THE SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS
"One of the things we have found from our fans in focus groups was that they view [coming to the ballpark] as a family experience…They're not as interested in winning as I'm interested in winning."
—Jerry Reinsdorf, White Sox owner
"Really, how can you compete when somebody is spending 80 or 90 million more? The only thing you can do is catch lightning in a bottle like Oakland or Minnesota. (The Royals) haven't caught lightning in a bottle."
—George Brett, Royals Hall of Famer
"In our meetings, we talked about wanting to find players who we can visualize jumping on the pile…We're looking for pile jumpers. The Angels had a lot of them. So did the Diamondbacks, and that's one of the reasons both of them won."
—Buck Showalter, Rangers manager
"I think we all know that someday he'll be jumping on the pile, because after getting to know him, I know that's all he cares about. He's the all-time pile jumper."
–Showalter, on shortstop Alex Rodriguez
PLATE DISCIPLINE, OBP…BLAH, BLAH, BLAH
"We're not telling our hitters to look for a walk…But we consider the walk a barometer of a hitter's level of discipline at the plate. The last thing you do is tell a player to look for a walk, but if he's disciplined, he's going to walk at least 10 percent of the time."
—Ben Cherington, Red Sox Director of Player Development
"When you're down, you don't swing on the first [bleeping] pitch, bro! … You don't take that 30-percent chance of getting a hit or whatever it is and go with it. I can't take watching these guys [bleep] it up. I can't take it."
—Lenny Dykstrka, former center fielder, on second baseman Alfonso Soriano
TAMPA BAY BEACH PARTY
"We think Travis Lee is an outstanding defensive first baseman who can rebound offensively. We also think he's a good enough athlete, depending on how things shake out, that if we need him to play right or left field he's capable of doing so."
—Chuck LaMar, Devil Rays general manager
"In baseball as well as football, you win with defense…I think the moves (general manager) Chuck (LaMar) made are excellent. I like the makeup of this ballclub."
—Lou Piniella, Devil Rays manager
BATTLING THE BOSS
"He's the boss and he's entitled to his opinion, right or wrong, but what he said has been turned into me being this big party animal…He even made a reference to one birthday party. That's been turned into that I'm like Dennis Rodman now."
—Derek Jeter, Yankees shortstop, responding to criticisms from Yankees owner George Steinbrenner
"I don't think that's fair. I have no problems with people criticizing how I play. But it bothers me when people question my work ethic. That's when you're talking about my integrity. I take a lot of pride in how hard I work. I work extremely hard in the offseason. I work extremely hard during the season to win. My priorities are straight."
"If they trade me to another big league team, there's no problem…It would be difficult if they traded me to a football or basketball team because I don't know how to play that."
—Raul Mondesi, Yankees outfielder
"I really don't care about the art…What I care about is the 1-2 slider."
—Kevin Millar, Red Sox outfielder
"The guy was incredible. He saved me an average of a run a game, making a great play, or making a double play. He saved everybody a run a game, especially the way he turned two at second."
—Derek Lowe, Red Sox pitcher, on shortstop Rey Sanchez
"I know in my mind and my heart I'm the guy. I believe in myself. I believe I can be as good as Pedro Martinez, as good as Kevin Brown, as good as Tom Glavine. I can be the best pitcher in baseball. I know I have the ability."
—Odalis Perez, Dodgers pitcher