Here are some of the notable quotes from around Major League Baseball this week:
"I have a bad habit of hitting guys who I really respect and look up to. He's one of my favorite players."
Royals pitcher Brian Bannister, on hitting A's designated hitter Mike Piazza with a pitch. (San Francisco Chronicle)
"Yeah, I won't be swinging a golf club soon. It's sore."
Braves pitcher John Smoltz, after getting hit in the chest by a line drive off the bat of the Tigers' Carlos Guillen. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
"It's a good feel. Just a good solid car to put a kit on and make it look like a spaceship."
Car enthusiast and Braves center fielder Andruw Jones, on his recently ordered Mercedes S Class 65, which he had painted gunmetal gray. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
"I grew up under power lines. I swam in the Ohio River. Ate a lot of peanut butter."
Nationals pitcher Jon Rauch, who stands 6-foot-11, offering reasons for his large frame. (Washington Post)
"If it happened in April ... I'd probably want to shoot myself. But you've just got to go out there and work on stuff. It was
positive because I threw a lot of changeups and I felt good."
Dodgers pitcher Brad Penny, on his initial Spring Training outing, in which he gave up six runs and seven hits in two innings. Penny threw 14 curveballs and nine changeups in the outing. (Los Angeles Times)
"I'm healthy, and I'm good to go. No question in my mind. The questions still come up. 'How's your elbow?' 'How's your arm?'
I proved I was healthy at the end of last year."
A's pitcher Rich Harden, responding to ongoing questions about his medical condition. (San Francisco Chronicle)
"She knows about it because I told her on the phone. But she hasn't seen me yet. She probably won't recognize me."
Mariners All-Star second baseman Jose Lopez, on the expected reaction of his girlfriend, who has yet to see his new shaved head. (The Seattle Times)
"No matter the size of the paycheck, I love being in Texas. The only thing I don't love is us not being able to win. But I wanted to be here to help change that, and we will change that. "This new contract, it's all crazy money to me. But it won't change how I play the game, or my attitude about the game, the same as my previous contract never changed anything." Texas Rangers second baseman Michael Young after signing a seven-year contract extension with the Rangers. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
"I just want to come back in here and let everyone know I'm back with them, I'm on the Yankees again. This is my team and I'm backing these guys and I'm behind them." New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte, on his feeling toward his "new" team. Pettitte returned to the Yankees this offseason after spending three seasons in Houston. (Newsday)
"I've come a long way in five years. Prospect? I'm not worried about being a prospect. You've got to perform and do what you've got to do. "If I'm not a top prospect, it's not going to bother me much. You've got to be good to pitch at this level." Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Dustin McGowan, on his attempt to make the team this spring. McGowan was once considered one of the top prospects in the organization but has been sidetracked by Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery that forced him to miss the 2004 season and diabetes. (Toronto Star)
"I thought when I showed up in camp I was going to definitely make it for the first day of the (regular) season without the shadow of a doubt. But I also realize I didn't do any baseball activities in the offseason because my rehab wouldn't let me. Once I started getting into baseball activities, I knew it would take me a little more time, because swinging the bat or throwing is a little more strenuous than doing 10 sets of five-pound weights."
Arizona outfielder Jeff DaVanon, on his recovery from offseason shoulder and ankle surgery, which is taking a little longer than he expected and may force him to miss the start of the regular season. (East Valley Tribune)
"I felt like I threw the ball pretty well. I didn't hit anybody and all my breaking stuff was there. I'll probably take a day and see how it feels tomorrow and then throw one more, and then I should be ready."
Tampa Bay pitcher Casey Fossum, who had left shoulder surgery in September, after throwing 43 pitches before Monday's exhibition game. Fossum mixed in all his pitches to Jason Grabowski and Joel Guzman and now hopes to pitch in an exhibition game after one more live batting practice session, barring any setbacks. (St. Petersburg Times)
"We're trying to look at 10, 12, 15 years down the road. I think Jon [Lester] has finally accepted that. It's hard for him because he wants to go out there and be on the same schedule as everyone else, and in the drills we performed, he was. But we're just trying to be smart."
Boston pitching coach John Farrell, on limiting Lester to one inning of work despite Lester needing only eight pitches to record three outs in his first spring outing. Lester is coming off a winter when he was treated for anaplastic large cell lymphoma and the Red Sox don't want to rush him back. (The Boston Globe)
"He got to two innings so efficiently that we really felt we were cutting him short by just letting him throw two. Your goal first time out is two (innings) or 40 (pitches). He had like 19 (pitches) after two innings. He was making pitches, he was quick. It was really pleasant to watch him pitch for us. We've seen him pitch a lot the last couple of years (for St. Louis). But, man, it sure was nice to see him pitch for us."
Milwaukee Brewers manager Ned Yost, on why he decided to let pitcher Jeff Suppan go three innings instead of just his scheduled two innings during Monday's exhibition game against the Chicago White Sox. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
"The last thing I want to do is come in here and think I'm on the team already and blow it. And I still don't think I've made
the team quite yet. I've got a lot to prove, and two Spring Training games don't do it. If it's during the regular season and
I'm pitching well, that's different. Right now, I'm competing and making progress every time out. I'm trying to stay as
focused as I can.
St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright, penciled in as the Cardinals' third or fourth starter, commenting on how he sees his status with the team. (St. Louis Post Dispatch)
"I'm trying to hit with more of an attitude this year. I see the fire that (Gary Sheffield) hits with and I want some of
that. I think I need some of that."
Detroit third baseman Brandon Inge, on adapting a new, more angry attitude at the plate in 2007. (Detroit Free Press)
"I want our child to see me in uniform. I'm 35, so the pressure's on. If I want our child to remember Dad as a ballplayer, I
have to stay in great shape and play a few more years."
Minnesota veteran Rondell White, who hopes to stay healthy and stick around the Major Leagues until his first child, due later this year, can remember that he was a big-league ball player. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
"Scotty (Rolen) told me once that he never said a word until his third year in the Majors. That's the kind of thing I heard
and that's why I keep my mouth shut in the clubhouse, keep the talking down. That's one thing that has stuck with
St. Louis Cardinals second-year starting pitcher Anthony Reyes, giving his thoughts on the role of young players in the locker room. (St. Louis Post Dispatch)
"This year I expect good things. I expect to stay healthy. I'm going to prepare myself for 162 ball games. Hopefully, I don't
need to pitch 162 ball games, but if that's what the team needs, I'll try to do what I can."
Philadelphia reliever Tom Gordon, making himself available to pitch every night in 2007 if needed. (The Philadelphia Inquirer)
"I don't like being just good at a position. I want to be the best. I can't say I'm one of the best right now, obviously,
because it takes a lot of reps. But I can work to be as good as I can be this year, and that's what I'm planning to
Pittsburgh infielder Freddy Sanchez, on his goal to become a great player in multiple positions. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
"I've said all along this spring that I prepared physically and mental to be a starter. I want to take that fifth spot and go
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Matt Belisle, who has made his intentions to make the Reds' rotation very clear. (The Cincinnati Enquirer)
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.