Here are some of the notable quotes from around Major League Baseball this week:
"I think it's going to be like that for the rest of my career. I'm hoping more to stay healthy. If anything goes wrong, it's hasta la vista, baby!"
-- New York Mets starter Pedro Martinez commenting on his current plan of pitching on extended rest. Pitching on five days rest instead of the customary four, Martinez is 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA in three starts with 17 strikeouts. (Newsday)
"It depends on what jobs are open, really. I've got enough saves and I think a half-season back here would be ideal. As long as I feel productive -- productive and useful -- then I'd like to keep going. And I've felt that way here."
-- St. Louis Cardinals reliever Troy Percival, on his desire to pitch again next year -- possibly in St. Louis -- and likely in the same capacity in which he worked this year. (St. Louis Post Dispatch)
"My legs were pretty much Jell-O out there in the field. It was nice to get out there, get my legs going again, get that first groundball and get ready for a start. ... The Cardinals picked me up so late (August), that I didn't know how much I would be used. I hope to make an impression."
-- St. Louis Cardinals infielder Brian Barden, who on Tuesday got his first chance to play the field since coming to St. Louis. (St. Louis Post Dispatch)
"I would love for him to be the owner. I've said that before, and it's cool he came out. Obviously he has some interest. He's an exciting guy, and a guy who wants to win."
-- Chicago Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee, on the prospects of Mark Cuban, who owns the NBA's Dallas Mavericks, buying the Cubs. (Chicago Tribune)
"They probably have more anxiety than any of us as players. So hopefully we can eliminate some of that, maybe by playing some games where we have a little cushion at the end and everybody can relax and have a beer and chill out."
-- Chicago Cubs outfielder Cliff Floyd, on the stress that both fans and players endure during a pennant race. (Chicago Tribune)
"I want to be known as a baseball player, not a pie guy."
-- Cleveland Indians outfielder Trot Nixon, who has become famous in Cleveland for hitting the star of Indians games in the face with whipped-cream pies while they were being interviewed on television. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
"I take that personally. I really do. I know I can get back to that level. Hey, I had an injury this year, and I tried to pitch through it. That was my fault, and it's not going to happen again. I know how I can pitch, and I believe in it. And I definitely feel like I can get back to it."
-- Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Zack Duke, commenting on the notion that his rookie season (2005), could have been a fluke. That season, he was 8-2 with an ERA of 1.81. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
"Give me one guy for one start. And I can't think of anybody in this league I'd take over (Harang)."
-- Cincinnati Reds pitcher David Weathers, on teammate Aaron Harang's ability to win the big game. The comment came after Harang and the Reds defeated Carlos Zambrano and the Chicago Cubs, 5-2. In the game, Harang worked seven innings and allowed just two runs. He is now 16-4 on the year with a 3.61 ERA. (Cincinnati Enquirer)
"I got calls like crazy. This is huge in Venezuela."
-- Detroit Tigers outfielder Magglio Ordonez, on becoming the first Venezuelan to ever reach 200 hits in a season. (Detrot News)
"When you've gotten that taste of what playing in October feels like, there's no better feeling. When you come home and you're not in the playoffs, and say you've had a good year, for a couple of days people say, 'Hey, good year, Jim, great year.' And then it's forgotten about. It moves on. You go into the postseason and that lasts forever. People always remember your times in the postseason, your team. You throw the regular stats out the window, and it's always been about that. That's why I came here. When I left Philadelphia, Chicago had just won the World Series, and that was an intriguing part of me coming here, and that's why I did it."
-- Chicaago White Sox veteran Jim Thome, on his desire to get back into the postseason. (Chicago Tribune)
"When he's prepared mentally, he's as good as any starter in baseball. I know that's a bold statement, but it's true. His stuff can dominate any team."
-- Toronto Blue Jays designated hitter Frank Thomas on teammate Dustin McGowan, who baffled the Red Sox Monday night. The 25-year-old McGowan allowed only five hits and struck out nine en route to the complete-game victory, improving his record to 11-9. (Toronto Star)
"He needs to clear himself. The medical people have gotten fairly aggressive, and he's swung the bat fairly aggressive, but there has to be a peace of mind and confidence from himself that he can go play the game and not hurt himself. You can really make some disastrous mistakes trying to read somebody else's body. It's easy for us to say we would like him to play, or nine times out of 10, he's OK. But he's got to know that he can play the game and not hurt himself."
