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July 2, 2007

The Week in Quotes

June 25-July 1

by Alex Carnevale

THE BEES ARE BACK, ONE NIGHT ONLY

"I think it was the way it was supposed to be done. To have it happen here--that was a special atmosphere that was out there today."
--Astros legend Craig Biggio, on his five-hit game in which he got his 3,000th hit in dramatic fashion.

"This was just unbelievable the way it all came down. We tied the game and then we lost the lead, then the grand slam. We'll all remember this the rest of our lives."
--Astros owner Drayton McLane

"I wanted him on that field, between the lines one more time with me to really let the fans say goodbye, say hello, say thank you for so many things. To me that was what it was about. He deserved it and I deserved it in a way. I just wanted him to enjoy it and be happy one more time with me."
--Biggio, on including Jeff Bagwell in the celebration for his 3,000th.

"I'm just so proud of him. I just want everyone to appreciate that that's the kind of person he is off the field as well the kind he is on it. I'll never forget this moment."
--Jeff Bagwell, he himself the owner of a .297/.408/.540 career line.

"My second day there, I was a little tardy getting to the field, and he was the first person I saw. He made sure that I knew what my place was."
--Rockies starter Jason Hirsh, on former teammate Craig Biggio.

"He pretty much came up to me when I was stealing, because he used to steal bags, too. If he saw something in my lead or if I was doing something wrong, he'd say things that will give me a better chance to steal the base. You have to take it the right way. Anytime a veteran player gives you advice, you've got to take it because this game can be tough. To play as long as he has, he's doing something right. As a young player, I heard and I listened and I took advantage of it."
--Rockies center fielder Willy Taveras (Thomas Harding, MLB.com)

BILL BELICHICK GETS $500 EVERY TIME THAT PHRASE IS UTTERED

"I'm not mad at anybody. I'm not being forced out. It is what it is. I have no reason to lie."
--Mariners manager Mike Hargrove, who resigned on Sunday and then managed his last game with the Mariners. He'll stay on in a front office position.

"There are no dark sinister reasons for my resignation."
--Mike Hargrove (Maury Brown, BizofBaseball.com)

"Can't imagine myself managing again. This will be my last job."
--Mike Hargrove

"I understand that it is putting the ballclub in a difficult position."
--Hargrove

"At the beginning, there were complications between us. Since then, I've honestly expressed my feelings to him. He listened to them honorably and very gentlemanlike. That's a strong memory I'll have."
--Ichiro, on differences between him and the outgoing manager.

WHY PAINT THE TOWN RED WHEN YOU CAN JUST HAVE A PARTY IN YOUR BATTING CAGE?

"I could not have gotten here alone. I have an extremely supportive wife."
--Angels outfielder Reggie Willits, on the home with a batting cage in it that he lives in with his wife and daughter.

"I know she's taken a few in the helmet. But that's part of the game."
--Mickey Hatcher, Angels' hitting coach, on Willits' wife, Amber.

"He comes out dripping with sweat. He looks just like his daddy."
--Amber Willits, on their son hitting in the cage. (Lee Jenkins, The New York Times)

THERE WILL BE A GRANDMASTER WIZARD AND A DEADLY BASEBALL MAZE IN WHICH MY CLIENTS WILL HAVE THE CHOICE TO OPT OUT

"I know from an owner's perspective, this is a gold mine. To have a World Series Weekend, WSW, I think it will create a stage that the game has not seen."
--Scott Boras, on his proposed World Series Weekend concept in which a nine-game series would begin with two games at a neutral site.

"Create this buzz around it the same way they do the Super Bowl I think is a very innovative idea."
--D'Backs outfielder Eric Byrnes

"Nine games? It's too long."
--Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter

"The World Series is something that rarely gets to a number of venues in professional baseball. And that's one problem because we want the fan base of particular cities to participate in the World Series, even though there may be a lull in the particular performance of the regional team."
--Boras

"Obviously generating revenue is what this is all about anymore, which is sad, but again, you have to find ways to make it work. But, yeah, that's certainly intriguing."
--Joe Torre (Ronald Blum, Yahoo.com)

PLAY-BY-PLAY OF THE FUTURE

"I've always felt that I was talking to one person. But I've never envisioned who that one person is."
--Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully

"What I like to do, first of all you can find a lot of stuff on the internet. You can go into files."
--Vin Scully

"And also it's an ever-gathering process. If I pick up the Sporting News or some sports publication and there's an article on somebody and I think I might see that player, I will tear it out and put it in a file, and I have a looseleaf book so when we're going to play that particular team I take out all these clippings and things I pulled out, I go through them, highlight them, put them in the book."
--Scully (Paul Oberjuerge, The Daily Breeze)

THE MOVEMENT TO MAKE IT SEEM LIKE DALLAS GREEN ISN'T THAT BAD OF A GUY

"The first time I ever kept a chart. [Mike] Cuellar gave up a leadoff hit with a 5-2 lead with [Rod] Carew, [Tony] Oliva, and [Harmon] Killebrew coming up, and I said, 'Mr. Weaver, that's his 135th pitch.' "
--Jim Palmer

"'Get your rear end to the other end of the dugout. I'll let you know if he's tired.'"
--Palmer, on what Earl Weaver said in response.

"I hate them. It's changed the entire game. It's created an era full of five- or six-inning pitchers."
--Dallas Green, the man who almost murdered Al Leiter with PAP, among others.

