A STAR WAS BORN
“We were talking about that [Wednesday] with the staff. I’d hate to put it in his head. They have snow on their mountains [in Japan], don’t they? They must have some cold weather.”
–Red Sox skipper Terry Francona, on the wintry conditions for Daisuke Matsuzaka’s first major league start this week.
“He has pitched in cold weather. It’s been on rare occasions. But one great thing about pitching on a cold day is the warmest guy is the starting pitcher.”
–pitching coach of the Boston Red Sox, John Farrell, on Dice-K.
“Jason [Varitek] called a great game.”
–Red Sox owner John Henry
“We wanted him to be a Met in the worst way. We thought we made an excellent bid [$39 million], but the Red Sox did a better job of identifying the correct bid. I wish we had bid more, but you can’t go back to that. You have to move on.”
—Mets GM Omar Minaya (Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe)
“Typically, either your fingertips or the skin will crystallize a little bit, but I’m sure he’ll be able to blow on his hand to warm his hand up. It’s a variable he’ll have to contend with.”
–Farrell (Jeff Goldberg, Hartford Courant)
I MEAN, WE GET SIX TOUGH ONES WITH THE NATS
“It doesn’t hurt. It’s good to play the good teams right away. Get the contending teams out of the way. We are not really concerned about it. We just want to play a good game against everybody. There’s nothing we can do about our schedule.”
—Orioles shortshop Miguel Tejada
“We are going to face good pitching the whole time. These are all good teams.”
–Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo
“But to tell you the truth, I thought we fared pretty well against Mike last year. I don’t feel bad about that part of it, necessarily.”
–Perlozzo (Dan Connolly, Baltimore Sun)
YOU MEAN LIKE WHERE TO GRAB A LATE DINNER AFTER A GAME?
“Didn’t growing up in this game help you to deal with tough questions?”
–Los Angeles Times columnist T.J. Simers, to an unresponsive Gary Matthews Jr. (T.J. Simers, The Los Angeles Times)
“I’ve got nothing to say to you; you started off on the wrong foot. Maybe next time you will start off on the right foot.”
—Gary Matthews Jr., Angels outfielder. Sims wrote about Matthews’ HGH allegations, and is being given the silent treatment so far this season.
“I ordered Avodart [hair-loss treatment], and it’s been sitting in my closet for six years. He made it very clear he didn’t use it.”
–Angels manager Mike Scioscia
IF I ORDER A BUNCH OF RESIN AND I DON’T USE IT, IS THAT A CRIME?
–Mike Scioscia, on the substance Francisco Rodriguez applies to the ball from his cap.
“It’s the same stuff I’ve had since I was called up [in 2002]. A lot of pitchers use it. They rub it on their pants and use it when they need it. I have it on my cap. You can see it in all the pictures; it’s there.”
–Angels closer Francisco Rodriguez
“Like it or not, this is all reflective of the time in which we live.”
–Angels GM Bill Stoneman
“I don’t see why they’re making a big deal out of this. We can’t worry about things we can’t control. They haven’t made it illegal, so it’s something I do.”
“It doesn’t help me throw any harder.”
–K-Rod (Lyle Spencer, MLB.com)
“It’s easy for a guy sitting at his desk, watching television, to put pictures on the Internet. But I hope he has something better to do than to mess with people. He has no clue what he’s writing about. I don’t even know who he is.”
–K-Rod, on sportswriter Derek Zumsteg.
I AM A HUMAN BEING. I AM A MAN.
“The club said they moved Jorge off second base because of his defense. But Jorge didn’t make an error all spring, and his range has vastly improved. So I question the validity of that. I think the facts speak for themselves.”
—Steve Canter, Cantu’s agent.
“There are other leaders on the club, but I think this club is going to miss his leadership and his bat. He also was one of the club’s most popular players and appreciates all the support of his fans. That being said, Jorge will go to Durham and turn this into something positive, and with class.”
–Canter (Marc Topkin, St. Petersburg Times)
HONESTY IS PROBABLY AROUND THE THIRD-BEST POLICY IN THIS CLUBHOUSE
“Maybe if he didn’t complain about his shoulder, his foot and his hammy barking a little bit, maybe the training staff wouldn’t say he should play only two out of three.”
—Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, on his aches-and-pains outfielder, Jim Edmonds.
“The way I look at it, we’ve got two left to play this weekend against right-handers. So I don’t know if it makes sense to play him tonight and sit him against one of the two right-handers when you’ve got a Taguchi, who doesn’t match up as well against right-handers. Now, if you think he can play all three, that’s another question. But that’s not what I was told.”
“After an off day in September, I usually feel (bad). I feel really good today. I feel like I’m getting better every day.”
