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THE RACES


“We’re building a lot of character right now. Let’s hope it’s character
we can use in the playoffs.”

Orel Hershiser, Mets pitcher


“We just didn’t need the added frustration of playing a game like this
with these umpires. The season is over within a week, so we don’t have to
deal with this anymore. I have to think it’s not proper to have guys with
no experience umpiring these games.”

Bobby Valentine, Mets manager


“We were in dire straits, on the brink of elimination. There were still
possibilities, but they weren’t good. It just goes to show that talent
always rises. One more day like this and we’re in.”

Al Leiter, Mets pitcher


“Maybe this is good. We’ve had the pressure of them pushing, pushing. Now
the pressure is off because we’re not in the lead any more. Let them see
how it feels to be pushed. There’s still time.”

Larry Dierker, Astros manager, on losing the NL Central lead
to the Reds


“Last year we were favored to win it all but San Diego got us. We just want
to get into the playoffs. Getting there is the secret.”

Bill Spiers, Astros infielder


“You couldn’t have scripted it any better. We’re going into the last weekend
of the season with the postseason on the line.”

Sean Casey, Reds infielder


“This shows the Red Sox can put a contender out there year in and year out,
even though we lost one of our most recognizable players.”

Dan Duquette, Red Sox GM


THE PLAYOFFS


“This is only the beginning. We have a long way to go, some important
games to win.”

Orlando Hernandez, Yankees pitcher


“None of this means anything if you don’t win in the playoffs. Winning the
World Series, that is my only goal.”

Manny Ramirez, Indians outfielder


“I want a ring. I’ve got plenty of division titles. I don’t have enough
rings.”

Greg Maddux, Braves pitcher


CLOSING TIGER STADIUM


“Tonight we say goodbye. But we will not forget. Open your eyes, take a
look around, and take a mental picture. Moments like this will live on.”

Ernie Harwell, former Tigers announcer


“Tiger Stadium is life, as far as I’m concerned.”

Willie Horton, former Tigers player


“What’s funny is how little I thought of this stadium when I first saw it.
I came from Southern California, and we were used to big, new stadiums, big
parking lots, and I drove by here and the cab driver said, `That’s Tiger
Stadium,’ and I said, `Where? That thing? It looks like a fortress!’ ”

Alan Trammell, former Tigers player


“It’s something I’m never going to forget. It’s something nobody here is
ever going to forget.”

Robert Fick, Tigers catcher, on hitting a grand slam in the game


CLOSING CANDLESTICK PARK


“I won’t miss it, but I will miss the memories.”

Bobby Bonds, former Giants player


“Am I sad? No. I’m not playing anymore. I miss baseball, not ballparks.”

Willie Mays, former Giants player


“When the weather was good, Candlestick was great. They should have started
games at 10:30 in the morning every day. It would have been perfect.”

Ron Santo, former player


“When opponents came to The Stick, they didn’t take infield practice. They
took pop-ups.”

Bill Rigney, former Giants announcer


“This is not a sad day for the Giants. Yes, we are leaving our home, but we
are going to a new one, and I promise you it will be the best ballpark in this
country.”

Peter Magowan, Giants owner


“It was great to be out here today, seeing all those players who gave
me sleepless nights. I love this place, but the new park is going to be
great.”

Tommy Lasorda, Dodgers vice president


“For the record, I never was blown off the mound in that All-Star Game.”

Stu Miller, former Giants player


THE REST


“It’s nice to see a guy throw that hard that’s my age. He’s got a good
arm. It’s nice to see guys that go to tryout camps get a chance to play.”

Jim Fregosi, Blue Jays manager, on 37-year-old rookie pitcher
Jim Morris


“Skip made a big deal about it; we all made a big deal about it. No one
wanted to lose 100 games and I’m glad it’s out of the way.”

Cliff Floyd, Marlins outfielder


“I’d love to stay here and play here because the people are very nice
to me in the streets. I don’t mind playing here. I hope we stay here for
a long time.”

Vladimir Guerrero, Expos outfielder


“We can’t measure up as home run hitters, but we have some productive
hitters. We’re getting men on base, getting deep in the count and we know
what to do with it.”

Joe Torre, Yankees manager


“Whoever wins this home run title, we’re both over 60 home runs. So nobody
loses, right?”

Mark McGwire, Cardinals infielder


“It took arm surgery for me to learn how to pitch. I had more strength
because I learned how to pitch. I learned how to throw real hard without
muscling it up. Last year playing for Jim Leyland, he taught me a lot.”

Matt Mantei, Diamondbacks pitcher


“He’s the MVP right now. Look at what the guy has done down the stretch.
That carries more weight than the first three months of the season.”

Greg Maddux, Braves pitcher, on Chipper Jones


“I’m not a spectacular player. I’m not a flashy player. I don’t do dances.
I don’t wear fancy sunglasses or fancy ear rings. But one thing you can
depend on is that I’ll be out there playing first base and that I’ll be
getting a lot of hits.”

Mark Grace, Cubs infielder


“John is the kind of veteran player we want to help us bring a championship
team to Tampa Bay. He is a smart player, a solid individual both on and off
the field.”

Chuck LaMar, Devil Rays GM, on signing John Flaherty to
a 3-year extension


“I’m not concerned about an offer. I’m concerned about the face of the
organization and where it’s going to be. I want to see the direction of
the organization.”

Alex Rodriguez, Mariners infielder, on contract negotiations

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