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April 2, 2007

The Week in Quotes

March 27-April 2

by Alex Carnevale

SORRY, SETH, I WAS EATING A BABY AND TOTALLY OVERLOOKED THAT DETAIL

"I was very surprised. I'm really disappointed that I was not made aware of not having an option. That's not the team's responsibility to make me aware of that, it's my agent's responsibility to make me aware of that. I'm really disappointed in that."
--Seth McClung, Rays relief pitcher, on being optioned to the minors to start the season. McClung's agent is none other than Scott Boras.

"I would have done spring a little different. I came into camp knowing, in my mind, that they couldn't send me out without trying to pass me through waivers."
--McClung

"I understand it's a competition, but I put personal goals as far as the closer or what role aside this spring to really spring forward in my development as a pitcher with other pitches and other aspects of the game, the mental side and the physical side."
--McClung

THE STATE OF THE GAME IS THAT IT IS BEING PLAYED RIGHT NOW

"What frustrates me sometimes is that I don't think people quite understand just how much the economic landscape has been changed. It's really been dramatic. My daughter says, 'I wish I had known five or six years ago this would happen.' She was getting $2 million a year in revenue sharing."
--MLB commissioner Bud Selig, on the impact of revenue sharing.

"I honestly believe that no longer can any team use the economic landscape as the sheer reason for not being competitive. We've come that far."
--Selig

"There certainly is more hope and faith. Kansas City felt that way. That's why they went out and signed (Gil) Meche."
--Selig

"Look, I don't want us to go back to where we were. We are producing a great deal more revenue."
--Selig (Ken Rosenthal, FoxSports.com)

IT'S A PLEASURE TO WATCH THESE GUYS PLAY, EXCEPT FOR THAT GUY

"Just remember, if it's David Ortiz, he didn't [swing]. Trust me. After you say he did, he'll tell you. He'll faint. If I could hit with his check swings I might have gotten drafted."
--baseball umpire Tim Timmons, 39

"I tell all the young umpires that come up from the minors, 'Expect a close play every time. [The play's] only routine here after it's over. That ball three steps to the right of the shortstop? They don't get to that ball in the minors and here they might throw the guy out. Middle infielders get to more balls up the middle that minor leaguers would never get to--and not only get to them, but turn them into double plays. I tell the young guys, 'Don't give up on anything.'"
--Tim Tschida, 46, MLB umpire crew chief

"Umpiring is a gift, like the hitter who has the skill to hit that 90-mph slider or the pitcher who can do things with a baseball no human being should be able to do. Those are real gifts, and so is umpiring. You can't teach instincts."
--Timmons

HEY, THESE GUYS LOVE THE NATURAL, TOO

"If we don't address this, there will be a major controversy and that's how replay gets in the door. Last year our crew in the first month had five home run calls where we had to get together [to discuss them]. I was thinking, Are we snakebit? So I started keeping track. We had 43 home runs where the ball came back on the field. It's not supposed to happen, but it happens when non-baseball people are designing fields."
--Tschida

"They're biased. The only time you might hear something is if it's really original, which almost never happens. I still remember one time when I was in Double-A. There was this middle-aged lady. She must have been in her 50s, pushing 60. She gets up and she yells at me, 'Why don't you pull down your pants, bend over and try your good eye.' Nothing's original. But that was."
--umpire Fielden Culbreth

"There was one time years ago when I bought a patent leather belt and thought it looked just great. Well, I wear it in Yankee Stadium for the first time, and those people know how to wait so that you can hear them. This one guy, a real New Yorker, gets up and yells, 'Hey, Tschida. How can you make a call like dat wearin' a patent leathah belt like dat? And hey, what accessories came with dat?' As soon as the game was over, I go in the locker room, rip off the belt and throw it in the garbage."
--Tschida (Tom Verducci, Sports Illustrated)

DOES THE FLAME STILL BURN FOR THIS FIREBALLER? NO

"Oh my God, he threw 100 miles per hour! (But) guys started taking his pitches, and they got ahead of him and (hit the ball), and it affected him mentally and physically."
--current Royals scouting director Deric Ladnier, on 2001 Royals number one draft pick Colt Griffin.

"It got to me mentally. Here I am, a guy who ended strong, proved myself, came back, and here I am a mop-up guy? I'm like, 'What's the role?' I deserved a little respect, OK. Not that I deserved it, but I did a little bit."
--Griffin

"This whole process got on my nerves. And (Ambiorix) Burgos-yeah, Burgos was throwing 98 with a filthy split; yeah, he was dominating, (but) Burgos had, I think 18 innings, 21 strikeouts, but he had like 10 walks, and a 5 ERA…but they call him up immediately. Here I am, I have 15 innings, eight walks, throwing like 94…not that I deserve a shot at the big leagues, but this guy, just because he's throwing a little hard, is given this opportunity. What do I have to do? Yeah, it pissed me off."
--Griffin

"You know, I'm not going to say I'm done for good. Granted, I'm young and probably closed a lot of doors, but I'm playing softball this summer, and next year I'm probably going to play on a county team, and it could come back."
--Griffin (Bill Reiter, Kansas City Star)

TELL ME YOU DID NOT JUST SAY THAT

"I guess my defense is good enough for me to be in right field today."
--Emil Brown, Royals right fielder, on criticisms of his outfield defense, which Clay Davenport's system ranked as -2 fielding runs above average in 2006.

