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ANGELS IN '98

They Said It

September 27, 1998

Quote of the Year

Chuck Finley on the rash of Angel injuries: "I think they're trying to recreate the [1992] bus accident, but they're doing it in pieces. It's like snipers are taking us out one at a time. We've had so many X-rays you could cover the field with them, stick them together and make a tarp."

Terry Talk

Top five quotes of Manager Terry Collins:

Told the Angels had won coin flips for home-field advantage in case a one-game playoff was needed to determine the division champion or wild-card winner: "Are we kicking or receiving?"

After Darin Erstad strained his hamstring on Sept. 2: "If this season is a test, I want to know when you pass, when it's finally over. I've had enough of it. It's time for us to get some breaks."

On the league's strict security during his eight-game suspension in June: "I'm going to be in handcuffs when I leave the park today. I'm going to be escorted out by five bodyguards."

On early season rains that turned Edison Field into a swamp: "The next person I want to see go on the disabled list is El Nino."

On a barren Shea Stadium clubhouse before an April 15 game against the Yankees: "We had to bring our own gum."

Fin City

Top five quotes of pitcher Chuck Finley:

On a deep knee gouge suffered in July: "I've never had a cut go so deep where you could see parts of you that hold you up."

On whether he would baby the wrist he broke in 1997: "I'm not going near that training room. They'll put a little shock collar on you, and you'll need a hall pass to get out of there."

After his first spring training start: "I got out of there without them having to call in the Air Evac. No choppers today. No sutures. No plaster of Paris."

On Angels' early season inconsistence: "We're like a piece of wood on a stream--we're just floating along."

On why he led the league in pitches thrown: "It comes from not knowing what the heck you're doing and trying to figure it out along the way."

Disar Dandies

Top five quotes of shortstop Gary DiSarcina:

On skeptical Angel fans: "Dude, I know the mentality here. I know we've never been to the World Series and we haven't been to the playoffs in 12 years. But I liken it to the concept of marriage. Even though the divorce rate is 50%, are you not going to take a chance on the woman you love? If you like the way we play, if we're a good team, wouldn't you want to support it? Wouldn't you want to give it a shot?"

On teammate Randy Velarde's chiseled frame: "His body is corked."

On Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez's dominating performance in Boston's 6-1 victory Aug. 29: "He was nasty and abusive out there. He made me flat-out feel like a Little Leaguer."

On Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla.: "This place is like a pinball machine."

After closer Troy Percival nearly blew a four-run lead in the ninth inning of a 7-6 win over Boston Aug. 28: "I've had enough drama for one year. Uncle. I give up, man."

Fish Fry

Top five quotes of designated hitter Tim Salmon:

On his foot injury: "Just take a nail and tap it into your heel--that's what it feels like."

After scoring the winning run from first on Todd Greene's double in a 4-2 win at Tampa Bay Sept. 14: "You kind of do a quick inventory after a play like that. Is everything attached? Can I still walk? Can I still run?"

After 3-1 win over Seattle moves Angels into first-place tie on Sept. 20: "I know it sounds like a broken record, but how many times have people written us off, and how many times have we suffered a devastating injury, only to reel off a couple wins and get back in it?"

On playing hurt: "It's hard coming to the park without all your tools."

After closer Troy Percival's blown save in Baltimore Sept. 12: "Troy doesn't have a lot of opportunities to have an off day. I have an off day, I come back and get 'em tomorrow. He has one, it's a real big deal. It's a tough business."

Erst-While

Top five quotes of first baseman Darin Erstad:

On the plethora of Angel injuries: "They have to do something during the off-season to take the curse off this team."

What he said to Manager Terry Collins after straining his hamstring on Sept. 2: "I told him he's got two weeks of me being patient with this injury. Then he's going to have to shoot me to keep me off the field."

Why he goes home to Fargo, N.D., in the winter: "You can't go ice fishing in Southern California."

On the Angels: "We're just grinding, like a bunch of rats. We don't have the best talent. We have a lot of guys who don't care about numbers, who just want to win."

On whether he would ever break fellow North Dakotan Roger Maris' then-home run record: "I better get in the weight room if I'm going to hit 62."

Best of the Rest

Reliever Mike Holtz after attending taping of "The Jerry Springer Show": "Man, I feel like I need a spiritual cleansing. . . . My biggest fear was being hit by a chair. I could just hear myself saying to Terry, 'Uh, Terry, I can't throw tomorrow because I got hit with a chair on The Jerry Springer Show.' That would go over real well."

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