First workout draws big crowd
About 60 fans were on hand at 8:20 a.m. (CST) when the Twins took the field for their first spring training workout -- but more than 400 were on campus by the time the workout ended.
"That's unheard of for the first day of workouts for pitchers and catchers, but very welcoming" said Mike Herman, Twins manager of baseball communications.
The Twins still allowed fans to line up near a dugout at Field 5 -- where players ran and stretched at the end of drills -- to get autographs. Joe Nathan and Johan Santana were among the last ones off the field as they tried to accommodate as many fans as possible.
Conversations with several fans revealed the following: The Twins are much more accessible than the Red Sox, who train on the north side of Fort Myers.
Lee County, which operates Hammond Stadium, has made several upgrades to the ballpark. Two rows of premium seats have been added behind home plate. A new net hangs behind the backstop. And the visitor's bullpen has been shoved toward the right field corner to make room for a berm.
Capacity has been increased from 7,500 to 7,905. Twins officials said there's a chance every spring training home game will be sold out this season, which would be a first.
LA VELLE E. NEAL III
Let's meet ...
Kevin Slowey, righthander
Age: 22 Ht: 6-3 Wt: 197
2006: 4-2, 1.01 at Class A Fort Myers; 4-3, 3.19 at Class AA New Britain.
Scouting report: "I'm a lefthander trapped in a righthander's body," he said. Slowey throws the basic four pitches (fastball, curve, changeup, slider) with excellent control. Just 30 walks in 2202/3 minor league innings. He hits only 90-91 mph with his fastball but pitches intelligently.
Outlook: Long shot to head north -- good shot to debut during the season.
"All I know is when I got in here in the clubhouse late today, there was still food left, so no one is going crazy. No one's killed the spread."
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, when asked about Sidney Ponson's weight.
|NY Mets - LP: J. Hefner||2||FINAL|
|Chicago Cubs - WP: S. Feldman||8|
|Seattle - LP: O. Perez||4||FINAL|
|Cleveland - WP: C. Perez||5|
|Toronto - LP: B. Morrow||2||FINAL|
|NY Yankees - WP: D. Phelps||7|
|Cincinnati - WP: B. Arroyo||10||FINAL|
|Philadelphia - LP: K. Kendrick||0|
|Chicago WSox - LP: N. Jones||9||FINAL|
|LA Angels - WP: R. Coello||12|
|Tampa Bay - WP: A. Torres||10||FINAL|
|Baltimore - LP: J. Johnson||6|
|Houston - WP: J. Cisnero||4||FINAL|
|Pittsburgh - LP: B. Morris||2|
|Los Angeles - LP: K. Jansen||1||FINAL|
|Atlanta - WP: C. Gearrin||3|
|Boston - WP: C. Breslow||12||FINAL|
|Minnesota - LP: S. Diamond||5|
|Arizona - WP: B. McCarthy||1||FINAL|
|Miami - LP: T. Koehler||0|
|Milwaukee - WP: J. Axford||6||FINAL|
|St. Louis - LP: J. Kelly||4|
|Detroit - LP: A. Sanchez||2||FINAL|
|Texas - WP: J. Grimm||7|
|San Francisco - LP: T. Lincecum||2||FINAL|
|Colorado - WP: T. Chatwood||10|
|Washington - LP: J. Zimmermann||1||FINAL|
|San Diego - WP: E. Stults||2|
|Kansas City||1||Top 7th Inning|
|Los Angeles||1||3rd Prd 16:05|
|FC Dallas||0||1st Half 10:00|
|Colorado||1||1st Half 15:00|