THAT SHOULD PUT THOSE RUMORS TO REST…A TREMENDOUS WEIGHT HAS BEEN LIFTED
“I have never taken HGH–during the 2004 season or any other time. Nobody has accused me of doing so, and no law enforcement authority has said I am a target of any investigation for doing so.”
—Angels center fielder Gary Matthews Jr.
“We’re finding out at the same time you are. We’re happy to find out that he’s saying that he never used HGH. We’re an organization that feels there isn’t a place in our game for any of these illegal substances. He’s denying he ever used something he was linked to.”
–Angels General Manager Bill Stoneman, on his new center fielder’s statement.
“There’s been a little anxiety in our organization just waiting for this thing to move forward and hopefully move forward toward being resolved. This is a huge step there. That’s encouraging.”
–Angels manager Mike Scioscia
“My feeling is that as long as this stuff is accurate in what it is and nothing else pops out at some point, we’re fine. But again, the way it works in baseball is there is a policy between the owners and players that governs these things.”
“Before saying anything publicly I wanted to make absolutely sure of my ground. In particular, I needed to try to learn whether anybody in authority–in or out of baseball–felt they had reason to accuse me of anything with regard to HGH. If they did, I would have to deal with that. It has taken me, and those representing me, 16 days to make certain that’s not the case. And that is why it has taken longer than I would have preferred to make a public statement.”
THEY’RE GETTING IT. THEY’RE STARTING TO FINALLY GET IT.
“We won’t be profitable, but we had the cushion (for 2006). It enables us to operate (2007) at a loss.”
—Chuck Armstrong, president of the Seattle Mariners, on his organization’s 2007 finances.
“Our surveys show fans don’t identify with players now as when they were on a first-name basis. Certainly, they haven’t developed love for Jose Guillen and Jose Vidro. There’s only a little bit of love for Jose Lopez. It’s starting to happen for Richie Sexson and Andre Beltre.”
“It comes down to W’s and L’s–we need to win so fans can identify with the new players.”
–Armstrong (Art Thiel, Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
“I believe in the Rip Van Winkle Theory: that a man from 1910 must be able to wake up after being asleep for 70 years, walk into a ballpark, and understand baseball perfectly.”
–former MLB commissioner Bowie Kuhn, describing his infamous Rip Van Winkle theory.
“This is a horrible piece of writing! You’ve done the game a grave disservice. Saying players kissed on the Seattle team bus–incredible! Or that some of our greatest stars were drunk on the field. What can you be thinking of?”
–Kuhn, after publication of Jim Bouton‘s memoir, Ball Four. (Dave Zirin, Zmag.org)
“Oh, man. The fact that baseball is in the shape it is right now and there finally is some working relationship between the players association and MLB, I think, is the result of what the sport went through back then. And Bowie Kuhn was right in the middle of it.”
WHICH IS TO SAY
“He made a lot of big mistakes.”
–former MLB commissioner Fay Vincent
“He was up against Marvin Miller, who was a genius.”
“He came along at just the wrong time.”
–Vincent (Ed Randall, Talking Baseball)
“I think the reason we are where we are today…a lot of the seeds were planted in the Kuhn era. He never gets credit for it but he should.”
–current MLB commissioner Bud Selig
ONE MORE SLIGHT AND HE IS TAKING HIS REPLACEMENT LEVEL BAT AND GOING HOME!
“It’s a wait-and-see kind of thing. We’ll see if [Perlozzo] puts me in left a lot or not. All I know now is we’ve pretty much eliminated one position and I’ll concentrate on the other. I’d prefer to play the field, but if it’s best for the team that I’m the DH, then I’ll be the DH. I have no problem with that.”
–Orioles DH and left fielder Jay Gibbons, on the fact he’ll play no first base this year.
“I think people underestimate how hard it is to be DH, but I’m not going to say I can’t do it. If it’s my role, I’ll work hard at it and I’ll find a routine that will make it work.”
“If he’s healthy, he has always been able to hit. I don’t see any reason for that to stop.”
–Orioles exec Mike Flanagan, on Mr. Gibbons. (Jeff Zrebiec, Baltimore Sun)
A BOY AND HIS CHEW
“The players are horrible. They know it’s killing me. Ortiz is putting it under my nose. I saw a bag there, man, I actually smelled it. It was wonderful, but I’m not going to do it. I love it, but I made the bet big enough so I wouldn’t.”
—Red Sox manager Terry Francona, on smokeless tobacco, which he is quitting.
