolate..."
--A's closer Huston Street, on one of the reasons he favors Yankee Stadium. (Buster Olney, ESPN.com)

"That was very impressive. I couldn't be happier for him."
--Padres OF Brian Giles, on a fire Kevin Kouzmanoff started in the clubhouse without lighters or a match. (Tom Krasovic, San Diego Union-Tribune)

"We will win the World Series, I guarantee you that."
--Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano

"I'm almost sure about that."
--Carlos Zambrano (Bruce Miles, Daily Herald)

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

Related Content:  Jed Hoyer,  Brian Giles,  The Who,  Work

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Premium Article Every Given Sunday (03/04)
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