Here are some of the notable quotes from around Major League Baseball this week:
03/26/2009 1:28 PM ET
Hoffpauir eyes Opening Day debut
Cubs outfielder likely to break camp with the club
"This is a game of perseverance. Look around, and each person has his own story of persevering, one way or another."
-Twenty-nine-year-old rookie Micah Hoffpauir, who is on track to make the Cubs Opening Day roster after spending Opening Day in the Minor Leagues for the past seven years.
"It's like the restaurant."
- Dennys Reyes, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher, clarifying the pronunciation of his first name.
(St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
"I'm learning like 40 positions, too. This has been the busiest Spring Training of my career, for sure."
- Josh Barfield of the Indians noting that, in addition to extra time in the batting cages, he has also bounced around in the field a bit.
"I'm scared now. I don't want to leave all my zeroes down here."
- Edinson Volquez, Cincinnati pitcher, who has not allowed a run this spring in 14 innings.
"I guess I was a big stiff board out there, hitting and fielding."
- Alex Gordon, who has been receiving plenty of advice from almost every member of the Royals coaching staff -- most of it about keeping himself loose.
"I'm really happy with today's outing. It was more mental for me than mechanical. I went out there and forgot about everything else. Today, it just came to me. I just wanted to feel comfortable out there, find my rhythm. I'm glad they let me go three innings. It was definitely a good day today."
- Carlos Villanueva, Milwaukee pitcher, talking about his most recent start. After allowing a two-run bloop single in the first inning, he gave up only one single in his next two innings of work.
(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
"Not because of the results, but because of how I was able to feel about the strike zone -- last time I was all over the place. I don't know what the cause was, but that's how it goes your first time out. Today it was better, and hopefully next time out it's a little bit better."
- Max Scherzer, Arizona pitcher, who gave up two runs in three innings after allowing five runs (one earned) in his previous start.
"He was a little more under control than I expected him to be. He had two pretty good swings, actually three decent swings. He ran around in the outfield. He had a few balls he had to chase after. The balls he hit, he was running around the bases pretty well. For a first day, I thought he looked good."
- Arizona manager Bob Melvin talking about outfielder Eric Byrnes, who made his first start of the spring last Friday. Byrnes is recovering from a torn left hamstring suffered last July.
(East Valley Tribune)
"This is my fourth year here, and people should know that's not how I pitch. I don't usually give up this many hits and stuff like that. It's not a normal thing for me, and it's not going to be a normal thing. Three years of doing this here, I think people should know that I'm out there trying, I'm out there working on things, and it's going to be good to go by the beginning of the season."
- John Maine talking about his preparation for the upcoming season. He spent his day off working with Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen on lengthening his pitching stride and using a different grip for his slider.
"Professionals know and adapt to the roles they are asked to fill. When the Padres contacted me, they were upfront about my role. I've never been used solely in the role as a pinch-hitter before. Now that I have that role, I have to prepare differently. Just like last year, with Tampa Bay, which was my first as a designated hitter.
"I've already learned a lot. Day-to-day, how am I going to approach this? It is going to be different. But that is how the game is played. You have to adjust to what you are asked to do."
- Cliff Floyd commenting on being a pinch-hitter for the Padres, a role he has not performed very often.
(San Diego Union-Tribune)
"After being blessed to experience 23 years of playing professional baseball in front of the world's best fans in so many different places, it is with zero regrets that I am making my retirement official."
- Curt Schilling announcing his retirement from baseball on his blog.
"Sometimes I think Spring Training gets a little over-analyzed, because you're trying to do work and work on different things. But at the same time, it's nice to get in those situations and get out of them, because you're going to get in them in the regular season."
- Ryan Dempster, after getting into -- and out of -- a bases-loaded jam on Monday against the A's.
"Of course, I'd love to be an everyday player, but I understand they're gonna give the chance to some younger guys. I'll be there to step in. They brought me here for a reason -- to be ready to play."
-Veteran Eric Hinske, who is being mentioned as an everyday option in left field for the Pittsburgh Pirates, on how he envisions his role as a member of the 2009 Pirates.
"The guys who look like they're throwing from out of our dugout -- not easy."
- Chris Duncan, discussing how tough hitting certain left-handed pitchers can be.
(St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
"I had the adrenaline going. You get excited when you play for your country."
- Ramon Hernandez, Cincinnati Reds catcher, discussing his .368 average, two home runs and five RBIs in just 19 at-bats while playing for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic.
"I'd do it again next year, and the year after that. It was that awesome."
-Braves catcher Brian McCann on the World Baseball Classic.
"Well, I tell you -- I hadn't been around Dunner for a couple of years, but it was really interesting to see how he became a team leader. He was a big part of the camaraderie on that team. He was holding court all of the time. He came in and was kind of a beacon, I guess you could say. You know, you had all these guys -- Derek Jeter, Boston Red Sox, and a lot of people -- you don't really want to tell them how to do stuff, and nobody takes charge. Well, not Dunner."
- World Baseball Classic Team USA coach Barry Larkin on the leadership displayed by Nationals outfielder Adam Dunn in the Classic.
"That's why I get mad, because I think we're ready for the [World Baseball Classic]. I get mad at Major League Baseball, because they look at Colombia and think we don't have a good team. I think we have a better team than somebody else."
- Edgar Renteria on his native Colombia not being selected for this year's Classic.
(San Francisco Chronicle)
"It's like the whole Minor League complex was watching me. It gets you excited."
- Kelvim Escobar, Angels pitcher, on the crowd that watched him during a warm-up session at Minor League camp when his fastball hit 95 mph.
(Los Angeles Times)
-- Red Line Editorial