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SAVES THE DAY



“It’s a good record because every time get one, it’s going to be a win… I
don’t care about saves or blown saves. I just want to go out there and give
my best for the team after they play hard for eight innings. It’s all about
wins. I’m having fun out there, and that’s what it’s all about.”

Eric Gagne, Dodgers closer, on getting his 57th
consecutive save (AP)



“When anybody ever asks me who’s the toughest pitcher I’ve ever faced, I
say Robb Nen. But Gagne is right there with him, as far as guys I call
unhittable… When you save as many games as he has and get to that point,
it almost is game over.”

Todd Helton, Rockies first baseman, on Gagne (AP)



“I’m a hockey player. I never even thought I could make it in the major
leagues.”

–Gagne (AP)

FEARLESS LEADER



“A lot of guys felt like he was giving up on them. So the players decided
we have to win for ourselves. No free agents will sign back here as long as
Bo is here…”

Tyler Houston, former Phillie, on manager Larry Bowa
(Philadelphia Inquirer)



“He’s a loser. That was not the reason he was released. He was an extra guy
who causes problems. I had 15 players doing backflips when we let him go.”

Larry Bowa, Phillies manager, on Tyler Houston
(Philadelphia Inquirer)



“I know a lot of people think he was a terrible sign, but I will say
this–those people will gag on their words.”

–Bowa, on infielder David Bell (Courier Post)

ALL CUBS, ALL THE TIME



“I don’t think a team in baseball has received better players during the
season…”

Dusty Baker, Cubs manager, on acquiring Kenny Lofton,
Aramis Ramirez, Randall Simon, Doug Glanville, and Tony Womack (Chicago
Sun-Times)



“My question is, where are you going to find anyone else? There are, what,
30 teams in baseball? Figure 20 teams are still in contention, meaning
they’re out there trying to find guys, too. That leaves only 10 teams who
are willing to deal, but they’ve already sold the guys everyone wanted.”

–Baker



“I tell you, the best acquisition (GM Jim) Hendry made was that man right
there… That man is unbelievable. I get a chance to talk to him every day.
This man does his homework. This man knows more than you think.”

Ron Santo, Cubs broadcaster, on manager Dusty Baker
(Chicago Sun-Times)



“Do you want to win or do you want to lose while you develop? …I’ll take
a whole team full of young players if they’re ready to play in the big
leagues. If they’re not ready and you need to win, what do you do?”

–Baker (MSNBC.com)



“I wanted to stay in, but I had 130 pitches. No reason to go more.”

Mark Prior, Cubs starter, after an eight-inning, no-run,
130-pitch outing against the Cardinals (AP)



“His fastball was pretty straight… I don’t think he dominated anyone out
there. I know he didn’t dominate me.”

Kerry Robinson, Cardinals outfielder, after going 0-4
against Mark Prior (AP)

THE REST



“Let’s be honest, when these Japanese players come over here, they’re
professionals with years of experience. They’re not true rookies. Hideki
Matsui winning the rookie of the year award would be like Manny Ramirez
going to Japan next year and winning rookie of the year there… Of course,
when I was managing in Seattle and we had Kazuhiro Sasaki and Ichiro
Suzuki, I felt exactly the opposite.”

Lou Piniella, Devil Rays manager (AP)



“The game is all about control of the 17-inch triangle… Hitters who force
pitchers to stay in the strike zone are productive, and pitchers who take
hitters out of the strike zone dominate.”

Billy Beane, A’s general manager (ESPN.com)



“A few guys out there are making a lot of money and not producing, a few
guys need a kick in the butt to get going……We can’t be hugging players
when they are doing dumb things. Maybe the hugging time is over. We need to
get tough.”

George Steinbrenner, Yankees owner (AP)



“This game isn’t as much fun as it used to be for two
reasons–players now get away from the competition and get into
their stats and money, so they’re not as much fun to be around at times…
The other one is the game is competitive enough. Enough sparks fly just
from trying to beat each other. When you see people trying to stir stuff
up, it’s aggravating. It doesn’t make this game fun to be around.”

Tony La Russa, Cardinals manager (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)



“He fought the decision (and) said a few choice words that made me think he
wasn’t completely exhausted… He wanted to continue playing and get out
there, and we just felt that it was the best not to.”

Stan Conte, Giants trainer, on Barry Bonds

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