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LARRY DIERKER


“It was scary to hear that he might have a tumor. You couldn’t eat or
sleep last night. It was great to see that he is OK. Now we can go out
and do what he trained us to do the last three years, have fun and
play hard.”

Derek Bell, Astros outfielder


“Something really bad like this, when things are really bad, shows
that it’s only a baseball game. That’s real life what Larry Dierker
is going through.”

Mitch Melusky, Astros catcher


HOT PITCHERS …


“You sit over there and you watch that ball come out of his hands and
you just drool.”

Tom Kelly, Twins manager, on Pedro Martinez


“He’s the best pitcher I’ve seen this year, by a lot. He has terrific
stuff. He knows how to pitch. He competes.”

John Boles, Marlins manager, on Randy Johnson


“It’s nice to be able to go out and throw my style and get a win. I
feel confident right now and I am challenging hitters.”

Hideki Irabu, Yankees pitcher


“I truly went out in the seventh just thinking, `We’re up 4-1, I want
to put the ball in play,’ and I struck out the side. It’s funny how
that works.”

Al Leiter, Mets pitcher


… AND COLD


“It’s embarrassing. I tried not to lose my composure, but it’s
hard when you stink out there.”

Brett Tomko, Reds pitcher, on giving up 5 home runs in a
game


“It’s really disappointing. I feel like I’m letting my teammates down.
I’m not doing what they brought me over to do.”

Rick Aguilera, Cubs pitcher, on blowing his third save as a Cub


FIRSTS


“I think a couple of people in the stands were blowing so it went out.”

Tony Womack, Diamondbacks outfielder, on his first home run
of the season


“Your luck has to change. I’ve pitched well enough to get my first
one a long time ago, but things didn’t work out. You aren’t at times
rewarded justly, but you keep plugging.”

Mark Gardner, Giants pitcher, on his first win of the season


“It felt good to finally get that first win. I didn’t have my best
fastball today, and my curveball has been better, but the defense
played well behind me and Carl [Everett] had a great game.”

Chris Holt, Astros pitcher


BIORHYTHMS


“This is an all-around team funk — pitching, hitting, you name it.
Our biorhythms are out of whack. That dastardly Venus is always
getting in the way.”

Mark Grace, Cubs infielder


“I made seven outs in four at-bats. Just bad biorhythms tonight.”

Chili Davis, Yankees DH


THE REST


“If people are saying it’s opening eyes, that’s fine — but I believe
I’m a good hitter. I put up pretty good power numbers last year in the
amount of at-bats I had. So just because I’ve been struggling lately,
it doesn’t mean I’m a bad hitter.”

Brant Brown, Pirates outfielder


“My feeling is that if you have a chance, you have to at least try to
go get what you need. We did it in ’95 with Andy Benes and Tim Belcher.
The next year we went out and got Jamie Moyer and Terry Mulholland. In
’97, we got Mike Timlin, Paul Spoljaric, and Heathcliff Slocumb. Some
worked out, some didn’t, but I’d rather fail shooting than stand there
with my gun in the holster.”

Woody Woodward, Mariners GM


“Am I a .350 or a .360 hitter? Hey, whatever. I’m not a stat rat.”

Bruce Aven, Marlins outfielder


“I haven’t paid attention to the standings. Once we get to .500, then
I’ll see where we’re at. If we can just continue to win series, then
we can move up considerably.”

Ray Miller, Orioles manager


“In hindsight, there was a lot of benefit of being on the disabled
list. It was a good break for me mentally and a necessary break
physically. So when I came back, I was armed with a little bit better
focus, a clearer head. And physically, I felt great.”

Cal Ripken Jr., Orioles infielder


“I’m not worried about our record as much as everybody else is. I guess
I should be. We’ve made progress, but we’ve got a long ways to go.”

Jim Leyland, Rockies manager


“There’s no doubt in my mind if we had to win one game, Rick Helling
would get the start.”

Johnny Oates, Rangers manager


“He plays the game the right way. Guys who’ve been given up on, it’s
a wake up call. You find out they’ll still play the game without you.”

Larry Parrish, Tigers manager, on Luis Polonia


“I just feel really blessed considering all the great Dominican
players that have played baseball. I never thought I would be the one
with the most hits.”

Tony Fernandez, Blue Jays infielder