Here are some of the notable quotes from around Major League Baseball this week:
"He's the rock, the foundation. The baseball gods looked down on him and gave him patience. I'm so happy for him. It couldn't happen to a better guy, a guy who worked so hard. I can't wait to pour champagne on his head."
-- Colorado infielder Jamey Carroll on teammate Todd Helton, who had to wait a decade before even playing in a postseason game but is now headed to the World Series. (Rocky Mountain News)
"I had a feeling off the bat it was going to drop. We haven't had many things drop our way this series."
-- Arizona starting pitcher Micah Owings commenting on the two-out bloop double that Seth Smith of Colorado hit in the bottom of the fourth inning, allowing Colorado to take a 2-1 lead and eventually score six runs in the inning. (Rocky Mountain News)
"I'm very thankful that I could help the team. It's a lot more fun to do things to help the team than take away from the team."
-- Colorado left fielder Matt Holliday commenting on being named the MVP of the National League Championship Series after helping the Rockies sweep Arizona in the best-of-seven series. (Rocky Mountain News)
"You grow up and you watch those teams on the podium and guys talk about that experience -- to be part of it is unbelievable. It's a dream come true and something I will never forget."
-- Colorado third baseman Garrett Atkins after the Rockies defeated Arizona 6-4 in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series to earn a berth in the World Series. Colorado swept Arizona in the best-of-seven series. (Denver Post)
"When we put him in as our closer in June, we thought he could do it, but we weren't sure. He has no fear of anything."
-- Colorado pitching coach Bob Apodaca on Rockies closer Manny Corpas, who earned the save Monday night in Game 4 of the NLCS, a game in which Colorado defeated Arizona 6-4 to earn a berth in the World Series. (Denver Post)
"I think we'd like to have all our guys have eight hits, but that's the way the game is. I think I'd be doing the team injustice by making wholesale changes."
-- Boston manager Terry Francona saying he doesn't plan on making any big changes to the Red Sox lineup despite the struggles of some players in the ALCS against Cleveland. (Boston Herald)
"The rest has done me well. Obviously, I threw that simulated game (last week). I felt my command was there and I'm taking my normal rest. I've thrown my side (session), done my work, gotten some work done between starts and I'm ready to go."
-- Boston starter Tim Wakefield before his start Tuesday night in Game 4 of the ALCS against Cleveland. Wakefield started on 16 days of rest due to an injury to his upper back. (Boston Herald)
"He's kept us even-keeled. With a team that three-quarters of us are 27 and younger, that's not an easy task to do. He's a real positive guy. He's never going to diss us in the paper. If we screw up, he knows it's not an easy game."
-- Arizona first baseman Conor Jackson on manager Bob Melvin, who was named National League Manager of the Year by the Sporting News. The award is voted on by players and managers. (Arizona Republic)
"We want to win this at home. We don't want to go back to Boston."
-- Cleveland Indians shortstop Jhonny Peralta, on his desire -- along with his teammates -- to win Game 5 of the ALCS on Thursday night to keep the series from going back to Boston. The Indians currently lead the best-of-seven series, three games to one. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
"We all know what the Red Sox did in 2004 when they came back against the Yankees. We're up 3-1, but it doesn't mean anything. We've got to finish them off. If we don't finish them off, it doesn't mean anything."
-- Cleveland Indians catcher Victor Martinez, on the difference between being a win away from going to the World Series and actually getting there. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
"He's our postseason MVP. He's stepped up for us twice when we needed him."
-- Cleveland Indians third baseman Casey Blake, on pitcher Paul Byrd. Byrd is 2-0 this post-season with an ERA of 3.60. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
"I'd look you in the eye and tell you I'd take a bullet for (Mike Sweeney) and his family. I love that guy."
-- Colorado Rockies pitcher and former Royal Jeremy Affeldt, on his feelings about former teammate Mike Sweeney. (Kansas City Star)
"When I was in fifth grade, I swallowed a half dollar and almost died. I was holding it above my head and looking at it, and it fell in my mouth. I must have had a gag reflex, and I swallowed it. My mom tried to give me the Heimlich and nothing worked, so she rushed me to the emergency room. They knocked me out and got it out. They said my breathing (area) was less than pencil size. We kept the half dollar. It's at my parents' house. It was called the Paul Bunyan Lucky Half Dollar, but it wasn't too lucky. It was a big sucker."
