Took a walk around the Twins' complex today. My observations:
-The ballpark improvements are tremendous. Hammond Stadium is more than twice the ballpark it used to be. There are two nice, roofed, full-service bars, one down the third-base line and one in rightfield. There are rails where you can stand with a drink or a sandwich and watch the game from the outfield. The outfield seats provide a great view, and the new walkway allows you walk completely around the ballpark (other than behind the batter's eye) without losing view of the field.
The berm in rightfield is a popular spot, and there are more food stations and options now.
-Chatted with Kennys Vargas, the young slugger who is friends with and being compared to David Ortiz. He'll start the year at Class AA. He's a nice kid with a big personality. He was talking about hitting the golf ball a long way, and visiting the nearby driving range. A teammate told him, ``Yeah, but you hit it all over the place.'' Vargas said, ``Yeah, I I hit it loooong.''
-Lakeville native Mike Kvasnicka is in minor-league camp working with the Class AA New Britain squad.
The Astros made him the 33rd pick of the draft in 2010 out of the University of Minnesota. After three years in the Astros' system, the Twins traded a minor-league pitcher for him and sent him to Class A Fort Myers. The Astros drafted him and tried him as a catcher before moving him to third base and right field.
The Twins used him primarily as an outfielder, and last year he put up career-bests with a batting average of .282, on-base percentage of .341 and slugging percentage of .460.
I'll be on 1500ESPN at 12:15 every weekday from Fort Myers.
French gymnast Samir Ait Said landed awkwardly on a vault, and a sickening snap echoed throughout the arena. A split second later, he was clutching his contorted left leg, his tibia fractured and his Olympics over.