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February 5, 2001

The Week in Quotes

January 15-February 3

by Derek Zumsteg

PEOPLE SKILLS

"I can't be satisfied with coming back to the Pirates and being a bench guy, not after what I did last season. I think the Pirates have to realize that. I'm not asking the Pirates to give me anything. I feel you should earn everything you get in this game. I feel I earned the right field job after what I did last year."
-- John Vander Wal, Pirates outfielder, who hit .299/.410/.563 last year, requesting a trade after the team signed right fielder Derek Bell (.266/.348/.425) to a $5-million contract

"We've talked extensively about how he fits in and what he is to this team. But it still bothers him to some degree that we've signed a player who is going to improve the club and...he feels could take playing time away from him."
-- Cam Bonifay, Pirates GM, on Vander Wal's request

SOSA RUMOR TRAINING OPENS

"I'm gonna play it out. I'm not an agent."
-- Sammy Sosa, Cubs outfielder, on his intent to play out the final year of his contract

"I don't think he'll let the contract get in the way of his performance."
-- Don Baylor, Cubs manager

"I said it this year again. I'm staying here. If I'm not here, I will be in Japan."
-- Sosa, joking with fans

HE'S GOT THE FLAVOR

"He's an RBI machine, hits for average, power. He's going to bring that added flavor that the Red Sox haven't seen for a long time. "
-- Trot Nixon, Red Sox outfielder, on the team's signing of outfielder Manny Ramirez

TRUE AND FALSE

"Paul proved last season that when he stays healthy, he can be successful. He's a very versatile pitcher for us, pitching both in the rotation and out of the bullpen and we're happy to get this worked out."
-- Pat Gillick, Mariners GM, on signing Paul Abbott to a one-year, $1.7-million contract

"David's versatility has been very important to us the last few years. He has played great defense for us at second and at third, and we are happy to get him signed."
-- Gillick, on signing infielder David Bell

IT HURTS TO BE A MARLINS FAN

"I wasn't even paying attention to [Billy the Marlin]. Then suddenly one of these projectiles came out and landed in front of a little kid and I said, 'Wow, if that would have hit that kid it would have killed him.'"
-- Saul Shechter, who is suing the Florida Marlins, claiming just after that traumatic scene he was hit by the next T-shirt, suffering permanent eye damage

"The T-shirt was wadded up so tightly, and wrapped in duct tape, that it ceased to be a shirt and was more akin to the baseball itself."
-- Peter Bober, Shecter's lawyer

THE SINGULAR CASE OF WELLINGTON DE PAULA

"Major league baseball will not tolerate the practice of using false birth certificates or identities. We are committed to investigating dishonest practices and to taking appropriate measures when necessary to discourage such practices."
-- Rafael Oscar Perez, manager of baseball's office in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on voiding two contracts

"We cooperated fully with Major League Baseball in its investigation into this matter and accept the decision."
-- Frank Wren, Braves assistant GM, on baseball's ruling on Junior Alexander Felix Medina, a 23-year-old right-hander who had signed as Wellington De Paula, a 16-year-old

"The use of identical birth certificates obviously was a tip-off. There's nothing we can do about it."
-- Jay Alves, Rockies spokesman, on baseball's ruling on Jose Ramon Canela Marte, a 19-year old left-hander who had also used the name and birth certificate of Wellington De Paula

THE REST

"There's no downside to this - no termination pay, no guarantees. If we get to the end of spring training and he looks like he's the same guy we saw in Louisville last year, he gets released and he goes home and he plays football and we go and do our thing."
-- Jim Bowden, Reds GM, on signing outfielder Deion Sanders to a (later voided) contract for 2001

"It wasn't that I ever doubted my ability, but there were times when I thought I might as well go back home and start teaching or something. Maybe something like this will give hope to other guys who are going through the same thing I did."
-- Todd Walker, Rockies infielder, on signing a three-year deal after spending much of last year in Tom Kelly's Triple-A doghouse

"That's the only thing that keeps me going, the fact that I can possibly come back to the East Coast,"
-- Mo Vaughn, Angels infielder

"...one of the great things about this country is that if you give it enough time, entrepreneurial spirit and behavior can produce some dramatic results. If we went back 10 or 12 years and tried to figure out what the terrible, no-hope franchises were, they would be Cleveland, Atlanta, Seattle and San Francisco, among others. Needless to say, their fortunes have changed a little bit."
-- Donald Fehr, MLBPA head, on commissioner Bud Selig's concerns about financial disparity

"This year in spring training we don't have to have tryouts like we did in the past. We can focus on making people better, without worrying about who's going to be in left field, who's going to be in right field, who's going to do this and that."
-- Tom Kelly, Twins manager

If you would like to submit a quote, please email Derek and be sure to include both the quote itself and a URL pointing to the quote.

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2001-02-05 - The Week in Quotes: January 15-February 3
2001-01-21 - Prospectus Q&A: Mike Neill
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2001-03-19 - The Week in Quotes: February 25-March 16
2001-02-26 - The Week in Quotes: February 18-24
2001-02-19 - The Week in Quotes: February 4-17
2001-02-05 - The Week in Quotes: January 15-February 3
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2000-12-28 - The Week in Quotes: December 9-26, 2000
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