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July 23, 2000

The Week in Quotes

July 11-22

by Derek Zumsteg

A HOT JULY NIGHT

"It's a very, very proud time for the New York Yankees. Their future did a great job tonight."
-- Joe Torre, AL Manager, on the All-Star Game

"We've been watching that ever since he came to the big leagues."

-- Bobby Cox, NL Manager, on Derek Jeter's MVP performance

"We played some very important big games here against the Braves, obviously in the postseason, regular season, now this game here. Our team has been successful here. Maybe we seem to focus a bit more."

-- Jeter, AL infielder, on his MVP honors

"That really is a shocker. Derek Jeter stealing all the headlines. It's good to see no one else in the National League can get him out, either."

-- Chipper Jones, NL infielder

BLOCKBUSTING

"We have a chance to threepeat--at least a chance to try to make that happen. Now's the time to make a stand and go for it."
-- Brian Cashman, Yankees general manager, on giving up Ed Yarnall, Drew Henson, Brian Reith and Jackson Melian for Denny Neagle

"I'm excited about this. A couple of weeks ago, we had to shift people around just to get a starting pitcher. This is a whole lot different for us right now."

-- Torre, Yankees manager

"Henson is the wild card in the deal. If in the future he plays major league baseball, I think in the end this is a real good deal for the Reds. If he does play football, I still think it's a good deal considering the circumstances."

-- Jim Bowden, Reds general manager

"Ashby's ability and experience are very appealing to us, and we believe he's shown signs of returning to his form of old."

-- John Schuerholz, Braves general manager, on giving up Bruce Chen for Andy Ashby

"If the opportunity came to try and extend our relationship with Andy, we were going to do that. But that never presented itself. We didn't want to get to the end of the season and possibly get zero value in return."

-- Ed Wade, Phillies general manager

"I'm happy to be here. It's a relief knowing everything is over with now."

-- Ashby, Braves pitcher

"When I was in Atlanta, I didn't know when I would pitch. I could go seven or eight days without pitching. To know that Philadelphia will give me an opportunity to start is very good for me."

-- Chen, Phillies pitcher

ONE BAD UMP

"The strike zone changed a couple of times during the game. I thought he changed the zone because it was a tight game."
-- Roy Halladay, Blue Jays pitcher

"That was the worst umpired game I've ever seen. The guy had no clue. It wasn't just me either. Guys on the Jays were complaining too. I hope it doesn't come out that I'm a cry baby because it wasn't just me."

-- Al Leiter, Mets pitcher, on taking the loss in the same game, umpired by summer relief umpire Mike Fitcher

"A couple of times he asked me what do you think about that pitch."

-- Alberto Castillo, Blue Jays catcher

THE REASON OF ROYALTY

"Eventually, I'd like to break those guys up and not pitch them back to back, but we'll have to wait until we get to some days off before we can do that."
--Tony Muser, Royals manager, the day after the All-Star break, on pitchers Chad Durbin and Dan Reichert

"It's not because of me. It's because of my wife. She's a, well, I'd classify her as a gamer."

-- Muser, on his 32nd wedding anniversary

"I have a good idea what the strike zone is, but when I see a pitch, I am going to swing. You don't set any records by walking all the time. You set them by swinging the bat. And you don't get to the big leagues by walking. You get here by swinging the bat. That's a philosophy that has stayed with a bunch of the players. Hopefully, we can keep swinging the bats."

-- Johnny Damon, Royals outfielder, on his team's offensive problems

"I think Suppie was angry at me. At least I hope he was. He didn't like having to go to the bullpen."

-- Muser, on pulling Jeff Suppan from the rotation

"I had a man-to-man talk with him about a week ago and told him to forget about all that."

--Muser, on counseling Damon to ignore trade and contract speculation

"My mind wanders all the time. It's that high school education I had."

-- Damon, on paying attention to trade and contract speculation

"It's like Saturday at the barber shop. Take a number, and keep the line moving."

-- Muser, on loading the bases repeatedly

"It's been like pulling teeth to get him to want to throw the fastball more."

-- Muser, on Reichert

"How many did he walk? Six? Including three leadoff batters. Let's just say he was fortunate and he battled."

