ANOTHER WEEK WITH THE BEST PLAYERS OF OUR TIME
"When I hit it, I couldn’t believe I hit it. Everything was in slow motion.
It looked like it was stopped in midair. Then I saw it went past those
people and I thought, ‘Wow! I did it!’ "
—Barry Bonds, Giants outfielder, on hitting his 500th
career home run out of Pac Bell Park and into the San Francisco Bay
"First of all, I could care less about Barry Bonds’s achievements. All I
worry about is winning and losing a game. That’s all I care about."
—Terry Adams, Dodgers pitcher, on giving up the game-winning home run
"I knew about it. I read the papers just like anybody else. I wouldn’t
really care if I gave up a home run to Barry Bonds because he’s such a
great hitter. I just tried to concentrate on what I could control."
—Eric Gagne, Dodgers pitcher, on ending Bonds’s six-game
"I think it’s all in fun. That’s why they’re some of the greatest fans.
They were in postseason form. If I was wearing a Mariners’ uniform tonight,
they would have been cheering for me."
—Alex Rodriguez, Rangers infielder, on a Seattle crowd that
booed him during each plate appearance and threw fake money from the upper decks
"It was surprising. I didn’t expect that. I was expecting more of a
mixed-type reaction. It was almost like the Yankees were in town, right?
Remember, Alex had some wonderful years here."
—Lou Piniella, Mariners manager
"That’s tough. No respect. I can’t deal with it. People have their own
opinion. Maybe the first time. But every single time? Forty-five thousand
people made a decision to boo him. You’ve got to remember what this guy
brought to the city."
—Mike Cameron, Mariners outfielder
"It is very tough for a ballplayer to get proud and to keep his dignity.
There is not much difference between love and hate."
—Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners outfielder, through a translator, on
"I know what it was: I wasn’t wearing my lucky underwear. It was
brutal. I felt like it was a spring-training game. After a while, I
expected them to just flip the sides and have us start hitting."
—Curtis Leskanic, Brewers reliever, after a rough outing
"I said something wrong, and I didn’t mean to say something wrong. I meant
to say if you see the replay you’re either going to look like a fool or
feel like a fool, and I wound up calling him a fool, and he threw me out
—Joe Torre, Yankees manager, on being ejected by umpire
HOW TO LEAD A DIVISION
"No one wanted to take batting practice against me. I could see the fear in
their eyes. No one wanted to be hit in batting practice. It wasn’t
comfortable for me. It wasn’t fun. But Willie never hesitated. When it was
my turn to pitch, he’d always say, ‘I’ll be first.’ He did it every time.
And he would go into the cage without a batting helmet. That was his way of
saying he still was with me, that I meant something to him. It was like
he was saying, ‘Go ahead. Hit me in the shoulder. Hit me in the ribs. It
doesn’t matter. Our relationship is stronger than that.’"
—Steve Blass, retired Pirates pitcher, on Willie Stargell
"I grew up with the Bash Brothers. My mom wanted me to go get McGwire’s
autograph, but I was too shy. It’d be awesome to get to the majors, but to
get there with Oakland, that’s livin’ a dream."
—Jason Hart, Athletics infield prospect, on why he likes playing in the
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