Here are some of the notable quotes from around Major League Baseball this week:
09/06/2007 12:06 PM ET
Quotes of the Week, Sept. 6, 2007
"He set the record, right? Seventeen jacks? Thank goodness. I was sick of seeing that 'tied for the franchise lead' on the scoreboard all the time."
-- A's outfielder Nick Swisher teasing second baseman Mark Ellis about setting the A's franchise record for most home runs by a second baseman with his 17th homer of the season. The previous record was established by Jimmy Dykes in 1921 and tied by Davey Lopes in 1983.
San Francisco Chronicle
"Pinch-hitting is hard when you do it once a year. I was trying to help the team win."
-- Marlins pitcher Dontrelle Willis on delivering a pinch-hit double in the fifth inning in Sunday's come-from-behind win over the Phillies.
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
"My wife's a great cook and everything, but she likes to make some cakes, too. I can't be having cookies in the jar, or I'll eat 'em."
-- Nationals first baseman Nick Johnson on plans to hire a chef to help him lose weight for next season. Johnson is listed at 224 pounds in the team's media guide but has put on weight because he's been less active as he recovers from a broken leg.
"I'm going to make Will [Ohman] sit on [Carmen] Pignatiello's lap."
-- Chicago Cubs reliever Scott Eyre, on the over-crowding and lack of seats in the Cubs bullpen thanks to multiple September callups.
"Crazy, crazy game. We had no business winning this game, as lousy as we played through six innings. But you keep swinging the bats, and sometimes good things happen."
-- Braves third baseman Chipper Jones on the team's rally from an 8-2 deficit in the final two innings Wednesday afternoon thanks to several bloop hits.
"I'm here for a reason. That's battling for first place and trying to get into the playoffs. I want to prove I can still go out there and win games."
-- Newly-acquired Dodgers pitcher Esteban Loaiza on picking up the win in his first start for his new club. Loaiza was released earlier by the Oakland A's after spending most of the season on the disabled list.
Los Angeles Times
"I don't think mine means a lot to people. That's a good deal for me, though. When I signed, no one thought I'd make it. When I reached the Majors, no one thought I'd stay a long time. So for someone coming from a little town in Puerto Rico (Dorado), it means a great deal to me."
-- Giants catcher Bengie Molina on hitting his 100th career home run.
San Francisco Chronicle
"It's been a fun climb back. To think of the countless hours of work I've done and the hours the Angels [medical] staff put in with me makes this really sweet."
-- Angels pitcher Jason Bulger on being added to the team once rosters expanded. Last season Bulger had a rotator cuff tear and he also needed rehab from a batting practice collision that resulted in a concussion and brain hemorrhage.
Los Angeles Times
"Those guys in the middle infield, Betancourt and Lopez, they play unbelievable. I believe in those guys and in all of the defense. I just want to throw strikes and have them put the ball in play. That's what I'm going to do. Get ground balls and make some outs."
-- Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez on the defensive efforts of shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt and second baseman Jose Lopez, who combined for a crucial double play in Seattle's victory over the Yankees on Monday.
"It's an instinct, it's a read. (Third base coach Mike) Quade and I talk about it all the time. As a baserunner, you can have a better feel for what's going on than the third-base coach. If you need help, he holds you up, or you keep going. That stuff happens all the time."
-- Chicago Cubs infielder Ryan Theriot, on why a player sometimes might run through a stop sign at third base.
"It felt good. It's definitely exciting to be back. I've been feeling good for quite a while."
-- Chicago Cubs pitcher Steve Trachsel, on his first start as a member of the Chicago Cubs since 1999. Trachsel was acquired by the Cubs from Baltimore last Friday.
"The guys now will come back to the dugout and say, 'Wow, it's loud,' I tell them, 'Man, you just don't get it. It was loud like this almost every night, from the first inning through the ninth.' I think the other team would come to Jacobs Field afraid. The fans came out in bundles, and they were loud and rowdy. I've seen glimpses of it, but it's not like it used to be."
