On reality TV and clutch hitting
Ibanez excited to experience the winning he watched last year
Here are some of the notable quotes from around Major League Baseball this week:
"A year ago, I was watching this on TV, and now I'm a part of it. I watched it. It was unbelievable to have the energy jump out of the screen. It was more than usual."
- Raul Ibanez, who will play in his first World Series at the age of 37. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
"I think you just have to expect to be in that moment and be ready for it. That's pretty much the only thing you can do, mentally prepare and just want to be in it. I think everybody always dreams when you're a little kid about being in the World Series, Game 7, 3-2, all that kind of stuff. You've just got to want to be in the moment."
- Ryan Howard, who was named NLCS MVP after hitting .333 with two homers and eight RBIs, on looking forward to critical at-bats. (Philadelphia Daily News)
"Winning is the most important thing. It's always special to get to this point and go to the World Series. ... But, yeah, I did work hard this offseason to prepare my body for this season, and it held up extremely well, so I have to be proud of that."
- Chase Utley , who's batting .303 with one home run, two RBIs and two stolen bases in the playoffs after undergoing hip surgery during last offseason. (MLB.com)
"For me, every game is a big game at this point. Whether we came into this game ahead three games to none or two games to one, it was a big game for me."
- CC Sabathia after another strong performance in Game 4 of the ALCS on Tuesday night. (New York Daily News)
"Well, the game slows down for you, no doubt about it. You feel like you want to see the ball and hit it hard and not try to do too much, but the best way I can describe it is you feel like the game is slowing down."
- Alex Rodriguez on his current hot streak. (Newsday)
"I think he's shorter with his swing and being patient, a lot more patient. He looks different at the plate. He definitely wants it. You can tell by the way he's swinging. That guy's a bad guy, man. I wish he was on my team."
- Torii Hunter on Alex Rodriguez. (Newsday)
"Baseball is a hard game, and you can't let it get to you. You have to keep on going out there and keep fighting until the end."
- Cole Hamels, prior to taking the mound on Game 5 of the NLCS on Wednesday night. (Philadelphia Daily News)
"Everything happens for a reason, and maybe this is supposed to be my first shot at the playoffs. Maybe it is supposed to be my only shot at the playoffs. You never know."
- George Sherrill, reflecting on his trade from the Orioles to the Dodgers this season. (Baltimore Sun)
"I try to basically enjoy the game. I relax so well, and I basically want to get the team my portion of the whole pie. So, basically, I just like to be part of the whole thing, and I relax well."
- Carlos Ruiz, on his outstanding postseason performance for the Phillies. (MLB.com)
"Teix is the best fielding first baseman I've ever seen."
- Johnny Damon, amazed by his first-year teammate's defensive skills . (New York Daily News)
"I went out there trying to wrap Jimmy up. It didn't work out too well. I ended up on the bottom of the pile."
- Ryan Howard, describing his celebration strategy after teammate Jimmy Rollins' game-ending hit in Game 4 of the NLCS. (MLB.com)
"It was great to get out of that, but it didn't matter because we lost the game. The bottom line of this thing, guys, is we lost. It doesn't matter what we did or what I did."
- Mariano Rivera, after getting out of a first-and-third, no-outs situation in the bottom of the 10th inning against the Angels in Game 3 of the ALCS on Monday. (New York Daily News)
"No, not really, because I know I'd rather pitch in Kansas City than anywhere else. It'd be nice if we did better this year, but we should be fine next year. I like playing in Kansas City -- not too much to complain about except losing a bunch of games. But all of the other positives outweigh that."
- Zack Greinke, who signed a four-year deal with Kansas City last January, on whether he regrets the decision. (MLB.com)
"I would like to change with Sam Fuld for a play in the outfield. He's running in the outfield and all of a sudden he makes that catch two inches before he hits the ground. Oh, my God, he lays out and then hits the ground -- that's amazing. I'd like to know what it's like to dive and catch the ball like that.
- Geovany Soto on which player with whom he would like to switch positions. (MLB.com)
"You could tell the way he hit the ball and went about his business he'd be a successful Major Leaguer. I saw him when he was just a youngster, just starting out, taking swings and almost falling down, to when he got his balance, shortened his swing and had that tremendous power. It's been fun to watch his progression."
-Former Kissimmee manager John Tamargo, commenting on Lance Berkman, who played for Tamargo at Kissimmee. (MLB.com)
"These guys are blue-collar superstars. They don't hit 50 home runs, but they're complete players. ... There are differences between hitters and complete players. Matt Holliday is a complete player. There is, frankly, no one like him in the market."
- Agent Scott Boras comparing his client Matt Holliday to another client, Mark Teixeira. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
"We needed a pitcher. What were we going to do, keep Lincecum in Fresno so he could win the Pacific Coast League ERA title?"
- Giants vice president of player personnel Dick Tidrow on the decision to call up starter Tim Lincecum from the Minors early in the 2007 season, a decision that makes Lincecum eligible for salary arbitration and a big raise this offseason. (San Francisco Chronicle)
"I was really surprised. That's baseball -- so many crazy things happen. Guys get traded, guys get signed, guys get released, and guys choose to go home and spend more time with family. It was the last thing on my mind, but I understand it, in a sense. There's times when I'm going 12 days away from my own wife and son, and I get lonely. I can only imagine going three or four months. I definitely see where he's coming from."
- Rob Johnson, Mariners catcher, on the news that catcher Kenji Johjima was opting out of the final two years of his contract to return home to Japan. (Seattle Times)
"I'm definitely planning on playing next year. For some reason, I think people think I'm going to retire. I still feel like I've got a lot of fight left in me, a lot of energy left to play. I don't know if it will be here, but if not, I plan on being somewhere."
- Mike Redmond, Twins backup catcher and pending free agent, on his plans for next season. (MLB.com)
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.