Quotes

From The Red Sox Fan Handbook

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“Boston has two seasons: August and winter.”
—former Red Sox manager (and Hall of Fame infielder) Billy Herman.

“All literary men are Red Sox fans. To be a Yankee fan in literary society is to endanger your life.”
—Author John Cheever.

“Baseball isn’t a life-and-death matter, but the Red Sox are.”
—Boston columnist Mike Barnicle.

“A lyric little bandbox of a ballpark.”
—Novelist John Updike’s description of Fenway.

“Will not play anywhere but Boston.”
—Text of a telegram from Babe Ruth as reported in the Boston Globe by Ruth’s agent Johnny Igoe. At the time, Ruth had already agreed to terms with the Yankees.

“Ruth had simply become impossible and the Boston club could no longer put up with his eccentricities. While Ruth, without question, is the greatest hitter the game has ever seen, he is likewise one of the most selfish and inconsiderate men that ever wore a baseball uniform.”
Harry Frazee after selling Ruth in 1920.

“The wrecking of this once famous ballclub is a crime and somebody ought to put an end to such methods.”
—A New York City newspaper in 1920 after the Red Sox kept selling players to the Yankees.

“I don’t want my players to hustle too much in the spring.”
—Player/manager Joe Cronin, 1938.

“I’ll be back soon and make more money than all three of you together.”
Ted Williams to taunting Red Sox players after being sent to the minors in 1938.

“A man has to have goals and that was mine, to have people say, ‘There goes Ted Williams, the greatest hitter who ever lived.’”
Ted Williams.

“I still think neckties are designed to get in your soup.”
Ted Williams.

Bobby Doerr and not Ted Williams is the number one man of the Red Sox in my book.”
Babe Ruth in 1946.

“Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu”
—Title of an essay written by novelist John Updike upon the event of Ted Williams’s final game. Updike was in the stands that day.

“He has muscles in his hair.”
—Lefty Gomez, describing Jimmie Foxx’s strength.

“I’m in the twilight of a mediocre career.”
—Red Sox pitcher Frank Sullivan.

“Go crack me open a beer, I’ll only be a minute.”
—Red Sox reliever Dick Radatz to starter Earl Wilson on the mound at Yankee Stadium. Radatz struck out Micky Mantle, Roger Maris, and Elston Howard on 10 pitches.

“There’ll be no niggers on this ball club as long as I have anything to say about it.”
—Sox player, manager, and general manager Pinky Higgins.

“Good things happen to some people.”
Earl Wilson, the first black player to pitch for the Red Sox, commenting on the death of former Sox manager and general manager Pinky Higgins.

“We’ll win more than we lose.”
—New Red Sox manager Dick Williams at the end of spring training in 1967. The Sox had been at least 18 games under .500 in each of the previous three years, and hadn’t had a winning record since 1957.

“He’s an All Star from the neck down.”
—White Sox manager Eddie Stanky on Carl Yastrzemski in early 1967.

“lefthanded pitchers are the only people in their right minds.”
Bill Lee.

“The Wall giveth and the Wall taketh away.”
—Roger Angell on the Green Monster.

“Do they leave it there during games?”
Bill Lee, the first time he saw the Green Monster.

“I loved the game. I loved the competition. But I never had any fun. I never enjoyed it. All hard work, all the time.”
Carl Yastrzemski.

“Too much importance is placed on the starting pitchers. It’s much more important to have a finishing pitcher.”
—Red Sox manager Joe McCarthy.

“25 players, 25 cabs.”
—Description of the lack of clubhouse unity on the Red Sox teams of the early 1970s.

“Go, go, go!”
—What Denny Doyle heard in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series from third base coach Don Zimmer before being thrown out at the plate in the last of the ninth inning.

“No, no, no!”
—What Zimmer claims to have said.

“No one’s worth that, but if they want to pay me, I’m certainly not going to turn it down.”
Bill Campbell after the Red Sox made the reliever one of the first big money free agents in 1977 by signing him to a five-year $1 million contract.

“The kid’s got ice water in his veins.”
—Red Sox manager Don Zimmer about rookie pitcher Bobby Sprowl before the fourth game of a crucial series against the Yankees in 1978. Sprowl faced only six batters and gave up four walks and a hit.

“They killed our fathers and now the sons of bitches are coming after us.”
—Anonymous Sox fan after the 1978 playoff game loss to the Yankees.

“The worst curse in life is unlimited potential.”
Ken Brett, a journeyman pitcher whose brother, Hall of Famer George Brett, said Ken was the best hitter in the family.

“That’s what they get for building a ballpark next to the ocean.”
Oil Can Boyd after the Red Sox win a fog-shortened game against the Indians at Municipal Stadium in Cleveland, on the shores of Lake Erie.

