On Opening Day and competing vs. Dad
Players get ready for the start of the 2010 season
Here are some of the notable quotes from around Major League Baseball this week:
"There was definitely shock value. I was surprised, to be honest. It's everybody's dream to be on a Major League roster, let alone on the Opening Day roster. It's something special."
-- Pitcher David Hernandez on making the Orioles' Opening Day roster. (Baltimore Sun)
"He had them up there hacking against me. It was great to see him because our schedules don't allow it much."
-- Justin Speier, now with the Rockies, on pitching against the Reds and seeing his father, Chris, who is a coach for Cincinnati. (The Denver Post)
"We try to stress, look, even when you make it, you're working hard not to just get there, but to be one of the best players that ever played the game. That's the idea."
--Eugene Heyward on the advice he gave to his son, 20-year-old Braves outfielder Jason Heyward. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
"I came in this year saying just go out there and have fun and not worry about the outcome. Once I did that, I took pressure off myself, and I didn't look at the numbers of what I need to hit or how is he doing."
-- Gaby Sanchez on the approach that won him a job as the Marlins' first baseman in Spring Training. (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)
"I'm more of a visual learner. You could tell me [stuff] all day long. But, until I actually see it or feel it, it's useless. He's able to show me what I need to be doing and what I am doing."
-- Adam Dunn on how Nationals hitting coach Rick Eckstein helps him. (Washington Post)
"I'm fortunate that I haven't had any setbacks. I have good days and bad days. On the bad days, I'm sore. Obviously, it's more of a matter of when I come back ... there's going to be lots of work when I'm fully healthy. If I can squeeze that in as quickly as possible, that's what I've got to do."
-- Freddy Sanchez, Giants second baseman, on his recovery from offseason shoulder surgery. (San Francisco Chronicle)
"I feel good, and I feel like I could just let the ball go. It's almost like I have to hold back just to make sure nothing happens. It's a strange thing. It's one of those deals where if you do too much, you go backwards type of thing. It's hard to know that the season's about to start. Mentally, I want to push and get better, but I have to play it safe."
--Mariners pitcher Cliff Lee on his recovery from a strained abdomen. (Seattle Times)
"I'm excited. This is what came here to do, to come in and win that job. The first thing I said when I got here is I wanted to earn it. When I left Tony's office this morning, I felt that I have."
--David Freese, a St. Louis native, after learning from manager Tony La Russa that he'd officially earned the job as the Cardinals' third baseman. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
"I was just coming here kind of hoping to get my name out there and let the guys see what I can do, and then maybe later in the year I could help the team out. I was just expecting to come up here and go back to Triple A."
-- James Russell, who earned a spot on the Cubs' pitching staff despite coming to camp as a non-roster invitee. (Chicago Tribune)
"I would throw a couple of good ones here and there. It was getting close last year, then I got hurt. I threw it in fall ball, and now it feels pretty good. From what I hear [pitching coach] Tim Belcher is pretty excited about it."
-- Mitch Talbot, Indians pitcher, describing his experience with his slider. (Akron Beacon Journal)
"I love starting. I think I can be a good starter. But if it's in the 'pen, I'll go from there and help us win."
-- Kyle Kendrick, after learning that he would be working out of the Phillies' bullpen to start the season. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
"It was one of those days when I kind of had everything going for me. Ten percent of your starts, maybe you might have everything. I throw five pitches just for that reason, because I know I'm not going to have all of them. On a good day, you generally have three. Today, I had five. It makes it a little easier to get outs when you're throwing a little bit of everything at them."
-- Dana Eveland, now with Toronto, after he allowed no runs on four hits with eight strikeouts and one walk in six innings on Monday. (MLB.com)
"Without a doubt. He showed it all last year, especially having missed the year before. We had seen glimpses of how good he was going to be, but to miss almost all of '08 and then come back last year and have the kind of year he had, he showed us what we had been hearing about. He put it all together. I love watching him pitch, and he deserves to be in that position.
"I'm happy for him. He's going to be a good pitcher for a long time."
-- Milwaukee pitcher Dave Bush commenting on the announcement that Yovani Gallardo will be the Brewers' Opening Day starter. (MLB.com)
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.