Fort Myers, Florida (FNI) -- Spring Training for the Minnesota Twins catchers and pitchers has begun as they report to sunny Hammond Stadium.
Twins players scatter as a bucket of baseballs is thrown on the field. They were soon rallied and training resumed. via stmedia.startribune.com
"'To my #1 fan Gardy' G-A-R-D-Y" Ron Gardenhire gets an autograph from a fan he thought was Lindsay Guentzel via binaryapi.ap.org
Among the players that reported was Twins first baseman, Joe Mauer, who showed up on the first day in full catching regalia. "I'm in the best shape of my life." Mauer said, "The doctors said I am completely concussion free." When asked by reporters why he was wearing catching gear, Mauer laughed, "I forgot Gardy already told me that. Justin [Former Twins first baseman, Justin Morneau] will get a big kick out of this, where is he?"
Twins Eliminated from Playoff Contention
It was announced that the Twins have been eliminated from post-season play, the earliest in the season they have been eliminated since 1994.
Twins GM Terry Ryan gave a brief press statement, "It's a big disappointment to us, we know we let the fans down, but FIPs, ZIPs, and BABIPs don't lie, there's no possible way for us to win the division this year." Ryan vowed, "This team will be in the best shape of it's life next year and we will compete."
Ron Gardenhire lamented, "They used to make us play out the season, but now the bean counters got it all figured out way ahead of time." When asked if he is worried about his job, Gardenhire chuckled, "Naw! I'm in the best shape of my life. There's always next year."
The traditional "post-game dogpile celebration by the visiting team" honor will go to the Boston Red Sox and will occur immediately following the first home game at Hammond Stadium.