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September 29, 2008

The Week in Quotes

September 22-28

by Alex Carnevale

WILD CARD

"I didn't even know I was that excited. Sheeter said, 'I like the emotion that you showed.' I didn't know what he was talking about."
-Brewers ace CC Sabathia, after the Brewers clinched the wild card thanks to him.

"I can't express how I'm feeling. I'm so proud to be part of this effort, the whole group. It's great to be able to do this for the city. Four years [as owner] seems like 20 years. So I can imagine what 26 years feels like."
-Brewers owner Mark Attanasio

"I tried to visualize what this would be, and nothing could describe it."
-Mark Attanasio

IS HE AWARE THEY'RE PLAYING THE TIGERS TODAY?

"I would give the immigrants a chance to be what they want to be. Let the hard-working ones in, keep out the bad ones. Wasn't everybody an immigrant?"
-White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen

"It seems like we've spent a lot of this season watching the White Sox. This won't be unusual."
-Twins starter Nick Blackburn

"I'm not going to sit here and tell you what's going to happen, but don't wear your good clothes."
-Ron Gardenhire, on preparing to watch the Tigers play the White Sox in Monday's playoff

"I'm not going to show my players my emotions."
-Guillen

SADDEST CLOSING CEREMONY IN HISTORY OF MAN

"How many did he pitch? How many did he throw? Wow, wow, wow, wow. I think if I had to describe that one, I would say that was gangsta. That was real gangsta."
-Fresher, badder, and deffer Mets manager Jerry Manuel on Johan Santana's three-hitter on Saturday afternoon. (Toronto Star)

"I think Jerry did a very good job coming into a very difficult situation. Especially after what happened last year, I thought he was able to get us back to playing... better than our team was playing."
-Mets general manager Omar Minaya, on his replacement for Willie Randolph.

"I just talked to him, and now I'm going to sit down with ownership and give my recommendation as far as what I think of him. But I did tell Jerry the same thing I'm telling you, that I was very pleased with the job he did in getting our team back. And the players will tell you the same thing."
-Minaya

"I feel very sad. Jerry's a great man. Once he took over, he really made us go out and play hard, motivated us. I just feel sad because he didn't have the opportunity to lead us into the playoffs."
-Mets center fielder Carlos Beltran

DOES HE JUST WAIT FOR THE OFFSEASON NOW? IS THAT HIS ONLY TIME TO SHINE?

"We haven't even talked to Burnett's guy, no money has been mentioned or anything. We haven't talked money with anybody."
-Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi

"October is the best period for us to talk to him [seeing as nobody else can], and I'll take advantage of that time."
-Ricciardi

"I haven't decided that, it depends on what these guys offer. I'm not 100 percent that I'm going to opt out. I'm comfortable in my environment here so hopefully something will come out of it."
-Blue Jays starting pitcher A.J. Burnett

WILL THEY EVEN DO A PHYSICAL, OR JUST HAND HIM A BAG OF MONEY?

"Nice. That's more than I thought they would come up with. [pause] Here, at least."
-Burnett, on reports of an offer topping $15 million per season.

"I don't know what's going to be thrown at me out there. The fact of what I have here, it's going to be tough."
-Burnett

"Hopefully Darek's already got that taken care of. The bottom line is when I sit down at the end of the season and Darek's with me and tells me what I'm worth, and then we will look at Toronto's offer and hopefully it's close."
-Burnett on his relatonship with agent Darek Braunecker.

"That looks good for us next year with this kid. We don't know what's going to happen with A.J. [Burnett]. Richmond is certainly one of the candidates we can bring into spring training and see what he can do down there."
-Ricciardi distracted by Jays rookie right-hander Scott Richmond. (Toronto Star)

300 BECKONS

"It's a significant number, but after playing this long and winning all these games, if I don't win [today], then has it been bad, has it been lousy, has it been unsuccessful? No. It'd be a lot of fun to win it."
-Newly-minted twenty-game winner Mike Mussina

"If I'm in for one, I'm in for three."
-Mussina

"He was 0.81. That's significant. He was in the top five or six in his era. And he did pitch in the steroid era. He was pitching against cartoon characters. And he did pitch in a bandbox. Look what happened when Jamie Moyer got out of here. David Wells didn't want to pitch here. Sterling Hitchcock said they should bomb the place."
-Former Orioles pitcher Jim Palmer, talking about the Yankees ace (and fellow former Oriole).

