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May 5, 2008

The Week in Quotes

April 28-May 4

by Alex Carnevale

REPEAT UNTIL UNDERSTOOD: IT'S EARLY

"They're the best team in the National League. I don't think anybody else is even close."
--Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd, on the Arizona Diamondbacks. (Jayson Stark, ESPN.com)

"I've changed my mind about them. I don't think they're going to be historically bad anymore."
--Anonymous AL executive, on the Baltimore Orioles

"We just can't win one out of five games, every time Wang pitches. It's not going to work. It's not a good win percentage. Starting pitching is where it's at, especially in the postseason. At this point, we'll see if we even make the postseason."
--Yankees owner Hank Steinbrenner (Peter Abraham, LoHud Yankees Blog)

"This is not devastating for this group. Sometimes people tend to get overwhelmingly negative, but we will rebound from this. When you play the Red Sox, things are going to happen in a negative way sometimes."
--Rays manager Joe Maddon, on being swept by the Red Sox. (ESPN.com)

"Enjoy your off day Monday and get ready to play Tuesday. There is no big picture in baseball."
--Padres pitcher Greg Maddux (ESPN.com)

AT LEAST OZZIE IS ROUNDING INTO MIDSEASON FORM

"Right now everyone in Chicago is making lineups. 'Call up this guy, call up that guy.' If we had 50 people allowed on the roster, we could do that. That's what ticks me off about Chicago fans and Chicago media: they forget pretty quickly. A couple of days ago we were the [bleeping] best [bleep] in town. Now we're [bleep]."
--White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, on his team's offensive struggles.

"We won it a couple years ago, and we're horse[bleep]. The Cubs haven't won in [100] years, and they're the [bleeping] best. [Bleep] it, we're good. [Bleep] everybody. We're horse[bleep], and we're going to be horse[bleep] the rest of our lives, no matter how many World Series we win."
--Guillen

"I have to keep going because in the future Ozzie will need money, and I can say, 'Here, give me money, here's the 10-year anniversary of my time I called [Jay] Mariotti stuff and the time I went on the radio and cursed out Mike North.'"
--Guillen

"Same [bleep]. I put Ramirez and Ozuna there, and they do the same stuff Uribe does, and I'd rather go there with Uribe and have a little better defense than the same results offensively with the second basemen."
--Guillen, on his choices at second base. (Mark Gonzales, Chicago Tribune)

THE CLOSER AND THE RESURRECTION

"The last two years in particular, I've really seen Todd's faith mature. I think it's greatly due to his increased desire to read and study the Word of God. Not that he didn't do that before, but he's had a greater passion for that in recent years."
--Jeff Totten, Baseball Chapel leader to the Tigers, on closer Todd Jones.

"I had fallen from grace. I wasn't worthy. The ninth inning is pretty important to teams. I wasn't doing my job. I had to earn my way back into that."
--Tigers closer Todd Jones

"I think humans are underneath a crochet piece of cloth. We're underneath and we see all the knots and the strings hanging loose, but God is looking from the top of it and sees the picture being knitted around you. We can't see it because we're underneath. God is making this big masterpiece in your life."
--Jones (Joshua Cooley, BPSports.net)

WHERE TINY LITTLE PITCHER ABUSE POINTS ARE BORN

"I told these guys, 'If there are runners at first and second and you're at 100 pitches, don't look over at me--I may not be coming to get you.'"
--Cardinals Double-A manager Ron Warner

"Every game I was getting a good number of strikeouts, but I had to change my pitch selection last year to keep my pitch counts down. You've got to know when to throw a pitch that is more inducive of being softly hit. While strikeouts are a good way to get a guy out, it may not be conducive to staying in the game."
--Cardinals minor league pitcher Adam Ottavino

"Those are their innings. They shouldn't want to get out of there. We've just got to make sure we don't do it just to be doing this because you don't want to hurt their development."
--Warner (Kary Booher, News Leader)

SPEED KILLS

"The first month, I struck out 24 times; I can get that to 10. That's what I want to do. When I get on base, I change the game."
--Twins center fielder Carlos Gomez

"That's good he's talking about it. That shows me he's getting it. ... We've been on him about cutting down his swing and trying to keep his feet underneath him. It's a process. It's going to take time."
--Twins hitting coach Joe Vavra (Joe Christiansen, Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

"He doesn't seem to be that aggressive trying to steal third. I don't see that aggressiveness at second as opposed to when he's on first."
--Twins first base coach Jerry White (Joe Christiansen, Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

MIGHT WANT TO LOOK INTO SENDING HIM A FEW NEW GLOVES, TOO

"They sent me four bats while we were in Seattle, and they felt harder. You can ask anyone, I'm probably the pickiest when it comes to bats. I like the way these feel."
--A's left fielder Jack Cust, on how a change of bats helped him get out of a slump.

