Sunday, February 18, 2007

Ready for Day 1

Some nuggets before putting a cap on Sunday in preparation for the big first spring training workout:

  • Couldn't fit Gardy's quote into my Sidney Ponson story for tomorrow's print editions. So here you go: "We have a lot of young guys champing at the bit, and it’s not going to be easy (for Ponson). But I think he wants to get back. Well, this is a good organization to do it in. You can right yourself here. We’ll give him a good opportunity, and now he has to come in in shape and do the work and run with it."

  • Talked briefly with Carlos Silva this morning. On a personal note, it was nice to have a cordial conversation with him because he and I weren't on the best of terms when last season ended. He took offense to some of my criticism. That's understandable. It was a brutal year for him, to say the least. But I like the guy and I think he realizes -- as do most guys in the Twins clubhouse -- that, much like the man I grew up listening to on the radio, Hall of Fame play-by-play man Marty Brennaman, I call 'em like I see 'em. When things are good, I'm going to write the good. When things are bad, I'm not going to sugarcoat things. (Loyal readers, you know this.) Back to Silva, I told him he looks thinner, and he said he is. I expect him to bounce back, because he's got that type of I'll-show-you personality and I can see him pitching with a chip on his shoulder this year. Plus, it doesn't hurt that he's in a contract year.

  • I'm a Midwesterner and a night owl to boot, so coffee is a big deal to me. It's clearly not a big deal to Fort Trafficjamburg. Just one of about 1,022 reasons why I'm not a fan of this place. You would think with all of the snowbirds from Ohio, Michigan and Minnesota here that there would be more coffee places. Nope. However, a Starbucks has popped up since spring training 2006. Congrats, Fort Trafficjamburg. Better yet, I've discovered a cool coffee place called Blackhawk, for those of you planning on coming down from up north and having Dunn Bros. and/or Caribou withdrawal. It's located in the chic and very un-Fort Trafficjamburg-like Bell Tower shopping area, a few miles from Hammond Stadium. I do have to mention, though, that Blackhawk lost a few points when I asked a mid-20s coed worker the other day: "Do you have free Wi-Fi?" Her reply: "What is Wi-Fi?" (She came off like I was the stupid one.) Welcome to Florida, boys and girls.

  • I will say things are different covering baseball without my sidekick and good friend Gordon Wittenmyer. He recently took a job with the Chicago Sun-Times to cover the Cubs. Really, he just missed exchanging meaningless platitudes about the game with Jacque Jones. Seriously, G-Dub is one of the best in the business, and I'm sure Pioneer Press readers already miss his insightful and in-depth coverage of the Twins and baseball. I'm sure Sun-Times readers are enjoying his daily dispatches on the loveable losers.

  • I would like to welcome a new member to the baseball-writing family. He is Trent Rosecrans, Reds beat reporter for my old paper, The Cincinnati Post. Oh, yeah, he also happens to be one of my friends and covers my favorite team. If you're a Reds, baseball and/or blog fan, check him out on

  • I WOULD NOT like to welcome Deion Sanders to the sportswriting fraternity. Nonetheless, Prime Time is apparently one of us now. The Fort Trafficjamburg native is writing a weekly Sunday column for the hometown News-Press. I was dumbfounded to find his cliche-riddled "column" on the front page of Sports today. Meanwhile, the paper's full-time columnist -- and a talented and award-winning one, I might add -- Deron Snyder was buried inside on, like, page four. But that's newspaper "journalism" in the 21st century. Deron makes his rounds through Twins camp about a half-dozen times, so be sure to check out his perspective on the Twins.

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