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May 19, 2008
The Week in Quotes
"Maybe they just have better players. You look at the dominance in the All-Star game. The World Series. I'm kind of a black-and-white guy. They win more than us."
"You get what you pay for. The American League is going to attract more hitters. They are going to pay for hitters."
"Only so many of these rivalries work. This is one, Chicago is another and New York is the other. I think the players feed off of things when you have the numbers that you can put in the seats. The players certainly can feel that."
"Most of the fans are family members. It is a little more civil here. The Dodgers-Giants is more violent--there is no love. It is always a bitter battle. Here, it's family. They get after each other, but at the end, they have to go home together."
YOU'RE KILLING YOUR HITTING COACH, LEBOWSKI
"I just want to tell the players: 'Please start hitting before (hitting coach) Greg Walker is dead.' He might kill himself seeing these guys take the at-bats they've been taking."
"Look at the lineup. Believe me, if we need something right away, Kenny will do it. But Quentin, we're not going to replace Quentin. Swisher, we're not going to replace Swisher. I mean, the people we have there, I think it's good enough to win a championship. I mean, who is going to replace Crede or Thome? We have a good-hitting ballclub. They work hard every day."
"I'm fine. Sometimes it's boring managing a team that's not hitting. Maybe I'll get some popcorn and beer and go sit up in the stands."
AS I TOLD MY WIFE, I WAS JUST TELLING THE FANS WHY THEY CAN GO BLEEP THEMSELVES
"I had to explain to my wife what was going on. She saw me 'bleeping' all over the place, and all of a sudden she wanted to know what was going on. When people in my family have to start asking me what's going on, that's what bothered me the most."
"I want to manage until I'm dead, but in the meanwhile, I get worn down when people keep saying stuff they don't know."
"A lot of people don't like the way I talk. You might not like it, I may sound arrogant, but if you look at what I say, I just tell people, 'Look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself, is Ozzie Guillen lying?'"
"And if we win it all again, oh man, I will be so cocky this time they won't be able to stand my ass. I will rub it in peoples' face. When we won in 2005, I was in the back just taking it easy. If we win now, no matter what stage it is in my career, believe me, I will rub it in people's faces."
JOHN MCLAREN'S VERSION OF STATISTICAL ANALYSIS
"If we can just get back to what our baseball cards say, we're going to be fine."
"The cards tell us what we can do. But in a lot of cases, we're not even close. I'm not talking about career years. I'm just talking about things we've done year in and year out."
"I think he's doing fine. I like our staff. I like the manager. It's been said that there are two things that every male in North America can do better than any other male. One is charcoal a steak, and the other is manage a baseball team."
"We have tried different things. We've tried the build-me-up approach, the challenge approach, the down-and-dirty approach. Like I said, it's not like we're not trying or putting out the effort, because we are. It's just not happening yet."
THE CALM BEFORE HE FIRES EVERYONE
"What we're finding, now that the payroll is $80 million rather than $27 million or $40 million, is that for whatever reason when you have guys underperforming or they get injured, there's going to be some dollars attached to that. We still look at the overall performance of the team."
"There's no such thing as 'energizing.' There's no magic potion or pill. It just turns around."
"I've been telling myself to be more measured this year. You could tell when you talked to Doug and talked to Ned, they were on edge. Nobody likes to lose, especially the way we were losing. I had to pick them up. There were plenty of times they picked me up."
"You just don't get there and snap a finger or flip a switch."
THEY'RE THREE GAMES BEHIND THE BREWERS
"I think we've come a long way. When you consider some of our challenges in spring training and some of the question marks, we've got to be considered one of the most improved teams in baseball. With the exception of two series, the Milwaukee series and Pittsburgh series, we've held our own no matter who've we've played."
"You're seven games under .500. That's where you don't want to be, but I really feel good about the energy around the club and I feel good about some of our choices. We've now got a solution at first base. We've got a solution at third."
"I don't think we're going to lose as many games as we did last year. If anything, we're going to be a second-half team."
"I think we can throw a combination of people out there who can play."
.500 AND IT FEELS SO GOOD
"He actually is one of the best bunters on the team, believe it or not. We were trying to get the runners in scoring position, and he threw him a pitch he could hit. We're playing pretty good baseball now. Things are starting to go pretty good."
"It's significant because it happened this early. Obviously it's not where we want to end up. We have higher hopes for this season. To get back to .500 in the middle of May is a pretty good feeling."
SERVING AT THE WHIM OF CUSTODIANS
"I'm OK with everything. The Steinbrenners are custodians of the greatest franchise in sports history. When things don't go well, there's an uncomfortableness. And it's my job is to deal with it."
"The franchise is very fortunate to have the Steinbrenners directing it. The Steinbrenners inherited the need to win, and they commit to it financially, which is the biggest thing you could ask for. All I care about is what's best for the franchise. If that includes me going forward, or doesn't include me, that's a decision to be made above me."
"If I fit in or not is not a concern to me. I don't worry about it. I don't fear it. What is a concern is to make the right decisions for the club that are positive for both the short term and the long term.''
QUOTE PHENOM IN THE MAKING
"Who's that? I don't know him. What's his name? Oh yeah. He's a very, very exciting player. His game is a lot like mine. He runs, can play defense, can hit, and has some power. Yeah, I like watching him a lot. I think I played against him in Double-A."
"No. We had a guy at Double-A named Juan Capusano. Oh, my God, he was the fastest player I've ever seen. In the big leagues? I don't know. Well, I probably am. I've always been fast because my dad was very fast. He played baseball in the Dominican and he's 46 years old right now and he's still very fast."
"Now I'm a leadoff hitter, but I'm 22. When I get to be 25, my body will be bigger and I'll be hitting home runs. I can be like an Andruw Jones or a Torii Hunter and hit third in a lineup. I don't think I'll be a leadoff hitter forever, no way."
"I run to the ball and when I see it, I said to myself, 'Jump.' When I catch it, I say, 'Oh, no way.'"
"I feel a little bit uncomfortable with runners behind me, especially when they are not my runners. Little bit uncomfortable. All the coaches, managers know I am not successful with a runner behind. So why use me?"
"Yeah, pitching might be 85 percent of the game, but you damned well better have a strong 15 percent of offense in this league. You look at Baltimore--they can't hit their way out of a paper bag. Seattle is terrible. Toronto can't buy a hit when they need it."
"I ----ed it up. I'm the one who thought it was a ---- foul ball. I saw it on the replay. I'm the one who ----ed it up so you can put that in your paper. Bolts and nuts, I ----ed up. You've just got to move on. No one feels worse about it than I do."
"Probably Jason. It's hard to say. I could say Jason or I could say Chien-Ming, and then people would say, "How are you and Chien-Ming best friends?" I guess it's our personalities. You'd think that we would clash--extroverts sometimes don't go together, you know what I'm saying? But we go together good. Jason is one of the most down-to-earth and genuine people you can meet. It's one thing to be a great baseball player, but he's a great human being."
"If the kid has the ability to play all the positions, why not. If you can do it effectively, which he did. I wish him the best... I'm just happy my guy got him out one time."
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.