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April 2, 1999

The Week in Quotes

March 15-31

by Dennis Cleary

KERRY WOOD

``I haven't even had the surgery yet. It's too early to think about when I'm going to be back.''
-- Kerry Wood, Cubs pitcher

``We were very, very conservative with Kerry. Whether this was bound to happen, I can't answer.''

-- Ed Lynch, Cubs GM

``Thankfully, we live in a day and age when they can put us back together like an erector set.''

-- Terry Mulholland, Cubs pitcher

``It's too bad for him, too bad for baseball. I don't like to face the guy, but he's a special, special pitcher. We need those to come along in the game like that, who really pack them in.''

-- Bobby Cox, Braves pitcher

``I feel for him. I think as a pitcher, every one of us has laid in bed with an ache and a pain thinking it's over.''

-- Rod Beck, Cubs pitcher

CUBA

``If this trip to Cuba were the right thing to do, we would be the ones doing it. You don't see the Boston Red Sox going to Mexico. You see the Padres opening up the Mexican market.''
-- John Henry, Marlins owner

``I've said from the outset that there was never an ulterior motive, just a free exchange between the people of the two countries. The notion that this initiative will somehow give the Orioles an advantage recruiting Cuban players in the future is more born of cynicism than fact.''

-- Peter Angelos, Orioles owner

``We know this is history. This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing.''

-- Scott Kamieniecki, Orioles pitcher

``It will be a good test to see who is really the best, if the American big leaguers really are the best in the world.''

-- Lazaro Vargas, Industriales infielder

``It's a no-win situation. My only goal going there is to play a good game and get out of there healthy.''

-- Ray Miller, Orioles manager

``They're considered the best amateur team in the world, year-in, year-out, but the key word there is amateur.''

-- B.J. Surhoff, Orioles outfielder

``We are not required to have major league umpires for the game in Havana or the game in Baltimore. If the umpires are not inclined to go, they won't be invited to go.''

-- Sandy Alderson, MLB's executive vice president of baseball operations

``The umpires always seem to be an afterthought. That kind of disrespect the umpires really can't tolerate. They'd rather go with four Cuban umpires than negotiate with the umpires' association. If that's their inclination, that just proves where they're coming from.''

-- Richie Phillips, umpires union head

SPRING TRAINING

``I really don't have much to say about it. In baseball, numbers are everything and I have to pay attention to them. It's not really for me to judge the numbers.''
-- Hideki Irabu, Yankees pitcher, on his 7.47 spring ERA

``We took a lot of heat for inviting Garth Brooks to spring training. But every time we play a road game, the other club calls and asks if we're bringing him.''

-- Kevin Towers, Padres GM

``I'm thankful I got the chance to play. What's happened this spring with so many players all over baseball having ligament damage, I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy.''

-- Todd Hundley, Dodgers catcher

``I'm sure when they look at the No. 66, they know I'm an invitee. Hopefully that number will change, will get a little bit lower -- 65, or something like that.''

-- Scott Williamson, Reds pitcher

OK...

``As we continue to prepare for the championship season I unfortunately detected that this ongoing unsettled situation has manifested itself in a lack of focus and direction for our club.''
-- Gord Ash, on firing manager Tim Johnson

``They're locked in on four or five years. We're at three years and an option. We're not inclined to go any farther. They're not inclined to take any less so for now at least, we're going to put it aside.''

-- Ned Colletti, Giants assistant GM, on contract talks with J.T. Snow

``You've got to give up something to get something. We had a pretty good feel for what we were giving up. But we didn't want to go into the season without a shortstop.''

-- Chuck LaMar, Devil Rays GM, on trading Bob Abreu for Kevin Stocker

``He's in bad shape. That's why he was released by the Cardinals. He's not in shape at all. He's going to start the year at Indianapolis and we're going to try to get him in shape.''

-- Jim Bowden, Reds GM, on Carlos Baerga

``I think the sad thing is, last year he really was able to shed that label of just being a backup catcher. He proved not only to us, but to the baseball world, that he's a solid, everyday catcher.''

-- Kevin Towers, Padres GM, on the season-ending injury to Carlos Hernandez

AS THE RED SOX TURN

``Roger Clemens told me if you get out of Boston, because of the regime that's in control, it adds five years to your career.''
-- Mo Vaughn, Angels infielder

``It was a very quiet, professional team last year, except for Mo [Vaughn]. This year, it's even quieter. But the positive is that everyone is all business, very professional. It's all about team, about the game. That's not a bad thing, except for maybe the media.''

-- Jim Corsi, Red Sox pitcher

``I don't care what people say. I believe they paid me for a reason. It's not fair to compare myself with [Mo Vaughn]. We are two different players, and the things he can do are hard for me to do. My job is to be on base.''

-- Jose Offerman, Red Sox infielder

THE REST

``It is difficult to understand the objective of the [1994] lockout or whatever it was. It was supposed to help the small-market clubs and here we are five years later and we are about to lose our franchise in Montreal. That's the bottom line.''
-- Felipe Alou, Expos manager

``It's nice to have money, but it's more important to spend that money wisely.''

-- Kevin McClatchy, Pirates owner

``The trophy we won last year has got rust on it now. Everybody is gearing up to take the championship away. Baltimore's better, Cleveland's better. We had to get better.''

-- Brian Cashman, Yankees GM

``It's a difficult decision because it involves a player of his stature and given what he's done in his career. But I've got to make a judgment in what I can do to have us win as many games as we can, and this starts the process.''

-- Steve Phillips, Mets GM, on releasing Hideo Nomo

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