Here are some of the notable quotes from around Major League Baseball this week:
"I came to a lot of games here as a kid. When they won the World Series in 1987 and 1991, I remember standing on the corner, waving my Homer Hanky."
-- Jack Hannahan, A's infielder, on playing in the Metrodome after going to games there as a fan growing up in St. Paul, Minn. (San Francisco Chronicle)
"He's pitched clean innings for us. His fastball looks like it's really crisp. I've seen a real good breaking ball. Having seen him from the other side [as an opponent], I didn't know he had a breaking ball that was that good."
--Houston manager Cecil Cooper commenting on reliever LaTroy Hawkins, who has a 0.00 ERA in eight appearances since joining the Astros in a trade with the Yankees. (Astros.com)
"We haven't tried [running] yet. We wanted to be off the mound first to see how that would feel. There's no significant pain, so that's the main thing. Soreness I can handle, as long as there's no pain or no sharp pains coming in and out with movement. I can handle a little bit of soreness."
-- Scott Downs, Toronto reliever, on believing he can return from the disabled list and pitch now for the Blue Jays. In a team-high 54 appearances this season, Downs has posted a 1.40 ERA with 51 strikeouts and 21 walks over 57 2/3 innings. (Bluejays.com)
"For a guy that throws as hard as he does and throws as many pitches as he does, he's always around the strike zone. He doesn't waste pitches. Once he gets guys 1-2, 0-2, he's going for the jugular. He's looking to strike them out."
-- Ray Durham, Brewers second baseman, commenting on starting pitcher and teammate CC Sabathia, who improved to 8-0 Monday night by throwing a complete game in an 8-3 win against Houston. (Brewers.com)
"Everything was fine. It felt good to get back in the field again. I'm still not setting any deadlines for myself. I just want to keep on progressing."
-- Ryan Church after playing five innings for Mets' Triple-A affiliate New Orleans during a rehab assignment game. (Mets.com)
"There's an intangible there that's special, a desire and want-to. He's very focused. It's almost etched in granite when he takes the field. So you're going to miss a guy like that."
--Colorado manager Clint Hurdle on the team missing leader Todd Helton, who is on the disabled list with a bad back. (Coloradorockies.com)
"I try not to be too worried about the situation of the team, because somebody's going to step up and do the job. And when I'm ready, I'll be back."
-- Evan Longria, Tampa Bay third baseman, commenting on how he expects the rest of the team to be able to pick up the slack while he recovers from a fractured wrist. (Raysbaseball.com)
"He's not a guy that just walks out there, grabs a bat and expects to hit. He's a student of hitting -- pays attention, feels accountable for his spot in the lineup. You're always going to pull for those kinds of guys. We've got a number of them."
--Colorado manager Clint Hurdle on first baseman Garrett Atkins, who missed a couple of games with strep throat, but looks poised to have a strong finish after having a recent nine-game hitting streak. (Coloradorockies.com)
"I'm ready. If they told me that I'm starting tomorrow, I'd feel ready, except for that I just threw a side. I'm ready to face hitters in the big leagues. I know I can get guys out now."
-- Adam Wainwright, St. Louis Cardinals rehabbing pitcher, declaring that he's fully prepared to rejoin the team whenever they're ready for him. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
"That's bad news. He's obviously one of the leaders of this team. He's been around here forever. Your heart goes out to the guy. It's tough, man. He's a fighter; he's a tough guy. To hear that just now, it's a tough loss and a tough feeling. He's been the guy at the back of the bullpen for quite some time now. Any time you lose a guy like that, it's not a lot of fun. Any time a guy has an injury, period, it's not fun. Your heart goes out to those guys. Hopefully, everything gets right as quick as possible, and he gets back as quick as possible."
-- Ryan Ludwick, St. Louis Cardinals outfielder, after hearing that pitcher Jason Isringhausen is lost for the season because of a torn flexor tendon in his pitching arm. (Belleville News-Democrat)
"I don't know. Maybe a new league, seeing some new guys, and they really haven't seen me that much. And you have to give a lot of credit to [Geovany] Soto too. He really has a good idea of what he's doing back there, and every game we've worked we've been on the same page."
-- Rich Harden, when asked to explain his increased strikeout total since joining the Cubs. In seven starts with the Cubs, Harden has struck out 10 or more four times. (Chicago Tribune)
"This is awesome. When you're given the opportunity, you want to get the side out and shake everybody's hand. Then everybody goes home happy.''
-- Jensen Lewis, Cleveland Indians reliever, on his recent opportunities to serve as the team's closer. (Akron Beacon Journal)
"I couldn't take my eyes off CC. And you know what? The more I watched, the more I knew what I had to do."
-- Ian Snell, after shutting out the Cardinals over seven innings in the Pirates' 4-1 victory on Tuesday night. Snell was motivated after he watched Brewers pitcher CC Sabathia throw yet another complete game earlier this week. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
"I'm obviously excited to get out of the house and back on the field. I was only home for five or six days. I was able to keep throwing and due diligence to stay ready."
-- Kip Wells, after joining the Royals about a week after being let go by the Colorado Rockies. (Kansas City Star)
"He was outstanding and did it against a good-hitting club."
-- A.J. Pierzynski, discussing the effort of rookie pitcher Clayton Richard on Tuesday night. Richard worked six shutout innings in the White Sox 5-0 win over Seattle. (Chicago Tribune)
"I'd like to get [the homer] out of the way, but no, I'm not pressing for it. I'm going to go out there and take my at-bats seriously. Hopefully it's going to come this series. I think once I get the monkey off my bat, it'll start to tumble."
-- Steve Pearce, Pirates rookie, who through Tuesday had 125 Major League at-bats without a home run. Last season in the Minor Leagues, Pearce hit 31 home runs and had 11 this year at Triple-A before being called up. (MLB.com)
"This park is not a place where pitchers want to come and stay too long. I was a glutton for punishment for how long I stayed, but it was home."
-- Former Texas and current Detroit pitcher Kenny Rogers, who has won 54 games in the Rangers' ballpark (more than anyone else), on tolerating the heat that goes along with playing there. (MLB.com)
"He does a great job, especially to start the game off. You can put a lot of pressure on a pitcher by getting on, especially with having [Yunel] Escobar and Chipper [Jones] and Mac [Brian McCann] coming up.
"I think he's done a great job. He's one of those guys that you don't have to talk to much because he kind of knows what he needs to do and he's done a great job of doing it all season."
-- Jeff Francoeur on the play of rookie outfielder Gregor Blanco. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
"I remember my first game with the Expos. I remember my first game with the Nationals, too. So it's very tough. I played with a lot of great players, and in a few years, I think they're going to be a great team."
-- Luis Ayala reacting to the news he had been traded to the Mets. (Washington Times)
"My stuff's been good. It's where I want to be in August. I have a flow with my pitches right now."
-- Barry Zito on his latest outing, a seven-inning scoreless game. (San Francisco Chronicle)
"I think B.J. and I were both surprised. It was just a weird play. When it bounced off the wall, it looked like a sure double. I was in the middle of nowhere but ended up in the right place at the right time."
-- Mark Teixeira on a ball hit to the outfield by Rays outfielder B.J. Upton on which Teixeira realized no one was covering second base, so he followed Upton to the bag, took the throw from the outfield and tagged him out. (Los Angeles Times)
"I didn't fathom what was happening. To be honest, I thought he was calling me in to pitch."
--Mariners outfielder Ichiro on being summoned to play behind second base and be the team's fifth infielder Saturday night as the Mariners attempted to keep the game tied in the bottom of the ninth inning with runners on second and third base. (Seattle Times)
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.