Cuddyer, MacPhail Named To Twins Hall of Fame
Image courtesy of Bill Streicher, USA TodayIn this article, I'll briefly highlight some of the events and notes from the Diamond Awards and the media luncheon. Please feel free to ask questions below and I will respond as I have time.
Michael Cuddyer spent 11 of his 15 MLB season in a Twins uniform. The recently retired ballplayer had some strong seasons in a Twins uniform. Overall, he hit .272/.343/.451 (.794) with 239 doubles, 45 triples and 141 home runs in a Twins uniform. He will be at Twins Fest this weekend. Recently, he and Torii Hunter and LaTroy Hawkins were named special assistants to the Baseball Operations department.
Andy MacPhail became the Twins General Manager in 1985. He was very young then and helped put the final pieces together for the Twins 1987 and 1991 World Series Championship teams.
Dave St. Peter announced that both will be inducted during Hall of Fame weekend at Target Field, likely in August.
Cuddyer was named to the Hall of Fame from the players ballot. Dan Gladden and Cesar Tovar reportedly were second and third in the voting. In the non-player ballot, MacPhail finished ahead of long-time Twins coach Rick Stelmaszek and former Twins President Jerry Bell.
- Dustin Morse informed us that there will be 78 current, former and future Twins players signing at Twins Fest this year. He said that was pretty close to a record.
- Sid Hartman was at the media luncheon.
- Derek Falvey told the media that he and Thad Levine were in Ft. Myers last week at the Twins academy. They had two summits while there.
- The first was a scouting summit. He said all of the scouts were in attendance, including new scouting director Sean Johnson. As a team, they put in place a set of processes, what they were looking for, etc.
- There also was a hitting summit. It included new Twins hitting coach James Rowson, Jeff Pickler, Torii Hunter, minor league hitting coordinator Rick Epstein and all of the minor league hitting coaches. They discussed how to teach, terminology and more as a group.
- Falvey also mentioned that it was also important for both of those summits to come together. That way the hitting coaches could discuss with the scouting department what they are teach and what they might be looking for. It starts a conversation and encourages collaboration between MLB, minor leagues, scouting and front office.
- He said a similar pitching summit will take place in the coming weeks as well.
- Dave St. Peter discussed many goings-on with the Twins. Much more will be coming out in the coming weeks, but here are a couple of highlights.
- The Minnesota State High School League's championship games (four classes) will again be at Target Field on June 19th.
- Target Field will also host a regional RBI tournament in mid-July.
- Team USA and USA Baseball's 18U team will be headquartered here. They will play a game or two here before heading to Canada for the World Championships.
- He again reiterated that Rod Carew is six weeks post-heart and kidney surgery. There is a chance he will be released from the hospital as early as today. He will be on travel restrictions, so he won't be at spring training or opening day, but they're hoping he'll be around by mid-summer.
- Pitchers and catchers report on February 14th. Think about that. It's just 18 days away.
- There is a new video board at Hammond Stadium.
- Tickets to the Twins Opening Day game against the Royals on April 3rd will go on sale at 4:00 today.
- The remainder of the tickets will be available starting February 25th.
- The Twins will announce their full promotional schedule before the the 25th so that fans can see which games they want to attend.
- In mid-July, the Twins will hold a 30th anniversary of the 1987 Twins World Series championship.
- They also are planning a celebration of Rod Carew's Summer of '77 (40 years). The celebration of his MVP season and chase for .400 will include a bobblehead.
- The Twins recently announced that Billy Joel will be playing a concert at Target Field. St. Peter also mentioned that they are having ongoing discussions with several promoters and will likely have at least one more show this summer.
- He reminded the assembled group that the first college football game at Target Field will be played on September 23. It will feature St. Johns and St. Thomas. They anticipate drawing the largest crowd for a Division III football game ever.
- St. Peter credited Bill Smith and Dan Starkey for their work on the Dominican academy, a $19 million collaboration between the Twins and Phillies.
- They are changing the lighting at Target Field to an enhanced LED system. It will improve energy efficiency and improve the televised broadcasts.
- Also, the team is opening a Twins-themed restaurant at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport (C concourse) in early March.
- Twins Fest
- I should point out that if you look at the Player Autograph schedule for Twins Fest, you'll notice that there are several FREE autograph sessions.
- Lots of the player interviews will air on 1500 ESPN throughout the weekend, so be sure to listen in to those if you're not able to get here in person.
- Winter Meltdown
- A quick reminder that the Twins Daily Winter Meltdown will be held at Brothers (near Target Field) on Saturday night. The event will begin at 4:30. Our guests this year will include Jack Goin and LaTroy Hawkins. Parker, John and I talked to them this afternoon.
- Diamond Awards
- On Thursday night, the Twins and the University of Minnesota collaborated with the BBWAA to put on a terrific show at the Diamond Awards at Target Field.
- It's a fun celebration of the positives for the Twins during the 2016 season (yes, there were some), and a way to help the Bob Allison Ataxia Research Center (BAARC) and the University of Minnesota. The dollars generated will help research to find cures eventually for diseases such as ALS, ataxia, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, Parkinson's disease, and other neurodegenerative diseases.
- You can watch a lot of it on the Twins Facebook page. Much of it was shown live.
- It was nice catching up with some of the players at the event, Zack Granite, Stephen Gonsalves, Max Kepler and Brian Dozier.
- We had a Twins Daily table, and as was pointed out on Twitter, it was right by the bar. In addition to John and I, Jeremy Nygaard and Ted Schwerzler were at the table. Also, Mariana, the person behind Twins Latinos on Facebook, Twitterand Instagram sat with us. Be sure to follow her. Who knows? Give it some thought. Maybe next year we can get enough people to get 2-3 tables there.
And, if you are still looking for a 2017 Twins Prospect Handbook, they can be purchased at the FanHQ booth on the lower level of Target Field.