"The ones I used in spring training and in April were too soft. Maybe I just tricked myself, but I hit a ball during a day game that should have gone out. Someone made an adjustment. My bats feel real good now. Hopefully they'll send more out."
--Cust

"I've hit 10 home runs in April and I've batted .100 in April. I made a minor adjustment and I feel better. Last year I started 0-for-18, then got hot and then I was in the majors with Oakland. It's crazy how things work out sometimes."
--Cust (The Canadian Press)

WAIT, I GOT IT: HE CAN WORK CONCESSIONS

"The Giants would have to eat 80 percent--I'm talking $80-90 million. But they'd never do that. If that's what they'd have to eat, they might as well just let the guy keep being horse[bleep]."
--Anonymous team official, on the options the Giants have following Barry Zito's removal from the starting rotation.

"Here's what they should do. They should go to Zito and say, 'Look, it's clear this is not going to work. Let's put together an NBA-type deferral package. We'll take the whole contract, defer it over 30 years with no interest and then we'll release you, to let you start fresh somewhere else.' The club could get significant cost savings that way. You take $112 million over 30 years, that's $3.7 million a year.
--Anonymous team official

"You're better off paying him $3.7 million a year to not pitch than having him go out and do what he's doing. In the NBA, this happens a lot. The union would never let him do that in our sport. But you know what? From the player's standpoint, he'd be better off."
--Anonymous team official (Jayson Stark, ESPN.com)

ENCYCLOPEDIA BROWN AND THE CASE OF THE INJURED RIB

"He does not know how it happened."
--Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, on Phil Hughes' injured rib.

"It wasn't like one specific pitch where I felt it. It was just one of those things. I woke up one morning and it was a little discomfort but nothing major, and then after [Wednesday] night there was significantly more discomfort."
--Hughes

"I really don't think that it was an issue in my performance."
--Hughes (Mark Hale, New York Post)

THE REST

"Well, there's big money in that, in the expansion of cable TV, the opportunities to branch off into other areas of media are certainly there. When you consider what meteorology has done to a few guys in our society--like David Letterman--it was probably an opportunity I didn't take advantage of."
--Tigers coach Andy Van Slyke, on passing up the chance to be a television weatherman. (David Brown, Yahoo! Sports)

"I made it worse. But if you ask me if I could play tonight, I'll go out there tonight. I'll play until I'm dead... It's painful to see that lineup without me in the cleanup spot. We're at a time where we need a full roster, and my biggest goal is to be out there every day."
--Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, on his DL stint. (Mike Puma, The New York Post)

"I'm sure there are teams out there that need a hitter, and Brad could certainly fill the bill. He was a little nicked up out of spring training and it took him a while to get going, but he was starting to hit. The Mariners just decided to go with some younger players."
--Brad Wilkerson's agent, Scott Boras, after his client was released by the Mariners. (Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe)

"I don't see how they could move him. I don't see why they'd ever put him out there. The stuff is too good. Yeah, he's still inconsistent. But at least he's consistently less inconsistent than he used to be."
--Anonymous team executive, on Rays starter Edwin Jackson (Jayson Stark, ESPN.com)

"Perez honestly has got to step up and know that we've just used every guy in the bullpen the night before. He can't come in and come out there and decide that he doesn't have it today, and so be it."
--Mets closer Billy Wagner, on the performance of Mets starter Oliver Perez. (Mark Waldstein, The Star-Ledger)

"I'm not pleased. Players [must] think before they do things. They've got to think about how it's going to affect the rest of their team--how it's going to affect their individual possibilities of being able to perform."
--Royals manager Trey Hillman, on pitcher John Bale breaking his hand after punching a wall. (ESPN.com)

"Every time I hit, he's on base. It's awesome."
--Cubs utilityman Mark DeRosa, on Cubs right fielder Kosuke Fukudome

"I would take the one good pitch I got to hit trying to work the count. Now, I don't have to do that. I can focus on hitting strikes."
--Cubs infielder Ryan Theriot, on batting first. (Ken Rosenthal, FoxSports.com)

"The expectations of who I am supposed to be and what I am supposed to do finally got to me. I made an irrational decision. Maybe it was immaturity, inexperience or just that I didn't know how to handle what was happening. I just kept thinking I am not producing the way I should be, and maybe I didn't belong here."
--Yankees prospect Jose Tabata, on leaving the ballpark after a seventh-inning strikeout. (Peter Abraham, LoHud News Journal)

---

Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.

Related Content:  LoHud,  What You Need To Know

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