Here are some of the notable quotes from around Major League Baseball this week:
"I hope the fans are ready for a great pennant race. I know I am."
-- Newly acquired Braves first baseman Mark Teixeira on his excitement on being with a team with playoff aspirations. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
"But being a starting pitcher was different from me. I could kind of hide in the cracks at third base. All eyes were on him from pitch No. 1. I was just very happy for him. I was actually happy for him after the first pitch, strike one. He could have given up eight home runs in the first inning and it was still a success."
-- Boston third baseman Mike Lowell commenting on teammate Jon Lester's return to the squad after recovering from cancer. Lowell was diagnosed with testicular cancer during Spring Training of his rookie season with the Marlins in 1999. He returned to the field three months later and has been an everyday player ever since. (RedSox.com)
"Everybody should get to play for the Cubs one time. This is what baseball is all about."
-- Chicago Cubs catcher Jason Kendall, acquired last month in a trade with Oakland, on his experience thus far playing in the Windy City. (Chicago Tribune)
"I'm looking forward to getting a media guide and reading up on everybody and getting to know my new team."
-- Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Matt Morris, acquired from San Francisco at the trade deadline on Tuesday, on moving back to a new, yet unfamiliar, team in the National League Central. (Pittsburgh Tribune_Review)
"Once in a while is good; I'm okay to do that. I like to be in the field because I think I can help my team with my defense and my hitting."
-- Baltimore Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada, on his willingness to be the team's designated hitter, and his desire to play the field. (Washington Post)
"I'm ready. It's kind of the same. If you pitch as the closer or in the eighth inning, the game is on the line. The only difference is the inning. Being a setup man is a big responsibility, too."
-- Kansas City Royals rookie pitcher Joakim Soria, who has been tagged to replace Octavio Dotel as the Royals closer after Dotel was dealt to the Braves earlier this week. (Kansas City Star)
"It's like a dagger stuck in your heart. But I'm happy for him. When I take one away, I know how it feels, and it's a great feeling."
-- Minnesota Twins outfielder Torii Hunter, after Kansas City outfielder David DeJesus robbed him of a home run. (St. Paul Pioneer Press)
"I was surprised. I was waiting for September, but they said yesterday that Luis (Castillo) was traded. I was like, what?"
-- Minnesota Twins rookie second baseman Alexi Casilla on his surprise callup by the Twins after the team sent Luis Castillo to the New York Mets. (St. Paul Pioneer Press)
"I've done it before. I just want to win. I'm comfortable here, I like it here, Chicago's a great city and the fans are great. I won a championship here. It's tough going to a new place and trying to fit in with the chemistry there when you already know what it is here, and it's a place that you like to be. Who knows what the market's going to be like? Nobody knows. Becoming a free agent in my position, being 33, you want to try to make the best of it. It could be your last big contract. You don't want to cheat yourself, but then again, you do what's comfortable."
-- Chicago White Sox veteran Jermaine Dye, on the advantages and disadvantages of testing the open market at the end of this season. (Chicago Tribune)
"He's a great pitcher. And he doesn't really get affected by anything, which makes him even better. He just goes out and pitches. If he gets you out, great. If not, it doesn't get to him. But usually, he can."
-- New York Yankees outfielder Johnny Damon, on Baltimore pitcher Erik Bedard. (MLB.com)
"It's going to be different. Almost my whole time with the Rangers, Tex has been my teammate. I wish him the best. He's going to have an opportunity to succeed in Atlanta. Him going to Georgia Tech, that's probably one of the places that was high on his wish list if he did get traded. He's a premier player in the big leagues, he's a good teammate, he plays hard. That'll be missed. The Braves got a great player."
