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May 14, 2007

The Week in Quotes

May 8-13

by Alex Carnevale

POSSIBLE PLAN B-EVERY A-ROD HOME RUN NOW COUNTS AS EIGHT HOME RUNS

"It's a myth I hear repeated on TV all the time, that it was good for business. It wasn't by itself. Attendance from 1998 to 1999, one year after the McGwire and Sosa thing, our attendance actually went down. They like to say we turned our backs on it. Turned our backs on what? I've interviewed clubhouse guys, reporters, general managers and trainers who all said they were unaware of steroid use back then. So how were we supposed to know?"
--MLB commissioner Bud Selig

"I am protective of the sport's image, but sometimes things don't always work out exactly as you wanted. I know people want to know what I'm going to do, but I have not decided. I'll decide at some point when we get closer to that time. I want to do what I think is in the best interest of the sport."
--Selig, on whether he'll attend Giants games in which Bonds might break the all-time home run record.

"My decision is a judgment I'll make based on what I know at the time. I don't think there's any great reason to do it now."
--Selig

"Bud Selig has always been uncomfortable in the bully pulpit. He's not a public person. What he is is a magnificent small-group politician."
--former commissioner Fay Vincent

"There's no question Bud Selig was in on that. He led it, and I was there. So that's a negative to his legacy. The increased revenue he's brought in recent years and the record attendance under his watch will be a positive. This latest chapter, the steroid use, is up in the air. It will be a big part of his legacy."
--Vincent, on ownership collusion in the late 1980s. (Bill Pennington, The New York Times)

BUD, MAKING THINGS WORSE? YEAH, THAT SOUNDS ABOUT RIGHT

"He's just making things worse. He's the commissioner, there's nothing you can do about it. You can't be saying that. What are people going to think about the game? They'll be like, 'This game is a joke.' He should come, even if he doesn't want to."
--Red Sox DH David Ortiz (ESPN.com)

"I tell you, I don't know too much about steroids, but I started listening about steroids when they started to bring that shit up, and I started realizing and getting to know a little bit about it. You've got to be careful. I used to buy a protein shake in my country. I don't do that anymore because they don't have the approval for that here, so I know that, so I'm off buying things at the GNC back in the Dominican Republic. But it can happen any time, it can happen. I don't know. I don't know if I drank something in my youth, not knowing it."
--Ortiz, in an interview with the Boston Herald.

"I just want to know. What have I ever done for people to question my integrity? Why do people who have never met me want to [expletive] me up? Why would you want to hurt someone who has tried to do the right thing, be available to the media, to be respectful to the fans?"
--Ortiz, on the media coverage of his Boston Herald statements.

"I'm just really disappointed. People want to see you fail. That's not what I've ever wanted to believe, but that's what I've seen around here. Why do people want to make me look that way when they know I've done nothing but try to lift up this ball club from Day 1? I've tried to put a positive spin on everything, on everybody."
--Ortiz (Jackie MacMullan, Boston Globe)

"And this is what I get for that. For now, I'm going to be very limited in my responses. Whenever anyone had a question before, about me, about my teammates, about the game, I tried to help. When they had a question, I always had an answer. Now I won't."
--Ortiz

NEXT TIME APOLOGIZE FIRST, THEN MAKE THE CONTROVERSIAL COMMENT-THIS COULD WORK

"The fact that there is a [cloud] of suspicion has made it not as big a celebration. I'd like to think that until there is evidence or proof that he's done something wrong, you would give him the benefit of the doubt."
--Cal Ripken Jr., on Giants slugger Barry Bonds.

"I mean, he admitted that he used steroids. I mean, there's no gray area. He admitted to cheating on his wife, cheating on his taxes, and cheating on the game, so I think the reaction around the league, the game, being what it is, in the case of what people think. Hank Aaron not being there. The commissioner [Bud Selig] trying to figure out where to be. It's sad."
--Curt Schilling (WEEI)

"And I don't care that he's black, or green, or purple, or yellow, or whatever. It's unfortunate… there's good people and bad people. It's unfortunate that it's happening the way it's happening."
--Schilling

"I'm thinking that waking up at 8:30 am to do the weekly interview we do with WEEI is probably not the greatest format and if you heard the interview it's not hard to realize that I'm usually awake about 30-45 seconds before it begins… The only perfect human to walk the face of the Earth died a few thousand years ago, that much I know."
--Schilling, writing on his blog in an apology for his statements about Bonds.

