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March 7, 2000

The Week in Quotes

February 28-March 5

by Dennis Cleary

ROCKER'S REDUCED PUNISHMENT

``I disagree with the decision. It does not reflect any understanding or sensitivity to the important social responsibility that baseball ... has to the public. It completely ignores the sensibilities of those groups of people maligned by Mr. Rocker and disregards the player's position as a role model for children.''
-- Bud Selig, MLB commissioner

``Baseball must be a socially responsible institution. The arbitrator's ruling undermines the disciplinary system and sends precisely the wrong message.''

-- Leonard Coleman, former NL president

``I think it's fair. It allows him some of spring training to get ready for the season.... If not, you run the risk of John ruining his career. No one wants that. That would be unfair.''

-- Tom Glavine, Braves pitcher

``I looked at him in the face and he showed me he really regrets what he said. I saw in his eyes that he was kind of sad.''

-- Randall Simon, Braves infielder

``I just turned 25 a couple of months ago, so I guess people are expecting me to be mature way beyond my years just because of the position I'm in. I just think a little bit of growing up will have to be done and I don't think that will be a problem.''

-- John Rocker, Braves pitcher

``I don't have many comments to make about that young man. All I know is he will have to pitch against us.''

-- Jeffrey Loria, Expos owner, on rumors of Rocker being traded to Montreal

STRAWBERRY'S SUSPENSION

``This was a very difficult and painful decision for me to make.''
-- Bud Selig, MLB commissioner, on suspending Darryl Strawberry for a year

``We will abide by the decision. I feel badly for Darryl. My hopes and prayers are that he can do the things he needs to do to get his life in order.''

-- George Steinbrenner, Yankees owner

``You don't have to condone what he's done to have a feeling for him. He's not a bad person.''

-- Joe Torre, Yankees manager

``A baseball career means nothing at this point. You have to take it one step at a time. He has to do it himself. He has to want to do it, and I feel he wants to do it.''

-- Derek Jeter, Yankees infielder

``If he wants to play somewhere, we want to have him.''

-- Dave Popkin, Newark Bears spokesman

SPRING TRAINING

``I was nervous as hell. Then again, I'm pretty much nervous for every game anyhow. It was nice to get things back to where they are and it was good that I got to run the bases, too, so everybody could see it.''
-- Jason Kendall, Pirates catcher

``It's early, and we still have a long way to go. But it felt good to get out there and see a live hitter.''

-- Chad Ogea, Devil Rays pitcher

``Ask Shawn Green about that pitch; it hit him right in the back. But believe it or not that's probably the best one I've thrown since I started throwing it. I wanted it inside and that's where it was.''

-- Rick Reed, Mets pitcher, on his new cut fastball

THE REST

``We're not just building a team, we're going to have a chance to win. I definitely don't see us right now being a .500 ballclub. I see us finishing at least 20 games above .500.''
-- Jose Canseco, Devil Rays outfielder

``I think we made some changes for the better. We probably changed up the chemistry in here a little bit, which will translate into more wins on the field.''

-- Todd Hollandsworth, Dodgers outfielder

``It doesn't seem real. The older I get, the less real it will be. I might be the only person from South Dakota ever elected. That's a weird thing.''

-- Sparky Anderson, on being elected to the Hall of Fame

``I think it's a complement when you go unnoticed. I'm just a guy who wants to do my job.''

-- Dan Wilson, Mariners catcher

``I don't want to develop any preconceived notions about Coors Field, because that could work in a negative way.''

-- Masato Yoshii, Rockies pitcher

``We didn't want to be in a situation where we're dealing with a player of Ben's caliber on a year-to-year basis because we're then subject to the volatility that exists in arbitration and eventually free agency. So it is of the utmost importance that we have planning, and this signing represents that.''

-- Billy Beane, A's GM, on signing Ben Grieve to a four-year contract

``This is an opportunity to rehab in a quality environment, at home, and with people I enjoy being with. Baseball is in my blood. This will be a fun way to share what I've learned about it.''

-- Tony Phillips, utility player, on signing with the Valley Vipers

``My life is my legs.''

-- Rafael Furcal, Braves infielder

``I've always felt there's a handful of guys who are going to win 15 games year in and year out. I feel like I'm in a place where I should be able to win that many games every year because of the team that's around me and the things I have learned.''

-- Kent Bottenfield, Cardinals pitcher

``Complete relaxation. I play a lot of golf. It's great to be able to wake up in the morning and do whatever you want. I guess retirement has been good to me, because I'm enjoying life tremendously.''

-- Earl Weaver, former 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.

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MORE THE WEEK IN QUOTES
2000-04-03 - The Week in Quotes: March 27-April 3
2000-03-27 - The Week in Quotes: March 13-26
2000-03-14 - The Week in Quotes: March 6-12
2000-03-07 - The Week in Quotes: February 28-March 5
2000-02-29 - The Week in Quotes: February 20-27
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