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July 21, 2008

The Week in Quotes

Week of July 14-20

by Alex Carnevale

THE ONLY MUSEUM WHERE A BEER COSTS $9.50

"It is a museum. It's a baseball museum. They're dripping with the historic ambiance of the game-the individuals that have played the game, the world (championships) that have been won there, the monuments in the outfield. I mean, the pope. Correct me if I'm wrong, didn't he speak at Yankee Stadium? It is a venue that holds its own amongst all venues."
-Rockies manager Clint Hurdle, on managing the National League in the last All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium.

"If someone said I could be invited to the All-Star Game but had to shine shoes, I'd be shining shoes now."
-Rangers outfielder Milton Bradley

"I don't want to use a strong word like 'dump,' but the Mets definitely need a new ballpark. I have mixed feelings about Yankee Stadium. Obviously, there's so much history here. The House That Ruth Built, and all the magic that goes on inside. As a visiting team, we're probably happy to see it go. It always seems like something freaky happens in that place, especially late in the game. So us closers will definitely be happy to see it go."
-Twins closer Joe Nathan (Jerry Crasnick, ESPN.com)

"It's Yankee Stadium, the last year for the stadium. It's something special. This isn't Arizona; it's Yankee Stadium. This place has been around forever. There's so much history here. This is baseball. This is what people think about when they talk about baseball."
-Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler

"I know Yankee Stadium before. That's famous enough. I knew that Matsui plays there. But I don't know about the history. I've yet to learn about it."
-Cubs outfielder Kosuke Fukudome, who's new to these parts.

"It's the biggest star in our game-besides Fenway."
-Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek (Mychael Urban, MLB.com)

DAVID JONATHAN DREW, ALMOST A YANKEE STADIUM LEGEND

"He might have been a little more of an MVPer if we went a couple more innings. He might have pitched. He's been begging me a long time to pitch, and we almost got close."
-Red Sox manager Terry Francona, on the possibility of outfielder J.D. Drew pitching had the All-Star Game gone any longer.

"You know, you wait a lot of your life to do something like this. And in the last two hours, it wasn't a whole lot of fun."
-Francona

"After it started to come to fruition, I was a little bit nervous to be honest with you. I would have thrown some stuff up there. I got a little sneaky stuff here and there. I don't know if I would have got anybody out. It wouldn't have been anything pretty, that's for sure."
-Red Sox outfielder J.D. Drew (Mike Fitzpatrick, Google News)

"Webb pitching is certainly with mixed feelings. It shouldn't be that way in the All-Star Game. He deserves the honor but not the risk."
-D'backs general manager Josh Byrnes, on Webb pitching in the game after his start on Sunday.

"I spoke to David Wright. I told David, 'You were the last pick [on the roster]. I went and got you. Have you ever pitched in an All-Star Game?' I said, 'You wanted to be in this thing. That's all I've read, all I've heard, for the last three days. Well, you won't believe how much you might be in it here real quick.'"
-Clint Hurdle, on getting David Wright ready to pitch had the game continued. (Jayson Stark, ESPN.com)

THIS IS HIS COMFORT ZONE

"I'm not worried about any carryover. I've made plenty of errors in my past, that's nothing knew for me. ... I've made three errors in a game plenty of times. It's not going to be the last time. You just go with it. I've already forgotten about it."
-Marlins infielder and Long Island native Dan Uggla, on his dismal performance in the All-Star Game this week.

"He's going to be fine. You know who's not going to make these errors? All of us right here, because we'll never step foot on a major league field."
-Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez, on Uggla's performance.

"People will forget all about that game in a few days. Dan's going to be remembered for much more than that game."
-Marlins outfielder Josh Willingham (Antonio Gonzalez, USA Today)

SEVEN HUNDRED AND FORTY-SEVEN DIRTY WORDS

"He was sitting in the locker back there, and David Ortiz said, 'Ichi's got something to say.' And then he pops off and everybody started dying. I had no idea it was coming. It was hilarious. If you've never seen it, it's definitely something pretty funny."
-Twins first baseman Justin Morneau, on Ichiro's traditional pre-All-Star Game profane tirade.

"It's hard to explain the effect that it has. You know, it's such a tense environment. Everyone's kind of a little nervous for the game. He doesn't say a lot the whole time he's in there and all of a sudden the manager gets done with the speech and he pops off. It's pretty funny."
-Morneau

"That's what gets you, too, is hearing him say what he says. I've talked to him a little bit when he gets to first, but I didn't know he knew those words."
-Morneau (Chris Jenkins, San Diego Union-Tribune)

PERHAPS OZZIE JUST FORGOT THAT HE HIMSELF WAS A CAREER .264/.287/.338 HITTER?

"You can be cocky, be yourself or have your own showtime. But when you don't respect the opposition and do what he did, that's not professional. That's the reason I was screaming to him. When you're nobody and show people up like that. ... Wait till you're somebody in baseball, and then do whatever you want to do."
-White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, on Rangers closer C.J. Wilson

"Mariano Rivera never showed anyone up. You have your own style, but you don't show up another team. That's when I started screaming. He should read my quote about whoever pitched in that game should be embarrassed because when you bring in the closer with a [four]-run lead, and you almost blew it, and you're acting like you're [Lee] Smith or Goose Gossage. That's embarrassing when you're cocky and have [nothing]."
-Guillen

"I didn't have good stuff, and then I got angry when Ozzie Guillen started yelling at me. I just took it to another level."
-Rangers closer C.J. Wilson

"[He] was acting like he was the first ever to strike out Jim Thome. Jim Thome has 4,000 strikeouts."
-Guillen, exaggerating Thome's career by ~1900 strikeouts or so.

