I’m sure most of you follow a number of other Twins blogs (and if you don’t, you should) so you probably already know that several of said bloggers are currently basking in the glow of sunshine and baseball down in Ft. Myers.
Amazingly, some of them have taken the time to post to their blogs while down there and several of them have also been giving their Twitter thumbs a workout, as well.
While we always want you to make Knuckleballs a daily stop on your daily virtual baseball tour, here are a few links you should definitely be looking in on this week as these bloggers give us on-site reports from the Twins’ spring home:
Seth Stohs (sethspeaks.net) had a very long day as he started Tuesday with a 2:45 am alarm clock setting and followed that up with a couple of flights, an eventful first day at the Lee County Sports Complex, and a post-game gathering at a sports bar near the stadium. Seth also relates how he and other bloggers down there narrowly avoided suffering the infamous anti-blogger/twitter wrath of Ron Gardenhire as Gardy tried in vain to run the guys down on his golf cart. (OK, yeah, maybe a bit of embellishment on my part… but it makes for a better story!) Follow Seth on Twitter at @SethSpeaks.
Topper Anton, of Curve for a Strike, posted a rundown of his day as well as some pictures of the Twins/Pirates game on Tuesday from his seat directly behind home plate. Follow Topper at @CurveForaStrike
Nick Nelson (nickstwinsblog.com) arrived at the back field where Justin Morneau and Delmon Young made their debuts in a “B” game with the Pirates Tuesday morning just in time to see Justin slide in to home and score from second base, ending his 4 inning performance. Follow Nick on Twitter at @nnelson9.
Parker Hageman of Over The Baggy is also down in Florida, but it looks like he’s dogging it so far, in terms of posting his adventures on his blog. I suggest continuing to check in at OTB periodically, though, and you can follow him on Twitter at @OverTheBaggy.
Like a lot of people, I’m sure, I’m jealous of all those folks currently soaking up the sun and baseball, but I take some solace from knowing it will be my turn in less than a week. I head to Ft. Myers on the 15th and will be over at Hammond Stadium the following day.
A couple of months ago, in the first of my 3-part “Spring Training Guide” series of posts, I wrote that I break the Spring Training schedule down in to three parts. Well, we’re starting to transition from the first part to the second, as the Twins have played 10 Spring Training games heading in to today’s game in Sarasota vs. the Orioles. As I wrote back in January, this middle portion of the ST schedule is really my favorite part.
We’re winding up the initial stretch of games where starting pitchers have been throwing only 2-4 innings and regular position players take a seat after just a couple of plate appearances. The minor league camp officially opens at the end of this week and that’s when we’ll start to see some of the 3,961 pitchers (ok… a slight exaggeration… maybe) that started ST in the Major League clubhouse move their equipment across the complex to their minor league lockers.
This is also when we should start seeing the regular position players getting an additional plate appearance during each game. Of course, this spring has been somewhat of an unusual situation with regard to the Twins position players because so many of them are coming off of injuries and are just now starting to get cleared to play in games. It will be interesting to see how many swings guys like Morneau, Young, Cuddyer and Mauer get during games as they each make their belated debuts on Gardy’s line-up cards.
This year, my trip to Spring Training is going to end up straddling the second and third parts of the schedule, as games 18-23 will be played while I’m in the Sunshine State. Right now, I’m planning on catching home games against the Mets and Rays, on the 16th and 19th, respectively, and road games against the Tigers (17th), Orioles (18th), Blue Jays (20th) and Pirates (21st). I admit, though, that I’m giving some thought to skipping the Tiger game… it’s the longest drive of the bunch and just hanging out in Ft. Myers and watching the workouts back there that morning might not be a bad decision.
In any event, I’ll be posting regularly here at Knuckleballs and I’ll also be filing some reports with Howard Sinker for his “A Fan’s View from Section 219” blog over at the Strib site.
One final programming note… I’m scheduled to join the TwinsGeek, John Bonnes, on Fanatic Jack’s “Twins Talk” podcast tonight at 9:00 (I’m tentatively scheduled to join in the discussion at 9:20). You can find it under the 612 Sports Radio tab over at 612sports.net.