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June 18, 2007

The Week in Quotes

June 11-17

by Alex Carnevale

THEY WERE A GREAT NATION, ONCE

"We just lost three straight to the Nationals. What would you like me to say?"
--Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo (Chris Jenkins, San Diego Union-Tribune)

"In Game 65, I do think that it is too early to blow it all up, but my answer to that question may be a lot different a month from now. That's the way you have to evaluate this type of season. The nine straight losing seasons is a factor to some degree, but it cannot override clear and thoughtful thinking about how to build a team for the future."
--Orioles VP of Baseball Operations Jim Duquette (Jeff Zrebiec, Baltimore Sun)

"You can't let it paralyze you, even though the frustration is there through the fan base and through the entire organization. You have to make sure you do what is right. Sound, fundamental decisions have to be the order of the day."
--Duquette

"I don't think it's been a setback [to our plan]. I think that things actually are progressing, and we have to be patient. We obviously are a streakier club than we thought we'd be, but there are still 90-plus games left. We have a long way to go. The alternative is blow it up, and I don't think we feel that way with the club."
--GM Mike Flanagan

"At some point, you'd like to stop saying we're moving in the right direction. That's what's frustrating for all of us. You can only move in the right direction for so long and still lose. At some point, the time comes where you have to win. I think we're all at that point. I know I am. Losing is a mental grind. It's a physical grind. It's hard. People say losing is easy. Come here and try it--it's not easy."
--Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts

"When you're in last place, that's not a good direction."
--Orioles third baseman Melvin Mora

ONE SECOND IT'S ALL DEUTERONOMY, THE NEXT HE'S TEARING YOUR THROAT OUT

"He's a good friend of mine. He lives down the street (in suburban Atlanta). He's my offseason catch buddy. We'll go to Bible study together."
--Indians starter Paul Byrd, on John Smoltz.

"He's a great competitor and a great athlete. If you go bowling with him, he picks up his personal bowling ball and shoes and rolls a 250 game. If you play ping pong with him, it's like he's a world-class player."
--Byrd (Sheldon Ocker, Akron Beacon-Journal)

FREE FOR THE FIRST TIME AT 36

"I'll treat every team the same. That's what free agency is. It's my first time as a free agent."
--Yankees catcher Jorge Posada, on his pending venture into free agency.

"They had a lot of time to do it already."
--Posada

"He ain't going nowhere. He'll be back."
--Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter

"I haven't talked to him about it. I'm not going to elaborate. I'll leave it at that. But I wouldn't worry about it if I were you."
--Jeter, on Posada's likelihood of being resigned by the Yankees. (Tara Sullivan, NorthJersey.com)

GOOD AFTERNOON AND GOOD LUCK

"It's clearly a First Amendment issue. This is part of the evolution of how we present the news to our readers."
--Courier-Journal executive editor Bennie Ivory, on reporter Brian Bennett, who was ejected from Louisville's Super Regional for blogging the event.

"We're doing some work to see who's on first."
--Jon Fleischaker, attorney for the Courier-Journal. (Joe Lapointe, The New York Times)

"It's a logical extension of the rights that have been around for years and years."
--Scott Bearby, associate general counsel for the NCAA.

"Reporters covering our championships may blog about the atmosphere, crowd, and other details during a game, but may not mention anything about game action. Any reference to game action in a blog or other type of coverage could result in revocation of credentials."
--NCAA statement

"To portray this as a First Amendment right is a little bit misleading."
--Bearby

IT SHALL BE A SHAMPOO BATH TO REMEMBER

"I don't like it, but if he hits .300 this season, I'll probably wash it for him."
--Tigers skipper Jim Leyland, on Tigers right fielder Magglio Ordonez' hair.

"Someone needs to tell him he better start shopping for shampoo."
--Ordonez

"It's ridiculous, what he's doing. It's like we're in the major leagues, and he's putting up Little League numbers. We're facing guys we can't hit, and he's crushing the same pitcher."
--Tigers first baseman Sean Casey, on his teammate's hot start.

"It's almost like you have to be here to see it. You go home and don't think he had a great game, pick up the box score and see that he went 2-for-4 with a double and a homer. People don't realize he's having the best year of anyone in baseball."
--Casey

"I think there was still some doubt in the back of his mind last year, whether he was really back. You can see the difference now. He's just letting that natural talent take over. It's a beautiful thing to watch. Who knows, maybe one day everyone else will find out just what they're missing."
--Tigers starter Justin Verlander (Bob Nightengale, USA Today)

BORAS KNOWS BEST

"We're disappointed, but in the realm of everything, his getting picked in the third round is pretty impressive. That draft was not about talent. It was about money. ... It sounds like sour grapes, but in the long run we're happy. All his goals of trying to reach the major leagues are still in place."
--Ed Harvey, father of Angels third-round draft pick Matt Harvey, a Scott Boras client, whose stock dropped because of signability concerns.

"We didn't know what the signability [of Harvey] was because of that. And we can't take that chance. ... Some [agents] are more difficult to deal with because we believe they over-evaluate the value of their clients."
--Florida Marlins scouting supervisor Steve Payne, on the Harvey-Boras connection. (Mike Anthony, Hartford Courant)

"No matter what I say, that's going to come up anyway."
--Ed Harvey, on Boras.

"There are [signing bonus] numbers put out there, but you've got to remember that 50 percent of that is going to the government. Then you've got to weigh the fact that a kid is going to give up a college education. ... What if he spends four or five years in the minors and missed out on that opportunity, and doesn't have any money left, doesn't have any skills?"
--Ed Harvey

I DO NOT THINK THAT WORD MEANS WHAT YOU THINK IT MEANS

"First we have to decide, when can we break in and begin to do live cut-ins of his at-bats, and that's being negotiated now. Is it within two? Within three? Within five? Where does it become reasonable?"
--Len DeLuca, ESPN's senior vice president for programming and acquisitions.

