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May 26, 1998

The Week in Quotes

May 18-24

by Dennis Cleary

THE TRADE, PART 2

"Mike Piazza is the kind of player, like Willie Mays, like Mickey Mantle, the kind of player that will take to this town. He's a New York kind of guy."

-- Fred Wilpon, Mets owner

"[Mike Piazza] will instantly give credibility to the lineup and he will instantly give credibility to Mets fans that the organization is committed to making the playoffs and advancing toward the World Series."

-- Steve Phillips, Mets GM

"You couldn't ask for a better guy than Mike Piazza. He was great through all this, even though he knew this wasn't where he was staying. He worked hard, he played hard. But, for us, it was time to move on and find out what we've got."

-- Jim Leyland, Marlins manager

"I'm glad to have Mike Piazza on the team. He is one of the best hitters in the game. I'll get protection and then some in the batting order."

-- John Olerud, Mets infielder

"I don't have a reaction. Today, the New York Mets are a better team. Time will tell if I change positions."

-- Todd Hundley, Mets catcher

"We've been pretty much consumed with conversations the last week."

-- Dave Dombrowski, Marlins GM

"I've gone from a player who thought he would spend his whole career with one organization to a player who's been with three organizations in a week."

-- Mike Piazza, Mets catcher

"I just want get in one place for more than a week and settle down. This has been bizarre. It's like rotisserie baseball. I don't know whether to pack a couple of suitcases or an overnight bag."

-- Mike Piazza

THE BRAWL


"I don't think there was a guy on the field who didn't throw a punch."

-- Elrod Hendricks, Orioles coach

"I've never seen anything like that in 25 years. [Armando Benitez] should be suspended for the rest of the year. That was a classless act. He's got no class."

-- George Steinbrenner, Yankees owner

"You have to understand Armando [Benitez] comes from a different culture, a different background. Latin American people can be quite emotional and become quite frustrated. I think Latin American people have a different temperament than people in North America."

-- Pat Gillick, Orioles GM

"I ejected Benitez almost before the pitch got there. You're always looking for it and hope it doesn't happen. I felt he would throw at him. I didn't feel he would throw up at his head like he did. If you're going to throw at anyone you throw at his feet."

-- Drew Coble, umpire

"I just want to make it right with everybody. I don't want people to think of me as a bad guy."

-- Armando Benitez, Orioles pitcher

"This is not over."

-- Darryl Strawberry, Yankees outfielder

STRUGGLES


"With the way I started out, this just seems like a big slap in the face. I've proven I'm a major league pitcher, and now I have to prove it all over again. I'm upset about this, but I don't pull the strings around here."

-- Brad Clontz, Dodgers pitcher, on being demoted after posting a 5.66 ERA

"Offensively, we're not lighting up the scoreboard. The pitching, defense and bench had to come through because some of us are struggling -- namely me."

-- Steve Finley, Padres outfielder

"I'm prepared right now to call Peter Angelos and tell him to give me a bunch of 20-year-old kids who will at least throw a strike."

-- Ray Miller, Orioles manager

"There's been concern the last couple of weeks. It doesn't seem like we're getting any better. We're finding more ways to lose games. Sooner or later, you've got to turn it around, or pretty soon it's going to be over. We can't keep digging ourselves a bigger hole."

-- Scott Kamieniecki, Orioles pitcher

"It's tough and it's frustrating to be on a team that has the talent but continues to struggle."

-- Ken Cloude, Mariners pitcher

"Something's lacking around here. I don't know what it is, but something's lacking."

-- David Nilsson, Brewers infielder

"We're playing like a bunch of Little Leaguers."

-- Phil Garner, Brewers manager

"My problem is not mechanical. It's between my ears."

-- Randy Johnson, Mariners pitcher

"I haven't given up on myself. My faith is strong. I'll keep persisting. It's the universal law, and if you follow it, you'll succeed."

-- Jose Cruz Jr., Blue Jays outfielder

THE REST


"Unfortunately, there's going to be this perception about me chasing the money. You don't see this in other sports. Baseball has become sort of the whipping boy of professional sports. There's such an emphasis on money."

-- Mike Piazza, Mets catcher

"People are trying to intimidate [Greg Vaughn] by throwing at him. I love to see it. It's just ticking him off. He's not going to be intimidated by getting thrown at."

-- Trevor Hoffman, Padres pitcher

"This team is not going to take a lot of pitches. When we are going good we get hits quick. When we are going bad we make a lot of outs quick."

-- Dante Bichette, Rockies outfielder

"Left-handers can learn to get people out. It's just different somehow or other. Righties are more protypical. There's only a few left-handers."

-- Bobby Cox, Braves manager

"I get the strong feeling that there are a lot of players in our generation who accept the responsibility for returning baseball to its rightful place as the most popular sport. I watch [Derek] Jeter and Alex [Rodriguez] and many others, and I know that they feel the way I do -- that the players before us made this a great game, and that we respect what we have been given."

-- Nomar Garciaparra, Red Sox infielder

"I'm a perfectionist. That can be carried to a fault at times. But it's why I'm here."

-- Matt Williams, Diamondbacks infielder

"Mark McGwire is the greatest phenomenon and the greatest thing for the game since Mark Fidrych."

-- Jim Leyland, Marlins manager

"I almost threw the bat but I have to think, 'That's not a good thing to do.' I would get suspended for a long time."

-- Pedro Astacio, Rockies pitcher, on being hit by a pitch from Jeff Juden

"When I got on that plane and left Florida, as brokenhearted as I was that we didn't win the World Series, I felt I was leaving with a contending ballclub that would live to play another day. I couldn't say that for my counterparts. I knew the Marlins were bleeding red ink."

-- John Hart, Indians GM

"If I stay injury free, there is a good possibility I'll have another 40-40 season."

-- Jose Canseco, Blue Jays outfielder

"I don't want to go back to LA. I want to go to another team, a team that would give me a chance to play."

-- Wilton Guerrero, Dodgers infielder
Related Content:  Armando Benitez

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