They said it: Top sports quotes from July 2021

Gazette file, provided photos

Gazette file, provided photos

From each month, The Daily Gazette sports department compiles the 10 quotes from our interview subjects that stuck out the most for us, based on how they either made us think or laugh — or some combination of both.

Selected quotes come both from reporting for stories that appeared in The Daily Gazette and interviews associated with episodes of “The Parting Schotts Podcast.” Not all quotes used were previously published.

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“The funny thing is, every year, Hartwick and Union is the first game of the year. So, yes, that’s going to be a little bit strange.”

— New Union women’s basketball head coach Katie Marcella — the former head coach at Hartwick for six seasons — during her introductory press conference on July 2.

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“I went from in 2019 where I topped out at maybe 93 [mph] to, where, all of a sudden, I’m sitting from 93 to 96 and I’m topping out at 97. All of a sudden, I was like, ‘Well, I guess this is a thing to stay.’”

— Broadalbin-Perth High School and Siena College product Matt Gage, a pitcher in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ minor league system, describing on July 8 how changes to his pitching mechanics helped to rejuvenate his baseball career at 28.

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“I always talk about a pitcher under the hood and the engine of a car. That engine races for a lot of guys, and it can get out in front of you and cause you to do some things you don’t want to do on the pitching mound. Pressure is an incredible thing. It affects people in different ways, and Ian Anderson, at least, doesn’t show it. He looks calm. He looks like he’s a veteran. You’re going to have your moments when you don’t feel comfortable [and] you don’t feel like you’re throwing the ball where you want to. But he doesn’t show it. He doesn’t give the hitter an advantage.”

— John Smoltz, Hall of Fame pitcher and analyst for FOX Sports and MLB Network, discussing Atlanta Braves pitcher and Shenendehowa graduate Ian Anderson on the July 8 edition of “The Parting Schotts Podcast.”

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“I think it’s going to feel . . . normal again. Last year just didn’t seem right.”

— Trainer Todd Pletcher, on July 13, regarding the 2021 Saratoga meet with fans allowed back on the grounds, after they were barred in 2020 because of the pandemic.

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“Things are looking pretty lively already around here. Really, sort of a depressing meet last year. We tried to maintain some positivity. NYRA did offer a lot of nice races up here, and we had a lot of good horses to run and won some nice races, but it’s so different to go through it with no fans there, no family. It was just a very empty feeling throughout the meet for everybody.”

— Trainer Chad Brown, on July 13, two days before the start of the 2021 Saratoga meet. The Mechanicville native’s family has been using the same picnic table in the Saratoga Race Course backyard for decades.

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“I think the first 20, we all wanted to play for ourselves, play good so we could all get out of here. We realized that we needed to start playing to win and not just play for ourselves, but do whatever we can to help each other win.”

— Tri-City ValleyCats outfielder Carson Maxwell, on July 13, detailing the team’s rise from a 4-16 start to contention for a Frontier League playoff spot.

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“The first thing I said was, ‘Oh my god — I’ve got to get out of work.’”

— Union College graduate Nina Cutro-Kelly, on July 15, recalling her reaction when she found out she’d received a spot in the Olympic women’s +78-kilogram judo competition just three weeks before the opening ceremony. At 36, Cutro-Kelly became the oldest athlete to ever represent the United States at the Olympics in judo.

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“I started out like you guys. I always dreamed of being a Major League player. Sometimes, I didn’t think it was going to work out. As a kid one summer, I think I struck out every time. I wasn’t very good and I cried a lot.”

— Retired baseball player Charlie Hayes during a July 24 stop at the BH-BL Junior Baseball Summer Slam Tournament where he signed autographs and spoke to young baseball players at Indian Meadows Park in Glenville about his journey to becoming an MLB player.

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“I didn’t really think I could beat that filly, to be honest. The way the race shaped up, maybe she [Malathaat] got softened up a bit. She fought right to the wire, too. But I didn’t expect to beat her.”

— Trainer Rob Atras, whose filly Maracuja upset previously undefeated Malathaat in the Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga on July 24.

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“Honestly, if we didn’t shorten the season, I feel as though the majority of us would’ve been back. Playing football’s something we love, especially the team and the team aspect. Being here at UAlbany, it’s a place you don’t really want to leave if you don’t have to. That’s what drove that decision.”

— UAlbany defensive lineman Ibn Foster, during the CAA’s media day teleconference on July 27, describing his decision to use the additional year of eligibility granted to NCAA athletes due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Categories: Sports

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