"There are some who would say that in a way it's a perfect storm. Those who are rooting for him will watch. Those who are rooting against him will watch. You never know."
--Fox Sports president Ed Goren

"We're a television network. We're not an all-sports cable operation, so we play under different rules as an organization. The variables are how far out do you have to declare to move a game and can you get a game in time?"
--Goren

"Can your sales guys sell it in three days? Is there a lot of money in the marketplace in June or July? There are a lot of variables. When all is said and done, the key question: Would we like to televise the record-setting game? I think the answer would be yes, all things being equal."
--Goren

"We have all the assets to cover this story fully and on all its very, very complex levels. Some of it is not so complex--does he hit the ball out and where does he hit it?"
--Goren (Ronald Blum, Associated Press)

YOU THINK HE'S GRUMPY NOW-AT CHRISTMAS TIME HE WORKS TINY TIM TO THE BONE

"Teams do that. It happens. I still think I said, in a period of hypercaution publicly and privately, that there had been a ridiculous overreaction to the early success of the club."
--Red Sox team president Larry Lucchino

"It was just that, early success. I always expected that we would be in a competitive race, with the Yankees and other teams in the league. With the Wild Card, there are a lot of chances for teams to stay in it for a long time."
--Lucchino

"I honestly believe people were getting complacent far too early."
--Lucchino, on his team's early success. (Gordon Edes, Boston Globe)

SO THAT'S WHAT YOU PEOPLE DO

"Mark DeRosa says a catcher is a glorified suggestion box. I don't know if that's exactly the case. But being a pitcher, I feel it's my responsibility to make pitches."
--Cubs starter Ted Lilly

"Sometimes when you come in the dugout after the catcher put down a certain pitch, and the pitcher threw it and gave up a big hit, then there's going to be a tendency to second-guess the catcher, but I don't entirely understand that. I've seen instances when a catcher puts down a certain sign in a big situation and the hitter hits a rocket right at somebody and it doubles him off and you get out of the inning, and nobody says anything."
--Lilly

"There have been games with more than 150 pitches where I can remember four pitches where I made the wrong decision and something not good happened. But things tend to get magnified when things don't go well."
--Cubs catcher Michael Barrett

"So much goes into how to pitch a hitter. This is where the pitching coach comes in, and I always leave it up to him, because at the end of the year, if the pitchers didn't do their job, it's the pitching coach who gets fired, not me. I'll move on and play somewhere else, but ultimately it's the pitching coach who suffers."
--Barrett

"One of the things Greg Maddux taught me is to be the pitcher's friend first. By doing that, then you gain more trust. I work really hard to do that."
--Barrett (Michele Isaacson, Chicago Tribune)

MMM...THEORY OF SUBSTITUTION

"I think I'm the only owner who wants to spend more than the general manager. The man loves business. He loves to lecture investment bankers and at universities. He's a business voyeur. I think he will be very disciplined. He enjoys the theory of substitution."
--Athletics owner Lew Wolff, on his general manager, Billy Beane, who he signed to a long-term deal this week.

"I don't think Billy or myself are comfortable with six- or seven-year contracts. I don't think we'd give a pitcher a seven-year contract."
--Wolff

"We talk about every signing. Billy has a budget; he doesn't have to bother me. But he wants everybody's opinion who is close to him. It keeps me more active than I thought I would be."
--Wolff

"It's a wonderfully-run team because of Billy and Mike. It's budgeted beautifully. We've made money all three years. Both Billy and Mike were free agents. Any change of ownership they could leave."
--Wolff

"When you work for Lew, everybody feels they're a part of what's going on. He creates that type of loyalty. With Lew I'll never leave Oakland. I couldn't have a better relationship with anyone."
--Billy Beane (Murray Chass, The New York Times)

THE REST

"I don't like people to show me up. I respect the game and I take offense when people stare at their home runs. I respect the game."
--Padres starter David Wells, on Alfonso Soriano's home run trot. (Jeff Vorva, The Beacon News)

"He deserves to be honored by the Baseball Hall of Fame for his work as a writer but also for his efforts to create opportunities for other African-American writers. He was a true trailblazer for African-American sports journalists."
--Boston Globe sports editor Joe Sullivan, on longtime writer Larry Whiteside. (Christopher L. Gasper, The Boston Globe)

"You have a couple of beers and you try and catch a ball. What can I say?"
--Lou Piniella, on Bartman II from this weekend at Wrigley. (Paul Sullivan, Chicago Tribune)

"You always want to hit at the top of the lineup, but it makes no difference to me. I just don't want to hit 10th, that's all."
--Red Sox shortstop Julio Lugo, on being bumped from the leadoff spot in favor of right fielder J.D. Drew. (Gordon Edes, Boston Globe)

"The only identification is identifying the statistics so that this group of evolving statistics for the second baseman can be followed. The name is only to identify the statistics. It's not to steal the identity of the second baseman."
--Judge James Loken, debating MLB counsel in the current case regarding fantasy statistics. (Maury Brown, BizofBaseball.com)

"You can almost put out a lawn chair and enjoy the show."
--Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, on playing when Jake Peavy pitches. (Phil Rogers, Chicago Tribune)

--

Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus. You can reach Alex by clicking here. You can also find his Football Outsiders work here.

Related Content:  Journal News,  Billy Beane,  The Who

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