Here are some of the notable quotes from around Major League Baseball this week:
"I don't know why. I guess it's just being home. Being able to come here and play in, not the original Busch Stadium, but still Busch Stadium, in front of your family and friends, it's just something that kind of takes you to a different level."
- Ryan Howard, discussing his typically strong performance in his hometown. Through Monday night, Howard has seven home runs and 29 RBIs in 17 games in St. Louis. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
"It helps to be at one position all the time. You can really put in the time just at that position and do your everyday work and repetitions there. I feel really comfortable now."
- Felipe Lopez, talking about being able to play just second base this season. (Arizona Republic)
"Obviously, it's not going to be 100 percent overnight. You have to listen to your body and deal with the symptoms. But, hopefully, we'll try to make it well enough to the point where you don't have to take every other day off."
- Carlos Delgado, talking about playing with a sore right hip, an ailment that could last for the rest of the season. (Newsday)
"It's something I thought about a week or so ago. We're not able to do much without having a solid second hitter. At least this guy can bunt and can hit and run. I'll be able to do some bunting and put on some hit-and-runs."
- Texas manager Ron Washington, explaining why he decided to move Elvis Andrus to second in the batting order on Sunday night after having him hit ninth in the order in his first 18 starts. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
"You play that hard; you want to make sure that no injuries happen. God forbid that it was more than an injury. The guy plays hard, and we all respect that. You don't ever want to see anybody get hurt in a way like that."
- Bran Lidge, Phillies closer, after watching Rick Ankiel go head first into the outfield wall after a catch on Monday night. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
"He's already made a lot of good plays out there. It's pretty impressive for someone who's never played out there how quickly he's picked it up. He's Superman."
- Ryan Ludwick, talking about teammate Rick Ankiel and his ability to go from being a pitcher to an outfielder. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
"There are some arms out there that have the raw stuff but aren't in the same ballpark. He's got the command going right now. He's got the feel going. Any time you've got a power pitcher with that feel for throwing quality strikes -- not just right down the middle -- he's going to be tough. Sometimes you avoid guys like that. Sometimes you go right into the buzz saw, and that's what happened. It's one of those [situations] where it's not really a mystery of what he's doing. It's just when he's locating with the stuff he has, it's tough."
- Paul Konerko on Zack Greinke, after Greinke improved to 6-0 with a 0.40 ERA on the year with a six-hit shutout of the White Sox on Monday night. (Chicago Tribune)
"This is everything you hope for when you get a chance to play professional baseball. Some of us late bloomers have to wait a little bit longer than others, but I made it, and that's half the battle."
- Bobby Scales, a 31-year-old rookie third baseman, who was activated by the Cubs this week after 11 years in the Minor Leagues. (Chicago Tribune)
"It was the seventh inning. That's getting pretty late, and you start thinking about the no-hitter. I think the hit just gave everybody a chance to exhale."
- Ryan Garko, after breaking up a no-hit effort by Toronto's Brian Tallet on Monday night. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
"I thought, 'This might be it.' I'm lucky to be walking today. Anything from here is a plus."
- Rick Ankiel, on what was going through his mind after crashing head-first into the outfield fence on Monday night. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
"That's the way the game works, but you have to be ready."
- Jayson Nix, White Sox second baseman, after being asked to play the outfield earlier this week. It was the first time in his career he had ever played the outfield. (Chicago Tribune)
"You have to appreciate the work, sacrifice and effort of the U.S. soldiers that put their lives on the line so we can live in a country with freedom safely."
- Carlos Lee, Houston left fielder, after visiting wounded U.S. soldiers at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington. (Houston Chronicle)
"I know the sabermetrics, in regard to how ineffective base-stealing actually is, but I disagree because I don't think you can evaluate the importance of it just based on if you're successful or not. It's about the mind-set. It's about what you do to the other team; it's about the better pitch you get as a hitter at a specific moment; it's about the pressure applied on the defense; it's about the error that you create; it's about the extra bases you take. There are so many other ways to look at it.
"It is really generalizing one little bucket way too easily, and I never really agreed with that component of the numerical world."
- Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon talking about why he likes to be aggressive on the base paths and is a fan of the stolen base. The Rays have been successful on steals 87 percent of the time this season. (Newsday)
"I closed my eyes, and Mr. Jackie Robinson carried me the rest of the way."
- Orlando Hudson, Dodgers second baseman, on how he made an over-the-shoulder grab in right field to end the top of the first inning on Tuesday. (Los Angeles Times)
"I sleep in it a lot. ... It definitely takes away some of the soreness. It definitely doesn't hurt. And I do anything I can to help."
- Todd Helton on using a hyperbaric chamber to aid in the recovery from back surgery in September, all while seeing his batting average rise to .360. (The Denver Post)
"Foundation is everything -- I couldn't stay on my back side. I didn't have the strength, and when you don't have your base, you have nothing. It's hard enough to play this game when you're healthy, let alone having a significant tear in your knee. I'm glad we did the surgery."
- Gary Matthews Jr. , who had knee surgery in October, on his successful start to the season at the plate. (Los Angeles Times)
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.