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June 8, 2009

The Week in Quotes

June 1-7

by Alex Carnevale

THE LAST OF HIS KIND

"We've seen that 500 home runs has lost some of its luster with what's twirling around that, but 300 wins is 300 wins. You have to spend a fair amount of time in the center of the diamond."
Dodgers manager Joe Torre

"The only 300 I can see at this point in my career is the movie."
Giants hurler Tim Lincecum, on what his teammate's achievement means compared to his own future.

"To me, wins have always outweighed strikeouts, because strikeouts are something that just kind of happen."
—Giants starter Randy Johnson, on his 300th.

"I've had five guys strike me out three times in a game, and he's done it three of those times. To have had some little bit of success off him, I'll always be able to tell my kids that we went toe-to-toe quite a few times, and he won his share and I won my share."
Braves third baseman Chipper Jones

"Nobody has competed harder than he has the last 20 years. He is a really fierce competitor. What he's done to keep himself in shape... a lot of guys quit before they have to because they don't want to pay the price anymore, either to compete or to work hard."
Cardinals manager Tony La Russa

"I've played 21, 22 years. I'm 45, and I only have 211 more [wins] to catch Cy Young."
Johnson (Greg Bishop, The New York Times)

THE 300 CLUB ISN'T ALL GIGGLES AND WHISKEY

"Obviously the money always plays a factor. But that was a secondary factor. If we thought he could help our club, that would not be a factor. When you have seven people watch him and they don't think he can help, money does become a factor."
—Braves general manager Frank Wren, on releasing Tom Glavine from the organization after he'd made a number of minor league rehab starts.

"I, as the president of the club, could have taken more time to explain not only the circumstances around the decision, although we made that decision in unanimous fashion, but to explain to Tommy our high regard for him."
—Braves president John Schuerholz

"I told those guys if you have better options, then tell me you have better options. I have listened the last day and a half about how bad I am, how bad I pitched, and how I can't get anybody out in the big leagues. I've heard all that stuff. I don't agree with it."
—Newly free free-agent pitcher Tom Glavine

"Our evaluation was he would not be successful."
Wren

"I've had a couple of phone calls in regards to pitching, I've had a couple of phone calls... in terms of consulting or pitching-coach type of situations. I'm not worried about getting an opportunity to do something. I know I'll be able to do something. That's obviously something I'm going to have to take time to figure out."
Glavine

HE ALWAYS HAD DIRT ON HIS UNIFORM—I'LL MISS THAT GUY

"There ain't a guy in here who ain't pissed off about it. They might be trying to hide it or whatever, but... hey, you get a guy's loved by everybody, not just in this clubhouse but in the community, who does everything you could want a guy to do, a perfect guy to be a leader."
Pirates first baseman Adam LaRoche, on the trade that sent center fielder Nate McLouth to the Braves for three prospects.

"It's fine. Heck with it. We're not the GM. We don't run the team. If they feel like it's the best move for three or four years from now, great. Unfortunately, that does me no good. I've still got to be in here telling guys it's going to be fine with Nate gone. Well, you can only do that for so long until guys just kind of... well, they know."
LaRoche

"You make a deal for a player like that, and you'd better get at least one elite guy in return. Who's the guy in this trade? Who is that player?"
Anonymous Pirates veteran player

"It's kind of like being with your platoon in a battle, and guys keep dropping around you. You keep hanging on, hanging on, and you've got to figure, how much longer till you sink?"
LaRoche

"The players lost a friend, a teammate, and a good player. They might be thinking that we've thrown in the towel, but it's time to turn the page and play baseball. It's time to move on."
—Pirates manager John Russell

"This blindsided me, obviously. Last year, you saw those trades coming. We knew those were going to happen, and that wasn't the case with me. I don't know. As excited as I am for a new venture, I was drafted by the Pirates. This was my 10th year in the organization. There were a lot of people I got to know well. And the toughest part, really, is that I wanted to win here. This organization is such a big part of me."
—Newly minted Braves outfielder Nate McLouth (Dejan Kovacevic, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

THE FANS ALSO TOLD ME THAT JEFF BAILEY COULD HIT LIKE A REGULAR, AND LOOK HOW WELL THAT TURNED OUT

"Five, six years ago the fans wanted me to tell you what superstars we would trade for, using all your prospects. A couple years ago, they would tell me what prospects you should promote from Double-A to Triple-A to the big leagues. Now they want to tell you who to draft."
Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein

