Write Derek at drksmart @ gmail.com
Write Phil at phil.bencomo @ gmail.com
by alex ciepley
He Said, She Said
"Progress is that I at least had a release point where I had an idea of where the ball is going and the long toss felt pretty good. My arm strength is getting closer to where I would like it. Obviously, I'm not at a point where I can throw in a game, but I think I can get on the mound and start moving in the right direction." Mark Prior (Cubs.com - 4/14/04)
"The more research they did and the tests, they found that it's more around the ankle versus the Achilles. There was inflammation in the Achilles but I think it was referred from some of the bone, which we found from the bone scan. It's more of a bio-mechanical injury versus a soft tissue injury."
Prior (Cubs.com - 4/16/04)
"He's got a mechanical issue with his ankle as well and we're dealing with that. We feel that's related to his Achilles. (The ankle) is a joint and it's a mechanical type issue as opposed to a muscle or tissue type thing."
Cubs trainer Dave Groeschner (Cubs.com - 4/17/04)
"[He] felt great. No pain, either in his Achilles' tendon or his arm."
Groeschner, on Prior's recent workouts (Chicago Tribune - 4/17/04)
"Do we miss him? Heck, yeah. But it is what it is. We have no choice. Can we win without him over the course of the year? The answer is yes, you can."
Dusty Baker (Cubs.com - 4/16/04)
"Manager Dusty Baker speculated for the first time about the possibility of Prior missing the entire season because of pain in his right Achilles' tendon and in his right elbow."
Bill Jauss, Chicago Tribune reporter (Chicago Tribune - 4/16/04)
"Hey, man, that's a lie. I don't know who's putting that out. Some people said I said it. I'm tired of people putting words in my mouth that I didn't say. Prior's not out for the season."
Baker (Cubs.com - 4/18/04)
"I told people I heard Ryno say more in one night than I did in eight years."
Jody Davis, on Ryne Sandberg's TBS television broadcast (Cubs.com - 4/12/04)
"Ernie Banks is always going to be here forever. He's Mr. Cub and that's the way it'll stay. I want to keep it like that. I have total respect for Ernie." Sammy Sosa, after tying Banks with 512 career homers as a Cub (Cubs.com - 4/16/04)
"[Aramis Ramirez is] only 25 years old, and he could end up being one of the best in the league. He could be the acquisition of the century, especially with how they've been here at third base and three decades since [Ron] Santo."
Baker (Chicago Sun-Times - 4/18/04)
My Fish Was This Big
"When I start every game, I expect to finish it. If I have 125 going into the eighth or ninth, obviously I'm not going to finish the game. If I'm at 100, 110 (pitches) going into the ninth then I feel like I should physically be able to finish the game." Kerry Wood (Cubs.com - 4/18/04)
"Woody was throwing the ball good. This is his third start, he's stretched out. It's Woody's game. He was still throwing 95, 96 (mph) at the end."
Baker, on leaving Wood in to throw 131 pitches. (Cubs.com - 4/17/04)
"Woody's approaching the threshhold of the great pitchers who don't really need a closer in the ninth. ... That's a situation where you're trying to have Woody get to another point in his career where he can close his own games. He was still throwing 97, 98 miles an hour."
Baker (Cubs.com - 4/18/04)
The Other Stuff
"You certainly don't wish injuries on anybody. When you come over to the National League, you figure you're going to get some at-bats. You don't think you're going to rot on the bench." Todd Walker, on Mark Grudzielanek's injury (Cubs.com - 4/14/04)
"This is a dream come true. I remember as a kid watching WGN and watching Cubs games, and now being a part of this and being here is a tremendous honor. I don't feel I deserve to be here." Michael Barrett, after his first 2-homer game (Cubs.com - 4/15/04)
"How fair is that? My (career) batting average dropped probably from .035 to .030 and I didn't even get to swing. It's all Dusty's fault." Kent Mercker, on being called out when Ramon Martinez batted out of order. (Daily Southtown - 4/18/04)