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
''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