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August 31, 2009

The Week in Quotes

August 24-30

by Alex Carnevale

CHICAGO-AREA GUN DEALERS: STAND DOWN

"I'm not a loser or a negative guy, but I'm real realistic. That's my problem in the past when I'm so realistic and people get mad at me, and they don't like the way I do stuff or the way I talk. Well, if you don't want me to talk that way, [expletive] play better. I'm the one who should take the blame, and I will take the blame, 100 percent, no doubt. But give me some reason to take the blame. Give me some bullets to fight for you guys. Give me some ammunition."
-White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, after an especially tough one-hit loss to the Yankees this weekend.

"I feel like I'm stealing money from Jerry, and that's a shame. When you have more errors than hits, you better look yourself in the mirror and second-guess yourself. I'm second-guessing myself right now, making the wrong lineup every day. I watched Little League this morning... they were playing better than we did. At least it was more fun. This is not major league baseball, sorry."
-Guillen

"If they don't feel the way I feel right now, they're full of shit. There's no doubt in my mind we're better than this. But you get to a point where it is what it is. And my hope is getting less and less. It's a long mountain, and the mountain is getting higher and higher every night. And if we're going to climb to the top, maybe they need a cable car to get up there. But they're not going to walk up there."
-Guillen, on his team.

"I'm embarrassed, and everybody in that room should be embarrassed. If they're not embarrassed, they got the wrong job or they're stealing money from baseball."
-Guillen

"A lot of people feel for Jose, believe me. It's not about feelings. A lot of people feel bad for him, a lot of people feel sorry for him, a lot of people hate his [expletive]. If he's a failure, we hate his [expletive]. [The other players], (t)hey feel for him, as a manager I love Jose. I wish for a better result for him. I do. I show him how much we love him to give him the ball every five days. Too bad it's not working for him right now."
-Guillen, on Jose Contreras, who has been bumped from the rotation.

THE WORSE OUR TEAM IS, THE BETTER JOE MAUER LOOKS IN COMPARISON

"How many times did Teixeira put up the same numbers in Texas and nobody even talked about it? I always say, nobody from the Yankees should be MVP. All the players they have, they protect each other. Why wouldn't you give it to somebody else on another team who is doing exactly the same thing, or better, with a lineup that's not that good?"
-Twins shortstop Orlando Cabrera, on this year's MVP race.

"I feel lucky to play with him. The guy's amazing. Every day, he's so much fun to watch. When I was on the other side, I used to say, 'Man, how can this guy hit so much?' Now, everywhere I go, people ask me, 'Man, how can that guy hit so much?' He has strokes of genius, like the way famous artists paint. His mechanics are solid, and his hands are ridiculous. And now this year he's generating so much power. For me, he's the best player in the game. You can talk about Albert Pujols, but Pujols plays first base. You're comparing that to a catcher. No way."
-Cabrera, on his new teammate, Joe Mauer.

"He has no muscle. I'm telling you, he has no muscle. Nothing. He's just a tall guy that walks into the office."
-Cabrera

"I was always afraid of him, even this year when I was with Oakland. We stole [several] bases, and the next day, Adam Kennedy would ask me, 'What are we going to do today?' And I'd say, 'Keep running.' And he'd say, 'Yeah, but we're playing Minnesota and Mauer is catching. I'm scared of him.' And I'd say, 'Me, too.' So we shut it down. You usually don't get intimidated by another player, but he's in another league."
-Cabrera (Scott Miller, CBSports.com)

WHICH ONE OF THESE THINGS IS NOT LIKE THE OTHER?

"This is a surprise. I had heard rumors before, but it's hard to believe that it is now official. It's a disappointment because of all the relationships I've built in the organization and the city, but you can't control the business side of the game."
-Brand-new Angels starter Scott Kazmir, formerly of the Tampa Bay Rays.

