September 29, 2008
The Week in Quotes
"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."
"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."
"I tried to visualize what this would be, and nothing could describe it."
IS HE AWARE THEY'RE PLAYING THE TIGERS TODAY?
"I'm not going to show my players my emotions."
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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
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."
"October is the best period for us to talk to him [seeing as nobody else can], and I'll take advantage of that time."
"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."
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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"If I'm in for one, I'm in for three."
"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."
"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."
EYES ON THE PRIZE
"[Against] left-handers, I should probably be batting seventh or so."
"It seems like our at-bats late in the game now all of a sudden are good."
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."
"We'll certainly look at free agents. There are a lot of attractive guys out there."
"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."
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."
"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."
"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."
"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.'"
"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."
"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."
"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?"
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.