Here are some of the notable quotes from around Major League Baseball this week:
"It couldn't have worked out any better. Of course, this is special, instead of being a hired gun or, in my case, a hired glove. There are people who have been with me all the way. Paul Egins (the Rockies' director of Major League operations) was in the farm department when I signed. Pat Daugherty (special assistant to general manager Dan O'Dowd) was the scouting director who signed me. I've worked with (manager) Clint (Hurdle) since Day 1. He was the Minor League hitting coach."
-- Todd Helton on appearing in the World Series with the Rockies and not another team, like the Boston Red Sox, a team he was nearly traded to this past offseason. Helton was drafted by Colorado in the first round of the 1995 Draft. (Rocky Mountain News)
"He's old-school, and you don't hear that term very much anymore. He's the same now as when I saw him years ago. He could have played in any era."
-- Colorado Triple-A hitting instructor Carney Lansford describing the style of play of Rockies rookie shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. (Denver Post)
"That really was the first time, to me, we had to win or our season was over. And I think we responded the way we expected to respond. And the thing I took away from those three games more than anything was, there was some chemistry and some bonding and some team stuff that happened over those couple days that just don't happen until you're in those situations. It was a pretty neat thing to see."
-- Boston starter Curt Schilling commenting on the Red Sox coming together after their backs were against the wall in the American League Championship Series against Cleveland. The Indians took a 3-1 lead in the series before Boston rallied to win the final three games. (Boston Globe)
"I'll tell you exactly what I told the organization. I would make sure he's in our uniform next year. A healthy Scott Rolen is going to be a premier player. Probably, the more upset he is at me, the better he'll play all year."
-- St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, who has on occasion had documented disagreements with third baseman Scott Rolen, on the importance of keeping Rolen in the Cardinals lineup. (Belleville News Democrat)
"I feel like Daisuke's '07 season is analogous to Beckett's '06 season. I think he's smart enough and gifted enough to take the lessons he's learned this year and make changes over the winter -- and then take his game to an even higher level next year."
-- Boston general manager Theo Epstein commenting on pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, who Epstein hopes will build off his rookie year the way Josh Beckett rallied from a disappointing 2006. (Boston Globe)
"Joe Mauer is doing great. He's had a series of opinions and ... the consensus opinion is that the hernia repair that was done three years ago is sound and requires no further treatment."
-- Minnesota Twins general manager Bill Smith, regarding catcher Joe Mauer. There was talk -- since dismissed -- that Mauer would soon require additional surgery. (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)
"The best pitcher in October. He's proven it year after year. We faced him before, but in October it seems like he steps up his game."
-- Colorado shortstop Troy Tulowitzki responding to the question on if Josh Beckett of Boston is the game's best pitcher. (Denver Post)
"We live at the base of a mountain, but over the mountain, you can see the smoke."
-- Minnesota Twins outfielder Jason Kubel, who lives approximately 20 miles north of the northernmost Southern California wildfires, on the scene around his home. (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)
"The pressure is different, I'm not going to deny that. But we're going to go out and have fun and play the game like we did. We couldn't have had any more pressure put on us in the last 15 or 16 games of the season. There's no more pressure than that."
-- Colorado reliever Jeremy Affeldt commenting on the pressure of the World Series, despite playing for a team that needed 14 of its final 15 games just to get into the postseason. The 14th win came against San Diego in a one-game playoff after the final day of the regular season. (Denver Post)
"At least. I had the opportunity."
-- Cleveland Indians outfielder Kenny Lofton, on falling short of winning his first World Series ring after losing to the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS. (The Boston Globe)
"We're a young team. We'll be back.
-- C.C. Sabathia, on what he believes the future holds for the Indians. (The Columbus Dispatch)
"You're getting a little bit ahead. Those are some things that we can look at today in our scouting report. We haven't had the luxury of sitting around for a week. We got done [Sunday] night at midnight, so we need some time to get our house in order."
-- Boston manager Terry Francona responding to a question of how he plans to get both designated hitter David Ortiz and first baseman Kevin Youkilis into the lineup with the Red Sox play Games 3 and 4 of the World Series in Denver. The Sox will have to play by National League rules when playing in Colorado. (Boston Globe)
"We have a lot to be proud of and a lot to motivate us to have a great offseason and get ready for next year."
-- Ryan Garko, on getting ready for the 2008 season after the Indians fell short of a trip to the World Series this year. (The Columbus Dispatch)
"Hampton is progressing and if all goes well, will try to pitch winter ball the second half starting in late November. We are working towards that."
-- Braves general manager Frank Wren on the plan for starter Mike Hampton this offseason. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
"I don't get it. I love it, but I don't get it. ... He's a member of the Baltimore Orioles, he's going to be spurring on the Red Sox and nobody is going to say a word. It's hilarious."
-- Red Sox manager Terry Francona on former Red Sox player and current Orioles first baseman Kevin Millar throwing out the first pitch in Game One of the World Series. (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)
"I've thought about it. I've had a couple of starts now where it could have been my last one. I haven't really thought about it in depth. I'm playing in my fourth World Series and second as a Boston Red Sox, so I certainly have nothing to be upset about or regretful for."
-- Curt Schilling on the possibility of the 2007 World Series being his last go-round with Boston. (Washington Times)
"We're not intimidated. We know how good we are. We know what we're capable of. We're not going there just to be there. We're going there to win."
-- Jeff Francis of the Rockies on facing the Red Sox in Game 1 of the World Series. (Denver Post)
"Hopefully ... wish me luck."
-- David Ortiz who has been slowed by a bad knee, on if he'll be able to play first base when the games move to Denver and are played without a designated hitter. (Los Angeles Times)
"I know he enjoyed his Seattle experience. Both sides understand Jose needs to explore the market, but both sides also view the Mariners-Guillen connection as something worthwhile to explore."
-- Agent Adam Katz on the contract status of client Jose Guillen. The Mariners and Guillen hold a mutual option on a contract for 2008 although neither party has announced its intentions yet. (Seattle Times)
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.