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TRADES


“I figured that they would release me before they would trade me. It’s going
to be tough leaving Texas, because it’s the only place I have ever really
stayed.”

Lee Stevens, new Expos infielder


“My bat is my meal ticket. I don’t foresee any problems as a DH, but I always
thought my fielding was OK.”

Brad Fullmer, new Blue Jays infielder


“Jesse [Orosco] is a guy who has great experience and, despite his age, he is
still very productive. We jumped at the opportunity to get him. He was being
sought by several clubs and we felt that was a good way to add quality depth
to our bullpen.”

Walt Jocketty, Cardinals GM


“He’s an original Cardinal, a good Cardinal. You take the Cardinals off his
chest, it’s like taking them off Musial, only in a way-down-the-ladder kind
of way.”

George Kissell, Cardinals infield instructor, on the team’s trade
of Joe McEwing


“I’m not sure National Leaguers who haven’t seen him understand how good
[Jim] Edmonds can be. He’s got MVP talent. He’s a very good hitter, a great
center fielder, and he plays hard. Mac’ll have him pumped about playing in
St. Louis. I know he’s got me pumped. I can’t wait to perform in that red
sea.”

Pat Hentgen, Cardinals pitcher


PREDICTIONS


“I guarantee you, the Rangers will not win this year. If the players there
don’t like it, I’m sorry. Tell them I’m sorry.”

Juan Gonzalez, Tigers outfielder


“The last couple of years was fun until we got to the end. That’s never fun
when you lose. I’m looking forward to doing that here, but going further. I’m
looking forward to going further. I didn’t say we were. It would be very good
if we could. I think this team has a very good chance of doing that. We’ve got
a lot of guys on this team who can play.”

Mark McLemore, Mariners infielder


“It is not a matter of whether we will win the division, it is a matter of
by how many games.”

Barry Larkin, Reds infielder


“We’re real confident. We’re adding Griffey, but people are forgetting about
Dante Bichette, who’s going to be a big part of this offense. Adding those
guys to the young core we have is only going to make us better.”

Pokey Reese, Reds infielder


“I’ve just got a feeling. We’re going to be good. I don’t know the specifics,
but we’re going to be good. This team has really good chemistry.”

Kevin Towers, Padres GM


OPENING IN JAPAN


“We’re not going over there just to see the sights. I’m not going there to
meet their hierarchy. I’m going there to win. You’re going to see one pissed
off human being if we come back on a 17-hour flight with an 0-2 record.”

Mark Grace, Cubs infielder


“There’s no sense in sitting around and complaining about it. There’s nothing
you can do about it, so you might as well enjoy it. They treat you great over
there. But it’s still a long way to go to play a game.”

Robin Ventura, Mets infielder


“No matter where I am, I never have a problem hitting the baseball.”

Sammy Sosa, Cubs outfielder


“I know major league baseball wants to do more internationally, but there’s no
purpose in it. I don’t agree with it.”

Mark McGwire, Cardinals infielder


THE REST


“Juan [Gonzalez] was the heart and soul of this club. He was the franchise.
But we got so much in return for him. It’s made us a little younger, and
that’s good.”

Rafael Palmeiro, Rangers infielder


“My back feels great. You could drop bricks on it.”

Paul Byrd, Phillies pitcher


“We’re moving in the right direction. I’ve been through the worst already.
To be part of all of that and not be part of the future would really stink.”

Alex Fernandez, Marlins pitcher


“I really hope we can work something out and I don’t have to take the moose
antlers down off the wall at the stadium. I’ve always said that my first
choice is to stay, and I’m not just blowing smoke. My family wants to stay,
too. We really love Baltimore.”

Mike Mussina, Orioles pitcher, on his impending free agency


“When I watch someone’s swing, I watch their legs, their hands, their weight
transfer. A good swing looks easy but it takes constant work and a lot of time
to find and keep.”

Edgar Martinez, Mariners DH


“Honestly, and I’m not trying to be cliched, I just try to go out each day
and play hard and play the game right, move runners and do what I’m supposed
to do. Then I just let everything else fall into place. If you just play this
game for the team, your individual stats will usually turn out really good.”

Chris Singleton, White Sox outfielder


“I guess we all have an alarm for when it’s time for your career to end,
and I felt like my alarm went off two weeks ago.”

Tim Raines, on his retirement


“I’m more of a 25-to-30 [home run] guy who drives in runs and drives in the
tough runs — late in the game, two outs, two strikes. I’m not going to hit
the home runs. Griffey hits the home runs and that kind of takes the pressure
off of me.”

Dante Bichette, Reds outfielder


“I’m not putting myself on his level, but I’m a Greg Maddux type of pitcher.
Guys will walk away from home plate wondering how I got them out.”

Kent Bottenfield, Angels pitcher


“I definitely think if I had someone else’s back, I could play until I’m 45
easily. I’ll probably have the most home runs compared to the most surgeries.”

Jose Canseco, Devil Rays outfielder


“I think it’s the dumbest move we can make.”

Johnny Damon, Royals outfielder, on the release of Paul
Sorrento


“Baseball people think they can find athletes with good bodies and teach them
how to play baseball. What’s wrong with giving someone who already knows how
to play baseball a chance? I think I fall into that category, and I’ve proven
I can hold my own in professional baseball.”

Marcus Giles, Braves minor league infielder

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