It's all in the words
The 2004 season was one filled with some interesting and often off-the-wall quotes.
Ten favorite quotes of the year (regular-season division)
10. From Tigers humorist Dmitri Young, on trying to play while sick:
"My nose was running like an Olympic sprinter."
9. From Cardinals reliever Ray King, who was so inspired by the sight of President Bush throwing out the first ball on opening day that he promptly ran 3-and-0 counts on the first two hitters he faced:
"The president threw one more strike than I did."
8. From Giants philosopher-manager Felipe Alou, trying to describe the appeal of the wild-card concept -- in his own, inimitable Lion King fashion:
"The wild card is the purgatory of the lost. It's a place souls go and wait millions of years until redemption."
7. From Padres manager Bruce Bochy, after sending Kerry Robinson up to pinch-hit with two men on -- only to watch him bounce into a triple play:
"You're thinking he's a good guy to stay out of the double play. Well, we did that."
6. From Astros slugger-quipmaster Lance Berkman, on his strategy for taking a bunch of pitches during the All-Star Home Run Derby:
"I told myself that at least that way, even if I didn't hit any home runs, at least I'd be on TV for 15 minutes."
5. From Andy Stewart, of Canada's Olympic baseball team, on how he estimated the attendance at a game against the Netherlands:
"I was looking for my wife and counting the people. After I got to one, I didn't have to go a lot higher."
4. From that modern-day Casey Stengel, Marlins manager Jack McKeon, after being asked when Josh Beckett would come off the disabled list and make his next start:
"It'll be anywhere from Sunday to Sunday -- but I doubt it'll be Sunday."
3. From Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, on how bench coach Steve Liddle saved the day after the Twins got an early-morning wakeup call in Kansas City because of a tornado warning:
"He just took a bag of our bats and put them in the window. He knew nothing would hit it."
2. From Red Sox first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz, after hearing that Toronto pitcher Justin Miller had been banned from pitching in short sleeves because Major League Baseball ruled that his tattoos were too distracting:
"He should put a picture of Ricardo Rincon on there. If I see him out there, I guarantee you I'm going to swing and miss three times."
1. From Yankees manager Joe Torre, after a Kenny Lofton foul ball had roared into the dugout and conked him on the head:
"It didn't take any hair off. That had already been taken care of."
Three favorite quotes of the postseason
3. From Houston's Lance Berkman, on what the Astros and Cardinals could do to steal a little national attention away from That Other Series (Yankees-Red Sox):
"Maybe if we had two or three bench-clearing brawls. Turn this series into a mosh pit out there. Maybe hire Don Zimmer and get him to go after Tony La Russa right by their dugout. That would get some attention."
2. From veteran Twins humorist Terry Mulholland, on the harsh realities of losing a postseason series to that team from New York:
"I thought the Yankees did well -- given their financial constraints."
1. From the self-proclaimed king of the Red Sox idiots, Johnny Damon, after the Red Sox found themselves one game away from winning the World Series:
"You know, a lot of people say they didn't want to die until the Red Sox won the World Series. ... Well, there could be a lot of busy ambulances tomorrow."
MVQ's of the year
There's no such thing as a Most Valuable Quotesmith award. But that doesn't mean we can't invent one. So we're paying tribute to two men who crank out funny lines as dependably as Toyota cranks out four-door sedans -- Phillies outfield-humorist Doug Glanville and Brewers coach-witticist Rich Donnelly.
Our favorite Glanville quips of the year:
And now our most memorable Rich Donnelly quotes of the year:
Top five late-night baseball quips of the year
"Over the weekend, Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia was blown up. Fans cried -- when they found out that the Phillies weren't in it."
Jayson Stark is a senior writer for ESPN.com.
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