NEW YORK (AP) _ Jeffrey Maier got instant fame by turning a potential out into a crucial homer during the AL playoffs Wednesday night. Here's what people were saying about the ``Yankee Kid'' and the call by umpire Rich Garcia:

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``His 15 minutes of fame turned into about two weeks. The situation was perfect for the kid to get all the time he got. If it were to happen in some other town, not New York City, I don't know how it would have been handled. But because it was in New York City and we were the only game going, I can completely understand how it happened and why.'' _ Orioles pitcher Mike Mussina on Maier's television appearances Thursday.

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``He's such a nice kid. I am sure he is very excited about what is happening. But he has got his feet on the ground.'' _ Jeffrey's grandmother, Lorraine Briemer of Alexandria, Va., who was visiting Jeff's home in Old Tappan, N.J.

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``It happens all the time. It is not all right to do it. But it is a judgment call. It is not like hockey, you can't reverse it. It is tough for an umpire to judge.'' _ Yankee Hall of Famer Yogi Berra on fan interference.

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``Jeff is an intense competitor. ... When Jeff plays at any sport, Jeff plays to win. And Jeff can very easily get caught up in the excitement and thrill of whatever he's participating in.'' _ Maier's Little League coach, Gregory MacLean.

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``We were robbed.'' _ Dave Durian, drive-time host on Baltimore radio station WBAL-AM.

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``The umpire admitted he blew the call, more or less. Give him credit for that. But don't give him credit for anything else. If an umpire didn't see the kid from 30 feet away, either he needs glasses or he is hiding something. Like that he completely missed the play. Or that he didn't have the guts to wave off a game-tying Yankees home run in the eighth inning of a playoff game in front of a raucous sellout crowd at Yankee Stadium.'' _ The (Baltimore) Sun columnist John Eisenberg.

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The Sun also suggested Baltimore fans play by ``Bronx Rules'' when the series comes to Camden Yards this weekend:

``Drop your wine and cheese and get dirty. If your seats are in the front row in left field make like young Jeff and bring your fish nets and oversized gloves. Better yet, donate your ticket to the nearest 7-footer you can find, and the first time the Orioles hit a long fly to left, watch him put Tim Raines in a headlock. You want interference. Baltimore can do interference.'' _ Sun columnist Ken Rosenthal.

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``Rarely does an umpire _ singlehandedly and incontrovertibly _ make a call that could reverse the outcome of an enormously important game. Garcia may now hold the major league record.'' _ Washington Post columnist Thomas Boswell.

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``I just think that they're glorifying the wrong thing. I'm not saying if I was a 12-year-old I wouldn't do the same thing, but it was wrong. To glorify what he did is not the right message to send out.'' _ Yankees manager Joe Torre.

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``If the kid keeps playing like he did last night, he's going to be a DH, I can tell you that.'' _ Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson, referring to the fact Maier actually missed the ball.

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``No, we don't want to glorify him any more than he's been glorified.'' _ Hall of Fame spokesman Jeff Idelson, saying the hall does not want Maier's glove.

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``Unfortunately a decision late in the game often affects managers' futures, too.'' _ Orioles manager Dave Johnson.

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``I'm not as famous as the Yankees. The players go out there every day. The Yankees deserve the credit.'' _ Jeffrey Maier.

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``Since it is obvious to everyone who saw that act of theft yesterday that this young man did not act alone, I also am asking that criminal conspiracy charges be sought against anyone else, including any American League umpire, who might have contributed to the theft of this baseball.'' _ Maryland Gov. Parris Glendening, in a tongue-in-cheek statement.

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``Let's put it this way: If it was a home run for us, George Steinbrenner would have him on the Throgs Neck Bridge dangling somewhere. The kid would have been ushered out of the stadium with his parents picking him up at some bridge. It's a double standard.'' _ Orioles outfielder Bobby Bonilla.