JUST WHEN YOU THINK YOU’VE GOT IT BAD-IMAGINE MAKING $25,680,727
“My years have always been so easy. This year hasn’t been easy.”
–Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez (Sports Illustrated)
“I don’t expect people to feel sorry for me. My teammates get more upset about the criticism and booing than I do. A hundred players have come to third base and said, ‘This is bullshit. You’re having a great year.’ You wonder why it bothers players so much. Tim Salmon, Andruw Jones, Chipper Jones, Garret Anderson…I could throw you a hundred names. They’re looking at the scoreboard and saying, ‘This guy’s got 90 RBI and I’ve got 47, and I’m getting cheered?'”
“My agent, Scott Boras, was talking about Eric Chavez, who’s a great player. He’s hitting .235. He’s got 16 home runs, 43 ribbies? This guy is getting cheered every time he comes up to the plate. If I can look back on 2006 and see I made 25 errors, hit .285 and drove in 125, I mean, has God really been that bad to me?”
SURE, HE WON TWO MVPs, BUT HE THOUGHT HE WAS NEIFI PEREZ DURING MOST OF THAT
“Alex doesn’t know who he is. We’re going to find out who he is in the next couple of months.”
–Yankees DH Jason Giambi
“That doesn’t bother me at all because I have gotten a lot of support from this team. This is the most support I have ever got from a team. Jason is a very supportive teammate as well.”
–Rodriguez (New York Post)
“He’s guessing and he’s doing a bad job of it, which is inevitable when you guess as often as he guesses. He’s squeezing the f—ing sawdust out of the bat.”
“I can’t help that I’m a bright person. I know that’s not a great quote to give, but I can’t pretend to play dumb and stupid.”
MY DINNER WITH GIAMBI
“We’re all rooting for you and we’re behind you 100 percent, but you’ve got to get the big hit.”
–The Giambino, on what he told A-Rod after the Yankees first series at Fenway this year.
“‘What do you mean? I’ve had five hits in Boston.'”
–A-Rod’s reaction, according to Giambi
YOU CAN ONLY HIT DINKERS WITH YOUR CHILD ARMS, ALEX. SQUEEZE MY PEC
“You f—ing call those hits? You had two f—ing dinkers to right field and a ball that bounced over the third baseman. Look at how many pitches you missed.”
“When you hit three, four, or five, you have to get the big hits, especially if they’re going to walk Bobby and me. I’ll help you out until you get going. I’ll look to drive in runs when they pitch around me, go after that 3-and-1 pitch that might be a ball. But if they’re going to walk Bobby and me, you’re going to have to be the guy.”
–Giambi, who has hit .234/.405/.462 in the second half.
“I’m sure there was a conversation.”
–A-Rod, on whether Giambi told him that. Rodriguez hit .282/.390/.505 in the first half, and .288/.376/.528 so far in the second half.
THE MEDIA’S TOTALLY BLOWING THIS ONE OUT OF…WHAT’S THAT YOU SAY?
“He helped me write my first book, and I trust him a great deal.”
–Yankees manager Joe Torre, on Tom Verducci, who wrote the SI cover story (Mike and the Mad Dog, WFAN.com)
“When the dust clears, all anybody is trying to do is help you. Nobody here is pulling against Alex. There may be some people who think he could go about it a different way or do something else.”
THIS UNNAMED SOURCE MAY OR MAY NOT LIVE ON THE UPPER EAST SIDE
“I honestly think he might be afraid of the ball.”
“People always want to look at someone’s silence and equate that with a negative thing. I don’t see it that way.”
–A-Rod, on Derek Jeter
“It was always about the numbers in [Seattle and Texas] for him. And that doesn’t matter here. Winning is all you’re judged on here.”
“Reggie hit .230 one year. That’s awful. He struck out 170-something times in a year. I don’t care who you are, extremes are just part of the game. I was awful, but Jeter was 0 for 32 [in 2004], Mo blew three games in one week … Everybody goes through it.”
