“I’ve taken a lot of crap from a lot of people. Probably more than anybody in the history of this sport. I know Hank [Aaron] and Jackie [Robinson] took a good deal of crap, but I guarantee it wasn’t for six years. I just keep thinking: How much am I supposed to take?”

–former Braves pitcher John Rocker, currently playing for the Long Island Ducks, on how in his mind it’s perfectly logical to compare the heckling he gets from fans to the racist and sometimes violent abuse that Aaron and Robinson had to endure. (


“I know enough not to expect anything in this game. It will be a decision Joe [Torre] has to make. My job is to make myself available and give him the option to choose me.”

–Yankees outfielder Bernie Williams, on whether he can work back to getting playing time in the outfield after the roster shakeup last week. The Yankees moved Williams from center to DH/bench, shifted Hideki Matsui from left field to center, and moved Tony Womack to left field. (New York Newsday)

“It’s tough to make a plan. We’ll look at matchups to see if something jumps out, but I think it’s important Bernie still gets his fair share of at-bats. I don’t want to just shut him down. That’s not the purpose of this thing.

–Yankee manager Joe Torre, on the possibility of getting Williams back in the field.

“Bernie’s been having some problems with his elbow. It was one of those things that you really have no control over. Under normal conditions, it wouldn’t have been deep enough. But they certainly know that Bernie doesn’t have a particularly strong arm and they were being very aggressive at that point.”

–Torre, on the Blue Jays running wild against Bernie Williams (New York Daily News)

“It’s not an issue with throwing. I could never really throw. It’s not keeping me from playing. … I can play. I’m just trying to play through it.”



“People misunderstand this, but I’m not a fan of the game. I’m not a fan of baseball, and I never was. I never collected baseball cards. I never got autographs, and I never watched SportsCenter. I went to a handful of games when I was young, but if I had my druthers, I would have made money racing motorcycles. But I couldn’t do that.”

–Dodgers second baseman Jeff Kent, (Los Angeles Daily News)

“My dad was a cop down in Costa Mesa. He couldn’t afford to send me to a big-time college. But he made a bet with me when I was in high school that if I got a scholarship to college, he would buy me a truck. The only way I could get a scholarship was through baseball, and I got a scholarship to [California]. He bought me a truck.”


“People think I’m [a jerk]. The media thinks I’m [a jerk], because I don’t give them the time of day. But I like my space. I don’t talk a whole lot. When I do speak, I have tried to present myself as an educated athlete. But when I don’t want to talk, people take offense. But it’s nothing personal.”


“I need to watch my kids play Little League. I need to give my wife some time off. There is no way I would be [still playing] if it wasn’t for my wife.”


“My kids love this game. I want to try to introduce them to the game as much as I can. This game has been so good to me, and I have gotten a lot of good things out of this game. I want my kids to see that.”



“It was embarrassing that our hometown fans are booing us. Embarrassing to the city. This is supposed to be such a great baseball city, and in all my years here, I believe it is.”

–Reds closer Danny Graves, on being booed by hometown fans after he and David Weathers coughed up seven runs in the ninth inning in a loss to St. Louis last week (Cincinnati Enquirer)

“Do they honestly believe I tried to give up a three-run homer to [Jim] Edmonds? And a two-run homer to [John] Mabry?”


“They have every right to cheer or boo, do whatever they want. But as a player, I believe our hometown fans should be behind us and not against us. When Sean Casey misses a ground ball, you’re going to boo Sean Casey, the nicest guy in baseball? Plays harder than anybody on this team? That’s what I don’t understand.”


“Because I make a lot of money, I have to be perfect? Is Bill Gates perfect? Donald Trump? I’ve [converted] eight out of nine [save opportunities]. Does that mean I’m not earning my keep? Eight out of nine is pretty good.”

–Graves, wanting fans to focus on his save record instead of his 9:3 BB/K ratio


“It doesn’t bother me if we don’t have the recognition. It feels like they talk about Ozzie Guillen more than they talk about the team. That bothers me. But if we win, everybody knows we are playing. As long as we win, that’s all I care.”

–White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, on Ozzie Guillen getting all the attention, while Ozzie Guillen’s team goes 24-7 (Chicago Sun-Times)

“2006, if we win [this year]. Right now it doesn’t matter if you talk about the White Sox. Talk about the White Sox on Oct. 1. That’s my goal. [But] people don’t believe in us, that surprises me. We keep winning, and people keep with doubts and doubts and if, if, if, if… That surprises me.”

