Phil Miller covered three seasons of Twins baseball, but that was at a different ballpark for a different newspaper. Now Miller returns to the baseball beat after joining the Star Tribune as the Gopher football writer in 2010, and he won't miss the dingy dome for a minute. In addition to the Twins and Gophers, Miller covered the Utah Jazz and the NBA for six years at The Salt Lake Tribune.
CLEARWATER, FLA. -- I wish someone had a camera the other day after Michael Cuddyer and Jim Thome played in a minor-league game together at the Lee County Sports Complex.
This was Cuddyer's first game of the spring. Thome hit two home runs, and Cuddyer hit one onto Plantation Road that nearly hit a moving car. It was a hot afternoon in Fort Myers, and the veterans were all sweaty, with eye black smeared all over their faces.
When they left the game in about the fifth inning, their sons ran over to them. These two hulking players had huge smiles on their faces as they rode on the back of a golf cart toward the major league clubhouse, with Casey Cuddyer perched on his dad's knee, and Landon Thome on his dad's knee.
What a picture.
Today, Cuddyer and Thome climbed out of bed after a night game Wednesday in Fort Myers, so they could ride the bus to play the Phillies.
There's no doubt Cuddyer is pushing himself to get ready for the April 1 season opener. He'll be playing in a game for the fifth consecutive day, counting his three minor-league games earlier this week. Thome is making a rare road trip, with a chance to face one of his former teams and old friend Charlie Manuel.
Updates to come...
1. Alexi Casilla, SS
2. Tsuyoshi Nishioka, 2B
3. Delmon Young, LF
4. Jim Thome, DH
5. Michael Cuddyer, RF
6. Danny Valencia, 3B
7. Luke Hughes, 1B
8. Jason Repko, CF
9. Drew Butera, C
Listed pitchers: Nick Blackburn, Matt Capps, Joe Nathan, Jose Mijares, Jim Hoey, Carlos Gutierrez, Glen Perkins.
1. Jimmy Rollins, SS
2. Luis Castillo, 2B
3. Raul Ibanez, LF
4. Ryan Howard, 1B
5. Ross Gload, RF
6. Pete Orr, CF
7. Carlos Ruiz, C
8. Michael Martinez, 3B
9. Cole Hamels, P
Starting pitcher: Cole Hamels
Bright House Field. First pitch: 12:05 p.m. (Central). No Twins TV. No Twins radio
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