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It’s 2006 now. We’re 0-0 and we’re not champions anymore. We got to be hungry this year. Last year nobody picked us to do anything. Now everybody will be coming after us. I talked to the players and pitchers and said we got to get better. It’s funny to say when you win 99 games, plus 11. But everybody has to go with that mentality.
—from Chapter 11-2006 A New Season
They’re already trying to make a movie about me in Venezuela, and somebody came to me about (writing) a book. I said, no. Why? Because I don’t want people to read the truth. I would do a book just to make money, but I don’t need money, so why waste my time?
—from Chapter 10-Venezuela
There’s two kinds of education: book smart and street smart. You put me in Harvard at the podium to talk to people graduating. I know what I have to say, and I know how to say it. But you put Bill Gates in the middle of Caracas, Venezuela? He will (expletive) in his pants. He will die.
—from Chapter 1-Ozzie on Ozzie
The Cubs didn’t need Sammy Sosa to sell tickets. Sammy didn’t sell any tickets in Baltimore . . . I don’t believe one guy can bring people in. Michael Jackson would. People would come to see what he looks like in a uniform. I know I’d like to see that.
—from Chapter 3-Humor
Every time they (players) see me in the clubhouse, they go, ‘Vroom! Under the bus!’ But there’s one thing about me: I will tell my players the truth, and they know it.
—from Chapter 4-Baseball philosophy
This is a Cubs town. You’ve got to win seven World Series in a row. Seven, not one. You go to Nike town, you only see Chicago Cubs stuff, and I don’t blame them, because we haven’t done anything to make that step. I want to change that.
—from Chapter 9-Cubs
You know what’s tough when you’re driving here and thinking about, ‘God, I have to be Ozzie today’ when you don’t feel like it. When you’ve lost three games in a row, four games in a row, seven and I have to show up, open that door, and put a smile on my face and pat those guys on the butt and play with them and joke around when I’m dying inside. That’s not easy. That’s tough.
—from Chapter 4-Baseball Philosophy