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July 7, 2008

The Week in Quotes

Week of June 30-July 6

by Alex Carnevale

I WANT TO BE A PART OF IT

"I feel happy like everybody. Ah, I feel great. This is my second All-Star Game. It's in New York. This is the last year at Yankee Stadium. So I'm going to go over there and have some fun. It's the only game they have [that day]. Everybody else has to watch."
--Nationals shortstop Cristian Guzman

"If you take a team to the All-Star game, you'd take us. But you take individuals. That's the way this thing works. I'm not going to cry about it, and I hope nobody else does. It's just the way it is."
--Rays manager Joe Maddon, on not having many players named to the All-Star team.

"A little surprised, yes, because I don't think I've done a super job this year. I've done mediocre. But I've done a good job saving wins. It was a little surreal, getting a call saying I made the All-Star team."
--Giants closer Brian Wilson, on joining the NL All-Star team.

"If [Francona] calls while I'm at the tractor pull. I'm staying at the tractor pull."
--Yankees starter Mike Mussina, on not being selected and his plans to attend a local fair that weekend.

"I'm suddenly looking forward to being selected in the future for the All-Star Game."
--Red Sox starter Daisuke Matsuzaka, on not being named to the AL All-Star team.

"Terry's always been real nice to me. Maybe I should tell him to take it easy on me. There's a mutual respect there, we play each other so much. When I heard he felt that way the first time, that meant a lot to me and fortunately this time I'll have that opportunity to play for him for at least one day."
--Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter (Michael Silverman, Boston Herald)

STICK TO FOOTBALL, JOE

"From baseball's perspective, you think about what you're asking people to invest their time when these games take forever. TV's a part of it, but certainly the strike zone... and length of games and guys stepping out and guys stepping off the mound."
--FOX announcer Joe Buck

"By the time you get to the sixth inning, if you're watching every minute, you put two-plus hours into the thing. It's just a lot to ask of people in this day and age as far as sitting down and watching a sporting event. That's just not part of my day [or]... night. And I'll be honest with you--watching The Bachelorette is."
--Buck

"I learned a valuable lesson. You have to be careful what you say and I was not careful."
--Buck, on being chastised for his comments.

"I would be a hypocrite if I didn't mention television as a part of why the game moves slowly."
--Buck (Barry Jackson, Miami Herald)

IF BRIAN WILSON CAN GO TO AN ALL-STAR GAME, SO CAN HE

"I thought he could have had a couple more strike calls [from the umpire] on top of that. That was pretty fun to be a part of."
--Mariners catcher Jeff Clement on backup catcher Jamie Burke taking the mound in a loss to the Tigers.

"Something in my mind said Burke had pitched. I wasn't sure and I asked him. He said he has, and I just didn't want him to hurt his arm, and he assured me that that wasn't a problem."
--Mariners manager Jim Riggleman

"I had a couple guys come to me and say, 'Hey, skip, I can pitch.' A couple position players--Bloomquist, Beltre. But [R.A.] Dickey threw 100-and-plus pitches yesterday and he said, 'Let me see if I can get loose.'"
--Riggleman

"It was just a real team effort. For us to be where we are in the standings and for those guys to be risking injury to go out there and extend themselves... to offer to do that, that makes a real statement about how they feel about their teammates."
--Riggleman

"That was a slider. The ball was slippery. I almost didn't want to throw it, but the one I threw before it to Thames I felt pretty good about throwing it, because I threw good one, and I thought I could come back with it. But, obviously, I didn't come back with it."
--Burke, on the sacrifice fly that ended the game. (Jesse Baumgartner, MLB.com)

THE THEATRE OF THE ABSURD

"I think it was bizarre in that it stayed on the wall. I don't think I've ever seen that."
--Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell, on a ball that bounced off Johnny Damon's glove and rested on top of the left field wall at Yankee Stadium. (Samantha Newman, MLB.com)

"When you put the pinstripes on, there's a lot of pride that goes with it. There's 55,000 fans out there. There are many media outlets that are going to talk about, 'How come the Yankees aren't scoring?' It's embarrassing."
--now injured Yankees left fielder Johnny Damon (Roger Rubin, New York Daily News)

"When David hurt his wrist, J.D. Drew came in and he did a great job. But we always need David because of his energy, his jokes. He is a premier bat and he always keeps us relaxed, which is the key to the game."
--Red Sox left fielder Manny Ramirez

"I feel all right now. I don't know what it was. I didn't feel very good in the sixth inning, so I told (Girardi). It was too important a game to go out there and be some kind of hero, so I told him I didn't feel very good. He said, 'We'll get you some help,' and that was it."
--Mike Mussina, on coming out of his start against the Red Sox. (Mark Feinsand, New York Daily News)

"You know I'm an employee, and I will go to any factory that needs me."
--Ramirez, on where he'll play after this season. (Enrique Rojas, ESPN.com)

