Here are some of the notable quotes from around Major League Baseball this week:
02/28/2008 12:50 PM ET
Quotes from around Spring Training
From kids to cars, ballplayers cover it all
"My son is a stud. For 3, he rakes. He's growing up in a clubhouse, and we're lucky because there are a lot of kids around. It's not a bad thing to grow up around a [ballpark], especially for a young boy."
-- Corey Hart of the Brewers on his son, Matthew.
(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
"For 12 years of my career, I'm a nobody that nobody goes up to and asks for anything, and now people actually want my autograph. Hopefully, I can improve this year and maybe people will want my autograph for being a good pitcher."
-- Mike Bacsik, Nationals pitcher, on being the subject of autograph hounds after giving up Barry Bonds' record-breaking home run last August.
"I did buy a car. I've had the worst luck with cars since I could drive. I went from a minivan to a car that I could barely fit in, and cars were breaking down. So as soon as I had a little money, I was going to buy a new car. That way if it messes up, it would be my fault. That's about the only thing I've treated myself to."
--Chicago White Sox pitcher Ehren Wassermann, conceding that, after his promotion to the Major Leagues last season, he did use the money to treat himself to a new SUV.
"No. That's not OK. I feel like I should be out there playing. If you ask me my personal goal, it's to be the leadoff hitter for this team. I plan to go out there and compete for the job and maybe be our leadoff hitter in April."
-- Nick Punto responding to an inquiry as to whether or not he'd be pleased to earn a spot on the Twins as a utility infielder.
(Minneapolis Star Tribune)
"Ugh. It's not calculable. I don't know anybody else who could have come farther. I don't mean that in an arrogant way. I just can't think of anybody being worse than I was."
-- Kenny Rogers, describing the talent he possessed at the high school level.
(Detroit Free Press)
"I look at it as more than baseball. I'm trying to see myself as a complete person, someone who takes pride in showing the little kids who watch you how the game is supposed to be played. I just want to get back out there and play baseball again. And I will. It's coming soon."
-- Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Brad Lincoln, who had elbow surgery last April that caused him to miss the entire 2007 season, on his role as a professional athlete.
"This year, I definitely didn't expect it coming in. I wasn't going to be mad about it, either, because of the way he pitched last year. It's definitely an honor. It always is. It's cool."
-- Brett Myers, discussing his feelings about being named the Phillies' Opening Day starter over teammate Cole Hamels.
(Philadelphia Daily News)
"I have no problems running from side to side or running to make a catch in front of me. The only problem I have sometimes is running backward because I'm scared of hitting the wall. But I'm working very hard in Spring Training to get better."
"'Fifty percent of the game is 90 percent mental. I'm addressing that part, and I feel good with where I'm at and I'm always trying to get better."
-- Alfonso Soriano, explaining the difficulties he's had and how he plans to overcome the brick walls at Wrigley Field.
-- Jason Marquis, stealing a line from the one-and-only Yogi Berra, as he works on finding the right mental approach to pitching.
"That's three or four times in a row. He's got real good pop, good movement, location was good. ... You couldn't ask for more. Put it that way."
--Braves manager Bobby Cox on pitcher Mike Hampton after Hampton threw a pain-free batting-practice session.
"It's always nice to have a guy that could put the three-run pop in there, but if you have a bunch of ants or nuisances, it's just as dangerous, especially when you have guys constantly on base. It makes it a lot tougher for a pitcher when he has to pitch out of the stretch."
-- Luis Gonzalez on the Marlins' hope that a more diversified attack will help make up for Miguel Cabrera's home-run bat.
(South Florida Sun-Sentinel)
"This isn't only deception. He has command. He has a number of pitches he can go to. He can locate the breaking ball away. As a hitter, I can tell you, ideally, you'd like to go up and look for one pitch. When a pitcher gets in trouble, he'll go to his bread and butter. I think he's got some options here."
--Dodgers managerr Joe Torre getting his first game action look at closer Takashi Saito.
(Los Angeles Times)
"I'm excited for the challenge. It's not the easiest thing to do, but it's something I'm very comfortable with. We hope Omar gets back as soon as possible. Everybody has a deep respect for him because of the way he plays and the way he acts. I know he's going to help me, because that's the way he is. I know Richie's [Aurilia] going to help me. I'm not going to do it alone."
-- Giants infielder Kevin Frandsen on moving to shortstop to replace the injured Omar Vizquel
(San Francisco Chronicle)
"This is a low-risk, potential high-reward signing. It's a Minor League contract, and he will show up at camp, and we will do an evaluation of how far away he is from helping us. It takes more than five starting pitchers to get through a season. Obviously, he's an accomplished guy, and if we can get him back to the form where he is throwing well, he can certainly help us at some point this season."
-- Boston general manager Theo Epstein, commenting on signing pitcher Bartolo Colon to a Minor League contract.
"I do this for my teammates. I want everyone to laugh together."
-- Houston Astros reliever Jose Valverde on wearing a blonde wig during much of Monday's workouts, drawing expected laughter from his new teammates after coming to the club from Arizona during the offseason.
"That was pretty special, especially because it happened at home. It got brought up a lot when I went back there this winter. But now it's over, and I'm trying to get ready for this one and the next go-around."
-- Micah Owings commenting on going 4-for-5 with a double, two home runs, four runs scored and six RBIs during Arizona's game on Aug. 18 last season, becoming the first pitcher since Danny Jackson of Cincinnati in 1988 to collect four hits and four RBIs in one game.
"I missed with two pitches, but I didn't get too frustrated about it. If they miss in a good spot, it's fine with me, but I missed in a spot that I don't want to miss. In a game, that's going to hurt me. I don't want to do that.
"I'm not going to put too much pressure on myself. It was the first time that I pitched, but that's how I am. If I miss a pitch I don't want to miss, then ,yeah, you're going to see me yell."
-- New York Mets reliever Duaner Sanchez commenting on his outing Monday during the team's intrasquad scrimmage.
"I guess, from the outside looking in, it's a huge leap of faith. The way I look at it is like ... I don't think they are going to be disappointed. They know, looking at me on paper, they have an idea of what I'm going to do ... and they signed me anyway."
-- Minnesota Twins third baseman Mike Lamb, looking ahead at what type of productivity the Twins should expect to see from him in 2008.
(Minneapolis Star Tribune)
-- Red Line Editorial