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March 2, 2009

The Week in Quotes

February 23- March 1

by Alex Carnevale

SOMEWHERE AARON CROW IS SMILING

"It is an emotional decision that saddens me, but one that I feel is in the best interests of the two things I love most-baseball, and the Washington Nationals."
-Nationals general manager Jim Bowden, after resigning on Sunday.

"Like anyone else, I have made mistakes in all areas of my personal and professional life, but I leave here with the true belief that I have done nothing intentionally to harm the Washington Nationals or Major League Baseball."
-Bowden

"I will also carry with me the cold, hard realization that my life has been turned upside down by a news media that prints entire stories attributed solely to anonymous sources who refuse to be identified and who are free to allege anything they choose for any purpose without fear of retribution. One can only understand the impact of false allegations, insinuations, and innuendos by the press if they themselves have been the subject of those false allegations."
-Bowden

"We all believe it is imperative that we honor the integrity of the game, and that fans be able to concentrate their attention and affections on the game and players on the field. Jim has maintained his innocence, but recognized that he had become a distraction, and with great grace determined to do what was best for the team and his players."
-Nationals president Stan Kasten

"I am supporting-and continue to support-everyone who works for the Nationals. That's not lip service. I sincerely mean that. Having said that, there are many things going on behind the scenes that you all aren't privy to yet. When I'm able to talk to you about things, I will."
-Kasten, before Bowden resigned.

"I am disappointed by the media reports regarding investigations into any of my professional activities. There have been no charges made, and there has been no indication that parties have found any wrongdoing on my part."
-Bowden

"I don't want to comment on my profile. I'm part of the Washington Nationals organization, and we sink and swim together, and I'm happy where I'm at in my career. At this time, I think we have to be about 'we' instead of 'me.'"
-Nationals assistant general manager Mike Rizzo

FRANK McCOURT IS ABOUT AS LUCID AS A RABID DOG

"They asked me to respond to them, and I gave them a counterproposal within the framework of the structure we had agreed upon."
-Manny Ramirez' agent Scott Boras

"We love Manny Ramirez. And we want Manny back, but we feel we are negotiating against ourselves. When his agent finds those 'serious offers' from other clubs, we'll be happy to re-start the negotiations."
-Dodgers owner Frank McCourt

"Even with an economy that has substantially eroded since last November, out of respect for Manny and his talents, we actually improved our offer. So now, we start from scratch."
-McCourt

"You'll have to probably ask Frank."
-Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti, on what McCourt meant by "start from scratch." (Jon Weisman, Dodger Thoughts)

PROFIT IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA

"Those seats are being sold at $5, not $12. I think some seats may have gone out improperly invoiced. Those are going to be corrected, but those 600 seats are going to be $5."
-Yankees COO Lonn Trost, on the new pricing scheme for obstructed seats in the new Yankee Stadium.

"We had a choice of selling it to somebody or not. ... For $12, it's a choice of taking it or not."
-Trost, on selling obstructed-view seats.

"When we built the sports bar, we knew architecturally there is an architectural shadow. And that means there are a group of seats that are in the bleachers that if you are sitting very close to either the right-field or left-field side of the sports bar, you may not see the opposite side."
-Trost

"We knew that going in, and to that extent we pre-prepared to put televisions in the wall, as well as that big screen so you don't miss anything."
-Trost (Neil Best, Newsday)

I REALLY WANT TO PLAY, BUT MY FINGERNAIL...

"If it was my decision, I was ready to go. They talked to my agent yesterday, and to me today, and said they'd made the decision. Maybe I was being a little selfish, but I wanted to go."
-Mariners third baseman Adrian Beltre, on not playing in the World Baseball Classic.

"As patriotic as he is, I believe he really wanted to pitch for his country. They only have two big things [in Venezuela]-soccer and baseball. And in baseball, Johan is the cheese."
-Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen, on Johan Santana.

"I'd be angry if I didn't understand, but I do. I'm a big piece of this team, and they don't want to risk a setback."
-Beltre

"I had a daughter this offseason. With the baby and everything, it just didn't work out well for me. Secondly, I just don't think with me not necessarily locked in with a long-term deal, I'm going to jeopardize my career to go play in a three-week tournament, or however long it is."
-Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon

"And I don't have anywhere to live, either. Wherever Jack [Zduriencik] is staying, I'm going to show up at his door and ask for a room."
-Beltre, on giving up his apartment near spring training because he thought he was headed for the WBC.

