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THE DISMANTLING CONTINUES…



“This is the start of a process we need to start…There’s a black
cloud over us we need to get out from under. We have to start looking
at kids and at veterans with an idea of finding out who’s going to be
here next year.”

Bob Melvin, Mariners manager, after the release of
shortstop Rich Aurilia (Seattle Times)



“I wouldn’t be surprised to see more changes. This does not mean we’ll
completely dismantle. The guys here are good players and we’ll be
looking at kids.”

–Melvin



“I don’t think you’ll see more trades happen right away, but there may
be some other kinds of moves…I think we all recognize that cycles end
and that the Mariners had come to the end of one. As painful as it is
to make changes, sometimes there are things we need to do.”

–Melvin



“When you play as badly as we did, and see how the team is going, you
can see the writing on the wall…No player wants to hear words like
‘designate’ or ‘release,’ and…I am sorry that I couldn’t do more to
prevent the club being in a place where they found this necessary.”

Rich Aurilia, former Mariners shortstop, after being
designated for assignment (Seattle Times)



“This is not a result of Rich’s play…He had a bad first half, as many
of us have had, but this is a result of our team’s play. This is a
reflection of how we’ve played. He’s not a scapegoat.”

Bret Boone, Mariners second baseman, on Aurilia
(Seattle Times)



“I tried to blow it off at first, but I found it tough switching
leagues…I think I hit the ball hard the last six weeks, but by that
time the need for change was on us. Hopefully, that was me starting to
get hot, and hopefully an NL team or two noticed. I’d like to be in a
pennant race, where I got used to being the last seven years.”

–Aurilia



“One, Rich is a good guy; two, he is an accomplished player; three, it
was part of a gamble that didn’t pay off.”

Bill Bavasi, Mariners general manager, listing the
three reasons why it was tough to release Aurilia (Seattle Times)



“It could be part of the process, attention is divided, there is some
looking over the shoulder…In our situation with a lineup filled with
veteran guys that are not doing well, you didn’t see the energy out
there you’d like. This does not mean they weren’t trying or they
weren’t playing hard. We have had no problems that way.”

–Melvin

“THIS I FEEL AS THE DAWN/ IT FADES TO GRAY”



“I just want to remember somebody is capable of hitting the ball right
back to you and destroying you again.”

Josias Manzanillo, Marlins pitcher, on being
struck in the groin with a batted ball (Florida Sun-Sentinel)



“If you really look around, Latin players, especially pitchers, all
have something they do that shows [their intensity]…I don’t know what
it is about us. It’s just the way we approach it and go about the
game.”

–Manzanillo



“I’m telling you, if you keep a close look on every Spanish or Latin
pitcher, there’s something you’re going to see that you won’t normally
see on an American player or an American pitcher…It seems like all
the American pitchers, they are very calm. That’s how they can execute.
We are different.”

–Manzanillo

STEALING SIGNS



“That happens here, and I know they hit a lot better at Fenway for
whatever reason…But they had some bad swings, too. I don’t know if
they knew what was coming every time. But other times, it was like they
did know what was coming. It was kind of strange.”

Barry Zito, Athletics pitcher (Boston Herald)



“I don’t even know who was on second (base) for me…If they’re doing
it, I missed out because I haven’t been here.”

Bill Mueller, Red Sox infielder, on whether or not
teammates were stealing signs (Boston Herald)



“I ain’t worried about what Zito thought. He’s a great pitcher and I’ve
got a lot of respect for him, but I ain’t worried about that. We hear
that all the time.”

Trot Nixon, Red Sox outfielder (Boston Herald)



“As I was having my fourth beer with [A’s manager Ken Macha] last
night, I wasn’t aware of that…You know what, I wasn’t aware of the
(expletive) last year. I really wasn’t aware of it. I kind of heard
some rumblings, but somehow that one got by me.”

Terry Francona, Red Sox manager, on past accusations
of the Red Sox stealing signs (Boston Herald)



“I have no idea (why these things are said)…I couldn’t give you the
slightest reason. It’s flattering, I guess.”

–Mueller (Boston Herald)

BURN ONE DOWN



“I think hitters would rather take a swing and take a chance of driving
it out of the ballpark…We’d rather sit around and wait for that big
hit. Players have gotten selfish and greedy. Small ball isn’t as
important as it once was.”

Johnny Damon, Red Sox outfielder, on bunting (New
Jersey Star-Ledger)



“You hate to think people will allow personal numbers to get in the way
of what’s best to try to win a game…If a game calls for a bunt, you
bunt. Hell, how many times could (Jason) Giambi lay a ball down the
third-base line and get a hit? But he’s paid to hit home runs. For the
power guys, that’s the reason. For the little guys, they’re not little
guys anymore. They can hit home runs, too.”

Joe Torre, Yankees manager (New Jersey Star-Ledger)



“Playing for one run now doesn’t win you as many games as it used
to…I probably take some criticism for not bunting enough. But you
just don’t bunt when the old book says bunt.”

–Francona (New Jersey Star-Ledger)



“It’s because of all the highlight shows now…The home run gets you on
those shows. But bunting helps you win games. It might not get the
headlines: ‘Lofton Gets Down Perfect Bunt to Lead Yankees to Victory.’
But it helps you win.”

Derek Jeter, Yankees shortstop (New Jersey Star-Ledger)

THE REST



“Absolutely not…He just signed for one year. Did you watch him on Jay
Leno (Thursday) night? He spent 90 percent of his time talking about
Houston. (Trading Clemens is) not even a consideration, and you can
write that in permanent marker.”

Drayton McLane, Astros owner, on the rumor that Roger
Clemens will be dealt to the Yankees (Houston Chronicle)



“Oh, God…I can’t see that happening. Why would Drayton want to give
up a packed house every fifth day? I’ll tell you what: We’re not giving
up right now. I really don’t care what the trade rumors are.”

Jeff Bagwell, Astros first baseman, on the possibility
of Clemens-to-the-Yankees (Houston Chronicle)



“He’s an All-Star-caliber player…But I think numbers-wise, power
numbers are what catch your eye. All those fantasy baseball team guys
like the big numbers. I think it’s a good thing he made it to the last
final five. I think it’s a testament to what he brings to the table.”

Mike Lowell, Marlins third baseman, on teammate Juan
Pierre who was part of the final vote-off for the NL All-Star team last
week (MLB.com)



“I don’t consider myself a home run hitter.”

Ken Griffey Jr., Reds outfielder and newest member of
the 500 home run club (USA Today)



“I heard (about his injury) and it breaks my heart…We’re human. One
year, one week you can hit seven home runs and the next week you’re
out.”

Sammy Sosa, Cubs outfielder, on Ken Griffey Jr.’s
injury, suffered Sunday (MLB.com)



“He’s doing OK…We’ve been down this road before, and the timing
wasn’t good. It never is, but he’s obviously disappointed.”

Mark Mann, Reds trainer, on Griffey (MLB.com)



“Losing [Griffey] is going to be very tough…Just when we’re about to
get one guy back, we lose another one. It seems like right now it’s one
of those times where if we didn’t have bad luck, we wouldn’t have any
at all.”

Adam Dunn, Reds outfielder (MLB.com)

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