The Week in Quotations

If Wishes Were Ponies, Part1
''They are guys that can throw around 200 innings -- they can save your bullpen -- and you can have people win 15 or 16 games no matter what their ERA. If they can win 16 each and I win another 20 or 22, that will be fun.'' -Carlos Zambrano, on new teammates Ted Lilly and Jason Marquis
If Wishes Were Ponies, Part 2
'Boy, we'd be awfully deep and awfully talented.'' -Lou Piniella, on an injury-free pitching staff
Guess Who Said....
"I was embarrassed by the way I threw the ball last year. I want to improve on that." - Answer, Jacques Jones
''Honestly, this offseason, all this stuff was weighing on me. 'But then I woke up one day, and the whole thing was uplifted. I said, 'You know what, turn the page.' I was uncomfortable with some of the things that happened, of course. 'Was I uncomfortable at having a ball thrown at me? Was I uncomfortable being called a nigger? Yes. But wanting to be traded? I never asked to be traded.'' -Jacques Jones, reviewing the off-season
Dumb Headline of the Week: Nominee # 1
"Wood throws 10 pitches, 'really looked good' to Rothschild"
I'm Sure You're Up to the Challenge
''We're going to have a hard time not scoring runs with this lineup." - Derrek Lee, setting us up for an even greater disappointment
Weighty Thoughts
''Like I would also go to the ballpark and get on the bike and ride for 25, 30 minutes. But then it was like the end of the season couldn't get there fast enough. You find yourself not doing a lot of those things. Then when you're going out to Morton's and having a nice steak with those potatoes and all of that kind of stuff afterward and you're not doing the other things, the weight quickly piled up in a hurry.'' - Ryan Dempster, on eating and losing
It's Time To Find Something New to Always Say
''That's why I always say, that's the good part about Dick Clark, he always drops that ball in Times Square -- or Ryan Seacrest or whoever does it now -- and it's a new year; 2006 is over with. For me, that's water under the bridge, and I just focus on going ahead with this year.''
- Ryan Dempster, on something, God only knows what.
Thomson on Floyd
''Just watching the Mets' outfield, if Cliff Floyd is still there, it's not a real good fit for him out there. He can hit the ball, but as far as defense, he's a little shaky.'' - "Pitcher" John Thomson on why he left New York to sign with Toronto
Floyd on Thomson
"I thought to myself, I could have called a couple of people and blasted him back and dissed him. But at this point in my career, the only people he hurt were my mom and dad, which meant a lot to me. As far as retaliating ... let him be him. From what I've seen, he's not one of the greatest pitchers in the game, so it didn't really affect me in terms of my pride or anything. ''People who talk a lot always seem to be on the short end of the stick. So I wish him the best of luck. Hopefully, his luck will change over there in Toronto, but it didn't change much in the National League.'' - "Outfielder" Cliff Floyd in response
''What I discovered was that the guy is a nice guy. 'Just like me, when he crosses those two lines, he has a job to do. I expected anything else, but he came to me and he was a real nice guy. He's [competitive] like me when I'm on the mound. That's the way he knows how to play.''
- Carlos Zambrano on A.J. Pierzynski, when they met at a shoot for a commercial
''I liked everything I saw but the hair. We'll get a little trim.'' - Piniella on Samardzija's hair
''That's all right. It's probably not that good-looking anyway, so we'll probably cut it off.'' - Samardzija on the ridiculous tyranny of a 1940s Fashionista
''I must go because I will go, if they don't sign me, to free agency after the season -- yes or no? I will become a free agent, and then things are different because I will sign with the Cubs as a free agent."
- The eminently quotable Z
Sense and Sensibility
"You play to your team's [strengths]. Whatever your team is good at, that's how you play. Looking at this team, this is not a small-ball team, so we should throw small ball out the window. Obviously, there are times when you've got to get the guy over and get the bunts down. But for the most part, it looks like we're going to have a power lineup, so you utilize that." - Derrek Lee, voice of reason
Dumb Headline of the Week, Nominee # 2
Lou: Wood Tub Flub No Harm to Cub Club
Incoherent Non-answer of the Year, Nominee # 1
We’re in a sport where the statistical analysis can be construed in a negative way if you’re not winning. You have to have good pitching. You have to get hot at the right time. That’s why we’ve had a lot of wild-card teams win the World Series. When you aren’t successful, it’s right there in front of you, any way you want to spin it, why you lost. We went out to get the best player, which was (Alfonso) Soriano. And if you want to pick holes in him, you can, too. If you strictly go on what everybody feels you should have done, then Billy Beane (the Oakland Athletics GM) doesn’t sign Frank Thomas last year, and you don’t have Comeback Players of the Year. That’s why you have to have a good combination of statistical analysis, which we don’t ignore, and quality scouting. - Cubs GM Jim Hendry, purportedly addressing critics who claim he ignores statistics like On-base Percentage


I read that last Hendry quote three times, and not only do I not understand it, I think part of my brain melted

Best guess at his meaning:

Stats are only good for finding fault with players and GMs. Stats say that you shouldn't sign Frank Thomas.
That said, we still use stats, really we do.

And since it's a late sunday night, and this is my own darn post, let me use it for open-thread purposes:

there're still a few spots left in my yahoo league. Info:
1. It’s a Head to Head league

2. You have to be able to go a season without being a contentious jerk to others

3. We re-draft any teams that have been innactive for over a month. The redrafts will be done at three pre-set dates, on the 1st of June, July and August

4. We use lots of stat categories, with a somewhat sabrmetric bent

5. We’ve been doing this for several years. It generally works quite well in terms of having active and friendly players

It’s yahoo league ID 6464 and password of “the riot” (minus the quotation marks)

Anyone who has a league that they'd like to promote should follow this approach, and promote it either in a general/open thread, or at the end of a thread that is no longer current. Just don't hi-jack threads that are supposed to be about original content from TCR authors.

