“We believe we have the players and talent, but I think we should be more pumped up. I haven't seen that yet. Maybe I'm wrong. But it's what I see. Like I said, we believe, but I need to see one more little thing. I hope I see that in the next 10 days. There's time.”
—Tigers reliever Octavio Dotel, discontented with the level of energy he’s seeing in the clubhouse as Detroit battles for a playoff spot. (Tom Gage, Detroit News)

"That team believed in itself. This team believes in itself. The belief is there. One thing that I loved about my team last year was that everybody was very, very pumped. Everyone was very excited, even when we were down.”
—Dotel, praising the attitude of his former team—the St. Louis Cardinals—who went on to win the World Series in 2011.

“That you can not fake. No chance. No way."
—Dotel, referring to the genuine enthusiasm needed to have success down the stretch.

“Vamos. Let's go."

“I'm having a blast. We're in a playoff race.”
—Cardinals rookie infielder Pete Kozma. St. Louis can clinch a spot in Friday's wild-card showdown on Monday against the Reds. (Mark Clements,

“I wish I could try something and feel good. I'm bored.”
—Cardinals infielder Rafael Furcal, who may not be able to return to the Cardinals' lineup for the playoffs. He is recovering from right elbow surgery.

“He actually had the lineups for the last three days, three days ago, because that's Dusty.”
—Reds bench coach and acting manager Chris Speier on manager Dusty Baker.

“I think everybody has to understand I'm following suit here. It hasn't been easy to take over something [with] the mainstay of this organization going through what he went through. There's a definite cloud over it because we're worried about him. We're really, really happy he will be in St. Louis.”
—Speier, who took over the Reds when Baker was hospitalized.

“The reality is I've basically missed the entire season. Even if I were to get back out there physically, you still have the issue of not being game-ready. I don't think it would be fair to the team to be added to the playoff roster and take somebody's spot that could actually help us win. … I'm just around here for the ambiance.”
—Cardinals outfielder Lance Berkman, who can at least enjoy being with his team during the playoff race while he recovers from knee surgery. (Steve Overbey,

“It's really hard to get past what we have ahead of us. We have to win three games (to clinch a playoff spot). We have to get ourselves up to win every one of the last five games. Our rotation is set up that way. … Our big picture is five games. We have to have our heads ready to play those five. Five games feel like 100. We have a lot of work to do and a short time to do it.”
—Cardinals manager Mike Matheny talked about his rotation before Saturday's game. (Derrick Goold, St. Louis PostDispatch)

“I've thought about it. It's hard not to, because it's something that affects not just you, but your family. But I don't want to think about it too much. I'm still a part of this. I want to be.”
—Cardinals starting pitcher Kyle Lohse on the likelihood that he will be pitching for another team next season. Lohse, whose local home is already on the market, may be on the mound for Friday's game if the Cardinals clinch the second wild-card spot. (Joe Strauss, St. Louis PostDispatch)

“It's part of the business. I understand it. I was hired to win as many games as I could. I gave it my best.”
—Former Indians manager Manny Acta, who was fired on Thursday after a disappointing second-half, saw the Indians fall well out of contention. He compiled a record of 214-266 (.446) as the Indians’ skipper. (Paul Hoynes, Cleveland Plain Dealer)

“I was surprised. I wasn't expecting it. But when you play the way we played, anything can happen.”

“August defined our season. I hope those kids understand that they didn't play six months of bad baseball. That month just crushed our hopes. Just do the math.”
—Acta, whose Tribe went 5-24 in August, the worst month in Indians’ history.

“I know Sandy is a very good baseball man.  He was very helpful to me over the last three years.”
—Acta, on Sandy Alomar Jr., who will serve in his stead as interim manager.

“I just want to attack hitters a lot better. It’s been a lot of favorable counts for the batters, and I’ve been walking a lot of guys lately. So it’s trying to alleviate that, try to make it easier on myself by just throwing better strikes. That kind of goes back to believing in what the catcher’s putting down and trusting it and not worrying about what happens other than that one pitch.”
—Giants starter Tim Lincecum, after allowing seven runs to the Diamondbacks on Tuesday. (Andrew Baggerly,

“It was obvious from the first hitter that he was out of sorts. This is one he needs to put behind him because he's been throwing well.”
—Manager Bruce Bochy (Alex Pavlovic,

“It wasn’t always about Hector or the pitches he was calling. It was a matter of me not hitting my spots and making it tough on him back there with throwing in the dirt, pitches at the head. It was a pretty erratic day. He had to make an adjustment to what I was doing instead of the other way around.”

