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March 16, 1999

The Week in Quotes

March 1-14

by Dennis Cleary

JOE DIMAGGIO

``I feel fortunate and lucky that I had the opportunity to talk baseball with him. I'm a baseball fan, and his accomplishments speak for themselves. There were a lot of misconceptions about Joe because of his need for privacy.''
-- Cal Ripken Jr., Orioles infielder

``He really lived up to his billing. He was the greatest living player. He just had such a dignity and an elegance about him that nobody can match in today's game.''

-- David Cone, Yankees pitcher

``He was to people all over the world what a baseball player was supposed to be like.''

-- Tommy Lasorda, Dodgers vice president

``I never saw a player who was as graceful. The was an aura about him that was amazing. I idolized him. He'll always be my all-time favorite.''

-- Bud Selig, MLB commissioner

``The very mention of his name personifies class, dignity, elegance and professionalism both on and off the field. He will always be the standard to which all great baseball players are measured.''

-- Tim McCarver, broadcaster

``In this century, there have been three baseball players who transcended their sport to become part of American legend. Where Babe Ruth was known for his power and Jackie Robinson was known for his courage, Joe DiMaggio was known for dignity and grace.''

-- Al Gore, politician

SPRING TRAINING

``I was pretty pumped up about the chance to pitch to him for the first time. But I went about it the wrong way. I tried to match power vs. power, and obviously he has more.''
-- Ted Lilly, Expos pitcher, on giving up a home run to Mark McGwire

``I think I've got what it takes. I plan on making the team. I don't plan on playing in Albuquerque.''

-- Pete Rose Jr., Dodgers minor leaguer

``I hope [Gabe Kapler] turns out to be a great major league centerfielder, but not with the Tigers while I'm here.''

-- Brian L. Hunter, Tigers outfielder

``To get to where I'm at now, I needed to concentrate on my mechanics. My brain would just think about bad stuff. What I try to do now, especially when I'm warming up, is remind myself about mechanical things, to get to the point where my mechanics are dumb proof.''

-- Mark Wohlers, Braves pitcher

``My goal is to play every day. That's what I'm here for, to be an everyday player. I've proved I can do the job. The only thing I've got to prove now is I'm healthy.''

-- Jose Vizcaino, Dodgers infielder

THE STRIKE ZONE

``I will try to call them the way they want me to. But you've got 68 umpires, and you can't clone 68 umpires.''
-- Bruce Froemming, umpire

``I'm going to try, I really am. But I've been calling the same pitch for years, and it's not easy to change overnight.''

-- Greg Kosc, umpire

``Obviously, umpires have been asked to adjust. But I look at the quality of my National League umpires. They'll be able to do it.''

-- Leonard Coleman, NL president

``I have had discussions with Bud Selig. Bud has asked me to handle the matter directly with him and see if we can resolve our problem.''

-- Richie Phillips, umpires union head

HOF

``It's hard to explain the feeling when they called me this morning and told me I was selected to the Hall of Fame. I've been ready for this for 17 years.''
-- Oralndo Cepeda, former player

``I'm really not disappointed. This was the first year I thought I had a shot, but I wasn't holding my breath.''

-- Bill Mazeroski, former player

DEFENSE

``We're going to try to catch the ball and get outs for guys. Nothing against the guys who were at shortstop last year, but I'm going to try to bring some level of consistency to the position that wasn't there.''
-- Pat Meares, Pirates infielder

``He's going to help us out a lot. He's one of those guys that if he hits .200, he's still makes your team a lot better.''

-- Greg Maddux, Braves pitcher, on Bret Boone

``[Andruw Jones] plays center field like he's been out there forever. He gets jumps on balls that I can't believe.''

-- Don Baylor, Braves hitting coach

``People are going to say what they want. As long as they say one good thing, I'm happy. My whole career, I've always felt that if I can't drive a run in, I can feel good about stopping a run from scoring. You take that approach, you're going to help your team win.''

-- Mike Bordick, Orioles infielder

THE REST

``I don't believe I have either the legal or moral authority to consign a team to bankruptcy. If anybody thinks that the Expos can make it playing in their facility and stay an economically viable franchise, they're just kidding themselves.''
-- Bud Selig, MLB commissioner

``I feel fine, and I am looking forward to taking care of this problem and getting back to work.''

-- Joe Torre, Yankees manager, on prostate cancer

``This kind of puts to rest the unfair and inaccurate notion that we were a reprise of the Florida Marlins.''

-- Larry Lucchino, Padres president, on signing Trevor Hoffman to a $32 million, 4-year deal

``[Gary Sheffield] is a team player. I don't know how Gary was in the past, I know how he is now. I had heard about his reputation. I don't know who this guy used to be. He just wants to win.''

-- Kevin Malone, Dodgers GM

``[Jeff Reboulet] was so valuable last year that he didn't get to play very much. He can play anywhere, and everyone was hurt so much that I couldn't start him because then I wouldn't have anyone on the bench.''

-- Ray Miller, Orioles manager

``I like the moves we made; we filled a lot of holes. Dean Palmer, Willie Blair, Gregg Jefferies, Brad Ausmus -- these are all veteran players with proven track records. You put them together with the young guys we have and it's a good mix.''

-- Bobby Higginson, Tigers outfielder

``[Wil Cordero] brings a tremendous dimension to our offense. Professional hitters like him are hard to find.''

-- Mike Hargrove, Indians manager

``I feel I'm a better pitcher now than when I came into professional baseball. I'm still learning, though. Quite honestly, I'm probably not quite ready to make that jump to the major leagues yet. I probably need a little more time at Class AAA.''

-- Kris Benson, Pirates minor leaguer

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