Cuddyer attributes loss to fate
Twins outfielder tries to knock ball loose but is tagged out
Here are some of the notable quotes from around Major League Baseball this week:
"I don't know how I caught that ball. I thought the ball went flying. I didn't feel it in my glove because he hit me when the ball hit. What a feeling."
-- A. J. Pierzynski, on tagging out Minnesota's Michael Cuddyer in the Sox's 1-0 victory over the Twins on Tuesday night. The win gave the White Sox the AL Central division title. (Chicago Tribune)
"I think it would haunt me if I thought it was the wrong play. I did all I could. I know it was the right play. I did all I could to get the ball loose. Fate had it sticking in his glove."
-- Michael Cuddyer, after being thrown out at the plate in Tuesday night's one-game playoff to determine the AL Central champion against the White Sox. While trying to score on a fly ball to Ken Griffey Jr., he was out when catcher A. J. Pierzynski secured the ball for the out in the White Sox's 1-0 win. (St. Paul Pioneer Press)
"Adrenaline carried me."
-- John Danks, after allowing no runs on two hits over eight innings in the White Sox's 1-0 victory over Minnesota on Tuesday night. Pitching on three days' rest, Danks and the White Sox won the AL Central with the win. (Chicago Tribune)
"He's a good pitcher. The biggest thing with him is that you have to make him throw strikes and not try and chase the pitches outside the zone. You have to battle him, and he's going to battle you. He's going to go at you, and basically you have to put together good at-bats.
"He's one of those pitchers who can dominate a game if you let him do what he wants to do."
-- Kevin Youkilis commenting on Angels pitcher John Lackey, who faced Boston on Wednesday in Game 1 of the ALDS. (Boston Herald)
"No, not yet it hasn't. I'll really just try to get through this next couple of weeks, and that's when it will. The fun is now, and when this is over, this will probably decide what my future will be."
-- Jim Edmonds, on whether or not his solid 2008 season has helped him decide whether or not to come back in 2009. Edmonds is a pending free agent. (Chicago Tribune)
"We have to have him. It's obvious what he means to the lineup, not only offensively and defensively, but just emotionally. He's been there for us all year, a cornerstone. He's arguably been our MVP. He plays so many positions and [plays them] so well. And the behind-the-scenes stuff no one knows. He's definitely vital to us."
-- Chicago Cubs infielder Ryan Theriot, discussing the importance of Mark DeRosa to the Cubs. (Chicago Sun-Times)
"I've had an opportunity to play with Yovani now for a few years, and, to me, he's as good as anybody in baseball. He's phenomenal. He loves pitching in big games, big situations, and he's always very calm and composed in those situations."
-- Ryan Braun commenting on pitcher Yovani Gallardo, who started Game 1 of the NLDS against Philadelphia. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
"That's the best performance I've ever seen from him.... He was unbelievable. I think I went out there once, and that was after the home run, and I probably didn't even have to. He had a great performance today. That's part of the frustration, too. The game that he pitched was what we needed. We just couldn't get any runs for him."
-- Joe Mauer, complimenting pitcher Nick Blackburn after his outing on Tuesday night. In 6 1/3 innings, Blackburn allowed just one run on four hits in the White Sox's 1-0 victory that gave them the AL Central title. (St. Paul Pioneer Press)
"It's unbelievable that play seals it and gets us to Tampa."
-- Brian Anderson, after making a diving catch to end the game in the White Sox's 1-0 victory over Minnesota on Tuesday night. (Chicago Tribune)
"I'm still six-four. [Laughter] Maybe my weight has fluctuated."
-- Brett Myers, responding to an inquiry as to whether or not he had "grown as a person" since last season. (MLB.com)
"I never thought that anyone could play baseball and have that much fun. It's like he's a one-man, baseball-playing festival."
-- Dodgers pitcher Takashi Saito on the antics of new teammate Manny Ramirez. (Los Angeles Times)
"He doesn't act like a superstar. Everybody knows him, but he doesn't act like it. He has no cockiness or selfishness. He's so humble. He doesn't want the spotlight. He's so down to earth it's crazy. And this guy is a superstar."
-- Torii Hunter on teammate Vladimir Guerrero. (Los Angeles Times)
"In my mind, they are. I'm not going to trade the Cy Young Award winner whether he is or not, and Matty, at 23, pitched like a Cy Young candidate at times."
-- Giants general manager Brian Sabean declaring that pitchers Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain were untouchable this offseason. (San Francisco Chronicle)
"It was a fair place. You're not going to get anything handed to you here. You have to hit it. Everything you hit here, you earn -- which is good."
-- Lastings Milledge on how the Nationals' new park played this year. (Washington Post)
"That's an honor to be mentioned with his name. I tell you, I'd like to meet him one day and shake his hand."
--A's reliever Joey Devine on breaking the mark of Dennis Eckersley for the lowest ERA of any pitcher in Major League history with 40 or more innings with his 0.59 ERA. (Contra Costa Times)
"He's been of huge support to me. Whether it be emotionally, the approach to baseball, the way he absorbs things. In all these ways, he's been of huge support. He's more than a friend to me."
-- Ichiro expressing his admiration for teammate Raul Ibanez. (Seattle Times)
"You don't expect 48th-round draft picks to have any type of day at the big league level honoring them. I was very touched. The video was hilarious -- a little payback for all the barbs I've been throwing around this locker room for years. I really enjoyed it."
-- Brad Ausmus talking about the pregame ceremony in his honor before playing his last game as an Astro. (Astros.com)
"I'm just happy I was able to go out there. I feel like I've put a real good second half together.... For me, I go all the way back to when I had my first back surgery. People are either going to believe in what you say or they're not, and I've always felt like I could still pitch at this level and be successful."
-- Randy Johnson commenting on his final start of the season, in which he allowed only one unearned run in a 2-1 win over Colorado. (Arizona Republic)
"It's tough, especially sitting down there and knowing I really can't do anything. Just sitting down there and watching is tough. I missed six weeks, seven weeks, and I feel that if I was pitching those six, seven weeks, I could have made up those two games and we could have gotten in right there."
-- John Maine commenting on having to watch from the bullpen as the team lost to the Marlins on Sunday, eliminating the Mets from the postseason chase. (Newsday)
"If the situation isn't ideal for me, or if it's better for me to be coaching Little League, then it would be time."
-- Mike Mussina commenting about possibly retiring from the game of baseball after winning his 20th game of the year on Sunday against Boston. (Newsday)
"I thought I did well and finished up strong, which was what I wanted to [do]. It was a goal from the beginning of the year. I thought I made big strides defensively and became part of a team that I think can do some things in 2009."
-- Joey Votto, on an inaugural campaign during which he batted .297 with 24 home runs and 84 RBIs. (MLB.com)
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.