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December 17, 2007
The Week in Quotes
THE BUREAUCRACY HAS SPOKEN
"The response by baseball was slow to develop and initially ineffective... Players who follow the law and the rules are faced with the painful choice of either being placed at a competitive disadvantage or becoming illegal users themselves. No one should have to make that choice."
"Anyone interested in fairly assessing the allegations against a player should consider the nature of the evidence presented, the reliability of its source and the absence of procedural safeguards individuals who may be accused of wrongdoing should be afforded."
"If you are going to say every single one of these guys must be punished... are we going to have another inquiry to find out if there are other names back then? Because it's clear these are not the only names. There are very, very many others. We know that."
"All that Mitchell is doing is that he is reporting a fact. That is not libelous. It's a factual report about what someone said. It could be true; it could be untrue. ... [Mitchell] is not vouching for the correctness. He is just reporting that this is the information that was provided to him."
"NO SURPRISE IN THE WRITER, NO SURPRISE IN THE READER"
"I don't think there were a lot of surprises or anything. It was pretty much everybody you suspected, people who had been talked about in the past. Everybody knew the names that came out."
"He's testified in public and I believe he's the kind of person that's going to stand up in front of the klieg lights and say he didn't use steroids, and I believe him. Still do."
"Now, of course, anyone who has been named would like to see everyone else named, but that means you never get to the end of it."
"I don't know what it's going to accomplish. I think we've done a lot to change our policy on the subject. We've agreed to stronger testing. I just don't know what this will do to change that."
"Senator Mitchell recommends certain changes in our program. We will review and consider what he has to say. We have demonstrated a willingness to continue to improve the program, and the program itself allows for midterm modifications."
"According to McNamee, during the middle of the 2000 season Clemens made it clear that he was ready to use steroids again. During the latter part of the regular season, McNamee injected Clemens in the buttocks four to six times with testosterone from a bottle labeled either Sustanon 250 or Deca-Durabolin that McNamee had obtained from Radomski."
"He is a piece of shit. First of all, he is an alcoholic. He is a troubled soul and has got so many demons in his closets. He has a lot of problems in his life."
"This guy is very jealous. His ego is such that he has to be the guru."
"If Roger is guilty of anything, it's that he has a big heart. He has got to feel betrayed."
"I really don't think this would deter him from playing. He might think it would change the public opinion on him further. People would think, 'Why
would he come back and put up with all of this abuse if he did it?'"
"These are only accusations that somebody made. That doesn't mean he's guilty. Let's see what develops. These are no proven facts."
THE BEST TWO DAYS OF HIS LIFE
"This is it--two days out of my life; two days out of my entire career, when I was injured and on the disabled list."
"I wasn't looking for an edge. I was looking to heal. I have the utmost respect for baseball and have always tried to live my life in a way that would be honorable. If I have let down people that care about me, I am sorry, but I hope that you will listen to me carefully and understand that two days of perhaps bad judgment should not ruin a lifetime of hard work and dedication."
"I have tried to do things the right way my entire life, and, again, ask that you put those two days in the proper context. People that know me will know that what I say is true."
THE NEEDLE-SHY GUYS"I don't even know who Kirk Radomski is. If he walked up to me right now and said, 'Hello,' I would not know who he was."
--former MLB outfielder David Justice, on accusations he bought HGH in the Mitchell Report.
"I want to see the check that shows me paying something to a Kirk Radomski, because I don't even know who he is. I didn't pay for [any] human growth hormone, ever. He said to me that if you take this HGH--that was the first time I had ever heard of it--he said that if you take this, it will help you in your recovery from your injury."
"He said, 'Listen, I will put it in your locker, check it out.' When I looked at that and saw that it was needles, I said, 'No way, dude. I can't do needles.' Everybody knows that about me--I don't do needles. And I'm really glad that I chose not to do it. Now that I know about it, that would have been the worst thing for me to do."
"It's a serious situation, and I'm trying to take it as serious. It's my name, and I'm going to treat my name with respect and the game of baseball with respect."