Let me translate Hendry's quote to common English:

"Uh what's OBP? Let's go get some donuts!"

Count me in... Fort Wayne Wizards

The Cliff Floyd quote was funny... (and I'm paraphrasing) "I'm not going to retaliate... but the guy sucks..."

Let me translate:

Stats don't win games. And cause you own a calculator or abacus doesn't make you a GM. There is way more to baseball than numbers.

The John Thomson/Cliff Floyd fight is one of the funnier wars of words that I've seen.

how about eyre's quote on rothschild from ye olde chicago tribune...

"They have the right to boo," Eyre said of fans. "But to me, you're talking about a frustrating season. People have the right to boo, but [Rothschild] can't go out and pitch for us.

"If the scouting report says Ken Griffey Jr. can't hit a slider down and away, and I throw a hanging slider and he hits a home run, that's not [Rothschild's] fault. It's my fault."

yeah, I saw that one. Eyre made sense, which was one strike against him in his efforts to make my compilation.

It's funny how the old "it's the players' fault, the coach can't pitch/hit/shoot/tackle/catch for them" defense is only trotted out when the team is underperforming. I want to see someone in the media use it when a team is on a 10 game winning streak or something. Something like, "you know, Manager XX is doing an OK job during this 10 game winning streak and all, but ya know, he hasn't hit a single home run or caught a single fly ball. It's really up to the players to do their jobs on the field, an they are doing them, so the manager really shouldn't get the credit."

hopefully wood will only need to throw 10 or so pitches in games, so I don’t see the need to have him doing lengthy sessions anyway. the guy should be put in a protective case during the night…as long as its got a good stiff mattress that is.

Communication can be an issue with the Latin players. For instance, Pie said Sunday he hurt his shoulder while playing winter ball, which is why his season ended after 32 games. He tweaked it on a swing. Cubs Triple-A Iowa hitting coach Von Joshua was on the Licey coaching staff and working with Pie, but the injury was more soreness from fatigue. There's a difference between pain and soreness, and players have to learn that, too.

the more you know....

I am pretty sure soreness is a type of pain. What she really meant to say, 'in American baseball reporter lingo, there is a difference between pain and soreness, we're too lazy to ask you to differentiate, so please use these seperate words'.

I would have liked the follow up question:
Did Joshua help you develop an exercise so that when you swing and miss, there will be less soreness?

On the Hendry quote it was confusing, what I think he should have said was this:
Vintage Rickey Henderson and Joe Morgan weren't available this off-season, so we got the best players we could for OF and 2nd base. Last year our On Base Percentage stunk, but that was mostly due to injuries to Lee, time missed by Barrett and a disapointing season from Pierre. OBP could use to describe the problem, but the real problem is we were injured and underperformed.

Admittedly, if those two guys were available, Hendry probably would have still gone after Soriano and Derosa.

Pie said Sunday he hurt his shoulder while playing winter ball, which is why his season ended after 32 games

This isn't news.

"There is way more to baseball than numbers."

Actually, there isn't. At the end of the game, the only way to figure out who won is who scored the greater number of runs. And at the end of the season, the only way you figure out who goes to the playoffs is by counting up the number of wins.

horatio...that's like saying Twinkies exist cuz they're there.

nevermind the factory that produced them, the quality of the workers making the Twinkie, and what goes into the ingredients to make it.

the end result isnt the process, nor is it automatic across the board without a standardization of all factories, workers, and quality amongst them all.

the reason people track these stats in the first place is to gauge the worth of the sum parts that go into making the final product and even that is far from a science cuz we're involving humans in the whole thing.

Depending on how manager Lou Piniella makes out his lineup, the Cubs could start five players who have hit 25 or more home runs at least once in the last two years: Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez, Alfonso Soriano, Cliff Floyd and Jacques Jones. Piniella said Sunday he's considering using Jones in the No. 2 slot, which would mean the lineup could begin with Soriano, followed by Jones, Lee, Ramirez and Floyd. That's a power-hitting quintet that compares favorably with some of the best American League lineups, even without a designated hitter.

Click here for the full story (found on Ben


given that either floyd or murton are gonna be riding pine at any given time it'll be interesting to see how pinhead uses that 1 "strong" bat and when.

dust liked to save his slammers for 'last shot' type stuff more often than not.

amusing T-shirt I came across...

that hair quote was
too good to pass up.

If you haven't checked the team spring training photos on ESPN yet, here they are. Call me the eternal optimist (aren't all Cubs fans?), but they sure got me excited for this season to arrive.

I like those spring training hats.

It looks like Prior has lost some speed on his pitches in that one picture his ball has stop in mid air.

wow, wood and hendry have lost a lot of weight.

"Horatio — February 19, 2007 @ 8:48 am

“There is way more to baseball than numbers.”

Actually, there isn’t. At the end of the game, the only way to figure out who won is who scored the greater number of runs. And at the end of the season, the only way you figure out who goes to the playoffs is by counting up the number of wins."

Are you trying to make my point for me? That is my point. My point is that Sabremetrics NOTHING. The only stats that count are runs and wins. And you don't need to be an egg head with a slide rule to figure that out. Hendry was saying that there is more to winning games than sabermetrics.

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  • jacos 15 min 41 sec ago view
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