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UMPIRES

"I think if you’d just call the strike zone from
what it is in the rule book that you would see pitching
improve."

Nolan Ryan, former player

"They can fine me all they want. What they need to
do is start watching film on [umpires] and get rid of
the guys who aren’t doing their job. I’ll pay the fine.
What are they going to do, fine me for telling the
truth? [Joe West] was terrible, he was pitiful, a bad
joke."

Dave Stewart, Padres pitching coach

EXPANSION

"Other people can call us expansion or whatever they
want, but when we leave town, we want them to say that
we really get after it on the field."

Larry Rothschild, Devil Rays manager

"There are some guys who are in love with being a
big-leaguer. What some people don’t realize is that
it’s a lot easier to get to the big leagues than it is
to stay. You have to take opportunities when they are
given. The major leagues are an accountable place. For
all of us."

Buck Showalter, Diamondbacks manager

"I’m not buying into that, at least not this
year. It’s a great theory, but I think that’s all it
is. I’ve seen some of the kids pitching. They look
pretty good to me."

Bobby Cox, Braves manager, on dilution caused
by expansion

"We’re going to have losing streaks. It’s how we
deal with those streaks that tells what kind of team
we’re going to be. But I don’t think this is a team
that’s going to fade."

Chuck LaMar, Devil Rays GM

"I don’t think they should have expanded to 32 teams.
I think we’re going in the wrong direction. There are more
teams going after players, which is driving up the cost of
players and, in turn, driving up the cost of tickets and
concessions. It benefits no one in the long run."

Peter Angelos, Orioles owner

FAST STARTS …

"I know our expectations are definitely higher. I
like that. It means we’re a better team. If our
expectations were low, it would mean that we didn’t do
anything differently than last year."

Jim Riggleman, Cubs manager

"It’s been very exciting for us so far. Right now
everything has been fantastic. But you can’t forget it’s
a long season. There are a lot of games remaining."

Juan Gonzalez, Rangers outfielder

… AND SLOW STARTS

"I’m not going to give up, that’s for sure. I’m
not finished yet. I dedicated myself to pitching this
year and I’m going to pitch."

Dennis Eckersley, Red Sox pitcher

"I don’t want to believe what I’m seeing. It’s
discouraging to have eight wins and three of those
against a team that is just starting this year."

Don Baylor, Rockies manager

"It’s tougher on the guys who were here last year.
But nobody, rookies included, enjoys losing."

Mark Kotsay, Marlins outfielder

THE REST

"If I don’t say anything, then people say I don’t
care. If I say something, then I’m the bad guy. I’m
damned if I do, and I’m damned if I don’t."

Gary Sheffield, Marlins outfielder

"Every time I try to work the count, take pitches,
or work for a walk, it’s 0-2, then strike three, and I’m
walking back to the dugout."

Gary DiSarcina, Angels infielder

"It’s time we develop ballplayers in the United States
instead of some other country. Let’s give a chance to our
kids in the inner cities. Let’s let them know somebody gives
a damn about them. Let’s offer them something. They’re hungry.
They want our help."

Don Newcombe, former player

"We’re trying to stay healthy. That’s the key for
us. If we can stay healthy, we’ll be exciting."

Ken Caminiti, Padres infielder

"Somebody is going to get killed. If our starters
don’t start pitching better, the bullpen will be dead."

Jim Leyland, Marlins manager

"I have two different feelings about today. One, I
get embarrassed a little to get all the attention. I
just want to get the game over with and sit in the
clubhouse. The second is going back to all my memories
and realizing what I’ve done. It’s just a tremendous
feeling."

Cal Ripken Jr., Orioles infielder, on playing
in his 2,500th consecutive game

"[Darin Erstad’s] an ideal player for any
manager. He has impeccable work habits and great skill.
He gets himself ready to play every day. You don’t have
to say things to him. They just get done."

Terry Collins, Angels manager

"I’d been waiting for [my son] to get old enough
to come out [to the ballpark]. He really enjoys it. And
it’s really special to me, to see him shagging balls,
wearing a jersey with my name on the back."

Lee Stevens, Rangers DH

"When we watch the Classic Sports channel, we ask
[Jesse] Orosco what those guys were like when he played
with them."

Mike Mussina, Orioles pitcher

"I couldn’t understand why the A’s let go of me,
but it was a blessing in disguise. I’m very happy to be
here. There’s a nice comfort zone in our bullpen."

John Johnstone, Giants pitcher

"It’s tough under the stress [in Baltimore]. You’re
expected to win."

Mike Oquist, A’s pitcher

"The thing you want is, when you’re not pitching well,
to have enough offense to win, and when you are pitching
well, to have enough offense to win."

Ray Miller, Orioles manager

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