Russell learns price of communication
Dodgers catchers sacrifices time, money to keep in touch
Here are some of the notable quotes from around Major League Baseball this week:
"It probably cost me $22 a minute."
- Russell Martin, who wants to be more communicative, on calling manager Joe Torre in Australia this winter. (Los Angeles Times)
"It's an honor for sure. To get to wear it in 2000 and actually winning a gold medal is probably the best highlight in baseball. ... You're representing your whole country."
- Roy Oswalt, who pitched for the U.S.' gold medal-winning team in the 2000 Summer Olympics, on playing in the World Baseball Classic this year. (Houston Chronicle)
"It's the first time in the last four days that I threw, but I feel good. I felt fine. I don't think it will be any problem. I was just trying to throw my fastball and some changeups to see how my arm feels, but everything was fine. As you go, you feel better. As you throw more pitches, you feel better. That's what you want to see. That's telling me that we're making progress and getting loose."
- Johan Santana talking about his sore left elbow, which has been bothering him this spring and keeping him out of exhibition action. (New York Daily News)
"It's a huge honor just to be chosen to participate, and to make it this far injury-free -- to be able to participate -- is always a good thing. I look forward to getting back out there for Team USA -- and hopefully with a better outcome."
- Jake Peavy who played for Team USA in 2006 and is set to play for his country in the World Baseball Classic again, starting on Saturday. (San Diego Union-Tribune)
"I'm so used to starting, and I have a routine. I know what I need to do to get ready. Coming out of the bullpen is a bit tougher, because you have to have all your pitches working. It was better for me today because I knew how to get ready."
- Matt Harrison, Texas pitcher, after pitching three innings in his first start of the spring. (Dallas Morning News)
"Adam and I go way back with the Angels, obviously, and I have nothing but great things to say about him. He was one of the best teammates, best clubhouse guys I've ever been around."
- Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon commenting on new Rays second baseman Adam Kennedy, who played for the Angels when Maddon was a coach there. (Tampa Tribune)
"I remember a lot of the things he was telling me -- the importance of first-pitch strikes and getting that fastball down and away early and often. He was a good teammate."
- Sean Marshall, Chicago Cubs pitcher, on former teammate Greg Maddux, who served as a mentor to him when they both played for the Cubs in 2006. (Chicago Tribune)
"He said, 'You're opening up.' Then he called me a 'dummy' or 'idiot' or something."
- Anthony Reyes, Cleveland pitcher, on one of many conversations he had last fall with his former pitching coach at USC, Tom House. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
"I thought it went well. ... I've been happy with being able to throw to both sides of the plate, throw the ball up when I need to and mix in the off-speed stuff for strikes."
- Russ Ortiz, trying to come back with the Astros, commenting on his spring outing Monday against the Yankees in which he allowed one run in three innings. (Houston Chronicle)
"I haven't done it enough to be 100-percent comfortable. But every time I go out there, I get more comfortable."
- Jamey Carroll, Cleveland jack-of-all-trades, on his work in the outfield this spring. (MLB.com)
"It gives me a chance to get in there and get my timing back. I ain't worried about showing anybody anything. Whatever happens is going to happen. I've got to go out and get my timing. I really didn't get to play last season, just get back into the baseball groove."
- Norris Hopper, Cincinnati outfielder, on the importance of spring at-bats after missing most of the 2008 season with an elbow injury. (Cincinnati Enquirer)
"When you talk to a guy like that for five minutes, you throw the birth certificate out the window. He has four pitches, he's a quick learner, makes great adjustments. I just wish for him great health. I think he has a chance to be a superstar."
-Hall of Fame pitcher and Braves broadcaster Don Sutton on pitcher Tommy Hanson. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
"I told him not to hit it over there. Nah, I got lucky, man. It was weird being out on the field when he was hitting. I don't know if I've ever done that before. I didn't like it."
- Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla on robbing teammate Hanley Ramirez of a hit. The two found themselves on opposite teams as the Marlins played the Dominican Republic squad in preparation of the upcoming World Baseball Classic. (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)
"They put your stats on the back of your baseball card for your whole career."
- Nationals pitcher Scott Olsen dismissing talk that the trade to Washington gives him a fresh start. (Washington Times)
"If he stays healthy, he's going to have a really good year because San Francisco is a pretty good pitchers park. He's still got his good fastball. He's still got his good slider. In this league, in that park, he's going to get a lot of wins."
- Miguel Montero, Diamondbacks catcher, on new Giants pitcher Randy Johnson. Montero caught Johnson last year in Arizona. (San Francisco Chronicle)
"The team we're putting out there is a little younger than last time, but we have some pretty exciting players. I got a firsthand look at Ryan Braun yesterday, and he almost took my head off."
- Scot Shields, Angels reliever and a veteran of the 2006 World Baseball Classic, on this year's team. (Los Angeles Times)
"He's a phenomenal guy, phenomenal. I've played against him for a lot of years, and he's been an impact player on every team he's been on."
- Jason Giambi, A's first baseman, on new teammate Orlando Cabrera. (San Francisco Chronicle)
"Whether you are trying to get ready for Spring Training or for Opening Day, you have to train your mind as much as your body. So you go through your routine to get ready, whether it's a simulated game against a top prospect or facing a big league All-Star. You have to be mentally and physically ready to go."
- Mike Sweeney, Mariners first baseman, on appearing in a simulated game versus two Class A pitchers. (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
"I know if I'm healthy I can reach for those 200 innings, and good things will happen."
- Joel Pineiro, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher, on his goal to stay healthy and compile at least 32 starts and 200 innings in 2009. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
"Well, you know, early on this spring I'm talking about lower-back stiffness. Been working with a chiropractor, started talking a little bit about some of the underlying issues and thinking that the facets might be a little bound up.
"So [I] talked with the training staff a little bit, decided to do an injection in that area to see if that would free up some of the old scar tissue, an old injury, and give me some freer motion in that area. Really a win-win situation. I mean if it doesn't go well, then it's not a big deal. If it goes well, then we kind of get an idea of what's going on. So after talking with everybody, decided it would be a good chance to get back early in spring."
- J.D. Drew, Boston right fielder, commenting on having to go to Boston to get an injection in his lower back. (Boston Globe)
"I came here to make the team. That's my goal. I know last year wasn't a good year, but 2007 was a great year. I just need to get back to that. And I think they know what I'm capable of doing."
- Steve Pearce, Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman/outfielder, who is hopeful that he can break camp with the Pirates and be a part of the 2009 Major League team. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.