Turnabout abounds in this week's quotes
Starters become relievers, losers become winners
Here are some of the notable quotes from around Major League Baseball over the last week:
"I think I only threw four sliders and no changeups. I just hit my spots with my fastball and was moving it up and down in the zone. I felt good. The first time my spot came up, they wanted to pinch-hit for me then. I told Dusty I wanted to stay out there. He said, 'Fine.'"
-- Aaron Harang, after working four innings of relief and striking out nine batters, including seven consecutive, in the Reds' 18-inning loss to the Padres (MLB.com)
"That's something that I just always dreamed about, so I don't even know what to say about that."
-- Carl Crawford on the Rays having the best record in baseball. (St. Petersburg Times)
"He's got better rhythm, better command of where he's throwing it. He's not thinking about it anymore. He's not thinking about his mechanics. Now he's throwing the ball where he wants to, so it's about selecting the right pitch, being committed to it and throwing it."
-- Arizona manager Bob Melvin commenting on pitcher Randy Johnson, who, after a slow start, has had back-to-back strong starts for the Diamondbacks. (Arizona Republic)
"I was hiding in a corner."
-- Travis Hafner, Indians slugger, describing the moments before getting a cortisone shot in his aching shoulder. (MLB.com)
"Momentum's a big thing. I think guys are starting to feel we're a good club. A swagger? I think so. Just the way we won these five games [counting the Thursday win over the Angels], showing some offensive prowess. It's good to be swinging the bats well 'cause, where we're going, we're going to need it."
-- Greg Zaun commenting on the positive feeling the club has after going 7-2 in its last nine games heading into Tuesday night. (Toronto Star)
"I think they should say that and come out with something like that. Because it is a distraction. The reality is people say, 'No, that doesn't affect the ballclub,' but it does. It does because you come to the ballpark wondering what's going to happen. It's natural as players; we all think like that.
"At one point, I was in that situation when they were talking every day about me being traded when I was in Kansas City. To me, it was thinking it might be today. Tomorrow might be the day. It's not fun coming, wondering like that, every day to the ballpark."
-- Carlos Beltran commenting on the speculation surrounding manager Willie Randolph's job security. (Newsday)
"When I was here, I think I always made time for the fans, and I think they remembered that."
-- Josh Hamilton on playing against the Tampa Bay Rays, the team that drafted him and signed him to his first professional contract. (Dallas Morning News)
"I feel like it's been a long time coming. I happened to get a good pitch to hit. He left a slider up, and I put a good swing on it. That was that. It was kind of like I was on a cloud. I'm quite sure my family back home in Arkansas is pretty happy and fired up too."
-- Brian Barton, after hitting his first career home run on Tuesday night against the Houston Astros. (Belleville (Ill.) News-Democrat)
"Oh, I'm happy. I feel good too. I just hope I'm ready."
-- Jack Wilson, prior to returning to the lineup on Tuesday night, after being out since April 3 with a strained calf. Wilson had three hits in his return. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
"I couldn't have written it any better. I had a blast."
-- Jay Bruce, after getting three hits and drawing two walks in his Major League debut on Tuesday night. (Cincinnati Enquirer)
"I think I know I deserve to be here."
-- Sean Gallagher, after working seven innings and allowing just one run in the Cubs' 3-1 victory over the Los Angels Dodgers on Tuesday night. It was the longest outing of Gallagher's career. (MLB.com)
"There are points when you feel like you can't do anything. You can't get a hit, you can't get on base. And then there will be times where you're like, 'What's going on here? I feel like I'm getting on base every time.'"
-- Shane Victorino, discussing his recent hot streak. (MLB.com)
"Guys have stepped up and done a great job. I never doubted."
-- Matt Capps on the success of the Pittsburgh bullpen this year. Through Tuesday, the Pirates are 15-0 when leading after six innings. (MLB.com)
"I have four stitches because I hit chain link and concrete. I never understood that. I know it's so the pad doesn't get wet, but if you're going to put a pad on a fence, I don't understand why it doesn't go all the way down, or at least within an inch or two of the ground, because it seems to happen every now and again -- somebody will do something stupid like I did."
-- Matt Diaz on running into the outfield wall at Turner Field. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
"He can go out anywhere. He's got light-tower power from line to line. He can go opposite field. I've seen him go central. Seen him go left. He's just a special guy."
--Diamondbacks hitting coach Rick Schu on the batting exploits of pitcher Micah Owings. (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)
"It's always tough when you lose the third hitter in your lineup. That being said, we're not putting out a high school kid to play."
--Nationals manager Manny Acta on replacing the injured Ryan Zimmerman with 11-year veteran Aaron Boone. (Washington Post)
"Just awesome -- that's what he was. He's going to be a superstar for a long time."
-- Bengie Molina on pitcher Tim Lincecum raising his record to 7-1 with a 6-3 win over the first-place Diamondbacks. (San Francisco Chronicle)
"The rotation is giving us a chance to win every time out. You can't ask for anything else. They're keeping it close regardless of what we're doing at the plate, which at times has to be frustrating for the pitchers. But they keep putting up zeroes for us."
-- Casey Kotchman noting that the Angels are 6-2 in their last eight games despite a .183 batting average. (Los Angeles Times)
"It's embedded in my brain, that whole [Minor League] lifestyle. I was down there for so long, been through so many things, that I'm really just cherishing this opportunity to play in the big leagues."
-- Jack Cust on why he takes nothing for granted despite leading the Oakland A's in home runs. (San Francisco Chronicle)
"I wanted to run to center field. I knew the team was coming to kill me."
-- Jose Lopez (Seattle Times)
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.