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They Said It

Think of the people quoted here as the spiritual descendants of Yogi Berra, imparting precious pearls of wisdom

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CASEY STENGEL, 1966
ex-New York Mets manager, evaluating his former team's top pitcher:

"Best thing wrong with Jack Fisher is nothing."

BOB VEALE, 1966
Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher, on the relative importance of pitching and hitting:

"Good pitching always stops good hitting, and vice versa."

FREDDIE PATEK, 1971
Kansas City Royals 5'4" infielder, on how it feels to be the shortest player in the major leagues:

"A heckuva lot better than being the shortest player in the minor leagues."

BILLY TUBBS, 1979
Oklahoma's basketball coach:

"This year we plan to run and shoot. Next season we
hope to run and score."

DAN QUISENBERRY, 1980
Kansas City Royals reliever, on what happens when his sinker isn't working:

"The batter still hits a grounder. But in this case the first bounce is 360 feet away."

JOHN MCKAY, 1980
Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach, asked what he thought of his team's execution following a 34-27 loss to Cleveland:

"I think it's a good idea."

BEANO COOK, 1981
CBS spokesman, after Bowie Kuhn gave the 52 former Iranian hostages lifetime major league baseball passes:

"Haven't they suffered enough?"

ROCKY BRIDGES, 1985
San Francisco Giants coach, on why he refused to eat snails:

"I prefer fast food."

PAT WILLIAMS, 1985
general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers, on 260-pound rookie power forward Charles Barkley:

"Charles joined my family for a day at the beach last summer, and my children asked if they could go in the ocean. I had to tell them, 'Not right now, kids. Charles is using it.'"

MAGIC JOHNSON, 1986
on how well he and teammate James Worthy work together on the court:

"It's almost like we have ESPN."

BETSY CRONKITE, 1986
when told that her husband, Walter, wished to die on a 60-foot yacht with a 16-year-old mistress at his side:

"He's more likely to die on a 16-foot yacht with a 60-year-old mistress."

STEVE LARGENT, 1987
Seattle Seahawks All-Pro wide receiver, when asked which record he will treasure most when he retires:

"Probably the Beatles' White Album."

CALDWELL JONES, 1987
Portland Trail Blazers center, when asked to name his favorite seafood:

"Saltwater taffy."

BUM PHILLIPS, 1988
ex-NFL coach, on how he was spending his retirement:

"I ain't doing a damn thing, and I don't start until noon."

ANDRE AGASSI, 1990
tennis player, assessing his career so far:

"I've only scratched the iceberg."

TORRIN POLK, 1991
University of Houston receiver, praising his coach, John Jenkins:

"He treats us like men. He lets us wear earrings."

CRAIG STADLER, 1991
PGA Tour golfer, when asked how he is putting now compared with 1982, when he won the Masters:

"More." VIN SCULLY, 1991
Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster:

"Andre Dawson has a bruised knee and is listed as day-to-day.... Aren't we all?"

JEFF INNIS, 1991
New York Mets pitcher, on an unflattering photo of him:

"That picture was taken out of context."

ELDEN CAMPBELL, 1991
Los Angeles Lakers forward, on if he had earned his degree from Clemson:

"No, but they gave me one anyway."

BILL BELICHICK, 1992
Cleveland Browns coach, on his team's preparation before a game with the San Diego Chargers:

"I don't think there's anybody in this organization not focused on the 49ers ... I mean Chargers."

JOE THEISMANN, 1992
former Washington Redskins quarterback:

"The word genius isn't applicable in football. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein."

SAMMY LILLY, 1992
out-of-work NFL cornerback, who had just interviewed for a job at a nuclear power plant, after getting a call to play for the Los Angeles Rams:

"I'm thrilled about this. I'm glowing right now."

MIKE FLANAGAN, 1992
Baltimore Orioles pitcher:

"You know you're having a bad day when the fifth inning rolls around and they drag the warning track."

LENNY DYKSTRA, 1992
Philadelphia Phillies outfielder, when told that his team had dealt unproductive outfielder Von Hayes to the California Angels:

"Great trade! Who did we get?"

KEN GRIFFEY JR., 1994
Seattle Mariners centerfielder, on the effect an upcoming baseball strike would have on the stellar seasons he and Chicago White Sox first baseman Frank Thomas were enjoying:

"We picked a bad year to have a good year."

BROTHER RAY PAGE, 1994
teacher at St. Anthony High School in Jersey City, N.J., on alumnus and Sacramento Kings guard Bobby Hurley:

"He once asked me if Beirut was named after that famous baseball player who hit home runs."

ROGER MCDOWELL, 1994
Los Angeles Dodgers veteran, on taking rookie Darren Dreifort under his wing:

"I have to go to all the places he can't, to make sure he isn't there."

PETE CARRIL, 1995
Princeton coach, on why he wouldn't move Steve Goodrich from center to forward:

"He has the shooting range. What he doesn't have is the making range."

STEVE BLASS, 1995
Pittsburgh Pirates broadcaster, analyzing the dismal pitching performance of Bucs replacement player Jimmy Boudreau, who had last been on a mound professionally in 1986:

"He should have been better, pitching on 3,195 days' rest."

JIM FASSEL, 2002
New York Giants coach, analyzing the team's prospects for success:

"In my opinion, if we are going to have a good season, we have to put together more back-to-back wins."

BRAD MILLER, 2003
Indiana Pacers center, on his team's struggles:

"It's not going to be peaches and gravy all the time."

BARRY LARKIN, 2003
Reds shortstop, on his future with the team, which had an interim manager and no G.M.:

"We've decided to take a wait-and-see approach -- mostly wait, because we don't know who to see."

JEROME JAMES, 2003
Seattle SuperSonics center, on coach Nate McMillan's charge that he was selfish:

"I don't have the first clue who he is talking about, because all I worry about is Jerome."

MARK CALCAVECCHIA, 2003
professional golfer, on the value of watching the leader board while he's playing:

"I like to know whether I don't need to do anything stupid or whether I need to try to do something stupid."

JOHN AMAECHI, 2003
Houston Rockets backup center, on not having played a single minute all season:

"That's part of the challenge of being a professional athlete."

Issue date: September 27, 2004

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