–“Suddenly Sunny” Edmonds
IF ANYONE SHOULD DESTROY THAT QUOTE MACHINE, IT SHOULD BE THE T1000
“If [chairman] Jerry Reinsdorf or Kenny Williams believes that I didn’t do what I was supposed to do at the end of this year, they should fire me. We have high expectations this season. If we fall short, I deserve to be fired. And I’m not just saying it because it’s Ozzie talking again.”
—White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen
“Every year there should be pressure for every manager. The ballclub we have, the ballclub we put together, the expectations we have inside the organization are real high. I actually think the expectation for the fans and people outside are lower than mine because I expect this ballclub to do very well. They have given me the ammunition to do very well.”
“Believe me, there is no untouchable in baseball. I don’t expect because I won one World Series that I get to be here for the next 30 years.”
“Both he and I, we take our job and responsibility very seriously. In terms of his worrying about should things not go our way this year and the so-called hot seat, it’s not even a thought in my mind.”
–White Sox general manager Kenny Williams
“So for the life of me, when I hear that or see that in print somewhere, I don’t know where people are getting that information or that impression from. It doesn’t just extend to Ozzie, but the entire coaching staff.”
–Williams (Joe Cowley, Chicago Sun-Times)
SO BASICALLY DROP $70 MILLION, OR BRIBE THE OFFICIAL SCORERS. WE CHOOSE THE LATTER
“I wanted to kiss J.D. Drew after that play in the gap. I can deal with errors; they’re part of the game. But when runs come in, that’s different.”
—Mike Lowell, on a play by the Red Sox right fielder that bailed out Lowell for multiple errors in an inning.
“I told J.D. when he came in after the inning, ‘No one loves you more than me.'”
“The first one could have been iffy. It was a hard-hit ball. The scorer’s the scorer. I’m not going to (complain) about it.”
“That’s his quota for a couple of months.”
–Red Sox manager Terry Francona (Michael Silverman, Boston Herald)
AND THAT’S HOW ELIJAH DUKES OVERDOSED ON JAMBA JUICE
“You can probably just imagine. Put it this way: It won’t do no good to try to call somebody in their room. You better have a cell phone number.”
—Carl Crawford, on his day off in New York.
“The only thing I can think of worse would be Las Vegas. Maybe.”
–Rays manager Joe Maddon
HE ALSO SPEAKS THE TONGUE OF THE SECLUDED ISLAND OF ‘BORAS’
“Fernando has been doing well down there (in the Latin market) for years, and his track record speaks for itself. Obviously he has the ability to satisfy his players, and he has a very good reputation with the front offices.”
—Cubs general manager Jim Hendry, on agent Fernando Cuza.
“You take care of guys like Jose Uribe, and they’ll turn you on to the next superstar.”
“You feel more comfortable being able to speak directly to him in Spanish instead of needing an interpreter.”
–Cuza client Vladimir Guerrero.
“The key thing I learned from Angelo (Dundee, Muhammad Ali’s trainer), and I’ll never forget this, is we’re all dispensable. The most important person here is the player. I’m low-key because it’s all about the client. We work for the player.”
–Cuza (Jorge L. Ortiz, USA Today)
STAY AT CATCHER, OR I WILL SHOOT YOU WITH MY FANTASY PLASMA GUN
“Hopefully I’ll grow the other way. I’d like to get a little stronger, but I don’t know about taller.”
“I feel the same [at 6-9], but it’s not the same. Sometimes it’s hard. But I’m starting to feel better, more consistent.”
–Orioles righthander Daniel Cabrera, on his delayed growth spurt and its effect on his mechanics. (Joe Christiansen, Minneapolis Star Tribune)
“Look, everybody knows I don’t have the strongest throwing arm. But if you’re going to analyze every play, you might as well camp out here at my locker. Teams are going to run on me, it’s going to happen a lot.”
–Dodgers outfielder Luis Gonzalez (Ken Gurnick, MLB.com)
“He’s a leader in two languages. He’s in our clubhouse and he loves to talk to everyone in Spanish and English. It’s been quite a treat for everyone to have someone who everyone looks up to. I think that’s going to be a big asset for our club.”
–Dodgers manager Grady Little, on left fielder Luis Gonzalez.
“I think our lineup is better even though we lost Alfonso Soriano. With [Cristian] Guzman and [Brian] Schneider, the way he is swinging this year, I think we’ll score as many runs as last year.”
—Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman (Bill Ladson, MLB.com)
“Sometimes I have the greatest affection for my biggest failures. I wrote a book about baseball managers (The Bill James Guide to Baseball Managers) once. It didn’t sell real well. As I always do, I never opened it up for several years. Several years later I read it. … It was pretty good.”
–Red Sox consultant Bill James (Seth Livingstone, USA Today)
“I think Jeter’s strength is going to his right. Going to his left, he’s not as strong.”
–YES Network commentator and reigning NL Manager of the Year Joe Giradi, on Derek Jeter‘s defense.
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