Here are some of the notable quotes from around Major League Baseball this week:
"Skip gave me a big hug. He didn't say anything. He didn't have to. I know how he feels about me, and he knows how I feel about him. It didn't need to be said with words."
-- Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander, after throwing a no-hitter against Milwaukee on Tuesday, on manager Jim Leyland's reaction to the no-no following the game. (Detroit Free Press)
"That's one of the best starts I've seen against us. He is some kind of nasty."
-- Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez on Indians starting pitcher Fausto Carmona. The Marlins beat Carmona, 3-0, to snap a seven-game win streak for the Tribe hurler. (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)
"I had to go out there and calm [Lopez] down, speak a little Spanish to him. The credit goes to Lopez. He's the one who had a huge hit for us."
-- Nationals manager Manny Acta on Felipe Lopez, who went from arguing a strike call to hitting the game-winning three-run triple in Washington's 9-6 win over Baltimore in 11 innings Wednesday. (Washington Post)
"I'd love to go back there. To make it once is awesome. To make it back and go two years in a row, wow."
-- Dodgers pitcher Brad Penny on the possibility of making back-to-back All-Star Game appearances. Penny ran his record to 8-1 with a 2.18 ERA after Wednesday night's win over the Mets. (Los Angeles Times)
"He's one of those guys we all would pay to watch play shortstop; he's an artist out there. He's the kind of guy who can have a great game and can win you a game without a base hit. When he's not getting hits, he's still valuable to a ballclub."
-- Giants manager Bruce Bochy on shortstop Omar Vizquel. (San Francisco Chronicle)
"With a guy like John Lackey I feel we can go so far because he's a guy that when batters make adjustments at the plate I've seen Lackey make adjustments on the mound. Playing behind him I see so many things that he does right to keep us in the ballgame. He doesn't let anything bother him."
-- Angels outfielder Vladimir Guerrero on teammate John Lackey, who became the first 10-game winner in the Majors in 2007 with his victory Wednesday versus the Reds. (Los Angeles Times)
"I don't know that feeling very much, so I just ran. I knew I hit it good."
-- A's catcher Jason Kendall when asked if he knew the ball he hit Wednesday was a home run when he made contact. It was the first home run in 619 at-bats for Kendall. (San Francisco Chronicle)
"I can retire tomorrow with 1,499 hits and be absolutely happy with my career. I don't mean any disrespect but I didn't come into this game to see how many hits I could get. It's just a number. Now, I wouldn't mind finishing the night with 1,502 hits. I would cherish 1,501 more than 1,500."
-- St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Scott Rolen, prior to Tuesday night's game against Kansas City during which he picked up his 1,500th career hit. (St. Louis Post Dispatch)
"The only guy left. I'll see what I can do about that. I'll try to make it a really good trade."
-- Chicago Cubs second baseman Mike Fontenot, on being the only player left in Chicago from the trade that sent Sammy Sosa to Baltimore prior to the 2005 season. In addition to Fontenot, the Cubs acquired Jerry Hairston Jr. and David Crouthers, both since departed. (Chicago Tribune)
"Sometimes it takes something like this to open your eyes. You realize a lot of things happen in life besides coming to the park every day. I never thought anything would happen to my dad. He'll keep fighting 'til the end, I'll tell you that."
-- Veteran Cubs outfielder Cliff Floyd, who has been spending much of his time of late tending to his father, Cliff Floyd, Sr. who has been in intensive care with kidney problems. (Chicago Sun-Times)
"I feel like it's going to happen every game, but I don't know if it will. I'm still kind of new to this. It has been pretty consistent so far. As long as I can control it I will keep trying to throw it. But a couple of games when I was trying to throw it, I couldn't control it. I've got to think about controlling it and doing it at the same time."
-- Kansas City Royals pitcher Zack Greinke, who regularly hit 91-92 mph as a starter, on his ability to reach 98 mph since working out of the bullpen. (Kansas City Royals)
"It's always nice to beat your former team, I'm not going to lie. Everybody wants to. I have a lot of friends over there. I know Tony really well. When we are not playing them, I wish them all the best. But when we are playing them, we want to win."
-- Kansas City Royals second baseman Mark Grudzielanek, on playing their National League rivals (and his former team), the St. Louis Cardinals. (Kansas City Star)
"I still make Kansas City my home in the offseason. I come here to train and give clinics to kids around the area because I never had the opportunity in the Dominican to see a professional give a clinic. I know that's very important right now in this area, to try to help a bunch of kids out, to stay out of the streets. So I have a heart for KC. I love this town. I still make it pretty much as my home. I love St. Louis, too. The two cities are pretty much the same, except we have the best fans in baseball [in St. Louis]."
-- St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols, on his affinity for the city of Kansas City, in which he attended high school. (MLB.com)
"I'm ready to start pitching again. Down there is fun, but I'm really excited to be up here. Ground balls are still coming, everything feels good, and I'm sure I'll probably be in there tonight."
-- Veteran hurler Dan Kolb, on being recalled this week by the Pittsburgh Pirates after pitching at Triple-A Indianapolis all season. (MLB.com)
"To be honest with you, when you catch a no-hitter, it's like hitting 6-for-6. I didn't care what I did in my four at-bats today. I was just there to go out behind the plate and call a good game. That's one of the things that I take a lot of pride in. That's the beauty of this game. You never know when things like this are going to happen and when they do happen, you've gotta enjoy it."
-- Detroit Tigers catcher Ivan Rodriguez, after catching teammate Justin Verlander's no-hitter on Tuesday night. (MLB.com)
"He may not always take you deep. But he'll take you in the gap or he may burn you with a single. The reason he's so damned good is he's not just a one-dimensional guy."
-- Toronto manager John Gibbons on how hard it is to pitch against San Francisco slugger Barry Bonds. (BlueJays.com)
"If you look at the guys who are pitching other than (Roger) Clemens and Randy (Johnson) and (John) Smoltz, they have captured the essence of how to pitch. You don't have to blow the doors off the wagons to be really good. The younger guys would do well to take heed on that."
-- Former Major League pitcher Tommy John on the success of pitchers such as Greg Maddux, Jamie Moyer and other pitchers 40-years-old or more are having in baseball. (New York Times)
"I'm just playing my game right now," Pedroia said. "I'm not doing anything different. I'm seeing the ball well and making contact. That's my game -- getting on base."
-- Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia commenting on becoming one of the top contenders for the American League Rookie of the Year award. During a 26-game stretch, Pedroia raised his average from .172 to .319, hitting .419 in that span. He's currently at .316 and has made only two errors in the field (Boston Globe)
"For a guy that has a few years in the big leagues who looked to be a little bit set in his ways, (he's) one of those dogs that you [can't] teach new tricks to, and he's been great about it this year."
-- Arizona manager Bob Melvin on outfielder Eric Byrnes, who had his 15-game hitting streak snapped Saturday but bounced back to go 3-for-5 Sunday. Byrnes is hitting leadoff this season for Arizona, a spot he rarely hit in during the first seven years of his career. (East Valley Tribune)
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.