On military honors and nuclear weapons
Helms appreciates the gesture shown toward veterans
Here are some of the notable quotes from around Major League Baseball this week:
"I think it should be special, even if guys don't have family in the military. It makes us a safe country to live in. I love to give my heart to the guys and what they're doing over there."
- Wes Helms, Marlins third baseman, whose father and grandfather served in the military, on MLB players wearing special red caps for Memorial Day. (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)
"Right when he came up [to Bowie] and I saw him play for a while, I was like 'Wow' -- he can really hit, and he can really play."
- Nolan Reimold, Orioles left fielder, on rookie catcher Matt Weiters, who is set to make his debut on Friday. The two played together for parts of two seasons in the Minor Leagues. (Baltimore Sun)
"This game is about perseverance. You have to hang on. I might have got a good swing on a decisive pitch, but it took a lot of other guys to pick up for me earlier and give me a third chance. I went from a goat to the hero in one at-bat, but this is a game where you have to look closely at what got us to that point."
- Chase Headley, Padres outfielder, after hitting a two-run home run in the 10th inning Monday to lift the Padres to their 10th straight win. (San Diego Union-Tribune)
"That game would be too big. There would be so much surrounding it; a breath wouldn't come easy."
- John Smoltz, who would rather his first game back not take place in an Interleague series versus the Braves, the team for which he pitched the past 20 seasons. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
"Matt Clement, just a lousy single; start it off."
- Adam Dunn reflecting on his first Major League hit after getting his 1,000th hit on Tuesday night. (Washington Post)
"I was floating around the bases. I didn't really come down to Earth until I came into the dugout and saw everybody."
- Jamie Hoffman, Dodgers rookie, on his first Major League hit -- a home run. (Los Angeles Times)
"I feel like we've got a nuclear weapon."
- Dallas Braden, A's pitcher, on what it is like to have Andrew Bailey on the team. Bailey leads all relievers with 37 strikeouts. (San Francisco Chronicle)
"I think for Randy to win 300 makes his career complete. He obviously, for a period of time, 10 to 15 years, was one of the most dominating pitchers in baseball. His strikeout ratio is probably the highest for any starting pitcher with the number of innings and starts he has. This pretty much completes his career. We obviously saw a transition in him while he was in Seattle, where he became extremely consistent with his performances. The only thing that really has been a problem for him have been some of the physical problems he had related to his back."
-Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan on Randy Johnson's quest for 300 wins. (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
"It was definitely one of my better ones."
- Chris Carpenter, after working eight scoreless innings against Milwaukee on Monday. He struck out 10, walked nobody and carried a perfect game into the seventh. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
"You'd be surprised. Some of the great hitters in the game will have their thoughts and doubts. You might not wear it on your sleeve, but at least for me, I had coaches who told me, 'Don't ever let [opposing pitchers] see if you're 0-for-20.' There is so much adversity in this game -- it's about overcoming that. You find out more about a guy when he's struggling. Hitting is an attitude."
- Reed Johnson, on the ups-and-downs of being a Major League hitter. (Chicago Sun-Times)
"When I'm out there on the mound, the game can speed up. If I give up two doubles in the span of 10 pitches, I might think, 'What ... just happened?' It's important to eliminate those kinds of thoughts. I still know what I want to do out there. It's just a matter of commanding the pitches."
- Jeremy Sowers on trying to better control his thoughts. (Akron Beacon Journal)
"I was just telling Nicky [Markakis] that this is getting real fun. This is starting to feel like the end of my career in Tampa [Bay], when the young guys are coming up and putting together some real good starts, and the young position players are doing well. It seems like every young guy that has come up has done a pretty good job. I know it's early, and they are going to struggle at times, but now is the time to get them up and give them a chance."
- Aubrey Huff, acknowledging that the influx of youth in Baltimore lately has made things more fun and interesting. (Baltimore Sun)
"Sometimes you get on these rolls. Take what you can get when you can get it, because there will be a stretch where I am standing here telling you guys why I can't get anybody out. You try to rack up these wins as early and often as you can."
- Bronson Arroyo, after pitching eight innings on Wednesday night to improve to 7-3. (MLB.com)
"I slid hard, and unfortunately that happened. You never want that to happen. I told him I'd be praying for him. I wish him as soon a recovery as he can have."
- Chris Coghlan of the Marlins, talking about the play in which he slid into second base and collided with Tampa Bay second baseman Akinori Iwamura. (St. Petersburg Times)
"I feel happy. This is the best baseball in the world. I'm happy the San Francisco Giants gave me the opportunity. I'm going to Fresno right now. I want to play hard down there, because I'm going to come back again."
- Jesus Guzman, Giants infielder, on his desire to return to the Major Leagues. (San Francisco Chronicle)
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.