Monday, March 29, 2010

Closer By Committee

The idea of a closer by committee for the Minnesota Twins makes me throw up in my mouth a little (Twins to go with closer-by-committee). Ron Gardenhire might as well just flash a sign to the rest of the American League that the Twins don't have anyone that is ready to take on this role (see picture above). For a team that has been favored to win the division during this pre-season, this is a huge step backwards. This approach hardly ever works, so the thought of it working for the Twins is hard to fathom.

The Twins had plenty of options to choose from for this role. Matt Guerrier said that he would relish closing games (Twins' Guerrier keeps his cool, ready if Joe Nathan can't close). Eric Karabell thinks Jon Rauch should be able to replace Nathan and save 30 games while he is at it (Rauch can ably replace Nathan and save 30 games). The sexy choice in all of this closer mess has been Francisco Liriano. But his winter and Spring Training have made him the leading candidate for the final starter spot in the Twins' rotation (Liriano has edge for fifth starter spot).

The Twins have multiple other candidates in the organization to fill the closer role. Twins fans are going to push for Gardenhire to chose a closer and chose him quickly. Otherwise there could be a mess at Target Field in the 9th inning.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Season Ticket Special Features

Besides the wonderful things that I wrote about yesterday (The Top Things to See at Target Field), there are many great things to see that are in season ticket holder areas. If you have season tickets, you should check out the following special features of Target Field.

Kirby Puckett Atrium: This is located in the Legend's Club area of Target Field. There are pictures spanning his entire career with the Twins. There is also a huge wooden art piece (see picture) at the center that serves as a bar area. It is a great looking area that pays tribute to the best player in Twins history.

Rod Carew Atrium: This is very similar to the Kirby Puckett atrium mentioned above. There are pictures from his entire career and a wooden mural at the center. It is located on the opposite side of the Legend's Club from Kirby.

573: This area, near the center of the Legend's Club, is in honor of Harmon Killebrew. He hit 573 home-runs in his career and there is a bar area and lots of other features to pay tribute to him. The number 573 is echited in stone and there is a great quote from Killebrew about how he got so good at hitting homeruns. I won't ruin it here but I definately got a chuckle out of it.

Herb Carneal Press Box: The press box features some of the greatest calls from Twins games in history. There is a picture below with a few of them:
If you get a chance to go into these areas and check out these wonderful additions to Target Field make sure you take to opportunity to do it.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Top Things to See at Target Field

At the Target Field Open House this weekend they handed out a magazine called the Target Field Fan Guide. One of the articles in the magazine was the "Top Things to See at Target Field." Here is a list of some of my favorites (in no particular order):

The Golden Glove: This huge glove on the plaza memorializes all of the great defensive players in Twins history. There is a plaque right in front of it that lists all of the players that have won gold gloves. There was a long line of fans wanting to take their picture next to and inside of the glove.

Metropolitan Stadium Flag Pole: Harom Killebrew was the first to hoist the flag to the top of the pole at Target Field. It was very fitting since he played such an important role for the Twins at the Met. The location of the poles is perfect on the edge of the plaza.

Minnesota Ballpark History Monument: A great wall that shows the history of every major baseball park in Minnesota History. It is cool to see how far baseball has come and at the same time how much it has stayed the same.

Logo-Stamped Ceiling: The ceiling in Hrbek's is stamped with variety of logos that the club currently uses and some logos from the past. Hrbek's is smaller then I imagined so if you want a chance to look at the ceiling make sure you are at the game early.

Minnie and Paul: Also known as the Celebration Sign. The first time the Twins hit a home run and the sign lights up it will be one of the most memorable moments at the new field. It will be neat to see the sign lit up at night as well.

Fire Pit: There is nothing like a summer bonfire. There is also nothing like watching MLB baseball outside. So when you combine the two it will be a memorable experience. The fire pit is located on the Budweiser Roof Deck that overlooks Target Field. The view from the roof deck is amazing. If you get a chance to sit up there, take it.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Target Field Open House

Here all of the photo's that my roommate and I took at the Open House this weekend. There are no words to describe how unbelievable Target Field is. Enjoy!


video

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Arrival of the Season Tickets

In the movie Fever Pitch, the main character in his boxers chases down the delivery man in the middle of the sidewalk. His new season tickets are here and he waits for all of his friends to come over so they can open them together. All of them are excited to move on to a new season that is full of hope. They can forget about the heartache of the year before and focus on the new beginning that the dawn of a season brings.