"They're probably leaning toward me going home. My wife would have liked me to retire about five years ago. But ultimately, it's still up to me."
-Mussina

EYES ON THE PRIZE

"I'm glad he got a no-decision instead of a loss out of it, so for me he's still in the same position [as] before."
-Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin

"[Against] left-handers, I should probably be batting seventh or so."
-Diamondbacks starting pitcher Brandon Webb

"It seems like our at-bats late in the game now all of a sudden are good."
- Bob Melvin

I HEAR THEY'RE REALLY DOMINATING INSTRUCTIONAL LEAGUES

"We'll meet with our scouts and go through their thoughts on the club and what we'd like to address and the options that are out there."
-Rangers general manager Jon Daniels

"We'll certainly look at free agents. There are a lot of attractive guys out there."
-Daniels

"Milton's very good. He was a very good fit. We're better when he's in the lineup. If health hadn't been a question… but we have to factor everything in."
-Daniels

SHORTSTOPS DON'T GET ALONG

"You can say Orlando took a shot at the players. To me, the problem is Orlando thinks he's better than what he really is. He acts like he played with better people, better managers, better players, like he's doing us a favor. Well, everyone has a different personality, and that's the way we are here."
-White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen

"Am I supposed to take things away from the players because we're losing? I won't do that. I'm the same way all year long, and I'm not going to change that because we're losing. He's not going to change the manager."
-Guillen

"I let my season go from an individual standpoint a long time ago. I knew the quality wasn't going to be there, but I also knew that winning would solve a lot of things. It's playoffs or bust with this team."
-Paul Konerko, White Sox first baseman

"The thing is, be careful what you say, and you better look yourself in the mirror. Orlando is lucky that no one has called him out on this ballclub. I was surprised none of his teammates haven't called him out and say, 'You better explain about this.'"
-Guillen (Chicago Sun-Times)

THE REST

"If I hit a homer off him, I'm not going to pump my fist and yell, especially if we're not in the race. But that's not me. That's him."
-Dodgers third baseman Casey Blake on Giants reliever Billy Sadler celebrating after striking him out. (Dylan Hernandez, Los Angeles Times)

"It's amazing how that worked out. So much of baseball is fraught with disappointment, but every once in a while there's a moment when you say, 'that's justified and that's how it should be.' For him to hit that home run today was just a great way to go out. I mean, that's all you can say about it."
-Houston Astros first baseman Lance Berkman on Brad Ausmus crushing a homer in his much-touted "last game as an Astro."

"It's a stiff back, and it could get worse if I pushed it. Back stiffness and having surgery, that's a little different. It's just ridiculous. If we were playing meaningful games, I would be in there. It just doesn't make sense to push it. How many at-bats have I had the last few years? Check the stats. Am I a guy that misses time?"
-Rockies outfielder Matt Holliday (Troy E. Renck, Denver Post)

"Think about how much more productive I would have been if I had put 20 more balls in play and driven in 15 more runs. A lot of younger guys struggle. I've been able to produce and struggle. It's tough to hit home runs and drive in runs and not strike out. It's kind of a Catch-22."
-Snakes third baseman Mark Reynolds on his record-setting strikeout season. He hit .239/.320/.461 with 201 strikeouts and 63 walks.

"Statistical analysis. Did they ever mention the heart, the drive, or desire of wanting to compete-like in football, bumpin' heads? You find out who can play and who can't play in spring training. ... Either you can do it or you can't."
-Former Padres manager Dick Williams

"If I could play, obviously, I'd play. It boils down to, if you can't do it, you can't do it. It wouldn't be fair to everyone else."
-Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter on his hand injury. (The Star-Ledger)

"By the time he got done talking to me, I was grinning from ear to ear. I'm so ready. It's almost like I took a year's leave, and I'm going to come back."
-Tigers multi-position wonder Brandon Inge, after being told he'd return to third after a year split between third, catcher, and center field. (John Lowe, Detroit Free Press)

---

Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.

Related Content:  A.J. Burnett

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