TONY, THE CHAMPION OF THE WORLD
“I’m holding on like this. They had started to upgrade the club, so now there’s expectations. And the American League had these unbelievable giants, guys you knew just by first name: Earl, Whitey, Sparky, Gene. And you’re sitting there wondering what you give your club versus what they give. So on almost a nightly basis Jim and I would reconstruct the game and figure out what we could learn from them. Jim was talking a helluva lot more than Tony was. Jim taught me to manage.”
—Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, on learning the game with Tigers manager Jim Leyland.
“If I beat him, he wouldn’t go. I was never like that: If we lost, I went. I used to kid him, ‘What the f— is wrong with you?'”
–Leyland, on how La Russa only goes to post-game dinner if he wins.
“The lawsuit was a plea for attention, for acknowledgment. We realize now that that may not have been the best way to handle the situation, but we were so hurt and angry. We guess we never understood how he–who by many accounts is a great dad to our half-sisters, a family man, a rescuer of animals–how he could have left his first two daughters and never looked back.”
–La Russa’s estranged daughters from his first marriage, Andrea and Averie La Russa, on the lawsuit they filed against their father for damages from his refusal to acknowledge them publicly.
“If it’s a mistake and you stay there, I mean, there was going to be suffering. And the longer you stay, the more suffering there is for everybody. I regret that there’s three women that I affected. If I hadn’t gotten married, that wouldn’t be true.”
–La Russa (S.L. Price, Sports Illustrated)
“He left us, because we were ‘holding him back from his baseball career.'”
–Averie La Russa, in the lawsuit
“Of course he knew. He made a fool of himself; he contradicted himself; he went back on what he’d said. It’s simple: La Russa sees Mark as a son. He attracts all the fans, and what happens? He breaks the all-time home run record! That solidified their relationship. And then it’s like if your son was in trouble. You’d lie to save his life.”
—Jose Canseco, on the anchor that ties Mark McGwire to Tony La Russa.
“To this day, five or six days a week, you call him in the morning, he’s just finished his workout. He looks like he could play today. That’s why I keep asking him to.”
–La Russa, on Mark McGwire.
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
“I called it years ago. What I called is that you’re going to see more black faces, but there ain’t no English going to be coming out. … [It’s about] being able to tell [Latin players] what to do–being able to control them.”
“Where I’m from, you can’t control us. You might get a guy to do it that way for a while because he wants to benefit, but in the end, he is going to go back to being who he is. And that’s a person that you’re going to talk to with respect, you’re going to talk to like a man. These are the things my race demands.”
–Sheffield, who is hitting .266/.378/.493 through Sunday.
“So, if you’re equally good as this Latin player, guess who’s going to get sent home? I know a lot of players that are home now can outplay a lot of these guys.”
THE ICEMAN COMETH
“I think (MLB is) deploying that rhetoric to chill innovation in this segment. I don’t think it’s working, but I think it would be a big blow to the entertainment industry if they went to court and lost.”
—Fred von Lohmann, attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, on aggressive measures by Major League Baseball against Sling Media, purveyors of the Slingbox device that allows you to watch your television remotely.
“Of course, what they are doing is not legal. We and other leagues have formed a group to study the issue and plan our response. A lot depends on ongoing discussions. Plus, there’s no guarantee that Slingbox will be around next year. It’s a start-up.”
—Michael Mellis, MLB-AM general counsel.
“If I want to watch the (Los Angeles) Dodgers (from San Francisco), an MLB.TV subscription will provide out-of-market games. What the Slingbox does is (give) me access to my local in-market team, my San Francisco Giants, which is what MLB.TV does not provide me when I’m in San Francisco (due to local blackout rules). It’s the reason we created the Slingbox.”
— Sling Media CEO Blake Krikorian (Erica Ogg, CNet News.com)
BUSTER OLNEY GETS A SEQUEL
“I’m as confused as you are; he looks like a piece of garbage. I keep looking and trying to find reasons, but I have no explanation. All I know is that he’s not doing the job.”
–an anonymous scout, on the decline of Yankees right fielder Bobby Abreu.
“They haven’t drafted well. They don’t have anyone down there to bring up. They’re reaching down and there’s nobody there.”
–scout, on the Yankees (Mark Feinsand, New York Daily News)
“This is just not a good team. They have a few great players, but overall, it’s not good. There are too many average players on that roster.”
“He told me to work there and in the [outfield] corner. I am going to play [first] eventually. I am OK with it.”
–Yankees outfielder Johnny Damon, who is hitting .251/.357/.353 in 167 at-bats as of Sunday, on his hard talk with manager Joe Torre.
“I am fine with it. Jorge’s the DH, and you can’t say anything to that because the guy is leading the league in hitting.”
–Damon, on not getting to DH when Wil Nieves catches.