There was a similar scene that occurred yesterday in the basement of a house in North Dakota. One roommate had been waiting all day for the other roommate to get home from work. When he did get home, each of them grabbed their cameras to mark this special occasion. The tickets were perfectly packaged in box full of graphics to get a person excited for Target Field. As they opened the box the sounds of an angelic choir filled the room.

The opening day tickets are huge and will most likely end up in a frame shortly after April 12. The rest of the tickets have pictures of various scenes that will be come the trademarks of Target Field: Minnie and Paul shaking hands over the river, the skyline of the city, the field lit up under the night sky. A new season is creeping ever closer. A season to focus on the dawn of a new era in Twins baseball. A new season full of hope.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

What if Gardy used coke?


The buzz surrounding the baseball world yesterday was regarding the Texas Rangers and their manager, Ron Washington. Apparently Mr. Washington used cocaine during the 2009 season and the team felt like no one else needed to know about it until now (Rangers reveal manager's positive test). Washington's punishment for committing this crime... well, there wasn't really a punishment. He didn't get fined, suspended, or even a stern lecture. The only punishment would be from all of the questions that he has to answer now, a half of a year after the incident occurred.

What if the Twins manager, Ron Gardenhire, had tested positive for the use of cocaine? I don't feel like the reaction would be as nonchalant. It might be the fact that Gardenhire's major fan base is the Midwest and this area of the country seems to be a little bit more conservative. If this had happen to Gardy, there would be people calling for his head on a stick.

The great thing about the Twins organization is that the fans can feel like they really know who the players and coaches are as people outside of the baseball world. Gardenhire never hides his feelings and the fans can always count on him to be the leader of the team. I am confident that Gardenhire leads the Twins with the highest moral character and this translates on and off the field with the players and coaches.


Thanks Gardy for not using coke.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Retirement of Joe Nathan

It might be a little premature but Joe Nathan's recent run-in with an elbow problem could spell doom for the rest of his career. At 35 years old Nathan is no spry chicken. If things go the way that it sounds it will, he will have to have Tommy John surgery. This surgery has a minimum of 18 months of recovery time. He would miss most of the parts of two seasons. Most likely at his age the recovery time would be longer.

The Twins are going to move on and they have to move on. The Twins have to find a closer and it sounds like they are on their way. Whether it is Matt Guerrier (Guerrier's got the closer's fire), Fransisco Liriano (Liriano's mindset is to start), or some other candidate. One of these athletes will fill the role and Nathan is going to find himself out of a job by the time that he recovers.

It's sad to say that at 35 years old that a person's career could be over. Nathan could possibly be facing this early exit from his professional baseball career. Twins fans need to get use to the idea that Nathan won't be coming out of the bullpen at Target Field. It is too bad that his career might be over after his 2009 post-season. Those games might haunt him for the rest of his life. It's a sad end for the best closer in Twins history.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Twins New Front Office Strategy

The Twins have always been able to be one of the best small market teams for a number of reasons. They have an excellent scouting department that is able to find talent in players that other teams may overlook. The scouting department can always find players to fit the roles that the team needs at any particular time. The front office of the Twins has been able to spend money wisely and keep a highly competitive team on the field. The Pohlad family has always run the Twins as a business. This might have driven Twins fans crazy but it was a strategy and a formula that has worked for the franchise.

The Twins are entering a new era of baseball in Minnesota. Gone are the days of trying to cut payroll to make the next year's budget. The Twins have spent enough money this off-season to push them from a small market team to the upper edge of the highest payrolls in baseball. The team has also taken on a new strategy in relation to long-term contracts. In the past week or so the Twins have locked up some of their young talent to long-term deals. Most notably would be Denard Span and Nick Blackburn (Span signing shows Twins willing to make bold moves). This is also a paradigm shift from the way that former GM Terry Ryan ran the Twins ship (Being in a ballpark is Ryan's chosen spot).

Bill Smith, the current GM of the Twins, has brought the Twins to a momentous turning point in the franchise. The Twins have had the successful formula for being a small market team that can compete with the big market squads. The Twins front office is trying out a new formula now and this change could lead to positives or negatives for the future Twins. There are many questions left to be answered.

