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March 1, 1999

The Week in Quotes

February 8-28

by Dennis Cleary

CLEMENS TO THE YANKEES

"They are the champions. I just want to slide in the side door and go to work with these guys and hopefully fit right in."
-- Roger Clemens, Yankees pitcher

"I'm not knocking the Toronto Blue Jays, they're a fine organization. I've had my ups and downs with this organization, but you've got to turn over a new leaf and just move on."

-- David Wells, Blue Jays pitcher

"It's a great opportunity for me, after watching greatness in New York. I didn't contribute at all there, maybe a little bit, but maybe here I can get more at bats and have some fun."

-- Homer Bush, Blue Jays infielder

"We added the Michael Jordan of pitchers."

-- Brian Cashman, Yankees GM

"I worried a little about complacency. This should take care of that."

-- George Steinbrenner, Yankees owner

"I'm sure there are mixed emotions among the fans. As soon as Rocket throws his first 15-strikeout night at Yankee Stadium people will be oohing and wowing, saying, 'What a catch!'"

-- David Cone, Yankees pitcher

"It was really a matter of the Yankees matching up very well with Toronto's needs."

-- Gerry Hunsicker, Astros GM

"They'll need Roger when they play us in the Fall Classic in October."

-- Kevin Malone, Dodgers GM

SPRING HOPES

"I'm healthy. I feel like I can play every day in the outfield. I don't plan on being in any part of a rotation in the outfield."
-- Tim Salmon, Angels outfielder

"Who knows? Maybe I'll help the Devil Rays go to the playoffs. Things can happen."

-- Jose Canseco, Devil Rays outfielder

"With the pitching staff we've got here, we can compete with anybody in the league, including the Atlanta Braves."

-- Denny Neagle, Reds pitcher

"I have no goal to make the playoffs; I have a goal to make the World Series."

-- Bobby Valentine, Mets manager

SIGNINGS AND TRADES

"It's disappointing to me. I like Pittsburgh. I like playing for the Pirates. No disrespect intended to the Arizona Diamondbacks, but I was happy where I was at."
-- Tony Womack, Diamondbacks outfielder

"The addition of Tony Womack shifts us into a different gear."

-- Joe Garagiola Jr., Diamondbacks GM

"Cecil [Fielder] has a ratio which translates into 100 RBI over 600 at-bats. There are not many players that have that kind of ratio. This is an opportunity. There's no commitment and we'll just see what develops."

-- Gord Ash, Blue Jays GM, on inviting Fielder to camp

"I love 99, so why not? I want to have as many 99s in my contract as possible. It has to give me good luck."

-- Turk Wendell, Mets pitcher, on signing for $1,200,000.99

"All I ever heard was that he wanted to play baseball. I understand he routinely takes batting practice at home. He's got an athletic build and a big pair of wheels."

-- John Moores, Padres owner, on inviting Garth Brooks to camp

"As we try to put together a quality bench for 1999, we think Shawon [Dunston] and Eduardo [Perez] could play very important roles."

-- Walt Jocketty, Cardinals GM

GANT'S RANT

"Rickey Henderson didn't like him. Royce Clayton didn't like him. He treated Ozzie Smith like dirt. Brian Jordan didn't like him. I don't know too many people who did like him."
-- Ron Gant, Phillies outfielder, on Tony La Russa

"That's called unforgivable. That's lower than cheap. But I'm not going to sue him. I'll turn the page."

-- Tony La Russa, Cardinals manager

"The Cardinals were the laughingstock of the league for that lineup [with the pitcher batting 8th]. Guys on every team were coming up to me and saying 'What's this about?' All I could say is, 'Nobody knows what he's thinking about.'"

-- Ron Gant

"It was whiff, whiff, whiff. I really hope he goes to Philly and whiffs for them like he whiffed for us, and we'll see what excuse he makes."

-- Tony La Russa

"I apologize to the fans, to my fans, to the families. This shouldn't have happened. We both are adults, and we have to put it behind us."

-- Ron Gant

THE STRIKE ZONE

"There's been a lot of criticism over the variance in leagues and umpires. We believe the strike zone should be enforced the way it appears in the book."
-- Bud Selig, MLB commissioner

"I don't see how anyone could say we're going to more strictly enforce a rule. The umpires enforce all of the rules. That's been their job for more than 100 years. It is deplorable for the commissioner's office to indicate that the umpires have not strictly enforced all of the rules."

-- Richie Phillips, umpires union head

THE REST

"It was a mixture of business, charity and self indulgence to the nth degree."
-- Todd MacFarlane, on paying $3 million for Mark McGwire's 70th home run ball

"You win 7-5 and they say you 'know how to win.' Lose 1-0 and you can't win the tough games. Cliches."

-- David Cone, Yankees pitcher

"Major league baseball is not the IOC. And it has absolutely nothing to do with me hitting a baseball. I don't endorse the product. I never did. Someone stuck a nose in my locker."

-- Mark McGwire, Cardinals infielder, on androstenedione

"We've had our one-year mourning period. Now it's time to get to work."

-- John Boles, Marlins manager

"Every spring, I'd ask, 'Are we running for the pennant? Are we playing for the wild card? Or are we rebuilding?' Nobody could give me an answer. They would say we were trying to make the playoffs but we didn't have guys with the experience to do that."

-- Don Rowe, former Brewers pitching coach

"I said it before and I'll say it again. I want to be here and contend on this club. If that's not going to happen in the immediate future and they move me to a club that is contending, then I would see if we can work something out."

-- Curt Schilling, Phillies pitcher

"I've got a really good therapist and the Blue Jays have been helping me out a lot. But chasing my two kids around on one or two legs gets you better pretty quick."

-- Paul Qunatrill, Blue Jays pitcher, on recovering from a broken leg

"To all my fans in Atlanta, Venezuela and around the country, I was looking forward toward the '99 season. Unfortunately, I'm hit with this setback. But, I promise you, I will be back."

-- Andres Galarraga, Braves infielder, on being diagnosed with cancer

"This is all uncharted territory. Who knows? Maybe I'll play in 162 games, maybe 150. It all depends on how the season goes. I'm still going to come to the ballpark thinking, `I'm available, so use me.'"

-- Cal Ripken Jr., Orioles infielder

"The deal that I'm going to sign is going to be a fair deal, and in return, I'm going to want a no-trade to go with that. Part of the whole philosophy is to stay. I don't know if that's the hang-up or not, but that's important to me."

-- Trevor Hoffman, Padres pitcher

"We had to choose between Mo Vaughn and Kevin Brown. With the Padres, it was Kevin Brown or Garth Brooks."

-- Kevin Malone, Dodgers GM

"In the beginning, I really enjoyed starting, but toward the end it was getting kind of monotonous with all the losing."

-- Derek Lowe, Red Sox pitcher

Related Content:  Yankees Fans

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1999-04-12 - The Week in Quotes: March 29-April 11
1999-04-02 - The Week in Quotes: March 15-31
1999-03-16 - The Week in Quotes: March 1-14
1999-03-01 - The Week in Quotes: February 8-28
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