Jim Souhan analyzes the local sports scene and advises you to never take his betting advice. He likes old guitars and old music, never eats press box hot dogs, and can be heard on 1500ESPN at 2:05 p.m. weekdays, and Sundays from 10 a.m.-noon.

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Touching 'em all

Posted by: Jim Souhan under Ron Gardenhire, Target Field, Twins fans, Gophers coaches Updated: April 1, 2013 - 1:33 PM

Yes, I stole that line from John Gordon. Saw Gordo in Fort Myers, and he's doing well.

To the new stuff:

-Good luck, Pedro Florimon. With Florimon started at shortstop today, the Twins haven't had the same starting shortstop in consecutive years on Opening day since Cristian Guzman had the job in 2003-2004.

The starters: 2005 Jason Bartlett; 2006 Juan Castro; 2007 Bartlett; 2008 Adam Everett; 2009 Nick Punto; 2010 J.J. Hardy; 2011 Alexi Casilla; 2012 Jamey Carroll; 2013 Florimon.

And somewhere in there someone named Nishioka played a few games, too.

-Justin Verlander has never won on Opening Day, although he had a lead that was blown last year. The Tiwns' hope today is that he's overly emotional after signing his new contract and a combination of emotions and cold keeps him from being himself.

Verlander is 0-1 with four no-decisions in five Opening Day starts. He's pitched more than six innings only once, when he went eight innings last year.

-Tigers manager Jim Leyland pregame on expectations: ``I've managed some teams people didn't expect to do very well at all, and we didn't let 'em down.''

-Spoke with Torii Hunter, who raved about the Tigers' ``first-class'' operation. He noted he's been as healthy the last two years as he's ever been, and said he undergoes ART therapy on his muscles, and that has kept him feeling loose and healthy. He's cut out heavy weight training.

``I haven't had an ache or pain the last two years,'' he said. ``Except when I ran into that wall.''

It's Active Release Therapy, and Hunter described it as chiropractic for muscles.

-Joe Mauer batting second is a good idea. It's also been a good idea for a long time. Mauer might be the big-league player most-suited to batting second. Having anything but a good on-base-percentage hitter in the 2 hole is a terrible idea.

-As listeners to Sunday Sports Talk and my noon hits with Judd&Dubay on 1500ESPN know, I'm glad Flip Saunders didn't take the Gophers' job, and I don't mind waiting another week or two for Norwood Teague to land a coach. What matters is the result, not the process.

Teague was hired because of his exhaustive knowledge of college basketball. To settle for a 58-year-old guy who is not a college basketball coach would strike me as giving in to public sentiment, which is usually a bad idea.

-Jim Leyland smokes in his office. That's got to be a violation of some kind. Then again, in baseball, you're grown men are allowed to spit in the faces of umpires.

-Leyland, looking typically grizzled, said that nobody who works in baseball - including writers and broadcasters - should look good the last day of the season. ``If you're not tired at the end,'' he said, ``you probably didn't do your job very well.''

-Yes, expectations are low for the Twins this season. My sure-to-be-wrong prediction is 73 victories. But at least the Twins have a better lineup than the Yankees for the first time I can remember.

-I'll be running Sunday Sports Talk this week by myself, with Tom Pelissero on vacation, so I'll take calls and do a little different show than usual. That's 10-noon Sunday, preceeded by the Ron Gardenhire Show at 9:30 on 1500ESPN.

I'll be doing noon appearances with Judd and Dubay on 1500ESPN all week, as well. Thanks for listening.

 

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