~What will happen if this new formula doesn't work?

~Are these long-term contracts for young players a good idea?

~Should the focus still be on the Twins farm system and their ability to build players?

~Should the Twins focus more on free agents and signing the players that are already part of the team?

~Will all of these questions be answered? Only time will tell...

Monday, March 15, 2010

Blockbuster Trades: Mauer, Pujols, Howard

For the most part this has been a very calm Spring Training across Major League Baseball. There seems to be a calm in the air as team are enjoying the spring, because there hasn't been any steroid scandals from current players and there hasn't been any major contract signings (too bad for the Twins). This allows for a lot of other types of speculation to occur. If the big stars of the game aren't going to sign with their hometown team the next step is to try and trade them.

Over the weekend ESPN's Buster Olney brought up the idea that the Phillies have had internal discussions about the possibility of trading Ryan Howard to the Cardinals for Albert Pujols. This has been fully denied by the Phillies (Phillies GM Amaro denies swap talks) but the Phillies have already completed one monster trade this off-season, the Roy Halladay-Cliff Lee mega deal. Imagining them trying to push for another trade is not a far stretch of the imagination. Howard is from St. Louis and has always spoke fondly of the city. He was greatly very warmly during the 2009 All-Star Game in St. Louis.

This trade will probably never happen but what if there were another option on the table, Joe Mauer. A Pujols-Mauer-Howard trade sounds like it would only be possible for my fantasy baseball team the M&M Boys. Mauer in any National League line-up would be an enormous threat and any team in the majors would be crazy not to want the current AL MVP. The logistics of this trade would be a nightmare for any GM. Bill Smith has already lost hours of sleep with the contract talks surrounding Mauer so opportunity to trade those problems away might be intriguing.

Do I want Mauer to be traded? No. I would like to see Mauer be an old man that hops out on only one leg to bat in the DH spot at Target Field. But in a spring with little to talk about there is always room for a little speculation.

Friday, March 12, 2010

O-Dog: The new Twins comedian

When the Twins signed Orlando Hudson this off-season there were many qualities that made him an excellent choice to join the organization. He will provide a veteran presence at the top of the line-up, he will add stability at a position that has been constantly changing, and he will provide leadership inside and outside of the club house.

One quality that has been following Hudson, the O-Dog as he has been known, is his reputation as a funny guy. In the MLB Channel's 30 Clubs in 30 Days special, they had the O-Dog mic-ed up and he had a lot of funny comments. Here is a link to the Twins 30 in 30 clip on the MLB Site (Minnesota Twins: 30 in 30). Hudson already seems to be fitting in with the veterans on the team and the young players. My favorite line from him is when he talking to Tony Oliva about not wanting to bat in the same group as Mauer. It's funny stuff.

