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March 23, 2009

The Week in Quotes

March 16-22

by Alex Carnevale

A CLASS OPERATION

"Maybe we do call Jim [Hendry]. But we feel like with the guys we have here right now, in trying to maybe evaluate and figure a couple other things out internally, we don't have to make that decision tonight."
-Team USA baseball executive Paul Seiler

"They started calling me. They needed a first baseman. But I couldn't go, not being 100 percent."
-Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee, who is dealing with a quad injury.

"Even if a guy has a hint of injury, we're not going to say, 'Hey, can we have that guy?' It would be totally disrespectful to the player and the club."
-Seiler (Jeff Passan, Yahoo! Sports)

"I thought it was disrespectful, to be truthful. They knew I wasn't playing here [in camp]. How do they expect me to get off the trainer's table and start playing there?"
-Lee

"At the same time, you understand they're trying to win, and I was the guy that was on the [provisional] roster, so I guess they figured they'd give it a shot. If I felt better, it'd be a different story, but I don't think it would be fair to miss a week here and go play for them. Obviously, everyone knows it's not a serious injury, but it was enough to keep me out of games."
-Lee

"Once you had the opportunity to go out there and play and wear the uniform, represent your country and be around the guys, you realized what an honor it was. That's the reason I'm here this time. It's not to get out of spring training for two or three weeks."
-Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, on his reasons for playing in the WBC.

EVERY TIME DAVID WRIGHT'S TOE ACHES, HE'll THINK OF YOU

"I'm very happy about where we are. I think this is tremendous. Long after I'm gone this is going to get bigger and bigger and bigger, and you can count on that."
-MLB commissioner Bud Selig

"Anything new continues to need to be adjusted. I just went out and sat in the crowd for a couple of innings, and the excitement was incredible. It was marvelous. I've read all the plusses and minuses, but this is doing exactly what we set out to do. This is the right thing to do."
-Selig

"I'm going to be as kind here as I can. Look, the clubs hear this all the time, but I'm going to say this to you as directly as I can: This is a time in life where I know how important your individual club is-this is a time to put the best interests of the game ahead of your own provincial self-interest."
-Selig, on MLB clubs complaining about their players getting injured in the Classic. (William C. Rhoden, The New York Times)

BASICALLY, OUR WXRL SUCKED THIS YEAR

"We have to apply methods that are more technical and scientific when we develop our sports figures. Our country's excellent educational and sports base allows for that."
-Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, in a newspaper article.

"Asians are not as physically strong as their western rivals. Nor are they as explosive. But strength sufficient is not enough to defeat the reflexes that their players have developed; and explosiveness in itself cannot compensate for the methodology and sangfroid of their athletes."
-Castro, on his team's loss to Korea.

"Korea has tried to look for more heavily built men who are capable of hitting more forcefully."
-Castro

"Our national team should be returning home in the next few hours. Let us receive them with all the honors their exemplary performance deserves. They are not the ones responsible for the errors that led them to the adverse outcome."
-Castro (Prensa Latina)

HE WOULD ACTUALLY PREFER NOT TO PLAY

"I never came into camp expecting to be a regular everyday player or to play center field. That was not my goal. My goal was to work with [hitting coach] Rudy [Jaramillo], get my swing together, and be the player I once was. I never said I have to play."
-Rangers outfielder Andruw Jones

"We let Andruw know last week that he's not in the mix as an everyday player. To his credit, he's willing to play any role on the club we see fit, or do what Ron sees fit."
-Rangers general manager Jon Daniels

"Can I be an everyday player? Yes. But I didn't come into camp for that, and I'm not expecting that. This is a great team and great guys. We have a chance to have a special team. It would be an honor to be a part of that."
-Jones (T.R. Sullivan, MLB.com)

THE REST

"He's not going to punch the clock at work and tag out and say, 'See you all tomorrow.' He's on call 24/7 as a teammate. He exemplifies the definition of teammate. It's not just from when you show up at the ballpark until when you leave. Teammate means friend to him."
-Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, on CC Sabathia. (Tyler Kepner, The New York Times)

"I'm aware of what some people might think, and I can't worry about it. I think most players are more comfortable hitting in their own parks. They get used to the routine, to the hitting background, and so forth. That's all. Jason Giambi says Oakland can be a good hitters' park, especially during the daytime. But it is a chance for people to see that I'm not just a creature of Coors Field, which I know I'm not."
-A's outfielder Matt Holliday, on his new ballpark. (Peter Gammons, ESPN.com)

"They got one of those on my last contract. My performance outweighed my last contract. ... This is kind of my turn. They've had control [of my contract] for six years. Now they have to convince me."
-Angels ace John Lackey, on giving his club a hometown discount in ongoing contract talks. (Mike DioGiovanna, Los Angeles Times)

"I come from a country divided by [those who] like [Chavez] or hate him. Me and Chavez? I don't know him. A lot of people think we're best friends. I wish we were best friends, I guarantee you that. I'd be working with him. More money, less a pain in the ass. I know we'd make more money; we'd steal that [expletive] somewhere, somehow."
-White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, on his relationship with Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez. (Gordon Edes, Yahoo! Sports)

"I've actually never had a drink before, tonight I might try it out. We'll see."
-Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw, on turning 21. (Jim Peltz, Los Angeles Times)

---

Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.

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