Here are some of the notable quotes from around Major League Baseball this week:
03/06/2008 12:27 PM ET
Country music, epidurals on the mind
Bonser, Chavez among the quotable this week
"I really do like everything. I'm big into alternative stuff and hip-hop, but I'm a guy who's starting to really get into Texas country. Growing up in a small town, I really didn't like anything country because that's all you heard. I was the rebel. I liked Staind, Audioslave, Linkin Park and I loved old school hip-hop."
-- Texas Rangers pitcher Travis Metcalf on his music selections. Metcalf, who grew up in a small town in Kansas, didn't like country music until bullpen catcher/video coordinator Josh Frasier introduced him to Texas music this past winter.
(Dallas Morning News)
"[Chris Sampson] was probably our No. 2 starter last year to begin the season the way he pitched. He just ran into some injuries and maybe wore down a little bit, because he'd never pitched a lot of innings like that before. I think, from that standpoint, you don't lose it because you're injured.
"He's kind of a guy that we're going to count on a little bit. Right now he would be [on the team]. If you had to say he's on the team, yeah."
-- Houston manager Cecil Cooper commenting on pitcher Chris Sampson and his chances of remaining on the 25-man roster on Opening Day.
"I actually did it just throwing by myself, against the wall one day. There's no reason for why I found it or how I found it, other than I just stumbled upon it. I thought it felt like a good slot. It ended up being what I was looking for. The ball's just got a lot more life at the end of it."
-- Ben Sheets on finding a comfortable arm slot to throw from during the offseason.
"When I first showed up here, my feeling on everything was there was no way I was going to get into a game, and it was basically going to be working out for six weeks and hope to get into some extended spring training games.
"Things have progressed, I think, quicker than they thought. I think it was just a matter of getting down here and getting into those explosive baseball movements where your body starts to speed up and everything starts to pick up a little bit."
-- Tampa Bay pitcher Brian Anderson commenting on possibly pitching in a Grapefruit League game soon after missing all of last season while recovering from his second Tommy John surgery in July 2006. The Rays and Anderson didn't expect the left-hander to be ready to help the team until a couple of months into the season.
"The ball was hit over my shoulder. I was trying to get it. The last second I looked up -- literally the last second -- out of a glimpse I saw him. We were both way too close in. ... It was kind of in the middle. It was really nobody's ball. It was whoever could get to it. I didn't think he was going to be that close, and I'm sure he didn't think I was going to be that close. ... I don't think it's anything serious. We're going to have a CT scan just to make sure everything is fine underneath. I'll be a little sore, but definitely nothing serious."
-- Mets infielder Marlon Anderson describing the play in which he collided with right fielder Ryan Church during Saturday's exhibition game. Anderson suffered a bruised sternum while Church suffered a cut inside his mouth and a Grade 2 concussion.
(New York Daily News)
"No question this is certainly a transition year for us. I think one thing that's unique about our organization is that we have so many homegrown players -- or we did have so many homegrown players -- that when they kind of get dispersed to the four winds, it's a little odd."
-- Lance Berkman commenting on all the new faces in Houston's camp this spring. Of the 53 players, 28 are new to the club. (Houston Chronicle)
"Everybody has to do their part. If I do my part, we're obviously going to be better. I'm not taking pressure away from myself. I'm totally held accountable for my part. But the good thing about this ballclub is that you don't need one guy to carry the load. [We've] got a lot of different weapons.
"Having said that, we need everybody to do their part. We're very responsible about what we need to do. We understand what we need to do. It's just like a big orchestra. If everybody plays their note, the music is going to be a little better."
-- Carlos Delgado commenting on what it will take for the Mets to be successful this season.
"For not being on the mound for three weeks, I thought he threw the ball to both sides of the plate and followed the glove well. He got through with the front side to allow him to carry the fastball through the [strike] zone. I'd say a few of his pitches approached 90 [mph], but I think it was a very good day for him."
-- Boston pitching coach John Farrell commenting on pitcher Bartolo Colon and how well he threw the ball during a bullpen session. Colon threw 42 pitches in 11 minutes, mixing in changeups with his fastball during the final half of the session. (Boston Herald)
"I did [try to] for the first three holes. Until I realized I sucked and couldn't do it."
