I’M NOT THE MAN THEY THINK I AM AT HOME OH NO NO NO
“Everything’s happened so fast. It’s another day I’ll look back on. It’s a nice ovation. I really didn’t know what to say. Cash just gave me a mic to go out there and say something.”
—Roger Clemens, on announcing his return at Yankee Stadium. (YES Network)
“The Yankees‘ timeframe was the following: we’re ready when you are, we would like you now. Houston and Boston both expressed a preference for Roger to come back in late June, early July…if he’s going to be ready by the end of May, it makes no sense to wait a month for another team.”
—Randy Hendricks, Roger’s agent.
“It’s actually a four-year deal with an option for 50-year-old senior softball.”
“I expect to perform like I’m 25.”
“He had a mixed drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other. And my wife’s comment was, ‘He can barely put a sentence together.'”
–“Vince,” bar patron on the evening of Cardinals pitcher Josh Hancock‘s death.
“I also had a very important caution: Be careful of the insincerity of some media people … trying to befriend you then trying to slam you with something that they want to turn this into, some kind of story that’s not all sweet. I’ve already seen signs of that. I’m sitting here listening. The first time I hear insincerity I’ll start swinging this fungo because it doesn’t have its place.”
–Cardinals manager Tony La Russa (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
“I’m just talking about people who really don’t care about us, who are out there trying to further their own agendas. That’s exactly what I mean.”
“A couple people at ESPN [asked me], ‘Did you think he was inebriated?’ In my opinion, I couldn’t tell. I’m not a toxicologist.”
–ESPN analyst Dave Campbell, who was talking to Hancock in a bar the night of his death.
“I did have a very serious heart-to-heart with Josh on Thursday. Here it is Saturday [night], he’s still drinking, and crashing. Maybe I could do a better job in my conversations, but I pulled out all the stops.”
–La Russa, on the conversation he had with Hancock.
“You examine a lot of policies and procedures, and certainly it was an issue from a liability point of view. You want to protect yourself. But also, if you look at the type of organization we have become, that fits with our approach to things.”
—Houston Astros general manager Tim Purpura. The Astros organization has banned alcohol in the clubhouse.
“We haven’t [provided alcohol] for a long, long time. Well back in the [Astrodome] days.”
–Purpura (Alyson Footer, MLB.com)
“We are currently reviewing our policy.”
—Rockies spokesman Jay Alves
“That’s a team decision. They make the rules and we follow. I think some players would be upset that the option is not there, but it’s not the end of the world for sure.”
–Rockies player rep Josh Fogg (Troy E. Renck, Denver Post)
WHAT HAPPENS IN THE CLUBHOUSE
“You don’t want that to happen to anyone. But in the meanwhile, people think like it’s the clubhouse’s fault or baseball’s fault about this accident. This accident happened a long time after the game was over. I don’t know why people keep saying the clubhouse drink, that people are drunk in the clubhouse.”
—Ozzie Guillen, White Sox manager.
“Players have to be careful if they’re going to drink or when they’re going to drink. I take care of my clubhouse. We have rules. When we fly, we have one hour [before they land] where we’re not drinking on the plane. When we’re on the road, we’re not driving. That’s fine. When I talk to the guys, I tell them I don’t want them to do that.”
“Not because you’re drinking. It’s because it’s dangerous for everyone else. We have to be careful about what we do. In the meanwhile, you can’t tell players, ‘You can’t do this or that,’ because they’re not 16. They should take care of themselves. We don’t have kids here. We have grown people.”
“Don’t blame the clubhouse, don’t blame baseball, don’t blame Bud Selig, don’t blame [Cardinals general manager Walt] Jocketty, don’t blame Tony La Russa. Don’t blame any of those guys. Just blame the people who don’t have common sense or do stuff they’re not supposed to do.”
–Guillen (Scott Merkin, MLB.com)
HE WILL MAKE AN EXCEPTION IF THE PITCHER WAS AIMING AT MAGGLIO ORDONEZ’S NEW HAIRCUT
“I’m really paranoid about it. It’s a dangerous nasty thing. I don’t want to see any players hurt on any team.”
—Tigers manager Jim Leyland, on beanballs.
“But I don’t believe in brushing back anyone. It’s too dangerous. I don’t want to sit here and see some guy’s career ended. It scares the heck out of me.”
“I don’t want any part of it. I don’t like it, never have and never will. There’s no place for it in the game. Whether it’s my guy or somebody else, when you’re pitching inside, once in a while one will get away and someone is going to get hit. That’s part of the game. I understand that.”
–Leyland (Tom Gage, Detroit News)
SOON ALL THE GRITTY ON-BASE TYPES WILL FORM AN ARMY THAT WILL TAKE OVER THE WORLD!
