Orioles players, Buck Showalter, Dan Duquette react to club's AL East title

September 17, 2014|By Dan Connolly | The Baltimore Sun

Here are some quotes from a wild night at Camden Yards -- the Orioles' first division title since 1997.

Manager Buck Showalter: "You get older, you want to get a good angle and a good seat and see good people get a return for what they put into it and what they're trying to achieve. And this is a huge step, to get a chance now. We've got to figure out a way to win 11 games."

Showalter on changing his seat in the dugout and ending up next to the plaque of Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver in the dugout: “There are some great moments in your life. This ranks right up there. That ninth inning, I went over and rested on Earl’s number. I wanted to get a good seat, and I was trying to find a good angle. At my height, I can’t always see right over it. That’s why they put Earl’s number there. I sat there and thought he could see this, too, from here.”

Executive vice president Dan Duquette: “The guys are having a great time, and they earned it. We've got some more work to do, and these guys know it, but congratulations to them on the division crown. They did a great job. It's always nice to win the division. I thought Kelly Johnson said it best. This has the feel of a first-place ballclub. He came in here, and he could see we had the right guys for the right atmosphere to play winning baseball.”

Right fielder Nick Markakis: “Just a good feeling, just taking it all in. The experience itself is something I'll never forget. To do it with these guys, it's on a different level. It's awesome. It's one of the reasons why I wanted to be here and be part of this team and this organization. We did this for the fans. Ultimately, we want to win, but we did this for the fans. That's the main reason why we play this game.”

First baseman Steve Pearce, who was released and then re-signed in April: “This is where I wanted to play. My decision was a no-brainer. I love everybody here, from the players to the front office, this is where I wanted to play. To have this feeling right now, it was the best decision I’ve ever made.”

Center fielder Adam Jones: “We reached the pinnacle. It’s a big moment in our history. … Big moment within this clubhouse. These guys worked their tails off, every last one of them, for the same goal.”

Jones on last time the Orioles won the division in 1997: “I wasn’t able to drink at that time, so I couldn’t taste the bubbly, but I can taste it now, and it tastes really good. It’s a milestone. We’ve got a lot of work to do, but we’re going to celebrate tonight … the whole city of Baltimore.”

Reliever Tommy Hunter on being on the mound for the last out: “It was wild, it was fun. You got the shakes a little bit warming up. … But it was cool. It was a good environment. That’s what the environment should be. That’s the environment that it should be in Baltimore. These guys love baseball, these fans, the city, and we are bringing it back.”

Hunter on the team: “We’ve all been through a lot. Everyone on this team has been through something this year, one way or another, and now we are going to the postseason.”

Starter Ubaldo Jimenez: “I struggled in the first couple innings and it didn’t feel like I was going to make it to the third. But I wanted to find a way to get this team a win. I thank God for everything and I thank Buck for giving me the opportunity to be there.”

dan.connolly@baltsun.com

twitter.com/danconnollysun

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