“As a team, we’re traditional to think that we’re not going to get into Wild Card formulas. The magic number has got to be zero to celebrate. And it’s one, right? Trust me, it’s one. But because of our record against Houston and all that, technically… But we went through this last year. When it gets to zero, that’s when we celebrate.”

–Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, on being on the cusp of clinching the NL Central (

“Just be consistent. We talked about it as a club. We’re dying to celebrate. And I want the guys to enjoy it. They deserve it. But it’s not what we decided last year. One is not zero. Therefore…”

–La Russa

“It’s a great feeling to know you’re going to play in October. But we’ve always been taught that you’re a champion when it gets to zero, and that’s why you have a magic number. No asterisks.”

–La Russa, on waiting until they’ve clinched more victories than the Astros before celebrating anything

“You don’t play to win the division. You play to win championship rings. And we didn’t get it last year.”

–Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols

“How many Central division titles does this team have? We have two the last two years, and three the last four years. We don’t care about that. It doesn’t matter what kind of record you have. Last year, we had the best record in the Major Leagues and we lost in the World Series. Nobody was talking about [us]. Everybody was talking about the world champions.”



“There’s no doubt about it, we really flat-out stink. I look at this game and I don’t say I’m mad, but it’s not the same thing I had been watching all year long. It’s crazy.”

–White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, on his team’s struggles (Chicago Sun-Times)

“Baserunning, bad pitching. If I named what I was disappointed about, we might be here all week. The entire week was disappointing. Even the game we won, I was disappointed. I have to let them know that if we continue to play like this, good luck. I will take the blame, but good luck with it. They will not give it to us. We have to fight for it and show up and play for it.”


“If we continue to play like that, well, they better make a reservation for a little vacation in a couple of weeks. If we continue to play like that, I don’t think we deserve to have a chance. Not that we won’t have a chance, I’m saying that we don’t deserve that. We’ve really played lousy baseball.”



“I don’t waste my time, man–they don’t think a DH can win the MVP. I’m just going to keep on playing. I’m not going to think about that [expletive] because it’s all politics.”

–Red Sox DH David Ortiz, on how people don’t think he should be MVP because he’s a DH (Boston Herald)

“What’s the toughest thing to do in this game? Hit, right? [Voters] don’t think about that. That’s all I do. If I don’t hit, I lose my job.”


“[Ortiz] should get it. He’s had a hell of a year, man. Me? No way. To me, I’ve been struggling the whole year. I don’t even know how I’m hitting .280.”

–Ortiz’s teammate Manny Ramirez, on Ortiz

“My personal opinion is I will never as long as I have a vote, vote for a guy who doesn’t play both sides of the field. They don’t go through the grind others do defensively, diving after balls, chasing balls, if you make an error how it might affect you next at bat. If you’re a DH you don’t go through any of that. You just hit. So as good a hitter as he is, and he’s one of the best in the game, no question, I can never vote for him. That’s all.”

–Blue Jays pitcher Josh Towers, on whether Ortiz should be the MVP (Toronto Sun)


“That ball left Andruw’s bat, traveled about 450 feet, and the next contact it made was with my freakin’ head. That thing came straight out of the sky. Then I was face down in the bullpen.”

–Braves pitching coach Leo Mazzone, on getting hit on the head by an Andruw Jones home run during batting practice (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

“I probably could have caught it if I knew it was coming. It smoked him, right in the head. It hit him hard, and he hit the ground. I was like, ‘He’s dead.'”

–Braves reliever Blane Boyer, who was standing a few feet away from Mazzone when he got hit

“He was bleeding all over the place. But he just wore it. He got up and walked away. Horacio [Ramirez] said, ‘Stay down, stay down.’ “


“No more than usual.”

–Mazzone, on whether he felt any dizziness the next day

“I never was normal.”

–Mazzone, on whether he felt back to normal


“I felt great. Just enjoying everything, all the fans out there, that’s an incredible feeling. There’s no place like home.”

–Giants outfielder Barry Bonds, on returning to the lineup (Los Angeles Times)

“I have no idea how they’ll pitch to him. I predict they won’t pitch to him. I can’t count home runs for Barry. How many at-bats … 50, 60? How many times is he going to walk? Maybe he’ll get 40 at-bats.”

–Giants manager Felipe Alou

“I felt that I didn’t want to let the city down. That’s the feeling you have out there. With the appreciation and the standing ovations and the cheers, you are just praying that you don’t let them down. You just really want to put on a good performance for them.”

–Bonds (Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

“We’re making a run. I don’t know which way we are running though. We’re making a run until we are eliminated. We’ve got to show up and play the games.”

–Alou, on whether the Giants can make a run for the division or not


“They can run the business one way–well, not actually run the business because the business ain’t doing too well–they can do it one way, we can do it that way, too. When they want something from us, they can go through a long wait like we do.”

–Devil Rays minor leaguer Delmon Young, expressing his frustration at not being a September call-up (St. Petersburg Times)

“As soon as I get my time in up there I’ll bounce out of there. There’s no reason to stay around for the long haul. Get your six years and leave.”