-- Boston manager Terry Francona on Manny Ramirez, who has been out since Aug. 28 with a strained oblique. Ramirez continues to step up his workouts, but the Red Sox remain cautious with the left fielder. (Boston Herald)
"I wish it was going to happen in a game that it meant a little more for the outcome. As far as 30-30 goes, I'm extremely proud and thankful the coaching staff has really pushed me to run. After getting off to a slow start, they spent numerous, countless hours in the cage trying to get me right."
-- New York Mets third baseman David Wright commenting on joining the 30-30 club after hitting a homer Sunday in a 10-6 loss to the Phillies. Wright became the fourth-youngest player in MLB history to join the 30-homer, 30-steal club. Only Alex Rodriguez, Bobby Bonds and Jose Canseco were younger than Wright (24 years, 270 days). Wright is the third Met to reach 30-30, joining mentor Howard Johnson (1987, '89 and '91) and Darryl Strawberry ('87). (New York Daily News)
"I'm saying this team will do something. We're going to the Promised Land."
-- San Diego Padres reliever Heath Bell commenting on how he expects the Padres to not only make the playoffs, but do well in the postseason. (San Diego Union-Tribune)
"What amazes me are the guys like the Hanley Ramirezes, the Chase Utleys, the Matt Holidays who are relatively new on the scene, being able to sustain that kind of offensive production at such a young age. I marvel at them because they're so far ahead of me at a younger age."
-- Braves third baseman Chipper Jones on his competition in the National League for the batting title. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
"Somebody sent a picture of me from the Brooklyn Cyclones in 2001, and my stance was totally different than it is now. The only thing that's stayed consistent with me is my tap. How did I get so upright now? I really don't know.
"If you are putting the bat on the ball you can start on your head."
-- Marlins first baseman Mike Jacobs on his constantly-evolving batting stance. (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)
"We came into the season looking for two starters out of our system. We feel like with [Shawn] Hill, [Jason] Bergmann and [Matt] Chico, we have three guys we shouldn't be afraid to throw them out there again next year."
-- Nationals manager Manny Acta on the players who developed into Major Leaguers in 2007 . (Washington Post)
"James Loney's got answers immediately, which tells me that with 56,000 fans in the stands, he'll have it. I impressed upon James that you could be the slowest runner on the team but be the best baserunner. James Loney can't begin to run as fast as Matt Kemp, but, at this point, he's a better baserunner."
-- Dodgers instructor and former Major League single-season leader in steals Maury Wills on how the intelligence of first baseman James Loney makes him a complete ballplayer. (Los Angeles Times)
"He may go down as one of the greatest players ever in Triple-A, if you look at his numbers. When you think of Scott you think of perseverance. He's earned this call-up and he earned this start."
-- Giants manager Bruce Bochy on giving a start on Wednesday to Scott McClain who has 333 home runs in the Minors and Japan but none in the Majors. McClain had two hits in the game but did not homer. (San Francisco Chronicle)
"Playoffs or not, my job is to finish strong with this team. This is a good end of the regular season. For my career, this is very important."
-- Angels pitcher Ervin Santana who was banished to the Minors earlier this year, on the importance of pitching well in September. He's 2-1 with a 1.27 ERA after striking out 10 batters and allowing just one run in Wednesday's 2-1 win over the Devil Rays. (Los Angeles Times)
"I knew he hadn't thrown a split in three or four months, but the first one he threw just snapped, late, knees to dirt. It drops in such a short period of time and so close to the hitting zone, it's tough to get the bat on the ball."
-- A's bullpen catcherBrandon Buckley on Rich Harden finally throwing his splitter during a simulated game. (San Francisco Chronicle)
"I don't know if I've scored from first base this year. It was fun, but it took me two innings to catch my breath afterwards. It's always fun to do that. Because usually I'm slow and can never score from anywhere but second."
-- Mariners backup catcher Jamie Burke on scoring from first on a double by teammate Yuniesky Betancourt.. (Seattle Times)
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.