“It seems so long ago, yet it seems like it was 10 minutes ago. It will always be a vivid memory.”
–Yankees skipper Joe Torre (MLB.com)
“It wasn’t anything contrived. We didn’t feel obligated to do these things. We did a lot of things behind the scenes, with no cameras around. We just wanted to do something. What were we going to do? Sit around watching the news and be depressed?”
–Padres catcher Mike Piazza
“This is a generous country. It just doesn’t get publicized as much as it should.”
“When Jack Buck asked: ‘Is it right to be here?’ and the crowd roared, it was a very emotional time. I don’t mind telling you that I cried that night.”
–MLB commissioner Bud Selig
“I remember it so clear, like it was yesterday. I get a call from Kip Wells early that morning. I was ready to break his neck, thinking ‘Why is this rookie calling me so early in the morning?'”
–former White Sox CF Chris Singleton
“There were people lined up at phone booths, even though they had cells. They were yelling at each other. There were people screaming at the Arab people and stuff. They were saying, ‘Are you happy now?'”
–former White Sox C Art Kusyner
“It was kind of eerie. I had a message from Jorge asking if our game had been canceled. I had no idea why he was asking that until I turned on the TV. Then I couldn’t turn it off after that.”
–Yankees SS Derek Jeter
“It felt like I was on a movie set. There were no cars on the streets of Manhattan. It was weird.”
“My role in the world seemed very insignificant; I hit a ball for a living.”
–Yankees OF Bernie Williams
“FRANK, DON’T LET THEM TELL YOU WHAT TO DO!”
“I’d like to know. I’m under the assumption that something will be told to me before the season is over. I think I deserve that.”
–Nationals manager Frank Robinson, on whether or not he will be with the team next year.
“I’ve never had anything like some players get. And I think it would mean more for me here because it’s near Baltimore. I think the fans understand what I did there, and there are Orioles fans who have become Nationals fans and appreciate what I did.”
“I just think I would like to say goodbye to them.”
–Robinson, who raked .294/.389/.537 in his 20 year major league career.
INSTEAD OF SIX STRIKEOUTS, IT’S ONE OR TWO
“I don’t like people talking to me during games. I’m really upset about it.”
–Pirates SP Ian Snell, on Pirates pitching coach Jim Colborn coming to the mound after Snell gave up a two-run jack to Javier Valentin in Cincinnati (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette).
“I know it’s his job to come out and try to calm me down. But it gets on my nerves. It’s really bothering me.”
“I go into the dugout after an inning and people are asking me, ‘What was that pitch? What was that pitch?’ I have a lot of stuff in my brain now. I have to get rid of it.”
“I feel like I’m home run prone right now. Instead of giving up maybe one home run a game, it’s two or three.”
“[Last night], though, I blame it on the ballpark. If it were anywhere else, those home runs are doubles, singles. You kidding me? Those are joke home runs.”
–Snell, on the Great American Ballpark.
“Managers always take more heat than they deserve. On bad teams the manager is in trouble. Simple. No question about it. In any sport, in any real-world thing, everything at the highest level involves pressure and certain positions of accountability. Managers are accountable, and they get fired when they don’t do good. Fortunately, they all get paid well, so it’s OK.”
“WHAT LASTS IS WHAT YOU START WITH”
“People don’t remember how you start, it’s how you finish.”
–Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi (Toronto Star)
“I don’t consider this a failure. In a lot of ways, we learned a lot about
ourselves. I think it exposed us to a lot of things we need to do here.”
“We were counting on Towers, we were counting on Chacin, we were counting on Burnett and, when those things don’t come through, because of injury or because of performance…”
“The only way we’re going to make strides is to pitch other teams into the ground.”
“I think, this winter, we’ll try to address as much pitching as we possibly can because, once again, we found out you never have enough of it.”
“Aaron’s done a great job for us but I don’t think we can go into the year saying Russ Adams is going to be our second baseman.”