“As long as I'm included.”
—Lincecum, after being told he’d be in the playoff rotation. He allowed another five runs in six innings on Sunday, his final start of the season. His 5.18 ERA is worst among qualified NL starters. (Baggerly,

“I felt like my jumps on balls weren’t where they needed to be. It’s something that needs to be done throughout the course of the year, probably. I felt it was a little off. But it’s amazing how well your muscle memory comes back once you get out there.”
—Outfielder Josh Hamilton, on getting more outfield reps. (Evan Grant, The Dallas Morning News)

“No, I think we’ve been too aggressive. I think teams are doing a lot more to stop us and we aren’t getting the opportunities and we’re trying to force things. We are out of rhythm. You get out of rhythm in every aspect of the game. We are trying different things and they are not working. We are in a bad way on the bases right now.”
—Manager Ron Washington, on the team’s decreased stolen base success. (Evan Grant, The Dallas Morning News)

“I didn't feel sharp, but I felt I did the best I could to give the team a chance to win. My neck felt fine. Three days ago I couldn't even play catch, so my preparation was a little different, but under the circumstances I felt I pitched OK.”
Yu Darvish, after losing game one of Sunday’s doubleheader. (T.R. Sullivan,

“It's definitely good to feel strong right now with five games left. Hopefully I can keep it going like this into the playoffs.”
—Outfielder Nelson Cruz, who has avoided significant injury this season unlike the past. (T.R. Sullivan,


—Nats’ skipper Davey Johnson is obviously well aware of WAR. Just wait ‘til he gets his hands on PECOTA! (Amanda Comak, @acomak, Washington Times)

—Oakland’s Jonny Gomes on having the opportunity to strike out and help the A’s set a new record for whiffs in a season. Yoenis Cespedes’ strikeout in the second inning of Wednesday’s win over Texas broke the record. (Susan Slusser, @susanslusser, San Francisco Chronicle)

—I used to walk to and from school through five feet of snow! Up hill both ways! (Alyson Footer, @alysonfooter,

—It’s been a long year in Miami. (Ozzie Guillen, Miami Marlins manager)

“The job obviously wasn’t what I set out to do.  When you don’t accomplish what you set out to do, you feel like you haven’t done a good enough job. It’s simple. Not much I would’ve done differently, I don’t think, other than I think I would’ve kept the beer in the clubhouse. I could’ve used it after a few games.”
—Red Sox skipper Bobby Valentine, who hasn’t lost his sense of humour despite an abysmal season in Boston. (

“I've been (carrying teams) since I was probably 10 years old.  I was always the kind of player that did that. Everybody in here has probably been that kind of player.”
—White Sox designated hitter Adam Dunn, whose two homeruns lifted Chicago to a dramatic 5-4 victory over the Indians on Monday night. With four games to go, the White Sox sit two games back of the Detroit Tigers for first place in the AL Central. (Phil Rogers, Chicago Tribune)

“I want to get emotional. It’s hard, because of the season we’ve had. … But this moment transcends that in a way, as far as connection with the fans. … It’s been a grind, a real exhale. … Once you have the weaponry to compete, you want to be really good. Once you’re really good, you want to be supernaturally good. For me there’s been this steady metamorphosis from just surviving to being a craftsman to ultimately the hope is to be artist. This year is representative of that for me. … If I can harness the moment, and really suck the marrow out of every second, then I’ve done what I want to do, and I can be satisfied.”
—Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, after winning his 20th game of the season. (Brian Lewis, New York Post)

“I think the best part about it is that my name is in the history books, but it is a team thing. They're team wins. Guys go out and battle for me because they know I'm going to throw strikes. So I'm going to just try to continue executing my pitches. It's been a fun ride. … To be recognized for anything, it's awesome and it's really cool. It's been the coolest experience of my life.”
—Braves starting pitcher Kris Medlen. Atlanta set a major-league record by winning the 23rd consecutive game that Medlen started. (Mark Bowman,

“You always dream about whether the grass is greener on the other side or how you would be thought of or revered different had you played in a huge major market. That being said, I wouldn't change my experience in Atlanta for anything. I've gotten a chance to influence an entire region.”
—Braves third baseman Chipper Jones, who was honored before Friday's game at Turner Field. (Mark Bowman,

“When you're the captain of the boat, you're the captain of the plane, you need to take responsibilities. You got to take full responsibility. … But I wouldn't change anything. We just played bad. I take full responsibility for what happened this year. You know when I worry [about my job]? Every time I lose a game. I'm worried, I'm embarrassed, I'm sad, I'm mad. Every time we go inside and we don't win a game. But to get fired, if you got my job, you better prepare yourself to get fired, because sooner or later, that's going to happen. Only a few managers in baseball leave with the crown in their hand. Most of the guys, they're gone. That's the bad thing about this gig. … When you get fired, it's like a divorce. When you're going to get divorced, you just get your papers and 'sign this.' It's the same way. When you're going to get fired, the front-office people aren't going to make any comments.”
—Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen, on recent speculation that his job could be in jeopardy. (Tom Green,

“I used to try to strike everyone out, but the No. 1 problem with that is it takes too much energy and wears you down.”
—Angels starter Zack Greinke, after a five inning, 13 strikeout performance. (Mike DiGiovanna, Los Angeles Times)

“I'll miss the competition. That's the only thing I love about it now is the pitching part. I love being on the mound throwing against hitters that are the best in the world. That's the only thing I do love. I don't like all the travel, I don't like all the politics and everything that goes on with it. I love the guys, I love being in the clubhouse. But just the traveling gets old, and everything else.”
—Reliever Jason Isringhausen on his likely retirement after the season’s conclusion. (Alden Gonzalez,

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nicely done, BP intern crew! I particularly enjoyed the humor in the Twitter section.
I love the Dunn quote. People forget that even the MLB third string catcher or mopup reliever most likely was the best player on their team from Little League through colllege.
Furcal has averaged appearing in 113 games over past several years. He should be used to inactivity. In fact, inactivity, DL, whatever you call it is probably written into his contract.
Furcal ain't what one might call healthy, but I can think of quite a few players (Nick Johnson) who are less durable.