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WHAT THEY SAID IN ’88

Compiled by Steve Lowery

In 1988, the Cookie crumbled as the Angels tumbled and the Rams stumbled on the carpet in Minneapolis.

Here is a look at what was said last year by the people who were making the highs, lows and everything in between:

Coach John Robinson, talking about Gaston Green just after the Rams made the UCLA running back their No. 1 draft pick: “We felt all along he was the best breakaway runner in the draft by far. We’ll use him next year with Charles White, but we’re not going to force him into a carrying-30-times-a-game situation.”

(A man of his word, Robinson gave Green the ball 34 times all season, an average of 2.1 carries a game.)

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After Ram tight end Pete Holohan had caught a personal-high 8 passes against the Atlanta Falcons, he was asked if he had been relaying any messages to Jim Everett that contributed to his big day: “Yeah, I kept telling him, ‘Thank you.’ ”

Ram defensive back LeRoy Irvin, after the Rams’ playoff loss in Minnesota: “It’s always next year. All I am is a contender. I guess I’ll be a contender all my life.”

Jim Everett on the Rams’ chances for the playoffs: “Some teams are in the driver’s seat. We’re just hoping to hang on to the back dash.”

Mike Port describing the Angels in April: “This is a first-place caliber team.”

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(OK, but the team had a last-place record.)

Port, speaking about the possibility of Dave Winfield coming to the Angels: “Is Winfield going to play for us or buy us?”

And now let’s take a grab in the Cookie (Rojas) jar:

Complimentary Cookie: “He’s a helluva player.”

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Observant Cookie: “He pitch a helluva game.”

Awestruck Cookie: “That was a helluva game.”

Ken Brett, Angel announcer, noticing Angel reliever Sherman Corbett had finished his warm-up routine in the bullpen: “Well, Sherman Corbett has finished throwing up in the bullpen.”

Gene Autry on Nolan Ryan: “I’m sorry we let him go.”

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(Nice thought, but 9 years too late.)

Brian Downing, Sept. 15, with the Angels 20 games out of first: “There’s no give-up attitude on this team.”

Oh really? Well, how about Greg Minton, Sept. 13, with the Angels 19 games out of first place: “The only thing on my mind right now is getting into third place. I kind of lost hope a couple weeks ago back in Oakland. But I still believe we can get third place; there’s a little money that goes with that.”

That’s right Little Leaguers, remember winning isn’t everything, cash is.

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And while you’re listening kids, remember the inspiring words of Chili Davis, who said: “If you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin.’ ”

Davis, after failing to catch a ball: “My claim to fame is not leaping. In fact, I don’t know what my claim to fame is.”

Moose Stubing, after a 10-5 loss to the Twins, the Angels’ 11th straight loss: “We’ll try to win tomorrow.”

(Make that next season. The Angels went out the next day and lost, 3-2, to the Twins, losing a club-record 12 straight, including all 8 games under interim manager Stubing.)

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Mark Thornton, Capistrano Valley High boys’ basketball coach, on outdoor basketball: “You can do a lot of things outdoors that you can’t do indoors. We do a lot more work on our outside game when we play indoors, but outdoors we were able to get a very good game going indoors.”

(He was serious.)

Rex Vollmer, Capistrano Valley High’s 230-pound heavyweight wrestler after his final state meet match: “Let’s eat.”

Asked what he would be eating that night, Vollmer replied: “Buffet. Definitely buffet.”

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Gary Bowden, Canyon wrestling coach, on dealing with parental pressure: “I think if I had a wish, I’d wish I could be a head coach at an orphanage.”

Dan DeLeon, El Toro baseball coach after his team lost, 8-4, in the Southern Section 3-A baseball finals: “We lost, but I’m still going to Disneyland.”

John Jackson, Cypress College sophomore forward, on his improved study habits: “I like doing my homework now. Before, I never used to read anything, not even the picture captions in Sports Illustrated.”

Don Sneddon, Rancho Santiago baseball coach, finding out Bobby Hamelin had transferred from UCLA to Rancho Santiago while the coach was fishing in Mexico: “It was the best Christmas present I could get. I got a 130-pound marlin and 220-pound Hamelin.”

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(Hamelin hit .514 and set state community college records with 31 home runs and 105 RBIs in just 48 games.)

Jeff Mooney, former Westminster High, Cypress College and Chapman pitcher, who played for the Class-A Medicine Hat (Alberta) Blue Jays--the losingest team in professional baseball last season (12-60)--describing a mound meeting with catcher Juan Jaime of the Dominican Republic: “He couldn’t speak English, and I didn’t know any Spanish. There was a lot of sign language and sentences like ‘Me throw ball.’ ”

Bill Mulligan, UC Irvine men’s basketball coach, on Irvine center Ricky Butler and Butler’s rather prodigious appetite--he’s 6-foot 7-inches and 260 pounds: “Rickey said he’s really trying to lose weight. He came up to me with a straight face and said he was down to 3 meals a day.”

Mulligan said he heard a fan yell at Butler during a game: “If you can’t guard him, eat him.”

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Gene Murphy, Fullerton football coach, after his team beat San Jose State, 58-13: “Hurry up, we have to go buy our lottery tickets.”

Murphy, asked if there was a split officiating crew during Fullerton’s game at Wyoming: “Yeah. Half of them were from Laramie, the other half from Cheyenne.”


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