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SUCKERS


"This is not a money story. What this is is a human interest story about
the character of a bunch of guys who were willing to make sacrifices."

Jerry Colangelo, Diamondbacks managing general partner, on convincing 10
players to defer portions of their salaries for the supposedly cash-poor
franchise


"You can talk about how much you love the team. But you’re in a situation
where you put up or shut up. Are you a team guy?"

Brian Anderson, Diamondbacks pitcher, on agreeing to defer money

CONTRACT REGRETS


"You see the pay scale is getting out of whack. You can’t have A-Rod making
25 million and we’re coming in at 7, 8, 9 million."

Frank Thomas, White Sox infielder, who has still not participated in
work outs


"Too many bridges have been burned. They tried to make it personal, but
I’m not going to stoop to their level. What they don’t understand is that
when I have people lie (about) me, it just makes me stronger."

Gary Sheffield, Dodgers outfielder


"We got our issues out front. They know where I’m coming from and we’ve got
it behind us now."

–Sheffield, at spring training


"Wearing this uniform I won’t be happy, but I’ll go out and do my job."

–Sheffield


"Nobody puts a gun to your head to sign a long term deal. If you sign it,
play it out. It’s that simple. If you have 3-4 years left on your contract,
there’s no complaining."

Mark McGwire, Cardinals infielder


"I’ve said all along that no one contract has hurt the game. We are getting
criticized for this signing, but we put our payroll in a position to enable
us to go after major free agents. When we walked away from guys like Juan
Gonzalez and Aaron Sele because we thought the requests were out of line,
nobody was there to pat us on the back. Each team has to do what they feel
is best."

Doug Melvin, Rangers general manager, responding George Steinbrenner‘s
criticism on the Alex Rodriguez contract

ON HITTING


"Even if he [Tim Raines] doesn’t make the club, the fact that he is in camp
will help a lot of guys – Peter Bergeron, Orlando Cabrera, a lot of guys
who, in the minors, didn’t have any idea how to take a walk. … Raines is
a master. I’d like to see that happen before I get on, see a couple of
those guys with a .400 on-base percentage."

Felipe Alou, Expos manager, on having outfielder Tim Raines
in spring training for the Expos


"I don’t want to go out there and try to hit a home run every time up.
If I have to get the guy over, I just want to make sure I do that
every single time. I know I didn’t do that last year. I’m not thinking
numbers, I’m thinking wins."

Carlos Delgado, Blue Jays infielder


"I don’t like too many things in my head, I don’t care who is pitching. All
I need to see is the ball. My mind is always clean. Empty, empty, empty."

Manny Ramirez, Red Sox outfielder


"I’m a free swinger. They can put the strike zone wherever, on third base,
in left field. It doesn’t matter to me."

Vladimir Guerrero, Expos outfielder, translated by Fernando Seguignol,
on the expanding strike zone


"I believe in God, but I don’t think He is going to help me hit a baseball."

Pat Burrell, Phillies infielder, in an interview with Penthouse

THE REST


"At times last year, we didn’t have the real veteran influence that we
needed, and I think Gant provides us with that. Ronnie has been on some
good teams. We look to him for some guidance beyond just the obvious
baseball stuff."

Buddy Bell, Rockies manager, on signing outfielder Ron Gant


"We’re obviously disappointed, but mostly for Ryan. He worked very hard
this summer so he could come to camp and compete for a job and he was in
great shape. The good news is he’s still a very young pitcher and, while
this is a setback, we expect him to have a fine career with the Mariners."

Pat Gillick, Mariners general manager, on pitcher Ryan Anderson‘s
season-ending injury


"If he can stay healthy and get into 140 to 150 games, he
has a chance to put up a very big year. We’re talking about a guy who has
Hall of Fame numbers right now, and will probably reach 600 homers in his
sleep."

John Hart, Indians general manager, on outfielder Juan Gonzalez


"I’m ready to take off. Supposedly, your best years are when you’re 33, 34.
All that learning accumulates and it finally clicks."

Brian Jordan, Braves outfielder

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