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The Store

Best Of: Quotes from Twins Fest

Twins Fest is a great opportunity for Twins fans to start really getting excited about the upcoming season. In just over two weeks, pitchers and catchers will be reporting to Ft. Myers for the start of spring training. For the first time, Twins Fest was in Target Field. I had the opportunity to talk to a lot of Twins players on Friday and Saturday and thought I would share one quote from each. Consider this a Best Of Twins Fest Quotes article. Over the coming weeks, I’ll be writing some more in-depth stories about some of these players.[PRBREAK][/PRBREAK]
Attached Image: Twins Media.jpg

A portion of the Twins media (L to R): LaVelle E. Neal (Star Tribune), Mike Berardino (Pioneer Press), Rhett Bollinger (TwinsBaseball.com), Tyler Mason (FS North)


ALEX MEYER on last season’s shoulder injury:

“It wasn’t anything more than, I woke up one morning just sore. It wasn’t sore when I went to bed so I didn’t know what was going on. We went in and got checked out. It was funny, the MRI I got this time was more clean than the one when I got drafted. My shoulder looked better now than it did then. I knew nothing was wrong. I just didn’t know why I was hurting. I never had anything like that. Just a bump in the road now. It’s time to move past it and get back on the mound.”

BYRON BUXTON on all the postseason accolades:

“It’s really just an honor. God blessed me with a lot of talent and I just try to come out every day and use it and not let it go to waste.”

ANDREW ALBERS when the first question he was asked in a small group was about the Korea situation:

“Oh, here I thought we were going to do an interview about Saskatchewan.”

ANDREW ALBERS on the Twins:

“The Twins have been so great to me. They’ve given me so many opportunities. They took a chance on me when nobody else would. That makes it a really, really tough decision.”

(By the way, the Albers situation should be resolved within the next couple days.)

JASON KUBEL on Ron Gardenhire:

“He’s great. I’ve only played for a few managers, but he’s the best. I wasn’t worried. He’s just too good for them to let him go.”

TREVOR PLOUFFE on if he thinks 2014 is a big year for him personally with Miguel Sano being so close:

“Not really. I mean, I’m not really concerned about that. I want to help the team win. That’s all I care about. Miguel is a great player, and if he comes up and helps our team, we want him. We want anyone that can help the team.”

BRIAN DOZIER about his power in 2013:

“Bruno (hitting coach Tom Brunansky) helped a lot, him being a power hitter. He kind of saw that I wasn’t actually getting everything out of my swing. We made a lot of adjustments to create more power. I think that you try to find the kind of hitter you are. I think I did that last year. Got comfortable. I like where I’m at.”

SEAN GILMARTIN on which stat is most important to him:

“For any pitcher, really, you look at the amount of innings pitched a starting pitcher throws. That’ll give you an indication of whether he’s doing his job or not.”

JOE MAUER on changing diapers of his twin daughters:

“I can, yeah. Well, they’re six months old, but I think I have 12 months of experience.”

JOE MAUER on his brother Jake Mauer (manager of the Cedar Rapids Kernels):

“Jake’s one of those guys. He’s got a high baseball IQ. I think when he played, you could kind of tell that whenever he decided to be done, he’d be a manager. He always thought two pitches ahead or a play before it even happened. It’s fun. We’re brothers. We talk about a lot of things. That’s one thing that we share, the love of the game. And trying to get better at it, and finding better way of doing things.”

ERIC FRYER on his big league debut with the Pirates:

“I got thrown at in my big league debut, and I had a collision at home plate with David Ortiz. So that was certainly memorable. He didn’t hit me super hard.”

KURT SUZUKI on calling a game:

“I love calling the game. I love preparing myself. I really take pride in messing with hitters and being able to get my pitching staffs through a game flawlessly. That’s my goal every game.”

MIGUEL SANO on his home run goal for 2014:

I asked Sano, “So, you hit 30 home runs in Beloit two seasons ago, and 35 last year. Do you have a goal to hit 40 this year?” You’ve already seen his response:

“No… I hit 45 this year… more games… maybe 55, you never know. Working hard. Getting good pitch. That’s it.”

ROB PLUMMER, Sano’s agent on what Sano wants to learn this spring training:

“Joe (Mauer) says he’s going to try to see (Sano) in the cage and see how he is with his plate discipline and strike zone judgment. He’s going to try to give him hints about what pitchers are looking for in certain spots, and try to get him the plate discipline that Joe has. For me, I’ve been doing this 20 years, I think Miguel can walk 100 times a year. I think that he knows how important that is to add to his On Base-Slugging Percentage, to have an OPS over 1.000. We go over that stat a lot.”

It was neat to hear what an agent views and finds important. Of course, ballplayers with OPS over 1.000 tend to make a lot of money!

Asked if 100 walks is a goal, Sano said, “120… 150…”

MIKE PELFREY on coming back last year from Tommy John:

“There were a lot of times where I couldn’t get the necessary feel of the ball coming off my fingertips. That’s kind of important out there pitching. Obviously I think the results reflected that. I got a little better in the middle. Then I think I kind of wore down in September. In hindsight, I probably should have waited, maybe come back at 13 months which is June, when I started to get a little more of that feeling back. Obviously being a competitor, you want to be out there as soon as you can.”

AARON HICKS on his decision not to play winter ball:

“I thought a little about it, but I felt like it would be better for me to relax and think about stuff I need to do and get ready for another season rather than go right into another season. Just rest the body up. I’ve never had an actual offseason before. I’ve always played somewhere. It felt good to just relax.”

KYLE GIBSON on his mental preparation:

“I feel like this offseason, mentally, I’ve taken a lot of steps that I need to be prepared. I thought I was prepared last year when I got up there, and I think to a point, I was. But, as I started to struggle, I think I tried too hard to correct it. I was out there not allowing the adrenaline to help me, but rather making it force things and get in my own way mentally instead of doing what I’ve done my whole career, just getting out there, seeing the pitch I’m throwing. Picture it, and execute it and move on.”


So there you have a taste of what was talked about at Twins Fest by some of the players. Certainly they are all looking forward to spring training and the start of another season.

Dustin Morse and his PR staff deserve a ton of credit. Behind the scenes, they are the ones that get the players going to the right places and making Twins Fest go well. Dustin, along with Andrew Heydt, Mike Kennedy and Mitch Hestad aren’t the guys signing autographs, but they are the guys who make it all happen.

Feel free to discuss the quotes above and ask questions that you may have.


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