La Velle E. Neal III has covered baseball for the Star Tribune since 1998 (the post-Knoblauch era). Born and raised in Chicago, he grew up following the White Sox and hating the Cubs. He attended both the University of Illinois and Illinois-Chicago and began his baseball writing career at the Kansas City Star. He can be heard occasionally on KFAN radio, lending his great baseball mind to Paul Allen and other hosts. Mark Rosen borrows him occasionally for WCCO-TV.

Twins spring training: A morning update

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: February 17, 2013 - 9:35 AM

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire is known for giving good speeches. and his players say that his speech on Saturday, preceding the first full-squad workout was very good.

He let it be known that the part two seasons were unacceptable, He demanded that players focus on the small things. And to try to have fun while doing it.

The Twins don't have the look off a playoff team or maybe even an over-.500 team. But Gardenhire has been at his best when the expectations have been low, so we'll see how it plays out. The people who were in the clubhouse on Saturday felt that Gardenhire hit all the right notes with his speech. Sure, it was simple stuff, but they liked how Gardy presented it.

*On Sunday, Glen Perkins, Vance Worley, Kyle Gibson  and Jared Burton are among pitchers scheduled to throw in the bullpen.

*Heard last night that the first day of single-game ticket sales, which was Saturday, were mediocre at best. The Twins have a challenge to sell this team after failing to add a big name during the offseason.

*The Twins on Sunday celebrated Josh Willingham's 34th birthday.

*While the Twins appear to have developing players at a few positions. Gardy said two players he's not worried about producing this year are Trevor Plouffe and Chris Parmelee.

Will check back later with updates.

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