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"Just the thought of walking away from it to retirement — and looking out the window or something? It's just too good. As a baseball man, and someone who has always loved the game, the situation and the conditions are perfect.”

—Vin Scully, who will return as the voice of the Dodgers for the 2014 season. (Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times)

“People tell me how much they enjoy me doing it, and I'm just full of thanks. I'm a walking Thanksgiving dinner.”
—Scully. (Ken Gurnick and Austin Laymance,

“I think it's best for me — certainly, at this stage — to keep my focus on the field. Maybe, who knows, down the line, I'm not doing the games any more. Then I could be doing voice-overs on biographies, just to do something.”

“It was so dull. First of all, all the announcers back then were somewhat intimidated by the accusations in the press that we talked too much. In listening, I was saying, 'Ball one … strike one … foul ball.' Today, the announcer would not only be telling you that he's pitching a perfect game, they would have these tremendous close-ups of whatever emotional reaction the player would have — where he sat in the dugout, people not going near him — and it would be marvelous.”
—Scully, on calling Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series.

“From the bottom of my heart, I have always felt that I am the most ordinary of men who was given an extraordinary break of doing what I love to do at an early age. And thanks to God, I've been allowed to do it for all these years. And I pray that I will be allowed to do it for at least one more year. I don't take any of it for granted.”

“I think it's great. He's kind of helped give the Marlins an identity again. I think when you talk about the Miami Marlins, you talk about Jose Fernandez and our pitching staff, and that's great.”

—Marlins manager Mike Redmond on his emerging star pitcher. (Christina De Nicola,

“Jose just goes out there and literally has fun. Then he goes out there and gives us seven strong innings on top of it. That’s all you can ask for.”
—Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich (Manny Navarro, Miami Herald)

“You want a kid out there battling for you who has energy and the ability to compete like him, and he truly does throw it all out there every single day. [He] has the ability to pitch unlike — I don't think I've seen another 21-year-old as good as him, as polished as him — at that age. He threw some nasty curveballs and changeups as well. He continues to have an answer for them. He's impressive the way he commands all of his pitches.”
—Redmond (Christina De Nicola,

“You've got to scratch and claw for everything you can get off that guy. He commands the fastball. It's one thing to have velocity, but he commands it real well, especially for a young pitcher. When he does that with that velocity and the breaking ball he's got, he's going to be tough.”
—Rockies manager Walt Weiss after a loss to Fernandez and the Marlins.

“He's a horse. He throws hard. He has a good breaking ball. He locates well. And he works fast. With a good pitcher like him, you have to look for one pitch. Tonight, I was looking more for his fastball.”
—Rockies catcher Wilin Rosario. (Walter Villa, Denver Post)

“I was shut down [in Class A] by this time last year. It feels good to be here doing work and helping my team out. Every fifth day I go out there and giving my heart and giving everything I have to win.”

“I kind of felt bad that the game was stopped for me. At first, I was trying to stop them from coming, but it was just because I was so happy and overjoyed with the way they supported me. Obviously having the 4,000th hit was important, but what is going to make it a more special moment was the fact that my teammates came out. When I look back on this, that's what is going to make this very special.”

—Yankees outfielder Ichiro Suzuki on hitting his 4,000th career professional hit earlier last week. (Bryan Hoch,

“It's an amazing feat. It's a testament to how hard he's worked, how long he's been in the game, how he stays healthy, the way he goes about his business. He's a great player, and he's been a great player for a long time.”
—Yankees manager Joe Girardi

“Well, I know one thing for sure, he's going to be in two hall of fames. It's amazing. His ability to miss defenders is unparalleled. He's got a unique style to him. Part of that, too, is the speed that he gets out of the box. He gets a lot of leg hits. Because of that, that works to his advantage, too. But I've often thought that when he was in his prime, he could look at the defense and hit the ball somewhere else. I've always thought that about him. He knew how to manipulate a baseball that much.”
—Rays manager Joe Maddon (Jason Mastrodonato,

“After I got my first hit, if at that point I said to you guys, 'My goal is to have 4,000 hits,' I think everybody would have called me an idiot. Now, after years and years of just getting hits every day, I've come to this point. What is important is just going out there and doing what you can do every single day.”

“You never want to be the guy that gives up the milestone, at least I don't, maybe some people do, but I certainly don't. That being said, what an incredible achievement, and the manner in which he has done it is equally as impressive. The longevity, the endurance, the durability, having played with him in Seattle [in 2008], it was a real treat to play with him, and it couldn't have happened to a more professional hitter.”
—Blue Jays pitcher R.A. Dickey, who gave up the milestone hit.

“That's a lot of hits, man. It's pretty impressive. I don't care if it's 4,000 in Little League. It shows how consistent he's been throughout his career. It makes you look at how many hits he's got here [in the Majors] in a short amount of time. That's difficult to do, so Ichi has been as consistent as anyone.”
—Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter


Ryan Dempster on his four-pitch walk to Alex Rodriguez.

—Brett Anderson’s latest in Athletics mustaches.

