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Buffaloes’ players, brass take news of attack hard

by Jack Gallagher

OSAKA — News of the terrorist attacks back in the United States shook the Kintetsu Buffaloes’ American contingent to the core on Wednesday.

Commenting before their game at the Osaka Dome with the Chiba Lotte Marines, here is a sampling of some of the reactions:

Tuffy Rhodes (outfielder): “I think it’s a dream. I can’t believe it. You can’t imagine something like that happening in a place like America. For it to be so easy for something like that to happen is frightening.

“I stayed up until 4:00 in the morning last night watching the TV reports. I could not even sleep. I kept saying to myself, ‘I have a game tomorrow,’ and then turned the TV off, but then kept turning the TV back on.

“Whoever did that made a big statement to our country. Now the question is, ‘What are we going to do about it?’ “

Tommy Lasorda (special adviser): “I cried. I was up until 4:00 in the morning. I called my wife and she cried too. It was just devastating. You can’t believe that anything like that could happen in our country.

“My heart goes out to all the victims. It’s just outrageous. We’ve got to get those guys. There is no way they can get away. And the same for anybody that is harboring them. We’ve got to make up our mind to go after them. We can’t allow them to do this.

“I thought the President’s speech was beautiful. Our team president Mr. Nagai came to see me early this morning to see if there was anything he could do. That really reinforced my love and friendship that I have for these people in Japan.”

Shawn Gilbert (shortstop): “It’s just a sick feeling. It was like watching a movie. It’s hard to concentrate and think about baseball now. It makes you see how irrelevant it really is when all that is going on and someone is attacking our country. It makes you want to go home.

“At first, it was hard to believe that somebody would attack us like that. But it wasn’t just an attack on us, it was an attack on the world. They were slapping the world in the face by attacking the World Trade Center and all the nations that had representatives there.”