TORONTO SHALL NOW BE KNOWN AS MUDVILLE

"If we were a team that wasn't expected to do a whole lot this year, it might be a little bit different, but we were hoping to win 90-95 games. In an ideal situation you'd love to have it all laid out. Maybe in the next 20-25 games we've got to start defining their roles a little bit."
--Blue Jays pitching coach Brad Arnsberg

"In the words of Abraham Lincoln after he stubbed his toe, I'm too old to cry and it hurts too much to laugh."
--Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi (Richard Griffin, Toronto Star)

"You've got to look at it as a chance for someone else to step up. We're not going to sit here and raise the white flag, say we're quitting."
--Ricciardi

"There's a lot of things we don't tell the media because the media doesn't need to know it and the fans don't need to know it. They're not lies if we know the truth."
--Ricciardi, on circulating the story that B.J. Ryan had a bad back over the offseason.

THANK A-GOD HE'S ON MY TEAM

"I wouldn't say definitely it's one or the other," Wedge says. "He's seeing the ball better off left-handers-those numbers will eventually come. And teams recognize what he's done. That enters into it."
--Indians manager Eric Wedge, on center fielder Grady Sizemore, who is currently hitting .238/.381/.400.

"He could play in any generation on any team for any manager."
--Wedge

"I wouldn't do Haren. He's everything you want, a guy on his way to being a No. 1 starter. One thing we've learned about Danny as we've gotten to know him, his character is off the charts. He takes so much pride in his durability and ability to take the ball. If it were up to him, he wouldn't let us do a physical on him. That's just the way he is. Danny reminds me of what my perception of Roy Halladay is in Toronto."
--Billy Beane, on whether he'd trade pitcher Dan Haren.

WE ARE STILL WAITING ON AN APOLOGY FOR A-ROD'S ENDORSEMENT OF HUMAN CLONING

"To me, they can sign five Roger Clemens and it would be all right. It's a dead issue in here."
--New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez

"I don't think I would ever do it because of the fact I personally think it would disrespect the team and your teammates. You look at the other players. How are they going to respect you? What are they going to think if you're not there pulling for the team? That's not the Yankee way. The Yankees have changed."
--Padres pitcher David Wells, on the special treatment Clemens will receive per his contract.

"It sure is funny to hear the comments from my ex-teammates. I won't mention names. He's trying to critique my season or the game of baseball. It's pretty comical to say the things they did. They might have to look into the mirror a little bit."
--Clemens (Peter Abraham, LoHud Yankees Blog)

YOU JUST CAN'T QUANTIFY WHAT THIS MAN BRINGS TO THE YOUNGER HURLERS

"If you're sleeping under a ceiling fan, you don't want the cold air blowing on your pitching arm."
--Roger Clemens, while mentoring a young pitcher last year. (Jerome Solomon, Houston Chronicle)

"One old skipper said I played in golf events during the season and that never happened."
--Clemens

"What sort of happened was we'd turn on the TV, and he's playing a golf tournament in Hollywood, so it evolved to be more than just seeing family. And that might have been a little bit of an issue. But it did not hurt our ballclub."
--Astros manager Phil Garner, on having Clemens as an Astro.

AS A FRIEND OF THE PRESIDENT, HE HAS A LOT OF FAMILIARITY WITH THE WHOLE DRUNK DRIVING THING

"I know it was during an emotional time. It happens. He was, and remains, concerned about his team. My guess (is) he was speaking metaphorically about it."
--Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr., on Tony La Russa's comments about insincere reporting.

"It wasn't that beer was a problem in the clubhouse. It wasn't. It's just sending a message that we are concerned and that our players are important parts of our community and have a responsibility to act accordingly. They know that. That's what we reinforce in spring training and throughout the year. It was reinforced again during the team meeting and it will continue to be reinforced. To the extent a player develops a problem, whether it's alcohol or something else, it's good for the organization to know about it to provide any assistance it can."
--DeWitt

"If it's a serious issue, I'm made aware of it."
--DeWitt. He was unaware of Hancock's first accident this season, before the one in which he was killed while driving under the influence.

