FORT MYERS, Fla. — Brian Dozier had a smile on his face Wednesday morning as he walked into the Twins’ clubhouse. He assured everyone who asked that he wasn’t smiling Tuesday.
“It was the worst pain ever,” Dozier said of his weekend bout with a kidney stone, a battle that ended in a nearby hospital Tuesday, when Dozier underwent a procedure we won’t go into detail about. “Well, at least they didn’t have to cut me open,” Dozier said. “But I was on my knees all weekend.”
The trouble started during a dinner with his buddies in Mississippi, a tradition he observes before departing for camp every year. “I thought I was dying,” Dozier said of being stricken at the restaurant. “I went to the [emergency room], man. I rolled in there, and they were like, ‘Oh, it’s just a kidney stone.’ And I said, ‘WELL DO SOMETHING.’ “
But the doctors’ advice was just to drink lots of water — and wait. It’s a problem that often solves itself, so Dozier traveled to Fort Myers in time to report to camp on Sunday. Things quickly got worse, though, and by Tuesday morning, the stone had gotten stuck in his bladder. “And that wasn’t good,” Dozier said. “It was six solid hours of pain on Tuesday, and I finally called the doctor and said, ‘Enough.’ “
Dozier this winter gave up eating meat, and that may have been part of the problem, he said. “The doctor said it was too many leafy vegetables. It’s supposed to be good for you, but you have to intake a lot of water,” the Twins’ second baseman said. “So there was a little dehydration.” He doesn’t have to stay away from baseball, though. The sixth-year starter will do a light workout Wednesday, and he hopes to be up to full speed again by Thursday. Missing a couple of days of camp won’t have any affect on him, he said. Though one thing will change.
“I’m going to stay away from spinach for awhile,” he vowed.
The rest of the Twins did a lot of sitting around this morning. It’s photo day, when all manner of media companies — baseball card manufacturers, TV networks, game-operations personnel, and the Star Tribune, among others — set up on the field. Players don their full uniforms and go station to station, having their picture taken dozens of times, in various poses. Many of those various shots you see on the Target Field scoreboard this summer, for example, were shot just after dawn this morning.
It’s time-consuming, though, and once each player is through the gantlet, there’s plenty of time to wait around for all his teammates to get through, too. So today’s workout started about 90 minutes later than normal, and they won’t wrap up until 1:30 Eastern time or so.