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June 11, 2007

The Week in Quotes

June 4-11

by Alex Carnevale

WE MAY BE ON THE EDGE OF FINDING OUT HOW DINOSAURS BECAME EXTINCT

"You can go to Latin America and get that same talent as a black player in Compton [Calif.], and if he's in Compton, he gets drafted in the first round he's going to get $2 million. If he doesn't pan out, you're out $2 million, but if you go to the Dominican, Cuba or whatever, and you can get a guy for $2,000 and he doesn't pan out, you're only down $2,000."
--Twins center fielder Torii Hunter

"I do agree that, you know, 10 years from now you'll see no blacks, at all."
--Torii Hunter

"What I said is what I said. That's not the main reason why African-Americans aren't playing the game. It's a small percentage, like maybe five percent."
--Hunter (La Velle E. Neal, Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

IN NEED OF INTANGIBLES

"We didn't have Jim [Thome] for a while, but I can't blame it on that because I didn't detect that anyone was pitching me any differently."
--Paul Konerko, White Sox first baseman

"She told me I should get a license plate that says, 'One More Move,' because that's how I've always felt. I've always thought if I could have made one more move in July of 2005, then maybe we would have had an easier time winning it all."
--Ozzie Guillen (Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe)

"It's frustrating because I don't feel any different now than I did the past couple of years. Other than the actual result. That's the difference….We haven't hit our stride, and that's an understatement. There's no point analyzing it, because it doesn't make sense."
--Konerko

"Don't listen to Ozzie, AJ, or Mark about anything other than baseball."
--White Sox GM Kenny Williams

SHANNON STEWART'S NOT GETTING CLOSE TO CURT'S BLOGROLL

"I've never gotten a good read on the fans there as a whole since they are pretty much the worst in sports during batting practice, but they are very astute fans when it comes to in game events and I could sense there was a contingent of A's fans hoping to see it happen as well."
--Red Sox starter Curt Schilling, after his one-hitter against the A's.

"Shonda and I had often talked about what throwing a no-hitter would be like. She's been at pretty much every significant event I've ever achieved in this game and she's always joked about how I better not do it when she wasn't there. I am walking off the mound, and it's pretty loud at this point, and I know that she's somewhere thinking and praying I do it, but at the same time feeling her gut wrench because she's not there."
--Schilling

"In talking with Tek after the game, it's clear to me that he was 100 percent spot-on with his thought, and I was completely wrong with mine. Why would he take a strike at this point? I had gone to one three-ball count all day. I wasn't going to walk him, and the only thing you do at that point by taking a strike is allow me freedom to use my split. There was no way in hell he was taking. I was sure otherwise. So I shake off the slider, execute the pitch I want, and he lines it to right."
--Schilling, on Tek shaking him off on the pitch that broke up a no-hitter. (38pitches.com)

WE CAN'T WAIT FOR HIM TO WEIGH ON THE SHEFFIELD MONOLOGUES

"[Earlier] I was talking with [first base coach] Luis Alicea and he asked me, 'Would you bring in the closer right here?' He was messing around with me. But when he asked me, I was like, 'He's pitching good, why do you want to bring in your closer?'"
--Red Sox DH David Ortiz, saying that he didn't know that Curt Schilling had a no-hitter.

"Later on, for some reason, I looked at the board and I saw all the zeros and I kept looking at it and then I saw the zero under the H and I was like, 'Wait a minute!' It was good that I didn't find out before that time, because I got nervous."
--David Ortiz

"I love him, but I'm sorry, I don't buy that, saying it's the ninth inning and [he] didn't know. I'd know after the first."
--Mike Lowell, Red Sox third baseman

"How many people were here in the stadium? Thirty [thousand]-something, plus 25 [Athletics], plus 24 [Red Sox]. He was the only guy not watching the game."
--Red Sox second baseman Alex Cora (Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald)

SHOULD I STAY/I WOULD ONLY BE IN THE WAY

"He came to me the next day, and he apologized, and I apologized to him, and we cried. I still love him."
--Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano, on his fight with Cubs catcher Michael Barrett.

"And I don't have a problem with that. I told you I didn't want to talk about that, but I'm still a friend of Michael Barrett. He still calls me 'brother,' and I still call him 'brother.' We forget and forgive each other, and we're back on track. ... We've moved on, and we're here for this team."
--Zambrano (ESPN.com)

"It was over the moment it happened for me. There were no hard feelings. I totally understand how things like that can happen. And like I said, I love him enough to move forward."
--Barrett

A BUDDING QUOTE MACHINE...

"If you haven't pitched in [six] days it's hard to be Grade A. It's tough to stay sharp. I just have to grind it, man. That's what I have to do. And if I've got to do it, I've got to do it. I don't have any other choice."
--Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon

"I had forgotten about that as soon as I got on the plane [to Oakland] and started losing money in cards."
--Papelbon, after A-Rod homered to right field to conclude their three-game series.

"It's a tough thing to manage a closer. [Francona] has definitely got his hands full. He's obviously decided to throw me only in every perfect situation. And that's a tough gig in itself because every situation I go in I have to be perfect."
---Papelbon (Barry M. Bloom, MLB.com)

...AND HIS FRIEND, MR. ONE-GAME-AT-A-TIME

"Coming in today, it felt familiar. I knew where I was going, unlike a lot of ballparks I've walked into this year, where I didn't know where the visiting clubhouse was."
--J.D. Drew, on his return to a National League clubhouse.

"I'm going to forget about the past, push on, and have big games in the future, and take it a game at a time."
--Drew (Gordon Edes, Boston Globe)

AND IT WASN'T EVEN CONTRACTUALLY MANDATED!

