GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The talk is over and it's time for the White Sox to take the field. Well, it's almost over.
Pitchers and catchers officially report to Camelback Ranch under a forecast of 80-degree temperatures on Friday, beginning what the White Sox hope is a championship season. It was one of the more interesting offseasons in recent memory for the South Siders, and in honor of the 2015 campaign, here are 15 quotes, in no particular order, that highlight the past four months.
"I don't need the biggest contract. I want that big shiny [World Series] trophy at the end. We have the team to do that. I don't want the payday. I want the celebration." Ace hurler Chris Sale, on pitching via a team-friendly, multi-year deal amidst the high-end free-agent pitching contracts.
"I'm preparing for a longer season. I'm not preparing for 162 games. I want playoffs in Chicago. Individual accolades won't matter. At the end, we will be remembered for what we accomplished as a team, and as a team, we have business to finish this year and years to come." Reigning American League Rookie of the Year Jose Abreu, on his 2015 outlook.
"I'm going to do my best to be an example. I'm going to try to motivate them. I'm going to get to the ballpark early. I'm going to be the last one leaving. I'm going to talk to them about baseball. If I can do that, this is the same thing that Jose Contreras did for me when I came here." Alexei Ramirez, on his focus as a 2015 leader.
"You go out there and you are not doing well or not working hard, then the story might change. That doesn't happen with me. I plan on doing the same thing, working hard and being behind the plate Opening Day." Tyler Flowers, on keeping his starting catcher's job.
"You know it always begins and ends with health for me." Hahn, when asked about questions he wants answered during Spring Training.
"It just got to the point with our organization where we decided to go a different direction." Hahn, on Dayan Viciedo's departure from the White Sox.
"One guy told me I had the nicest hair on the staff. I was like, 'I didn't know that. I'll take that as a compliment.'" Rookie southpaw Carlos Rodon, on interesting interactions with fans.
"You've got like two or three studs, aces, whatever, and on those days, you need to win. We had five of those guys. And it was like every day, you just had the feeling like he was going to outduel that other guy." Aaron Rowand, on the 2005 team's pitching prowess, at the outset of the 10-year championship anniversary celebration.
"I got the mat and everything." Micah Johnson, on staying committed to yoga, an exercise he added to improve flexibility, during the season.
"I don't want to sit here and read the future. I'm not Miss Cleo. But Rick put us in the position to do that. That's what all this is about, is winning a championship." Sale, on his team's position to win.
"What's coming into my mind is we were in a difficult spot the last two years, and we've been pulled out of that spot, and now the playing field has been leveled off a whole lot more. We're a better-looking team." White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper, on his team's position to win.
"I probably would have said no back when I first got traded. I really thought that was it." Gordon Beckham, on a potential White Sox return after he was traded last August. Beckham returned on a one-year, $2 million deal.
"I'm more excited to sign right now than I was when I got drafted in the first round." Brian Anderson, the team's top pick in the 2003 First-Year Player Draft, on returning via a Minor League deal after being out of affiliated baseball as an outfielder since '09.
"We have a little flair to us, and I think our fans are really going to like this team." White Sox executive vice president Ken Williams.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.