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SPRING TRAINING


“It was beautiful to get that first hit in a Pirate uniform. It feels
good to play that first game. You don’t really feel like you’re part of
the team until you play in a game.”

Wil Cordero, Pirates outfielder


“I like challenges. Pudge [Rodriguez] is one of the players I like to
face and he’s going to be one of the players that I want to face most
of the time in spring training so I know how to get him out.”

Pedro Martinez, Red Sox pitcher


“I don’t work on anything. See it and hit it.”

Mark McGwire, Cardinals infielder


“Losing Brook [Fordyce] for maybe two months takes away some offensive pop.
Mark Johnson will do most of the catching with Brook out, but he’s a .220
hitter, and Jose Valentin at shortstop is around that area. That’s too many
for an AL-type lineup, so we really have to explore [Paul Konerko] at third
to see if he can handle it.”

Jerry Manual, White Sox manager


SMOLTZ OUT FOR YEAR


“I’ve been through so much that in a weird way, this was a relief. I
need to get the surgery in order to be able to pitch another good,
solid, three to four years.”

John Smoltz, Braves pitcher


“It’s going to hurt us, but this club is used to dealing with adversity
and injuries.”

Chipper Jones, Braves infielder


“I think last year has given us a sense that we know we can do it without
our big guns. I think that gives us a little confidence. Maybe there’s a
sense that we did it once, we can do it again.”

Kevin Millwood, Braves pitcher


REALIGNMENT


“To me, it’s like baseball looking for a way to make an extra buck,
and I’m tired of it. They’re trying to find a new twist every three
or four years to add more interest to the game and make more money.
When is it going to end?”

Kent Bottenfield, Cardinals pitcher


“[Bud Selig] assured me that the Cardinals and the Cubs, and, for that
matter, the Brewers, would all be in the same division. There’s no
question about it. I don’t know where that came from. That was just
speculative. Baseball recognizes the great traditional rivalries.
That’s what they’re trying to promote.”

Bill DeWitt Jr., Cardinals owner


“People have been complaining about the schedule for years. We can’t do
what we need to do without making some minor changes. Keeping this group
of 30 owners happy is not an easy task.”

Bud Selig, MLB commissioner


THE REST


“I don’t like to throw numbers out there, but they sure as heck can’t be
where they are now. It is not productive. The numbers are not productive.”

Bobby Valentine, Mets manager, on Rey Ordonez‘s offense


“He’s not the prototypical third baseman. He’s got skill and he’s got
work ethic. That’s a good combination.”

Terry Ryan, Twins GM, on Corey Koskie


“If I have to worry about another health thing, I swear, I don’t know
what I’ll do. It bothers me that I’ve always been hurt.”

Cliff Floyd, Marlins outfielder


“I’ve had my shot, I’ve had enough. I don’t have any desire to pick up
a bat or catch a fly ball. It’s really strange, but I don’t want to do
it.”

Willie McGee, on retiring


“I’m just trying to go about my business, have some fun and win some
games. It would be nice going home to play, but I’m still playing for
the Twins right now. When the time comes, if they trade me to Tampa,
then so be it. Until then I’ll just keep doing my job.”

Brad Radke, Twins pitcher


“To me, he’s the third-best leadoff hitter in the league, behind Craig
Biggio and Rickey Henderson. A good leadoff hitter is as hard to find
these days as a closer. Look around baseball. How many teams are looking
for a good leadoff hitter?”

Dusty Baker, Giants manager, on Marvin Benard


“Everybody in the world will agree that regardless of what you think
I did do or didn’t do, I’ve been in the penalty box long enough. It’s
just the American way to give you a second opportunity.”

Pete Rose, former player


“We have no plans to trade [Alex Rodriguez]. I am convinced that the
best way to win in 2000 is for Alex to be a Mariner, and the best way
for us to keep Alex long term is for us to win in 2000.”

Howard Lincoln, Mariners chairman


“It’s not about home runs. I can do a lot of other things. I don’t want
people to get confused. I want to contribute to this team.”

Sammy Sosa, Cubs outfielder

“I think he’s the most underrated shortstop in the game today. When they
talk about the real good shortstops in the league they talk about Derek
Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Nomar Garciaparra and Omar Vizquel. I don’t know
why they don’t think of Mike Bordick.”

Mike Hargrove, Orioles manager

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