One player that I was uphappy to see leave the Twins after the stretch run last year was Orlando Cabrera. He seemed to fit in well with the players on the team and provided a good bat in front of Mauer. It seems that the Twins' new Orlando will have to slide into that same role of batting in front the AL MVP and providing a good laugh for the team when they need it. Not a bad job to have on a contending team.

~~~Check out the official Newsbobber rankings for Minnesota Baseball Blogs (Minnesota Baseball Blogs). North Dakota Twins Fan comes in at 49. Not too bad for being a month old.~~~

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Floating Realignment??? I think not...

Yesterday, the buzz in the baseball world came from an article written on SI.com by Tom Verducci (Selig, committee considering radical realignment plan). All of the attention was brought to this subject because it would be a radical shift in the baseball world. The concept of the plan is that teams would not be permanently assigned to a division. Teams would have the option at the end of every season if they wanted to move from division to division.

So in a sense the teams are floating and can float from division to division depending on if the team wants to try and qualify for the playoffs or not. Some teams might choose the division that they are in because they know they can't qualify for the playoffs in the upcoming season. The reason for this would be so smaller market teams could draw higher attendances from the big market teams and this would increase their revenue. There is much more to this weird and quirky plan so check out some of these other articles (Realignment idea spurs discussion, Break up the (AL) East).

Overall, this plan won't work in favor of the Twins. From the discussions that have been out there many mid-market teams would choose to join the AL Central. This would give these new teams an advantage because the AL Central is perceived to be a weak division (Most sources are predicting the winner of the division to finish with a .500 record this season). MLB is trying to fix something that isn't broken. If they want more competitive balance, the solution should be to switch to revenue sharing like the NFL uses. The big market teams of NY, LA, Boston, and Chicago wouldn't be in favor of this plan. But if competitive balance is what MLB is striving for the NFL has a model that has proven to work.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The New Twins Closer: Fransisco Liriano

It is the one story that has brought the Twins into the national spotlight over the past few days. Joe Nathan has a torn ligament in his throwing elbow and it seems like the outlook for a return is very bleak. There has been much speculation as to who would replace him as closer and I talked more in-depth about the options the Twins are left to choose from on Monday (All Eyes on Nathan).

In an interview with Buster Olney on ESPN last night, he said that the Twins will most likely go with Matt Guerrier. He doesn't really have the makeup of a closer but he has been the Twins most consistent relief man over the past couple seasons. According to ESPN Fantasy Sports, Jon Rauch is now listed as the Twins closer in all ESPN Fantasy Leagues.

The one dark horse in all of this could be Fransisco Liriano. When he is healthy, he is one of the most electric pitchers to watch for the Twins. His variety of pitches and the way that he throws those pitches could make him unhittable. If Liriano went out and put all of his energy into one inning a game there could be an electricity pulsating from Target Field.

For example, look at the way that the Boston Red Sox have developed their All-Star closer, Jonathon Papelbon. He came into the league focused on being a starter for the Sox. He came back from the injury and the Sox weren't sure if he would be able to make it as a starter so he was moved to the bullpen. Since he has been the closer for the Red Sox in 2006, he has 151 saves and has made the All-Star Game four times.

Liriano has been plagued by injury and not having him pitch 100+ pitches every five days would be less stress on that injury plagued arm. This could be a turning point in the career of Liriano. By him making the transition to closer, the Twins could have a young lockdown closer for the next 8 seasons.

The fans and players are custom to seeing a strong presence on the mound from a name that they know. Fransisco Liriano could fit this mold for the Twins. There are other fits for the fifth spot in the rotation. The spot at the end of the bullpen is one that the Twins, and any other playoff team, need to rely on.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Season Ticket Holder Open House

An envelope arrived in the mail yesterday that I had been eagerly anticipating for many weeks. Inside this envelope was four tickets to attend the exclusive "Season Ticket Holder Open House at Target Field." I have heard so many different stories and seen this field develop from the ground up. I remember being in Minneapolis for the ground breaking ceremony for Target Field. It was hard to imagine that the little parking lot in the old warehouse district was going to be transformed into one of the premier stadiums in game. I have wanted to go inside the stadium since that day and now I will finally have the opportunity.

The date of the event is Saturday, March 20, 2010 from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. The details of the event were limited to a small postcard sized listing of a few of the happenings of the day. The things listed were:
  • First chance to sit in your seats
  • Opportunity to visit Target Field's Club Spaces
  • Opportunity to visit the group and hospitality areas
  • Also a chance to tour and try some of the food from the restaurants
You must have an event ticket for admission to the open house. The card does mention that the event is weather permitting. The weather in North Dakota has been surprisingly pleasant for the last few days. By that I mean that the snow is melting and spring is slowly making its way to the Midwest. Hopefully the Mother Nature doesn't show her angry side any more this year and everything at Target Field can go off with out a hitch.