"It's kind of a protect-your-[rear] kind of deal. I think we're really hurting the game of baseball by doing this."
--Green

"I think you do what you can to prevent injuries, but arm injuries occur from overexertion and overextension, not necessarily a pitch count."
--Orioles pitching coach Leo Mazzone

"Years ago, you never concerned yourself with pitch counts. Now, with statistics telling you that between this number and that number bad things happen to this particular pitcher, you have to pay attention to it. The bullpen has become a huge part of what happens now."
--Joe Torre (J.P. Pelzman, NorthJersey.com)

THIS HAS AT LEAST AS GOOD A CHANCE OF CATCHING ON AS SCIENTOLOGY

"What a difference what a difference. The Dodgers wanted to go first to third, but it was always, 'Don't get thrown out at third.' Here, they encourage you to go. They make outfielders have to make a perfect throw. It's an aggressive style, and it works. I'm a true believer."
--Angels third base coach Dino Ebel, who joined the organization in 2005.

"We keep a log on outfielders who charge the ball and who don't charge, who have accurate arms and powerful arms. We take all that into consideration. This is not a blind experiment to say hey, run until you get thrown out."
--Angels manager Mike Scioscia, on his team's aggressiveness on the basepaths.

"In this game, you have to think about making plays, you can't worry about making mistakes. At times, a guy will get thrown out, but in the bigger scheme, the bases we're going to take will far outweigh that occasional misread. And it depends on what you call a mistake. If the outfielder puts the ball right on the money, he's out by a quarter-step and it's a bang-bang play, that's not a mistake. That's baseball. If you're out by four or five steps, it's ugly, it's a misread, but in the big picture, that aggressiveness is going to help us more than the occasional blunder will hurt."
--Scioscia (Mike DiGiovanna, Los Angeles Times)

A SUMMER OF JOE TORRE BACKPAGES TO LOOK FORWARD TO

"Well, it counts as far as making us feel good about ourselves. To bounce back the way we did, it does a lot for our personality. The road trip was horrible, but with the last thing we did, and hopefully we're still doing, at least we know we've got our personality back."
--Yankees manager Joe Torre (Tyler Kepner, The New York Times)

"Sheff wasn't with us last season for the most part. Our problem is that the players we have on the roster now are not living up to their potential. I don't have to name the names, everybody knows who they are."
--Yankees GM Brian Cashman, on what's responsible for his team's sub .500 first half.

"Luck comes when you go after it. At times we just go through the motions. Today was one of those days. I think everybody knows what I'm talking about."
--Yankees catcher Jorge Posada (Bob Herzog, Newsday)

"I don't think we can put a finger on it. We've got to dominate in July."
--Johnny Damon

"We hit the ball all over the place. We got one hit but it felt like 10. I didn't think mine would be the only hit we'd get."
--Damon, on Chad Gaudin and Rich Harden's one-hit performance against the Yankees.

"The fans have a right to be upset. We're upset. I'm very disappointed. We were hearing, `Here come the Yankees,' then things went south. Now they're talking about [firing] Torre and [Brian] Cashman. It's not their fault. It's a good team but we're not showing the fans or the world how good we are. If it doesn't happen soon, a lot is going to happen."
--Damon

THE REST

"It's not fun to be the butt of everybody's jokes, talking about our bullpen. We take a lot of pride in our bullpen, and it's frustrating. We just do what we can. We're down there trying to make pitches, and I should take a little more responsibility, because I'm the oldest guy in the pen and I've got the most experience. I feel like I am the most accountable."
--Tigers closer Todd Jones (Jason Beck, MLB.com)

"I told Rick, 'From now on, I just worry about the White Sox.' It seems like we just worry about one guy. We have a couple of free agents and we only talk about one guy. Obviously, he's the one everybody wants. But I'd like to stay away. Good or bad, I have to deal with it. I hope it's more good than bad. If it's bad, we have to move on. Like I say, it's not an easy thing to do."
--White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, on Mark Buehrle's rumored extension. (Mark Gonzales, Chicago Tribune)

"I'll do this (interview), but you need to start talking to other players. It's the same three or four people every day. Nobody else wants to talk. Some of these guys have to start talking. They speak English, believe me."
--Paul Lo Duca, on the reticence of his teammates to take questions from the media. (Peter Botte, New York Daily News)

"It would be awfully hard for us to give up 35 home runs [potentially from Glaus]. It's not that I wouldn't listen, but I wouldn't give him up for Joey Bag of Donuts, either. But we're certainly going to have to evaluate where we are at that point, and see if there's an area we feel we need to plug."
--Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi, on potentially dealing Troy Glaus. (Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe)

"It's nothing. I just made a decision. I was being a little overaggressive and I got thrown out. I was trying to make something happen; it didn't come out the right way. It doesn't really matter. To me, we're 10 games [ahead] in first place. People only sometimes focus on one thing, my batting average. Who cares? We're 10 games up in first place. There's no reason to panic. I've never seen nobody with two months of the season on a baseball card. I see the whole season."
--Red Sox shortstop Julio Lugo, on getting caught stealing at third in the eighth inning of Saturday's game against the Rangers. (Amalie Benjamin, Boston Globe)

"He's out of sorts. I know that's a catch-all phrase to use when you don't know what's going on."
--Joe Torre, on Mike Myers. (WCBS)

"It was batting practice, and I had three swings left. Lou bet me a steak that I couldn't hit a home run to each field on those three swings. I hit one to right and I hit one to center, but I missed the one to left. So I paid up."
--Ken Griffey Jr., admitting he bet on baseball in spring training with the Mariners. (Hal McCoy, Dayton Daily News)

---

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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