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.

Twins pregame: Colabello wishes he could be here

Posted by: Phil Miller under MLB Updated: March 3, 2013 - 10:15 AM

PORT CHARLOTTE, FLA. -- Chris Colabello isn't here, but I know he wishes he was.

The big first baseman, headed to Arizona to play for Team Italy in the World Baseball Classic, scheduled the latest flight west he could find today, hoping he could squeeze one more game in here with the Twins. But 7 p.m. was the latest he could find.

Had today's game been in Hammond Stadium, he could have made it. But the Twins are in Charlotte Sports Park, about a 45-minute drive away, and Colabello feared extra innings, postgame traffic, a slow bus ride. He stayed in camp, passing up a chance for three more at-bats in front of Ron Gardenhire.

He's batting .333 with a couple of doubles and is making a good impression. But it wouldn't be good to miss the Italian team's first workout tomorrow, so he's reluctantly not risking it. Maybe it's for the best -- the Twins are facing Cy Young winner David Price today.

In his absence, here are today's lineups for the 1 p.m. ET start from chilly Port Charlotte:

Twins: Hicks CF, Dozier 2B, Willingham DH, Doumit C, Plouffe 3B, Benson RF, Ramirez LF, Clement 1B, Olmedo SS. Pelfrey P, followed by Burton, Burnett, and some combination of Fien, Robertson, Slama, Hermsen, May and Tonkin.

Rays: Jennings CF, Johnson 2B, Longoria 3B, Joyce LF, Escobar SS, Scott DH, Loney 1B, Lobaton C, Fuld RF. Cy Young winner David Price, P.


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