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THE GIFT AND THE CURSE



“He (Boras) probably was going to ask for a major league contract and a
$4 to $5 million signing bonus…That’s not something we were willing
to do.”

Kevin Towers, Padres general manager, on the
possibility of selecting Stephen Drew at No. 1 last week (San Diegp
Union-Tribune)



“He (Bush) should be signed within 48 hours…That’s a big thing for
us. With Boras, it was going to be a long, drawn-out process.”

–Towers



“There are no guarantees with the draft. We knew this kid wanted to
play for us. He’s local, and that’s a big plus for us, and we didn’t
see that much difference in ability among the top prospects.”

–Towers, on shortstop and No. 1 pick Matt Bush



“Matt Bush out of Mission Bay High…is the best high school shortstop
I’ve seen since Alex Rodriguez.”

E.J. “Buzzie” Bavasi, Padres scouting consultant (San
Diego Union-Tribune)

OSCAR AND FELIX



“A lot has been made of the ‘Moneyball’ thing and Paul and I get a kick
out of it and sometimes get annoyed…We decided to take the best
player available. I learned to utilize statistical analysis
(DePodesta’s specialty) and Paul’s learned about mechanics, delivery
and makeup. We put the two together and had a really solid draft. We
had a really good draft.”

Logan White, Dodgers director of amateur scouting
(MLB.com)



“I guess no one believed me, or everyone thought I was a monster. I
wasn’t trying to fool anybody. I said all along that this situation is
different. I really don’t think one strategy makes sense every time,
every year.”

Paul DePodesta, Dodgers general manager, on drafting
high school players (FoxSports.com)

AN HISTORICAL INEVITABILITY



“Pitchers get hurt all the time. Sometimes there is no reason. Other
than this year, I have hardly had any pitchers get hurt. There was a
time [former ESPN commentator] Bobby Valentine and all them were on me
because I was overusing my [Giants] bullpen. I didn’t have the starters
then I have now.”

Dusty Baker, Cubs manager (Chicago Sun-Times)


“Now I’m under criticism because I stay with my starters too long. So
who has the answer? It appears no matter what I do, they are going to
talk some stuff about it. Oakland has had [pitchers] with 250 innings
for three or four years in a row. Let ’em talk. If it was that easy,
everybody who is calling on the radio shows could come do my job.”

–Baker



“[Wood]’s been to different doctors and they say there is nothing
structurally wrong with the elbow or anything…He says he feels good
until he gets to the point of extension. I talked to Bob Welch about it
and [maybe] it’s a spur or something. [Sometimes] you got to throw
through it, whatever is happening.”

–Baker, on injured starter Kerry Wood



“I talked to a friend of mine and he told me ‘history will reveal
everything in time’…So let history be my judge.”

–Baker

TAKE AND RAKE



“That’s the problem with baseball nowadays-everybody wants to
change it…Don’t change the game. It is what it is.”


Barry Bonds, Giants outfielder, on the possibility of
altering the current intentional walk rule (FoxSports.com)



“I don’t think I’ll reach Hank Aaron…I don’t think it is possible,
but I’m going to give it a shot. I’m going to play a couple of more
[years] and whatever that number is at that time.”

–Bonds (Washington Times)



“I think I can do that if I can stay healthy. But Hank Aaron’s number
is a long way away. That’s a lot of home runs. As you get older, it is
harder and harder. I’d have to play every day, and when you get in your
40s it is a lot harder to do that. I’m just happy for what I’ve done so
far.”

–Bonds

WAITING ON HISTORY



“It’s taking a toll on everbody…If we could just get it behind us,
we’d be fine. Get the focus off me and the focus back on playing good
baseball.”


Ken Griffey Jr., Reds outfielder, on hitting home run
No. 500 (MLB.com)



“I’m just trying to hit the ball solid. When it happens, it happens.”

–Griffey



“The team always comes first. That’s always been my whole focus.”

–Griffey



“It takes away from the team goal…Everybody just wants to talk about
one person.”

–Griffey, on the perils of chasing No. 500

THE REST



“He seems to set a tone that gives us a heck of a lot more
confidence…I don’t want to put everything on Shannon Stewart. But we
win a lot more when he’s around.”

Terry Ryan, Twins general manager, on outfielder
Shannon Stewart (FoxSports.com)



“I’m trying to keep a good spin on it…But at some point you have to
look at a guy like me and ask, ‘How effective can I be if I’m not
playing on a regular basis?'”

Tim Salmon, Angels outfielder, who’s currently hitting
.224 (L.A. Times)



“I’ve been an everyday player. I’m the type of player who needs to get
at-bats, and then I come around…I know what kind of player I am, and
hopefully I’m given the opportunity to be that kind of player. If I’m
not used as that kind of player, then I’ll re-evaluate the situation.”

–Salmon