“I didn’t like it. I don’t think it was the right thing to do. But we don’t all think alike, and the guy who did it, Dempster, is a great guy. It’s not that I didn’t think it was right because Alex and I are friends, because once you cross the white lines, everyone’s on their own. But we’ve got Tampa right on our heels, and that pitch woke up a monster in the Yankees’ team at that moment. You saw how the game ended up. CC [Sabathia] was throwing 91 [mph] and started throwing 96. Alex later hit one way out there. You’re talking about a good team that you can’t wake up. But we learn from our mistakes.”

David Ortiz on teammate Ryan Dempster plunking Alex Rodriguez recently. (Jorge L. Ortiz, USA Today)

“The ball that Victorino hit back at me kind of [messed] me up. I don't feel like I take it out to the mound with me, but that was the first time I was really shaken after something. You do as much as you can to forget and move and move and move and move, but for that [Victorino's liner] to happen coming off the DL, with the seizure and you're on medication and all of a sudden these things become very real again. That happens, and you realize you're that close away again, without being able to feel like I have any protection. We're not there yet with a [protective] hat. It's just trying as much as you can to get past it, get past it, get past it and just take the [darn] ball and go out and throw. I think it still exists in there, I just don't know to what extent it does.”
—Diamondbacks starting pitcher Brandon McCarthy, on a line drive hit by Shane Victorino back up the middle on August 4th. McCarthy suffered a seizure in June that was linked to the head trauma sustained after being struck in the head by a line drive last season. (Steve Gilbert,

“It crushes me. He's been such a close friend and mentor to me for so long. It just wasn't good yesterday. Losing him, with all the hardships he's had already is what's really tough. I'm feeling more for him than feeling what it is for us. He's sort of been the quintessential veteran. The guy's been doing it for a long time. He's a good teammate, the ultimate competitor and a true professional.”
—Rockies reliever Matt Belisle on teammate Rafael Betancourt, who sustained an elbow injury during Thursday’s game against Philadelphia. Betancourt will undergo an MRI on Monday to see whether the injury will require Tommy John surgery. (Steve Dorsey,

“I think I’ve got one hell of a reminder now. I’ve got a great reference point here. I did not like not being in control. And I didn’t have it there for a couple days. And that’s one hell of a scary feeling. So, then, once they all figured it out, this, that and the other, I’ll never need another reminder again.”
—Mariners manager Eric Wedge, who returned to the dugout on Friday for the first time since suffering a stroke on July 22nd. (Geoff Baker, Seattle Times)

“The way Evan begins everything is entirely different from anybody else I've ever seen. Now, he's back to that. His feet are in the right spot. He's not rushing through the moment. All that stuff is back. With that, he's making better decisions. He's not swinging at bad pitches. He's not striking out. All that stuff is inter-connected. I think it began with his stance.”
—Rays manager Joe Maddon, on Evan Longoria’s batting mechanics and recent performance. (Bill Chastain and Sam Strong,

“To me, he was a guy you didn’t like very much. He got under your skin and it was something he did really well because he was a competitor. But once you know him and have him on your team, you realize that’s what he is doing. He is competing. He’s not really a jerk. He does what it takes to get the job done. He has helped us get where we are.”
—Rangers reliever Joe Nathan on how his perception of catcher A.J. Pierzynski has changed after making the transition from opponent to teammate. (Evan Grant, Dallas Morning News)

"I told her that if I get a chance to see Braun, I've got a question for him, right to his face. Is he about rehearsed by now, do you think? He about ready to come out? He's probably been practicing at the theater school somewhere.”
—Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson, who told his wife that he has a question for Ryan Braun. (Steve Gilbert,

“I’m not where I want to be, but did I expect to be in mid-season form right now? Maybe a little bit. I think that’s a lot of expectations to put on myself. I think I got down on myself a little early and I started out slow.”
—Reds outfielder Ryan Ludwick on returning from major shoulder surgery. (C. Trent Rosecrans, Cincinnati Enquirer)

“I don’t know what 10 or 15 games would do. He needs to get healthy and strong and in top baseball shape and whether or not that can happen by mid-September is a question … He had a big injury and I don’t think he ever got into true baseball shape. He needs to get trimmed up to a playing weight that he can be productive at.”
—Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg on rushing first baseman Ryan Howard back from injury prematurely. (Jim Salisbury, CSN Philly)

“You know, guys react differently. Some guys pitch better at a certain weight; some others don't. But you know, with John, I think it's clearly allowed him to be more free and loose and athletic on the mound. That, I think, translates to the number of walks he's allowed to date.”
—Red Sox manager John Farrell, on John Lackey’s weight loss and how he’s cut down on walking batters. (Ian Browne,

“What the hell can I tell these guys? That I can't win with my best pitcher because he makes one costly pitch? That I have a lineup that can't make a fine but unremarkable pitcher throw more than 83 pitches in nearly eight innings?”
—Giants manager Bruce Bochy after his club’s 3-1 loss to the Pirates on Friday. Madison Bumgarner gave up a three-run home run to Clint Barmes in the seventh inning while Charlie Morton spun 7 2/3 innings of one-run ball for Pittsburgh. (Henry Schulman, San Francisco Chronicle)

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