SOMEONE PLEASE HIRE RICKEY FOR NEXT SEASON
"I really have no timetable. The good Lord has blessed me with the health. I'm not going to give it up if I can still perform, compete and enjoy the game."
—Rickey Henderson, Red Sox outfielder, asked how much longer he'd go
"Telling the truth isn't being cocky. What do you want me to say, that I didn't put up the numbers? That my teams didn't win a lot of games? […] People don't want to talk about me because of that thing I said back then."
–Henderson, on his reputation as a braggart
"Listen: People are always saying, 'Rickey says Rickey.' But it's been blown way out of proportion. People might catch me, when they know I'm ticked off, saying, 'Rickey, what the heck are you doing, Rickey?' They say, 'Darn, Rickey, what are you saying Rickey for? Why don't you just say, 'I?' But I never did. I always said, 'Rickey,' and it become something for people to joke about."
–Henderson, asked about his use of the third-person to refer to himself
More Rickey quotes than I can print, folks, check out more of this awesome interview in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Get 'em now before he retires.
CLOSING IT OUT
"We don't have to vacuum those curtains. He shook them loose for us."
—Ron Gardenhire, Twins manager, on Jim Thome's 49th and 50th homers off the upper deck curtain
"We've had an exciting year, even though the record is not what we hoped it would be. If we can be as successful each day as we have for the last 365, then 2003 will be a very pleasant year."
—Syd Thrift, Orioles general manager
"I didn't hit as well as I wanted to, but at the same time, I did prove I can hit. It's just a matter of staying consistent. I believe that will come. But my No. 1 priority was being able to handle this pitching staff and I did handle this staff. I felt I did a pretty good job. That being my priority, I feel like I had a successful season."
—Brandon Inge, Tigers catcher, on his year
LOOKING AHEAD TO NEXT YEAR
"Right now, we stand 10 games better than we did last year. I think that's a significant improvement. We'll continue to get better as we get better players. People have to understand. It ain't all about the manager. It's about the players between the lines. Jim Leyland, Joe Torre, Don Zimmer and anybody else will tell you it's the guys between the lines and how they perform that determine if you're a smart guy or a dumb guy. I have a contract for 2003. Until I'm told otherwise, I'll honor my contract. I don't worry about it. I don't think you guys should worry about me."
—Lloyd McClendon, Pirates manager, on whether he might be fired
"I don't think I'd come back for that. Money is not the issue. Playing every day, getting at-bats, is the issue. If an everyday job is available, if another general manager gives me that opportunity, I'll jump at it."
—Marquis Grissom, Dodgers outfielder, on his intention to leave in free agency if he's not a starter next year
"Retirement has gone through my mind, but I'm thinking, 'How long can I play?' more than, 'What am I still doing here?' The pitching part of it isn't the problem. I've stayed healthy, and I'm doing the job. But I've been traveling for a lot of years, and my kids are growing up. I always ask my wife, and she's been OK with it. If she wasn't, I would reconsider."
—Jesse Orosco, Dodgers pitcher
"Sometimes you hit those groundballs and you wish you did strike out. You feel like an ass running down to first base and having to make a U-turn."
—Barry Bonds, Giants outfielder, joking about possibly striking out less than he homered
"I don't think I can get any better. I just try to stay consistent. I did something last year, and I'm doing pretty much the same thing this year, except that I don't have 73 home runs. I still have an .800 slugging percentage, .500 on-base percentage, scoring 100 runs, driving in 100 and shocking the heck out of myself because I have never hit .360 in my lifetime, except in high school."
"I really believe we have enough. The consideration we have to give is do we allow ourselves to play 'small ball.' We may have to consider batting Mark Ellis second, because if Ray Durham gets a base hit, it may be advantageous for us to hit-and-run or bunt. Or do we play John Mabry when Roger Clemens pitches, because Mabry can get on a fastball.
—Thad Bosley, A's hitting coach, asked if the A's needed one more hitter to get to the World Series
"When I was in the minors, I was real aggressive. When I saw a pitch I liked, I hit it. I had been taking pitches up here, and that's not conducive to good hitting."
—Michael Cuddyer, Twins outfielder
"At least they pinch-hit somebody who was right-handed. If they'd brought in another lefty, that would be tough."
—Cody McKay, Athletics catcher, on making his major league debut by being announced into a game, then being pulled for a pinch-hitter after a pitching change
"The fans here are too stupid. You have to play perfect every game. You can't make an error. You can't go 0-for-4. Are we like (expletive) machines?"
—Rey Ordonez, Mets infielder, on Mets fans
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