Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Gardenhire Drops By

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The reality of the Twins’ current plight really hit home this morning when an out-of-town reporter asked Ron Gardenhire a blunt question: “You don’t know who you’ll have a third, short, second and center, do you?”

Gardenhire smiled and said, “Yeah, everywhere left of first base. First base, I’ve got covered.” But the question pretty much summed up how much work is left to do for the Twins.

They’ll start trying to accomplish it again today, but with general managers in meetings all morning, there are no signs of any movement on the Johan Santana front. Gardenhire, in a half-hour media session this morning, sounded resigned to losing his best pitcher, though he did keep reminding the crowd that “Johan Santana is still my Opening Day starter.” Actually, Gardenhire looked far more alarmed at the prospect of life without Joe Nathan; it’s clear he doesn’t want his closer going anywhere. But he said, if GM Bill Smith decides the move has to be made, "I'm sure we'll have a plan."

The prevailing opinion in the Opryland press room is that the Twins, particularly in the wake of Detroit’s stunning addition to its lineup, may be biding their time, in hopes that New York, Boston or even the Angels decide they need to match that move. So the vigil could last several more hours, days, weeks.

-- Phil Miller

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