“I would say this is not something we’ve done before, but as soon as we concluded the trade with Atlanta, Washington called, and it sounded like he was a guy they’d wanted for a while. Snelling is a guy who, when he’s healthy, is an offensive threat.”
–A’s AGM David Forst, on acquiring Chris Snelling.
“Each of the last three years, I haven’t thought it could get any worse–and it has. But if there’s any benefit, at least we have some experience with this now. You can either panic or you can see the opportunity, and that’s what we’re choosing to do. We have a need and Jack will get the opportunity. He’s always been a guy who’s been able to hit, but he hasn’t had the chance to do that regularly at the big-league level.”
–A’s GM Billy Beane, on his team’s injuries and the acquisition of DH Jack Cust. (Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle)
MAY BASEBALL IS FUN
“It’s like somebody sticking bamboo shoots under your fingernails. It wasn’t even fun when we were ahead 15-8.”
—Mike Hargrove, on his team’s 15-11 victory over the Yankees on Friday.
“You try to look at the positives. We didn’t give up. We just couldn’t stop them. Probably 99 percent of the time, if we score 11 runs, I think we’re going to win.”
“I don’t feel there was anything wrong. Just the result. I thought I threw okay today. There were a couple at-bats when the ball went between the infielders and one bad pitch for a home run. Overall, I thought I threw well.”
–Yankees hurler Kei Igawa (Filip Bondy, New York Daily News)
A SCAPEGOAT WAS BORN
“The knowledge that Marty had was certainly impressive. Now, does that mean that because you know a lot about the body, it relates to baseball? That’s what we don’t know.”
–Yankees manager Joe Torre, on fired strength and conditioning coach Marty Miller.
“I think when you get a number of pitchers go down with the same problem, it opens up eyes and it makes you start thinking there might need to be a change.”
—Johnny Damon, Yankees center fielder.
“To me, Cashman is the problem. Four or five years ago, we were in the coaches’ room and talking about the club and he said, ‘Anybody can manage this team.’ Well, let him manage that team now with all those injuries.”
–former Yankees bench coach Don Zimmer
“I feel bad he had to go through all that [garbage] again. He had to go through it at the end of last year, too. It’s wrong. Joe Torre doesn’t need a pat on the back from me or anybody else because he is a tough SOB. But he has been there 12 years and he doesn’t have a contract for next year? That’s sad.”
–Zimmer (George King, New York Post)
“The old Fort Myers-to-Beijing-to-Tokyo trip. I think I’ll stop [complaining] about the bus ride to Vero Beach.”
—Terry Francona, on the possibility of playing games in China to open the 2008 season. (Gordon Edes, Boston Globe)
“I don’t know what it is, but I seemed relaxed, and it has been like that the whole year. When the game has been on the line in a late inning and a big at-bat, I seem more relaxed. I wish I could do that in every at-bat.”
—Troy Tulowitzki, on his performance in close and late situations. (ESPN.com)
“He will eventually be a 30 home run hitter. It wouldn’t surprise me one day if we pick up the paper and we see, well, Hanley hit 40.”
—Marlins skipper Fredi Gonzalez on his shortstop, Hanley Ramirez, who is hitting .339/.426/.545 so far. (Ben Reiter, SI.com)
“You always enjoy competing against guys, when you beat them, you’ve done something. He has tremendous respect for the game and the respect is a little more significant for me because he’s not from this country and he’s overcome a lot to be who he is. To sit up here to speak a language that is not his native tongue is a huge step for anybody. But to do it on a national stage, and have as much class and respect for the game as he has, is something I enjoy watching and am proud to compete against.”
—Curt Schilling, on Johan Santana (Amalie Benjamin, Boston Globe)
“It has nothing to do with what has gone on; it has everything to do with
we are playing a man short. We don’t know how long the situation is going to take or last.”
—Mariners manager Mike Hargrove, on sending down and suspending reliever Julio Mateo after he was arrested in a domestic incident in a midtown Manhattan hotel room. (Jack Curry, The New York Times)
“It was his elbow that was bothering him. We said it was his back so he could have a little bit more time. There are a lot of things we do not tell the media, because the media does not need to know it and the fans do not need to know it.”
—Blue Jays manager J.P. Ricciardi, on the elbow injury to his closer, B.J. Ryan. (Ken Daley, MLB.com)
“I wondered why no one was talking to me.”
–Yankees hurler Chien-Ming Wang, on the lack of geniality in the clubhouse during his Saturday attempt at a perfect game, broken up by a Ben Broussard home run. (Jim Baumbach, Newsday)
“You never second-guess yourself, but … after it happens you do. You call a changeup–the first one all day–and it goes for a home run.”
–Yankees catcher Jorge Posada, on the Broussard homer.