"I want the fans of Boston to know that the Red Sox had no idea of the contents of this report because I didn't have any knowledge of the contents of this report. I just want to make it clear for anybody who thought there was any shady activity going on, it's just totally false and we're still currently talking with the Red Sox and looking at a deal when I do come back from Tommy John. It was understood I was getting taken off the roster months before."
"I walk around with my shirt off. If I had anything to hide I wouldn't do that. I really don't know what to say. I asked my agent about legal action, but he said it wasn't worth it. Maybe the president [of NBC] will write me a nice letter."
REDEFINING BLISSFULLY UNAWARE FOR A WHOLE NEW GENERATION OF MANAGERS
"People have to understand that the weight lifting program was always a big part of the deal there, more so than in a lot of places. I never saw anybody's body type, like say Miguel's, go from a size three to a size 15. I saw some guys get a little bigger and stronger, but I remember seeing Miguel and Jason and guys like that go to the weight room right away after every game, very dedicated to what they're doing. I told [then-Reds GM] Jim Bowden the same thing when I
interviewed with Cincinnati in 1999. He said, 'They've got some big guys over there in Oakland; how's that all happen?' I said, 'These guys are in the weight room all the time.'"
"Obviously there's been a problem in the game, and anything that goes toward fixing it is good, but a lot of it seemed like the biggest dog-and-pony act I've ever seen. There's no doubt it needs to be cleaned up, but it's really unfortunate they had to put on a circus act, trying to destroy guys' images."
"I know some people think a lot of people turned a blind eye to this or whatever, but that wasn't the case with us. The coaches are preparing for the next game, the next series, making sure guys are ready to pitch. We're not in people's lockers, poking around."
"When they started testing [for steroids], some guys continued to dabble in HGH and find other sources, even though HGH was red-flagged. To me, that's the biggest issue, the HGH stuff. We have to find a way to get that out of the game, too."
TO BE FAIR TO TONY, IT WAS A PRETTY THICK NECK
"I said the exact same things I said during that period. Jose was getting bigger and stronger without putting the work in, and comments were made to him by the staff. We made note of it to him. Did I make a mistake of not going up to him and grabbing him around his neck and demanding to know what was going on? Maybe so. But we let him know what we thought."
"I never saw one thing, and I'm old school enough that if I did see something I would have brought it to someone's attention. I'm not the Moral Majority, but I'm telling you I wouldn't want to have something like that going on a club I'm supposed to be in charge of. It never came up and it was never an issue. Now one guy says that it was? I'm calling baloney."
"But I want to make a point, and I'm not being flippant. But I have no desire to be in the Hall of Fame. I mean no disrespect to the Hall, but it should be for players and really special personalities. If someone wants to discount me, and take away 1,000 wins from my record and tell me I'm not getting in, that's fine. I was never worried about that. I never set that up as a goal."
"They don't pay me enough to lie and to cover things up. This is not espionage work. This is baseball, and I am definitely not going to let somebody say something that I know in my heart is a total fabrication. We had a lot of really good young men on those teams, and for them to be lumped in with that kind of a blanket statement where everyone was doing something, amazing. I don't think so."
"Did I ever look into a guy's eyes and think he's on something? No, never. Did I ever smell anything in that clubhouse or on the plane or on the buses? Never. If we had a bunch of marijuana smokers, I never smelled it. I can't even remember people staggering off a plane. I don't remember one incident, anybody being unruly on a plane or on a bus, anything. I never once went into the dugout and thought, 'Gee, I wonder who's high and who isn't.' Never happened."
THE KIND OF GUY YOU WANT YOUR DAUGHTER TO MARRY
"By far that's the thing that's bothered me the most about the whole entire thing. [Bigbie] threw Brian Roberts' name out on complete hearsay. Calling it hearsay would be giving it more credibility than it deserves. I'm at a loss as to why Brian Roberts' name would come out of his mouth."
