Here are some of the notable quotes from around Major League Baseball this week:
03/19/2009 1:21 PM ET
Eyre's mom never missed a game
New Rangers reliever took care of five children
"My mom never missed one Little League baseball game, and she raised five kids by herself. From when I was in T-ball until when I was in high school, she made every game.
"From working to raising kids, she was amazing. She ran the snack bars at the field and stuff. It was really pretty cool."
- Willie Eyre, Texas Rangers reliever, talking about how his mother managed to attend all of his games growing up despite raising a household of children on her own.
(Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
"Oh, my goodness. He got every bit of that. That's the longest ball I've seen hit here. He got every ounce of it. He's made a lot of noise in this camp."
- Giants manager Bruce Bochy on a home run hit by infielder Jesus Guzman that cleared a 35-foot high wall in center field, 430 feet from home plate.
(San Francisco Chronicle)
"I've got to show my skills for National League teams, too."
-Angels pitcher John Lackey, a free agent following the 2009 season, on his two sac bunts during a Cactus League game.
(Los Angeles Times)
"Especially when you've got a new catcher -- to work on the relationship with him. Plus we have [three] new starting pitchers. You want to be friends before you get out of Spring Training. You don't want to go away and come back and you don't know the guys."
- Jair Jurrjens, Braves pitcher, on why he elected to skip pitching for the Netherlands in this year's World Baseball Classic.
"He kind of taught everybody around here that you can be the best player in baseball and still have a lot of fun playing the game you have been playing since you were a little kid. I think that was something we needed."
- Matt Kemp, Dodgers outfielder, on the influence of Manny Ramirez.
(Los Angeles Daily News)
"I'm a way different pitcher now. You compare my motion now to then, there's very, very few things that are similar. I look back and say I wish then I was the person I am now. They [the Giants] definitely wouldn't have traded me, and I would have been their closer the last six years."
- David Aardsma, Mariners reliever, reflecting on his Major League journey since leaving San Francisco.
"I'm glad we got him. It's going to help us out for sure. Hopefully we can work together a little bit at the end of spring and get going. I think it's going to be a lot of fun. The guy's got a lot of experience, and I think it will work out pretty well for us."
- Roy Oswalt commenting on the Astros' signing of catcher Ivan Rodriguez to a one-year contract on Monday.
"You know, what's nice is just having somebody behind you that believes in you. Arnie will shoot me straight. he's going to tell me, 'Hey, you just don't have it. Hey, we need to do this.'
"It's having somebody in your corner. It's not just me; it's everybody here. You can see how he's passionate about his pitchers. It's just having the confidence and saying, 'Hey, why don't you try this,' rather than just having somebody stare at you and not say anything."
- Matt Clement, Toronto pitcher, on the importance of pitching coach Brad Arnsberg.
"It's not like I'm not playing -- I'm just playing here. I would have liked to have gone up to Phoenix, but I think the biggest thing is they want to keep me in a more controlled environment until probably after the off day."
- Eric Byrnes, Arizona outfielder, talking about having his Spring Training debut with the Diamondbacks pushed back a few days after he was originally scheduled to play on Tuesday.
(East Valley Tribune)
"I feel great throwing. Each inning today, I just felt better and better."
- John Maine, New York Mets pitcher, recovering from shoulder surgery, after his 72-pitch outing. Maine said he is only a "couple" of starts away from being ready for the start of the season.
"Physically, I was beat up, but it was tough on me mentally, too. Just knowing people are looking at you saying, 'What's wrong with him?' -- giving you that look that you don't like, because you know what they're thinking.
"It was definitely a humbling experience. Baseball is humbling enough without having to play hurt. So now I don't take anything for granted. Nothing is guaranteed. I definitely look at everything a whole lot different now."
- Carl Crawford, Tampa Bay left fielder, on battling leg injuries last season.
(St. Petersburg Times)
"I'm not really anxious. It would be interesting to know [where I am going], because one way or the other, either we'll continue throwing a lot or it'll be down to an inning at a time. But it'll just be interesting when that's made. There's not really any anxiety for me about it. I'm just down here at Spring Training trying to get better, learn something from every outing to take into the season."
- Justin Masterson, Boston pitcher, on the decision about whether he will be a starter or a reliever.
"You understand going in that hitting ahead of you is the best hitter in the game, one of the best hitters of all time. Opponents look at him and say, 'This guy can't beat us. No matter what, we cannot lose knowing we let this guy beat us.' They don't want to face him. If you hit cleanup, they want to face you."
- Rick Ankiel on hitting behind Albert Pujols for the Cardinals.
(St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
"I can play first, left, right. I'm available for Lou [Piniella]. If he wants to have a deep bench, he can put me on the bench."
- Carlos Zambrano offering his position-playing services to the Cubs.
"Playing the outfield isn't hard -- it's just different. I feel pretty comfortable at third. It hasn't seemed abnormal to be over there."
- Josh Barfield, who is trying to secure a spot on the Indians by learning to play third base as well as the outfield in addition to his regular position of second base.
(Akron Beacon Journal)
"I'm starting to feel more comfortable. When I got traded, I said that this is like my new career. I've never had an opportunity like [the one] I have now. I know here I'm going to play every day. All I have to do is play hard and do my job."
- Felix Pie, who, after two years of part-time duty with the Cubs, is looking forward to a new beginning with the Orioles.
"[I'm] not thinking about last season and not worrying about last season and not trying to top it. I'll just go out and do the things I did last year and let the numbers worry about themselves."
- Nate McLouth, who is not going to put any extra pressure on himself to top what he did for Pittsburgh in 2008, when he batted .276 with 26 home runs and 94 RBIs.
"We've got some arms around here, I'm telling you what."
- Ryan Hanigan, Cincinnati catcher, offering his assessment of the 2009 Reds pitching staff.
"Even though I've only got 20 innings in the big leagues, some people are looking at it like this is your last chance. But for me personally, I feel young. I feel like I still have a lot of improving to do. I don't feel like I'm at the end of my rope as far as that goes."
- Phillip Humber, who is hoping to secure a spot as a reliever on the 2009 Twins.
"I care about swinging and getting my at-bats and feeling good for the season. When the numbers start counting in Spring Training, that's when I worry about my numbers. But I don't think on our baseball card we see Spring Training numbers, and nobody is going to win the MVP or the Cy Young in Spring Training. Our job is to get our swing and make sure we're ready to go next month."
- Albert Pujols, after hitting his first home run of the spring on Tuesday.
(St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
"I think the biggest thing for me right now is just seeing some live pitching, seeing the spins and the rotation of different pitches and things like that."
- B.J. Upton, Tampa Bay center fielder, commenting on his rehabilitation from offseason shoulder surgery.
"I think I've got a better chance to make the team in the bullpen. But like I've said before, I think I can do both things. I can be a reliever or a starter. I feel pretty comfortable with that."
- Radhames Liz, a starter for most of his career, on his chances of making the Orioles as a reliever.
-- Red Line Editorial