"If you wait for the opposing manager to pump you up, you have the wrong job. Tell him he better start saving games before he gets my friend (Ron Washington) fired."
-Guillen (Evan Grant, Dallas Morning News)

LONG ROAD, NO CLEAR ENDING

"If I did choose the other path of pitching, it would be a long road with no clear ending. This is not a simple decision, but it's right there in front of me and it was easy to make for me."
-Former Orioles starting pitcher Adam Loewen; injuries to Loewen's pitching elbow have forced him to restart his career as a position player.

"It was devastating news, but I've always had a backup plan, so I'm sure I didn't take it as hard as anybody else would and as much as I love pitching and love playing for the Orioles, I still have a chance to do that."
-Loewen

"It's hard. Forty percent of our rotation that we started with has already gone off the map and we're just passing the All-Star break. That aspect of it just goes to reiterate you never have enough pitching. Pitching is a priority, but that decision has been made for us. We have a good Plan B, and that's what we're going to do."
-Orioles president Andy MacPhail, on injuries to his pitching staff.

"It's been six years, probably, five or six years since I've hit competitively in college. It's going to take time, it's going to be a real challenge, but Rick Ankiel did it so at least I have somebody before me that did it that I can relate to."
-Loewen (Jeff Zrebiec, Baltimore Sun)

INSIDE THE PROSPECT FACTORY

"Well, we don't necessarily go out and call 29 teams and say, 'What will you give us for Huston Street?' We listen if teams call and what they might propose to see if it's a viable situation for us. With Huston, he's got a lot of major league experience and he's only 24 years old, so a guy like Huston would definitely fit into what we're trying to re-create here down the road."
--A's general manager Billy Beane

"I don't think so at all. I think we would have done this anyway. I think with the guys we've gotten back, we've really changed the direction of the franchise. Right now, I think, in a very short time, we have arguably as many great young players as any team. We're trying to re-create a team down the road similar to 1999 when I got here with a core of young players that really solidified us for a very long time."
-Beane

"We had a core of players like Zito, Mulder, Hudson, Tejada, [and] Giambi 10 years ago that put us on the map, and we're trying to re-create that situation as quickly and aggressively as we can. I'm not sure we're rebuilt yet, but I'd say we're well on our way."
-Beane

"The Phillies' interest in Blanton had gone back a couple of years, so when we heard the right package and the right time we did it. As for Rich Harden, Jim and I are good friends and we've talked about this for a while. The talks actually started a month before."
-Beane, on moving both Joe Blanton and Rich Harden. (Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe)

THE LOS ANGELES GLADIATORS OF ANAHEIM

"We don't care who we play. You can ask the Red Sox. They don't care who it is. You gotta go out there and win, no matter what. I'm not going to say I hope we don't play them. Nah, I'm like a gladiator. That's what we are. We're ready to face anybody."
-Angels outfielder Torii Hunter, on his team's struggles against the Red Sox in the playoffs. (Steve Dilbeck, Daily News)

"I don't know what happens to us after the seventh inning, but it is impressive. We can go out tonight, have a steak and it will go down real nice. But when we get up [this] morning, we have to forget about it."
-Hunter, on his team's three game sweep of the Red Sox.

"If it's high, let it fly. If it's low, let it go. There's no money to be made there."
-Hunter, on his strategy against knuckleballer Tim Wakefield on Sunday. (Steve Springer, Los Angeles Times)

THE REST

"He's going to play center. You only lead off as the No. 1 hitter of the game once, and then it rolls around. I always find that amazing how much emphasis gets put on that."
-Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, on struggling leadoff hitter Carlos Gomez, who is batting .250/.285/.349 on the year. (Joe Christensen, Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

"I'll tell people someone hit me with a 2-by-4."
-A's first baseman Daric Barton, on cracking his head when he jumped into a shallow pool. (Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle)

"Alex has always been into psychotherapy, making himself mentally stronger. He's had several therapists. Cynthia has a master's degree in psychology. Once she found out how vulnerable he was, she got into his head. Several of us begged him not to marry this woman, but he did it anyway."
-Anonymous long-time confidante of Alex Rodriguez, on the slugger's pending divorce. (Rush & Molloy, New York Daily News)

"I want no more shit where they tell you one thing and behind your back they do another thing. I think I've earned that respect, for a team to sit down with me and tell me this is what we want, this is what we want to do."
-Red Sox left fielder Manny Ramirez, on his desire to know if the Red Sox will pick up his 2009 option. (Steve Buckley, Boston Herald)

"People always talk about Pedroia being so scrappy and so good fundamentally and how he gets so much out of his ability, as if he's some kind of overachiever. And all that is true in some ways, but the fact is that this guy is a very good hitter. Nearly every ball he hits is hit hard. And he gets to fastballs that few guys in the majors can turn around."
-Angels manager Mike Scoscia, on Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia. (Peter Pascarelli, ESPN.com)

"I have heard of him, I'd like to be in touch. I hope I meet him. I hope I hit against him one day."
-Rangers outfield Josh Hamilton, on fellow former drug abuser Jeff Allison of the Marlins. (Peter Gammons, ESPN.com)

Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus

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