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February 29, 2000

The Week in Quotes

February 20-27

by Dennis Cleary

STRAWBERRY

``I'm going to stand by him. I'm going to try to see that he rights his life. If it's in baseball fine, if it's outside baseball fine. It isn't like George has given him enough chances, now dump him. Dump him... I don't think so.''
-- George Steinbrenner, Yankees owner

``That's the question we're all thinking about. If this is all true, is this the end? I'm sure that's the question everybody wants to know. I hope not.''

-- David Cone, Yankees pitcher

``This is very sad because you know what his life has been like, especially the last year and a half. There's been a lot going on and it's been a constant and difficult struggle. You wish you could help him, but all you can do is support him. I hope it's not the end for him because I don't know what that would mean.''

-- Joe Torre, Yankees manager

``I'm really struggling to try to beat this. I don't know what's going to happen.''

-- Darryl Strawberry, Yankees outfielder

YOUTH

``I'm just trying to get ready for the season. I'm not worried too much about starting or if I'm going to be with the club or not. That's really out of my hands. Last year they got a good feel for what I can do, and there's nothing left for me to prove.''
-- Jerry Hairston Jr., Orioles infielder

``I think [players] weed themselves out. I think you'll find a number of those younger fellows won't even make the team this year. I don't believe they will. I don't see it. Some of them will have to go back to the minor leagues where they should have been to start with. As the year went along, a lot of them fell by the wayside. And we are going to have to replace those people. It was a little too much for them right now. Maybe three more months in the minors or another year will make them better.''

-- Tom Kelly, Twins manager

``I'm tired of that word. Potential doesn't mean anything to me. The game is about production. There are a million people in this world with potential, but if you don't fulfill it, it doesn't mean anything. I know it's there. I know I have the ability. But I don't want to hear it. I want to show it.''

-- Derrek Lee, Marlins infielder

``I don't want to be a guy who comes in and wins the Rookie of the Year and you never hear about him again. I still feel I don't get the kind of respect I deserve. Not being selfish, but all the negatives are coming. You don't really read anything positive like, `He's going to have a good year like last year.' You don't hear them say, `Hey, he might be a good pitcher.' ''

-- Scott Williamson, Reds pitcher

SPRING TRAINING

``Prior to last year, I was a typical player complaining about spring training, complaining about all the work and that it's too long, it's too hot. Then after you miss it and you're forced to play the season without it, I think that's when you realize spring training is a very important time.''
-- Gary DiSarcina, Angels infielder

``If it gets to the point where I'm totally frustrated, then I'll go home. As long as I'm making progress and enjoying myself, this is what I want to do. This is what I enjoy doing the most.''

-- Mark Wohlers, Reds pitcher

``I'm right where I am coming into any spring. I've never had surgery before, so I don't know how it's going to react. But in my mind, I'll be ready for the season.''

-- Steve Avery, Braves pitcher

AL MARTIN TRADE

``This makes us a better club. Al Martin has had success hitting at the top and middle of the lineup and has always been a club leader and a tremendous clubhouse presence.''
-- Kevin Towers, Padres GM

``I like Al Martin, but the thing is, is he a leadoff hitter? Al Martin is a guy who can help us, but I'm not sure he helps us in the leadoff spot.''

-- Tony Gwynn, Padres outfielder

``I try to set the tone by being aggressive and getting on base. Runs are what wins games, not on-base percentage.''

-- Al Martin, Padres outfielder

``I called Cam [Bonifay], and I had candid discussions with him, and I told him if he were going to make a trade, do it for baseball reasons, not money reasons. It upsets me when people say this was about money, because it wasn't.''

-- Kevin McClatchy, Pirates owner

THE REST

``It would be a shame to spend the whole year talking about my contract. I feel like I didn't play up to my potential last year and I want to redeem myself.''
-- Alex Rodriguez, Mariners infielder, on opting to become a free agent at the end of the year

``If you check it out, I walk when the team needs it. So I can walk.''

-- Lance Johnson, Indians outfielder

``The ball just jumps off his bat. He has one of those live bats, one of those special sounds. He had the gift of the pop. We just had to get him under control.''

-- Mike Easler, Cardinals coach, on Fernando Tatis

``It was completely strange last year because I didn't know the guys. I had a great time. It's a team that plays hard every day and I didn't see that too often when I was with my other team.''

-- Ramon Martinez, Red Sox pitcher

``How in the world can I spend all this money? There's no price tag for winning and being where you want to be.''

-- Ken Griffey Jr., Reds outfielder

``I think Bud Selig has a strong idea of how popular I am with fans. I haven't played since 1986. I haven't been in uniform since 1989. I think even today I'm the best ambassador baseball has.''

-- Pete Rose, former player

``When I'm out there, I'm pretty much straightforward. I want to win. I'll lay it all on the line to win and there isn't much I won't do to win. My philosophy is anyway you can get them out, get them out.''

-- Todd Ritchie, Pirates pitcher

``I've never been happier. I got the greatest job in the world and I think one of the greatest lives.''

-- Chipper Jones, Braves infielder

``Everybody knows Griffey can't be replaced unless you bring in Sammy [Sosa] or Mark McGwire. It's going to be my job to play a Gold Glove center field, get on base and run like hell.''

-- Mike Cameron, Mariners outfielder

``A nothing is neither a fastball or a changeup, it's nothing. But in order to throw nothing and be effective, you have to have something.''

-- Dusty Baker, Giants manager

``I will do what I can to get on base, whatever it takes even if it means getting hit by pitches. This can be a scary lineup with McGwire, Tatis and some of the other sluggers. I want to do what I can to help.''

-- Fernando Vina, Cardinals infielder

``I still have a chance. The desire is still there. When you're healthy, you can do a lot of things and you can come back. I've seen a lot of players come back from slumping seasons. I think it's time for me to come back again and show I can do it.''

-- Carlos Baerga, Devil Rays infielder

``When guys kick a ball, I've done that before. When they strike out with guys on base, I've done that. It's like any other profession. You can read all the books you want, but you have to get in there and have that understanding.''

-- Don Baylor, Cubs manager

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.
Related Content:  Don Kelly

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