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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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    by 03-01-2012, 04:47 PM

    Hello again, everybody.

    For those of you who haven't had the opportunity to familiarize yourself with the TwinsTrain operation over the last couple of years, don't feel left out; it's never too late to sync up with our touring outfit and join the excitement this summer.

    In a nutshell, we package weekend trips to follow the Minnesota Twins on the road, with game tickets, hotel, and premium bus transportation. For more information, you can head over to http://territorytrain.com. For veterans of TwinsTrain, read on.

    The little road trip business you’ve known and continue to love is roaring back for more this 2012 season — and we certainly hope the Minnesota Twins, after such a difficult season, are ready for the action as well.
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    by 03-01-2012, 04:39 PM

    The following are examples of comments we've received on blog posts over the past few days.

    The first came from Twins Daily member roger responding to my post earlier this week about the Zumaya injury:

    Is the new Twins Daily going to be another site where everyone 'bad mouths' everything Mr. Ryan and the organization does? Your site has only been around for a couple days and I for one am already tired of all the bitching!
    ...
    Last time I checked, spring training is less than a week old. Lets give management time to evaluate what they have before we all jump on the sky is falling bandwagon...please!


    The second came from StarTribune.com user "njc264isback" on Seth's bullpen article there today:

    Honestly can't read any entries from Stohs without asking myself, "I wonder how many times Seth will apply to work for the Twins?" This guy is trying so hard to get in with them, I wish they'd just hire him already so I didn't have to read his cheerleading and apologizing for them anymore.

    Look, I'm a huge fan of reader interaction and I value pretty much every comment received – even the ones I vehemently disagree with. But I hate comments like these ones.
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    by 02-29-2012, 11:58 PM

    It appears that the polarizing Twins topic of the first ten days of spring training is the Twins bullpen. There are many who believe that the Twins messed up by not adding more veteran relief pitchers to major league contracts during the offseason. I’m firmly on the opposite side of that argument. I believe that the Twins took a good, calculated risk that Joel Zumaya could actually stay healthy in 2012. If that happened, they could have a difference-maker in the bullpen. As it turned out, his spring training was short and thanks to a torn UCL, his season is already over. As soon as Zumaya was hurt, many fans wanted the Twins to respond instantly by acquiring a proven, veteran bullpen arm. The one difference-making bullpen option that may be available would be Rangers’ righty Koji Uehara, but he will make $4+ million in 2012 and has a no trade clause that he has already used.

    The Twins have 32 pitchers in big league camp. Taking out the starting pitchers and the four relievers who are all but guaranteed a big league spot (Capps, Perkins, Swarzak, Duensing), and up to 21 players are vying for the remaining four spots. 11 of those are non-roster free agents. My opinion is that the organization has about a month to see if they can fill the three remaining bullpen positions from that group of 21.
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    by 02-29-2012, 09:44 PM

    I have been a resident of Minnesota my entire life, which probably makes me crazy for deciding to be a baseball player. Typically, November to March are off limits for outdoor baseball, making the offseason frustrating. In college this wasn’t a problem, as we had an indoor facility on campus and the Metrodome. As this offseason and the winter months approached, I realized how I took these facilities for granted. How would I workout now?

    Minnetonka


    I knew I would be living in Minnetonka about three days a week and in Rochester about four days a week for most of the offseason and would have to find places to workout in both locations. The high school football field in Minnetonka is domed for the winter and is usually accessible during school hours. Beyond that, my parents have a workout room in their basement that is perfect. I could do everything I needed. Now I had to tackle the other four days of the week.
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    by 02-29-2012, 11:27 AM

    First off, I would like to give a thank you to Seth Stohs and the rest of the Twins Daily writers for giving me the opportunity to post here about my life as a Minor League player in the Twins organization.

    My name is Ryan O'Rourke. I was born, grew up and still live in Worcester, Massachusetts. I also attended Merrimack College which is about 45 minutes away from my hometown. I graduated Merrimack College and was fortunate enough to be selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 13th round which has been my biggest accomplishment to date.