“Mussina doesn’t get hammered at all. He’s making a boatload of money. Giambi’s making [$20.4 million], which is fine and dandy, but it seems those guys get a pass. When people write [bad things] about me, I don’t know if it’s [because] I’m good-looking, I’m bi-racial, I make the most money, [or that] I play on the most popular team.”
WE CARE THAT YOU CARE THAT WE CARE THAT YOU CARE WE CARE
“The most maligned Reds manager in my lifetime is in the Hall of Fame–Sparky Anderson. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. We care that you care.”
–Reds CEO Robert Castellini (Cincinnati Enquirer)
“I can vouch for Jerry Narron being very sharp, very respected. He can fool you with his quiet demeanor. He can lay down the law when he needs to. I’ve seen it.”
–Reds GM Wayne Krivsky
–Castellini, on whether the outfield walls at the GAB will be moved back.
I THOUGHT BOWDEN SAID ‘DUSTIN KEARNS’, I SWEAR
“It’s something we’re looking at. We try to keep a low profile. You can read between the lines that we’re not real thrilled with how that went down. Ultimately, it will be in the hands of the commissioner.”
–Reds GM Wayne Krivsky, on the injury to reliver Gary Majewski, after the Reds obtained him from the Nationals in the trade that sent Austin Kearns and Felipe Lopez to Washington.
“As an organization, we were divided. Some people thought he could really be the guy. Some others were absolutely adamant that he not come up. … It comes down to doing the right thing for the player. It’s his career. … I thought the risk outweighed the reward.”
–Krivsky, on not calling prospect Homer Bailey up when rosters expanded.
“Our system is in pretty good shape. I’ve got to compliment Johnny Almaraz and his people. We had a winning record in the minors. We had two teams qualify for the postseason. We had three batting champions. … You never have enough good players. The one thing I’m most proud of is we got through the year very healthy. In 2005, we had 44 arm surgeries, a lot of them major. This year, we had 14, without one being major. We’re doing a lot of things right.”
–Krivsky, on director of player development Johnny Almaraz.
THEY WANT WHO? FOR WHO?
“Why haven’t you made the deal yet?”
–the question Nationals assistant general manager Bob Boone asked when initially consulted on the Kearns-Lopez acquisition (MLB.com)
“He looked at me and said, ‘Make the deal, because [Zechry] Zinicola will be able to replace one of the relievers you are trading very soon.’ That made the deal a lot easier from a general manager’s perspective.”
–Nats GM Jim Bowden, on what Nats director of amateur scouting Dana Brown told him before he made the trade for Kearns and Lopez.
“I knew a trade was going to happen. I was surprised that it was me. The biggest adjustment was the off-the-field stuff, just as far as I was spoiled being an hour from home. During off-days, I could go home. My dad was at every home game. It was nothing on the field. Coming here, there are a couple of guys that I knew. Felipe was coming. I know Jim. The on-the-field stuff wasn’t a shock.”
–Nationals outfielder Austin Kearns
“I knew I would be gone, but I was still shocked.”
–Nationals shortstop Felipe Lopez, on being traded to Washington.
“I think he has a future at short, he has a future at second, a future at third, a future in left. It really doesn’t matter where you put him. He has a big-league future. He continues to get better as we watch him all year long.”
–Bowden, on Lopez
I MEAN, LOOK AT MY EqA-IT’S FRANKLY DEPRESSING
“I should have more than what I have. I look back and see a lot of runners I left on base. I know you’re not going to do it every day, but I know I can be better.”
–Giants third baseman Pedro Feliz, on setting his career-high in RBI (Contra Costal Times).
IF CLAY DAVENPORT SAYS I CAN PLAY THIRD, I CAN PLAY THIRD
“Third base is my position. That’s where I want to be every day.”
SCRANTON FEELS WANTED
“We had to appeal to our fan base. In northeast Pennsylvania, 50 percent of fans are Yankee fans.”
–Lackawanna County Commissioner Bob Cordaro, on choosing the Yankees over the Mets (Hartford Courant)
“We feel it’s a good opportunity for our players, it’s an upgrade in our facilities, and it also gives us an opportunity to get involved in a community in need.”