"I think the players are dealing with a traumatic experience. There's probably a lesson to be learned there. Josh shouldn't have been out drinking. He certainly shouldn't have been driving after drinking. He shouldn't have been on a cell phone and not wearing a seat belt. It's hard to say whether that was an unusual five-day period or it was part of something larger."
--DeWitt (Joe Strauss, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

CONSTITUTIONALLY PROTECTED FREE BEER IN THE CLUBHOUSE

"It's not fair for those who can control themselves. Some guys just like to have a couple of beers to calm their nerves after a game."
--Braves center fielder Andruw Jones

"When guys hang around and do drink, they're usually just trying to let the traffic die down. People know what to do. It's not fair for any team or Major League Baseball to ban alcohol. We're all man enough to control ourselves."
--Jones

"I remember my first years in Houston, I'd have to hang out until 2 a.m. just serving the veterans."
--Dodgers OF Luis Gonzalez (Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times)

"Honestly, I think it's a dumb issue to be talking about. It's unfortunate what happened to Josh ... but to say that's the reason why this happened--it's not why this happened."
--Dodgers first baseman Nomar Garciaparra

"How can you say we can't have a beer, yet everybody in the stands can have them?"
--Pirates first baseman Adam LaRoche

I CAN'T TALK TO YOU WHEN YOU'RE LIKE THIS

"It's easy when everything goes fine. You show your true character when you struggle like this. I don't know what people are thinking about me, but I know I feel the same way as I did last year and the year before. I feel real good, the velocity is there. It's nothing I have lost, it just happens. If you are a closer, you're going to blow saves and get saves. There's no in between."
--Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, on his recent struggles.

"I feel I'm being tested right now, my character, my faith, how I conduct myself. It's different. But I love it. If God allows this test to be on me, hey, I'm willing to carry it. We are just starting; we'll see where we finish."
--Rivera

"I'm going to battle. I'm not going to sit down and start crying and wonder what happened. No, I'm not going to second-guess myself. I'm just going to do what I have to do. I believe I'll finish strong."
--Rivera

THE DRAFT IS SO WEAK THIS YEAR

"Every year, it's the same thing. About this time, people start talking about how it's not as good as we thought. Here's the bottom line--come June 7-8, every single scouting director will go in to their general manager and tell them the draft fell just right."
--An anonymous NL scouting director. The June amateur draft will be televised on ESPN2 this year.

"We're looking forward to picking at the end of the first round."
--Devil Rays GM Andrew Friedman (Bill Chastain, MLB.com)

"It's a very strong high school draft. There are some very good arms, some good position players, especially on the West Coast. College position players are few and far between. Impact bats at that level are not there at all."
--an American League scouting director

"I think a lot of people have frustrations with signability, especially with these high schoolers. There's going to be a lot of issues with signability. Expectations from a fiscal perspective is the greatest frustration. Their expecations of how they should be compensated don't match up to their abilties. They are grossly over-exaggerated… They are built up to be bigger than sliced bread, but they're the same players each year."
--that same scouting director

"The biggest thing is the Boras factor. All of Boras' guys, put them in the mainstream, I think people would be talking a little differently. A lot of teams aren't going to mess with them. Put them back in the general population and people would be talking about how great this draft is."
--scouting director

"I think it's going to be significant with 75 percent of the clubs. I think teams will be inclined to say, 'This is what we're paying,' and if they don't take it, go to school. I think you'll see there are more guys who don't sign this year."
--scouting director (Jonathan Mayo, MLB.com)

THE REST

"His (OBP) is amazing. But I am not surprised. I really felt like he was going to have a big season."
--Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd, on first baseman Todd Helton.

"I was thinking about buzzing his tower or something for being a punk. But I had fun with it. It was all good. I knew he wasn't going to get a hit off me anyhow."
--Braves reliever Mike Gonzalez, on former teammate Ronny Paulino mocking him before his at-bat. (Mark Bowman, MLB.com)

"We hit our share of home runs. We don't need home runs out of those spots. When you go into droughts, it's the little guys who get you out of droughts."
--White Sox GM Kenny Williams, on his team's offensive struggles. (Ken Rosenthal, FoxSports.com)

"What happened to him on Saturday is like Frank Robinson, Reggie Jackson stuff."
--Brewers GM Doug Melvin, on Prince Fielder's reaction to Matt Capps headhunting him--he had three hits, including two homers, in the next game. (Pat Borzi, The New York Times)

"We've had to work for every hit, every out, every win against these guys. There's no dominance there. The record could easily be the other way around."
--Angels manager Mike Scioscia, on his team's record against the Texas Rangers. (Mike DiGiovanna, Los Angeles 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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Premium Article Under The Knife: Halla... (05/13)
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