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May 5, 2008
The Week in Quotes
April 28-May 4
REPEAT UNTIL UNDERSTOOD: IT'S EARLY
"I've changed my mind about them. … I don't think they're going to be historically bad anymore."
"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."
"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."
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]."
"We won it a couple years ago, and we're horse[bleep]. The Cubs haven't won in  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."
"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.'"
"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."
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."
"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."
"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."
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.'"
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
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."
"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."
"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."
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]."
"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.
"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."
ENCYCLOPEDIA BROWN AND THE CASE OF THE INJURED RIB
"He does not know how it happened."
"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."
"I really don't think that it was an issue in my performance."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.