Monday, March 8, 2010

All eyes on Nathan

With one pitch one strongest parts of the Twins team, the bullpen, has the possibility of becoming weak in a hurry. As soon as Joe Nathan let go of the pitch everyone in the stadium knew that something was wrong. He didn't finish the pitch and he came off of the mound in an awkward fashion. All of Twins Territory will hold their breath for the day as they wait to hear the results of the tests that Nathan will undergo back in Minnesota.

Following a rough postseason in 2009, Nathan was forced to go under the knife to remove bone spurs and other particles from his elbow. The initial diagnoses from doctors is that the soreness in his elbow has been caused by the breaking of scar tissue from the above mentioned surgery. Hopefully this is the case and Nathan will be at full strength for Opening Day in four weeks.

If this is a more serious injury and Nathan has to miss extensive time, there are a variety of options that manager Ron Gardenhire will have to look at. The following is a quick run-down of those that would be next in line to be the Twins closer:

1. Jon Rauch- He has the most career saves on the Twins besides Nathan. He is also the only other pitcher that has been named a teams closer (even if it was only the Nationals).

2. Matt Guerrier- Has been a very good set-up man for the Twins over the past few seasons. He has a variety of pitches that would make the transition easier for him over some of the other pitchers.

3. Pat Neshek- Before his elbow injury a few seasons ago, Neshek would have been the handsdown choice to fill in for Nathan. He still has a chance but it depends a lot on how he performs in the rest of Spring Training.

4. Jesse Crain- After the up and down season that Crain had last year it would be hard to imagine him getting the role of closer to start the 2010 season. He has shown flashes of brilliance in the past so it would be possible for him to fit the part of closer for a short period of time.

5. Jose Mijares- Probably the best left-handed option the Twins have out of the bullpen. If Nathan is seriously injured look for him to fill-in in the closer's role when a left-handed section of the line-up is due in the 9th.

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Unwritten Rules of Baseball

There is a long history of retaliation in baseball. If your best player gets hit by a pitch the other team isn't going to forget it and in return they are most likely going to come after your best player. If a batter is crowding the plate, there is a good chance that the pitcher is going to throw a pitch close enough to the batter to let him think about taking a step back. These are some of the unwritten rules of baseball that have been passed down from generation to generation.

The hype yesterday was for the rematch of the Milwaukee Brewers and the San Fransisco Giants. Here is a flashback to give a little of the back story. In early September of last season the Giants were fighting for their playoff lives in Milwaukee. They had been competing with others in the NL for the wild-card slot in the postseason tournament. The Brewers were out of the playoff hunt and really only had pride to play for. The game was tied in extra innings and the slugger for the Brewers, Prince Fielder, stepped to the plate. He crushed a pitch over the outfield fence to win the game for the hometown team. His teammates ran out to greet him at homeplate. In this situation, the players usually just jump up and down and celbrate the walkoff with the player that hit it. This was not the case on this day. Fielder jumped onto homeplate and his teammates fell over like bowling pins. This was planned out and the players must have been waiting for this to happen.

Flashforward to the present day. The Brewers and Giants are facing off in a Spring Training game. The first time that Fielder steps to the plate he is hit in the back with a pitch from the former Cy Young winner, Barry Zito. So needless to say it wasn't a pitch that got away from a player. This was a direct result of the events that took place the season before. The Giants were unhappy about the song and dance number that the Brewers had choreographed. Prince Fielder took a pitch on the back and walked down to 1st base. Fielder knew it was going to happen, Zito knew it was going to happen, and most of the fans in the park were probably expecting it. It is one of the unwritten rules of baseball.

This morning on the popular radio show Mike and Mike in the Morning, Mike Golic, a former NFL player, was going off on MLB players saying this was the dumbest thing ever. He said baseball players need to grow up and that there should be celebrations as part of baseball. He was basically saying that these unwritten rules of the game aren't important. I feel bad for him. Maybe he has never been to baseball game before. Maybe he doesn't understand how the game of baseball is played. I usually agree with a lot of what these two Mikes have to say but this was a ridiculous argument. He doesn't understand these unwritten rules of baseball and baseball has been around a lot longer than the precious NFL.

Mr. Golic needs to learn a little bit more about the game of baseball before he becomes this critical of the sport. These unwritten rules of baseball are in place for a reason and maybe he would understand that if he hadn't taken so many hits in the NFL.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Forgetting the Past...

For the players there are going to be butterflies in their stomachs and nerves that might be hard to shake. But the first game of Spring Training is finally here. The first action for the Minnesota Twins since their unbelievable run into the post-season that was abruptly stopped by the future World Series Champs, the dreaded Yankees.

The new season has come and it is time to move on from the past.

For Nick Punto to forget about his baserunning error in Game 3 of the ALDS.

For Joe Nathan to forget about his postseason pitching woes.