"I've seen five different mock drafts that see us taking five different people. So I don't take too much stock in them."
—Giants executive John Barr

"Last year we committed over $6 million dollars to one player because we ultimately felt he was worth that type of investment. There are very few players in the draft this season that we feel are worth anywhere near that type of investment."
—Pirates general manager Neil Huntington (MLB.com)

"You can't make up guys. You can't add guys. You can't put a Timmy Lincecum in there. You have to select from the pool. Every draft is different."
Barr (John Shea, San Francisco Chronicle)

"It's been a welcome distraction from the major league side of things."
Cleveland Indians general manager Mark Shapiro, on the draft. (Paul Hoynes, Cleveland Plain Dealer)

TWO DIFFERENT BUT, AHEM, EQUALLY VALID APPROACHES

"We'll stay true to best person on the board. It does give you some leeway with back to back [first-round picks], but we're trying to have impact players with those guys who are available then. We have full support of ownership and organization to secure the best available. It's been a real blessing."
—D'backs director of scouting Tom Allison

"We have to make a stronger investment and smarter picks in the draft. You've got to invest in young talent. To do that, you need patience, and that's hard for me."
Astros owner Drayton McLane

"Our goal was to makes sure our players were seen by every level from every angle, to not be as compartmentalized as in the past."
Allison (Mark Heller, East Valley Tribune)

"From my business training, you want results very quickly. That doesn't always happen in baseball. We spend $4 million to $6 million in the draft every year, but we haven't always made good decisions."
McLane (Richard Justice, Houston Chronicle)

HE'S ALSO PLANNING ON SEEING A NATUROPATH, A CHIROPRACTOR, AND A GYNECOLOGIST

"He had dry eyes on this last trip and he was blinking a couple at-bats. So he went to the trainers... If somebody says something to a trainer, rather than hand him some Visine, we've got great people around, might as well get what works best. And the fact that he's getting it done Monday should tell you right now... this wasn't a really big deal on my radar."
—Red Sox manager Terry Francona, on sending David Ortiz to an optometrist on his offday today.

"Just been blinking too much when I've been hitting. That's about it. It's been like that since we got back to begin the year in spring training. I just never paid attention to it because, I don't know, it wasn't part of my attention."
Ortiz

"He has to focus, but above everything be patient and believe in himself so that he gets his confidence back. As a fellow Dominican, I have been very worried about David."
—Retired slugger Sammy Sosa

"Just when I try to focus on something. And I focus on hitting. When you've got that blinking thing going on, it just doesn't feel right."
Ortiz (FoxSports.com)

THE REST

"You're in the new Yankee Stadium. It's absolutely a different stadium. It's kind of nice, actually, because I hated the smell of the old place."
Rays manager Joe Maddon, on his team's series against the Yankees this weekend. (Tim Smith, New York Daily News)

"I hold her, and I have a fully healthy, normal baby, so I've seen what normal is, and I feel for Riley. I think what a strong woman it's going to make her. Nobody's going to be able to tell her she can't do something. If she can get through all this, she can get through everything."
Cubs starter Ryan Dempster, on his infant daughter's struggle to survive. (Carrie Muskat, MLB.com)

"You don't want to disrespect the guys that are hitting around him now. All I've said is that 500 or 1,000 at-bats from now, any of these guys could be that guy. They're building a career, and they've got some experience. But what you try to do is have guys not be unfairly pressured, and that's the position we're putting guys into. But they tried to make the Matt Holliday deal during the winter. If that guy over there is unreasonable, [then you can't do it]. ... Trying is very important. Doing something stupid is very low on the priority list. I don't want us to do something stupid."
—Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, on the hitters around Albert Pujols and the current trade market. (Matthew Leach, MLB.com)

"I think it shows zero class and zero professionalism. When somebody says that, they know what they're saying, and they know it's going to get out. He knows we're not going to be real happy about it. If you go and say that to your buddies, it's one thing. If you go to the media and make that public for us to hear? Yeah, that's no class. You know, if we're as bad as he says we are and we swept them, then what's that make them?"
—Pirates first baseman Adam LaRoche, on Carlos Beltran's comments after getting swept by the Pirates.

"It's tough, because number one, he's a position player, and you don't want him to get you out, and number two, you don't know what he's going to throw."
—D'backs infielder Mark Reynolds, on homering off of Padres infielder Josh Wilson in the 18th inning of a game on Sunday.

---

Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.

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