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OPENING DAY


“A fabulous day. It’s big for the organization.”

John Boles, Marlins manager, on beating the Mets


“You can’t judge us on one game. We’re going to be back. Everyone
likes to get a good start, but just because we lost doesn’t mean it’s
over.”

Rafael Palmeiro, Rangers infielder, on losing to the Tigers


“I’d have booed myself. It’s not the way I wanted to pitch. But if
you pitch bad and your team wins, it’s a lot easier to take.”

Kevin Brown, Dodgers pitcher, on allowing 5 runs in 5.2
innings


“I don’t want to get into dissecting every damn thing that I do.
It was a bad outing. I’ll deal with it. I’ve had plenty of bad
outings before in the past.”

Mark Wohlers, Braves pitcher, on walking 4 in less than an
inning


“It’s a home run. We lost. Reminder: it’s a team sport. Last year is
over with. Turn the page.”

Mark McGwire, Cardinals infielder


“I tried my last two at-bats to hit a home run. It didn’t happen, but
I’m happy for the win. It was a good night for me.”

Vinny Castilla, Rockies infielder


OPENING WEEK


“Physically, I feel great. Mechanically, I am out of whack.”

Jeff Fassero, Mariners pitcher


“I’m not throwing the ball where I want to right now. I don’t care
whether it’s Randy Johnson or Curt Schilling, you have to keep your
mistakes to a minimum, and so far I haven’t done that. Right now I’m
stinking.”

Tom Glavine, Braves pitcher


“It’s going to come. It’s not going to be like this all year. Today I
felt more comfortable…. It’s early. As a team, sometimes when the
main guy is struggling everybody is going to follow. When I got hot,
I’m going to get hot for a long time.”

Sammy Sosa, Cubs outfielder


“I don’t think we’re trying to fool ourselves into thinking we’re
going to score 10 runs every game. But we’ll take it while it lasts.”

Mike Hargrove, Indians manager


“You talk about a guy’s ceiling. Preston Wilson’s is the Sistine
Chapel.”

John Boles, Marlins manager


“In the spring, I probably swung at pitches I normally wouldn’t swing
at. When the regular season starts, I’m much more patient.”

Rickey Henderson, Mets outfielder


AROD OUT


“Everything went fine. The surgery went as expected and Alex is
already home resting and getting ready to start his rehabilitation.”

Larry Pedegana, Mariners medical director


“This is the biggest obstacle in my career. I’ll overcome it. I’ll
work hard and overcome it.”

Alex Rodriguez, Mariners infielder


SPRING HOPES


“This is a great opportunity for me here. It’s a talented team. My
job is to give them the best opportunity to win. It could be a lot of
fun. It’s miserable to lose. My goal is not only to win, but to help
the organization get back to where they were a few years ago.”

Kevin Brown, Dodgers pitcher


“I believe from the bottom of my heart that this is supposed to be
our year. No explanation. I just feel it. I just think we’ve got a lot
of things going in our favor.”

Dusty Baker, Giants manager


“We’ve got one of the best general managers in the game in Cam
Bonifay. If we get our payroll up the mid 40s when we move into our
new stadium in 2001, we’ll be able to compete. I’m certain of that.”

Kevin McClatchy, Pirates owner


“If you’ve got to look at a weakness, I guess you’d say it’s the
rotation because there isn’t that big name that every team usually has
one of. You know what? We’ll stay anonymous and do our jobs and take
our chances and see where we end up.”

Kent Mercker, Cardinals pitcher


“It’s the year of the surprise. You will be simply amazed. You’ve
heard of the banty rooster, that little rooster that fights like a son
of a gun and won’t give up? Well, call us the Banty Brewers.”

Phil Garner, Brewers manager


“We’re going to be better. I don’t question that. How much better,
we’ll see.”

Larry Rothschild, Devil Rays manager


“It’s a win-win situation. Everybody has seen the upside. Hopefully
he can regain that form, come back and pitch similar to what he used
to pitch. He’s had a rough time the last year, but who knows? Maybe
good things will come from it.”

Jim Rigglemand, Cubs manager, on signing Hideo Nomo


THE REST


“I have no regrets. I was able to get to the World Series with this
team last year. It’s something I’ll never forget. I appreciate the
opportunity. It’s just time to walk away.”

Mark Langston, on his brief retirement


“Jeff [Conine] fills the final pressing need of our team. He is a
right-handed hitter with some versatility and he can bat in the
middle of our lineup when necessary.”

Frank Wren, Orioles GM


“I feel like if I go out there for five or six innings, I’ve done my
job, at least for now. It’s a long haul. It’s not Game 7 of the World
Series. I’m 29 years old, and I’ve got a lot of pitching ahead of me.”

Alex Fernandez, Marlins pitcher


“I lose home-run balls out there every season — balls that are over
the fence anywhere else are caught in Arlington. When I lose home
runs, I think we lose. The team loses.”

Juan Gonzalez, Rangers outfielder


“I knew in my heart [Los Angeles] was too big for me, and I didn’t
want to lead anyone on. It had nothing to do with the organization
itself. The Dodgers are right at the top when it comes to tradition
and class. I was honored, but I also knew I was not their No. 1
choice, that it was going to be a long interviewing process, and I
wanted to be up front so that I didn’t waste their time or mine. They
got a great manager in Davey Johnson, and they would have got a great
manager in Felipe Alou.”

Jim Leyland, Rockies manager


“I’ll go down and help some young kids fulfill their dreams. I’ll go
there and share the situations I know about, the experience I have —
and possibly help someone.”

Chris Hoiles, Orioles roving instructor


“I’m not here to make any apologies. We have some of the best young
players in baseball right now. Sometimes, I get chills when I see
[Ben] Grieve and [Matt] Stairs and [Jason] Giambi and think of [Eric]
Chavez down the road. Some of the heat we’ve taken has been
unjustified. I think we have the best farm system in baseball.”

Billy Beane, A’s GM


“It’s been a lot of fun. If I could pitch 20 more years and play with
the other 19 teams, I would.”

Mike Morgan, Rangers pitcher


“Everybody on the team benefits with Albert [Belle] in the lineup.
When you have a proven RBI and home run hitter at cleanup, it affects
everyone.”

Brady Anderson, Orioles outfielder


“That’s one of the things I’ve enjoyed the last three or four years,
watching kids turn into major-leaguers. Kids have a tendency to want
to battle their opponents instead of worrying about themselves.
They’ve got so much to learn.”

Tony Phillips, A’s outfielder


“I’m tired of all the questions about my contract. If I’m not worried
about it, I don’t think anyone else should be.”

Ken Griffey Jr., Mariners outfielder


“I give no credence whatsoever to those ratings. I think they’re
patently absurd. I’ve even been told that some players had their kids
fill them out.”

Richie Phillips, umpires union head, on a survey conducted
by the players association
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