-- Muser, on pitcher Jay Witasick's 125-pitch, six-hit, six-walk performance

LOSING...

"I don't know when the downfall began. Coming off the '98 season we felt we had players who could continue to be productive. ... And they were in June-- we had the fifth-best record in baseball. Then the bottom just fell out, but I didn't view that as the beginning of the end."
-- Ed Lynch, former Cubs general manager, on his resignation.

"It was a development that evolved over time. It was easy to see his frustration. I was frustrated along with him. So it really wasn't a surprise."

-- Andy MacPhail, Cubs president and now general manager

"Hal came up to me, about the fifth inning, I guess it was, and said, 'I'll see you.' He said they had called him up into the clubhouse and told him. I said, 'Well, whose team are you on?' He said, 'I'm not sure.'"

-- Jack McKeon, Reds manager, on Hal Morris being traded to the Tigers during a game against them in Detroit

"I don't know what we're going to do without Hal in the clubhouse. It's just another piece of the puzzle that's gone."

-- Pokey Reese, Reds infielder

"You try to put these things out of your mind. But you find yourself asking, 'Who's going to be next?'"

-- Dmitri Young, Reds outfielder

"Clearly I'm down. Clearly I'm frustrated. But I'm not going to give up. I'm not going to end things this way. This has to end. Either I'm going to turn things around and help the team, or they will have to make a tough decision."

-- David Cone, Yankees pitcher, on getting shelled by the Phillies

"I have to give him more leeway. I want David Cone to be successful and I know he does too. I'm still optimistic about his ability. I need to make sure he doesn't get too frustrated."

-- Torre, Yankees manager, on Cone

"This is my worst nightmare. The one thing I don't want to do is hold the team back."

-- Cone, later

...AND WINNING

"I doubt if I would have been this far with the Philadelphia Phillies. The direction they were going in was they wanted to win right away. Maybe I'd be up by now, but not with 10 starts."
-- Adam Eaton, on his first win with the Padres, in which he also went 3-for-3 and stole a base

"The kid had great stuff and seemed to get stronger as the game went on. He was up around 95, 96 mph in the eighth inning. That's not too bad."

-- Buddy Bell, Rockies manager, on Eaton

"Adam did a heck of a job. He'd heard a lot about this place and pitched great. We've had trouble getting him that win."

-- Bruce Bochy, Padres manager

BY THE NUMBERS

"Anytime you pass one of the great guys that played the game and opened the doors for us to go out there and have something to shoot for, it's just a great feeling. You just want to be affiliated with them."
-- Rickey Henderson, Mariners outfielder, on passing Babe Ruth on the all-time hits list

"It's just a tremendous milestone. When you start talking about Babe Ruth in the pecking order of baseball immortals, it goes to show you what a great career Rickey's had. He should be very proud of it, and I'm sure he is."

-- Lou Piniella, on Henderson's achievement

"Numbers are irrelevant to me. They don't tell me anything. I never liked them. I don't need a stat to tell me if I had a good game."

-- Nomar Garciaparra, Red Sox infielder, on getting his batting average to .400

"I would like this team to play better than .500 ball for a period of time to the end of the season."

-- Larry Rothschild, Devil Rays manager, after a 6-4 victory over the Expos

"Anytime you see five runs, you think you should win the game."

-- Felipe Alou, Expos manager

"You're talking to a guy who hit .253 last year, and a guy who has stunk in the second half of the season the last two years. So I'm just trying to go out there and remain consistent. I'm not trying to break any records. I'm just trying to help the team win."

-- Darin Erstad, Angels outfielder, on possibly breaking the hits-by-a-leadoff-hitter record

"[Moises] Alou is having as good an RBI season as I've ever seen. He's missed 30 games with injuries and has 52 RBI. He's just been fabulous."

-- Larry Dierker, Astros manager and SABR member

BUMP AND GRIND

"He freaked out, or lost his cool, whatever you want to call it."
-- Mike Piazza, Mets catcher, on Red Sox outfielder Carl Everett's umpire intimidation

"The umpire told me he was just throwing inside, but I have a hard time believing that."

