Quote of the week
Angels centerfielder Torii Hunter, on losing three straight to the surprising Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field: "You come in here and think you should get a sweep or at least win the series. Psych! They will knock you out. Come in here thinking you're the man, they'll knock you back to earth."
Gimmick of the week
Twins rightfielder Michael Cuddyer has been fitted for a special mouthpiece that is supposed to relax his jaw. That in turn is supposed to relax his face, shoulders and trapezius muscles, which the manufacturers claim is a key to athletic performance.
"[Red Sox slugger] Manny Ramirez is a big endorser of it," he told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. "Seven Tigers are using it, a few Toronto players are using it and I thought, 'Well, I'll give it a shot.' "
Inspiration of the week
Red Sox reliever Craig Hansen told the Boston Herald that he enjoys an obscure quote from Arnold Schwarzenegger so much that he not only memorized it but constantly writes it down on slips of paper to keep it fresh in his mind.
The verse: "Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardship and decide not to surrender, that is strength."
Stat of the week
Indians starting pitchers have a 0.16 earned run average in their last seven games. Tribe pitching overall has five shutouts in the last nine games. The pitching has been so good that Cleveland has won six of its last seven games, and in the only loss, starter Cliff Lee pitched nine shutout innings before the Indians lost after he departed in the 10th.
Nobody is enjoying this more than pitching coach Carl Willis. "Mostly I'm just sitting there eating [sunflower] seeds," he said.