Fort Myers, FL – With Major League Baseball spring training officially underway in Fort Myers, media people went belly up to the podium for a little preseason insight from Minnesota Twins skipper Ron Gardenhire.
Gardy, candid as always, indicated that the squad probably won’t deviate from last year’s ways and that he expects another performance in 2014.
Taken from an amusing February 27th press conference:
Reporter 1: What are your expectations for this year’s squad, performance-wise?
Gardy: Performance wise…sounds like a tire model. Goodyear PerformanceWise (laughs). You know, we’ll play our butts off at Target but those long, arduous road trips really take a lot out of you. Our guys will suit up, hit balls, catch and throw ’em. That’s about the long and the short of it.
Reporter 2: Ron, how is (Joe) Mauer transitioning to his new full-time role at first base?
Gardy: Morneau is swinging a lead bat. Looks like he’s put on a little bit of weight, but I could be wrong. I think he’s waiting for the All-Star break.
Reporter 2: Excuse me, Morneau? Surely you meant to say Mauer…
Gardy: What? What did I say? Morneau, Mauer…um…ha ha. I guess we traded Morneau last year, so you’ll have to ask his new team that question. I’m Ron Gardenhire.
Reporter 3: Any news on the starting pitching rotation? How close are we to finding our ace?
Gardy: Our ace? Ah…. (long pause) you know what? We traded Spansy (Denard Span) for a triple-A guy a couple years back. Maybe him. Is Liriano still hurt? Pretty sure Pavano retired… uh…that’s a toughie. Better ask Rick (pitching coach Rick Anderson) that one.
Reporter 3: Has the acquisition of Phil Hughes significantly bolstered your starting rotation?
Gardy: Phil is a drinker, so he knows how to unwind after getting pummeled on the mound. He’ll be ok, unless he slips and falls on his bum-bum.
Reporter 4: Ron, has the team chosen a closing pitcher to come out of the bullpen?
Reporter 4: No?
Gardy: Nope. We got a ton of bullpen guys. We like to mix it up to throw the other team off. If one guy emerges as a decent closer, he’ll probably keep the job….but better ask Rick to be sure.
Reporter 5: You’re about to achieve win # 1,000 this year. What does that mean to you?
Gardy: Is that right? Minnesota: Land of 1,000 wins, ha ha. Ah I dunno. It feels good to watch our guys play, and when you get a W out of it, feels even better as you lay down at night for sleepin’. Ok, one more question then I have to go get my noggin fitted for hats.
Reporter 6: Does your contract extension put the team’s 2014 performance under heavier scrutiny?
Gardy: Contracts are just paper. That’s all they are. Paper is made from trees grown in Africa somewhere and then the contract is printed on there. Probably gets scanned into a computer after I sign it, you know, so they don’t lose it. I don’t know much about computers, so…