"He called to congratulate me, which was unbelievable. He seemed like such a nice guy. He said he really wanted to work with the young guys, which is something I'm definitely looking forward to."
--Tyler Clippard, Yankees starter, on Roger Clemens.

"He can fall in line and be one of the guys as opposed to being the one guy to maybe change things and turn things around. Because I don't care how long you've been playing, it's still a lot to put on one guy."
--Joe Torre. Clemens will earn a prorated salary of $17.4 million this year.

"I like him. I didn't like him when I played against him--not at all."
--Derek Jeter (Tyler Kepner, The New York Times)

IT'S DARN NEAR EXCRUCIATING TO WATCH YOU SLUG .397

"The only person who understands how hard it is for me to watch a game is my wife. It's been tough. I'm talking close to tears watching the game."
--Yankees first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz, victim of a Mike Lowell knee that resulted in a wrist injury.

"I've waited a long time to play here, play with a team like this, to have teammates who care so much, a place that feels like home. When you can't go out and battle with your boys, it makes it tough."
--Mientkiewicz

"I think I'll be a homeless single father if I have to wait 12 weeks in a cast. So the surgery, I asked for it. They agreed with it. It's going to cut some time off."
--Mientkiewicz

"The neck is coming along OK. Without the wrist, I think I could play right now. I've played through worse than how I feel physically. That being said, I still have moments when I'm dizzy. I still have moments I don't feel real great."
--Mientkiewicz (Joe Lapointe, The New York Times)

THAT CHAMPIONSHIP HANGOVER SURE DIDN'T LAST LONG

"There's nothing available. Who is going to give up starting pitching now?"
--St. Louis Cardinals general manager Walt Jocketty

"We don't have much choice. We tried to talk to other clubs about a deal. There's not any starting pitching available."
--Jocketty

"I think when people talk about getting another starter, that's unrealistic. I mean, how many teams are looking for starting pitching? ... I think our starters have had their periods. I think it's reasonable to expect they're going to go deep into enough games that we can get by."
--Jocketty

"I think the longer the (bullpen) innings mount like this, we've got to be concerned a little bit. It's why we keep trying to run some fresh arms in there until there's more available."
--Jocketty (Joe Strauss, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

THE PIRATES, SPENDTHRIFTS? YOU'RE TAKING CRAZY PILLS

"Normally, I don't comment on internal discussions, but frankly that is absolutely not true. That was not a discussion any of us had. I don't understand where stuff like that comes from."
--Pirates owner Bob Nutting, on a Kevin Goldstein report on the Pirates' draft plans.

"We took the player our baseball people wanted. We're happy with the player we drafted. If our baseball people decide that's who they want, we go down that road. I knew who Dave wanted to take, and I accepted his recommendation."
--Kevin McClatchy, Pirates CEO

"It is important to remember that the draft is relatively unsure. It's high-risk. That story plays out over and over again. I have more confidence in the opinions of Dave and [scouting director] Ed Creech than I do in the opinions of the media and agents and industry publications. I have much more faith in our people judging talent and judging talent that fits our needs."
--Nutting (Paul Meyer, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

"I think people should focus on the player we drafted. Our baseball people believe he has a promising future."
--McClatchy, on first-round pick Daniel Moskos.

"The [past few] weeks, it wasn't really a question of whether or not I was going to sign. It was more a question of where I was going to go. I think it's time for me to start my professional baseball career."
--Moskos

"Sure you're conscious of it [media criticism] and aware of it [fan displeasure]. But I don't think you judge the success of a draft until about three or four years out. If this player turns out to be successful for the Pittsburgh Pirates, I think people will look back and say, 'This was a good draft.' It's just like with trades. You have to wait and see."
--McClatchy

THE REST

"He has to figure it out, if we're going to be a successful club in 2007."
--Pirates manager Jim Tracy, on deposed closer Salomon Torres. Torres heads to the DL with right elbow inflammation.

"A day off benefits everybody, I guess. I don't like to sit out. I don't need it physically, it was just a suggestion. I got tired of hearing about it."
--Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, on taking a day off. (Jeff Goldberg, Hartford Courant)

"Unfortunately, he's throwing side-arm now. I watched last night, he was throwing a little higher [more three-quarters] ... He had a little more sink. He threw a lot better ... Larry Rothschild is a good pitching coach. [Zambrano's] got to get his head together."
--Ferguson Jenkins, on Carlos Zambrano.

"He's got to be there. As much as we all have our suspicions, as commissioner of the sport and the guy who ultimately signs off on their drug-testing policy, for a guy who hasn't failed any steroids tests administered by Major League Baseball, I don't know how it can't be recognized by the sport."
--Joe Buck, on Bud Selig's attendance at Barry Bonds' record-breaking game. (Joe Walljasper, Columbia Tribune)

"Manny is just gifted. He's got this awesome talent of hitting the ball no matter what. If you sat down and talked to Manny about hitting, I don't know that he would have too much to say. Bonds is different because he really studies. He'll talk to you about the pitchers, how they work him, and how he's going to approach each and every at-bat."
--Giants shortstop Omar Vizquel, on Manny Ramirez. (Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe)

"I wasn't expecting it. I've seen Mike Lowell do it. He always tries to be so discreet about it. Lugo just kind of slipped behind him, and he took his foot off the base, and Julio tagged him. I was actually back there, trying to get him to throw me the ball."
--Josh Beckett, on the hidden ball trick Julio Lugo pulled on D'Backs utility player Alberto Callaspo.

---

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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