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January 4, 2010

The Week in Quotes

December 28-January 3

by Alex Carnevale

EVEN IN JANUARY, HE'S RESPECTING THE HECK OUT OF THE GAME

"The only reason we're on that (long-term) list is the way we go about the game and play the game the right way. We play hard every day. We respect the game. I think that's a big thing. We've run into a time where more and more respect needs to be treated to the game. We've heard from some of our elders, when you leave this game, leave it how you came in."
-Red Sox infielder Kevin Youkilis

"That's one of the things these days, there are some things here and there that irk you a little bit about how some people play the game and mistreat it. That's what we're trying to teach to the Red Sox and some of the young guys in the minors-the proper way to be a professional and play the game hard."
-Youkilis

"Going into spring training, I get in shape just to play baseball. I don't get in shape for a position. I just take ground balls once I get there. There's nothing I can do in the weight room that would be more beneficial for third or first, so I just go and do all the running and training and all the lifting that I can do just to try to be healthy all year."
-Youkilis

"You definitely get a little more aches and pains moving back and forth. For me last year, it worked out fine and I had a good season. I don't think that's the plan for me to switch back and forth like I did towards the end of the year."
-Youkilis on moving between first and third.

"For me, sticking at one spot would be nice. That would be a cool thing. It probably won't happen-I might have to play a little bit of first, I might have to play a little bit of third-but wherever they want me to play, we'll see."
-Youkilis (John Tomase, Boston Herald)

THE ARTIST AND HIS FOURTH-OUTFIELDER TYPE CANVAS

"I really enjoyed my last three years with Rudy. I'm very comfortable with him. As you guys have heard over and over again, he is the best in the business. Especially with Rudy and me being close and having that relationship, it's going to work with him another three years."
-New Cubs center fielder Marlon Byrd, on hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo

"I haven't talked to him, as far as baseball, I haven't talked to him since during the season. We tried to go over things as far as what was going on with his swing. But the bit thing about me and Milton is we have a relationship off the field, so I love Milton Bradley, and I'm a little biased when it comes to him. I think he's a great guy. I'm going to talk to him today about coming here. I'm sure he's happy, too. He's going to another place to get a fresh start. It's a thing of the past."
-Byrd, on outgoing Cubs outfielder Milton Bradley

"[Jaramillo] really thinks he 'got it' the last year or two, just like [Mark DeRosa] did in Texas. We wanted to come up with what we thought was the right fit in center field. And we felt like we explored every avenue, free agency and trade wise. We kept coming back to Marlon as being the right guy. It gives us a chance to move Fukudome back to where he's much better defensively in right field. It really helps our overall defensive situation. Marlon, of course is an above-average outfielder and coming off very, very good numbers offensively."
-Cubs general manager Jim Hendry on signing Byrd (Yahoo! Sports)

ANOTHER JOY THE METS HAVE TAKEN FROM US

"Hall of Fame, no question. As a 16-year-old kid, he was able to jump into Class A. When we signed this kid, I'll never forget, our farm director said, 'We'll put him in rookie league.' I said, 'What are you talking about? Let me tell you something. At 16, he's better than that 25-year-old you've got out there playing.'"
-Former major-league manager Jack McKeon on Roberto Alomar

"Robbie Alomar had the greatest instincts I ever managed. He was a smart player. Of course, when Robbie and Sandy were young and Sandy Sr. was on our team, they'd be running around the clubhouse all the time. They grew up around it. That you can't teach."
-McKeon

"If I get in, it will be not just for me, but in recognition of my entire family. We will all get in. It will be a big Alomar victory and a big Puerto Rican victory."
-Candidate for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame Roberto Alomar

SOME HOF VOTERS MAY NOT BE ENTIRELY FAMILIAR WITH THIS 'DESIGNATED HITTER' YOU SPEAK OF

"I thought he was one of the best hitters in all of baseball and an amazing teammate."
-Former Mariners reliever Jeff Nelson, on his former teammate Edgar Martinez' candidacy for the Hall of Fame.

"The cons might be because of his numbers and that he'd be the first DH to get into the Hall of Fame. He doesn't have 3,000 hits and had just over 300 home runs. For a guy who played as long as he did and was as good as he was, you'd think he'd get closer (to 3,000 hits, 400 homers) than that. But he was by far the best hitter of his era. He won two batting titles."
-Nelson on Martinez

"If you strictly go number-wise, he might have a hard time getting in. Will he be first-ballot? Probably not. But if there's a DH that makes it, I'm sure Edgar will be the first."
-Jeff Nelson (Barry M. Bloom, MLB.com)

HE'S DECADE-TO-DECADE AT THIS POINT

"I'm on a year-to-year basis right now. If I go out and produce and have the same kind of season I always have had, everything will be fine. But I make no bones about it: There's certain parts of this lifestyle that I'm sick of. Quite frankly, I've lived out of suitcases for 20 years and I'm kind of tired of it. I've missed a lot of firsts with my family, missed being able to go on trips with the whole family in the summer. And there's certain politics that go with playing this game that I don't want to have to deal with."
-Braves third baseman Chipper Jones on the future of his career.

"On the other hand, you can only play this game for so long, and as long as I can play and have fun, I'll play. But if I feel like my talents are eroding, I will walk away."
-Jones

"Hits and homers and RBI and runs scored didn't come as frequently last year as they have in the past."
-Jones (David O'Brien, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

THE REST

"Maybe he's not very friendly, maybe he's not very easygoing with his teammates, but he's a leader who knows how to win. Since baseball is a religion to Venezuelans, that's what matters in this country, no matter what your politics are."
-Venezuelan baseball columnist Alfredo Villasmil on Cubs minor league manager (and Venezuelan winter league manager since 2002) Buddy Bailey (Simon Romero, The New York Times)

"We can't even approach getting to the major-league average with the current revenue sharing and revenues we generate locally. So taking $5 million or $10 million and adding it to our major-league payroll is not the most effective way for us to invest that type of money."
-Pirates president Frank Coonelly (Rob Biertempfel, Pittsburgh Tribune Review)

"I remember the first time I was in a major-league camp and the union came on its spring training visit. I had seen Don Fehr on TV, so I knew who he was. But I didn't know who the curly-haired guy was beside him. That was Michael. It was easier to talk to him because I wasn't intimidated by him. He's accessible, but it's not that Don was any less accessible. It was just that you felt comfortable with Michael."
-Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson, on incoming president of the player's association Michael Weiner. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

"We'd be open-minded in the right situation. It has to make sense for both sides, and that's a thin rope to walk."
-Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti on signing a long term deal with center fielder Matt Kemp (MLB.com)

"We'd like to add a presence in the lineup. We'd like to add at least one bat, if not potentially two. We may still do something on the pitching side, but we're focused more on the hitting side right now."
-Rangers general manager Jon Daniels on his plans for the rest of the offseason. (T.R. Sullivan, MLB.com)

"He never missed a round of infield. He liked to show off his arm."
-Former Cubs second baseman Ryne Sandberg, on Andre Dawson. (Tim Kurkijian, ESPN.com)

"It was a combination of anxiety and nerves. Then, all of a sudden, we were powering up, we were on the air-and it all came together really incredibly clean. So people who tuned in from the very beginning saw something that had the feel of something that had been on-air for a long time, something that already had a national feel to it-which was great because, like with anything new, the people who find you first are also the roughest critics with the highest expectations."
-MLB Network CEO Tony Petitti, on the one-year anniversary of his channel. (Mark Newman, MLB.com)

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Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.

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