CHICAGO - Before I take off on my super-early flight from the Windy City to the City That Never Sleeps, I wanted to kick off a feature that I hope to post every Monday morning during the season called Clubhouse Cliff Notes.
Since it would be both impossible and completely unnecessary to post every single quote I get from players in my pregame, in-game and postgame entries, I figured this would be a way for me to pass along some of the best soundbites from the last week that have fallen through the cracks.
If a player said something hilarious or someone made an especially insightful or thought-provoking comment, you'll find it here.
I'll try and use quotes for this piece that I haven't posted previously, but if something is just too good to exclude, I might have to just go ahead and use it again
Without further ado, here are your Clubhouse Cliff Notes from the first week of the season:
April 7 postgame
Context: Talking about how he's improved his in-game mental approach by putting complete focus on each pitch
Quote: "My college coach was really good at the mental side of the game. Done a lot of research on it. I spent a lot of time with him this offseason and he showed me what he teaches his guys. He writes everything out, so he gave me a little write-up on it and it made a lot of sense to me. I'd always been one of them guys that, I don't need a shrink. I don't need any of this method training. I can figure it out. I'm not an idiot. And this was just an extra tool that's kind of I think giving me a little bit of an edge."
April 6 postgame
Context: Talking about the Nationals' starting pitchers
Quote: "The truth is, your team is generally going to go as far as your starting pitching goes. It's very hard to just mash your way against teams or have a superb bullpen and do well if your starting pitching can't carry a team. So the fact that we have the horses that we do in the rotation, I think that's really the first sign that lets you know we're going to go far, for me. That's kind of what I base it on more than anything. And then when you get down here and see the 'pen and the guys offensively, we've got a good shot."
April 7 postgame
Context: Talking about the impact that first baseman Chad Tracy has made early in the season
Quote: "I think when he came into camp, he'd be the first one to tell you that his chances weren't great. Whether they were 50-50, whatever they were, he had to earn everything he got on this club to make this team. I know it's still early, but I think he's a hitter. I know he's had some injuries. We're glad to have him. I'm glad he had the spring he did. If he didn't, you never know what could have happened. It's good to have him on the club. He's going to be a big part of this."