For Justin Morneau to forget about the back injury that kept him out of the Twins miraculous stretch run.

For Pat Neshek to overcome the elbow injury that has plagued him for the parts of two seasons.

For Delmon Young to get beyond his past that has been shrouded in trouble.

For a young, up and coming pitching staff to show the potential that has been locked inside.

For Joe Mauer to forget about all of the media pressure that is surrounding his new contract and the possibility of free agency.

One of the most important parts of sports is being able to forget about the things that are lurking in your past. Athletes face the daunting task of trying to overcome many aspects and the mental strain that comes from failure can be unbearable. The greatest athletes are able to conquer any obstacles that are in their path and use the mistakes of their past to create a better athlete within themselves.

So the first game of Spring Training will allow many on the team to get a fresh start. To throw a few coins in the fountain outside of Hammond Stadium and wish for the hope of a new beginning. A new beginning that starts with forgetting about the past.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Delmon Young Diet


"Nice catch fatty," would be shouted from the seats of the Metrodome as Delmon Young huffs and puffs his way under a fly ball. I will be the first to admit that I have been a harsh critic of Delmon Young since he was traded to the Twins from the Devil Rays in 2007. He came to the Twins haunted by a troubled past that included the famous bat throwing incident in the minor leagues. The Twins gave up their shortstop, Jason Bartlett, and one of their young flamethrowers, Matt Garza. Twins fans were unable to cope with the loss of these players because the season following their departure both Bartlett and Garza were prominent figures on a team in the World Series. While the Twins were left with an overweight outfielder that had "potential."

So where does Delmon Young stand currently? He has shown brief glimpses of the bat that the Twins were hoping to get in this trade. He was suppose to be the right-handed complement to left-handed power bats of Mauer and Morneau. According to multiple reports from Spring Training (Young stars beget lofty dreams, Big things are expected of Delmon Young), it sounds like this could be the year for Young to break out with a monster showing. He arrived at camp as a slimmed down player with a different outlook on the season. He lost 35 pounds on the Delmon Young Diet (trademark pending) and hopefully won't have to hear snickers from the crowd at Target Field.

There is always speculation before a season about who will perform up to their potential. Delmon Young has given Twins fans short glimpses of what could be, but he has never put it all together for one season. He seems to be ready to forget about the past and push for a new future that looks bright. Hopefully his time is now, but going on a diet never hurt anyone...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Pressure on Span

Since the departure of Torii Hunter, the Twins have been trying to piece together their outfield. The heir-apparent to Mr. Hunter in center field was suppose to be Denard Span. In the first year that Hunter left, the Twins had traded Johan Santana and got Carlos Gomez in return. Gomez was given the position out of Spring Training and Span was left to work at AAA. This acquisition didn't work out in the Twins favor and Gomez was traded to the Brewers this off season. This leaves the Twins outfield set for the upcoming season with Delmon Young in left, Michael Cuddyer in right, and Denard Span in center.

The Twins had a lot of depth in the outfield down the stretch last season. There were many games that some of the outfielders would shift around and play different positions to get the best lineup on the field. Most of this depth will be gone for the upcoming season. The only outfielder that won't be playing defensively on a regular basis is Jason Kubel. Kubel is a decent outfielder but lacks some of the range and throwing abilities of the other players.

This leaves a lot of pressure on one player, Span, that has only played a season and a half in the big leagues. For the Twins to succeed, Span needs to play as well or better then he did last season. The Twins plan B for centerfield is putting Nick Punto or Brendan Harris there. Which doesn't sound too promising. If an injury occurred to Span an outfield of Kubel, Cuddyer, and Young would be full of holes for the opposing team to drop hits into. Reports from Spring Training make it sound like Span is excited to play only one position this year. Here's hoping he can play all 162 games there this season (or 163 games if the Twins are involved).

Monday, March 1, 2010

PFP, the circus of spring training

With Jesse Sanchez writing over the weekend about PFP (Pitchers fielding practice is a rite of spring), it brought to mind that one of the highlights for any fan to watch during spring training is the ritual of pitchers taking PFP or pitchers fielding practice. This is where pitchers work on one part of their game that gets ignored during the regular season, their defense.

As a fan this was great to watch because the players have a lot of fun going through these different routines. At Lee County Sports Complex, the Twins have a smaller field for the pitchers to work on. Whether it is Tom Kelly or Ron Gardenhire hitting grounders there is always laughter being heard as the team works through the kinks of the preseason. There is even punishment, usually running, for the players that do something wrong. It can seem like a circus at times but there is a lot of different things that the team is working on during PFP.

During the season, Bert Blyleven will make more than one mention of how the pitchers are the best athletes on the team. This can be true with some of the plays that the pitchers have to make. Late in the season there may be a play that a pitcher makes and it can all be referenced back to the PFP sessions from Spring Training. If a player doesn't make the play, they might just look like another clown at the circus.