-- Larry Rothschild, Devil Rays manager, on Greg Maddux hitting Jose Canseco in the ninth inning while ahead 8-2.

"It doesn't take the brains of Einstein to figure it out."

-- Canseco, Devil Rays designated hitter, agreeing with his manager

"I tried to jam him and it slipped. I surprised myself. I was just trying to come in and, you know, it got away."

-- Maddux, Braves pitcher

"I'm not a violent person, but when you start dealing with people's careers, it's pretty serious. It really crossed my mind to go with my helmet and try to hit him and maybe knock an eyeball out or something."

-- Brian L. Hunter, Rockies outfielder, on charging Scott Sullivan after Sullivan beaned him July 15, denying that he simply didn't know how to walk to first

"The ball ran in on him and hit him, and then he came out and tried to discuss things with me. If you look at my stats the last couple of years, I hit a lot of people. I throw inside and that one got away from me."

-- Scott Sullivan, on beaning Hunter

GIMMICKS

"As long as we came out on top, they can do all the gimmick stuff they want. They're probably happy that it worked, but they're not real happy that they lost."
-- Mike Fetters, Dodgers pitcher, on the five-man infield that prevented Kevin Elster from winning a game before Jim Leyritz singled to win it, anyway

"[Mike] Scioscia did a great job of managing there. That ball is normally up the middle and would have been the game-winner right there. It worked for them, but fortunately, we had one out left and I was able to come through."

-- Leyritz, Dodgers infielder, on the shift

"We've used it a little too often to suit me. It usually means you're in a dire situation. Tonight, it almost helped us get out of that inning. But give Leyritz credit. He went with the ball where it was pitched and hit it hard."

-- Mike Scioscia, Angels manager

"Of all the days to come show your breasts, they picked Family Day."

-- Brad Fullmer, Toronto DH, on three naked women holding up signs for a local strip club in one of the SkyDome's hotel rooms

HE'S KIDDING

"Next time, we're going to try the one-hop cricket pitch and see if that's going to work against him."
-- Scioscia, on pitching to Gary Sheffield

"I was hoping he would pitch inside, rather than get ahead in the count and get us out with the split-finger. I was going to charge the mound, that's what I was upset about."

-- John Boles, Marlins manager, on Roger Clemens allowing two runs in his first start after beaning Mike Piazza in his previous outing

"I threw a sinking fastball to [Jim] Thome and he hit it two miles. Then I threw a changeup and he hit it 2 1/2 miles."

-- Wade Miller, Astros pitcher

"I didn't drink any."

-- Jon Garland, White Sox pitcher, age 20, on being showered with beer after his first win

"Sidney's pitching, so you know it's going to rain. If Sidney pitches in the Gobi desert, he probably faces a 3-inch gullywasher."

-- Mike Hargrove, Orioles manager, after Sidney Ponson's fifth rain-delayed or rescheduled start this season

WE HOPE HE'S KIDDING

"Who was that pitcher? Is he a rookie? Somebody taught him how to pitch in and out."
-- Shawon Dunston, Cardinals outfielder, on Mark Redman's 11th decision this year

THE REST

"Any time we lose to these guys, it honks me off."
-- Jones, on losing to the Marlins

"They pretty much dominated us. I really kinda stunk it up."

-- Mike Sirotka, White Sox pitcher, on a 3 2/3-inning start in which he gave up seven runs

"I don't know if it's bad luck or bad karma for me. I need to go out and do some kind of ritualistic dance or burn my uniform, I don't know. I don't ever remember getting beat with that kind of stuff."

-- Troy Percival, Angels pitcher, on blowing a save

"I just try and get the big hits if I can. I owe a lot of that to the guys that get on in front of me. There is no way I can have production offensively, and drive in guys, with no runners on."

-- Gerald Williams, Devil Rays outfielder

"We always hit well here. Maybe this is the tonic we need."

-- McKeon, after scoring 24 runs in two games in Colorado, which increases run scoring by a whopping 93%

"I've been drilled before. I've been hit by Randy Johnson. It's no big deal."

-- Mo Vaughn, Angels infielder, on being hit by Darren Oliver

If you would like to submit a quote, please email Derek and be sure to include both the quote itself and a URL pointing to the quote.

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