-- Cleveland Indians outfielder Kenny Lofton, who was in Cleveland during most of their long run of sellout crowds that ran from June, 1995 to August, 2001, on what it's like in Jacobs Field these days, when the team does manage a sellout..
"I like the way they have taken care of me here. I like the plan they have for me, and I'm still young. So I want to stay here."
-- Cleveland Indians infielder Andy Marte, on his desire to remain part of the Indians organization for a long time to come.
(Akron Beacon Journal)
"It wasn't much emotion. I'm at the point now where I'm just out there facing another team."
-- Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Matt Morris on facing his former team, the St. Louis Cardinals.
"A fastball would have been nice."
-- Cincinnati Reds rookie Joey Votto, after seeing five straight changeups from Mets pitcher Guillermo Mota in his first Major League at-bat. Votto struck out.
"I take a lot of pride in being able to help other people. And just seeing the difference I can make in somebody's life, sometimes just by talking to them, is powerful. I'm glad that I can in some small way give back, because I feel blessed to be where I'm at."
-- Minnesota Twins outfielder Torii Hunter, who has been nominated for the 2007 Roberto Clemente Award, on his charitable acts that led to the nomination. Throughout his career, Hunter has worked with the likes of the Boys & Girls Club, the Twins Rookie League, the RBI program and Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Twin Cities.
"I've been around these guys a lot, and they're all good kids and good individuals. I'm proud of them for what they're doing, but we're going to try to beat their pants off."
-- Houston Astros manager Cecil Cooper commenting of facing the Milwaukee Brewers for the first time as a manager. Cooper played with the Brewers for 11 years and helped lead to the World Series in 1982. Cooper also managed current Brewers Corey Hart, J.J. Hardy and Matt Wise while he was managing at Milwaukee's Class AAA affiliate in Indianapolis in 2003 and 2004 and has tutored Prince Fielder and Rickie Weeks during spring training.
"Oh, man, that was so amazing. Seriously, that was one of the best plays I've ever seen, and from my perspective on the mound that is the best play I've ever seen."
-- Houston Astros closer Brad Lidge on a game-saving play second baseman Mark Loretta made in the bottom of the eighth Monday against Milwaukee. Loretta, who moved to second base from shortstop at the start of the eighth, made a terrific diving stop to his right and threw out pinch hitter Vinny Rottino at first to end the inning and strand runners at second and third.
"You don't think about those things. They just happen."
-- Tampa Bay first baseman Carlos Pena commenting on setting a new franchise record for home runs in a season with his 35th on Monday against Baltimore. The home run cleared the "B" ring catwalk in right field at Tropicana Field and fell straight down onto the "C" ring for an automatic home run. It was the fifth time Pena hit a catwalk in fair territory, the most in a season.
"I joke around about it. I tell everyone, 'I'll enjoy playing against you next year.' It's just good fun.
Obviously, the Rockies have to find a place for (third baseman) Ian (Stewart). That's part of this game. That's part of being with an organization that has a good farm system. Every year there is going to be a player or two coming along who has to have a place, and there's going to be someone who becomes the odd man out."
-- Colorado Rockies third baseman Garrett Atkins on the chance of being traded by the team during the offseason to make room for top prospect Ian Stewart.
(Rocky Mountain News)
"It felt good to be called up. I think speed is very important, and we want to be in the playoffs. I have to be ready for anything."
-- Arizona infielder Emilio Bonifacio who was recalled from Double-A Mobile, made his Major League debut Sunday. Pinch-running for Chris Snyder in the eighth inning, Bonifacio sprinted to third base on a ball that barely made it out of the infield on a perfectly executed hit-and-run with pinch-hitter Conor Jackson.
"I nicked a ball tonight. I nicked one ball. Tonight, this guy threw a great game. He had his stuff, man. He had a great changeup and his fastball was in some nice locations. It was just one of those nights. We got no-hit. You tip your hat to Clay Buchholz and you move forward.
"When you start seeing balls that aren't falling that should fall, you sense something is going on."
-- Baltimore Orioles designated hitter Kevin Millar commenting on the no-hitter thrown by Boston rookie Clay Buchholz Saturday night against Baltimore.
-- Red Line Editorial