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August 4, 2008

The Week in Quotes

Week of July 28-August 3

by Alex Carnevale

HE WHO MAKES A BEAST OF HIMSELF GETS RID OF THE PAIN OF BEING A GM

"It wasn't anxiety. I was wired from the adrenaline. I was trying to self-evaluate. I reviewed so many conversations with other (GMs) I had during the day, how could I have handled something differently or said something differently. So many elements running through my mind."
-Pirates general manager Neil Huntington, on his moves at the deadline.

"At 3:55 p.m., we had come to the conclusion we were holding on to Jason Bay because we did not feel the return we were getting was appropriate. Then life was breathed into the Dodgers-Red Sox deal, and because we'd put things in place, we were able to make a quick decision."
-Huntington

"It came together in a minute-one question, two questions, and the deal was finalized."
-Huntington, on moving Jason Bay to the Red Sox for Craig Hansen, Brandon Moss, Andy LaRoche, and Bryan Morris.

"Once we felt we had exhausted the ability to get the 'elite' prospect, we felt we needed to get more in terms of quantity-but still searching for quality."
-Huntington (Rob Biertempfel, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

HE'S NOT

"Either Manny's here or he's not. It became more of an issue of whether or not he was going to be here. And he was pretty adamant he didn't want to be here. It came down to his happiness. If they had come to Manny and he said he wanted to stay here, he'd probably still be here. It's kind of out of our hands. I'm glad there's a resolution."
-Red Sox captain Jason Varitek

"We were in a bit of a difficult circumstance and we made something good of it."
-Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein

"He's not a press guy. And when you see his quotes every day, that's something different. I don't think it's surprising, but it was weird. If Dustin Pedroia said the same comments, we think he's a Martian. If Manny says it, people like it. It's front[-page] news."
-Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell

"Would I be the only guy in the New England area that said no if I did? I think I'm probably with the consensus. It's very obvious from anything you see or hear he doesn't want to be here. And anytime that there's a piece of the equation you have a problem, and then not trading and leaving him here is a problem because you don't know what you're going to get."
-Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling

"It's very hard to tangibly evaluate how hurt someone is. I'd like to-and still do-take his word for it, until someone comes up to me and says, 'I faked the injury.' It's kind of like Barry Bonds. Everyone has crucified him, but I still have to believe he's innocent until someone proves him guilty."
-Lowell

"I enjoyed pitching with Pedro, but I watched Pedro for a year come and go as he pleased, and do whatever he pleased, from a schedule standpoint and to a point, All-Star break heading home and no one ever said a word… The things that Pedro said going out of town about Terry, that crushed me because of what I saw Tito do for him. Manny's the same way."
-Schilling (Steve Silva, Boston Globe)

YOU WANT TO GO WHERE EVERYBODY DOESN'T KNOW YOUR NAME

"Nobody bothers you. In Boston, it was like from the stadium to home. Over here they don't make it a big deal. Hey, hi, how you doing. Nice hit. Move on. Over there, you go straight home."
-Dodgers left fielder Manny Ramirez, after being dealt to the Los Angeles Dodgers at the deadline.

"He had a remarkable run here. His whole career was remarkable. He is one of the best right-handed hitters in history, and no one can ever take that away from him."
-Theo Epstein (Gordon Edes, Boston Globe)

"We didn't leave. They sent us out. It wasn't our choice. It was their choice."
-Dodgers infielder Nomar Garciaparra, on his treatment by the Red Sox.

"I don't know why they gave me 99."
-Ramirez, on his new number.

THE HONEYMOON SHOULD LAST ABOUT 5.3 SECONDS

"I can't take that. What do you think I am, [Juan] Pierre? I'm not that fast. I'm 5.3 to first base, remember?"
-Manny Ramirez

"Hey, I already made $160 million. I like it here, you know. I'm looking for peace. I got it here. I'm blessed to be here with a bunch of great guys. The team is even young. I love it."
-Ramirez

"The Dodgers brought me here to end my career in this city-at least that's what I'm thinking."
-Ramirez

"I told him that if the rule is to get a haircut, then I'll get one because I don't want any special privileges. But Joe replied by saying that I should get an apartment and take care of my personal stuff first, after which I should see a barber."
-Ramirez, on his first talk with new manager Joe Torre.

