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NICE GUYS FINISH LAST

"The main factor for Craig was that he was being asked to move to a new position in the last year of his contract. We had empathy for that and we wanted to show what he has meant to the Astros over the years." 
–Gerry Hunsicker, Astros general manager, on signing 37-year-old Craig Biggio

QUOTABLE CATCHERS: PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE

"I'm going to spring training to win a job…It would be pretty stupid for me to say, 'They've given me this job,' when I've been in the big leagues for all of six minutes." 
–Josh Bard, Indians catcher

"I'm not an underwear model…I'm a baseball player. I like food. I'm building my body up to break it down during the season. If I'm going to catch 130 games this season, I've got to be strong." 
–Bard, on gaining 15 pounds in the off-season

"Blocking the plate is a pride thing…I had a play against Paul Konerko last year. I went 0-for-5 that day, but I tagged him out at the plate and we beat Chicago by a run. I considered that a good day." 
–Bard

"They were not gonna lose that ballgame, from the start. As you saw last year, a team that obviously looks good on paper doesn't necessarily translate into wins. A winning team has a certain attitude, a certain element, that they know they're going to get the job done. For some reason, we didn't have that last year." 
–Mike Piazza, Mets catcher, on the Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers

"Such an intangible quality, chemistry. You can't really put a label on that. I just know teams that win have chemistry and teams that don't win don't have good chemistry…All I can say is we'll find out." 
–Piazza, on the idea of team chemistry

"The majority of games are decided by the six inches between your backbone and your chestbone." 
–Mike Sweeney, Royals infielder

LIFE IN THE WINDY CITY

"I'm no miracle man…My name is Dusty, not Messiah." 
–Dusty Baker, Cubs manager

"You have to manufacture runs early in the year when it's cold…You've got to have a two-team philosophy. One, where you swing away and use your power. And, one where you manufacture runs, using the hit-and-run, and strong pitching." 
–Baker

I'LL BELIEVE IT WHEN I SEE IT

"I've always felt that the position of leadoff hitter has to do with on-base percentage and the ability to drive in a run that we've just bunted over…Because of our limited pool of candidates, it's going to be Barry Larkin or Adam Dunn." 
–Bob Boone, Reds manager

"He's really, really trimmed down. He's not ever going to look like a ballerina, but he looked like Mo when Mo was having his best years." 
–Steve Phillips, Mets general manager, on Mo Vaughn

THE REST

"A lot of people think I want to move him because he doesn't walk…You don't have to walk to be a good player. Not all players are alike. We don't want clones." 
–Theo Epstein, Red Sox general manager, on Shea Hillenbrand

"He's got his own system out there in Vegas…I don't know exactly what he does. But if you don't trust that guy, I don't know who you're going to trust." 
–Leo Mazzone, Braves pitching coach, on Greg Maddux

"I don't want to leave this country in a time of war…I want to be in the big leagues. It would be a dream come true to be in a Boston uniform on opening day." 
–Kevin Millar, professional baseball player

"Yeah, on your days off, if anyone goes hunting and wears these, you probably won't get shot." 
–Piazza, on the Mets bright-orange batting practice jerseys

"I'm a Creamsicle…But I like Creamsicles." 
–Piazza

"I'm sincerely sorry…I made a stupid remark and I accept my punishment. I've apologized to Ms. Davis. There was no anti-Semitism whatsoever on my part." 
–Bruce Froemming, senior major-league umpire, on his use of an anti-semitic slur to describe umpiring administrator Cathy Davis

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