–Mets director of minor league operations Adam Wogan on moving the Mets Triple-A affliate to New Orleans of the PCL (The Star Ledger)
IT’S A GREAT PLACE
“It will be more difficult moving players around, but the bottom line is we also wanted to be in a warm-weather area.”
–Mets general manager Omar Minaya
“In some cases, being at a major airport like New Orleans, you’ve got a much easier time moving guys. In Norfolk, they usually had to go somewhere else before they could get where they had to go.”
–Mets COO Jeff Wilpon
“I’m sure we’ll make a donation to the area and start it off on the right foot. We’ll be part of the community there like we’ve been everywhere else.”
FOR THE LOVE OF THE BLING
“I want to win the most games we can. People have to play for money. People have to play for pride. People have to play because they are getting paid.”
— White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen (Chicago Tribune)
“I might give a couple of the new kids a chance here and there, but we are trying to finish as strong as we can. One thing about it is we can win 90-plus games and lose. I’m not going to give up just like that. If we get eliminated, I plan to play the guys who should be playing.”
IF YOU SEE THE LETTER A, IT’S BECAUSE I STEPPED OUT ON MY WIFE
“When I have the letter E next to me, then I’m done. Besides that, you keep fighting.”
“I really don’t know. It’s hard to say no because he’s such a good hitter. We want to win as many games as we can.”
–Red Sox manager Terry Francona, on whether Manny Ramirez would play again this season. Ramirez returned to pitch-hit in Saturday’s game, taking a base on balls (Boston Herald).
“I feel like I got hit by a truck last night. But, like I say, it’s like going against the current. When you are swimming and swimming and swimming, all of a sudden you can’t swim anymore. You are not gone until you are gone. Right now, we have a chance. It’s real, real hard to do it.”
YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE DONE THAT, HE’S JUST A BOY
–according to a source, the chances of Joe Girardi returning as Marlins’ manager next year despite his 76-80 campaign through Sunday (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)
“I don’t think there is any chance.”
“Not one of the smarter moves of the year.”
–Source, on Girardi reinserting starting pitcher Josh Johnson after an 82-minute rain delay
HMM, SOUNDS LIKE A PERFECT FIT FOR THE CUBS
“His introverted behavior and lack of people skills have caused most of the problems… Both sides are at fault.”
“I’ve been through a lot worse distractions than this. In college I played with a player whose mom was dying. This is nothing.”
–Marlins skipper Joe Girardi (ESPN)
I HAVE DECIDED TO DH A FEW GAMES…
“This is just the first step, and I’m excited about playing hard to win the championship.”
–Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, 76, in a prepared statement.
“We’re going to win. We’re going all the way.”
IT’S ALSO GRATIFYING TO THE PLAYERS, BECAUSE I WOULD HAVE DISSED THEM HARD
“Winning the division title is very gratifying to me because it shows the total Yankee organization–on and off the field–demonstrating incredible guts, smarts and quality in the face of adversity and stiff competition.”
WE’LL TAKE YOUR WORD FOR IT
“No, I did not have a stroke. I am not ill. I work out daily. I’d like to see people who are saying that come down here and do the workout that I do.”
“I want the Yankees to keep on winning. To keep in contention. I hate to lose. To lose is a failure in my book.”
MY DEPARTMENT OF SYCOPHANTS ALONE MAKES $6 MILLION!
“Whoever joins that protest has no comprehension of what it costs to run a baseball team. When you get down to facts, putting together a team that can compete in the AL East means having a payroll between $100-$110 million. That money comes from the consumer, and I have chosen to keep ticket prices to a minimum.”
–Orioles owner Peter Angelos, on a “Free the Birds” walk-out organized in protest of management (Houston Chronicle).
“Our payroll is $75 million, and our ticket prices average $22. Some of the teams we compete against charge an average of $45. We’re going to have to match the competition. How to do that is a decision I will make in the future.”
“They showed a lot of passion and exuberance. They want to win and we want to win. Hopefully, we’re headed in that direction in the offseason.”
