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February 22, 2000

The Week in Quotes

February 7-20

by Dennis Cleary

GRIFFEY TRADE

``In these times when big markets and big money seem to steal the stars, it speaks so much of Ken's character that he has chosen instead to come back to where he belongs.''
-- Carl Lindner, Reds owner

``I wouldn't know our new players if they walked in the room, but I think we got four pretty good ballplayers.''

-- Chuck Armstrong, Mariners president

``We would not have made this trade if we did not have the ability to sign Mr. Griffey to a long-term contract because we did not want him for just one year, to rent a player. We wanted a permanent superstar in Cincinnati to open our new stadium and we accomplished that.''

-- Jim Bowden, Reds GM

``[The trade] looked like it was dead in the water. Then all of a sudden it turned around. Seattle put themselves in a pretty tough position.... The longer we waited, the more patience we had, we knew the price would come lower.''

-- Jack McKeon, Reds manager

``I'm so happy to be here and I really don't know what to say. This is something you dream of as a little kid and I finally did it. I'm finally back in the hometown where I watched some of the great players play.''

-- Ken Griffey Jr., Reds outfielder

``It's almost like being traded for Michael Jordan in the NBA. It's that big a thing. It's not a bad thing.''

-- Brett Tomko, Mariners pitcher

``We just went down in the history book with Griffey. Nobody can erase that.''

-- Mike Cameron, Mariners outfielder

``Right now, it's not a good feeling. That can change in spring training, with the regular season, but right now I haven't digested the news. I just know it doesn't feel good.''

-- Edgar Martinez, Mariners DH

``Now that we have Junior, I think expectations are going to skyrocket. I think as long as we keep the same level head everybody had last year and do our jobs, I don't see any reason why we can't do the same thing again.''

-- Steve Parris, Reds pitcher

``We should be optimistic. We have some depth in our pitching and we've added some other good solid players.''

-- Lou Piniella, Mariners manager

``If the player owns a Rolls-Royce and he chooses to sell it at Volkswagen prices, that's his right.''

-- Scott Boras, agent

``I think you could say unequivocally that it was one of the best days we've ever had, relative to selling tickets.''

-- Rob Butcher, Reds spokesman, on the day of the trade

SPRING TRAINING

``I think it will be a good season. We have a lot of young talent. In my opinion, in two or three years, the Tigers will be a serious contender.''
-- Juan Gonzalez, Tigers outfielder

``I would love to play in the World Series this year. Everybody would. But all we can do is ask our guys to do the best they can. Hopefully, you put together a team that is good enough to be in the World Series.''

-- Terry Francona, Phillies manager

``I feel good. I feel like I'm in the best shape I've been in coming to spring training. I'm looking forward to it.''

-- Kerry Wood, Cubs pitcher

``We really want to get started again. We had such a disappointing '99. We're very encouraged about this season. We felt we worked real hard this winter to improve the team. We focused on team and not individuals. We were fortunate to add team players, make this a better team.''

-- Kevin Malone, Dodgers GM

``We have a 25 percent change in our 40-man roster. Things are anything but mundane or anything but familiar.''

-- Bobby Valentine, Mets manager

``Nobody really knows exactly what's going on. There's changes that might happen or changes that you think may happen that won't. I think everybody is excited and really looking forward to getting going and kind of making up for last year's disappointment.''

-- Troy Glaus, Angels infielder

``He's been around; he knows how to pitch. They call him the Bulldog and he's really smart. It'll help me a lot. I just met him today and I'm going to talk to him a little more, pick his mind a little bit.''

-- Eric Gagne, Dodgers pitcher, on Orel Hershiser

``I wasn't worried about Wil Cordero. I wasn't worried about anyone. I know they're going to give me a chance to win the job, and it is my job to win. I'm not focused on Wil Cordero or anybody else. I'm focused on my job.''

-- Aramis Ramirez, Pirates infielder

``There's been a lot said in the offseason that we went out and got all these exciting players and made these big moves to draw more fans. No, we made them to win more baseball games and take a step closer to being a championship club.''

-- Chuck LaMar, Devil Rays GM

THE REST

``Ah, retirement. I used to hate those questions, but now I laugh at them. Going through the death of my father put everything in perspective. I'm at peace with where I am in baseball. If my career ended tomorrow, I would be content with that.''
-- Cal Ripken Jr., Orioles infielder

``I hope they take care of me for taking care of them. Heck, you get right down to the brass tacks, I carried this organization for a long time, but you never hear me say it, you never hear me toot my own horn, because this is where I want to be and that's what I'm supposed to do.''

-- Tony Gwynn, outfielder, on wanting a contract extension from the Padres

``If you keep to yourself, you ain't going to have no problems but when you hit every religion, your percentages aren't too good.''

-- David Wells, Blue Jays pitcher, on John Rocker

``If having a bad year in the major leagues is as bad as it gets for me, then I'm fine.''

-- Jaret Wright, Indians pitcher

``It was nasty, and there are a lot of people in my family that still can't watch it. It was a gruesome thing. I just hope I'm not remembered as the guy who put his foot on backwards.''

-- Jason Kendall, Pirates catcher

``We've never played together. It'll be the first time. In Little League, he was always at the next level and so on through high school.''

-- Jeremy Giambi, A's infielder, on being united with brother Jason

``If they try to trade me, I understand the situation. But it would be their loss. I've been traded before, so I know what it's like and it doesn't bother me. But once they see what I'm capable of doing this year, that might change their mind.''

-- Ron Gant, Phillies outfielder

``You could go up and down his clubhouse and ask guys what they know about hitting, and I guarantee you 99 percent of them in the big leagues don't know what they're doing. They may have gotten here because they're physically strong or they've just always hit a certain way that's been successful. But if you ask them to break it down and tell you exactly what they're doing, I doubt that many can tell you.''

-- Brett Mayne, Rockies catcher

If you would like to submit a quote, please email Steven and be sure to include both the quote itself and a URL pointing to the quote.

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