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April 16, 2007

The Week in Quotes

April 9-16

by Alex Carnevale

THE MAN FROM CAIRO, GEORGIA DID A BIG THING

"It's fascinating to see their struggles. You don't compare yourself to any of those guys or what they went through, but sometimes, like when I was trying to get a manager's job in the big leagues, you strive to get people to see you and not the stereotypes. I mean, New York is a big, big city, and to think it took this long to have an African-American manager, well, it's still something to think about."
--Mets manager Willie Randolph, on Jackie Robinson and the players who integrated the major leagues.

"This is our low point, but, hopefully, we have hit bottom."
--Executive VP of MLB Jimmie Lee Solomon, on African-American representation in the majors. (Michael Hirsley, Chicago Tribune)

"Many years ago when I was playing in the Negro Leagues, we would have these barnstorming tours after the season. I played against Jackie's Dodger team one day in Jackson, Miss., and he came up to me and said, 'You can play in the major leagues.'"
--Hall of Famer Ernie Banks, owner of a .274/.330/.500 career line.

"I just listened, I didn't say anything. He said, 'Yeah, you have quick hands, you swing the bat good and you understand the game. I'm going to recommend you to the Dodgers.' And he did."
--Ernie Banks, on Jackie Robinson.

"Later on in his life, he became more businesslike. He started a bank in Harlem, so I wanted to do that. He started some low-income housing; I wanted to do that. He worked for a major corporation; I wanted to do that. He also connected with Nelson Rockefeller; I wanted to do that. I wanted to emulate his life. He was such a pioneer. He used his celebrity to help make this a better world. That's what Jackie was all about. And he had a great partner in Rachel."
--Banks (Fred Mitchell, Chicago Tribune)

"It would be cool to have more black people in here, but that's the way it goes sometimes."
--Coco Crisp (Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe)

"It's somewhat of an embarrassing day also. It's a little bit a shame that we have to have a day like this because 60 years ago the color of somebody's skin...they weren't treated the same. To me, that's humiliating. I hope that doesn't get lost, either."
--Terry Francona

THESE BRAVE MEN ALSO WORE NUMBER 42 YESTERDAY

"It was something we determined a while ago: that we needed to keep up with what was going on in the sports apparel world. We needed that kind of moisture management and performance in our caps."
--John DeWaal, vice president of brand communications for New Era, on going away from wool caps.

"Tomorrow we'll have had them out for a week, and in that time I haven't heard anything bad about them."
--Chris Lind, assistant manager of the Lids store at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn.

"Either they're going to get discounted, or be sent back to the warehouse."
--Lind, on the old wool caps.

"It's significant in the visibility that it's had. It was one of the last places in sports where wool was used, and so many people are now hearing that wool is being replaced by high-performance fiber. But wool, to me, is a high-performance fiber, and a natural one. Wool naturally absorbs moisture, and it breathes. That's why it's performed so well over time."
--Rita Samuelson, "marketing director for the American Wool Council, a nonprofit association representing U.S. sheep ranchers." (Josh L. Dickey, Tuscaloosa News)

US TOO!

"I hope he arouses the fire that's dormant in the innermost recesses of my soul."
--Ichiro Suzuki, on facing Red Sox starter Daisuke Matsuzaka for the first time in MLB. (Brad Lefton, Seattle Times)

"That was a moment that probably only Daisuke and I could have created. To be in that moment, I'm happy."
--Ichiro Suzuki

"It wasn't easy to throw with the flashbulbs going off, but I'm glad I got a strike."
--Dice-K

"He had everything going on tonight. He was just impossible."
--Red Sox DH David Ortiz, on Felix Hernandez's start against the Sox.

THIS IS STARTING TO SOUND FAMILIAR-SOMEBODY CALL A GRAND JURY

"Someone brought a whole box of it in, but nobody ever used it. I saw it, started using it and it felt good right away. ... As you move and sweat, you start feeling it."
--Johan Santana, on a substance he likes to use.

"I do things realistically. This is reality. ...I love the product."
--Santana, on J.R. Watkins Apothecary Red Liniment, the product from a company in Winona, Minnesota that he endorses.

"There is some compensation, and all the free liniment he wants."
--company president Mark Jacobs (Michael Rand, Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

HE WORE JIM LEYLAND'S NUMBER YESTERDAY

"What the hell do you think isn't working? You see the damn game."
--Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella, after an ugly loss to the Reds.

