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May 11, 1998

The Week in Quotes

May 4-10

by Dennis Cleary

K IS FOR KERRY

"I watched Nolan [Ryan] a lot until the past three or four years, and then I started watching [Roger] Clemens. I like the way they both pitch, their aggressiveness and their style of pitching."
-- Kerry Wood, Cubs pitcher

"I'm gonna give most of the credit to the fans. They were in it the whole game. Every time I got two strikes they were on their feet."
-- Kerry Wood

"He never shows anybody up. He doesn't do any dance on the mound like some pitchers after they get you out. My God, he's 20 years old. He doesn't even know how good he is."
-- Mark Grace, Cubs infielder

"He'll probably pitch a few no-hitters. His stuff is the real item. What he throws is clearly distinguished from what the rest of the league throws."
-- Larry Dierker, Astros manager

"It's the best game I've ever seen pitched. I'm just proud to have been there to watch it."
-- Jim Riggleman, Cubs manager

"It's not fair to compare him to Nolan [Ryan]. The kid's got good stuff, but leave comparisons alone. Today was his day. He had everything working. Plus it was the first time we faced him."
-- Craig Biggio, Astros infielder

"The bottom line is, any time you strike out 20 in a game, you're throwing extremely well. You're definitely around the plate and you're getting 20 outs by yourself out of 27. So it was a pretty neat feat and I'm sure he's excited about it."
-- Roger Clemens, Blue Jays pitcher

THE AL EAST

"It's kind of hard at $25 million to $26 million to consistently compete with teams that have payrolls at $50 million or $60 million."
-- Chuck LaMar, Devil Rays GM

"Hey, this is an American League team. We slug. Sometimes we slug and run. Other times we run and slug. Then there are times when we slug and slug. When we slug and slug, it works."
-- Eric Davis, Orioles outfielder

"This division is very tough. We kind of like that."
-- Mo Vaughn, Red Sox infielder

"We just have to make sure we don't fall further behind. We've got to try to stay right where we're at until we can get on a good winning streak."
-- Doug Drabek, Orioles pitcher

CATCHERS

"There would have to be something with a bone or an artery before I'd come out. It just kind of knocked me a little senseless."
-- Joe Oliver, Tigers catcher, on being hit in the throat by a bat

"I'm not worried about wearing down, not in the heat, not catching so many games. Heat? I grew up in Puerto Rico, I prefer to play when it's hot. And I love to play. Why should I wear down?"
-- Ivan Rodriguez, Rangers catcher

"The thing on this club about hitting a game-winning homer is that you almost get killed by your teammates. Jim Thome hit me with an overhand right that was really a wallop. He doesn't realize how strong he is."
-- Sandy Alomar Jr., Indians catcher

TO MOVE OR NOT TO MOVE ...

"Ed [Wade] and I talked about our options. But we've got to be careful. Ten minutes after a game is not the time to make a decision. If that was the case, you wouldn't send [Garrett] Stephenson down -- you'd shoot him. This decision is something we need to sleep on."
-- Terry Francona, Phillies manager

"[Ozzie Guillen] has got experience, and we feel he can still play quality shortstop. We have a great shortstop in [Walt] Weiss, but in case he can't play down the line, we have an experienced shortstop coming in."
-- Bobby Cox, Braves manager

"I don't want [Albert Belle] for this team. He's a good player for the White Sox, but he wouldn't be a good fit here."
-- Steve Phillips, Mets GM

... OR TO GET OUT OF THE WAY

"If I wanted to hit [Michael Tucker], I would have hit him with the first pitch. I don't throw at people just for the hell of it, just because I gave up a home run or I gave up two runs."
-- Joey Hamilton, Padres pitcher

"Maybe [Cal Eldred] was trying to send me a message. I happened to get in front of his message."
-- Sean Berry, Astros infielder

THE REST

"I know my game. My game is to try to get on base and get base hits."
-- Jose Offerman, Royals infielder

"We're looking at everything -- club suites, enhancing the dugout seats, merchandising opportunities. We're looking at everything we can do with Dodger Stadium without changing the ambiance."
-- Bob Graziano, Dodgers president

"There were plenty of people watching the game -- you just couldn't see them. I've never been in a ballpark when the announcer has asked fans to run for cover. We were down there on the field. What were we supposed to do?"
-- Johnny Oates, Rangers manager, on a severe storm warning

"You play every day and you get used to playing every day. A lot of times, an everyday player doesn't know when he needs a day off. One of the things it does is give you a chance to regroup physically and regroup mentally. Sometimes you don't know when that's needed, and you rely on the manager to do that."
-- Jay Bell, Diamondbacks infielder

"We're just going through a bad time against teams we're supposed to beat. Not to take anything away from [the Marlins], because they have some talent here, but we're supposed to come in here and play better when we're going against the young pitchers we're facing."
-- Bill Russell, Dodgers manager

"The physical ability to play was always there. I had just become blocked mentally. Baseball is not my job; it's my passion. I had accomplished a dream making it to the big leagues. And when you're struggling, you'll do anything to keep you where you think you belong."
-- Damion Easley, Tigers infielder, on seeing a hypnotherapist

"[Joe Carter] wasn't brought here to play right field every day, to be honest. But he's also been one of the most consistent bats we've got."
-- Ray Miller, Orioles manager

"You have to give [Carlos] Perez credit. It's too bad he acts like a fool because he's a damn good pitcher."
-- Dante Bichette, Rockies outfielder

"It feels like baseball again when I get to play against a left-hander. You're out there. You get cuts on your body. You get dirty. It makes it a little bit of fun."
-- Todd Helton, Rockies infielder

"You can only play this game so long on your physical ability. Eventually, you have to start using your mind."
-- Mark McGwire, Cardinals infielder

"I don't think adversity builds character. I think adversity shows character."
-- Phil Garner, Brewers manager

"I'm not ageless. As long as my arm, knees and body hold up and I feel good, I'm going to keep pitching."
-- Danny Darwin, Giants pitcher

"That's what makes this team so special. You've got no superstars, just guys who want to play and can compete with anybody. That makes it easier when you struggle."
-- Doug Jones, Brewers pitcher

"This is a non-talk sport. You don't talk smack in baseball, so you have to have body language. You see a young pitcher give up a home run, and before it's out of the park, his head is down. You don't want to do that. That's what the enemy wants to see. Great pitchers ... have composure. They have the scowl."
-- Rex Hudler, Phillies outfielder

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