"Torre told me that the most important references that he has of me is that I'm a nonstop worker and a hustler in the field."
-Ramirez (Steve Silva, Boston Globe)

THE WEEK IN QUOTES ENDORSES MARK CUBAN FOR CUBS OWNER

"If there's a hooker you want, it all comes down to price, right? And I think that's a better analogy."
-Mark Cuban, a bidder to buy the Cubs, on his desire to purchase the franchise.

"He's been outspoken on issues, but we've had owners who are outspoken as well. I've not heard of him referred to as a loudmouth."
-MLB vice president Bob DePuy, on Cuban.

"He would be an effective owner in most businesses."
-NBA commissioner David Stern

"It was the way he presented himself to us in the interview, wearing jeans and sneakers, and turning his nose up and acting like he was the smartest guy in the room. He was a smart-aleck kid."
-Former NBA executive Dave Checketts, on Mark Cuban. (Richard Sandomir, The New York Times)

WON'T SOMEBODY LEARN NOT TO DEAL WITH JOCKETTY AT THE DEADLINE?

"I was surprised. They obviously had a need for a bat in the lineup and another outfielder."
-Reds general manager Walt Jocketty, on dealing outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. for Danny Richar and Nick Masset.

"Well, these guys, they're different. From one to 25 you will get talked about, I found out firsthand. It's just a matter of trying to fit in and throw my jabs at them the second day."
-New White Sox center fielder Ken Griffey Jr.

"We weren't going to exercise the option."
-Jocketty, on Griffey's contract status as a Red.

"Like I explained to him, he only has to go out there when he feels good and good enough to where he feels like he can give us a chance to win with him being out there. But if he doesn't feel like his body is going to allow that on a particular day, all he's got to do is go to Ozzie."
-White Sox general manager Kenny Williams, on how his team plans to use Griffey.

"I think he wanted me to know, in case I didn't know, not to expect what we were used to seeing out there. That's the reason I said you only play when you feel great. When you don't feel great or don't feel healthy, that's OK. We have plenty of options. I told him that it's not as if he's replacing the prototypical guy that was already out there."
-Williams, on Griffey coming to him with concerns about his defense.

"It was fine. When you only have three balls hit to you, you don't have to do too much moving."
-White Sox center fielder Ken Griffey Jr.

"Listen, I'm not trying to kid anybody about having all the answers. If this works, great. Home run. If it doesn't, it's still a double. We'll find a way to make it work and still have what he can give us offensively."
-Williams (Rick Morrissey, Chicago Tribune)

WALLFLOWERS AT THE DANCE

"Lee has been talking to everybody about making a deal. He'd like to get something done if it make us a better team. But I think he's prepared to not do anything. He isn't going to give anyone away. We aren't a club that has to do things based on money. I'm not sure everyone knows that, but that's the way it is."
-Anonymous member of the Mariners' front office, on acting GM Lee Pelekoudas and the team's lack of deadline moves. (John Hickey, Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

"Over the last week, we were very competitive for a lot of deals, including Bay. They chose to go in a different direction."
-Braves general manager Frank Wren

"That's the nature of it. I know there are some fans who are unhappy, and we expect them to feel that way. But when we made the decisions we made, we feel like on the other side of it they would have been more unhappy with us in two years had we done any moves that were possible."
-Rays general manager Andrew Friedman, on his team's non-moves at the deadline.

"For the most part, there isn't much of a market. Rauch was our one marketable player that we traded. Look, we are a last-place team. A lot of them are underachieving. That's not surprising."
-Nationals general manger Jim Bowden, on his moves at the deadline.