"I can start to see some of the ways this team has lost ballgames. I can see it. We have to correct it."
--Piniella, before Sunday's 1-0 loss to the Reds.

"This guy's your ace. You have a 5-0 lead with the eighth and ninth hitters coming up. You feel pretty good about that, and all of a sudden it turns into a six-run inning. What do I do? I pitch him when it's his turn again. What else can I do? And then I bring in the reliever who's throwing 30- or 40-foot curveballs to boot."
--Piniella, on Carlos Zambrano. (Dave Van Dyck, Chicago Tribune)

IN AN EVER-CHANGING WORLD, SOME THINGS ARE CONSTANTS

"We're trying to win games."
--Nats ace John Patterson (Barry Svrluga, Washington Post)

"On Monday, I had a hard time bending my finger."
--Tadahito Iguchi, White Sox second baseman, currently raking .214/.303/.357.

"He always knows how to cut the tension and simplify things."
--Andre Ethier, on teammate Russell Martin. (Buster Olney, ESPN.com)

"You'd go to swing. and boom, that's when it would start moving. You'd go to center it and it was a ground ball. You'd roll over it or blow your bat up."
--Sean Casey, on Roy Halladay's 10-inning complete game. (ESPN.com)

"It was cold."
--C.C. Sabathia (ESPN.com)

"The weather has been bad, and we've faced some of the best pitchers in baseball. There's no doubt we're going to hit. When runs come, they're going to come in bunches. We have a good offensive team ... it's just a matter of time."
--Ozzie Guillen (Scot Gregor, Asahi Shimbun)

HE HAS A SIMILAR SPEECH PREPARED FOR WHEN THEY GO TO PHILADELPHIA ON JUNE 11th

"This man is (the) Cleveland Indians, this man is going to be in the Hall of Fame in a Cleveland Indians uniform. Respect that. Appreciate that. This man, when he goes into the Hall of Fame, he won't wear no [expletive] White Sox uniform, he'll be wearing a Cleveland Indians hat. He won't wear no Philadelphia hat. If they boo me, fine. I deserve that. I earned that. But when you boo this man, this is a classy man, he's one guy that's going to represent the Cleveland Indians in the Hall of Fame."
--Ozzie, on his first baseman Jim Thome.

"They should respect that we play the game to make money, like a doctor has a job. Hall of Fame? Yes, nice. Hall of Fame don't make people go to college, Hall of Fame doesn't pay for college for your kids. You think the money was right somewhere else, you have to respect that. I guarantee you he wanted to stay here."
--Guillen, on the Cleveland fans' treatment of Thome.

"He will be in the Hall of Fame. He will be in a Cleveland hat. I have to talk to him to make sure he wears the White Sox."
--Ozzie

"Let's face it--I left here as a free agent, so there will be fans who are a little upset. I understand that. On the other hand, I hope they understand my reasoning for why I did what I did. As a man, you have to be held accountable for your actions. I certainly have tried to do that. I haven't run or hid from things. I left, and it is what it is."
--Jim Thome (Joe Cowley, Chicago Sun-Times)

THE REST

"He's the best text-messenger in the game. He text messaged me this morning, said he felt good. He's begging for more innings. He'll go five in his next start."
--Terry Francona, on cancer-free Jon Lester. (Larry Stone, Seattle Times)

"I was feeling great about our starting pitching. Until I noticed that Steve Trachsel is shutting people down, too. Nobody's hitting."
--An anonymous front office person not from the Orioles organization.

"Having Japanese players is great. But it creates a risk if we become too dependent on them. So the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry is one way to get Japan to really get our brand."
--Jim Small, managing director of Major League Baseball Japan. (Jenn Abelson, Boston Globe)

"I think it's an excellent rule. If we didn't have that rule we'd wait until two in the morning, trying to get the game in. The umpires did the right thing."
--Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez, on the new rule that led to the resumption of the tied Milwaukee-Florida game from where it was suspended by rain. (SportsNetwork)

"We're going to treat the season like an instructional league. We're not backing off. Hopefully we're going to be doing very well, but as we get better, we're still going to stay with the work ethic."
--Joe Maddon (Marc Topkin, St. Petersburg Times)

"It was a real disadvantage not to do steroids because so many other people were. But I didn't believe in it, and I knew it wouldn't help my nerve."
--Longtime minor leaguer and big leaguer for a day Ron Wright. (Lee Jenkins, The New York Times)

---

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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