"Brian Roberts has never met Kirk Radomski, at least not in my presence, who has admitted to taking steroids and to providing Radomski's contact information to several players who wanted to know more about performance-enhancers. And I don't know wherever else he would have met him."
"I'm not worried about damage control on my part, I don't care about that. What I care about is Brian Roberts. He is the kind of guy you want your daughter to marry. He is the kind of guy you want your son to grow up to be. Leave him out of this [stuff]. He has nothing to do with this."
"I think he has one of the biggest gripes in the report, that his name shows up among other players with specific evidence. There are canceled checks, eye witness reports of injections. But the sole evidence on Brian is the word of a guy who has been accused of using steroids and recalls one piece of a conversation. I think Brian has the biggest gripe of them all."
WHEN BILLY STARTS A SENTENCE WITH 'FRANKLY', YOU KNOW SOMEBODY JUST GOT DEALT TO THE NATIONAL LEAGUE
"When we traded Tim and Mark, we felt we had a group of players we could still compete with. Frankly, we need as many young players as we can get right now."
"We struggled with this even last year. We had confidence in those players, we just couldn't keep that group on the field. It wasn't easy making a decision like this, because you do hope for things to work out, but once it got to this point... this is clearly where we were going. And we're going to go full-bore."
"You have to wonder. That's a question mark. After the winter meetings, we all took a sigh of relief when we didn't do anything, but now there might be a few of us. I guess we'll just wait and see."
"Losing our ace, that's tough to deal with. You've just got to trust your management knows what they're doing."
ED, HERE'S A GLASS OF PROVEN CLOSER KOOL-AID, DRINK UP
"One of the hesitations of the Oakland deal was giving up depth, which is invaluable. I think the Houston deal brought back some of that depth."
"We're excited about Valverde. A lot of those saves were one-run games. This is something we worked on for a long time. It made all the sense in the world for us to do it. This brings us closer to being a champion."
"They were absolutely prepared from the start and were willing to talk about a number of young players. We talked about almost everybody in their organization at some point in the process."
HE SAT ON THEIR OFFER A LITTLE TOO LONG
"He made it evident at that time that they were moving on and that in light of the time of year, they felt it best to not let any more time pass before they made a decision."
"Tony had a significant impact on our club and our maturation as a club. As a result, we made a strong offer early and allowed a lot of time to pass. Unfortunately, for this circumstance, we were so deep into the offseason that a series of moves changed the complexion of the roster."
"I think if they can prove he (Clemens) actually cheated, he should be punished for it. I don't have the time of day for that stuff."
"No, I didn't. I was very anxious, and was not confident. The turning point was when I got my own interpreter one month after the season started. Being able to communicate with people through the interpreter made my being there more comfortable and then I was able to focus on playing baseball."
"It was going to involve giving up some of our good, young players. We talked about moving Tejada to third base and [Ryan] Braun to the outfield. [Tejada] would have done that for a team that was a contending club. It was going to be [giving up] some of the players that might have impacted our club; we felt it wasn't the right thing to do. Houston made a good deal. They got a good player in Tejada and the Orioles ended up getting five players back. We just weren't going to give up that kind of package for Tejada, who would have been signed for two more years."
"We had no knowledge of who was going to be on the list. We made the trade because we thought it really improved the Houston Astros. We were excited about Tejada, and we still are."
"We are a fraternity of 30, and people really don't understand... unless they sit in this chair they don't know the difficulty in navigating through the many minefields that confront you in the job. When you're talking about some of the issues in regards to this, there are no clear-cut answers in terms of how to go about solutions."
"Unless you have hard truth, you're just taking the word of a clubhouse guy. If you have anything with substance, we want to know. We want to rid that [drugs] out of the game, but I think you have to have some evidence. You just can't take someone's word for it."
"He was always the heir apparent, he just needed the right situation. He's not a media hound. He doesn't mind being in the background, which is different than his father."
"I've never felt overmatched on the baseball field. I've always been (in) a very strong, dominant position. And I felt that if I did my work as I've done since I was a rookie back in Seattle, I didn't have a problem competing at any level."
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.