On voodoo dolls and speed that kills
Morneau beat out a game-winning fielder's choice on Tuesday
Here are some of the notable quotes from around Major League Baseball this week:
"I'm too old. I don't want to get fat."
- Kosuke Fukudome, explaining why he didn't eat any cake on Sunday, his 32nd birthday. (Chicago Tribune)
"My speed usually kills us."
- Justin Morneau, who beat the throw to first on a would-be double play on Tuesday night, which allowed teammate Jose Morales to score the winning run in the Twins 4-3 win over the Rays. (MLB.com)
"I put it in play and got lucky -- a beautiful 85-hopper up the middle -- but it's a laser in the books."
- Matt Diaz, Braves outfielder, on his two-run single in the eighth inning Tuesday night to give Atlanta a 2-1 win over St. Louis. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
"Guys gave [Velez] a hard time. They thought he brought out a voodoo doll."
- Giants manager Bruce Bochy on infielder Eugenio Velez. One day after being sent to Triple-A, the Giants recalled Velez, who had not even left for nearby Fresno. (San Francisco Chronicle)
"It's kind of funny. When I'm struggling, I'll start feeling better, and I'll look up at the schedule and we'll have a trip coming in here."
- Lance Berkman commenting on the home run he hit Monday night in Cincinnati. It was his 20th at Great American Ball Park, the most by an opponent since the stadium opened in 2003. (Houston Chronicle)
"Cito has been really good about mixing us in there and giving us starts a couple times a week. He said he was going to do that, but I didn't know where or how often. I definitely welcome what's going on. I feel like I've been getting a fair amount of playing time. I'm happy about it."
- Jose Batista, Blue Jays utility player, commenting on the amount of playing time manager Cito Gaston has given him this year. Through the first 13 games he appeared in, Batista was hitting .351 (13-for-37) with a .429 on-base percentage. (bluejays.com)
"It's the same thing. I'm seeing the ball a little better. If I could make myself hit home runs, I'd tell everybody the secret. They come when they come. When you're playing well, you have more confidence. It's baseball. You never know what can happen. I never believed in 'things have turned around.' When your confidence is good, usually good things happen."
- Prince Fielder commenting on his recent power surge at the plate. (brewers.com)
"I like what he gives us. He handles the game plan very well. Pitchers like throwing to him. He gives a good target. He appears to have a short swing. That means he can put the ball in play. He doesn't run bad."
-New York Mets manager Jerry Manuel commenting on catcher Omir Santos, who has been playing well as a backup since Brian Schneider's injury. (New York Daily News)
"I'm not trying to do as much. I'm not trying to hit that three-run home run with nobody on this year. It's just a matter of feeling more comfortable and just knowing what guys are going to try and do to me and going with that approach."
- Jason Bartlett talking about his approach at the plate this season. He entered Monday night's game hitting .364. (Tampa Tribune)
"I don't really care what the tests are going to show. Say the tests show something bad; I don't want to get shut down."
- Johnny Damon explaining why he won't have his left shoulder examined. (Newsday)
"I'm just playing to win and trying to play the game right. If you play the game right, you should be in a good position. ... I've kind of got a plan, and I'm trying to stick to it, stick to my work. It seems to help me."
- Biran Bixler, Pittsburgh rookie shortstop. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)
"I know things have been going pretty good, but it's not something I really want to make a big deal about. You know how it goes. Things can look good and then they jump up and bite you. I don't want to sound like I've got it licked because I don't. You never do. I'm just going out there trying to make pitches. That's what it comes down to."
- Ryan Franklin, Cardinals closer, who through Tuesday night had six saves and had yet to allow a run this season. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
"Hey, this is the National League. You have to be able to do anything you can for your team."
- Carlos Zambrano, who had a single, double and his 17th career home run -- just a triple short of the cycle -- on Tuesday night in the Cubs' 11-3 win over Arizona. Zambrano also pitched seven innings and picked up his second victory of 2009. (MLB.com)
"Maybe my legs feel better. Maybe I'm thinking double out of the box. Maybe it's subconscious. I'm not thinking it."
- Placido Polanco, who already has 10 doubles through Tuesday. (MLB.com)
"Good God! I don't like going 2-for-20 then having to get four hits to salvage the week."
- Mark DeRosa, Indians third baseman, after picking up four hits on Tuesday night. (MLB.com)
"I'm excited, especially when you see those guys at the top of the lineup get on base a lot. I'm excited to be able to knock some runs in. I'm excited to see those guys hitting the ball."
- Melvin Mora, back after a stint on the disabled list with a strained hamstring, on the impact he hopes to have on the Orioles lineup. (MLB.com)
"Now I feel good about our rotation. They're young, but I think the upside of the staff is really good. But Pedro would have a good stabilizing effect, just because of his experience level and his willingness to be a teacher and a mentor to the young guys. This guy is a Hall of Fame pitcher who knows how to prepare himself and get ready for games, and that's how I would describe our interest level."
-Nationals acting general manager Mike Rizzo explaining the team's interest in free agent pitcher Pedro Martinez. (Washington Post)
"I'm a double maniac. I set the table now."
- Manny Ramirez on his three-double game versus the Giants on Tuesday night. (Los Angeles Times)
"We're fortunate Vlad doesn't have to block 325-pound defensive linemen. The reports on Vlad have been positive. He's gaining more strength and flexibility in the area. That's all encouraging."
-Angels general manager Tony Reagins responding to reports that the torn chest muscle injury that sidelined Vladimir Guerrero often sidelines NFL offensive lineman for a full year. (Los Angeles Times)
"This isn't the worst thing on the planet. Look at the positive point of view: when we start making up some of these games, hopefully our offense will be cranking on full cylinders. ... Hopefully, we'll have gelled by then, and the last thing you want when you're playing well is a day off."
- Jason Giambi on the A's having three rainouts already. (San Francisco Chronicle)
"That killed me. I'll fine myself in kangaroo court for that one."
- Jarrod Washburn, Mariners pitcher, on allowing a two-out walk. (Seattle Times)
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.