"I'll be glad to give him my bed-my wife and I will move to the other room. Adrian and his whole family can come stay with us."
-Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik (Larry LaRue, The News-Tribune)

PLAY THE SEASON OUT ON PAPER AS GOD AND BILLY INTENDED!

"Delays that are both real and threatened have made it impossible for me to assure my organization of an implementation date consistent with our needs and the requirements of Major League Baseball."
-A's owner Lew Wolff, on the collapse of the Fremont stadium project.

"I think it's an opportunity we may never have again. It [would have] generated revenues for a city that badly needs revenue."
-Fremont mayor Bob Wasserman

"I thought the overwhelming plusses of having our A's in your community for the next 40 years and longer would have resonated in a more positive manner, even with those who might perceive some negatives."
-Wasserman (ESPN.com)

WOULD HE SIGN HOLLIDAY TO A NINE-YEAR DEAL JUST TO GET OTHER GMS TO COPYCAT HIM? PERHAPS

"I believe everyone has the responsibility to put your best team on the field. [Holliday] is one of the best players in the game, but I know retaining him is not a possibility in this environment. So if we lose him, we either get two first-round picks, or have the option of trading him."
-A's general manager Billy Beane

"It would be nice to have these kids play their entire careers with us. I admit the toughest part for me has been turning over very good players every year. It's not good for fan loyalty, seeing all these new jerseys every year. I love what I do. I love developing players. I just wish I could keep them."
-Beane, on the financial limitations of the A's.

"From that standpoint, it does wear on you a little. Larry Beinfest faces it every year too. Then again, I guess this has been going on throughout the A's history. Before me, Charlie Finley was selling off all his players, and before him Connie Mack broke up all those great A's teams in Philadelphia."
-Beane (Bill Madden, New York Daily News)

THE REST

"In this profession, we are all teachers at heart, and because of that we study methods and techniques of other coaches, and leaders in other fields. Nobody has a monopoly on good ideas, so we all try to find something that we think will work for us to maximize the efficiency and production in our own situations. To Joe's credit, he is doing something about it. I had never thought of a billiard tournament. That's pretty good."
-New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin, on the incredible leadership Joe Giradi showed by taking a trip with his team to play pool. (George A. King III, The New York Post)

"Then I'll just take my money and bury it in the backyard."
-Angels reliever Darren Oliver, on his new financial strategy. (Jerry Crasnick, ESPN.com)

"Three times a week."
-Rangers right fielder Josh Hamilton, on how often he is tested for drugs. (Randy Galloway, Fort Worth Star-Telegram)

"He's got an interpreter who's outstanding. We haven't missed a thing. Funny story. We had physicals in here the other day, and I'm in here, and he says to me, 'Where are the physicals?' And I said, 'Not here.' So I got him directions. He said, 'One problem-no gas.' No gas in the car? 'No gas.' So I gave him the keys to my car.' He's fit right in with guys."
-Braves manager Bobby Cox, on new pitcher Kenshin Kawakami's adjustment to MLB. (Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe)

"Unfortunately, in this game, if you're under the age of 35 and you didn't play in the big leagues, it's kind of easy to get classified. And it's fine, I understand, but it's not something I'm real versed in."
-Yankees scout Billy Eppler, on being tagged as a stats guy in Tom Verducci and Joe Torre's The Yankee Years. (Tyler Kepner, The New York Times)

"I didn't know who he was, but I do now."
-Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher, on catching a ride home after a ballgame with A-Rod's cousin, Yuri Sucart. A-Rod's cousin has been banned from Yankee facilities. (George A. King III, The New York Post)

"My defense is very adequate... It's not like I don't want to get to 'em."
-Nationals outfielder Adam Dunn (Thomas Boswell, The Washington Post)

"We have this tiny list of approved substances that includes things like Gatorade. Guys are like, 'Can I take some protein? Can I eat a protein bar?' You send it to get checked, and it takes two months to get back. It's a difficult time. Everyone is so scared-players and the union-of doing anything wrong."
-Phillies closer Brad Lidge, on his wariness towards potentially performance-enhancing substances. (Jim Salisbury, Philadelphia Inquirer)

"You can either complain that the baseball field is buried under six feet of snow, or you drive to where you can play baseball. We don't complain."
-University of Maine infielder Tyler Delaney (Bill Pennington, The New York Times)

---

Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.

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