-- Texas Rangers third baseman Hank Blalock, commenting on the trade that sent first baseman Mark Teixeira from the Rangers to the Atlanta Braves Monday. (MLB.com)
"Remember when I left the Dodgers? That's a good question to drop right now. They said I was too small, fragile. Now you're asking me if I can do it one more time. After 200-something wins, two strikeouts shy of 3,000 and 14 years, 15 years in the big leagues, I think that has been totally answered. I'm not afraid. I'm leaving it in God's hands and going for whatever is out there. I'm going to pitch. I'm going to give it a try. And if not, I'm just going to go home, spend the time I haven't spent with my family all these years."
-- New York Mets pitcher Pedro Martinez on attempting to make it back to the starting rotation this season after undergoing offseason surgery and rehabilitation since then. (Newsday)
"I can't say I felt what he was feeling, but I understood his emotions. I think the only difference between the two of us is my first game back was my first game with the Marlins, so I think I had a lot of new things going on. I really didn't even know my teammates or anything yet. When I found out I was coming here, I was like, 'Wow, that's pretty good.' That's the one thing that was driving me a little crazy. Instead of moving back home in the end of September, I get to move back home now."
-- Reliever Dan Wheeler commenting on why he was pleased to be traded to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays from the Houston Astros on Saturday. Wheeler, who threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief in his first appearance with the Rays Monday, lives in the Tampa area. (St. Petersburg Times)
"It's nice to have your family around, have family games and so forth and put them out on the field," Melvin said. "I know guys look forward to this day so they can have their kids out on the field and sort of mix and mingle with other families and so forth."
-- Arizona manager Bob Melvin explaining why the players enjoy Family Day, which the Diamondbacks hosted before Sunday's game. Players were able to bring their children on the field to play Wiffle ball and get to know the families of the other players and team personnel. (Dbacks.com)
"Ugly is not in the column -- it's either wins or losses and we got one. I don't care if it's pretty or ugly, it feels good. BK, he really persevered and he got through it."
-- Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez on Byung-Hyun Kim needing 126 pitches to go 5 1/3 innings in the Marlins' 4-3 win over the Rockies on Wednesday. (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)
"It was better than the boos in Philly."
-- Nationals pitcher John Lannan on the warm reception he received by the home fans in his second Major League start. Lannan hit Phillies second baseman Chase Utley with a pitch and broke his hand. (Washington Post)
"Got me my rookie year -- 11 years ago. Opposite field in Cincinnati. Day game. But I'm not worried about Barry."
-- Dodgers pitcher Brett Tomko on facing Barry Bonds and potentially giving up home run 755. (Los Angeles Times)
"That L.A. traffic got me. Not only that, we had to pick up a couple of guys on the way and drop them off. That was a mistake. You learn."
-- Newly acquired Giants outfielder Rajai Davis on taking a commercial shuttle van from LAX to Dodger Stadium. Davis, who San Francisco received in the Matt Morris deal, arrived just 20 minutes prior to the start of batting practice in his first game with the Giants. (San Francisco Chronicle)
"Jeff's feeling much more comfortable with everything about catching, both his pitch selection and his rapport with the pitchers. I think he's much more confident and comfortable right now, and I think it's translated into him catching good ballgames and it's reflected on some good performances by our pitchers."
-- Angels manager Mike Scioscia on the improved play of reserve catcher Jeff Mathis, who has become the primary backstop with starter Mike Napoli on the disabled list. Mathis caught the Angels' first consecutive complete games in more than 14 years earlier this week. (Los Angeles Times)
"They're a good team. A very good team. To take two games from them shows we have some talent on this team. Maybe we underachieved a little bit this year, we've had some injuries, but we have some good young players getting experience now, and this shows the talent on this team and that we're capable of beating good teams."
-- A's second baseman Mark Ellis on the team taking a series from the AL Central-leading Tigers, the club that swept the A's out of the playoffs last season. (San Francisco Chronicle)
"It was real emotional for us. It was a game we had to win and I felt I was going to win it."
-- Seattle shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt on his bases-loaded single in the 12th inning that lifted the Mariners to an 8-7 win over the Angels. Seattle recovered from losing a three-run ninth inning lead to move within three games of the division leading Angels. (Seattle Times)
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.