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March 30, 1998

The Week in Quotes

March 16-29

by Dennis Cleary

SPRING TRAINING

"The main thing you want to do here is to keep from getting hurt, and we did that."
-- Joe Carter, Orioles DH

"I thought I was coming in to get ready for April 1st. But I guess they still consider me a 19-year-old rookie and I've got to win a job."
-- Jim Leyritz, Red Sox DH

"I have to take spring performance into account. But a track record is more important."
-- Dave Stewart, Padres pitching coach

"Going into a slump during the spring is really a good thing. During the season it weighs on your mind. It doesn't just affect your play in the field; it affects everything. So to go through one here when there is not that pressure is a positive because you can go ahead and fight through it and work out of it."
-- Todd Helton, Rockies infielder

"I would downplay it if we won them all, but gee whiz. We came to spring training with a lineup that was set, a pitching staff that was almost set and we had the worst spring training ever and it happened on my watch."
-- Phil Garner, Brewers manager

"Too bad spring training doesn't count."
-- Tim Worrell, Tigers pitcher, on his 5-0 record this spring

"I figured I might as well get my one or two strikeouts out of the way down here, then I won't have to worry about them during the season."
-- Bip Roberts, Tigers outfielder

"Rafael [Belliard] has had a good spring as far as I'm concerned. He's very close to being the same guy he was in '91 when we got him. He still catches and throws the ball across the diamond. He gets you outs."
-- Bobby Cox, Braves manager

"I know I'm never going to win a Gold Glove but I worked hard on my defense this spring. I think I'm a better hitter playing first because it keeps me in the flow of the game. But it's not my decision. I know I'm getting paid to hit and that's what I'll try to do again."
-- Frank Thomas, White Sox infielder

SALE OF DODGERS APPROVED

"This is an extremely happy day for all of us. We consider this a crown jewel of American sports and quite frankly, in American life."
-- Peter Chernin, Fox Group CEO

"We've had enough salaries escalating without him here. It would be hard to blame that on him."
-- Peter Magowan, Giants owner

"The O'Malleys ran this team with class. The way they treated their players have been first class and I'm sad to see them go. But I'm sure Fox will continue to do things first class."
-- Eric Karros, Dodgers infielder

"[Rupert Murdoch] will take the Dodgers to the next level."
-- Tommy Lasorda, Dodgers vice president

"It doesn't affect me more than anybody else. Maybe at the end of the season it will. No one knows what's going to happen."
-- Mike Piazza, Dodgers catcher

CLOSERS

"Extreme confidence is one thing they have. Either that, or just being crazy as a loon. Like that guy with the Angels, [Troy] Percival. He's a psycho."
-- Don Rowe, Brewers pitching coach

"I think the strangest thing about me is that I'm not strange."
-- Rod Beck, Cubs pitcher

LOOKING FORWARD

"I don't walk around with a medal around my neck now. Last year's award is over, done, kaput, see you later. I'm a former MVP. It's almost like I win MVP, and I'm supposed to take on this new identity. It's not going to happen."
-- Larry Walker, Rockies outfielder

"It's time to get back to work. That World Series memory is special, and I'll lock it up someplace. But now isn't the time to sit and stare at it."
-- Jim Leyland, Marlins manager

"We're still looking at this the way we did last year -- we're not looking at 1997 and 1998, we're looking for 2000."
-- Gene Lamont, Pirates manager

"Our goal is not to be the doormats of the Western Division. We don't want people to look at the schedule and see us as the breather between hard games."
-- Joe Garagiola Jr., Diamondbacks GM

"I don't know if we're better equipped to win, but the guys have a better attitude about themselves. If you do it once, you can do it again. The variables just have to be right."
-- Dusty Baker, Giants manager

"You talk about the nucleus we've got, and you could get excited. We had our moments this year, just not enough of them."
-- Tony La Russa, Cardinals manager

"I can play another six, seven, eight years. Who knows? I'd love to play it out in Baltimore and win championships here."
-- Rafael Palmeiro, Orioles infielder

THE REST

"If the situation arises, Felix [Rodriguez] will be given a chance to close for us."
-- Buck Showalter, Diamondbacks manager

"If you ain't got the horses, then you ain't going to be a good manager."
-- Rickey Henderson, A's outfielder

"Mo [Vaughn] is an emotional person, and I realize that. He needs to vent, which is fine. But he doesn't always need to vent in the newspapers. I've told him that if he needs to vent, he can come up to my office and vent to me. I'll listen. It might be very helpful."
-- Dan Duquette, Red Sox GM

"I remember somebody saying that a hitter shouldn't be satisfied until he hits a thousand and drives in every runner. That stuck with me. Just because you experience a little success doesn't mean you should get complacent. No matter what you achieve, you can always do better."
-- Tony Clark, Tigers infielder

"I don't see how you can evaluate anyone here. I've even got a home run here."
-- Jim Bullinger, Mariners pitcher, on Coors Field

"Not only will I be changing diapers at home, now I'll be changing them in the clubhouse."
-- Jim Eisenreich, Marlins outfielder

"I like pretty much everything about this team right now."
-- Joe Torre, Yankees manager

"It would be horrible to contemplate the Padres not being in San Diego, so I'm not going to think about it."
-- John Moores, Padres owner

"People were saying I couldn't play the game anymore, I was getting old. But I changed my mechanics, turned everything around and won the batting title in '93."
-- Andres Galarraga, Braves infielder

"This is the greatest job in the world. It's like getting paid for being in a rotisserie league."
-- Billy Beane, A's GM

"No shortstop can outplay me when I'm on my game."
-- Royce Clayton, Cardinals infielder

"The fact the pain is coming back and we're not even on turf yet, it makes you realize this ain't the kind of game you can play when you're hurt, especially the way I play."
-- Lenny Dykstra, Phillies outfielder

"You learn with time that in this game, certain guys get attention, certain guys don't. I'm in a perfect role here. I fit in, I don't get a lot of attention. Most of the time, that's fine."
-- Jay Buhner, Mariners outfielder

"[Carlos Garcia] was good in the clubhouse and good on the field. He just didn't fit here."
-- Mike Hargrove, Indians manager

"You pinch yourself and say, 'Wow, this is truly a dream come true.' I count my blessings every day."
-- Alex Rodriguez, Mariners infielder

"I'm usually going up there swinging at the first pitch and hitting a pop fly or something crazy. You see a pitch there and you want to swing. I can go up and swing at the first pitch if I want to, but I'm trying to learn."
-- Pokey Reese, Reds infielder

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