"In our position, we have to sit there and listen to everybody. We'll explore everything possible. Ideally, you want to trade veterans for young kids. That's the normal blueprint. With the exception of the Rauch deal, that's not going to happen because we have veteran guys who have underachieved."
-Bowden (Chico Harlan, Washington Post)

MORE ON THE BEST DOUBLE-A CLUB IN THE DC AREA

"We are going to turn the page. We are going to get younger the last two months of the season and we are going to continue to develop young players. We want players that are going to hustle, play the game hard, and play the game right. We just feel we need to give younger players an opportunity. We are going to do that."
-Nationals GM Jim Bowden, on parting ways with infielder Felipe Lopez and catcher Paul Lo Duca.

"It's disappointing. I traded for him twice. I'm a fan of his talent and his ability. It didn't happen here in Washington. I'm sorry for that and I'm sure he is sorry for that. I love Felipe. We just couldn't get the talent out on the field."
-Bowden

"For people who play this game, it's hard when you struggle. You roll over a ball and you cuss yourself out down the first-base line. It might seem like I'm not hustling to other people. It's just frustration."
-ex-National Felipe Lopez

"Kory needs to play. He is the future of this organization, as well as Jesus. They need to play. Giving me my release is sort of a class act by them. To give me a chance to hook up with another team is a big-time class act."
-released catcher Paul Lo Duca (Bill Ladson, MLB.com)

"To get released and leave everybody, it's not good. But I understand the business and everything. They just signed a couple young guys that deserve a chance just like I did when I went up. I don't have nothing bad to say. I wish those guys the best."
-Lopez

OUR PLAN B IS A THREE HUNDRED FOOT HIGH WALL IN LEFT FIELD

"We need to try a different direction with the pitching staff. A different voice. A different message. It's not that anything Mark and Dom said was doing anything wrong with these guys. In fact, in another situation, another group, another time, I would love to work with these guys again. Sometimes people and players respond to different voices, different messages."
-Rangers general manager Jon Daniels, after parting ways with his team's pitching and bullpen coaches.

"We felt we weren't seeing the progress we wanted to see. We're serious about the wild-card race, and in fairness to our offense, we needed to try to do something to improve our pitching. We owe them that."
-Rangers president Nolan Ryan

"People respond to different people differently. We hope that this will be that situation. Being aggressive, having a presence out there and attacking the zone and keeping the ball in play. That's part of the message that we'll continue to send and we'll see how it goes."
-Rangers manager Ron Washington, on the coaching change.

"I hope this is the right decision. I think the whole idea behind it was to throw out some new ideas."
-New Rangers pitching coach Andy Hawkins (Richard Durrett, Dallas Morning News)

THE REST

"I'm a New Yorker, and I'm here. I don't necessarily rush home and turn the TV on. If my girls and my wife are watching on TV, I'll watch it. I'm looking forward to moving past all of that to where it's not an essential part of my life. I'm just a regular dude."
-Former Mets manager Willie Randolph, on if he follows his former charges. (Bryan Hoch, MLB.com)

"I don't know Curt Schilling, other than the fact that, way back when in Philadelphia, he said signing J.D. Drew would be a huge mistake."
-Manny Ramirez's agent Scott Boras (Steve Silva, Boston Globe)

"This is the one guy who everybody wants. All the contenders like to have a solid veteran to add to the bullpen down the stretch."
-Anonymous Mariners source, on Arthur Rhodes. Rhodes was dealt to the Marlins for Gaby Hernandez. (John Hickey, Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

"I don't think we're in the middle ground. I think we're in it. When you look up and you're under eight...within striking distance of the wild card and there's still two months to play, I don't we ever thought about us as, 'Hey, we're going to be sellers.' We've taken on the thought process that if we continue to add without taking anything away from us going forward, that we would try to do that."
-Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi, on his team's chances. (John Lott, National Post)

"It's kind of like being Miss America."
-Hall of Famer Goose Gossage (Andy Martino, New York Daily News)

"I think we over-meet as a society."
-Reds manager and social critic Dusty Baker, on a team meeting with his slumping club. (Yahoo! Sports)

---

Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.

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