Here are some of the notable quotes from around Major League Baseball this week:
"The type of thing he does, you wish it was infectious. There isn't any question. Hands down, every single guy who would vote for the player of the year on this club, he would get the vote from everybody. He was a backup player who wound up getting like 400, 350 at-bats."
--Dodgers manager Joe Torre on the hustle displayed by veteran reserve Jamey Carroll this season. (Los Angeles Times)
"At some point, somebody is going to figure out my secret. You can only fool people for so long. While it lasts, I'll enjoy it."
--A's pitcher Craig Breslow on being named the Smartest Player in Baseball by The Sporting News. Breslow graduated from Yale with a degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry. (Oakland Tribune)
"Every day, after I get done throwing, I throw a bunch of offspeed stuff. And then, I get in the game and it's like 'Oh my God, I'm throwing more strikes with it, and I've got better stuff. Why didn't I do that all year?'"
-- David Aardsma, Mariners closer, on introducing more offspeed pitches into his arsenal after a midseason conference with then-manager Don Wakamatsu. (Seattle Times)
"My heart was pumping so hard I could feel it. I tried to settle down, and I couldn't. I don't remember ever pitching before with that much adrenaline. I never got into a calm rhythm. I was so excited."
-- Chris Young after making his first start for the Padres since the first week of the season. (San Diego Union-Tribune)
"Any time your name is mentioned next to Mike Piazza, you've done something good. I was fortunate that I got a chance to play with him when I got called up and got to see what kind of hitter he was."
-- David Wright commenting on tying Mike Piazza for second in Mets history with 655 RBIs on Sunday. (New York Post)
"It's been fun here. I knew what I was getting myself into, but you never know how it's going to break down once the season gets going. We had a lot of injuries this year so I was plugged in different places, and when I played consistently, I think I produced. I think a lot of good things happened."
-- Bill Hall on his first season with the Red Sox. (Boston Globe)
"He's a warrior. He epitomizes the Twins way. He just amazes me how night in and night out he's ready to play, and he has the same energy level."
-- Denard Span, on Twins teammate Michael Cuddyer. (St. Paul Pioneer Press)
"Coming into the season, I try not to set any statistical goals, but one thing I kind of had in mind was to try and reach 20 home runs. I thought it'd be an attainable goal, but also a challenge. Getting that last night was pretty special."
--Drew Stubbs, who with 20 home runs and 25 stolen bases has joined the 20-20 club in his first full year with the Reds. (MLB.com)
"I've enjoyed this year. I like the role I was in this year. I've always been a starter through the Minor Leagues and the first couple of years in the big leagues, but I enjoyed both. I can't say which one I liked more, but I had a great time getting the ball in key situations, and it's easier to work because I'm not sore the next day."
-- Sean Marshall, Cubs, on his roles as both a starter and reliever. (Chicago Tribune)
"When you have a good work ethic and you have a good hitting coach -- and a good catching instructor, it's easier. The only thing [is] I just have to keep working hard and trying to get better, and make myself better -- defensively and offensively. My main goal is to try and help my team win and get better in every aspect."
-- Brayan Pena, Royals catcher, on putting in the effort to improve at the Major League level. (MLB.com)
"Most important for me, and I wish more infielders would do it ... in a game, acrobatics, I literally practice them. I'll try to throw from every angle, to as far down as I can go, on purpose. Now, in a game, I've practiced that. I know where it's going to go, so when I let it go [from a certain angle], I know it's going bow out to the left and curve back in."
-- Brandon Inge, describing his infield practice techniques. (MLB.com)
"Ervin had a setback in Spring Training and was pitching [last season] with velocity that wasn't as crisp as it is now. This year, he's matching velocity with command, and he has that great breaking ball he can throw when he needs it."
--Angels manager Mike Scioscia on the difference between last year and this year for Ervin Santana. (Los Angeles Times)
"I'm just trying to have good at-bats. When you play a lot of different positions, you're just trying to make the routine plays, and hopefully, something good will happen on the tougher plays. I'm just trying to keep it as simple as I can, swing at strikes and have good at-bats."
-- Drew Sutton, on his approach since being recalled last week by the Indians. (MLB.com)
"No. I was just in a cloud, really. Pretty exciting. Unfortunately, we didn't come out with a victory. But these guys really congratulated me nicely, and it definitely means a lot."
-- Freddie Freeman, Braves rookie, on hitting his first Major League home run. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
"The game is important, but it was a special night. He [Steinbrenner] loved to win. I don't think he cared about anything else. His No. 1 priority was for us to win, so we're happy we were able to do that."
-- Derek Jeter on beating the Rays on the night George Steinbrenner's plaque was unveiled at Yankee Stadium's Monument Park. (New York Daily News)
"I'm going to dominate next year. I can tell you that. Not that this year is over, but I'm going to dominate next year."
-- Alex Gordon, Royals left fielder, on what fans can expect from him in 2011. (Kansas City Star)
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.