"It's very easy to say that this trade will hurt our chances, given how Scott has pitched his last few starts. But we've got guys in the minors that we really like, and that we think can help us."
-Rays manager Joe Maddon, on acquiring Kazmir.

"He woke up and decided he wanted to join a team in the middle of a pennant race to have a chance to pitch in October and to have a chance to get a ring, which he's never done. There were some ups and downs and turns in the decision, but in the end he told us he woke up today and really wanted a chance to win a World Series, and came here for all the right reasons."
-Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein on acquiring lefty Billy Wagner from the Mets to bolster his team's bullpen. (SI.com)

THEO IS ITCHING TO SIGN A 31-YEAR-OLD CATCHER TO A LONG-TERM DEAL

"You're going to let a guy like that go? Bring the guy here, put him in the third spot, play him all over the place, and have him do what he's done."
-Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, on Victor Martinez.

"It's funny I had this conversation with my wife, of all people, because she's at home watching all the broadcasts. She said you would never know that Victor Martinez was good before he got here. I said, 'Yeah, he's always been pretty good.' Boston, the spotlight is a little bit bigger, and to do what he's done, especially in a pennant race, is pretty impressive. He's come in and not only been productive but has become a clubhouse leader. He's been great."
-Red Sox left fielder Jason Bay, on Martinez.

"You're going to let him go? That's not even a question. You're going to have to do better than that."
-Ortiz (Rob Bradford, WEEI.com)

CLOSE THE BARS AND HIDE YOUR WOMEN: THE MAN WITH THE 650 OPS HAS ARRIVED

"It's kind of a tailgate party for a lot of people, and a lot of people will be trying to pull me in different directions and get a piece of my time while I'm in town for a short period of time."
-Royals utilityman Willie Bloomquist, on coming back to Seattle, where he played for seven years.

"I play best when I have a chip on my shoulder. and I've had a chip on my shoulder for a long time. I started off the year really well. It wasn't just to show Seattle. It was to show everyone who has always doubted me. Recently, things haven't gone as well as I'd like."
-Bloomquist. He's currently raking at a .257/.300/.353 clip for the year after averaging .263/.322/.324 before it.

"We've needed him. His versatility has played out huge for us."
-Royals manager Trey Hillman on Bloomquist's importance to the last-place team. (Bob Dutton, Kansas City Star)

THE REST

"Well, I think we were watching him throw a bullpen session and it was just something we noticed. We certainly made him aware of a few things we saw, and I'm not going to say what they are, but it looked as if he was able to keep those things in mind when he pitched, and he was fine."
-Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter, on informing John Smoltz that he was tipping his pitches. (Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe)

"I had some bad breaks and made some bad pitches. But I'm healthy, and that's what I'm happy about. This isn't last year, when I was hurt. If that had been the case, I'd be upset. All in all I had a great time here. My shoulder is healthy and I'm glad I came here. It was a blessing."
-Red Sox starter Brad Penny, after requesting and receiving his release from the Red Sox. (Michael Silverman, Boston Herald)

"I should stay away. If I play, I'll probably win. Then something else will happen the next day that would kill me."
-Dodgers right-hander Hiroki Kuroda, asked why he isn't playing the Mega Millions jackpot in California along with his teammates. (Dylan Hernandez, Los Angeles Times)

"He also had 100 walks. You don't just have those guys sitting in your minor league system. You just don't have that. That's just the way it is. You just don't have that type of person just sitting there. They found that out this year. Joey's a great guy and you can't say anything bad about him, but he's not the threat Adam is."
-Mariners designated hitter Ken Griffey Jr., on former Reds teammates Adam Dunn and Joey Votto. (C. Trent Rosecrans, Cincinnati Enquirer)

"Don't get me wrong, I don't feel bad, I feel guilty. I've been thinking about it. I'm making $10 million and doing nothing. It's like I'm just taking the Dodgers' money."
-Dodgers outfielder Juan Pierre (Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times)

---

Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.

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