On magazine covers and sleepy babies
After perfect game, Braden lands Sports Illustrated cover
Here are some of the notable quotes from around Major League Baseball this week:
"It's a magazine you grow up reading. Well, I didn't really read Sports Illustrated. I thumbed through the pictures, obviously. But it's pretty cool that my mug's gonna be on that magazine."
-- Dallas Braden on the news that he would be on the cover of Sports Illustrated. (Oakland Tribune)
"I hadn't seen him awake. I finally got to see him and hold him a little bit."
-- B.J. Upton on his newborn son, Riley Emanuel. Upton missed the Monday-morning birth by about 20 minutes despite hiring a private jet. He stayed the night at St. Joseph's Hospital before boarding a Tuesday-morning flight to meet the Rays in Anaheim, Calif. (St. Petersburg Times)
"Just another guy who throws 88 and locates a little bit. Neither one of us is pitching anything special, but he was special [Sunday]. I got a little choked up. It was one of the coolest things I've ever seen on TV. I haven't wanted to be in Oakland since I left. I'm happy where I'm at. But I kind of wished I was there."
-- Dana Eveland, now with Toronto, on his good friend and former teammate Dallas Braden. (Toronto Sun)
"It hit me. I really wished he could be here, but he was here in spirit. He's in heaven. Hopefully, he was able to watch."
-- Reds left fielder Chris Heisey, on his father, Craig, who passed away in 2007, after hitting his first Major League home run on Tuesday night. (Cincinnati Enquirer)
"This will be a chance for him to really put it together over a full season and see what he's capable of. I think everyone has always known he could do it, but he hasn't really been in the right spot to play every day. There's something to be said for coming into camp and knowing you're the guy and the organization is confident in you."
-- Adam LaRoche , D-backs first baseman, on second baseman Kelly Johnson. (MLB.com)
"I felt all along that Gardy was an everyday player. He's hit left-handers all the way throughout, and he's comfortable in there. I love what he brings to the table."
--Yankees manager Joe Girardi on outfielder Brett Gardner, who is hitting .337 with 16 stolen bases. (MLB.com)
"I take a lot of extra batting practice and try to stay ready for any time they need me. When I hit off the machine in the cages, it makes me feel pretty good."
-- Andy Marte, Indians first baseman, on staying prepared. (Akron Beacon Journal)
"Brook [Jacoby] is a real good fit for me. To come back and start over where we left off helped. He knows my swing really well. We can get in the cage and iron stuff out before it goes too far south. The other is just playing the Positive Pete role with Laynce Nix and me, just focusing in. We're trying to be each other's hitting coach and mental coach. It's good to have him on my side as well."
-- Jonny Gomes, on Reds hitting coach Brook Jacoby and teammate Laynce Nix. (Cincinnati Enquirer)
"It's just natural. When you dive, it's hard on your body."
-- Magglio Ordonez, on his preference to make sliding catches instead of diving catches. (MLB.com)
"I'm trying to be somewhat of a table-setter. That's my job, to get on base any way I can and get in scoring position. That's my No. 1 focus and all I'm trying to do up here."
-- Tigers rookie center fielder Austin Jackson on trying to get on base. (MLB.com)
"I want to throw 120 pitches every start. A lot of times pitch counts are overrated. When you first get in the league, it started to take on some huge significance. But look at back in the days, guys pitched every four days and had long careers. It's all about taking care of yourself."
-- Jake Peavy, White Sox starter, on a starting pitcher's longevity in the game. (Chicago Tribune)
"You put him on the field now with any right-handed hitter in baseball, and he will stay with him as far as power. From all the guys I've played with, the only one at that age I'd compare him to is Chipper Jones."
-- Wes Helms, Marlins veteran, on top prospect Mike Stanton. (Miami Herald)
"He's going to be fine. His approach is very good. He looks like a big leaguer at home plate. He's just got to keep doing what he's doing."
-- Hanley Ramirez, on the Cubs' young phenom shortstop, Starlin Castro. (MLB.com)
"If he's commanding it, you'll have to make up your mind when you go up to hit -- 'Which one of these things am I going to look for?' It's really tough as a hitter, especially when you have just the 60 feet to deal with, is to try to handle all the stuff."
--Dodgers manager Joe Torre on the difficulty of facing Rockies pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez, who features an overpowering fastball along with a changeup, splitter and slider. (Los Angeles Times)
"That's why I give this guy tons of credit. He went through that. Not a lot of guys would. They'd call their [agent] and say, 'Hey man, get me out of here, it just isn't working, blah blah blah.' But he's weathered the storm. I've always believed as he gets better, he'll be part of this."
--Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti on Barry Zito. (Contra Costa Times)
"It boils down to 'I'm going to have confidence in this pitch, I'm going to throw it without any fear. I'm going to throw it with great intent. And there's going to be a purpose behind it.' And he's getting there."
--Angels pitching coach Mike Butcher on starter Scott Kazmir, who is working to refine his slider. (Los Angeles Times)
"I feel like I've been swinging the bat pretty danged good, man. I get robbed the other day for a line-drive double, probably. I get robbed bases loaded. I get robbed at the warning track at Safeco Field. I hit a line drive ... in Texas. That's just part of the game. You just keep going. Obviously, I didn't have anything to show for it. Now maybe I'll start."
-- Rob Johnson, Mariners, following his two-hit game on Tuesday night. (Seattle Times)
"When I went down, I started using both of my arm slots like I did last year. I wanted to go back to my other arm slot against right-handed hitters so I'd be able to get those guys out. Right away, I started doing it and it gave me confidence like I had last year. I'm confident I can get righties and lefties out."
-- Mitch Stetter, Milwaukee reliever, on a stint in the Minors during which he had a 2.61 ERA with 12 strikeouts in 10 1/3 innings. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
"I try to drop my glove now instead of keeping it up. Trying to keep it down and relax my shoulders a little bit more and give a little bit more time to get my grips. Sometimes I was tipping my pitches and all that. By [lowering the glove] I'm more consistent, and I'm not tipping pitches, and it all worked out pretty good today."
-- Johan Santana on the revamped delivery he unveiled on Saturday. He no longer holds his glove around his face while looking in at home plate. (New York Daily News)
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.