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    by 03-05-2012, 10:22 PM

    Aaron Gleeman and the Twins Geek discuss Zumaya's injury, rank JR Towles chances of unseating Drew Butera, watch the Twins first televised spring training game, take questions at the Wild Boar and finally unveil John's original "Beauty & The Beast" theme song. Here are:

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    by 03-05-2012, 10:08 PM

    Sometimes a team needs just one bad inning to lose a ball game. The Twins had two (really) bad innings in a 10-2 loss to the cross-town Red Sox.

    Jason Marquis made the start for the Twins and struck out two in a scoreless first inning. He came back out for the second frame and things did not go well at all. Marquis gave up four runs on three hits, a couple of walks and three wild pitches. The pace of the game slowed dramatically that second inning.

    Jeff Manship came in and quickly recorded the final out of the 2nd inning. He pitched a quick third inning as well, although he did give up a long home run to former Twin David Ortiz, who was playing 1B for the Red Sox. Liam Hendriks pitched very well. He struck out three in two scoreless innings. Carlos Gutierrez came in and quickly struck out two in his inning.
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    by 03-05-2012, 08:22 PM

    Well everyone, spring training is finally upon us!

    With only a few days to go, I sit back and critique myself. Did I prepare to my fullest ability? Did I out-work everyone else when there was nobody looking? Could I have done more?

    These are all questions that run through anybody that did prepare. There may be a sense of panic for the guys that didn’t. Overall, there is a great excitement to get the ball rolling this year.


    With report date tomorrow, I’m looking forward to seeing all my past teammates, along with future ones. All will check in to the team hotel. (A side note to those who do not know, yes, they actually put the entire minor league group in the same “Team Hotel” which always makes for some great late night card games!)
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    by 03-05-2012, 08:51 AM

    When the Twins came to Minnesota from Washington for the 1961, one of the players that came was first baseman Don Mincher. On Sunday night, Mincher passed away at the age of 73.

    Mincher originally signed in 1956 with the Chicago White Sox but in April of 1960, he was traded along with Earl Battey and cash to the Senators for Roy Sievers. He made his big league debut with Washington in 1960. He stayed with the Twins through the 1966 season when he was traded to the Angels with Pete Cimino and Jimmie Hall for Dean Chance. In his seven seasons with the Minnesota Twins, he played in 617 games and hit .244/.340/.450 (.798) with 77 doubles, 10 triples, 92 home runs and 270 RBI. He was the Twins starting first baseman from 1964-1966 and in those three years, he hit .247/.331/.482 with 59 doubles, 7 triples and 59 home runs.
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    by 03-04-2012, 11:51 PM

    There's a saying that goes: one man's persisting and possibly career-ending concussion aftermath is another man's opportunity. Something like that, anyway.

    Up to this point, things have gone smoothly for Justin Morneau, who has been able to get through all his workouts and delivered an RBI single in the Twins' Grapefruit League opener on Saturday. But the first baseman acknowledged recently that post-concussion symptoms continued to haunt him throughout the offseason, and that if they return he's probably going to have to hang up the spikes.

    Those would be some pretty big spikes to fill.
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    by 03-04-2012, 03:58 PM

    When the Twins opened up Target Field in April of 2010, they played host to the Boston Red Sox. This afternoon, the Twins sent a split-squad team across Ft. Myers to play against the Red Sox in the first game in the new jetBlue Park at Fenway South. The near-Fenway clone is a beautiful park, and Twins fans should be excited about it because the Twins also are getting money for renovations and improvements to Hammond Stadium.

    The Twins won their inaugural Target Field game 5-2. The Red Sox won their inaugural jetBlue game by a score of 8-2.

    It was actually a really good game much of the way. The Twins scored a run in the top of the 7th to tie the game at two apiece.
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    by 03-04-2012, 03:04 PM

    I’m sure discussions were beginning about what would happen should this game need to go to extra innings. The Twins sent a split-squad roster to play the Rays, so there were only a certain number of pitchers available. That’s when catcher JR Towles stepped to the plate with a runner on in the top of the 9th. The #3-catcher hopeful hit a fly ball that, with the help of a strong wind, landed on the other side of the fence for a two-run homer that gave the Twins a 5-3 lead.


    Towles comes to the Twins as a minor league free agent. He had once been a top prospect in the Astros system and had a terrific showing as a rookie in 2007. In 44 plate appearances he hit .375. However, in the four years since, he has hit .137, .188, .191, and .184. The Astros had had enough. The Twins likely figured that wouldn’t be much worse than Drew Butera and maybe there is a chance he could return to some level of competency with a change of scenery.
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    by 03-04-2012, 10:04 AM

    Originally posted at k-bro's baseball blog

    Twins 2012 Spring Training games start on Saturday! Isn't it wonderful that they figured out to have practice games in Florida right at the time when baseball fans can't stand not having baseball anymore and Minnesotans want to go somewhere warm?

