Here are some of the notable quotes from around Major League Baseball this week:
"When you mention those names, it really kind of puts it in perspective."
-- Chicago White Sox veteran Jim Thome -- who hit his 493rd career home run on Tuesday -- on being tied for 23rd all-time in home runs with Lou Gehrig and Fred McGriff. (Chicago Tribune)
"There are a lot of guys who have reached 500, but I don't think their teammates cared about it as much as we're going to care about Jim doing it. He's a great guy, and we're looking forward to it. He treats everyone so well it feels like we're hitting 500 home runs. I hope it comes sooner rather than later."
-- Chicago White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko, on teammate Jim Thome and his quest to reach 500 career home runs. (Chicago Tribune)
"Obviously, hanging out with Smoltzy has had an impact on me. When you go up there and meet with the patients, you can't help but be affected by it. Hopefully, I can take over for John when he retires."
-- Braves outfielder Jeff Francoeur on how John Smoltz got him interested in working with the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta charity. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
"My nickname, H2R. H for Hanley, then my number, 2, for [Yankees shortstop Derek] Jeter, then Ramirez. I've got the Virgin Mary [takes off small pendant from his neck]. I just try to be consistent and do the same thing every day to be prepared for the game."
-- Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez's reply when asked if he had any secrets or lucky charms that nobody knows. (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)
"It's always something you want to see guys do, especially after they get the toughest hit, which is the triple."
-- Nationals manager Manny Acta on Ryan Zimmerman coming a double short of hitting for the cycle on Tuesday. (Washington Post)
"You want them to be themselves to a certain extent. Obviously, you don't want to do something that's going to bring attention to yourself with the other club. You want guys to pitch with emotion. He was excited. He made a big pitch there. Lots of pitchers do it. There was nothing out of the ordinary. I think on every staff, there's someone who gets excited when he makes an out."
-- Giants manager Bruce Bochy on rookie pitcher Tim Lincecum reaction in a game against the Cubs on Tuesday. (San Francisco Chronicle)
"I felt like I was on the DL. It was like, 'Man, I'm not getting back in.'"
-- Mariners first baseman Ben Broussard on going 11 games between starts and having just one at-bat during that stretch.. (Seattle Times)
"There's a sense of desperation in this clubhouse."
-- St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright, on the climate surrounding the team as they fight to stay alive in the NL Central. (St. Louis Post Dispatch)
"It feels good. Just to be in the same category as Mike Mussina. Good career, and still having a good career. It feels fine."
-- Baltimore Orioles pitcher Erik Bedard, who with 11 strikeouts on Tuesday night tied former Oriole Mike Mussina with 218 strikeouts in a single season, an Orioles record. (Baltimore Sun)
"I went down there and pitched exclusively with that one pitch and they knew it was coming. Doing that teaches you something. You don't have to trick, you just have to locate your pitches."
-- Cincinnati Reds pitcher Kirk Saarloos, on what he has learned during his stints at Triple-A Louisville. (Cincinnati Post)
"It is what I wanted. I think you're more valuable to a team as a starter. So if you're good, then it's better to be a starter. It's just harder to do well as a starter, in my opinion."
-- Kansas City Royals pitcher Zack Greinke, who is scheduled to return to the rotation on Friday, on the differences between the two roles for him. (Kansas City Star)
"I was just going after the ball. I didn't see the rail until I got there. I tried to dodge some (security) guy and went over the rail and hit my head on a seat. I've got a headache."
-- Kansas City Royals outfielder Joey Gathright, after going headfirst into a rail while making a catch earlier this week on a foul popup hit by White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski. (Kansas City Royals)
"We're mixing it in, lightening the load. I don't want fatigue to play a major factor as we move on."
-- St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Scott Rolen, who has had some shoulder soreness, on keeping himself as fresh as possible as the Cardinals make a run in the NL Central. (MLB.com)
"I feel great. Physically, I put myself through a lot in the offices in Florida, anywhere from six to eight hours a day of pretty intense physical therapy. A three-hour game for me is cake. It's almost like it's a treat after doing all that stuff just to be able to play in a game."
-- Toronto Blue Jays left fielder Reed Johnson on the extensive rehab he underwent to come back from back surgery performed in April. Johnson had his season put on hold after just seven games because of a herniated disk in his back. He was walking within four days of his surgery and playing three months later. (Toronto Star)
"It was either he was going to be conserving his pitches, throwing a lot of two-seamers and waiting until guys hit the ball on the ground, or he was going to have eight to 10 strikeouts a game, but his pitch count was going to be up.
"Over this span, he has met in the middle with that. The guys he's getting out, he's getting them out within three to four pitches. He's doing a little of both."
-- Arizona catcher Chris Snyder trying to help explain pitcher Brandon's Webb current and remarkable 42-inning shutout streak. (Arizona Republic)
"Johnny and I are both team guys. We're all about the team. We're all about winning."
-- New York Yankees designated hitter/first baseman Jason Giambi on how he and teammate Johnny Damon are responding to seeing a little less playing time right now. (Newsday)
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.