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May 21, 2007
The Week in Quotes
COULD WE GET THAT IN YOUR CONTRACT, ICHIRO-SAN?
"Once I turn 40. I can become a pitcher. I'm kind of serious about it. But I'll have to learn to throw a knuckleball. Right now, I could be a 'normal' pitcher," who can top out at 95 mph with a fastball."
"Tiger is a great golfer, but ... when you say athlete, I think of Carl Lewis. When you talk about (golfers or race-car drivers), I don't want to see them run. It's the same if you were to meet a beautiful girl and go bowling. If she's an ugly bowler, you are going to be disappointed."
"You can see what color my underwear are."
"It's a weakness to try to show yourself to be more than you actually are. To me, it's cooler to hide yourself, even if you're better than that. That's a big difference between Japanese and American cultures. Sometimes, (Americans) try to make themselves out to be bigger than they are."
WHERE ARE THE WASHINGTON GENERALS WHEN YOU NEED THEM?
"There's always an urgency, but again, with 30-something games, 40-something games in the books, you're not going to say 'We can't do this'--that's crazy… We need to get something started against somebody."
HE SHALL PEN 'THE ILIAD' OF THIS PERIOD, BECOMING THE HOMER OF THE STEROIDS ERA
"We should have apologized back then and made sure we had a rule in place and gone forward. … Steroids and all of that was a part of history. But it was a topic that everybody wanted to avoid. Nobody wanted to talk about it."
"I was wrong for doing that stuff. What we should have done a long time ago was stand up--players, ownership, everybody--and said, 'We made a mistake.'"
"I think the commissioner's office is going to be looking into it, so at this point, I just can't comment on it."
"Unfortunately, (the rumors) are going to be a part of it. But that's OK. I'm probably tested more than anybody else. I'm not hiding anything. That stuff didn't help me hit home runs. I don't care what people say, nothing is going to give you that gift of hitting a baseball."
"Maybe one day I'll talk about it, but not now."
THEY CONSIDERED THE DARK PULL OF THE ROCKIES-ROYALS MATCHUP, BUT SETTLED ON THE SUBWAY SERIES
"It's performance. Each team generates buzz on its own, but when the Mets and Yankees play each other, it's a meeting of the stars."
"With Yankees-Mets, you get the whole Eastern Seaboard. With the Cubs-White Sox, you can make a circle around the Midwest, and then it's a tossup out west, although we feel at this time that the Yankee-Mets has a little more appeal there."
"We have a national broadcast, and the best way to deliver baseball news to the most fans is to draw them in with the big game and let Jon Miller and Joe Morgan tell stories about the rest of the league."
TIME TO MIX UP IT UP: ALFONSO, HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT CLOSING
"We're going to have some information for you. It's going to surprise you. We'll give you all some things that you all can [go] Scotland Yard on yourselves [with] this weekend."
"We're not going to do that here."
"I've seen it in the minor leagues, when a guy [on a rehab assignment] comes in and pitches two or three innings, and the scheduled starter goes in after that. It doesn't matter to me. Whatever it takes to win. It wouldn't bother me."
THINK OF ALL THE VICTIMS, LIKE MY MAN BARRY HERE
"We're not going to be remembered for anything except steroids. Our whole era is steroids. And that hurts. There are so many guys who have earned the right to be known as great players but will never be given that credit because of the implications of steroids."
"I think it's a great accomplishment. Until the guy is proven guilty, I have the utmost respect for him. Even if he is doing it, to be able to go out there and do it the way they pitch him, getting one pitch an at-bat or a game and hitting it... To me, he's the greatest player I've ever seen, hands down. He's a legend."
"What bothers me and anybody--especially a position player--is that they're out there every day busting their tail. And you've got a starter who pitches once a week… You come in and pitch and then you're gone? It's like, 'The only big day is when I pitch.' That's how it comes off."
"You just show 'em by going out there. I had an Astros scout when I was in Triple-A tell me, 'By the way, I don't think we should have taken you in the first round. You're too little. I think you'll break down.' I'm sitting there going, 'Well, that's nice. I don't see the significance of telling me that now.'"
THEY MISSED ON CLEMENS…RICKEY MIGHT BE A BETTER LEADOFF HITTER THAN CRAIG BIGGIO AT THIS POINT
"I'm in great shape, better than most guys. I called the Oakland A's last year and two years ago and told them they wouldn't even have to pay me to play, or they could have given the money to charity. But I can call Billy and he won't talk to me. I say, 'Give me a tryout before I hang up my shoes.' I don't know what happened with me and Billy--he was my locker mate in Oakland and I've heard him say, 'Rickey is one of the greatest players I know.' Why not give me a chance to play then? But he always says, 'We've got these young kids, we don't have enough space for you.'"
"I'm disappointed about how my career ended. I haven't had the time to say, 'I'm retiring.' But baseball says, 'You're retired.' Every other player has had the chance to say they're through. I want to go out and say, 'I'm done. I'm happy.' Give me a chance to retire."
BRING ON OUR MAN ANKIEL!
"Those two balls hit to the outfield were catchable balls. That's tough to understand. Hard to take. Ordonez's ball and Casey's ball, for sure. That's three runs."
"He got a real, good break on Sheffield's ball. The other two, he didn't get a good jump and didn't close real well. So, look for him to explain why. Maybe there's an explanation. I don't think the depth (on Casey) was what beat us. It was the break and the retreat."
"When the ball goes up in the air, I expect to catch every ball. I was in the right position. I just got a bad read."
"It might cause some friction … Granted this is going to be his 23rd or 24th year and he can get the opportunity to do that, but still, I think if you're going to be part of the team you should be there always."
"You win as a team, you lose as a team…I respect what he's done and I respect him as a person and a player, but to be a part of the team you have to be there with the team."
"It kind of, like, kept me going...the hope that one of those teams (that value on-base percentage) would pick me up, because it's the new thing."
"I would buy into him and I wouldn't before. The first few times I saw him there were things about his approach that I didn't like. I thought he was just an on-base guy because he could walk a little bit, run up pitch counts, all that. But he's a fundamentally sound hitter with more power than I thought he would have, and a better defensive player than I thought he would be."
"We're a family here and you love everybody. It's like having your son out there struggling. You want him to come up big and do good things out there to help you. We care about him a lot. He's probably the heart and soul here with some of the other guys."
"We're benching him for the rest of the season. He's going to manage today. I'm going to sit and watch him manage."
"They just put the ball in play and they get a lot of cheap hits. That's what happened the last time, cheap hits."
Many thanks to all who send me their favorites. Keep them coming!
--Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus. You can reach Alex by clicking here. You can also find his Football Outsiders work here.