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K IS FOR KERRY


"I watched Nolan [Ryan] a lot until the past three
or four years, and then I started watching [Roger]
Clemens. I like the way they both pitch, their
aggressiveness and their style of pitching."

Kerry Wood, Cubs pitcher


"I’m gonna give most of the credit to the fans.
They were in it the whole game. Every time I got two
strikes they were on their feet."

Kerry Wood


"He never shows anybody up. He doesn’t do any
dance on the mound like some pitchers after they get
you out. My God, he’s 20 years old. He doesn’t even
know how good he is."

Mark Grace, Cubs infielder


"He’ll probably pitch a few no-hitters. His stuff
is the real item. What he throws is clearly
distinguished from what the rest of the league
throws."

Larry Dierker, Astros manager


"It’s the best game I’ve ever seen pitched. I’m
just proud to have been there to watch it."

Jim Riggleman, Cubs manager


"It’s not fair to compare him to Nolan [Ryan]. The
kid’s got good stuff, but leave comparisons alone.
Today was his day. He had everything working. Plus it
was the first time we faced him."

Craig Biggio, Astros infielder


"The bottom line is, any time you strike out 20 in
a game, you’re throwing extremely well. You’re
definitely around the plate and you’re getting 20 outs
by yourself out of 27. So it was a pretty neat feat
and I’m sure he’s excited about it."

Roger Clemens, Blue Jays pitcher


THE AL EAST


"It’s kind of hard at $25 million to $26 million
to consistently compete with teams that have payrolls
at $50 million or $60 million."

Chuck LaMar, Devil Rays GM


"Hey, this is an American League team. We slug.
Sometimes we slug and run. Other times we run and slug.
Then there are times when we slug and slug. When we
slug and slug, it works."

Eric Davis, Orioles outfielder


"This division is very tough. We kind of like
that."

Mo Vaughn, Red Sox infielder


"We just have to make sure we don’t fall further
behind. We’ve got to try to stay right where we’re at
until we can get on a good winning streak."

Doug Drabek, Orioles pitcher


CATCHERS


"There would have to be something with a bone or
an artery before I’d come out. It just kind of knocked
me a little senseless."

Joe Oliver, Tigers catcher, on being hit in
the throat by a bat


"I’m not worried about wearing down, not in the
heat, not catching so many games. Heat? I grew up in
Puerto Rico, I prefer to play when it’s hot. And I love
to play. Why should I wear down?"

Ivan Rodriguez, Rangers catcher


"The thing on this club about hitting a
game-winning homer is that you almost get killed by
your teammates. Jim Thome hit me with an overhand
right that was really a wallop. He doesn’t realize
how strong he is."

Sandy Alomar Jr., Indians catcher


TO MOVE OR NOT TO MOVE …


"Ed [Wade] and I talked about our options. But
we’ve got to be careful. Ten minutes after a game is
not the time to make a decision. If that was the case,
you wouldn’t send [Garrett] Stephenson down — you’d
shoot him. This decision is something we need to sleep
on."

Terry Francona, Phillies manager


"[Ozzie Guillen] has got experience, and we feel
he can still play quality shortstop. We have a great
shortstop in [Walt] Weiss, but in case he can’t play
down the line, we have an experienced shortstop coming
in."

Bobby Cox, Braves manager


"I don’t want [Albert Belle] for this team. He’s a
good player for the White Sox, but he wouldn’t be a
good fit here."

Steve Phillips, Mets GM


… OR TO GET OUT OF THE WAY


"If I wanted to hit [Michael Tucker], I would have
hit him with the first pitch. I don’t throw at people
just for the hell of it, just because I gave up a home
run or I gave up two runs."

Joey Hamilton, Padres pitcher


"Maybe [Cal Eldred] was trying to send me a
message. I happened to get in front of his message."

Sean Berry, Astros infielder


THE REST


"I know my game. My game is to try to get on base
and get base hits."

Jose Offerman, Royals infielder


"We’re looking at everything — club suites,
enhancing the dugout seats, merchandising
opportunities. We’re looking at everything we can do
with Dodger Stadium without changing the ambiance."

Bob Graziano, Dodgers president


"There were plenty of people watching the game —
you just couldn’t see them. I’ve never been in a
ballpark when the announcer has asked fans to run for
cover. We were down there on the field. What were we
supposed to do?"

Johnny Oates, Rangers manager, on a severe
storm warning


"You play every day and you get used to playing
every day. A lot of times, an everyday player doesn’t
know when he needs a day off. One of the things it does
is give you a chance to regroup physically and regroup
mentally. Sometimes you don’t know when that’s needed,
and you rely on the manager to do that."

Jay Bell, Diamondbacks infielder


"We’re just going through a bad time against teams
we’re supposed to beat. Not to take anything away from
[the Marlins], because they have some talent here, but
we’re supposed to come in here and play better when
we’re going against the young pitchers we’re facing."

Bill Russell, Dodgers manager


"The physical ability to play was always there. I
had just become blocked mentally. Baseball is not my
job; it’s my passion. I had accomplished a dream making
it to the big leagues. And when you’re struggling,
you’ll do anything to keep you where you think you
belong."

Damion Easley, Tigers infielder, on seeing a
hypnotherapist


"[Joe Carter] wasn’t brought here to play right
field every day, to be honest. But he’s also been one
of the most consistent bats we’ve got."

Ray Miller, Orioles manager


"You have to give [Carlos] Perez credit. It’s too
bad he acts like a fool because he’s a damn good
pitcher."

Dante Bichette, Rockies outfielder


"It feels like baseball again when I get to play
against a left-hander. You’re out there. You get cuts
on your body. You get dirty. It makes it a little bit
of fun."

Todd Helton, Rockies infielder


"You can only play this game so long on your
physical ability. Eventually, you have to start using
your mind."

Mark McGwire, Cardinals infielder


"I don’t think adversity builds character. I think
adversity shows character."

Phil Garner, Brewers manager


"I’m not ageless. As long as my arm, knees and
body hold up and I feel good, I’m going to keep
pitching."

Danny Darwin, Giants pitcher


"That’s what makes this team so special. You’ve
got no superstars, just guys who want to play and can
compete with anybody. That makes it easier when you
struggle."

Doug Jones, Brewers pitcher


"This is a non-talk sport. You don’t talk smack in
baseball, so you have to have body language. You see a
young pitcher give up a home run, and before it’s out
of the park, his head is down. You don’t want to do
that. That’s what the enemy wants to see. Great
pitchers … have composure. They have the scowl."

Rex Hudler, Phillies outfielder