January 14, 2008
The Week in Quotes
HOW MUCH IS HE BILLING ROGER FOR THIS?
"I've decided, perhaps naively, but I've decided that the sports world writing is different than the regular world writing. Apparently, we have moved the First Amendment to the level that says you have a Constitutional right to be as vicious about somebody that you disapprove of as you want, and you have the right to attack them on an incredible personal level."
"You know, people get a penicillin shot and a doctor didn't prescribe it. Okay, he shouldn't have gotten it. Is that something that you judge the guy's career for?"
"Um, on the occasions that it was B-12, Roger remembers it being the color of B-12. And our understanding is if it were something else it would've been a different color. Uh, he's had B-12 shots. His sister reminded us the other day that his mother was urging him for B-12 shots back in the '80s. So he's a long, long time taking B-12 shots. And that's what it looked to him like."
RUSTY HARDIN: ANOTHER WESLEYAN GRAD MAKING HIS MARK ON THE WORLD
"I've never found a client that wanted to give his medical records over to the world at large. I, uh, the only people I know that do it are Presidents of the United States, and they fought for years not to do it."
"I know we get a lot--he gets a lot of supportive mail from fans. Um, I don't know whether that's the majority of people or not. I just don't have a way of measuring it."
"We had the advantage of also having talked to a lot of other people that the Mitchell people should've talked to, who were all telling us one insistent story. They not only never saw any signs of it--not only did his body never change or so, but it was--this was the hardest-working ballplayer they can ever remember seeing. Period. And it didn't make sense to them."
"He goes to Toronto in '97. Is the contention that--when McNamee says he started before then. When are people saying he started using them? If McNamee is saying--and I really didn't realize what you're saying, I have to go back and look at that now. Uh, if McNamee's saying--when was he supposed to start it? Was he supposed to start it in '95, '94, '92? When did--when is he supposed to have been using steroids, if McNamee says he had done it before? Uh, and if you look at his 1996 record, did anybody look at what was going on then? Has he started strong every year, or is he starting slow every year? And what standard are people using? I think what you're going to find is they're using the worst standard. They're using win-loss record. And, and, you know, 2005 will tell you why that doesn't make any sense. I mean, I watched him over here at this ballpark and he pitched his heart out every time, and he was losing. And, and he was pitching as well as anybody in the league, and he didn't have a win-loss record reflect that. Does that mean he's pitching worse? I don't think so."
IMPROVING THE PROBABILITY OF IMPROVING: THE 2008 OAKLAND A's
"The whole thing is, looking at it passionately, I think we've improved the ballclub. We've certainly improved the probability of improving the ballclub. If none of these offers came to us, it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. At the winter meetings, Billy wanted to make clear that if a team wanted to knock his socks off, he'd be willing to listen. You're always going to feel that way."
"Well, certainly, he's a fantastic player. If you go through our proprietary program, he comes out extremely high among players. I don't think we're heading in that direction. We don't judge guilt until somebody else does. But right now, I think the idea is to build a younger club. Billy may change and feel differently, and that would be up to him."
"This moves us in the top 10, and that's important when the system provides your flow of players. It was re-established overnight. Though I hate to lose Dan [Haren] or Swish [Nick Swisher], some of those players are going to help us this year."
"Forget about the venue. We'll have to have a ball team whether we have a new venue or not."
"I kept reading the articles, and it's, 'Oh, my God, they're throwing away the season.' I don't believe that's true at all. I'm not going to go out to the game with the idea we're going to lose. We'll have a pretty good team on the field."
HE'S LIKE A GUARDIAN ANGEL…THAT WILL REPLACE ME WHEN I'M FIRED
"I'm still the GM. I still report to Bob. Everyone under me still reports to me. Nothing's changed in that regard. We're just adding another experienced baseball man."
"Walt and I have followed similar career paths. He's been a GM a lot longer and had more success than me. It's another set of eyes and ears. We believe in the same things: That you build a club through scouting and player development."
"Nobody has all the answers. I certainly don't. Walt will be part of the discussion. I'll be talking to Walt a lot."
"We'll work through things and take it to Bob. We should be fine. I report to Bob. Basically, I'll be involved in every aspect, working with Wayne. I think Wayne's done a great job in the two years. I know the pressure and the commitment of being a GM. Quite honestly, I didn't know if I was ready to step back into that job."
WE REALLY DON'T WANT TO PART WITH THAT .312 OBP, BUT IT'S WHAT HE WANTS
"If I were Brandon Inge's best friend, I'd tell him, 'You should catch.' This guy could be an All-Star catcher. He's not only good defensively, but his offense takes on a different meaning. ... If he puts (last year's) numbers up catching, he might be an All-Star. But you also realize that guys have to do what they want to do."
"Right now, Brandon Inge is part of our ballclub. He wants to be traded, and we want to trade him--not because we don't want him."
"The poor guy wants to play. That's all he wants to do. You can't blame a guy for that. I love Brandon Inge. ... If we keep him and use him as a super guy, to play all over, that would be fine with me. It's not going to be fine with him, and I don't blame him. He wants to play."
"It does excite me. I love Bobby Cox and I like Atlanta and the Braves, as far as the team and organization, the history they have. They've always been competitive. It's a great opportunity if this happens."
"He was rushed to the big leagues. He's got great makeup, but that kind of left him shell-shocked. A change of scenery will be good for him."
"I'll tell you, I saw that Pittsburgh team last spring, and I liked it. I didn't think they were going to win the World Series, but I liked what their lineup was going to be, and their starting pitching ... well, everybody liked that. I'm not sure what happened to them."
"We're going to send the players out there, prepare them as best as possible, and see where it takes us. Are we going to contend? Are we kidding ourselves that we can contend? We'll see. But I do know that there is a lot to like about this nucleus."
"The thing that surprised me was when he said he didn't give a rat's [behind] about getting in the Hall of Fame. I guarantee you when he got to 299 [wins] he was thinking about it. It's the greatest mark you can leave in the game."
"If it ever happens, I'll be very excited, but I just hope I'm on this side of the grass when it does happen."
"The Pirates have had a great history of Latino ballplayers making a significant impact at the major league level, including the great Roberto Clemente. Today, no team has more opportunity or, frankly, a greater need to acquire and develop quality players from this region than we do."
"Brian knows a lot about Roger's moral character and knows a lot about his extracurricular activities. ... There's a lot that he could say to damage Roger's reputation, but we plan on taking the high road. ... If some of this stuff were to come out, Roger Clemens would look very, very, very bad."
"One of my strongest characteristics is not really caring what people think. I'm living my life. It's not going to change my life one way or the other. You know, I'm not trying to get in the Hall of Fame. I got one vote, though."
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.