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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

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