    If you've never been to Fort Myers for Spring Training, I highly encourage you to go. It's a great family vacation, whether you love baseball, the beach, or both. If you've never
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    by 03-04-2012, 09:53 AM

    The beginning of the Grapefruit Season means more baseball talk, and we saw it on the forum board yesterday:

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    by 03-04-2012, 09:37 AM

    In case you missed any Twins coverage this week...

    by 03-03-2012, 03:31 PM

    This afternoon, the Twins made their official spring training debut and they came away with a 7-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.

    This got off to an ominous start for the Twins. Starter Carl Pavano gave up a two-run, first inning home run to Matt Joyce. In the bottom of the first, David Price hit Jamey Carroll in the helmet with a fastball. Carroll quickly got to his feet and went to first base. (He said later he was fine. It was a glancing blow.) Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau each struck out looking to end that inning.

    Pavano pitched a scoreless second inning and then the Twins bullpen gave up just one more run the rest of the way.

    Here are some of the highlights from the Twins Spring Opener (Feel free to add to the list):
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    by 03-03-2012, 10:58 AM

    ESPN1500's Phil Mackey details the Twins perspective in what has become 'going-the-other-way' gate.

    In terms of J.J. Hardy, according to hitting coach Joe Vavra, the Twins were trying to balance out the hitter who was completely lost at the plate.

    "When J.J. came from Milwaukee, he really had a lack of confidence after getting sent back down to the minor leagues," Vavra said. "So what we were trying to do is get some balance back in his swing. We definitely tried to get him to use that pull side, but I think he hit some balls in our ballpark that didn't go out. ... Plus, he hurt his wrist....I was pretty happy with him. I think he had to learn a little bit more balance, using (opposite field) to get his pull side back, because he was probably getting out front a little too quickly. ... First it was get his old presence back, because he lost it. He had lost all the confidence. I said, 'We're not going to try to do anything different, we're just going to try to get that confidence back.'"
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    by 03-03-2012, 10:53 AM

    Happy Opening Day of Spring Training Games!

    No, it doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as Happy Opening Day! Then again, Opening Day should be a national holiday (in my mind, at least).

    In about an hour, the Twins will take the field at Hammond Stadium to take on David Price and the Tampa Bay Rays. The Twins are going with what should be their primary lineup (with the Ben Revere/Trevor Plouffe/Left Field “platoon”) much of the season.

    There are so many big dates and events in baseball. Last month, we were all excited to hear the phrase “Pitchers and Catchers report!” There is the All-Star game, the trade deadlines, September call-ups and the World Series. If you’re a big fan of the Hot Stove, you get excited about things like the GM Meetings, the Winter Meetings, the day that 40 man rosters need to be set, the day arbitration needs to be offered and later accepted or declined. For Twins fans, January brings the Winter Caravan and Twins Fest.
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    by 03-02-2012, 03:47 PM

    According to Baseball America, the Twins have signed outfielder Ryde Rodriguez to a minor league contract. The 24-year-old is from Havana, Cuba. He signed with the Cardinals in 2008 as a free agent and stayed with the organization until last season. After 13 games in the Florida State League, he was released. He signed with Rockland of the CanAm League. In 56 games, he hit .267/.325/.385 with 10 doubles and four home runs.

    Looks like a little organizational depth. If he sticks, he could play in Ft. Myers in 2012. It might depends upon whether Aaron Hicks and/or Angel Morales begin the season with the Miracle.
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    by 03-01-2012, 09:58 PM

    The Twins played their unofficial first game of the spring on Thursday -- a 'B' game against the Red Sox at Hammond Field. Obviously, you can't put much stock into what goes on during exhibition contests – particularly an informal affair such as this one – but one performance that stuck out to me was that of Carlos Gutierrez, who struggled through two-thirds of an inning and raised the ire of his manager.

    Pitching in relief against a lineup filled with Boston backups, Gutierrez issued three walks and a two-run double, managing to record just two outs before the inning was cut short. Ron Gardenhire was none too pleased:
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    by 03-01-2012, 08:14 PM

    Waddya say we watch us some baseball?

    Our first chance to see the Twins on TV is this Monday night, so why not celebrate with some Twins fans? Aaron Gleeman and I will be at The Wild Boar on Monday night (3/5 at 6:05) for our weekly podcast and kicking back to watch the Twins. Hopefully, you can join us, bring your questions and help us revel in end of the offseason. We'll see you there!

    For more on the event, or just to hear our candid takes on the Twins, check out our latest podcast.

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