Quotes Archives

May 6, 2004

Conine's travels

A bit of trivia: Jeff Conine, an Oriole from 1999-2003 who was traded to the Florida Marlins last August, is the second-most traveled player in the majors, having visited 38 different stadiums in his career. By my count, that total should reach 43 this year as he plays his first games in the new parks in Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Arizona, and San Diego. Only Robin Ventura has played in more ballparks (he's expected to reach 44 this year). Gary Graves of USA Today caught up with Conine recently for a brief, light-hearted chat about his journeys, recounted in "38 parks down, 4 more on tap for vet Conine." A snippet:

Q: What does playing in 38 ballparks say about your career?

A: It means I'm old. Obviously I came into the big leagues at a time of aging stadiums and now I get to see the advent of all the new ones.

Conine is a wise old head who knows what he's talking about. Since breaking in with the Royals in the early 1990s, he has spent an almost equal amount of time in each league, during which he has witnessed the ripple of neoclassical (so to speak) ballpark construction that started with Baltimore's Camden Yards in 1992. Although he is not quite ancient enough to have played in Memorial Stadium (put to rest in 1991) or the old Comiskey Park in Chicago (1990), he was around to play in Cleveland Stadium and Arlington Stadium before they were retired, as well as Mile High in Denver, which the Rockies called home before Coors Field opened.

Q: Your favorite park?

A: Camden Yards (in Baltimore, where he played five seasons for the Orioles).

They may call him Mr. Marlin, but the man has not lost his sense of taste.

August 18, 2004

Cust's last stand with the O's?

(Note: The media series will resume soon.)

Onetime hot prospect Jack Cust, a 25-year-old hitter for the Orioles' Triple-A Ottawa farm team, has had a hot and cold season at the plate: a huge and prolonged slump at the start, followed by a gradual recovery climaxing in a hot July, then lately another big falloff in production. As of Tuesday night's game his batting line was .240/.359/.449, not horrible but well below his career averages.

Now, a story in the Washington Post indicates that his stay with the Oriole organization will almost certainly end after this season, when he will become a free agent.

'It's Been the Worst Year for Me,' Says O's Farmhand Cust” (Washington Post)

Here are Cust's quotes from the story:

On the lack of attention being shown him this year by the organization:

“[The Orioles] have no type of concern for me.... I'm just playing for next year.”

“It's been the worst year ever for me.... It's the first year baseball hasn't been baseball for me. It's just coming to the field and getting a couple at-bats.”

On his decreased playing time in the field:

“I'm not getting any better. I'm getting worse. The whole rhythm of my game has been taken away just by not being able to do what I like to do. You can't always do what you want to do, but there can be a compromise.”

Referring to a visit to Ottawa by Oriole co-VP Jim Beattie in which Beattie never said a word to Cust:

“You [Beattie] could at least say, 'Hey, I know you've had a rough year.' Whatever. Say something. You're there for three days and you can't even show your face. . . . I don't care anymore.”

Continue reading "Cust's last stand with the O's?" »

April 4, 2005

But at least we've kept a team out of Washington, right?

From an interview with baseball prospect guru extraordinaire John Sickels:

MN: Picture 2007: Matt Clement, Bronson Arroyo, Jon Papelbon, John Lester, Abe Alvarez. What do you think of that with run support that is slightly less than it is now in Boston?

JS: I think the Sox are well-positioned for the next few years, certainly. There should be some barnburner races with the Yankees, and heck, maybe even the Blue Jays and Devil Rays. The only team in that division that really has no chance to be interesting in the near future is the Orioles.

(Emphasis added.) Not that it takes an expert on the minor leagues to figure that out.

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