While the spring opener isn’t until tomorrow against Tampa, the Twins and Red Sox played a "B" game yesterday. Since we haven’t written about ANY game action for months, let’s talk about it. But first…
- OUCHIES: Denard Span, the OTHER essential Twins player with concussion issues that have derailed his last two seasons, ran headlong into a fence chasing a Trevor Plouffe dong during some drills. He only suffered a split lip, while everyone else suffered their first Twins-related panic attack of the spring. (UPDATE: per Phil Mackey, Span is participating in this morning’s workout, so it appears that nothing popped up overnight.)
- THE GROWING LEGEND OF J.R. TOWLES: the long-time minor leaguer threw out a basestealer and hit an RBI single in yesterday’s pretend game. Will Joe Mauer become the highest paid back-up catcher in MLB history? THAT’S WHY THEY PLAY THE GAMES.
- BAKER AND BLACKBURN RETURN TO THE MOUND; CARLOS GUTIERREZ SETS UP A BASE CAMP THERE: both Scott Baker and Nick Blackburn are recovering from season-ending surgeries in 2011, and neither one of them blew up yesterday. Meanwhile, Carlos Gutierrez had all sorts of issues (.2 IP, 1 H, 3 BB, 2 runs), leading to Gardy’s first "That can’t happen" quote of 2012.
- STEVE LIDDLE, UMPIRE: the Twins’ third-base coach handled balls and strikes during yesterday’ game. In Arizona, a bearded, professional hitter instinctively ran towards home plate. He was out by 25 feet.
- HEY REMEMBER WHEN WE TRADED J.J. HARDY FOR PRACTICALLY NOTHING AND REPLACED HIM WITH A GUY WHO COULDN’T HIT OR FIELD OR STAY HEALTHY WASN’T THAT AWESOME HAHAHAH--(dies): local AP writer, scourge of NBA referees and pre-eminent sports talk radio sixth man Jon Krawczynski caught up with Hardy at Baltimore’s spring training facility in Sarasota. Hardy talked about the different hitting approaches he took with both the Orioles and Twins, and how, like David Ortiz before him, the "Twins way" of hitting just didn’t work for him. This is what we like to call a "talker," because although it’s hard to argue that the Twins approach to hitting hasn’t worked, there are two glaring examples where it has flat-out failed the team and the players. Do you, the commenter, have something to say about this? Or anything else, for that matter?