Here are some of the notable quotes from around Major League Baseball this week:
"It's exciting to be at the top of a league record two months into my career. It's pretty crazy. But it's a tribute to the team. I rely on my defense; I don't strike guys out."
-- Brad Ziegler, A's reliever, on establishing an American League record with 23 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings to begin his career, passing Boo Ferriss' 22 innings in 1945 for the Red Sox. (San Francisco Chronicle)
"I'll be a mentor to him because I know he's a young guy with tremendous upside. I watched him coming up, and when he figures it out, he's going to put up some serious numbers. That's how it happened to me coming up. It's the job of the veteran."
-- New Milwaukee infielder Ray Durham commenting about wanting to a mentor to second baseman Rickie Weeks. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
"I saw the ball. I made the swing, and the ball went out."
-- Alex Romero, a rookie outfielder for Arizona, after hitting his first Major League home run Monday night. (Arizona Republic)
"Chris made some great plays. That's the type of center fielder that he is. We envision him being the guy who's gonna steal a hit, and he stole quite a few today, whether it was in right-center or left-center. Without those plays, we're looking at a different game. Those are all extra-base hits."
-- Arizona manager Bob Melvin on the outstanding defensive plays center fielder Chris Young made on Monday night against the Chicago Cubs when he robbed several hitters of extra-base hits. (Arizona Republic)
"He'll be ready when we think he's ready. We have a plan in place, and we will evaluate with the pitching coaches every step along the way. If the Major League team needs him, we will bring him back, but right now, we are in the process."
-- Yankees general manager Brian Cashman commenting about when reliever Brian Bruney may return to the active roster. Bruney, who will throw back-to-back outings for Triple-A Scranton in the coming days, has been out since April 25 with a sprain in his right foot. He has pitched in seven Minor League rehab games. (New York Daily News)
"With a long season like we have, it's nice to get consecutive days off and let your body rest and let your mind rest. That way, you're not stressed out about games for a couple days, and you can go back to work with almost like a clean slate."
-- Andy Sonnanstine on not pitching for 12 days -- thanks in large part to the All-Star break -- before taking the mound for the Rays on Tuesday night. (Tampa Tribune)
"I want to see pitches. I know my hand is fine right now. Everything is coming out pretty good. When you see pitches, that's when you really get your timing that you want to have."
-- David Ortiz explaining what his goal is for the final few games on his Minor League rehab assignment before returning to the Red Sox's active roster. (Boston Herald)
"I'm more comfortable there. Look at the numbers."
-- Cesar Izturis, Cardinals shortstop, on his decision to give up switch-hitting and bat strictly from the right side. As of Tuesday when he made the decision, Izturis was batting .294 from the right side and .192 from the left side. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
"That's two games without giving up a home run. What do you think? Time for a team party?"
-- Paul Byrd after going consecutive games without giving up a home run. (Akron Beacon Journal)
"I am a small part. It's not me. It's the team."
-- So Taguchi, Phillies outfielder, after getting a two-run double in the ninth inning on Tuesday night's come-from-behind 8-6 victory over the New York Mets. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
"Paul Maholm is just a breath of fresh air every time he takes the mound. We know he's going to give us a chance to win. When he's out there, he's a gamer. We love it. We feel confident."
-- Ryan Doumit, Pirates catcher, on the performance of starting pitcher Paul Maholm. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
"Remember last year against the Cubs? It was going through my head. I didn't want to get thrown out again."
-- Freddy Sanchez who hit an inside-the-park home run on Monday night for the Pirates, remembering being thrown out on a near inside-the-park grand slam last year against the Chicago Cubs. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)
"He had a 606 sign. I told him if I hit one in that at-bat, I'd give him something."
-- Ken Griffey Jr., who hit the 606th home run of his career on Monday night, on the reason he gave a young, sign-holding fan his batting helmet after doing so. (Cincinnati Enquirer)
"I told him when I was walking off that I'm going to throw him a knuckleball from here on in. And I don't even have one. He's hit everything else."
-- Kenny Rogers, on Kansas City second baseman Mark Grudzielanek, who is 15-for-23 (a .652 average) against him in his career. (Detroit Free Press)
"When you're coming up through the Minor Leagues as a starting pitcher, you're thinking about wins and losses, and that's how you get to the big leagues. But in the role of closer, you don't really find out how hard it is until you really get into it. You can ask a lot of guys who tried being a closer, but just couldn't do it. Some of the best setup guys in the game just couldn't close. This is not to say they just couldn't do it, because they had the stuff. It just takes a different type of mentality to get the job done."
-- Bobby Jenks on what type of mentality it takes to be a Major League closer. (Chicago Tribune)
"I'm playing with the Phillies. I like it that way. I feel at home here more than anywhere else I played. They gave me the opportunity to be an everyday big leaguer."
-- Shane Victoriano on his desire to remain with the Phiilies as the non-waiver trade deadline nears. (MLB.com)
"It was Campy's night. He was in complete control of a very good lineup. He kept them off-balance all night, kept the guys at the top of the order off base -- he pretty much kept everybody off base."
-- Chipper Jones on the efforts of starting pitcher Jorge Campillo on Monday night when he threw seven innings of two-hit ball against the Marlins. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
"I don't know about that, but it's nice to know they think of me that way."
-- Marlins pitcher Josh Johnson on his manager comparing his return to the team to the Brewers adding C.C. Sabathia. (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)
"He's been our most dominant guy out of our bullpen and has the best numbers, so he'll get the crack at it."
-- Nationals manager Manny Acta announcing that Joel Hanrahan will get the first shot to be the team's closer after the trade of Jon Rauch. (Washington Post)
"As much as I respected him as a player watching him from the other dugout, I respect him more now. It's just the package. He has some youthful enthusiasm. He's got some big-time game face. He loves to play."
-- Rockies manager Clint Hurdle on Dodgers catcher Russell Martin after he managed him in the All-Star game. (Los Angeles Times)
"All I heard is the Olympic rosters have to be set, and [being in the Majors] will end up being more permanent than I thought. Of course I like the idea of going to the Olympics, but once I learned I was coming up to the Majors, that quickly became an afterthought. I'm more than happy to be here as long as possible. I hope it's until the end of the year."
-- Giants reliever Geno Espineli on losing out on a berth to the Olympic Team with his promotion to the Majors. (San Francisco Chronicle)
"I don't know what happens to us after the seventh inning, but it is impressive. We can go out tonight, have a steak, and it will go down real nice. But when we get up [this] morning, we have to forget about it."
-- Torii Hunter after the Angels rallied in the eighth inning for a win over the Red Sox on Saturday afternoon. (Los Angeles Times)
"That's what it felt like last year, being able to do that. To throw a two-seamer coming off his hip and bring it back onto the plate is something I have been able to do the last couple of years that I hadn't been able to do this year."
-- J.J. Putz on his successful return to the mound on Sunday after being out since June 11 with a hyperextended left elbow. (Seattle Times)
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.