A WHOLLY INSANE STAR IS BORN
“I heard from all kinds of people. Everybody wanted to ask me the same questions you’re asking. It’s been a long day.”
–Mississippi Braves manager Phil Wellman, on his tirade against a bad call that climaxed in a resin bag ‘grenade’.
“There were some issues that needed to be addressed. There were several things going on during the game, and when some of your players are getting the short end, there comes a time when you’ve got to stand up.”
“IT WAS THE HEAT OF THE MOMENT”
“That’s not Yankee pride right there. That’s not the way they play. I thought it was bush league.”
—Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, on Alex Rodriguez‘s verbal interference–he said “Hah”–on a pop-up play that allowed the ball to drop.
“That’s Toronto’s fault. Catch the ball. Get over it.”
—Barry Bonds, on that A-Rod play
“I don’t know how you can get away with that, unless you’re a Yankee player.”
–Giants shortstop Omar Vizquel
“They were angry. Oh, there’s no question. I can’t say I blame them, but what are you going to do about it? What’s happened has happened.”
“Sometimes it happens in the heat of the moment. It’s not like pimpin’ a home run. You don’t stand there and watch them. Obviously, Alex Rodriguez has been around the game a long time. That play, it’s not as firm as the other unwritten rules.”
—Mets third baseman David Wright (Jordan Bastien, MLB.com)
FIGURE HE’S COSTING HIMSELF A FEW MILLION PER JAB
“What happened in the clubhouse? Whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. I don’t have to say what happened in the clubhouse.”
—Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano, on his altercation with battery-mate Michael Barrett.
“Well, they weren’t all jabs, I’ll tell you that.”
–Cubs manager Lou Piniella, on the fight between Zambrano and Barrett.
“Of course. I was born here, I grew up here, I want to die here. I want to finish my career here. That’s all I want.”
–Zambrano, on whether he wants to return to the Cubs next season. The pitcher is a free agent after this year. (Dave van Dyck, Chicago Tribune)
“That’s Carlos. I’ll address it, and it probably won’t happen again. He’s an intelligent guy. He usually doesn’t make the same mistake twice.”
—Dusty Baker, regarding Zambrano showing up teammates last year.
“My agent just sent me a text message saying last year by this time I had three wins. I feel good. I have five wins. They pay me to win. Don’t worry about my ERA. My ERA will come down.”
–Zambrano, on his agent Barry Praver.
“I saw him right afterwards, and it looked pretty painful. It was on the top of his head. It was a cantaloupe, grapefruit, I don’t know.”
—Rockies first baseman Todd Helton, on teammate Matt Holliday, who “bumped his head” in the dugout and had to leave Friday’s game. (Thomas Harding, MLB.com)
“It seems to me from talking to (Watson), whom I respect, there are some serious inconsistencies (in baseball’s judgment).”
—Red Sox manager Terry Francona, on Scott Proctor not being suspended for throwing at Kevin Youkilis during Friday’s game at Fenway Park. (Tony Massarotti, Boston Herald)
“It’s very hard to market someone who by his own actions and the way he’s approached fans, sponsors, the media over the years led to the reputation he has.”
—Bernie Mullin, former Pirates VP from 1986-1991, on Giants left fielder Barry Bonds. (The New York Times)
“I think it’s great; there’s no reason in the world Major League Baseball shouldn’t have the same notoriety and marketing and publicity that the NFL and the NBA do with their drafts. We’re at a point now where ESPN has found a market for it. I only expect it to get bigger and bigger.”
—Grady Fuson, the Padres‘ scouting and player development director, on the draft being televised this year. (Jeff Sanders, North County Times)
“I saw the ump say, ‘You need to come touch first base,’ and I was like, ‘Oh, OK.’ I didn’t know what to do. It was weird, man. That was something totally different. But I like it. We won.”
—Twins center fielder Torii Hunter, after he drew a walk-off walk. (The Cleveland Plain Dealer)
“For whatever reason, Moose feels real comfortable with me. I just try to give him a good target, low and on the corners. It’s just weird.”
–Yankees backup catcher Wil Nieves, on catching Mike Mussina.
“It’s almost comical when you start thinking about all of the guys that have gone down. I’ve never seen anything like this. Hopefully we can get through this and tread water and we’ll be getting all of our guys back soon.”
–Blue Jays first baseman Lyle Overbay, on his team’s injury woes. Overbay broke his hand in Sunday’s game and is out 4-6 weeks.(SI.com)
“Nah, it hit me square in the booty…I got a nice inning with a no-name jersey and I got to wear my little brother’s pants. They were a little tight in the ankles.”
–newly acquired reliever Randy Messenger, on pitching his first inning as a Giant and fielding a ball that struck his rear end. (Andrew Baggarly, Contra Costa Times)