Here are some of the notable quotes from around Major League Baseball this week:
"Zone rating? What the heck is that? They come up with some crazy stuff to make it more complicated. You never know if it's good or bad."
-- Angels shortstop Orlando Cabrera reacting to the news that he's leading Major League shortstops with a .936 zone rating. The stat measures the percentage of batted balls hit into the shortstop's "zones" in which he successfully fields. (Los Angeles Times)
"You guys are a great source of useless information."
-- Mets first basemanCarlos Delgado to members of the media after they informed the slugger that he became the first visiting player to hit three "splash" home runs into McCovey Cove versus the Giants. (San Francisco Chronicle)
"I don't mind saying, I'm super excited to win it. It was a classic game, and I was proud of the fans. It was a special night. It lived up to its billing."
-- Braves pitcher John Smoltz on the matchup Wednesday night against former teammate Greg Maddux. Smoltz went seven innings and picked up the win in the 3-2 Atlanta victory. Maddux got a no-decision. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
"It was weird having (Ned Yost) there. He was in the background watching, doing his commentary while we were throwing. He called one pitch I threw the 'Funky McNasty.'"
-- Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Craig Capuano on having manager Ned Yost watch his bullpen session on Saturday. Yost wanted to make sure Capuano was in good enough shape to make his start Monday after being forced to leave his previous start after three innings when he took a line drive off his right calf. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
"I'm not really overly concerned with wins. I'm trying to focus more on quality starts and keeping the team in the game. That way it can go either way. It's better than being down 6-0 in the third inning. I hope that never happens."
-- Nationals pitcher Jason Bergmann, who has an 0-3 record despite a 3.07 ERA this season. (Washington Post)
"It's not fun to be on the other end of it. I feel like I've been throwing the ball decent this season. It's nice to get that first [win] on the board."
-- Dodgers pitcher Brett Tomko who picked up his first win of the season in four decisions. Tomko had a no-hitter through five innings.. (Los Angeles Times)
"Yeah, I tried to field a groundball with my thumb without a glove, the wrong hand. I was like, 'Well, that figures.' Then it swelled up real quick and was a little uncomfortable."
-- A's first baseman Dan Johnson on his fielding adventures Tuesday night, which caused him to be lifted from the game. He returned to the lineup on Wednesday and hit a home run. (San Francisco Chronicle)
"We'd all do it if we could. Everybody gets asked if it's OK. He's proven that he can perform doing it that way, so let him do it that way. We're about winning. We're not about who has what privileges. He's a unique individual. He's a unique athlete."
-- New York Yankees pitcher Mike Mussina commenting on new teammate Roger Clemens and his ability to leave the team between starts to spend time with his family. (Newsday)
"He's had a great start to the season. He's hit for power. He's gotten on base. He's stolen bases. He's laid down bunts. He's played the entire game. He's really shown that his skills portray into a total player."
-- San Diego manager Bud Black on the performance of switch-hitting outfielder Jose Cruz Jr. Cruz is hitting .321 with four home runs and 10 RBIs in 84 at-bats entering Tuesday night's game. (San Diego Union-Tribune)
"I think I kind of found a groove early and stayed in it as long as I could."
-- St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Brad Thompson, who worked five innings of one-run ball on Tuesday against the Rockies in the Cardinals' 4-1 victory. With two career starts now under his belt (just one this year), Thompson has earned another start next week against the Dodgers. (St. Louis Post Dispatch)
"I have done it before, and I wasn't very good at it all the time. It's just attitude, really. You can't look at how difficult the situation is because most of the time it's difficult to hit the ball. So you just try to stay as positive as possible with your approach, and keep your thoughts small. Just try to get some base hits. If the power comes, then great, but I still have a chance to get a base hit and get something started."
-- Chicago Cubs veteran Daryle Ward, on the best way to approach playing less than full-time. (Chicago Tribune)
"It was unbelievable. I promise you I was more excited than he was. I'm so proud of him."
-- Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Adam LaRoche, after watching his brother, the Dodgers' Andy LaRoche, pick up his first Major League hit on Sunday in Atlanta. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
"I think part of my struggles right now is I'm used to having that natural adrenaline rush in the ninth inning. Whereas now, I need to kind of learn something to get myself going a little bit. I need to teach myself how to sort of create my own adrenaline."
-- Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Jonah Bayliss, on adapting to pitching in middle innings instead of late-innings. Last season at Triple-A Indianapolis, Bayliss had 23 saves. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)
"I had enough auditions in Cleveland and felt like hopefully I got the bad ones out of the way. I really did feel like every time I threw there in three years was always an audition. Today was relaxed."
-- Baltimore Orioles pitcher Jeremy Guthrie, on his efforts to make an impression and remain in the Orioles rotation. On Tuesday night in Baltimore's 8-3 victory over Tampa Bay, Guthrie worked six innings, gave up just one run and struck out two. (Baltimore Sun)
"I think anybody that threw 95 and hits 90 now, it's tough. He was dominating. Had a good changeup, good curveball, which he still does. But Milty doesn't throw 94 anymore. He's becoming a complete pitcher now. Gets the ball up a little bit. But Milty's going to come through because he's a professional, because of the way he works and the way he is up here (tapping his forehead)."
-- Reds reliever Eddie Guardado, on teammate Eric Milton. Prior to being together in Cincinnati, the two were teammates with the Minnesota Twins. (Cincinnati Post)
"The doctors say 12 weeks -- three months. I guarantee I'll be back a little sooner than that."
-- Detroit reliever Joel Zumaya, on his optimistic timetable to return from tendon surgery on his right middle finger. (Detroit Free Press
"Every time I've pitched against them, I get some run support, and you have to have run support to win. It's just one of those things that happens, and I hope it doesn't change. Coming out of the bullpen, I felt better than I've felt in a long time. The ball was jumping out of my hand. My curveball felt great. I got in the game and thought I might get through seven or eight innings without giving up a hit."
-- Houston Astros pitcher Roy Oswalt on the key to his impressive 19-1 career record against Cincinnati after Houston beat the Reds 5-4 Monday. Oswalt allowed only two runs in seven innings of work. (Houston Chronicle)
"He can pitch out of the bullpen or start a game for us, and he's durable. But you don't want to take that for granted. The guy is not scared. He knows how to pitch, and his stuff is good enough for him to pitch at this level. He's not a power guy, but more times than not he's going to pitch well."
-- Texas Rangers pitching coach Mark Connor on pitcher Mike Wood, who has looked good on the mound while filling in for the injured Kevin Millwood. (Dallas Morning News)
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.