“Why do you keep asking the same question? I’m not a child. You repeat things to children and then eventually they tell you; I don’t.”

–Giants outfielder Barry Bonds, during a press conference last week, after being asked if he took steroids (San Jose Mercury News)

“I don’t know what cheating is. I don’t know if steroids [are] going to help you in baseball. I don’t believe steroids can help your eye-hand coordination, technically hit a baseball. That’s just my opinion.”


“Canseco, you’ve got to come with a whole lot more than what you’re talking about, and fiction’s fiction, man. There’s a whole bunch of those books and stories out there, basically to make a buck. That’s all it is.”

–Bonds, with a message for Jose Canseco

“I was better than Jose then, and I’ve been better than Jose his whole career…. If he wants to go make money, go make money.”


“This is old stuff. I mean, it’s like watching ‘Sanford and Son,’ rerun after rerun after rerun. We’ve got alcohol that’s the No. 1 killer in America and we legalize that to buy in the store. You’ve got tobacco number two or three killer in America; we legalize that. There are other issues.”


“Allow the drug testing program to work…let’s go forward. You cannot rehash the past. If that’s the case, we’re going to go way back into 19th, 18th centuries in rehashing the past and we’ll crush a lot of things in a lot of sports…. We can go back into the 1800s and basically asterisk a lot of sports if that’s what you choose.”



“Most people have problems with simple math. We’re flattered by the expectations that come with Oakland, but we’re also mystified by that when you constantly have to make changes in your personnel and payroll. I know somehow that gets lost every month or so. It’s going to be the case now, and it’s not going to be the last.”

–A’s GM Billy Beane, on the necessity of trading Tim Hudson and Mark Mulder (Contra Costa Times)

“We would have gotten rid of four or five significant players and had to fill them with not just rookies, but rookies who are not ready for the major leagues. And you know what? The year after that would have been even worse. I’m a little mystified and amazed that people can’t see that. But we’d have Hudson and Mulder, so everyone is happy.”

–Beane, on what he would have had to do to keep both Hudson and Mulder

“He’s not conceding this season, but you have to take one small step back before you take three steps forward. Haren and Meyer could be Hudson and Mulder a year or two from now. Haren, I think, is a little ahead of Meyer. I really like Haren. I tried to get him, too. To me, this all makes a lot of sense.”

–Padres GM Kevin Towers, on Beane and the trade

“He’s the type of guy that is one step ahead of everybody. He’s thinking one or two years down the road. You can’t always make moves that are good for PR. If you do, you’re going to make a lot of wrong decisions.”


“Most people don’t like Billy because of his ego, but part of the reason he is so good is his ego. He’s got a big ego, but he backs it up. You can have that ego when you’re as good at what he does (as he is).”



“I do want to cut down. I don’t want to go down 50 strikeouts but have the other numbers go down, too. A lot of guys with a lot of walks have a lot of strikeouts because you’ve got to get deep in counts, 3-1, 3-2, as opposed to being like Nomar.”

–Red Sox second baseman Mark Bellhorn, on his approach at the plate (Boston Globe)

“I was swinging at pitches I never swing at. I’d be down 0-1 or 0-2 and thinking, ‘What am I doing?’ My dad always taught me to get a good pitch to hit. To get out of that was very hard. I’d rather see five pitches than swing at the first pitch and make an out. I’m not Vladimir Guerrero–I can’t swing at a ball over my head and hit it out.”

–newly acquired Oakland outfielder/DH Jack Cust, on how Baltimore changed his hitting approach to get him to swing earlier in the count (San Francisco Chronicle)

“I’m real comfortable in the outfield. But I have a bad reputation, so if I make an error, it’s blown out of proportion. I’d just like to be judged the same way as everyone else. I like to play defense. I DH’d all last year, and I was miserable.”


“They showed it on all the highlights, over and over. I went deep against Mariano Rivera the night before, and they didn’t show that on ‘SportsCenter.’ So that’s my biggest highlight so far.”

–Cust, on the oft-shown rundown against the Yankees where he fell down (and was tagged out) on his way to an uncovered home plate

“I was taking more pitches, pretty much trying to work on that. I kind of figured that’s what they like.”