“The only thing I can think of is them being cheap. Why not call up guys when you’re 50 games out of first place and you’re not going to the playoffs? … They’re so worried about saving dollars and cents, and they can’t compete with no one.”

–Young, on why he wasn’t called up

“I did the best I could. Tampa’s going nowhere this year. They could at least call up guys that are going to be there in the future.”


“This is ownership worrying about dollars and cents instead of the message they’re sending out to their players and the fans, especially the fans.”

Dmitri Young, Delmon’s brother

“I don’t think anybody in this locker room is feeling sorry for him. A lot of guys worked hard to get here. … He rubbed a lot of people in here the wrong way. It was the wrong thing to say. He showed a little immaturity and that’s why he’s not here. It takes a lot of nerve to say the organization is cheap when you got $5.8 million (to sign).”

–Devil Rays outfielder Aubrey Huff, on Young

“Delmon had one good year and he wants a job. There’s a lot of people in the game who really had to pay their dues, like me. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but you don’t want to rub the veterans the wrong way. You can’t play with everyone and what you have is a rep. And that’s the rep he’s going to carry around.”

–Devil Rays outfielder Jonny Gomes, on Young

“It is simply baffling that the Devil Rays have prevented him from developing his talent at the major-league level as every other Major League organization would have done.”

–Young’s agent Arn Tellem


“We’ve talked about all going somewhere as a package deal, as the Three Amigos, because we know we can help someone win. But you know, they might want those two and not me and I’d be out there on my own.”

–Red Sox first baseman Kevin Millar, on his upcoming free agency with Bill Mueller and Johnny Damon (Boston Herald)

“Johnny’s at a different level than I am–I’ll grind free agency out, just like I have my whole career. There’s not going to be 30 teams pounding on my door to sign me. I’m just hoping I’m back here in Boston.”


“No lobbying–they signed me for three years, I’ll play for three years. Some players get all cranky if they don’t get extensions, but not me. It’s too late for me to get cranky anyway.”


“If I’m not on the postseason roster, if they don’t think I’m good enough, that will be an even bigger story. I’m making $7.5 million. If I’m not on the postseason roster, there’s probably a pretty good chance I won’t be here (in 2006).”

–Red Sox closer Keith Foulke, on his future with the team

“Do you think I give a [expletive] about their confidence? It’s all about me.”

–Foulke, on whether the team has confidence in him or not

“I want to come back. But my body tells me I can play every day, and I might be looking for a starting job. Let’s see. I feel happy here to play for a manager like Dusty Baker.”

–Cubs infielder Neifi Perez, on his impending free agency (Chicago Sun-Times)


“I look up on the board and see 100 runs scored. Everyone’s talking about him having an off year. He has 100 runs on the board. He doesn’t even have to hit the ball to get a hit. Then you know why he has 100 runs. He just beats you so many ways.”

–Orioles interim manager Sam Perlozzo, on Ichiro’s struggles this year (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

“Yesterday I was substitute teaching. Today I’m hanging out with guys who are really my idols.”

–Giants outfielder Doug Clark, on his surprise promotion to the majors (San Francisco Chronicle)

“I stayed until someone recognized me. In one game, a guy tapped me on the shoulder and said, ‘My buddy bet me $5 you’re not Mike Morse. I shook his hand and told him he won the money, ‘I’m Mike Morse.’ ”

–Mariners infielder Mike Morse, on watching games from the stands during his recent drug suspension (Seattle Times)

“But at the same time, you don’t just want to give up the ship. And that, quite frankly, is why Terrence [Long] is playing. He’s been our best player for the last month. He gives us a better chance to win.”

–Royals manager Buddy Bell, on why he’s playing Terrence Long over some younger players (Kansas City Star)

“I love plate discipline and on-base percentage. But I just think if you stay aggressive–if you’re always ready to hit–then you’ll get on base.”


“I’ve just given up a homer and I’m looking at the ump saying: ‘Give me another ball’ and he’s standing there holding it. I’m starting to get pissed because he won’t give me another ball. Then I looked back and Gabe Kapler was down but I had no clue what happened.”

–Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Josh Towers, on Gabe Kapler rupturing his Achilles tendon while rounding the bases after teammate Tony Graffanino’s home run (Toronto Sun)

“Our goal was to offer something unprecedented to the greatest baseball fans in America. The people of the state of Wisconsin continue to show tremendous passion for the Brewers, and this is our gesture to thank them for their incredible support in my first year as owner.”

–Brewers owner Mark Attanasio, on how the final game of the 2005 season in Milwaukee is free (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

“He’s a guy who’s gotten better. I remember my old general manager Al Campanis telling me that a player doesn’t reach his peak until he’s somewhere between 32 or 36 [years old] and beyond, and it depends on how his legs are and his desire and if he keeps his weight down and his waistline down. I don’t see D-Lee having any problem with that.”

–Cubs manager Dusty Baker, on the origins of his veteran fetish (

John Erhardt is an editor of Baseball Prospectus. You can contact John by clicking here or click here to see John’s other articles.