Here are some of the notable quotes from around Major League Baseball this week:
05/01/2008 12:35 PM ET
On homecomings and curtain calls
A former Astro fanned his teammate in his return
"I don't care. I'm going to give up about 40 more."
-- Billy Wagner commenting on allowing his first hit of the season Sunday after throwing 9 2/3 hitless innings of relief to start the season.
"I couldn't care less about the numbers. If I didn't know, I'd think he's hitting .270, .280. The loud outs and loud base hits stick in your mind much more than the quiet ones. Rickie's hitting all these bullets and hitting the ball hard at people. I feel like he's swinging the bat fine, he just has nothing to show for it."
--Milwaukee manager Ned Yost on second baseman Rickie Weeks, who is hitting below .200 right now despite hitting the ball hard in many of his at-bats. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
"In my opinion, he made three unhittable pitches. He just did a great job. He came in and really threw three very nasty pitches, and there's not a whole lot you can do when he's throwing the ball that way."
-- Lance Berkman on Arizona pitcher and former Astros teammate Chad Qualls, who struck Berkman out in the eighth inning on Monday night. Berkman represented the tying run.
"I had no idea. I had no idea why [Diamondbacks general manager Josh Byrnes] traded me here, but it was good for me and good for the Diamondbacks."
-- Jose Valverde on being traded by the Diamondbacks to the Astros in the offseason for Chad Qualls and Chris Burke. The Astros and Diamondbacks faced each other Monday for the first time since the trade occurred.
"I hit a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh. We were winning by two. All I did was add another run. I didn't think that was the right moment. It wasn't a walk-off home run, it wasn't a tiebreaking home run -- it was a home run in April."
-- Carlos Delgado explaining why he didn't come out of the dugout for a requested curtain call by New York fans Sunday.
"Obviously, what he did for this team last year is huge. We haven't had the Jorge Posada that everybody knows so far this year."
-- Johnny Damon commenting on Jorge Posada, who was placed on the disabled list with a sore right shoulder.
"Didn't look effortless to me. When he was down in the tunnel looking like he needed some oxygen, it didn't look effortless there either. We were laughing quite a bit."
-- Skip Schumaker, after Cardinals teammate Troy Glaus circled the bases in the second inning on Tuesday night on a double followed by a throwing error.
"If I play the rest of the season healthy -- 100 percent -- I can steal 30 bases. I feel more comfortable in my quad. My speed is there."
-- Alfonso Soriano, who returned to the Cubs' lineup on Thursday, on what he envisions for himself for the rest of the season.
"Maybe it's a lot of people who aren't on the cover saying it's a jinx, but it's me playing, so I'll do my best not to follow in those footsteps."
-- Kosuke Fukudome, who is on the cover of this week's Sports Illustrated, on whether or not the "SI Jinx" really exists.
"That's more or less me. Early on in my career, I didn't say much. Geez, 'Early on in my career,' like I've been here forever, but -- my rookie year I didn't say much because that was my role. Eventually I was like, whatever, I might as well be myself."
-- Mark Teahen, responding to a question about his recent tendency to mix in some stand-up comedy with his interview answers. (Kansas City Star)
"I'm going to keep working at it, and God will put me in the right path."
-- Chicago White Sox infielder Alexei Ramirez, who is still learning how to play second base at the big league level.
"It's been a long time for me to come into a situation like that. You never want to come into a situation like that, but that's what our job requires at times. I'm just grateful that I've been healthy and strong enough to make the pitches that I need to make."
-- Tom Gordon, after getting two ground-ball outs with the bases loaded in the Phillies win over San Diego on Tuesday night, helping to preserve the victory.
(Philadelphia Daily News)
"I'm wondering if I'm ever going to win a game."
-- Tom Glavine who has given up two earned runs or fewer in three of his four starts for the Braves this year but has yet to break into the win column.
"It's just one of those cities where they boo everybody. That was probably a one out of a scale of 10 compared to what it's going to be in Philly."
-- Wes Helms on his return to Milwaukee, where he played three seasons. (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)
"I hate to send anybody down that's performing at that level, so that'll be a difficult decision when we get there. Right now, he's been a very important part of our winning. I just look forward to him catching his next game."
--Nationals general manager Jim Bowden on how the return of starting catcher Paul Lo Duca will affect backup Wil Nieves, who has made a big impact on pitcher John Lannan.
"Some unexpected things happen. Several unexpected things happened this year in a short amount of time."
--Dodgers third baseman Blake DeWitt, who did not expect to make the Opening Day roster, on being recalled less than 48 hours after he was sent to Triple-A to take the place of the injured Nomar Garciaparra.
(Los Angeles Times)
"I just call him 'Web Gem'. He's a heck of a shortstop."
--Angels third baseman Brandon Wood, a converted shortstop, on catches made by Erick Aybar. (Los Angeles Times)
"That was priceless. I don't think I saw him beat one out in 2006, much less triple. He told me a couple of days ago, 'I can run now,' and I said, 'Really? After 15 years, all of a sudden you can run now?' It's impressive."
-- Chad Gaudin after current and former A's teammate Frank Thomas hit his first triple in six years. (San Francisco Chronicle)
"He crouched down like a catcher and told me to close my eyes and throw him the ball. I told him, 'What, are you crazy? I just walked five guys in an inning.' But he said, 'Just do it.'"
-- Miguel Batista describing work with Mario Brito that's designed to help with his command. (Seattle Times)
"You try to harness [any extra emotion], but I'm not going to lie -- I was a little pumped up to go out there. I know a lot of those guys over there, and a lot of them are my friends. But it is a game, and I've got to get them out, and they've got to try and get a hit off me. It felt good."
--Arizona reliever Chad Qualls on facing his former team, the Houston Astros, on Monday night. Qualls entered the game in the eighth inning and retired the only batter he faced to help the Diamondbacks get out of a jam and go on to win 5-3. (East Valley Tribune)
-- Red Line Editorial