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“I take a deep breath, and here we go again…I’m ready for the challenge.”

Roger Clemens, Astros pitcher, after agreeing to a one-year, $18 million deal (

“Today, I was walking out the door and my oldest one, Koby, said, ‘Dad, don’t say something, anything, about retiring, because I might be in the big leagues in a couple of years and I want a piece of you.”


“It kind of gives everybody a feeling of invincibility, that confidence level when you walk on the field…. A guy like him, he can really make a difference all over the club. It’s one of those intangibles that you’ve got to have.”

Phil Garner, Astros manager, on Clemens (

“Really, we didn’t have the opportunity to perform together…. It’s time to do it again-and who’s to say that we can’t?”


“[Clemens[ can make more of a difference for the Houston Astros than any player in baseball…. There is only one Roger Clemens. We have some magnificent players here who have played great. But it was his personality, his championship attitude, that lifted us last season.”

Drayton McLane, Astros owner, on Clemens (Houston Chronicle)

“It was the greatest season in the history of the Houston Astros. But I like to draw the line. That’s done. We’ve got to move forward.”


“I told (the Astros) that particularly in light of the Beltran situation, why don’t you just graciously and easily put him on top of everybody, because he deserves it and it’s a great statement?…. It shows that’s not always about nickels and dimes. He did it for you last year; you do it for him this year.”

Randy Hendricks, Clemens’ agent (Houston Chronicle)

“It’s a good marketing move, they did it, and they don’t become the discounted Astros.”



“I just hope he continues to talk about me and my teammates…. It’s going to give us great motivation to beat him up in the future.”

Alex Rodriguez, Yankees third baseman, on Curt Schilling (

“To me it was just odd, because I mean we beat him a couple of times during the year and he was crying on the bench…. And then he lost Game 1 and he wouldn’t talk or anything. And obviously, he wins Game 6 and then he’s still talking ’til today. So it’s just something we as players have been accustomed to. But it’s something I’m not worried about.”

–Rodriguez, on Schilling

“It’s not true. I talked after Game 1…. I don’t care what Alex says. When someone says that, you consider the source.”

Curt Schilling, Red Sox pitcher, on Rodriguez (

“I played well at times, I played terrible at times…. And at the end of the day, I feel like my job was a failure because I was basically taken there to be the final part of a world championship team. So if you have to blame someone or point a finger at someone, you have to look in my direction, and I take 100 percent of the blame.”


“It was a tough year overall to (get) used to all the different things you have to get used to, especially off the field, in New York…. But I finally felt in August, September and October I was back to myself and played well and felt more comfortable.”



“Coming in for me was totally different than most players…. I think you have to ask Rocket [Roger Clemens], myself, probably Randy [Johnson] and the upper-echelon-type of player, because there’s a much grander responsibility that comes along with being who I am, and I understand that completely.”


“To me that’s the responsibility that I’ve always carried, and that’s fine. I want those fans to expect those things from me. I expect them from myself. My salary dictates that. Everything that has to do with me, I expect to be the best at what I do.”


“He’s going to pitch well. He’s going to enjoy the run support and the good defense behind him…. And I think he’s going to enjoy winning again, like he did in Arizona. As far as the other stuff, that’s his issue, and I don’t really think it’s that big of a deal.”

–Clemens, on new Yankee Randy Johnson (

“I think even though he got off to a little bit of a bad start that he’ll be, he’ll have a great time…. He’s going to light it up and those people are going to love, those Yankee fans are going to love what he brings to the table every time he goes to the mound.”



“I learned long ago, headlines don’t win championships…. Team building does.”

John Schuerholz, Braves general manager (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

“I’ve got to keep my head down and my eye on this ball…not look at what other teams are spending or headlines they’re making. I feel very good about the way we’ve built our team for 15 years, and I feel good about it this year.”


“The numbers with the Yankees are just goofy…. There’s no semblance of what anybody else in the league can relate to.”

Terry McGuirk, Braves president (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)


“It might have been turned on really loud…. Sometimes the speakers will blow if it’s turned up really loud. That has happened, especially if it wasn’t, like, Sony. Some of the electronics out there nowadays can’t handle the decibels a lot of times.”

Ryan Dempster, Cubs pitcher, on an incident which involved Sammy Sosa’s stereo being mysteriously destroyed last fall (Daily Southtown)

“And I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there’s some pretty big rats running around Wrigley Field, too…. Who knows, maybe one of those got at it.”


“Honestly?…I mean, I know it got busted up, but I think if that’s the case-I don’t know who did it. I don’t know if it was a player or a coach, a janitor. But whoever did it, I think that’s between him and Sammy.”



“I would see things that the analyst doesn’t see…I watch [Tim] McCarver and all these guys and they don’t know the difference between a slider and a forkball. They know nothing of physics.”

Bill Lee, former Red Sox pitcher and Zen master (Toronto Star)

“I can’t believe the stuff that they perpetuate on the airwaves.”


“They’re into hyping up the fan and getting them to buy…. The reason I’ve never been hired is I’m kind of a Zen, anti-consumer guy. I basically tell them, you don’t need that product and I’ll tell them why they don’t need it…. That doesn’t sell well on TV.”


“I would appreciate it if you identify us as Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles By The Sea Near Marina del Rey.”

Frank Cruz, Loyola Marymount University baseball coach (L.A. Daily Breeze)

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