–Guillen, on when people will start talking about the White Sox

“We never thought we are going to be 19-7, [but] we built this team to win with the players we brought here and the players we keep here. I think we have a great balance.”

–Guillen, on his team’s fast start

“A full house.”

–White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko, on what he’ll call his two-home run, three-strikeout day

“Some of the little black dots floating around were so big, I started naming them. My favorites are Mabel and John. Mabel looks like she’s trailing a wedding train behind her. She hides when I’m focusing on the game, but as soon as I look away, she comes out and dances around.”

–White Sox announcer Hawk Harrelson, on what his detached retina caused him to see


“Let me tell you something. My English is not the best, but I can understand everything. I can read, I can write. And sometimes, I misunderstand things. Think about a guy who can’t really talk or read? I’m not making excuses for those guys. But I think they would prefer if someone talked to them [in Spanish] …the system is all [expletive]. You might think everyone’s got the message, but they don’t.”

–Red Sox DH David Ortiz, on the possibility that Latin players are failing drug tests because of language issues. 24 of the 48 positive tests have come from Latin-born players (Boston Herald)

“I know [Juan] Rincon. I don’t see the guy using anything. He’s a good kid. He’s the one kid who’d be afraid of doing anything. I can see his face. He’s probably freaked out.”

–Ortiz, on Minnesota pitcher Juan Rincon, who failed a drug test last week

“Maybe they were using something like ephedra. What is ephedra? It’s something that’s not a steroid. It’s something like caffeine that might get you a little hyper. [How does that compare with] guys going in the back, injecting [expletive] in his butt. But now your name is out there like Canseco’s name.”

–Ortiz, on the possibility that players aren’t testing positive for steroids at all

“They’re basically saying you’re using what [Jose] Canseco did. If they test for all that, they should say what it is. I think it’s [expletive] the way they do it. You take Andro, it’s not the same [expletive]. It’s totally different.”

–Ortiz, on what message a positive test sends if MLB won’t release the name of the substance a player tests positive for

“To me, Rincon is the victim of a system that is not perfect.”

–Twins relief pitcher J.C. Romero, on Rincon (Kansas City Star)

“Anything you can’t get at a grocery store, don’t take it.”

–former Yankee and Seattle Pilot Jim Bouton, on why players shouldn’t need a list of banned substances (Dallas Morning News)


“It came back to his hitting zone. I thought it was going to be a double because I knew it was a gapper. But I forgot. I’m the king of home runs. My stuff goes out. Regardless. My stuff has eyes for the wall.”

–Royals pitcher Jose Lima, on a home run he gave up to Indians outfielder Grady Sizemore (Kansas City Star)

“I blew it. I went from glory to disaster, but Sweeney picked up everybody with that Jumanji home run.”


“It’s interesting. Up in San Francisco, they put a bay behind the ballpark.”

–Announcer Jon Miller, while discussing ballpark aesthetics with his broadcast partner (San Francisco Chronicle

“I don’t know the details on whether [the legislature] just crushed it or they listened to it, but I think it’s a major mistake. We’re one of the few teams that have proven we can win a championship in this state. It just seems like not everyone is a big fan of us.”

–Marlins third baseman Mike Lowell, on the stadium deal that didn’t make it through the state legislature by the Friday deadline while omitting the championships won by the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Miami Hurricanes, the Florida Gators and the Florida State Seminoles (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

“I mangled him, but it was a war. Definitely a war. It’s my first victory in Atlanta.”

–Houston manager Phil Garner, on finally killing a fly that was in his office (

“I think I’ll hang him up in [Carlos] Beltran’s locker.”

–Garner, on what he’ll do with the fly, after learning the Mets were going to be in town next

“I could go to the lamest cable network, I could go to Court TV, I could go to Trio, I could go to Bravo–make one up, and I know my show will do respectably against the competition. And I know that. And they know that. In a sense, I’m like a franchise ball player at the end of my career. I’m like Randy Johnson or Roger Clemens. That’s who I identify with: Old guys who can still throw 95-mile-an-hour fastballs.”

–TV personality Geraldo Rivera, on being moved to a less desirable weekend time slot on FoxNews (Atlantic Monthly)

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

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