Here are some of the notable quotes from around Major League Baseball this week:
07/01/2010 11:18 AM ET
On World Cup hoopla and royal chats
Padres pitcher LeBlanc picks Ghana to take soccer title
"Ghana. They just beat the United States. You beat the U.S., and you have to be the best in the world."
-- Wade LeBlanc, Padres pitcher, on who will win the World Cup.
(San Diego Union Tribune)
"We didn't talk about Parliament. It was just two guys having a catch."
-- R.A. Dickey on his conversation with Prince Harry, who threw out the first pitch at the Mets' game Saturday. Harry, 25, is the youngest son of Charles, Prince of Wales, and the late Diana, Princess of Wales.
(New York Post)
"I started soccer and baseball at the same time, when I was about 5 years old. We won the state cup when I was 13, winning shootouts in the quarters, semifinals and finals. That was amazing."
-- Ian Stewart, Rockies' third baseman, who grew up as an elite soccer player in Orange County, Calif.
(The Denver Post)
"Anytime you can get in there and get a feel again and get some at-bats, you like it. I also understand the side of it that look, you're not 22 years old anymore, and he's the manager and he's looking out for me. If he writes my name in there, I'm in there. That's how I prepare myself every day. When I get up in the morning, I am ready to play. Then if I'm not, it's, 'OK, I'm pinch-hitting.' It's been good."
-- Jim Thome on his preparation as a role player for the Twins.
"You can only deal with what's in your hands and what's in your control. I just want to continue to throw with success like I've been doing. I'm here, and I just want to continue with what I've been doing, and hopefully that will translate into a large stint up here."
-- Erik Treets, White Sox relief pitcher, on doing whatever the White Sox need during his stay with the club.
"You guys know what I feel for Stan. Anytime your name is in the same category as Stan that is pretty special. When I can be compared to him, I just thank God for that."
-- Albert Pujols, following his 37th multi-homer game, which tied him at the top of the Cardinals' all-time list with Hall of Famer Stan Musial.
(St. Louis Globe-Democrat)
"He definitely inspired me. A triple for me is like hitting a home run for a power hitter."
-- Denard Span, on getting three triples the night after Jim Thome's first triple in six years.
"I played catch [Monday], and we got rained out. A three-day vacation."
-- Jeff Stevens, Cubs reliever, after being sent to Triple-A, then being recalled three days later without having gotten into a game.
"I've said before, it's no secret I enjoy playing. But I also enjoy watching [Geovany Soto] play, too. He's a great talent. I even voted for him for the All-Star Game [on the players' ballots], so I have no problem caddying for him."
-- Koyie Hill, on sharing catching duties with Geovany Soto.
"I was just trying not to let my knees knock too much. It was just a surreal feeling."
--Diamondbacks rookie Barry Enright, who allowed one run on four hits over five innings to earn a victory in his first Major League start.
"We're very excited. What he's done the last two years for us is huge. We hope he comes back and he's healthy, and he can help us for the stretch run we've got coming up in the second half."
-- Brian McCann on the return of Jair Jurrjens.
"You've seen 100-mph fastballs. You've seen dominant curveballs, unbelievable changeups. What's amazing is the fact he throws 100 and still has the feel to throw two other pitches for strikes any time he wants, any time in the count. This is the complete package."
-- Chipper Jones on Nationals rookie Stephen Strasburg.
(The Washington Post)
"Buster's going to be catching a little more now. He's done well back there."
--Giants manager Bruce Bochy announcing plans to play rookie Buster Posey more frequently at his natural catcher position.
(San Francisco Chronicle)
"He's Vlad, man. He's got that Vlad aura around him, that little bit of a bounce. You put that little bit of confidence in him and that's what you're seeing right now."
--Angels hitting coach Mickey Hatcher on the performance of Rangers designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero.
(Los Angeles Times)
"We wanted it to work out in the worst way, and it didn't. There's always a part of you that says you missed out on a really good player, and you let me go before you really knew what I could do."
-- Jake Fox on his brief tenure with the Athletics.
"These guys have got a quote in here in the dugout. They say, 'Pitchers rake.'"
--Manager Ken Macha, on the hitting prowess of the Brewers pitching staff. Brewers pitchers lead the National League with a .219 batting average. They also rank first with three home runs.
-- Red Line Editorial