"I hear it all of the time. He's an adventure out there. Why? Because I'm actually trying to make plays happen? It isn't an adventure for (Twins outfielder) Torii Hunter when he dives for a ball and misses it. Then, it's, 'Oh, he just missed it.' He gets the benefit of the doubt because he's a Gold Glover. But it's an adventure when I do it."
--Brown

"I think I should be out there every day-wind, sleet, or snow. I'm a playmaker. If I haven't shown that yet, I will. Leading the team in RBI, but even going further than that, there are other things I do besides driving in runs. Just leave me alone and let me play."
--Brown

"At the end of the year, my numbers will be where you want them to be, and I still think my best will be in front of me. I started baseball so late in my life, and I'm still constantly trying to get better."
--Brown

LOOK AT MY TEAMMATE BILLY BUTLER-THE GUY DOESN'T EVEN KNOW WHERE CENTER IS

"I caught a lot of shit for that. Let's be realistic. The Royals know I didn't hurt them defensively. They saw me out in the field. They saw it. They know I didn't cost them a single loss because of those errors. I'm not going to sit here and address that. That's just crazy. Come on, now. Let's be real. I'm not out there letting balls drop or letting runners take an extra base. Let me tell you something, I can't change what people write or say on the radio. It's easy for those people to judge somebody because, to them, the best players are always the ones who aren't on the field. Those are the people who don't make any mistakes."
--Brown

"I don't ever see someone writing that I saved a double. Or that I threw out the game-winning run. I hear so much about the other stuff. I'm saving runs out there and getting to balls. I'm stopping guys from going first to third. I don't read anything about that, and I do that a lot more than I make errors."
--Brown

"My errors are aggressive, active errors. I can play flawless defense if I played everything safe. It's not in me to do that…I'm always near the top of leading this team in runs, even though I'm shifting in the order all of the time. So I still manage to score runs despite those adventures on the bases. It doesn't make sense to me. You see where I'm coming from?"
--Brown

"Vladdy can run, and he can throw pretty well. He would be an outfielder, you know, that's comparable."
--Brown (Bob Dutton, Kansas City Star)

WE MADE HIM DRINK A WHOLE CRATE OF VITAMINWATER AND HE LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT

"One thing we have to be careful about is overexposing David, going to him too often. Not only is he attractive in the business community, but he hardly ever says no. We have to remind ourselves that we're a team that has a number of attractive, very marketable, players."
--Dave Howard, the Mets' executive vice president for business operations, on David Wright.

"I'm not doing this to be a billboard. I don't want to be a NASCAR car that has 100 different stickers on it. I'm only going to put my name on something that I believe in and something that I would use even if I don't have an endorsement."
--Mets 3B David Wright, whose affiliations include brands like Wilson, vitaminwater and Hickey Freeman.

"When we have dinner, I ask him baseball questions, and he asks me business questions."
--Mike Repole, the president of vitaminwater, on Wright. (Ben Shpigel, The New York Times)

THE REST

"If you broke down our runs by game we were actually more evenly distributed than the rest of our division."
--Cleveland Indians GM Mark Shapiro, on the idea that the Indians padded their run total by blowing teams out. (Mike and the Mad Dog, WFAN.com)

"I would say he's made steady progress, but I wouldn't categorize it as terrific. What's the name of that TV show? 'Nip and Tuck'? Manny needs a few little nips and tucks."
--Rockies pitching coach Bob Apodaca, on RP Manny Corpas. (Patrick Saunders, Denver Post)

"All I know is, if I had a 0.92 ERA at anything, I wouldn't want to change."
--Dodgers righthander Derek Lowe, on Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon. (Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe)

"I finally got rid of it this offseason. I caught enough flak for it the last couple of years that I had to part with it. I'd pull it out to pay for stuff and I'd always get, 'Why do you have a Red Sox credit card?' Didn't want to get rid of it, but it didn't go over too big."
--Braves right fielder Jeff Francoeur, on his Red Sox credit card. (Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe)

"Oh, yeah. Like I said, playing the Red Sox in the World Series would be a dream."
--Francoeur, on if he still roots for the Red Sox.

"Don't get me started on that one."
--John Smoltz, Braves righthander, on Curt Schilling's blog.

"Imagine: He had older brothers throwing 100 miles an hour in the yard. T-ball for him was a joke. I felt bad for the kids he was playing against. And a pitch league, that was just funny. We had an old wooden bat we'd play with in the front yard, and I'd literally try to throw the ball as hard as I could past him. He could foul tip it when he was 6 years old. It was crazy, unbelievable."
--J.D. Drew, Red Sox right fielder, on his younger brother, Diamondbacks shortstop Stephen Drew. (Gordon Edes, Boston Globe)

"I watch less and less of spring training because the season is so long and our teams are generally set up pretty well heading into March. As a spectator it is very difficult to judge what is going on with position players and pitchers. The business of the Red Sox is a 12-month occupation so there is plenty to do other than watch spring training. Players are preparing and so are we, but in different places. The best thing about spring training is the atmosphere and fans. But spring training is much too long."
--Red Sox owner John Henry (Amelie Benjamin, Boston Globe)

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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<< Previous Article
Preseason Predictions (04/01)
<< Previous Column
The Week in Quotes: Ma... (03/26)
Next Column >>
The Week in Quotes: Ap... (04/09)
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Premium Article Future Shock: Monday M... (04/02)

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