THERE'S NO ONE LIKE YOU

"See, it's your assumption when you say, 'There's no one like you.' There are people like me. There are people that grew up loving baseball. There are people that work their way up from being interns. There are people that have been assistant general managers for a long time that eventually do become general managers. So there are people like me. Or I am like other people. I can't necessarily go through life thinking that I'm different. I don't know where that gets me, really."
--Dodgers assistant general manager Kim Ng

"Dealing with her this winter, this spring, and so far this summer, I've been impressed with how ready she'd be for something like that. I hope to hell it happens. She'd be a ground breaker not only for baseball but for women."
--Dodgers manager Joe Torre

"I don't think the group is exclusionary. I think the group is ready and open for it. If you're in an environment with open, smart and confident people, then women are welcome. What it takes is someone willing to be open, creative and interested, and an understanding that all types of people make you better. It takes a confident group to embrace a woman."
--Pam Gardner, president of business operations for the Houston Astros.

"When I started nearly 20 years ago, society was a little bit different. Scouts, field people that are now in their 50s have daughters in their 20s. If given the opportunity, if I'm able to do this, it opens doors for their kids. I think there's a segment out there that's actually rooting for me."
--Ng

"Those eggheads aren't one of the guys either."
--Yankees assistant general manager Jean Afterman, on new blood in MLB front offices.

"The biggest challenge is I didn't play baseball at a high level. My Little League career ended at 11. I don't know if it's a credibility issue. It probably is for some people."
--Helen Zelman, who works in baseball operations for the Arizona Diamondbacks. (Tim Brown, Yahoo! Sports)

I TOLD HIM HIS MOUSTACHE LOOKED REALLY STUPID ON TV

"A lot of people told me, and that's no good. I was mad at myself because I make an error in that situation. It makes me mad, because [Hernandez] played the game, too. He knows it is not an easy game. And he knows when you make an error, you are supposed to feel bad."
--Mets shortstop Jose Reyes, on being slammed by Mets broadcaster Keith Hernandez on the air for showing frustration after a misplay.

"When you make an error, you are not supposed to feel happy. I tell you that's why I threw my glove down. I don't know if he understood that. It's his job. He said he was doing his job. I said, 'Whatever you say, that's what people are going to think about me, the people are watching the game at home.'"
--Reyes

"I wouldn't say 'confronted.' We had a conversation. 'Confront' is not the word. I've had several conversations with players over my career. Jose and I are fine. It was not a confrontational conversation, what went on with our conversation is between us."
--SNY color commentator Keith Hernandez (Marty Noble, MLB.com)

THE GREATEST DIVORCE IN THE HISTORY OF THE GAME

"She feels that she has exhausted every opportunity to salvage the marriage, and that Alex has emotionally abandoned her and the children and has left her with no choice but to divorce him."
--Cynthia Rodriguez's lawyer Maurice Kutner, on her pending divorce from Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez.

"I don't think those distractions have any impact on the team. I think playing here, everybody knows there's always extra stuff to deal with. When the first pitch is thrown, none of that stuff has any impact on whether we win or lose games. The field is a sanctuary for most players."
--Yankees general manager Brian Cashman

"I know Alex Rodriguez through Guy Oseary, who manages both of us. I brought my kids to a Yankee game. I am not romantically involved in any way with Alex Rodriguez. I have nothing to do with the state of his marriage or what spiritual path he may choose to study."
--Yankees fan Madonna

"I feel like Madonna's using mind control over him. I don't recognize the man he's become. He was a sweet, beautiful, loving husband and father. Today he's very cold and calculating. I believe he was having an affair with Madonna."
--Cynthia Rodriguez (Anita Singh, The Daily Telegraph)

THE REST

"I needed a job. Just because you get fired by Chevy doesn't mean you can't work for Ford. That's life."
--Cubs center fielder Jim Edmonds, on playing against the Cardinals.

"I think we ought to follow his lead. His quote was roughly, within a couple of words, 'I've had enough of people asking me about the Cardinals. I'm a Cub now.' So I would treat him like he never played here. I would wait until the end of his career and I would remember he was a Cardinal. I would ignore the fact that he was ever here [for now] because that's what he wants. I would honor his request. Forget the Cardinal days until his career is over."
--Cardinals manager Tony La Russa (Rick Hummel, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

"He's a good hitter, and he's Canadian, so you've got to help him out a little bit. I know what I can do. I don't think it was a confidence problem, it was just a matter of going out and executing."
--Brewers reliever Eric Gagne, on giving up a hit to Jason Bay this week. (ESPN.com)

"I just think if he has a headache, this is something he's had before, so he probably has a feel for when it comes on, when something is coming on, that type of thing. If he can just let me know, that, hey, I feel today I might have one of those migraines, then we won't play him."
--Mets manager Jerry Manuel, on the Mets' continuing "management" of Ryan Church's post-concussion syndrome. (Ben Shpigel, The New York Times)

"If we keep playing one good game every five, it's going to be a long summer."
--Chipper Jones, Braves third baseman. (Mike Votta, Boston Globe)

---

Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.

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