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DOWN TO THE WIRE

"We don’t have a big lead, but we have enough of a
lead."

Larry Dierker, Astros manager, after the Astros lead dropped to 2.5
games over Cincinnati

"We still have the Giants right where we want them. We still control
our own destiny."


Luis Gonzalez, Diamondbacks outfielder, after cutting Magic # to
5

"There wasn’t a whole lot of energy in the stands, but it’s up to us
to get it going. We have to motivate ourselves."

Art Howe, Oakland manager

"If we don’t make the playoffs, I should be fired."

Bobby Valentine, Mets manager

"It’s like we’re on the beach and the tide went out and we’re stuck
on the beach."

Mike Piazza, Mets catcher

"Special things happen for special teams, and this one’s
special,"

Barry Larkin, Reds infielder

"We’re not tired of winning these things at all."
Bobby Cox, Braves manager

"They have destiny on their side, I’ll tell you."
Mark McGwire, Cardinals infielder, after losing to the Reds on a 12th
inning Pokey Reese dong

"I still believe."

John Franco, Mets pitcher


SHUFFLING THE DECK

"He must be able to create an environment that allows every
player to play to the best of his ability. He has to be a great
communicator. He has to be well organized. He has to have instinctive
intelligence. He has to be able to deal with confrontation. And he has to
be a leader. I want a manager that possesses a lot of those
qualities."


Dan O’Dowd, new Rockies general manager

"We have to be creative and resourceful. Small clubs have a
smaller margin of error when it comes to player development."


Dean Taylor, new Brewers general manager

"I’ll be back. I’m under contract and I’ve enjoyed it here."
Lou Piniella, Mariners manager

"We’re not going to be a $60 million, $65 million or $70
million payroll club. We’re not getting there in this
circumstance, but what we are doing is getting to the point where we’ve
got the kind of maneuverability I think we can use."


Ed Wade, Phillies general manager, announcing that the Phillies will
raise their payroll next year

"It’s something a lot of guys have been waiting to hear. I
can’t imagine they’d lie about it."

Curt Schilling, Phillies pitcher

"We want a union that does not encourage its members to follow
flawed and dangerous strategies."

— Separatist faction of MLB Umpires Association, in a statement.


THERE’S NO PSYCHOSIS IN BASEBALL

"I know in my heart that son of a bitch meant to hit me, but I
can’t prove it."

John Shulock, umpire, after being hit by a Wilson Alvarez
fastball

"I threw a fastball right in the middle of the plate and it had to
go through the hitter and the catcher… I’ll say I’m sorry, but I didn’t
mean it. I didn’t try to hit him."

Wilson Alvarez, Devil Rays pitcher

"Things have a way of evening out in this game and one of these days
somebody is going to hit a line drive off the side of his head and I’ll be
the first guy laughing."


John Shulock

"He put his left arm around him and started hitting him on the
behind with his right hand … like he was riding a horse."


David Weathers, Brewers pitcher, describing the attack on Bill
Spiers
in right field by a fan

"Hampton took off and went down there so fast, he was in the middle
of the pile faster than anybody else."


Jim Lefebvre, Brewers manager, after the entire Astros team dogpiled,
beat, and kicked the crazed fan who jumped Spiers

"By the time I got there, rage had taken over."
Mike Hampton, Astros pitcher

"Strange things have happened before, like the man stabbing Monica
Seles. Obviously from now on, we have to think about it. "

Jim Lefebvre, Brewers manager

"I don’t know if I’ll play [in two days]. We’ll see. But this
won’t affect us in any way."


Bill Spiers, Astros outfielder

"This puts us in a distinct, competitive disadvantage for the last
week of the season."


Larry Dierker, Astros manager


GREAT PERFORMANCES

"It was 6 2/3 of the finest innings I’ve ever seen
pitched."

Jim Riggleman, Cubs manager, after the Cardinals exploded for seven
runs on eight consecutive hits to ruin Jon Lieber‘s perfect game

"I did in the National League, so to do it again isn’t anything new.
But it’s always nice."


Pedro Martinez, Red Sox pitcher, after strikeout #300 for the
season

"I never thought of myself as a guy you pitch around."
Chipper Jones, Braves infielder

"I don’t respect any hitters. Not even Manny."
Paul Spoljaric, Blue Jays pitcher, after giving up Ramirez’s 159th RBI
of the year

"If it doesn’t happen, is it going to take away what I’ve done in
all the other games?"


Kevin Brown, Dodgers pitcher, on his race to win 20 games