On the current Orioles team:

“I’m really happy that J.J. Hardy caught my lame first pitch. It was a ball, but normally you don’t have to throw over a statue to get it to home plate. J.J., I saw him play with Milwaukee, I always admired him, I always admired the intangibles that he brings, the leadership he brings, the stability that he brings. I thought that was a big factor in bringing him here as a shortstop and him performing in the middle of the field. If you look around, they have All-Star caliber players at many different positions. The question always is, for every team, is the pitching going to keep you in the ball game? The pitching, although it’s changed a little bit, we found some surprises in the second half, the pitching is keeping them in there. The Orioles are playing really well. I don’t think anybody could have projected. I think everyone was hoping that they would continue to develop and that they would be challenging for the Wild Card, but this is exciting. It’s been a while since you’re watching, you’re checking up, you’re listening everywhere you are to what’s happening in the game, so it’s exciting for me.”


On Billy’s words:

“Billy’s a fantastic speaker. He really communicates well. Sometimes he gets up on his soapbox in some ways. We laugh and kid when we do our radio show together. He knows the game really well. He has great timing and a great sense of humor. I asked both Brady and him a little bit late. I let this sneak up on me a little bit. Both of them are very meaningful to me and I’m very appreciative that they took the time out to make a few remarks.”


On the sculpture:

“The whole thing is to capture the essence of the player. Yes, I got a chance to see it early. Yes, I got the chance to have input if I wanted to. But the creative process was already there and was already going, and I trusted the process. Certainly, the backhand kind-of stretch play in the hole, I made that many times. I was longer, I was rangier, I was bigger and that signified, or symbolized, a bigger person playing the position of shortstop. I was very proud of the success I had there. I was very proud of the time that I played there. I think maybe in a small way I changed the dialogue that says, ‘Maybe a bigger guy can play in the shortstop position’. So I was very proud of that. I’m very proud of the pose. It looks like me and I think it captures who I was as a shortstop.”


On being remembered:

“Well I guess that’s all you have now. I used to deflect your questions years ago by saying, ‘there will be a time when you can sit back in your rocking chair and reflect’. I really haven’t sat back in a rocking chair and reflected too much. It does make you feel good being remembered. Remembered at all is certainly a compliment. This particular ceremony the meaning was clear, it’s not about me. It was about the history of the Orioles, a celebration of the Orioles, the connection to what the Oriole Way stood for. Yes, you go up and down in your franchise’s history, but the Orioles have come back to competition, a very competitive team, a playoff team in September. For me, I look around at all the great players and all the meaning that the Oriole Way represented and I wanted to try to speak to that. It wasn’t about me, it was about the Oriole family, and I had an opportunity to say that. So this was different in many respects, a little more heartfelt. I really enjoyed being with the guys. Eddie’s ceremony, I got a chance to really spend some time with Eddie during this process. Not that you need an excuse to do it, but certainly we’re all busy and doing things. But when there was a rain delay on the field, I really enjoyed just being in the dugout watching the rain and talking to some of the guys. Jim Thome down there, Wayne Kirby, those are the things you’re going to miss. It’s not your hits, it’s not your homers, it’s not your successes on the field; it’s the meaning of people. This process has brought that out to me. I’ve enjoyed it immensely. I didn’t know what to expect. I’m thrilled to be a part of it and I’m very honored that there’s a statue out there with my likeness on it.”


On the streak:

“I do reflect on this particular subject quite a bit because I’m asked about it. You look back on your career and you ask yourself “What if?” I’m very satisfied that I approached the game in the way that I thought I should approach it. There’s a sense of responsibility as a baseball player to play. The manager chooses you to play, and that’s how that streak got started and you’re worthy enough to be put in the lineup. As the streak went on, I took pride in it, but I wasn’t obsessed with it. I didn’t change anything that I did in my life. I wasn’t careful. I wrestled people in the clubhouse. I played the game as hard as I could. I just tried to do it the right way and only played it one game at a time. I’m extremely proud of the fact that I could have been counted on to play and what the streak ultimately represented, but I wasn’t obsessed with it and I wouldn’t be terribly upset if somebody broke it. It would be a value and a journey and an effort of doing things the right way. I’d be happy for him. If I can do it, certainly someone else can. I know there are a unique set of circumstances. I know there is a whole lot more protective environment around a player that you’ve invested money in right now, so it’s a custom to resting up and getting yourself healthy so you’re there for the long haul. If I can do it, certainly someone else can.”


On Manny Machado:

“You can’t help but be impressed; his poise, his maturity. I think him coming up to play third base has helped stabilize the Orioles defense. They had, for a while, a revolving door between third base and first base with a lot of different players there. It’s OK to utilize your players in different roles. Buck did a nice job and the Orioles did a nice job of getting value out of everybody, but there is value in having the stability of one person in that position, and certainly when I look at Manny, he understands himself, he understands the game and he understands what he has to work on. I think ultimately it will help him a lot by playing third if he does go back to shortstop. He’ll be a better shortstop as a result of his experience at third. Right now, the Orioles are a better team with him playing third every day.”


On Buck and the current players:

“Buck Showalter and company have reached out and embraced the community in every way they can. I think it was awesome that Buck was out there and the players were out there during the ceremonies. They represented. That was really cool, there was a connection to the past. I know Buck is doing many other things, and his thought process to bridge that and see the value in that. But ultimately it is success; success on the field. At the big league level you’re selling winning. So keep doing what you’re doing, playing meaningful games in September. Keep playing meaningful baseball. This is a great baseball town. They’ll be back.”