Here are some of the notable quotes from around Major League Baseball this week:
"That's the last thing I could have ever expected. It was awesome. It was just a huge rush, a whole bunch of adrenaline going through my body. I was so excited."
-- Danny Espinosa, Nats rookie, on receiving a curtain call from Washington fans after hitting his first grand slam. (The Washington Post)
"If you love the game, it's going to love you back."
--All-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman, who recorded his 600th career save on Tuesday. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
"It's just my mechanics getting better and better. I'm learning more about 'em as I go. I think that had a lot to do with it last year. I never had a reason to mess with them before."
-- Madison Bumgarner, Giants rookie, on how his velocity improved to the mid-90s in his last start. (San Jose Mercury News)
"I wasn't real sure when I [retire] if I wanted to coach or what not, but I feel I'm pretty well-suited for it because I enjoy it a lot."
-- Eric Chavez on a recent stint helping out as an instructor for a college baseball team. (Oakland Tribune)
"I'm still starstruck by a lot of these guys. To be able to compete and be on the same field as these guys, it's an amazing feeling. To be able to win, it's good for the team, and it's something special for me."
-- Josh Bell, Orioles rookie, on his first trip to Yankee Stadium. (MLB.com)
"You can't be worrying what the manager thinks about you. Obviously, I want to go out there and do my job and pitch well, and have a job. But if I pitch well, I probably will have a job. So I think I'm going to try to keep it simple and not worry too much about what other people think."
-- Matt Albers, Orioles pitcher, on his approach to working out of the bullpen. (MLB.com)
"Sometimes it might not be the best outing, but I always go out and give everything I've got. If nothing else, you're fighting and clawing and trying to get through seven so you can help the bullpen out and not make them throw a bunch of innings."
-- Joe Blanton, on his approach to pitching. (Philadelphia Daily News)
"There's not many shortstops that get to play that position at 43. I'm happy that I'm still able to do that. Even though I've had two knee surgeries, I'm still able to come back out of that and keep myself in shape to play this year. But, obviously, I'm not thinking about records now or how many hits or how many games. I think everyone here is focused to do one job and that's try to finish strong, and that's what I'm trying to do."
-- Omar Vizquel, who on Monday night set a record for most games played by a player born outside of the United States with 2,832, passing Rafael Palmeiro. (Chicago Tribune)
"This is far beyond what I thought where I was going to be right now. I figured I would get a few chances -- up five [runs], down five -- stuff like that. It's been awesome. I thank them for how much trust they put and have in me. It's very gratifying."
-- Chris Sale, White Sox rookie, after picking up his first Major League victory on Monday night against the Tigers. (Chicago Tribune)
"Quite an experience, I would say. I don't think anybody ever takes for granted the things we're able to do. But, man, what I would give to just be able to run free with no pain. That's probably the most important thing, the only thing I wish I would have had this year, would have been able to run free. I could have dealt with slumps, struggles, boos, sucking and everything else."
-- Mike Cameron on the amount of pain he was playing with this season before he opted to have season-ending surgery last month. (Boston Globe)
"Maybe it did tire him out, I don't know. But I think he had fun doing it ... and also we're trying to get another run. At that point, you're trying to take what's given to you, and that was available."
--Arizona interim manager Kirk Gibson talking about pitcher Joe Saunders, who stole a base on Saturday against the Astros and also had two hits and an RBI. (The Arizona Republic)
"It's just concentrating on making pitches and getting hitters out versus how my shoulder feels. It's just the competitive element that you can't simulate. It's still an evolution for me -- trying to bring some stuff along, work on command, work on some of my offspeed pitches. It's still a work in progress. I can't expect to be 100 percent in midseason form right now, but I feel like I'm getting there."
-- Chris Young, Padres pitcher, commenting after his rehab start at Triple-A Portland on Sunday. Young threw 63 pitches in 3 1/3 innings, allowing no hits and two walks with three strikeouts. (MLB.com)
"He's playing with the energy and the vigor of a guy 24 or 25 years old. I'm sure it's somewhat challenging for him. He was a little sore yesterday, which is why we removed him from the game [in the late innings], but he's back up and running again this morning. The way Melvin is swinging the bat, he's taking tremendous at-bats. You've got to keep sending that bat up there."
--Colorado manager Jim Tracy on 38-year-old infielder Melvin Mora, who, during a recent eight-game span, hit .357 with a home run, triple and three RBIs with a .455 on-base percentage. (MLB.com)
"Every day I expect it to be a little bit better. Today they got between each rib and got some blood flow in there. If I can get to the point where I can do baseball stuff and not have any setbacks, I'll start playing again. When I take a deep breath right now, I've got some knocking and cracking going on. It's nothing broken. It's just muscular. If I get to the point where I can run and get the breathing in and out going, the rest of it should be OK."
-- Josh Hamilton on the ribs he bruised while slamming into the outfield fence to make a catch over the weekend. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
"Now having the opportunity to do what I'm doing, you look at the numbers he's put up year after year, it's crazy. And doing it without overpowering stuff, seeing the way he attacks hitters may help me in my situation right now because I'm not an overpowering pitcher."
-- Clay Hensley, Marlins reliever, on former teammate Trevor Hoffman reaching 600 saves. (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)
"Compared to last year, his stuff is consistently better. Everything from his command to his ability to repeat pitches is at a higher level. Though he competed last year, he didn't have his best stuff."
--Angels manager Mike Scioscia on the difference this year from a season ago in starting pitcher Ervin Santana. (Los Angeles Times)
"He's been incredible. You can speculate on his numbers, what they would be if he got run support or what have you, but the brunt of it is he's pitched his butt off all year. We just haven't scored for him."
-- Russell Branyan, Mariners first baseman, on pitcher Felix Hernandez .. (Seattle Times)
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.