Kris Benson is a slacker for not pitching a shutout every time out. Jose Guillen fails to grasp the concept of small sample size. Craig Monroe earns the first complimentary Tigers quote all season. Plus more quotable notables from around the league.
Kerry Wood makes pitch count advocates shriek in horror, Mike Piazza may see a dramatic decrease in his squatting, Jose Canseco is no Jim Bouton, and Billy Beane has some sort of waffle-related disease.
A.J. Burnett doesn’t think Jeff Torborg and Brad Arnsberg had anything to do with his injury. Mark Prior doesn’t think he should back down when facing Barry Bonds or anyone else. Todd Jones just doesn’t think.
Kevin Millwood celebrates his no-no, Todd Helton lobbies for Mark Prior Boulevard, A.J. Burnett becomes Brad Arnberg’s latest injury victim, and Juan Pierre laments pro wrestler Buff Bagwell…er…Fernando Vina’s 20th inning single.
Randy Johnson isn’t used to handling questions over lousy performances, Derek Lowe dishes out a DIPS hit, Tom Prince pulls to within 1394 steals of Rickey Henderson’s record, John Schuerholz might have to field Millwood-Estrada questions until the day he dies, and Darren Baker offers a hitting lesson to Barry Bonds and company.
As it has been well-publicized by the media, both in and outside of the Colorado area, Mike Hampton’s time in the Mile High City was anything but successful. In his two years with the Rockies, Hampton posted a won-loss record of just 21-28, along with a major league-high ERA of 5.75—more than half a run higher than the next closest starter, fellow Rockie and member of the Great Changeup Experiment, Denny Neagle.
And yet, as 2003 regular season gets under way, whose name do we see listed in the Atlanta Braves starting rotation? None other than Michael William Hampton. Acquired over the off-season in one of the most complicated deals of all time not involving Herschel Walker, Hampton joins perhaps the most vulnerable Braves rotation in a decade—a unit that has already seen its star have a brush with mortality, and an off-season signee go down until July.
What can be expected of Hampton, though? Members of the media have spent more than their fair share of time waxing philosophical on the situation, with most coming to the conclusion that gambling on the 30-year-old lefty is a worthwhile risk. Granted, this might very well be the case, as Hampton was among the winningest pitchers in the National League before signing with Colorado in 2001. Fellow Rockies refugee Darryl Kile was able to make the transition from 5,200 feet above sea-level to Busch Stadium without missing a beat. If he could do it, why can’t Hampton?
Tony Pena weighs in on the end of Royals’ winning streak, Mariners chairman and CEO Howard Lincoln opposes Forbes’ recent findings, and Mike Cameron accuses Kevin Appier of throwing a spitball–which results in an exchange for the ages.
Derek Jeter talks dislocation and David Cone returns to the majors. Sammy Sosa on his 500th home run and George W. Bush. Bud Selig credits revenue sharing with Anaheim’s World Series win. Mike Hargrove on old saws and exercise equipment, and Kevin Youkilis talks about other types of tools.
The Red Sox and Yankees on the aftermath of last night’s mishaps, Rob Dibble has a new appreciation for performance analysis, Scott Boras discusses Josh Beckett’s paralyzing fear of Jeff Torb…er…blisters, and Jose Contreras and Miguel Tejada announce plans to pull their pants up to their chests and move to Florida.
The miracles of revenue-sharing save the cash-strapped, small-market Angels, in the spring, a manager’s fancy turns to thoughts of manufacturing runs, and we had April 5 in the pool for the first misguided comparison of performance analysis to rotisserie leagues.
Over the past month or so, Baseball Prospectus staffers from around the country have had the unique opportunity to host Pizza Feeds in seven different states, celebrating the coming of a new season. And what a celebration it’s been. At these Feeds, we’ve met some of the most loud, opinionated, knowledgable, and entertaining baseball fanatics in all the land–(lots of) men and (a few) women who share the same passion and exuberence for the greatest game in the world that we do. I think I speak for the entire BP crew when I say that it’s been a legitimate pleasure to convene on a few random, lonely Wednesdays and talk baseball with a group of people who are as obsessive as I am, and we thank those who attended for their support and participation. BP is nothing without its readers, and we remember that.
Dusty Baker: “We can rebuild him. We can him bigger, stronger, faster, hackier.”
Lee Stevens: “I feel like I’ve got enough production left in me to swindle a team into paying me $4 million a year. Then you too can resent me, as much as Expos fans did.”
Benito Santiago: “It’s ridiculous that I’m not signed until I’m 67 years old.”
The Devil Rays look to take a page from the World Champion Angels’ playbook. Lou Piniella and Art Howe like their new shortstops. Barry Bonds, on how walking is harder than hitting.
The week in quotes from George Brett, Lou Piniella, Lenny Dykstra and more.
NICE GUYS FINISH LAST
“The main factor for Craig was that he was being asked to move to a new position in the last year of his contract. We had empathy for that and we wanted to show what he has meant to the Astros over the years.”
–Gerry Hunsicker, Astros general manager, on signing 37-year-old Craig Biggio
QUOTABLE CATCHERS: PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE
“I’m going to spring training to win a job…It would be pretty stupid for me to say, ‘They’ve given me this job,’ when I’ve been in the big leagues for all of six minutes.”
–Josh Bard, Indians catcher
“I’m not an underwear model…I’m a baseball player. I like food. I’m building my body up to break it down during the season. If I’m going to catch 130 games this season, I’ve got to be strong.”
–Bard, on gaining 15 pounds in the off-season
“Blocking the plate is a pride thing…I had a play against Paul Konerko last year. I went 0-for-5 that day, but I tagged him out at the plate and we beat Chicago by a run. I considered that a good day.”
“I am a Bud Selig man. I consider him a good friend. he’s a master at building people together. But while I’m loyal to Bud Selig, the biggest beneficiary in this whole plan are the Milwaukee Brewers. That doesn’t seem quite right. I don’t know how he sleeps at night sometimes.” –George Steinbrenner, Yankees owner