Twins pitchers and catchers report in Fort Myers one month from yesterday, and since the entire team's going away for six weeks, the packing planning has no doubt already commenced. Spring Training isn't just a time to get the arm in shape or get the hitting stroke back - it's a time to get mentally recharged and do a little bit of relaxing, as well, and so while bats and gloves and spikes all need to be packed, so too do a few other items. Below, a look at a few things that we think might be down on the end of a few players' packing lists.
Jim Thome: A three-gallon jug of maple syrup with weird stuff floating in it. Jim says that his daily three-pork-chop breakfast just isn't the same without some of that homemade maple syrup.
Carl Pavano: A jar of Turfman's Industrial-Strength Moustache Wax (in the Italian-American Family Size jumbo container, of course.) The waitresses at the Fort Myers Denny's appreciate the extra touch.
Justin Morneau: A Remington Model 870 pump-action 12-gauge shotgun. All these years and Morneau's never seen a moose on the road in Fort Myers - but that doesn't mean you should come unprepared, does it?
Kevin Slowey: The complete works of Dostoyevsky. He heard the Russian Lit department at Columbia had reinterpreted a couple of translations, and he wants to compare his notes on the original Russian version.
Glen Perkins: The movie version of "Where The Wild Things Are," because he never read all the way through to the end of the book.
Pat Neshek: An issue of Beckett Baseball Card Price Guide from August 1988. (It's like vintage pornography for card collectors.)
Tsuyoshi Nishioka: A brand-new pair of bowling shoes, with matching bowling ball. He doesn't know much about his new manager, but he wants to make a good first impression.
Alexi Casilla: A lawn-bowling set. (Poor Alexi never did quite know how to impress Gardy.)
Matt Tolbert: A jersey that says "Punto" on the back. (Tolbert doesn't want to go back to Rochester, and he'll wage psychological warfare if he has to.)
Joe Mauer; (This space intentionally left blank, because truth is, whatever Joe would probably bring with would be so unbelievably boring that you'd swear he was doing it on purpose to try to throw you off the scent of something else. Like he'd say that he had brought his favorite pillow from home, and he just can't sleep right without it, and you'd almost half hope that what he was really bringing was a kilo of Colombian nose candy, because it'd be a little bit of personality.)
Luke Hughes: A helpful T-shirt to wear when signing autographs that reads, "No, Trevor Plouffe is the one without the Aussie accent."
Jose Mijares: Two cases of delicious chocolate frosting, because an army marches on its stomach, and every good army ensures its supply lines.