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September 3, 2007

The Week in Quotes

August 26-September 2

by Alex Carnevale

HE REACTED BY KEYING BIG PAPI'S CAR AND GETTING ARRESTED ON THE INGHT OF HIS NO-HITTER

"David Ortiz was jumping up and down and hit me in the nose with his shoulder and my eyes started watering. I thought I had a bloody nose."
--Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz on the mayhem after his Fenway Park no-hitter on Saturday.

"I nicked a ball tonight. I nicked one ball. Tonight, this guy threw a great game. He had his stuff, man. He had a great changeup and his fastball was in some nice locations. It was just one of those nights. We got no-hit. You tip your hat to Clay Buchholz and you move forward. When you start seeing balls that aren't falling that should fall, you sense something is going on."
--Orioles first baseman Kevin Millar

"We're character-building. I know one thing, we can sell character in this clubhouse. It stunk from our side. I wasn't part of history tonight because it stunk, basically. For them, it was probably a blast. But it wasn't fun on this side. I've had better times out here at Fenway Park than a no-hitter by Clay Buchholz."
--Millar

"I thought that was going to get past him. He just made a great play. To me, that was the best play they made the whole night."
--Miguel Tejada, on a diving grab by Dustin Pedroia to retire him at first.

USUALLY WE LIKE OUR ATHLETES TO ASK US BEFORE THROWING NO-HITTERS

"We have a plan. We're not necessarily going to articulate it. This can't change that. We've got to do what's right for the team and for Clay for the long term."
--Red Sox GM Theo Epstein

"Tito called up a couple of times. We were talking about it. We knew that he hadn't thrown more than 98 pitches in a game... If we had taken this guy out, after 120 pitches with one out to go, we would have unwittingly become the poster boys for pitch counts and stuff we don't want to be known for. I'm glad it didn't get to that point."
--Epstein, worrywart.

"That said, I think this does underscore how successfully at times this organization has made the transition from an aging team to a team that has integrated a lot of youth into it. We haven't been perfect and it's a very difficult thing. But I think [the no-hitter] is probably the best symbol we have of the transition we made."
--Epstein

"We couldn't go beyond 120 pitches. Thank God it didn't get to that. That would have been a horrible position, to take him out with a no-hitter in the ninth, but he would not have started a hitter after 120 pitches."
--Epstein, who spoke to Francona several times during the no-no.

"Tito said he would have blamed me. I wouldn't have blamed him."
--Epstein

"Whoever would have yanked him might be walking out with a noose."
--Red Sox manager Terry Francona (Gordon Edes, Boston Globe)

OH, AND ALSO THE PITCHING AND THE DEFENSE. SEE YOU NEXT YEAR

"The offense threw dirt on the grave."
--White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, on his team's struggles this season.

"Well, they're killing me. They're killing my family. They're killing my coaching staff, killing the White Sox fans. They kill the owner. They kill everyone. I hope they feel the same way we feel."
--Guillen

"You don't see this today. You've seen this since April. I keep giving people a chance to succeed, a pat on the back. I wish I played for a manager like that. I swear to God I wish I could have played for a (expletive) manager like that. Every time you fail and keep putting guys out there who fail day in and day out, that's easy to play."
--Guillen, on his treatment of the players.

"A $100 million payroll and those guys don't show how much they make in the field. Well, Kenny [Williams], I don't say what he has to do, but we play like this and spend all that money on the club like that, I will shut the payroll and go with Double-A kids if we have to, because it's not easy. I know those guys go out there and they care about it."
--Guillen

"I hope somebody out there cares the way we care. Good guys or nice guys finish (expletive) last. I'm tired of seeing that (expletive), day in and day out. And I don't want to spend a miserable September seeing the same (expletive). If I have to see the same (expletive), I told Kenny, 'Bring somebody up. (Expletive) it.' If it's my fault, I should be moving out of here then. If it's my fault, (expletive) fire my (expletive) and I'll be fine. I have the job to do and I get paid a lot of (expletive) money to make this club work, but it's not easy to work with people like that. It's not easy."
--Guillen

"You keep failing like that, well, Greg Walker doesn't hit. Ozzie Guillen doesn't hit. Don Cooper isn't pitching."
--Ozzie (Mike Gonzales, Chicago Tribune)

FOR TEN MILLION A YEAR, I'D LIE TOO

"The rules say it has to be a smooth surface. It looked like it was sawed off. I had never seen that before."
--Joe Torre, on Rays third baseman Akinori Iwamura's bat.