“It’s just been second nature. The day I put my uniform on, I put a chew in my mouth. I don’t touch it in the winter. I never wanted to, but the day I get to spring training, I want a chew. I’ve been here a month, and I’ve not been chewing, and I miss it. But I haven’t done it, and I’ll try the best I can not to.”
“The hardest thing for me is the half-hour before the game, because I always try to wait till a half-hour before, then I’d go sit in the dugout, put one in. And it’s heaven. Or at least, my view of heaven. And I haven’t been doing it. I miss it a lot.”
“I’m not proud of the fact that I do it. I know it’s horrible. I get mail, and my children (don’t like it). It’s a bad habit, and I’m trying not to do it.”
“I have no pride. If it was pride, I’d be knee-deep in tobacco right now.”
(Karen Guregian, Boston Herald)
SPEND YOUR COLLEGE YEARS ON A BUS IN RANCHO CUCAMONGA!
“There aren’t very many African-American players, and it’s not just in here, it’s everywhere. It’s not just a problem–it’s a crisis.”
—Indians ace C.C. Sabathia, on the paucity of African-American players.
“That’s amazing. That’s unbelievable. I don’t think people understand that there is a problem. They see players like Jose Reyes and Carlos Delgado and just assume that they’re black.”
“I try to do a lot with the league and with the rec centers. I want to show them. I came from there. These are the fields I played on. There is a way out, and it could be baseball.”
“They don’t see us playing. When I grew up, I was a pitcher and I liked the Oakland A’s. I liked Dave Stewart. I was a big left-handed hitter, so I liked Dave Parker. You had Barry Bonds playing in San Francisco, guys like that. There were a lot of guys to look up to.”
–Sabathia, on his idols.
“Black kids see LeBron coming out of high school and getting his millions. So they see basketball and football as the quickest way out. But they don’t realize I got to the big leagues when I was only 20.”
“We can all do more. Talking about the problem isn’t going to solve it. It’s time to do something.”
–Sabathia (Tom Withers, Yahoo! Sports)
“We shouldn’t forget…he was good at it. He made money, according to our records…the poor guy’s broke. He owes the government money. I almost feel sorry for him.”
–former MLB commissioner Fay Vincent, on Pete Rose‘s addiction to gambling.
“When you have guys who don’t buy into the whole inside thing, you have to forewarn them. I’m not going to go headhunting, but you have to have controls of both sides of the plate. I definitely don’t want to go out there and hit guys, but maybe I might have just to break (the ice). I don’t want to hurt anybody, but that is baseball.”
—Phillies lefty Cole Hamels (Dennis Deitch, Delco Times)
“In 1997, in the midst of my first real big year, I was driving home from the park and wondering just what in the hell this was all for. What was I living my life for? Who was I living my life for? I had two children and no idea what the whole goal and purpose was for anything in life? I was making stupid money, my marriage is awesome, I have two lovely wonderful healthy kids, but at the end of the day who was I living my life for? When I figured it out, or thought I had, I gave my life to Christ and have never looked back.”
—Curt Schilling writing on his blog, 38 Pitches, part of the 38 Studios empire.
“I’ve never really bunted early. I’m going to run, hit and run, steal, double steal, but I don’t like idea of bunting early in game. Late in game with a 3-2 lead, 4-2 lead, you get the first couple of runners on, you’re looking to tack on, I like the bunt then.”
—Cubs manager Lou Piniella (Dave van Dyck, Chicago Tribune)
“That would really be a dream come true. But at the same time, I have two years here with Texas and I’m going to concentrate on winning with Texas.”
—Rangers first baseman Mark Teixeira, on joining the Baltimore Orioles. (Jon Heyman, SI.com)
“They booed me when I was playing there. It doesn’t bother me. Baltimore fans have no clue what baseball is all about. The old Baltimore fans over on 33rd Street [Memorial Stadium], that’s true baseball fans. [The Camden Yards fans] were booing me the last two years. It doesn’t matter. I could be pitching a good game and give up a run in the eighth and they would boo me. It doesn’t hurt my feelings.”
—Twins pitcher Sidney Ponson, on his former team.
“It’ll be someone deserving, who has demonstrated that they are deserving by paying a lot of money.”
—Nationals president Stan Kasten, on what the new Nationals ballpark will be named after. (Joe Capozzi, Palm Beach Post)
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus. You can reach Alex by clicking here. You can also find his Football Outsiders work here.
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