Here are some of the notable quotes from around Major League Baseball this week:
"I got a little caught up right before game time seeing the patch, seeing the jersey. It's hard to escape. Usually, if you have stuff going on, when you get to the park, you can escape it. I think all of us get busy doing other stuff. Then you get here and see the patch on the jersey and his jersey hanging in the dugout, and it comes to the reality."
-- St. Louis Cardinals veteran Scott Spiezio, on coming to the park following the death of teammate Josh Hancock. (St. Louis Post Dispatch)
"I miss my buddy; I miss my teammate."
-- St. Louis Cardinals reliever Randy Flores, on Josh Hancock, who was killed early Sunday morning in a car accident. (St. Louis Post Dispatch)
"I suggested to him, almost like football, 'You better change your spikes,' Then I went out there and he said, 'Skip, your zipper is down.'"
-- Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella, who was only trying to help pitcher Ted Lilly adapt to wet conditions after Lilly had slipped on a bunt attempt. (Chicago Tribune)
"It was a dream come true. I've wanted to do this since I was a little kid. It was everything I thought it would be."
-- Cincinnati pitcher Brad Salmon, who made his Major League debut on Tuesday against Houston. Salmon got a pop up, walked a hitter and then got a game-ending double play. (Cincinnati Enquirer)
"Seventy-one more to go."
-- Cincinnati Reds outfielder Adam Dunn, who has six stolen bases on the year. Prior to the season, Dunn jokingly predicted that he'd steal 77 bases this season. (Cincinnati Post)
"I didn't believe it. You kind of think that someone is messing with you, especially at 10 o'clock in the morning. Usually guys get called up after the game. It was, probably, the greatest moment so far in my life, that call. Just to know I had gotten the chance to come to the big leagues."
-- Kansas City rookie outfielder Billy Butler, on his reaction to being called up the Big Leagues. (Kansas City Star)
"Most people would do a face plant. If my helmet had stayed on, I'd have been fine. It'd have been embarrassing, but it wouldn't hurt. Even the Russian judge gave me a 10 on that one."
-- Minnesota right fielder Michael Cuddyer, describing his tumble on Tuesday night when he caught a spike in the dirt coming around second base. (St. Paul Pioneer Press)
"I told my parents, they aren't going to be able to match that [present]."
-- Braves rookie catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia on making his Major League debut on his 22nd birthday. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
"The numbers from [the Mexican winter league] are probably worse. He's always been tough for me. He's got a 95-mile per hour fastball, and when he throws his slider it's hard for me to recognize it. That's why I've never had good at-bats off him."
-- Marlins center fielder Alfredo Amezaga on his lifetime 0-for-7 mark versus Mets' starter Oliver Perez. (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)
"I know late in the game if we're in the ninth inning and (Austin) Kearns is in right and (Nook) Logan's in center and (Ryan) Langerhans is in left, there's not a better outfield in this league defensively."
-- Nationals general managerJim Bowden on the significance of recently acquired outfielder Ryan Langerhans, who was traded for the second time in less than a week. (Washington Post)
"Right now, the way Jeff Kent is swinging against left-handers, it's hard to think of him on the bench."
-- Dodgers manager Grady Little on why 39-year-old Jeff Kent was in the lineup again Wednesday for the 27th time in 28 games. Kent was hitting .364 versus southpaws and went 1-for-2 with a walk versus Diamondbacks lefty Doug Davis. (Los Angeles Times)
"It was pretty short. But I hadn't seen them in probably two weeks. And I won't see them again until we get to Texas [next weekend]. Any time I can see them, it's good."
-- Angels outfielder Reggie Willits on getting to see his wife and two-year-old son for a brief visit following Tuesday's game. His family made the trip from their home in Oklahoma to Kansas City, where the Angels were playing the Royals. (Los Angeles Times)
"We're only four games under .500, and the year we went to the World Series, we were 15 games under .500 in June. It's certainly too early to do anything but come back out here and try to get a victory."
-- Houston Astros first baseman Lance Berkman on why the team isn't ready to hit the panic button despite going 10-14 in April. (Houston Chronicle)
"It feels pretty good. I've worked it pretty hard, hitting the weights and things the last couple of days. I'm just going to have to strengthen it the way I do my back."
-- Texas Rangers closer Eric Gagne, who is currently on the disabled list, after playing catch for the first time since being placed on the DL. (Dallas Morning News)
"I'm pleased. I've still got a lot of stuff to work on. I've got five more months. I've just got to keep it going. The month's over. I just got to worry about May now."
-- New York Mets starter John Maine commenting on his 4-0 April in which he had a 1.35 ERA but can't let one good month carry him the rest of the season. (Newsday)
"You see him over the years and he's great so many times, but like the great ones of all-time, you give him a lead and he smells it, he brings it home for you."
-- Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons on the performance of ace right-hander Roy Halladay Monday night. Halladay improved to 4-0 with after leading the Jays past Texas 6-1. (Toronto Star)
"He's hard enough to hit with the lights on."
-- St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Skip Schumaker, after facing teammate Chris Carpenter on Tuesday in Milwaukee's Miller Park before the game between the Cardinals on the Brewers. Carpenter was testing his elbow in simulated action, but the outing took place so early in the day that only natural light coming through windows of the closed-roof stadium helped hitters see. (St. Louis Post Dispatch)
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.