–Ricciardi, on IF Aaron Hill, who may move to shortstop for 2007.
“If he is, he’s going to have to earn it. The reason he was here this year is, because of our resources, we had to take a leap of faith in the kid. Next year, we’ve got to find a better solution.”
–Ricciardi, on Adams’ chances in 2007.
DMITRI “RASHOMON” YOUNG
“To put it bluntly, he was a growing cancer, someone who cared too much about himself, and not enough about the team.”
–a source within the Tigers organization, on Dmitri Young’s release from the Detroit Tigers (Detroit News).
“I think Dmitri was shocked, but I don’t know if he was that shocked. I think he was more sad than anything.”
–Tigers 1B Sean Casey
“I thought this was going to happen. You could see it building. People will say all the right things, but the truth is he won’t be missed by many of us.”
–The same unidentified source.
“He was a fighter, a winner, and we’re going to miss him.”
–Tigers RP Todd Jones
“It was the manager’s call. I’m surprised it didn’t happen sooner.”
–Source. Young hit 3rd in his final game with the Tigers.
“I know that there was no tantrum. That had nothing to do with it.”
–Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski (Detroit Free Press)
“Dmitri didn’t like it, you could see that, but he didn’t make a big deal about it. He just sort of sat there sulking.”
“It was strictly performance-related. He’s been struggling. We just felt it would be best for the ball club.”
–Dombrowski. Young had posted a .241 EqA on the season, but was hitting .292/.331/.504 since his return from alcohol rehabilitation.
“Any time you lose a guy like that I don’t really know what to say, to tell you the truth. I guess that’s the move they wanted to make.”
“There wasn’t any trouble. This man has been through a lot, this man has been through rehab–but he’s been 95-100 days sober. He’s a fighter. He’s a winner. We’re going to miss him.”
“I’m not talking.”
“If there’s anyone out there who I would have questions about longevity, it would be Barry Zito. A lot of guys who have thrown so many innings at such a young age, they tend to have problems as they get older. Hudson and Mulder, who pitched with Zito in Oakland, are prime examples. They’ve both had arm problems.”
–agent Jim Lindell (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
“There’s a learning curve. You learn from the mistakes of the past, but I wouldn’t want to share them.”
—Brian Cashman, on his mistakes in the free agent pitching market.
“We lost a doubleheader. So Trujillo sent a commission to investigate why we lost those two games. The whole team, manager and trainer was thrown in jail for five days. So you know how seriously they take baseball in my country.”
—Juan Marichal, on playing for the dictator in the Dominican Republic (National Public Radio).
“From 10 to 12, I boxed. A lot of people told me, ‘Hey, you have very good hands. You can fight. Your hand is heavy.’ I won five out of six fights and tied one. A lot of guys, when I was in the minor leagues and I went home, they said, ‘You need to have a different career. You need to go back to boxing.’ I said no. The thing is, boxing is hard. You get a lot of punches in your face.”
–Giants C Eliezer Alfonso, on his boxing experience (San Francisco Chronicle)
“This has been the worst year I have ever been involved–by far. This has been really disappointing, not just for me, but I think for the whole organization because they expected a lot from the ballplayers. We have done a terrible job on the field. You can take Zimmy and Sori out of the bunch.”
—Jose Vidro, Nationals 2B, on his team’s performance this season (MLB.com).
“I find this long, dreary road trip to be the same nauseating win-one, lose-one.”
–Braves P John Smoltz on his team’s recent struggles during a road trip (Atlanta Journal-Constitution).
“Everybody predicted us to finish fifth or sixth and everybody has been expecting our wheels to fall off, but the thing is that we’ve played bad for a week and we’re still in it.”
–Reds manager Jerry Narron (MLB.com)
“It was really, really good. It was like spinach for Popeye.”
–Marlins SP Anibal Sanchez, on the Chicken Alfredo his wife prepared for dinner before his no-hitter on Wednesday (Chicago Tribune)