WON'T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE AL CENTRAL?
"Everybody can pay. You don't own a team when you're broke. [The Twins] did what they wanted to do. They got their guy. If we had a guy [such as Mauer], they would do the same thing. If they want a guy bad enough, they'll get him. The guys that have done well here have been rewarded. I guarantee you, if Joe Mauer played here, he'd get the same [contract]. He'd get the same thing anywhere else."
—Pirates outfielder Lastings Milledge, on Mauer's long-term extension.
"It's a happy day in baseball. It's a happy day when a player can remain a part of the community and the team that nurtured him. It's a tough example to follow, because I have met few people in my entire experience that have the value system that this young man has."
—Ron Shapiro, Mauer's agen
"Coming into the season, yes, there were concerns about it dragging into the season because we have been there before and it is no fun."
—Twins manager Ron Gardenhire
"It was a progression. There were some difficult moments, where we came in with a proposal that the club didn't like and they countered, but the bottom line is, it was an absolute progression during that 60-day period."
"When it comes down to it, how much do you really need? Really, for me, it's being happy, and I'm definitely happy here."
—Twins catcher Joe Mauer (Kelly Thesier, MLB.com)
AND IN SHORT, HE'S READY FOR THE SEASON TO BEGIN
"My wife saw something on the internet the other day, and she was all freaking out. I said, 'Babe, I'm not going anywhere unless (general manager) Jed (Hoyer) tells me I'm going somewhere. Everything else is just a rumor. I can't sit here and worry about it. If something does happen, I'm going to have to learn a lot of people's names in a hurry."
—Padres closer Heath Bell, on trade rumors.
"Part of me says yes, but a part of me says no. I didn’t have the best shot over there but they did give me a shot and I’m always going to have a small part of me that’s a Met. I’m always going to follow them a little bit. Was I happy the first year when they fell? Kind of, but after that I was kind of upset. I want to beat them every time we play, but I also want them to get to the playoffs if I’m not playing them. I guess I’m a little softie for that."
—Bell, reflecting on his time with the Mets.
"The only thing is that I'm probably one of the candidates to go to Minnesota. Kerry Wood and some of the other candidates have gone down, and I'm healthy. I want to stay here, but it would be kind of cool to go up to (Twins catcher) Joe Mauer since he's on the cover of my PlayStation, and say, 'Hey, can you sign my game?'"
"I like taking a baseball bat to something. I've learned to channel my rage without breaking a whole lot of things. So I kick a lot of doors. I have broken a lot of handles. I do it in a good way. Like I'll come in and tear my locker apart. But me tearing my locker apart is me coming in and getting really mad at my locker. I'll take everything off my hanger, lay it down, put everything upside-down and then just grunt and walk away."
—Bell, on what he does when he's angry. (David Brown, Yahoo! Sports)
EVERYTHING'S FINE, WHY DO YOU ASK? AM I BABBLING?
"I respectfully disagree that giving up a Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, or Matt Kemp to have CC Sabathia or Mark Teixeira for two months — and maybe be able to sign them beyond that — was a good proposition. How would we feel right now without Clayton Kershaw or Matt Kemp?"
—Dodgers owner Frank McCourt
"It's tough. I'm not going to lie to you. It's a very, very sad thing. Nobody wants to go through this privately, never mind publicly. But in LA, so much of it is about drama. LA is so much about personalities. It's just how the city functions. This is a juicy story for people until it's not juicy anymore. Then, they move on to somebody else's story. Tiger Woods was fantastic for me."
—McCourt, on having his life be in the papers.
"Because of California, community property, divorce, sports franchise, and San Diego, people jump to conclusions about what this means for the Dodgers. The key omission there is the fact that I have marital agreements with Jamie that make crystal clear I own the Dodgers. The Dodgers are not for sale. My kids will own the Dodgers someday. As we get this matter resolved … things will get back to normal."
—McCourt (Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times)
IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF SCHOPENHAUER AND NIETZSCHE
"Have you ever gone to watch a movie and thought, ‘Man, this movie is so good I wish it would have never ended.’ That’s like a Red Sox–Yankees game. Why would you want it to end? Bundle up and drink beer."
—Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon, on the excessive length of Yankee-Red Sox games.
"I enjoy the games. They’re a little bit longer than most games, but what are you going to do. Like I said, you can do all the things they ask us to do, and we’re doing them and our games are still just as long."
"If you don’t want to be there, don’t be there. Go home. Why are you complaining. I’m not going to sit somewhere I don’t want to be. If you go to a movie or any entertainment event and you like it, you’re going to stay and watch and you’re not going to want it to end. If you don’t, then you won’t. Why is it such a big deal?"
"You can’t change the issues of great hitters having great at-bats, and great teams playing other great teams with lots of pitching changes. You can’t change that. It’s like walking a tightrope. What do you do? What don’t you do? It’s hard keeping everybody happy."
—Papelbon (Rob Bradford, WEEI.com)
"We can only do what we can do as an organization. We can't necessarily do what other teams can do. It's not always what you want to do, it's what you can do."
—Brewers general manager Doug Melvin, on Joe Mauer's contract extension with the Twins. (Adam McCalvy, MLB.com)
"Another 400-500 at-bats in the minor leagues for the young man is going to be fine. Or 250 at-bats in the big leagues this year, I don't know. I like the heck out of him. I like the way he plays, I like the way he goes about his business. I think he's one of the guys in the minor leagues right now that has a chance this summer to maybe help us. I like the way he gets after it."
—Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, on outfield prospect Ben Revere. (MLB.com)
"He came to me last week, and he said, 'Are you doing something for me?' I said, 'Yeah, what's your shirt size?' I put it in a box the size of a shirt. I said, 'You realize there is no shirt in here.' He was very surprised. I like doing nice things for good people, and we have a lot of good people around here."
—Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, on the necklace he gave Hanley Ramirez that reads "Congratulations – Jeffrey Loria." (Joe Frisaro, MLB.com)
"What we've tried to do is communicate a schedule that works both for him and the club and there are certain points that he has to meet. He fulfilled his first obligation so far, and our expectation is he will continue to meet them."
—Angels general manager Tony Reagins on prospect Jake Locker, who is likely to be the No. 1 overall selection in the 2011 NFL Draft. (Bellington Herald)
"We had a long drought. For us to finally win, you can’t say it’s better than the first one or the second one. It’s just different. But you do forget how good it feels."
—Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, on winning last year's World Series. (Fred Goodall, Yahoo! Sports)
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.