“My pitcher asked out of the game.”
—Red Sox manager John McNamara, following the sixth game of the 1986 World Series, about Roger Clemens who left in the eighth inning with a 3-2 lead. Clemens had a bleeding blister on his pitching hand, but denies that he asked to come out.

“The sun will rise, the sun will set, and I’ll have lunch.”
—Sox GM Lou Gorman on Roger Clemens walking out of training camp in 1987 as part of a contract dispute.

“There are a lot of things that are a disadvantage to a family there.”
Roger Clemens speaking of Boston in a live TV interview with Boston station WCVB in December 1988. Clemens was speaking in the wake of Bruce Hurst’s decision to leave, and complained, among other things, of players having to carry their own bags through airports. It was the beginning of a big rift between Clemens and the Boston fans.

“The twilight of his career . . .”
—General manager Dan Duquette’s assessment of pitcher Roger Clemens after the 1996 season when Clemens signed with Toronto rather than re-sign with the Sox. Clemens pitched for another decade, and won the National League Cy Young award in 2004.

“What would we do with Willie McGee?”
—Sox GM Lou Gorman during the 1990 season, when the American League West-leading A’s picked up former batting champion Willie McGee.

“Blow it up. Blow the damned place up.”
—Red Sox first baseman Mo Vaughn, talking about Fenway Park in a 1995 interview.

“I was worried about the horse.”
—Red Sox president John Harrington after being asked if he was concerned about seeing Mo Vaughn on a policeman’s horse following the Sox clinching of the American League East in 1995.

“The price tag goes up every day.”
—Sox first baseman Mo Vaughn as he and the Sox were locked in a prolonged contract struggle before the 1998 season.

“If a frog had wings, he wouldn’t bump his booty when he hopped.”
—Manager Jimy Williams at a press conference introducing him to the Boston media.

“When Georgie-Porgie speaks, I don’t listen.”
—Sox manager Jimy Williams after being accused by Yankees owner George Steinbrenner of “inciting” the crowd during the fifth game of the 1999 American League Championship Series.

“One of my superstitions is I’m not allowed to talk about them.”
Nomar Garciaparra, who had a reputation for following many rituals to keep his game focused.

“If the Lord were a pitcher, he would pitch like Pedro.”
—First baseman David Segui, son of former Red Sox pitcher Diego Segui, discussing Pedro Martinez.

“This team is starting to develop kind of a makeup of its own. Hopefully we can bring the mullets back and grow the hair out. I think you’re starting to see baseball players who are going to be all about winning. You’re going to have a lot of guys pulling from the same rope instead of three or four pulling from different ropes.”
Kevin Millar during 2003 spring training.

“Cowboy up!”
Kevin Millar’s rallying cry for the 2003 Red Sox.

“We played into the eleventh inning before losing Game Seven of the ALCS. . . . Yes, we came up short of our goal, and to the Red Sox Nation, I say I hurt with each of you. It was painful for all of us.”
Grady Little, after the Red Sox lost the 2003 ALCS.

“If Grady Little is not back with the Red Sox, he’ll be somewhere. I’ll be another ghost fully capable of haunting.”
—Little, shortly before his firing.

“We will now seek a new manager for the long term to take us in a new direction, and, we hope, to the next level. . . . The decision to make a change resulted from months of thought about that long-term direction.”
—Red Sox president Larry Lucchino after firing Grady Little.

“We are not the cowboys anymore—we are just the idiots this year. So we are going to go out and try to swing the bats, find the holes, and, hopefully, good things happen.”
Johnny Damon during the 2004 season.

“We’re going to keep playing hard and we’re going to blank out all the negativity. We are a bunch of idiots that we go out to have fun and we don’t think—we eliminate thinking, and we have fun and pick each other up.”
Manny Ramirez during the 2004 season.

“As a group, they are borderline nuts, but when they get out in the field, I think they try to play the game right. I just want them to be themselves, because I think we are a good team like that.”
—Manager Terry Francona on “The Idiots.”

“What gets old is seeing that damn 1918 sign wherever you go and are playing a contending team. Every player wants to part of the team that wins so they won’t be flashing that sign and talking about this curse. We totally understand the pain of the fans because the pain of the players is just as much.”
Ellis Burks on “The Curse.”

“I just tip my hat and call the Yankees my daddies.”
Pedro Martinez after a crucial loss to the Yanks on September 26, 2004.

“Who’s Your Daddy?”
—Yankees fans’ taunt when Pedro Martinez pitched against them in the 2004 ALCS.

“Who’s your Papi?”
—Red Sox fans counterchant, referring to ALCS hero [[David Ortiz ]] “Who’s Your Caddy?”
—Red Sox fans’ response after the Yankees lost the 2004 ALCS.

