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ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH


"We added a horse. His leadership in the clubhouse will be very important
for us in the next eight years. It’s a tough place to pitch. We didn’t come
in there and sell Mike Hampton how it was pitcher’s heaven."

Dan O’Dowd, Rockies GM, on signing starter Mike Hampton to an
eight-year, $121MM deal


"There’s no doubt it’s the toughest place to pitch. It’s a test I look
forward to and something that I think will make me a better pitcher in the
long run."

— Hampton, Rockies pitcher, on his new home


"It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that this is not one of the
better pitchers’ parks, but I hope to change that perspective."

Denny Neagle, Rockies pitcher, on facing Coors after signing a
five-year, $51.5MM contract


"You know you’re going to score some runs here. Obviously, if you can get
some more pitching, you can win because pitching wins championships."

— Neagle


"Playing against this team the last couple of years, you could see what
they were doing, putting together the right type of team."

— Neagle

GRACE-FULL SNAKES


"It’s a no-brainer situation for me. It was the easiest decision I ever had
to make, and it was the perfect decision. With the talent they’ve got here,
there’s no reason why they can’t be the elite team in the National League
West, and I want to be a part of it. I will have no problem blending in."

Mark Grace, Diamondbacks infielder, on his two-year, $6MM contract


"He’s one of the best clutch hitters in baseball, a perennial .300 hitter.
He’s a pro’s pro."

Joe Garagiola Jr., Diamondbacks GM, on Grace

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA WEATHER: MID-70S WITH MONEY SHOWERS


"From a baseball standpoint, if Tony’s as healthy as he says he is right
now, our ballclub will be a much better ballclub with him in the middle of
our lineup once again. He’s going to be out there everyday unless he says
he can’t."

Kevin Towers, Padres GM, on signing Tony Gwynn to an incentive-heavy
one-year deal worth up to $5.7MM


"I’m glad everything worked out. It’s been tough. It was kind of hard to
make the right decision. We’ve been talking for a long time. Then today, I
heard they took the deal off. I felt I should call, I still wanted to be a
Dodger. I just wanted to make sure it was the right decision. My wife and I
have discussed everything, we feel this is the right move for us. They were
very generous and very understanding of the situation. I thank Kevin and
the Dodgers for allowing me some extra days to think about it."

Andy Ashby, Dodgers pitcher, on the protracted negotiations that led to
his three-year, $22.5MM deal


"I think Andy’s always been our No. 1 priority. We just wanted to make sure
the player that we signed wanted to be in Los Angeles. Yesterday, there
seemed to be a point where it just wasn’t getting done. Andy called us this
morning."

Kevin Malone, Dodgers GM, on getting the Ashby deal completed

BITTER AFTERTASTE


"The only reason the Yankees can do it is because they have the potential
to get $100 million in cable revenues while the Orioles settle for about
$25 million. Give me the $100 million that they’ve got, and Mike Mussina
would still be in Baltimore."

Peter Angelos, Orioles owner, on why his team didn’t re-sign Mike
Mussina

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