It's spring training, and though I'm thrilled baseball's back, I can't actually see it for myself on the TV, not for another week. And don't get me wrong, I love the coverage that we're getting from Fort Myers, but there's only so many times I can read quotes from pitchers who say they "feel great" before I get bored.
And so, here' some stories to watch out for from the coming week in Fort Myers. These are things that we think could quite possibly make news this week (but probably not)...
- Nick Punto has to be forcibly removed from the Twins' clubhouse on Monday, where he is found clinging to Ron Gardenhire's leg and crying.
- On Tuesday, The Hunt For Joe Mauer In Catching Equipment continues to prove fruitless. Rumors fly that the catcher's leg has rusted completely, Tin Man style, and that Mauer will attempt to play the year with a peg leg.
- In lineup news, on Wednesday Gardenhire announces the rest of his starting rotation, his planned outfield platoons through June 1, and his final 25-man roster for the year. Gardy also unveils the clubhouse menus for the season, the team's flight schedules for the year, and a detailed, 127-slide PowerPoint presentation regarding improvements that can be made in the team's laundry service. Terry Ryan reveals publicly that he "regrets" giving Gardy a copy of "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People."
- Thursday there is no news, so every media outlet reports one of the following stories:
- Tsuyoshi Nishioka is Japanese.
- No, really, he's like from Japan and stuff. But don't worry, they have baseball over there. Kind of.
- Boy, that Japanese media... how about those guys, huh?
- Friday marks the passing of a milestone: the 2,500th question from a media member to a Twins official or player about Justin Morneau's timetable for recovery. (The answer, as ever, remains, "We have no idea because we are still afraid that Morneau will wake up with the bells of St. Mary's playing inside his skull any day now.")
- Saturday, Pat Neshek strikes out the side in a spring training game, and for the first time all spring, Gardy says Neshek's name out loud, but pronounces it incorrectly just for spite.
- Sunday, Drew Butera hits left-handed in a split-squad game against the Phillies. He strikes out three times, but no one notices. An absent-minded Joe Vavra, who as a matter of principle refuses to make eye contact with Butera, mumbles something about "keeping your head down."
Not much of a week for news, then. But frankly, it's not like we'd know the difference.