“He’s bulletproof, as far as I’m concerned. Whether there’s a lefthander on the mound or a righthander on the mound, he beats us up pretty good.”
—Yankees manager Joe Torre on David Ortiz.

“One day I was driving from my house to the stadium . . . and I saw a big sign on the street that said, ’Keep the faith.’ And I saw it was a photo of Manny, it had the big smile. I just parked in front of the photo and I just sat down for a minute and just thought about it, you know, we’ve been through the whole year. Then I went to the field and I just expressed myself to my teammates about what the Boston nation has been waiting for us and what they expect from us. So it doesn’t matter if we are down 3-0. We just have got to keep the faith . . . because the game is not over till the last out.”
David Ortiz after winning Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS with a walk-off homer.

“Ten years from now I think people are going to look back and say Willis Reed pulled a Curt Schilling. . . . Willis Reed scored four points. Curt Schilling went seven innings against one of the best offenses of recent memory. No offense to Willis Reed.”
Theo Epstein after Schilling beat the Yankees in Game 6 of the ALCS.

“It’s crushing for us. I don’t have the words to describe how disappointed I am.”
—Alex Rodriguez after losing the 2004 ALCS.

“It was the most unbelievable day of my life. So many things happened. I woke up at seven o’clock this morning. I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t move. I don’t know what had happened, but I knew when I woke up that there was a problem. I wasn’t going to go out on the mound the way I felt . . . I don’t know the medical science behind it . . . I honest-to-God did not think I was going to take the ball today.”
Curt Schilling after winning Game 2 of the 2004 World Series.

“When you have an enemy hanging on the side of a cliff by one arm, you need to step on his arm.”
Trot Nixon, explaining why the Red Sox didn’t take the Cardinals for granted in Game 4 of the 2004 World Series.

“I wanted to be the guy on the mound with the ball in my hand at the end.”
Keith Foulke after making the final play of the 2004 World Series.

“This is like an alternate reality. All of our fans waited their entire lives for this . . . We won’t even need the airplane to fly home.” —John Henry, Red Sox owner, after the 2004 World Series.

“We don’t believe in no stinking curses.”
—Red Sox President Larry Lucchino after the 2004 World Series.

“Unbelievable. No more going to Yankee Stadium and having to listen to ‘1918!’”
Derek Lowe after the Red Sox won the 2004 World Series.

“We wanted to do it so bad for the city of Boston. To win a World Series with this on our chests—it hasn’t been done since 1918. So rip up those ‘1918” posters right now.”
Kevin Millar.

“I went through a lot of drama during the winter, but I keep my mind positive and I told my wife before the season started, ‘Hey, baby, this is going to be my year. This is the year.’ And we did it, man. We’re the champs.”
—2004 World Series MVP Manny Ramirez.

“I’m so happy. I’m happy for the fans in Boston, I’m happy for Johnny Pesky, for Bill Buckner, for Stanley and Schiraldi and all the great Red Sox players who can now be remembered for the great players that they were.”
Curt Schilling.

“I dreamt about this day. I said my prayers every night to the big guy: ‘Bring us a World Series.’”
Johnny Pesky after the Red Sox won in 2004.

“I don’t want to bring a downer on the whole situation because I’m very happy for the Boston Red Sox. . . . This whole thing about being forgiven and clearing my name, you know, I mean . . . cleared from what? What did I do wrong? It’s almost like being in prison for thirty years and then they come up with a DNA test to prove that you weren’t guilty.”
Bill Buckner after the Red Sox won the 2004 World Series.

“In baseball, too many people try to discount someone like Theo, someone who could be the C.E.O. of a Fortune 500 company and probably will be. . . . Guys like Theo have really opened the door for other bright young guys who might otherwise go to Wall Street.”
—Oakland GM Billy Beane on Theo Epstein.

“He ain’t going to no Mets”
—Fellow Dominican David Ortiz on Pedro Martinez’s free agency. Martinez signed a $53 million contract with the Mets shortly afterward.

“When they want someone to push the button, I want to be the guy to blow this place up.”
—Pitcher David Wells on Fenway Park in 2000

“I’ve been the bad guy coming into Boston. I guess I’m one of the good guys now.”
—Wells in 2004, after signing with the Red Sox

“I am no longer a fan. I am no longer that kid who was rooting for the Red Sox, and thank God! Because if I were, it would be impossible for me to do my job.”
—Red Sox GM Theo Epstein.

“I don’t think we have to do it any better. I just think we have to do it again.”
Curt Schilling, 2005

“[The 2005 Red Sox] will field the best bad team in baseball history.”
Pedro Martinez, after leaving the Red Sox to sign with the Mets.

“There’s no place like it, and it’s ours.”
—Stephen King on Fenway Park.


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