The third day of pitchers and catchers workouts is in the books and the good news for the Twins is that so far there have been no injuries to report. Despite an overcast, foggy day early in the morning, he Twins were able to get in their workout before a heavy rain shower hit the complex this afternoon.
Manager Ron Gardenhire said that things should get a little more interesting on Thursday in camp as pitchers will finally start throwing to bases during their PFP [pitcher’s fielding practice] rather than fake throwing. (Yep, you can tell that we’re still very early in camp when that’s the excitement of the day.)
Without much going on in camp, the players and coaching staff have to turn to other forms of amusement. That’s exactly what Gardenhire did on Wednesday morning.
The manager was all too excited to share a video with the reporters as we gathered in his office after the workout. On his laptop was proof of a prank that he and some of the other coaches pulled on first base coach Jerry White (or JW as he’s known to most of the players).
It’s well known thoughout the clubhouse that White is a relatively easy man to scare. The team has pulled pranks on him before, which included having something written on the mirror of his hotel room in some of the hotels they’ve stayed at which are supposedly haunted.
This time, Gardenhire had White meet him at the ballpark early because he said they were going to put on a clinic. With one of the coaches up on the stairs of the stadium filming with a video camera, Gardenhire had visiting clubhouse manager Troy Matchan hiding while dressed up in a gorilla suit. So as Gardenhire and White walked by, Matchan burst out in front of White, causing the coach to nearly jump out of his own skin. Everyone watching nearly doubled over in laughter, especially when they saw that White even dropped the glove he was carrying.
Needless to say this is a prank that will be re-lived many times over again. (Gardenhire even shouted to White as he walked by the manager’s office during the media session to “watch out for gorillas”)
As for real camp news, the unofficial count of players in camp appears to be 52 with only four having yet to be seen yet — Justin Morneau, Alexi Casilla, Estarlin De Los Santos and Juan Portes. Gardy said that Morneau is in Florida, but we just haven’t seen him there for a workout yet. Perhaps he’s hoping that Canada can beat Russia in Olympic hockey tonight and he might not have to take as much ribbing about the Canucks loss to the U.S. on Sunday night. (I don’t think he’s going to be able to avoid that one.)
One other tidbit, Gardy said that Jim Thome won’t be working out at first base during spring. While Thome could possibly be a late-inning option at the position if needed this season, Gardy said it would only be as an emergency. Thome will get most of his work this spring as a DH and focus on just his swinging early in camp. The goal is to make sure Thome gets to the season healthy, Gardy said.
The Twins annual charity fundraiser golf outing is scheduled to take place on Thursday so that always means a quick workout. The club gets a tremendous turnout of players for the event and the guys enjoy having an excuse to hit the links.