    I would describe my travels through the minors so far as being adventurous. I have met some great players, coaches, staff etc. and I have no complaints so far with anything. When Seth asked me to write my first post I was at a bit of a stand still on what should be my first topic. Do I talk about myself before the Twins (that may be a little boring for you readers), some of the best places I have played, or do I keep the timeline accurate and speak on my off-season? After some deliberation with some fellow teammates, I decided to talk a little about the life of a minor leaguer in the off-season months.
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    by 02-28-2012, 09:57 PM

    A year ago, the Twins went into the regular season with a bench consisting of Drew Butera, Jason Repko, Matt Tolbert and Jim Thome. In other words: three guys who possessed only defensive value, and one who possessed only offensive value. It was a pretty limiting group, and the lack of flexibility caused headaches for Ron Gardenhire with starters shuttling in and out of the lineup all summer.

    Repko, Tolbert and Thome won't be back this year, and that's probably no coincidence. Nor is it coincidence that catcher J.R. Towles was signed during the offseason to give Butera some competition for the third catcher spot. The Twins will be hoping to boast a more well rounded bench this year, and that's definitely the right idea.
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    by 02-28-2012, 06:51 PM

    Blog Post #1
    By: Aaron Bates
    Follow my daily Spring Training journey on twitter at: @A33bates

    Hey Guys!

    I'm very excited that Seth Stohs asked me to do a regular blog throughout spring training. It's truly one of my favorite times of year as I love getting back on the field and seeing my teammates after a long off season. I will be talking about a variety of things through my blogging, but sorry this won't be a place for any inside scoop or gossip. It's more about the game on and off the field, some fun facts and a way to bring you all a little bit closer to the ins and outs of a player's life during Minnesota Twins spring training.
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    by 02-28-2012, 06:32 PM

    Hey everybody, Seth Stohs turned me on to this site. I am going to try my hardest to make sure to get on and blog about the daily life of a Minor Leaguer playing in the Twins organization. I will write as much as possible, hopefully once a week.

    I’d like to start off my introducing myself and giving you all a little background on me. I’m Dakota Watts. I was born and raised in Oroville, California, the son of Buddy and Brenda Watts, and I'm currently 24 years old.

    First, a little baseball background. As a child, I was extremely blessed. Starting at age 5, I was introduced to the game by my father. I was also fortunate enough to grow up in a 2-3 year time frame when there was about a dozen other families as passionate about the game as we were in our community. This made playing baseball super competitive.
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    by 02-28-2012, 02:22 PM



    There is breaking Twins-related minor league news this afternoon in Central Connecticut, where it has been announced that the New Britain Rock Cats, which had done very well in the community and in terms of attendance, under owners Bill Dowling (former attorney for George Steinbrenner) and Coleman Levy (local attorney), is being sold to an investment group.

    [Originally posted at my blog, http://twinsfanfromafar.blogspot.com]

    DSF Group, the purchaser, is a real estate and sports investment firm, and also owns the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (same division as the Rock Cats and AA affiliate of the Blue Jays), and the Bowling Green Hot Rods (Class A affiliate of Tampa Bay Rays). Interestingly, John Willi, who left the helm as the Rock Cats' general manager in 2010 to take a position at DSF, will be returning to that post.
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    by 02-28-2012, 12:53 PM

    Here we are, less than a week into full Twins spring training workouts. Games don’t even start for a couple of days. It’s time to start talking position battles, right? It appears to me that there are actually very few positions that are up for grabs at this stage of camp. Of course, as injuries mount through spring training, more position battles can spring up, but for now, there are a lot of givens on the roster.
    Hitters: Joe Mauer, Ryan Doumit, Justin Morneau, Alexi Casilla, Danny Valencia, Jamey Carroll, Ben Revere, Denard Span, Josh Willingham, Trevor Plouffe (10 out of 13 positions are accounted for).

    Pitchers: Scott Baker, Carl Pavano, Francisco Liriano, Nick Blackburn, Jason Marquis, Matt Capps, Glen Perkins, Anthony Swarzak, Brian Duensing (9 out of 12 positions accounted for).

    The biggest debate the last couple of days has been about the bullpen where one more job opened up with the loss of Joel Zumaya for the season. Let’s discuss that tomorrow. Let’s start today with the offensive (as in hitting!) side of the ball.
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    by 02-28-2012, 07:28 AM

    Well, I have exactly a week left before spring training, and I’m sure just like many of my teammates, there are plenty of things on my mind.

    The Emotions

    At one end of the spectrum, spring training brings about feelings of excitement and readiness that I cant really put into words. We’ve all quietly prepared ourselves. We know what we need to do. We can’t get moved up levels while we're at home in the off-season. This is what it's all about. It’s go time.

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