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“YOU DO IT ON THE STREETS…THE REST IS BULLS#$% AND YOU KNOW IT.”


“I never thought anything was wrong in the first place…I was surprised
at the whole thing–how it came out and what came out. I didn’t know
there was a problem. All I have done, basically, is try to defend him and
help him and pray for him. Light candles for him in church. And I’m not
even Catholic.”

Dusty Baker, Cubs manager, on outfielder Sammy Sosa’s
outburst on the final day of the season (Chicago Sun-Times)


“It’s not a matter of coexisting, because I didn’t have a problem…I have
had a problem with very few people. If I ever had a problem, you usually
talk about it and get it out in the open between those two people. That’s
what I’m curious about when I do see him in person, to find out what’s
wrong, what took so long for this thing to come out, and why did it have
to come out the way it came out? If there’s a problem, you’re supposed to
come to me. I was trying to figure out where or how we blamed or
mistreated him.”

–Baker


“I know damn well my wife was sitting right there, and he had called me
and said he wanted to do it [drop down in the order] for the betterment of
the team. That’s exactly what happened. He stressed to me to tell people
it was his idea. To go back the other way [in the story] really shocked
me.”

–Baker

MONGERING AND NOT


“We’re at a point…where we need to find out whether we’re going to have
Edgar or not because we can’t keep putting things off…We’ve got too many
things that we have to try to get done, so we’re proceeding in two
different directions–one with Edgar on the team and one with Edgar
not on the team. Then we’ll decide in the end what’s the best direction to
go in.”

Walt Jocketty, Cardinals general manager, on the
possibility of signing Edgar Renteria (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)


“Things are moving too fast…We don’t want to be left watching from the
outside.”

–Jocketty


“I was more optimistic earlier than I am today…But in these meetings,
things change quickly. So at this time tomorrow things might be a little
more favorable. Right now, I’m not as optimistic as I was last week.”

–Jocketty


“There are some guys we’d spend (for) if we had Edgar, and there’s
a group we’d sign if we didn’t have Edgar.”

–Jocketty


“This doesn’t preclude us from signing Adrian Beltre…It’s still
possible. At the same time, we want to make sure we’re covered so our
offensive team is as good or even better than a year ago. This fits in
perfectly for us.”

Paul DePodesta, Dodgers general manager, on signing Jeff
Kent (MLB.com)


“At this point…we’re not really saying definitely where he’s going to
play.”

–DePodesta


“I feel good about bringing back a very good pitcher in Brad Radke…I
wish we could have worked something out with Corey. We did offer him
arbitration to keep the avenue open.”

Terry Ryan, Twins general manager, on signing starter
Brad Radke (Minnesota Star-Tribune)


“I think it’s fair for both sides… I wanted to be fair, and I wanted
them to be fair with me. I was getting nervous the last hour and a half or
so.”

Brad Radke, Twins starter, on his two-year $18 million
deal (Minnesota Star-Tribune)

LONELY AT THE TOP


“One of the things in those books that’s a repeated theme is the
loneliness of command. You really can’t let your hair
down, and if you’re going to lead an organization, you’re going to have to
be the leader. You have to be the boss. So there are some things you
simply can’t do.”

Howard Lincoln, Mariners CEO (Seattle Times)


“I think this is one of those perceptions that needs to be commented
upon…I’m not the general manager. I don’t hold myself out as having any
baseball expertise. In any organization where millions of dollars are
going to be spent, ultimately the CEO has to sign off on things. But I
can’t think of one instance when I vetoed a deal because of financial
implications.”

–Lincoln


“I think it is probably because I have been outspoken about the need to be
financially disciplined in operating a baseball franchise…And I think
these comments have continued to be repeated, then there is an assumption
that we are more concerned about making money than we are getting to the
World Series.”

–Lincoln

TAKE NOTES


“What the lower levels of baseball operations teach you is how things get
done…It develops relationships you need with people the rest of your
career. While some people may have success, it hasn’t been proven an
elongated success. You’re still dependent on your entire staff.”

Dan Evans, Mariners scout and former Dodgers general
manager, on the influx of young people at the Winter Meetings (Kansas
City Star
)


“And a lot of times, your staff is determined by relationships built in
the past. Some of these guys on the fast track in their mind are going to
learn the fast track doesn’t benefit them. There’s always exceptions. But
for the most part, people are successful because they worked their way
up.”

–Evans


“It’s good for our game if young people look at baseball as a career
alternative…They may bring new approaches and new ways, but the game’s
not going to change. It’ll always be the same game.”

–Evans

CUBS QUOTES


“We watched Rod Beck save 51 ballgames in ’98 and I don’t think he threw
the ball 87 or 88 mph all year…Sometimes it’s a matter of intestinal
fortitude and savvy. We don’t want to sit here this early and eliminate
Joe.”

Jim Hendry, Cubs general manager, on closer Joe Borowski
(MLB.com)


“We all talk about Ryan Dempster getting the chance to close. He hasn’t
done it yet…You still have to go through the evaluation process in Spring
Training. Farnsworth has the stuff to pitch in any part of the game. Every
time one got away from [Hawkins], there was the notion that he can’t do
that role.”

–Hendry


“Corey’s more like Rickey Henderson than Brett Butler…He’s going to hit
you 20 home runs and has to learn the art of walking and pitch selection.
There’s different things that make you an excellent leadoff hitter. He’s
got some things to learn. We’re trying to accelerate the learning curve by
putting him in contact with guys.”

Dusty Baker, Cubs manager, on outfielder Corey Patterson
(MLB.com)


“I told my son, ‘If you’re going to learn how to play, why don’t you play
like this guy?’ Running, throwing, fielding, hitting home runs–this guy can play.”

–Baker

THE REST


“The owner is free to do what he chooses…What this does is make it very
clear the need for the Marlins to have a new place to play is no longer
just about economics. It’s about survival.”

David Samson, Marlins president, on the team’s need for a new
home (Miami Herald)