–A’s infielder Marco Scutaro, on his .414 OBP in Venezuelan Winter Ball this year


“He wasn’t accusing me of anything. He was saying I didn’t do steroids, so that kind of made me look good. But then he said something about the A’s doing a favor to my dad by drafting me. It made my dad pretty mad. It made me a little ticked off, too. But, you know, Jose is Jose. That’s just his opinion. It’s just kind of silly, really.”

–Pirates NRI Ben Grieve, on being mentioned in Jose Canseco’s book (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

“I understand why what happened, happened. But to say that everything we did there was without positive result is not right. Guys like Roy Halladay, Vernon Wells and Alex Rios are proving that to be true.”

–Former Blue Jays GM Gord Ash, on being replaced in Toronto by J.P. Ricciardi (Toronto Star)

“I was offensively the best player on the club. Anybody in his right mind wouldn’t trade me. From the business side, sometimes it doesn’t matter what you do. I didn’t realize that when I got traded from Boston.”

–Blue Jays infielder Shea Hillenbrand, on his trade from Arizona to Toronto this winter (Toronto Star)

“I don’t foresee disturbing Corey [Koskie] too much. He’s a quality third baseman. With Eric [Hinske] moving over to first, I’ll just come in and do my job and do what I’m told. I’m an above-average defensive player, but I’ve never really been in a position to settle in at a position and master it.”



“I’m absolutely here to prove myself. I’ve done really nothing up to this point. I came down here with the mindset of showing the people that make those decisions I’m ready to play, and hopefully that will be the case.”

–Astros second baseman Chris Burke, on proving himself this Spring (Houston Chronicle)

“This offseason was really a focus time for me. This is my first chance to make the team out of camp. It was just an extremely exciting time, for not only myself but my family, and I’m looking forward to translating a lot of that hard work out onto the field.”


“I don’t yet see the advantage of facing this side versus that side. I know there’s an advantage, but it’s going to take time to see that. I’d like to know his motivation. Hopefully, he’s looking at it as another way to keep me on the team.”

–Cardinals infielder Bo Hart, on learning to switch hit this spring to increase his chances of making the team (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

“I put up [minor league] numbers to be an everyday player, but I never got an opportunity here. I got the opportunity halfway around the world, but now I have another opportunity.”

–Red Sox first baseman Roberto Petagine, on trying to make the team as a bench player (Boston Herald)

“What I did in Japan was great, but I wanted to do it over here. I had opportunities to come back every year I was in Japan, but they were never the right opportunities. I have no contract protection, but the team that was interested this time was the right one.”



“I won’t cut my hair but they can do my face, nails, toes, whatever. They said they’ve got some surprises planned, whatever that means, but it will be funny.”

–Red Sox first baseman Kevin Millar, on what the Fab Five from Bravo’s “Queer Eye for The Straight Guy” are allowed to do to him. Millar agreed to be on the show to raise money to rebuild a Little League field in a Hurricane-damaged area of Florida (Boston Herald)

“I’m going to put a sign up over my locker. It’s going to say, ‘Knee is improving. Steroids are bad.’ That’s going to be the standing comments for the entire spring. That’s why I’m getting the sign up, because I know they’ll never change.”

–Houston Astros outfielder Lance Berkman, on how he’ll respond to reporters this spring (Houston Chronicle)

“If everything works out, likely some poor kid on the 40-man roster is going to lose a spot to me. I feel bad about that. I really do, because I know what it’s like to be that kid. I was that kid when there were a lot of veteran guys with the Cubs trying to hold on to the game. All that did was push me further back.”

–pitcher Turk Wendell, on trying to make the Astros as an NRI

“When you’ve got No. 59 on the back of your jersey, there’s no guarantee.”

Ben Grieve, on the chances he’ll make the Pirates out of spring training (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

“I mean, O.J. was found [not guilty] but in the minds of a lot of people he was still guilty. Why do we have this system in place here if you’re going to be exonerated for something and still be guilty?”

–Cubs Manager Dusty Baker, on Barry Bonds (Chicago Tribune)

“He looked like an idiot, just like I did. But at least he doesn’t have to look like an idiot again.”

–Rockies infielder Clint Barmes, on prospect Jeff Francis’ performance of Avril Lavigne’s “Complicated” this week, as part of rookie initiation. Barmes performed “Blame it on the Rain” last year (Denver Post)

“The important thing is that it’s over.”

Jeff Francis, on his performance, which involved a blonde Goldilocks wig

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

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