"Even before I left Japan, I sent my bat (to see) if it's OK with Major League Baseball. I think everything's fine."
--Akinori Iwamura, whose bat was examined by the umpires at a critical juncture in Ian Kennedy's first major start.

"It doesn't matter which bat he uses. It's all about his physical abilities. He can use a broom handle and be successful. It's just retaliation. There's nothing wrong with Alex Rodriguez. He's a great player. It was tit-for-tat entirely. I said, 'It's an illegal bat.' I said, 'I can't see inside it, but there might be something inside that bat. I don't have X-ray vision. He's got 45 home runs, it's September 1.' That was my argument."
--Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon, on retaliating by asking the umpires to examine A-Rod's bat.

"It was a very opportune time to spring it. However, we play them I don't know how many times this year and the bat's been used every at-bat. I'm sure they had it planned. It was well thought-out, it was punctuated at the appropriate moment, and now we'll move on."
--Joe Maddon, on Torre's gambit. (SI.com)

INSERT APPROPRIATE 'GLORY DAYS' LYRIC HERE

"I've taken it pretty hard. For someone who's been in a rotation for 17 years, it's been really hard. I've been struggling badly, which is probably why I needed a couple of days… You get a bad attitude and that's where I was. Every ball I threw, I thought something bad was going to happen, whether it would be a ball. If I threw a good pitch, I thought it would get fouled off or it would be a hit."
--Yankees starter Mike Mussina, who pitched himself out of the Yankees rotation.

"When you start your career, your talent is greater than your experience. At the middle of your career, the two sides even out, and at the end, you have all this experience, but the talent is gone or near gone and you're not sure you can still do it. For me, when my career was winding down, I had offers to keep playing, but I couldn't do it. I could see it with foul balls. I would be in the batter's box and foul off a pitch I knew I used to hit, and say 'I used to be able to hit that ball.' But now it wasn't happening and the question for me was whether it was going to be enough for me. I just couldn't deal with waving through fastballs."
--Ken Singleton, YES Network broadcaster.

"I hope I don't need a severe change. Because I'm old and you can't teach me new tricks."
--Mussina

"Eventually, the time is coming when I won't be able to do this anymore. That's not too far in the future. This has been tough, tough, when you're on the road, sitting in a hotel room by yourself. It eats you up more [than] if you were home with your kids."
--Mussina (Howard Bryant, ESPN.com)

WAAAAAAH WAAAAAAH WAAAAAAAAH

"I was talking to [hitting coach Dave] Magadan the other day. Things get magnified because I'm not hitting home runs. When you're hitting .230, the last thing you're trying to do is hit home runs. You just want to have a good approach going up to the plate. I really just have to battle to get that line-drive stroke back and just get that good feel going again. I've never tried to hit home runs."
--Red Sox right fielder J.D. Drew, on his struggles this year.

"It's just a different way of baseball. You play longer games. You have the DH. Pitchers work a little bit differently. The mentality is a little bit different. I've tried to battle through it and stay focused through the whole thing. I think I'm finally winning that thing."
--Drew

"I think the second year is always a little bit easier. I found that when you're transitioning, that first year is always difficult. Getting to another team, getting to know your teammates. You go into your second year and spring training is always easier. I have hit balls hard at people, and that's not an excuse. You take what you can get, and I've had to battle to even get to where I am right now. Hopefully, I can have another good month and see where things stand by the end of the season."
--Drew

"I've got four more years here, and that's what I'm excited about."
--Drew (Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe)

FOR THE SAKE OF A WINDBREAKER

"Get out of the dugout during the game."
--Red Sox manager Terry Francona (George King, New York Post)

"When Derek Jeter is on second base and I got somebody coming from the league making me go down the runway, I was a little perturbed."
--Francona

"It was unfortunate, of course. They should have used better judgment. That does not negate the fact that Francona has not been wearing his uniform."
--MLB Executive Vice President Jimmie Lee Solomon (Philadelphia Inquirer)

BUT I DON'T WANT TO PLAY BY THE RULES, BRIAN!

