On showing off jumpers and batting fifth
Athletics will be ready if the NBA comes calling
Here are some of the notable quotes from around Major League Baseball this week:
"You never know when the Golden State Warriors coaching staff is going to walk through. Somebody might have a great jumper."
-- Ben Sheets explaining why he installed two mini Nerf basketball hoops in the A's clubhouse. (Oakland Tribune)
"They're all unique. They're all special. You don't just get invited to the White House to come say hello. Obviously you have to achieve something."
-- Derek Jeter commenting on the team's visit to the White House on Monday. Jeter has now visited the White House four times as a member of the Yankees and met three different presidents -- Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. (New York Post)
"Kins is the type of guy I think will rise to the challenge. Our plan was to have Kins in those areas where he can produce for us."
--Texas manager Ron Washington talking about his plans to bat Ian Kinsler fifth in the order when he returns from the disabled list. Kinsler has hit leadoff for the Rangers for much of the last two seasons. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
"It'll be no fun when I come in the game, and I'm sure [there] won't be any room for error. It should be about a one-run game with [Albert] Pujols coming up."
-- Billy Wagner on going a week without pitching. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
"I don't even have three career hits. He's got electric stuff. ... We got to see the whole package yesterday."
-- Nate Robertson on Josh Johnson, who struck out 12 batters and had three hits on Monday. (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)
"When he throws a fastball, it looks like a changeup. But instead of going down, it just stays straight. Hitters, they don't see rotation. They cannot recognize his changeup. His delivery plus that nasty changeup that he has, a combination like that makes the hitters crazy."
--Nats catcher Wil Nieves on the pitching of Tyler Clippard. (The Washington Post)
"Bobby has a program, and he sticks to it. Every day, before batting practice, he is in the batting cages under the stadium. He works something called the slow toss. He gets a slow toss and hits the ball to the opposite field. It helps him get his wrists used to taking the ball the other way. ... That's what makes him what he is."
--Angels hitting coach Mickey Hatcher on Bobby Abreu. (Los Angeles Times)
"I'm just looking for consistency. I know I've got the ability to do it. But having the ability to do it and getting it done are two different things. I've just got to go out there and get it done on a daily basis. Obviously, I felt good [on Tuesday] and felt like I swung the bat well. I've got to keep that going."
-- Jeff Clement, Pittsburgh first baseman, on trying to find a rhythm at the plate. (MLB.com)
"I've been more patient. And I'm trying to get base hits up the middle all the time."
-- Kansas City shortstop Yuniesky Betancourtt on his offensive adjustments. (MLB.com)
"There was a lot of energy. And he brought a lot of energy just for our dugout too, being out on the mound in that situation."
-- Ted Lilly, after Carlos Zambrano made his first relief appearance of the season. (Chicago Tribune)
"He's pitched here before. He knows what the deal in the big leagues is. He's faced the Red Sox, the Yankees and the Rays, to me the best three teams in baseball. So he's been through them, he's familiar with the guys. It's just a matter of facing them this year. I don't think there is fear in his body. He's a big dude, 6-whatever. Huge. And he went in there and he threw strikes."
-- Adam Jones, on teammate Alfredo Simon, who recorded his first Major League save in Tuesday night's win over the Yankees. (Baltimore Sun)
"I don't look at this like 'Oh my God, this is unbelievable.' I look at it like this is a very, very small grain of salt because it's so early. Everyone will tell you that it's just the way baseball is sometimes. There are crazy stretches. The thing is, though, if you have some stretches like this in July or August it's not the same. There's plenty of guys that will hit something ridiculous like .460 for two weeks, and if it happens then it's just that they are on a hot streak. But because it's so early in the season and that two-week stretch is your stats, it looks different."
-- Kelly Johnson who is hitting .286 with eight home runs, eight doubles and a 1.136 OPS for the Diamondbacks. (MLB.com)
"My recollection of him before is that he didn't have nearly the command of his curveball and changeup as he did [Saturday] night. That's the big difference. When you're getting those offspeed pitches over the plate, you're going to control more counts and you don't put yourself in the position where you have to throw a fastball for a strike."
-- Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan on the strong outing by Giants left-hander Barry Zito. (San Francisco Chronicle)
"I bared down with everything I have in my soul, went out there and got out of it."
-- Ian Snell on surviving a pair of RBI triples in the Mariners' 3-2 win over the Royals on Tuesday. (Seattle Times)
"We have a lot of good people here and good players. They play the game right and have fun. I'm just trying to mix in."
-- Austin Kearns, after hitting a home run and driving in five runs in the Indians' 9-2 victory over the Angels on Tuesday night. (MLB.com)
"It's a good way to kind of go out, you know."
-- Bryan Anderson, after picking up a clutch game-tying double on Monday night. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.