-- Jeff Francoeur on attempting to out-drive Tiger Woods when they played as part of a foursome with John Smoltz and Tom Glavine.
"It's just a matter of adrenaline taking over once you get in a game, letting everything else take care of itself. Some days you feel like garbage and you wonder how you're going to live up to the reputation of a guy that throws hard."
-- Marlins reliever Matt Lindstrom on leading the National League last season with nine pitches recorded at over 100 miles per hour.
(South Florida Sun-Sentinel)
"There's so much about it I don't even know. I learn constantly when I meet people, things that they do to help manage it. I didn't even know that, before I do any sort of physical activity, my blood sugar has to be well above 150, so when I do crash, I crash back to normal. It's a constant process."
-- Dmitri Young on living with diabetes. (Washington Post)
"That means nothing to me. We just play baseball. Baseball is the same everywhere."
-- Dodgers shortstop Chin-lung Hu, a native of Taiwan, on the team playing an exhibition game in China. (Los Angeles Times)
"What did he throw, like all fastballs? He's so relaxed, it seems like everything's easy for him out there. It's almost like he was more worried about getting out to the golf course."
-- Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum on his matchup with Greg Maddux during a Spring Training game. Maddux retired six batters on 18 pitches. (San Francisco Chronicle)
"Nobody has said anything about it. And I'm not going to say anything about it."
-- New Angels pitcher Jon Garland on his four-hitter against the Angels in the 2005 ALCS that helped the White Sox to the World Series. (Los Angeles Times)
"I'm going to be like, 'Hey, can I get one of those, too?'"
-- A's third baseman Eric Chavez, who has had some back problems, on his wife getting an epidural when she delivers the couple's second child. (San Francisco Chronicle)
"How do you deal with the pain? You suck it up. You try to do it old school and give it your best, but when you're not putting up the numbers you like and not helping the team win, when you're just hurting the team, basically, you got to say, 'It's time to get it done. Get it right.'"
-- New Rangers pitcher Eddie Guardado on what prompted him to finally get surgery on his aching elbow. (Seattle Times)
"I wasn't feeling that good. I hope I didn't hold up the game for too long."
-- Orioles utility player Scott Moore, on a brief delay he caused in a game earlier this week when he had to make an emergency trip to the restroom. (Baltimore Sun)
"Just making the Major Leagues is my goal. Wherever I can help the team, that is where I'd go. I want to be a starter. But if it doesn't work out and they see me in the bullpen, that's where I'll go."
-- Pitcher Matt Albers, who would like to be in the Orioles starting rotation, on his willingness to do whatever the team might ask of him. (Baltimore Sun)
"I came in working real hard this offseason. I've got my mind right. I'm ready to pitch. I'm just having fun like I used to. That's my main concern. If I keep doing that, I think things will start to happen."
-- Cardinals pitcher Anthony Reyes, who is intent on improving on a 2007 season during which he won just two games and spent time at Triple-A. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
"My ideal situation is to pitch one day, play first base the other four. I've been on every manager ever since Myrtle Beach, and I'm on [manager] J.R. [John Russell] now."
-- Pirates first baseman Adam LaRoche, the son of former Major League pitcher Dave LaRoche, on his desire to pitch in the Major Leagues. He's been throwing every morning off the mound to catcher Ronny Paulino this spring. Reminded that he nearly got into a game as his team ran short on arms last August in Houston -- but that he ended the game himself with a 15th-inning home run -- he quipped, "totally blew it." (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
"I didn't even go to the doctor to find out what it was. I knew it was over. I'm cool with it, though. I'm going home to be a dad again. My son doesn't know I'm coming home yet, so he'll be pleased. Plus he's only 5, can't read yet, so he won't read what I'm saying now. It's going to be a surprise. That will be fun."
-- Relief pitcher Matt Mantei on his decision to retire after feeling pain in his arm earlier this week. Mantei had been making a comeback attempt with the Detroit Tigers. (Detroit News)
"It really wasn't that tough to lose weight. You'd be surprised, when you eat right, how quickly it comes off."
-- Twins pitcher Boof Bonser, who battled with weight issues in the past, on his offseason loss of 35 pounds. (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)
-- Red Line Editorial