-- Minnesota Twins pitcher Pat Neshek, on an unfortunate childhood experience. (St. Paul Pioneer Press)
"I just think about him going with me in the first series. I mean, he didn't have to do that. I think the whole world wanted C.C. out on the mound, everybody except for my mom, Eric Wedge and my wife. So the fact that he went with me, it made me feel really good. I can sit there and get angry and say: 'I don't get any respect and I want to prove everybody wrong.' That's really not me. I'd rather be focused on proving a few people right, and he was one of them. I've always appreciated Eric's loyalty. Even after some rough starts that I've had here in Cleveland, he has always had my back."
-- Cleveland Indians pitcher Paul Byrd, the winning pitcher in Game 4 of the ALCS, on getting the opportunity to throw in big games in the postseason. (MLB.com)
"He's done about everything a guy could do. I don't know what else you could do, unless he wants to sell tickets and sell popcorn."
-- Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel on shortstop Jimmy Rollins. In 2007, Rollins became the first player in history to record at least 30 stolen bases, 30 homers, 20 triples and 30 doubles in a season. He also scored 139 runs -- most in the National League. (MLB.com)
"That means a lot. That's the head honcho right there. That's something I'm glad to hear. Hopefully, something will get worked out."
-- Cincinnati Reds outfielder Adam Dunn, on comments made by Reds owner/CEO Bob Castellini suggesting that the team would like Dunn back in Cincinnati for the 2008 season. (MLB.com)
"It won't be the last time he runs into a wall, trust me. Some kids back off, and some kids don't. To him, the ball's more important. That's the way he plays. He's an awful lot of fun to watch."
-- Braves player-development director Kurt Kemp on top prospect Jordan Schafer running into a wall and suffering a minor concussion. Schafer was named the Arizona Fall League's Player of the Week that same week. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
"Josh's record speaks for itself. He is containing his thought process, he's containing his energy to release it when he's pitching. He does his job and walks off the hill."
-- Red Sox reliever Mike Timlin on fellow pitcher Josh Beckett, who will attempt to stave off elimination for Boston in its playoff series with Cleveland Thursday night.. (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)
"I think the whole world wanted C.C. out on the mound, everybody except for my mom, Eric Wedge and my wife. So the fact that he went with me, it made me feel really good. I can sit there and get angry and say I don't get any respect and I want to prove everybody wrong. That's not me. I'd rather be focused on proving a few people right."
-- Indians Pitcher Paul Byrd on being the team's starter in Game Four of the ALCS. (Washington Times)
"See you in the American League."
-- Dodgers pinch-hitter Olmedo Saenz' last words to teammate Shea Hillenbrand at the end of the season. Both players were released by the Dodgers and are now free agents. (Los Angeles Daily News)
"The rest is history what he has done with his career. That makes us all feel tremendously good. We wish some of those years would have been with us."
-- Outgoing Giants director of player development Jack Hiatt on Twins pitcher and former San Francisco top prospect Joe Nathan, whom Hiatt considers his favorite success story. (San Francisco Chronicle)
"Gretzky assaulted all the records in hockey. A-Rod is assaulting all the records in baseball."
-- Agent Scott Boras comparing his client Alex Rodriguez to hockey great Wayne Gretzky. Boras used the Gretzky analogy because when the Los Angeles Kings acquired Gretzky, their television partner Prime Ticket helped cover part of his salary. (Los Angeles Times)
"You won't know if he was 0 for 50 in last place, or 50 for 50 and about to win the World Series. He's the same. His mom and dad and Grady and I had breakfast before what turned out to be the final game in New York, and he was his same old self. He got to the park early, doing his routine. I talked to him afterward, after the celebration. Obviously, he was very happy, but it was still Grady being Grady. You have Manny being Manny, and Grady being Grady." -- Agent Joe Urbon on the laid-back personality of client Grady Sizemore. (Seattle Times)
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.