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Minnesota Twins players Mitch Garver and Josh Donaldson addressed local media on a conference call Thursday afternoon, and it covered a wide range of subjects -- many of which would come as no surprise to curious fans.
- What are they specifically doing to maintain as much of their Grapefruit League progress as possible?
- What are they doing to pass the days when they aren't working out?
- Where are they staying in the interim?
Donaldson stayed in Fort Myers as long as he possibly could -- including closing a new home in the area -- before relocating to Alabama, while Garver has relocated to the Twin Cities, where he's working out and hitting with teammate Max Kepler as much as possible. Garver also said he raided the Target Field workout room for some equipment to help him stay in shape -- something that could be an unusual wrinkle for a player who squats for nine innings per game.
But one question that couldn't go unanswered was about the potential of teams playing their schedules in Arizona in a sterile environment with no fans and as little off-field fraternization as possible.
Earlier this week, ESPN's Jeff Passan outlined a plan where teams could relocate to Arizona and play games at Chase Field -- home of the Diamondbacks -- in addition to 10 spring training facilities in the area. That's one advantage Cactus League teams have over their Grapefruit League counterparts -- no long bus rides during spring training.
And while Passan reported there were still some stumbling blocks in the way of executing this appropriately, this was also met with trepidation from players -- as well as their families.
Eireann Dolan -- who is not only the wife of Washington Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle, but a social activist who hosted an Oakland A's show entitled "Call to the Pen" on Comcast SportsNet -- was especially vociferous in her thoughts (threaded tweets):
Kaycee Sogard -- wife of Milwaukee Brewers infielder Eric Sogard -- was a bit more concise in her disdain:
Garver had a tepid, but tempered endorsement to how it could work, but still had some questions. For what it's worth, it sounds as though the plan has been amended to possibly include Grapefruit League stadiums, as well as the potential of making separate leagues with the respective winners of each side facing off in the World Series.