Here are some of the notable quotes from around Major League Baseball this week:
10/16/2008 10:54 AM ET
On rakers and gamers in Philly
Phillies claim pennant with a lot of congrats to go around
"There's a lot of anticipation to get to this point, but, when it actually comes, it kind of takes you by surprise. I love the celebration, but how many times am I going to see this? I just want to enjoy it and take it in."
-- Pat Burrell after the Phillies won the NLCS with a 5-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 5 on Wednesday night.
"I put my head down and I'm running. I'm not thinking about it going over the wall, I'm thinking I can get a triple."
-- Jimmy Rollins on his leadoff home run on Wednesday night in Game 5 of the NLCS. Rollins' blast put the Phillies on their way to a 5-1 win over the Dodgers.
"To win the award, it's surreal. It's for the whole team. I had to go out and execute and keep going after them."
-- Cole Hamels on being named MVP of the NLCS.
"Our team rakes. We've got guys that nobody even really knows about. Guys like [Shane] Victorino, that don't get credit that can hit home runs a mile at any point; guys like Matt Stairs off the bench. We've assembled a great team, and there's no weak link in our chain as we go down through the hitters. That's the biggest thing."
-- Brad Lidge on the team's offensive prowess and depth.
(Los Angeles Times)
"I grew up rooting for Mike Piazza and watching Orel Hershiser and Hideo Nomo and those guys. I think I was more of a bandwagon fan."
-- Cole Hamels on rooting for the Dodgers while growing up in Rancho Bernardo, Calif., near San Diego.
"I got so many messages when we acquired Kots from people that I know in the game that respect him and said we were getting a guy that was off the charts, and I agree with that. He's a gamer. He's been tremendous for us."
-- Red Sox manager Terry Francona talking about when Boston acquired former Florida Marlins outfielder Mark Kotsay.
(South Florida Sun-Sentinel)
"Everything I do this year is pretty special, coming from the condition I was in in Spring Training. So everything I get now is pretty rewarding. Especially to do it here in front of family and friends was really nice."
-- Rocco Baldelli talking about overcoming a type of mitochondrial disease, caused by malfunctioning mitochondria in the cells, starving muscles of the energy needed to function, and getting a chance to play in the postseason. Baldelli, who is from Rhode Island, hit a three-run home run in the eighth inning in front of a host of family and friends to help the Rays win Game 3 of the ALCS, 9-1, Monday night.
"There's been times where I've come out of the bullpen thinking I was going to throw a no-hitter and lasted two or three innings. So I try not to use my pregame warmups as a barometer of how I'm going to pitch. There's no one set barometer that I look upon to dictate whether I'm going to have a good [knuckler] or not."
-- Tim Wakefield talking about what to expect before his Game 4 start in the ALCS against Tampa Bay Tuesday night. Wakefield was making his first appearance on the mound since Sept. 28.
"It definitely gave us some momentum. It gave us all the confidence in the world."
-- B.J. Upton talking about the Rays' four-run third inning against Boston in Game 3 of the ALCS. The Rays went on to win the game, 9-1, to take a 2-1 lead in the series.
"It really turned out to be a blessing to come over here and get the chance I got. They welcomed me pretty quickly, and it's been great. You run out of words to describe what's been going on here."
-- Gabe Gross on being traded by the Milwaukee Brewers to the Rays a month into the season for Minor League pitcher Josh Butler.
(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
"You look at that Red Sox team, and Jed is like a less-vocal [Dustin] Pedroia. He's small and he plays the game hard. That's two guys up the middle who are a lot alike and who will be there a long time."
-- A's Minor Leaguer Danny Putnam on Red Sox infielder Jed Lowrie, a collegiate teammate of his at Stanford.
(San Francisco Chronicle)
"It was huge for me. Not confidence-wise -- just to let myself know that I can pitch here, that I'm able to step up and say, 'I can perform here.' Last outing, I didn't like the taste in my mouth. I walked off saying, 'This isn't me; I don't like being like this.' Tonight I was trying to say to myself, 'I can pitch here.'"
-- Matt Garza commenting on his Game 3 victory in the ALCS against Boston. Garza gave up only one run in six innings of work, allowing six hits and three walks while striking out five..
(St. Petersburg Times)
"It doesn't really matter how old you are. If you're able to do certain things as a baseball player, it shouldn't matter what stage you're on. Me and Beej are not scared. We just go out and have our fun, and the results are what they are. Thankfully we've had the success we've had lately."
-- Evan Longoria commenting on the outstanding postseasons he and center fielder B.J. Upton are having, despite their youth and lack of experience.
(St. Petersburg Times)
"I loved it in Chicago; I have no regrets. I didn't get a whole lot of opportunity once I failed. Once I had a bad one, I didn't get a lot more. I got here and I feel like I've been here longer than three months. There's a good group of guys here and we're all having fun."
-- Scott Eyre on his trade from Chicago to Philadelphia.
(San Francisco Chronicle)
-- Red Line Editorial