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May 12, 2008
The Week in Quotes
DON'T DRINK AND COMMENT TO THE MEDIA, KIDS
"I was telling the truth, but I didn't have the right to put that kid on the spot. That was a [bleep] thing on my part; that was low-class. That's why I apologized. I never start anything. I started it with Alex, and that's why I regret it. Everything else, [heck], no, because I know I was right."
"I don't blame them. I just tell the fans to be patient, that's all. Be patient. The only ones who can believe in this team is me and them. That's why they're fans."
"I'm sitting at the bar and they offered me a drink. 'Can I buy you a drink?' 'No.' Now people think I'm [bleeping] arrogant. You know why I say no? I said, 'Thank you. I'll buy you one.'"
"Because that guy, maybe I'm wrong, they're going to go: 'Last night, I got f---ed up with Ozzie. That guy was so f---ed up. That's why I have to be careful."
"So many things are going to be amplified because of who I am and what I do and the way I am. I go to the same places all the time. I go from my house to Starbucks, Starbucks to my house. I told my kids it's no fun for me anymore off the field."
KEVIN MENCH INSPIRES CONFIDENCE EVEN WHEN YOU'RE IN LAST PLACE
"A full vote of confidence for everyone on the field and in the
"Our runs scored are greater than our runs allowed and history will
tell you that's a good thing."
"What can he do? He can't swing the bat for them. He has tried a lot of things. He has shaken the lineup up, he has hit-and-run in a couple spots. He has hit-and-run with Vernon [Wells], which is a guy that traditionally you don't do that with. We've tried to steal a little bit more."
"Man on third, less than two outs, someone has got to drive a run in. He can't go up there and do that. He can't hit-and-run at that spot. I think our manager has done everything possible."
"Listen, if I'm sitting here and I'm a fan of the Blue Jays and I see us in last place I'm not happy. I don't think there's anything we can say to the fans that we can justify being in last place. So if they're upset and they're not happy, I can't sit here and say that they're wrong."
ONE THING YOU MIGHT CONSIDER IS A TASER, JIM
"I don't know if it's going to work or not, I don't have any idea. But I think every once in a while you have to send a message: This is a game of production. And we're not doing good enough right now. This is in no way, shape or form a panic thing. We made one player change. But sometimes you get in situations where you have to do some things you didn't think you'd be doing. I think it's better to do some things, rather than just sit there."
"We're trying to put the pieces together to where they'll jell. I don't think we're clicking on all cylinders yet."
"You can't judge a book by its beginning. It's like putting a puzzle together. You have to figure out what works."
"I told him how I felt about DH-ing. When you have more tools to give and you can't give but one thing, you don't feel like you're doing all you can to help the team."
"I feel like I've been kept in a cage...I need to be a baseball player. I'm not a baseball player sitting down."
GET THAT PITCH AWAY FROM MY PRETTY FACE
"I understood the situation, but there is a right way and a wrong way to play the game. If you hit me below the shoulders, I am fine with that. But get up near the face, [and] I am not going to deal with that."
"I'm too old to be doing that. It was probably good for both teams. It got the heart pounding and the blood flowing, and you saw some good baseball after that. But you never want to see that. We play those guys a lot, and those things are going to happen. Hopefully nobody got hurt. The next time out, I'm going out there in my police uniform with my whistle."
"I know throwing a helmet is the wrong thing to do. I know in the end that wasn't the right thing to do, but I lost it. You start thinking about a lot of things there. The whole time I was going to the plate, I said, 'I don't mind getting hit, but keep it down.'"
"I knew the situation. Everybody in the ballpark knew what was going on there. Hit me, and I take first base, but don't throw at my head. I'm 6-foot-8. How difficult is it to hit me in the middle of the back or my thigh?"
"If he hits me in the face, what are we talking about here? At the time, you are so angry you don't even know what happens for the next five minutes. It's a rage at that point. I wouldn't have been angry if he had kept the ball down."
"If we were trying to hit him, we would have hit him."
THE INARGUABLE LOGIC OF DUSTY BAKER
"I still think the season is salvageable. I still think guys are pressing hard. We still have guys trying to pick up the slack and do a lot themselves. The key to this is trying to run off a few wins and try to take the pressure off."
"You're going to tell me Harang is a 1-5 pitcher? Is Arroyo a 1-4 pitcher? Is Griffey a .240 hitter, Dunn a .220 hitter? Will [Brandon] Phillips hit .270? Is our bench not going to get any pinch hits?"
"If you think you're going to have an eight- or nine-game winning streak, you might get it. But you have to slow walk back into contention. It's what I've always believed and have always seen. You just have to play good, sound baseball for an extended period of time."
BEST PITCHER EVER
"It was kind of like all of my dreams came true at once."
"It was a privilege, an honor. I'm pretty much speechless. How could anybody envision this?"
IT'S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR
"It's a group of guys that we like, but that's not discrediting a pitcher like [San Diego's Brian] Matusz, who's a solid guy, and you've got [Aaron] Crow at Missouri, so there are two college pitchers that will put themselves in that same mix ability-wise as the hitters. It's just, do you think they're better than the hitters, and do you think you're going to be able to get arms later in the Draft? I'm inclined to think so."
"While we cannot turn a blind eye to history, we also cannot close off a significant portion of the talent pool because of less-than-desirable prior results. We believe that our revised scouting system and points of emphasis will enhance our probability for success regardless of position."
"We might have 10 evaluations on Skipworth and Beckham and Alvarez and
Crow and Matusz by guys who have been through the fire before."
"We're just gonna line 'em up and take who we feel like the best
player is in every round."
"I didn't miss last year. I missed the game, but I didn't miss my phone ringing with people, asking me for tickets. Sometimes some of those people really don't care about me. They care about the tickets."
"You get beat, you get beat, you get beat and you only look good one time out of six and people start saying 'There's something wrong with him.' That's the way baseball is. People are always looking to put their finger on something why it's not getting done. The truth of it is there's guys on the other side getting paid as much money as me, playing as many years as I have, working just as hard as me to try and beat me."
"This isn't spy-versus-spy stuff. Trust me, you'll understand when it happens."
"I think we'll see more of this. I think so many times, we're tempted to just evaluate trades in a vacuum instead of in the context with which they're made. For a team like ours, with a deep system, it doesn't make sense to keep our surplus stranded in Triple-A. To the extent we can use that surplus to help improve ourselves, that's a good thing. And if those trades help those guys get an opportunity they wouldn't have gotten with us, even better. I actually think fewer and fewer teams are thinking they have to win their trades. And that's a good sign."
"This kid will take the ugliest swing and the ugliest at-bat. We've seen that for four, five years. Sometimes you get upset and you scratch your head. You ask how this kid plays at the big league level and then all of a sudden a couple of days later, he's unbelievable."
"You expect some ebb and flow. The weather hasn't been good. We haven't played as well as we wanted. And this is the worst schedule ever. I'm optimistic, but when you see 15,000 against a division rival, yes, you are disappointed."
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.