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What Alex has been saying:

"I want to be known as a good major-leaguer, and good major-leaguers work to become good." -- Alex Rodriguez

"Last year I would have paid anything to go watch a major league game. This year I'm playing in one." -- Alex Rodriguez in a Sports Illustrated . article from July 1994

Alex on hitting for the cycle... ``I'm excited, but I guess it hasn't hit me yet,'' Rodriguez said. ``I'm only the second Mariner to do it, and the other is Jay Buhner, who can't run.''

On his contract extension: "Getting the contract helped me more than anything. I was concerned around the trading deadline and thought the Mariners would trade me for either Moyer or Hentgen."

On a possible Gold Glove: "I'd rather have the Gold Glove than a silver bat. Defense is so much more of a team game and one of my goals this year was to make fewer than 25 errors."

On the pressures of winning a batting title: "I've never been in this situation and I kept asking Edgar every day what can I do to handle (the pressure)."

On Cal Ripken Jr: "What I've learned from Cal is to respect the game, respect the fans. Nothing fancy out there. Just do your job."

On his game: "This whole year has been a learning experience. There are still a lot of areas in which I think I can improve."

On improving: "I need to make more contact. I struck out more than 100 times. I can cut down on my errors, and I'd like to steal 30-40 bags. I made a lot of dumb baserunning mistakes this year."

On not winning the MVP: "I love the challenge of this game. I love the work involved. My goal now is to have a season next year that will make people forget about this one. I'll use things like this for motivation. I'm pumped up. I'm hungry."

On Game 5 of the 95 Playoff game against the Yankees: "Last year, I told myself if Edgar didn't win it, I'd have won it. I put myself in that situation many times. I win it every time in my mind."

What others have been saying about him:

Peter Gammons on MVP: "There is a strong feeling a player can't be MVP if his team isn't among the eight to make the playoffs. And I am an Albert Belle fan -- no, no apologist -- but Alex Rodriguez is the MVP, barring a collapse in the final weekend of play. He leads Belle in virtually every stat except homers and RBIs, and he is a highly skilled defender at a premier skill position."

Brady Anderson on MVP: "Defense can't be measured, but it makes a player valuable. No one but Rodriguez can be considered."

Lou Piniella on his expectations: "We expected him to hit for some power. But not like this."

St. Louis reliever Dennis Eckersley on the MVP voting: "Ken Griffey Jr. is the best player in the game, but for a shortstop to play well defensively and put up those numbers? How can he not be the MVP?'

"Fate put Rodriguez next to Cora on the bench at the end of the final game last season. Humanity put Rodriguez's long arm around Cora, consoling him as he cried." -- by Bob Finnigan, Seattle Times staff reporter

Jubilation: What's the difference in the field playing with Alex Rodriguez as opposed to Ozzie Guillen?

Joey Cora: They have different styles. Alex is very intense and can get mad. Sometime you have to settle him down a bit. Ozzie is a veteran, and he knows a lot about the game. He has a lot of fun and he's always chatting with the umpires and stuff. They're different, but they're both very good.

--ESPNET Online Chat with Joey Cora