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CORKGATE



“That’s why I’m here right now, to explain that that was a mistake… I just took the wrong bat. I don’t need to use that.”

Sammy Sosa, Cubs outfielder, on being caught with a corked bat (AP)



“It’s a crisis we’ve got to deal with. I understand it’s hard right now… I just apologize. That’s the only thing I can say, from the bottom of my heart.”

–Sosa



“We’re all human and we’ve all made mistakes… Nobody is perfect in this world.”

–Sosa

CHARACTER WITNESS



“He would go through four different bats in one day because he was so superstitious.”

Jeff Pentland, former Cubs hitting coach, on Sosa (AP)



“If he didn’t get a hit, he’d use another bat. He used different models, different styles. And he had hundreds of bats.”

–Pentland



“He’d have three dozen right around his locker that he used to prepare every day. We’d go down to the cage, and I’d look at his bats and pick them up. They were always brand new because he switched bats all of the time.”

–Pentland

EXHIBIT A, THE FACTS



“You have a slightly lighter bat and you’re going to hit the ball a little less far.”

Robert Adair, author of The Physics of Baseball, on corked bats (AP)



“This is not something that radically changes the game… There’s probably more superstition involved.”

–Adair



“You may hit the fastball a little more often. It’s so marginal.”

–Adair

SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL



“I just hope we play well against the National League clubs… I don’t think the schedule is fair.”

George Steinbrenner, Yankees owner, on their interleague schedule (AP)



“Katy Feeney makes the schedule, and she has never been a favorite of mine or a favorite of the Yankees… We play Cincinnati, which is a fine, fine ballclub; they’re going to be in the middle of it. Then we play the Cubs.”

–Steinbrenner



“Now who is the other guy playing? They’re playing against Milwaukee. Now what’s right about that? They’re playing Pittsburgh and Milwaukee while we’re playing Cincinnati and the Cubs. I think they got the best of that deal.”

–Steinbrenner



“Bud Selig told me personally that he was overseeing the schedule, and that he’ll see to it that it’s fine. I used to be for it, but I’m not for it anymore. It’s too easy for discrepancies.”

–Steinbrenner



“You talk to the 29 other teams and they’d probably say I didn’t like them.”

Kate Feeney, National League Vice-President, on interleague schedules (AP)

THAT TEAM UP NORTH



“All I ever heard about the Expos was contraction, they have no fans and no owners–stuff like that.”

Jeff Liefer, Expos infielder (AP)



“I didn’t have any idea how talented this team was until I got here… I was impressed by all the talent, especially all the young talent that’s here. That’s very conducive to building a winning team.”

–Liefer



“It’s hard to do well when all the odds are stacked up against you… But this is a tough team. We will prevail.”

Michael Barrett, Expos catcher (AP)



“At the beginning of the season, we said if we could win 12 or 14 more games, that’s just about two a month, we’d probably have a good enough record to make the playoffs.”

–Barrett

OUR TYPE OF BALLPLAYER



“If you don’t have guys in the lineup who make the pitcher work, the pitcher can get away with a lot… Nothing’s better to me than if a guy has an eight- or nine-pitch at-bat and draws a walk. The next guy coming up is going to get a good pitch to hit. To me, that’s when damage happens.”

Bobby Kielty, Twins outfielder (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)



“They walk a guy, the next thing you know they throw a cookie. Home run, new ballgame.”

–Kielty

THE REST



“Yeah, we were kind of all in shock. Kerry Wood and I were actually more worried about what vintage cork he had in his bat. Was he using a ’93 Cabernet, or if he had a little bit of newer stuff in there? We were predicting he had like a ’93-’94 Cabernet cork in there, but we couldn’t get the bat to really find out.”

Shawn Estes, Cubs pitcher, on Sosa’s corked bat (AP)



“It’s definitely a good feeling not to get swept by a team that you’re basically battling for the worst record in baseball.”

Adam Eaton, Padres pitcher, on beating the Tigers (San Diego Union-Tribune)



“All we’re interested in is runs allowed… We held a meeting the first day of spring training and I told everyone that we’re going to run an excuse-free staff… accept responsibility for what happens on your watch. There are no earned runs, just runs.”

Bob Cluck, Tigers pitching coach (AP)



“The whole series was a slugfest and obviously I didn’t do what I wanted to do today… I wanted to go at least seven and give the bullpen a little break. From the very beginning I didn’t have good stuff. But I’m not going to apologize for getting the win.”

Scott Elarton, Rockies pitcher, who won on Sunday despite giving up six runs on 11 hits in five innings (AP)

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