–Orioles VP of baseball operations Mike Flanagan
“He is a very unimportant person who has delusions of grandeur. To begin with, to leave in the middle of the game is an abuse of the players who have worked hard and played their hearts out.”
–Angelos, on radio host Nestor Aparicio, who organized the protest.
KEVIN TOWERS’ PET PEEVE: PEOPLE WHO REFER TO THEMSELVES IN THE THIRD PERSON
“It’s always been known that airing your laundry in the media is not good business. For some reason, he chose Doug Mirabelli as a guy he really has strong ill feelings toward.”
–Red Sox catcher Doug Mirabelli, on Padres GM Kevin Towers (Boston Globe).
“I don’t miss him. These guys don’t miss him.”
—Kevin Towers, Padres general manager
“I was more upset with my agent because we have the same agent.”
–Mirabelli, on his reaction to the Padres signing Mike Piazza
He was [upset] when we got Piazza. He was [upset] because Rob Bowen was hitting in a group with Piazza and it should have been him.”
“When they traded for me, I was gonna be the guy that got a lot of playing time, and then they sign Piazza and that changes the whole situation of why I’m there. If I’m going to be a backup catcher, which is what I am, I want to be here with Varitek and these guys that I’ve been with a long time.”
“I’d rather not elaborate on that. Like I said, there are things he said that I don’t think were totally accurate. It was unprovoked and it had nothing to do with anything except taking a whack at Doug Mirabelli.”
–Mirabelli, on whether he asked out of a game.
“Hopefully I won’t get crucified over one person’s opinion of Doug Mirabelli. The Red Sox brought me back and obviously they didn’t feel that way about me.”
“‘My boys, the Sox, have been calling me. I got to tell you, it’s all I watch on TV; all I think about is the Red Sox. Do me a favor and you guys a favor.'”
–Towers, repeating what Mirabelli told him before the trade.
“I find it very bad business as a GM to come public with details of a private conversation that we had behind closed doors. That’s unfortunate. I don’t think anybody deserves that, and without getting into the details of that conversation, that’s not how I remember it.”
IF IT WEREN’T FOR ME, HE’D HAVE TO PITCH RIGHT NOW
“I’ve had a few offers. But right now he needs me more. I’m not going to be selfish and focus on my career. My relationship means more to me.”
—Carl Pavano‘s girlfriend, Gia Allemand, on whether or not she’ll pose nude (New York Daily News)
“You got a new car? Why don’t you buy yourself a bicycle and put an airbag on the side?”
–Yankees pitching coach Ron Guidry, to Pavano when he came back to the team (The New York Times).
“Obviously, one manager isn’t going to vote for mine. I’m going to vote for the worst guy on the field so my guy is one vote ahead. That’s the way people should do it. I will do that. I will vote for [Tony Batista]. I will vote for him so Chavez doesn’t get his. That’s the way.”
–Ozzie Guillen, unaware that A’s manager Ken Macha can’t vote for his own player for the Gold Glove (MLB.com)
“Right now, it’s hard for us. I’m going to sit with Kenny and Jerry and see what direction we go, what we need and what we have to get done. Then we decide about it, what we are going to do. The quicker we get it done, the better for him and the better for us. Right now, as soon as the season is over, we find out what we are going to do.”
–Guillen, on whether or not bench coach Tim Raines will be with the White Sox next year.
“I could just kiss Marco on the mouth right now. What an unbelievable game. If that’s my last one here, wow. How could I ever forget it?”
–soon to be ex-A’s hurler Barry Zito, after Scutaro roped a double for the walk-off win (MLB.com)
“Tryouts are for spring training. If 15 wins is not enough, then I don’t know.”
–Mets SP Steve Trachsel, on whether or not he’ll get a postseason start (ESPN.com).
“Hey, I’m not DiMaggio coming back in ’49 or Ted coming back from Korea. I’m still an ink-stained wretch and proud of it.”
–ESPN.com’s Peter Gammons, who returned this week after recovering from a brain aneurysm.
“I started reading up on it. Obviously, now, I know a lot more than I did.”
–Mariners SP Jarrod Washburn, who raises deer for breeding purposes, on the market for deer semen (Seattle Times).