"I can't do that, because we're talking about someone who's going to be a starter for this organization. Plus, the rules were made up by someone I have a lot of respect for."
--Yankees manager Joe Torre, on relief pitcher Joba Chamberlain. (Wallace Matthews, Newsday)

"It's pretty tough to alter something that is working. You would like to have him more often, but maybe the reason he has been successful is because of what we have done."
--Torre, on the Joba Rules.

"You're certainly not going to send a 21-year-old kid out there with limited experience to send a message. That's absolutely ridiculous."
--Joe Torre, on Chamberlain's two out-of-control pitches thrown at Kevin Youkilis' head.

"There is more than a little bit of history between these clubs. Those were two pretty nasty pitches the young man threw. Up here, you need to be a little better throwing strikes and we just had to put a lid on it before there was a problem."
--home plate umpire in that game Derryl Cousins, on Chamberlain's behavior.

"You still can't come back from a bad start. By that I mean a bad start from one of your pitchers. You can come back from a bad start to your season, though. Because we have."
--Joe Torre (Mike Lupica, New York Daily News)

THE REST

"Fenway Park is a great place to watch a game. I love broadcasting a game here. The atmosphere is fantastic. But fans are not the primary concern here. Everyone knows how jammed in they are, how there aren't enough restrooms. I've seen people here urinating outside the bathrooms. When we come here, we walk in underneath the stands, and that's what you smell. That shouldn't be happening. If this ballpark is a cathedral, then people shouldn't be urinating outside the bathrooms."
--Joe Angel, O's broadcaster, on Fenway Park.

"I'm not afraid and I'm not intimidated. Things would have been fine if Joe didn't come over. Joe had no business coming over there. He threw me out, and that's fine, but what he said to me after that, that was not fine."
--O's manager Dave Trembley, on umpire Joe West cursing at him after Trembley argued that Julio Lugo interfered with the path of the baserunner. Trembley doesn't curse.

"I was just saying, 'Please, God, kill me.' I wanted the Earth to open and for me to go and, poof, sand just to go on top. This was the last thing we were waiting for, especially when they hit it to me. Bad things are happening to us right now."
--Melvin Mora, on an error he made in Friday's win over the Red Sox. (Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe)

"Does that say Blalock or secret weapon? It's secret weapon."
--Hank Blalock, seeing his name on the lineup card for the first time in over a month.

"Sorry guys I forgot all your names. I've only been here a month."
--Jarrod Saltalamacchia, on reading his team's lineup before the game. (T.R. Sullivan, MLB.com)

"I'm not going to get into specifics, but overall, we were flat in some areas."
--Mike Scioscia (Mike DiGiovanna, Los Angeles Times)

"We liked words, we liked Wordsworth."
--Fay Vincent, on Bart Giamatti. (Ed Randall, WFAN.com)

"If you want to kill yourself, that is an efficient way to do it. He used to tell me the only thing he did that was world-class was smoke cigarettes."
--Fay Vincent, on Bart Giamatti.

"Look what we've done the last three months after an obviously rocky start. The constant and one of the biggest reasons we turned this thing around and played well in the face of adversity and some changes is [Washington]."
--Rangers GM Jon Daniels on manager Ron Washington. (ESPN.com)

"He was a little bit less available than he normally is."
--D'backs manager Doug Melvin, on Tony Clark playing the day after he suffered a concussion. (Nick Piecoro, Arizona Republic)

"What is Milwaukee or any other team? You've got St. Louis two games behind us and you've got Cincinnati 6˝ games behind, we've just got to win baseball games, it doesn't matter who we're playing. This is an important series. But you know what? When Houston comes in [this weekend], it's going to be important. And in about 15 days from now, they're going to be much more important."
--Cubs manager Lou Piniella, on a pennant race. (Chris De Luca, Chicago Sun-Times)

--

Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.

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Prospectus Q&A: Clay B... (09/02)
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