Mar 21, 2013 at 10:34 pm
Fort Myers, Fla. (KNSI) - A day that begins with watching the sun creep up on a baseball stadium, and ends at a MLB night cap at Fenway South(above), sure can't turn out too bad. That is how my first full day here in Fort Myers went, and it was just about as glorious as you might expect.
The sun shined, the water was cool and clear, the crack of the bat was abundant, and I finally got to see some live baseball. Oh, I also talked with not one, but two guys who have their numbers on the wall at Target Field, the Twins best starting option last season, the new arm that may start on Opening Day and the young gun that may be backing him up in center field on that glorious day.
Yep. It was a full day for your humble servant, capped off with a Big League spring game between the Boston Red Sox and the Philadelpia Phillies. More on that in a moment. But first we discuss the initial action I saw on a baseball field. Not on a big league diamond, but with some big league names.
With the big club Twins taking on the Yankees in Tampa, a few of the veterans stayed behind. But they were not just sitting idle. Justin Morneau, Joe Mauer, Mike Pelfrey, Jamey Carroll, Josh Willingham, Trevor Plouffe, Ryan Doumit and Glenn Perkins all made appearances in minor league games on the back fields of the Lee County Sports Complex. They call these "B-Games" but very often the names are off of the A-List.
Perhaps the most impressive performance of all came in a scoreless, hitless, three strike out inning for Perkins. The lefty potential closer had plenty of tailing action that had the opposing hitters(Baltimore Orioles minor leaguers) flailing and off balance.
In the same game that featured Morneau, Carroll and Plouffee, top draft pick Byron Buxton took some hacks against the Orioles. The eye catching Buxton feature, certainly his speed. There is no doubt that card is in his deck and when he rounds the rest of his game into shape it will make him one of the most dynamic prospect the Twins have ever had.
After a chat with Ox in the Afternoon from the shoreline of Cape Coral, I made my way to the other Big League ballpark in town, JetBlue Ballpark, home of the Boston Red Sox. It is quite literally a replica of Fenway Park, shoe-horned into a heavily modern looking facade. The two stadiums are just a short drive apart and if you are down to see one, you may as well catch the other. Tickets are certainly precious at 'the Jet' so make those plans accordingly. Thoughts on the park, interesting dynamic, horrible parking and traffic control.
So as you can see, not a bad day at all. And I get to do it all again, with a day game this time on tap for the Twins against the Bronx Bombers. I will once again be on the air on the KNSI Morning Show and the Bob Hughes Show in the morning hours. Listen for sound from new starting pitcher Vance Worley, young outfielder Aaron Hicks and then sit down chats with former Twins manager Tom Kelly and all-time great Tony Oliva. Once first pitch rolls around it will be Husky Hockey time back in Central Minnesota, but I will keep you covered, checking in during the 2nd intermission and post-game.
Hard to believe this all happened in just one day, feel like I've covered plenty of ground for a 24 hour span. The fruits of that labor all coming to you tomorrow and into the weekend on KNSI. After all, we're the only local station in Florida, bringing you the BEST coverage of your Minnesota Twins.
KNSI's coverage of Twins Spring Training, directly from Fort Myers is brought to you by Foley Lumber and Milaca Building Center, Jackson Hewitt, Bristow's and New York Gyro. Hear J.W. all throughout the day on the KNSI Morning Show with Don Lyons, The Bob Hughes Show and Ox in the Afternoon. Coverage continues this weekend on the KNSI Saturday Morning Show with Dave Phipps and The Benchwarmers.