People arrived at the ballpark not confident about playing in Sarasota on Tuesday. There was steady rain overnight, and rain was coming down throughout much of the I-75 corridor that runs from Tampa-St. Pete to Naples.
The Twins pushed their bus departure back an hour to, 10:15 a.m. eastern. There were phone conversatios with the Orioles. Both sides wanted to play baseball. Innings for starting pitchers and at-bats for hitters are getting important at this stage of camp.
There was a desire to play - but no one wanted to be amphibious while doing so.
10 a.m. neared, and some players finished up their packing for the trip and prepared to board the bus. The same thing was in the back of everyone's mind: There will be anger if they bus up to Sarasota only to turn around and have to go back to Fort Myers without playing. They went through it on Saturday in Port Charlotte. Meanwhile, some Twins were texting their buddies on the Orioles. It was pouring in Sarasota.
A little after 10, bench coach Derek Shelton entered the clubhouse and announced that the game was called off. Seemed like they could have done that an hour earlier. But at least they arrived at the right conclusion. The fields are soggy from hours or rain - not worth the risk of injury. Lefthander Martin Perez was about to leave his home for Sarasota when informed that the game had been canceled. He pointed his car toward Hammond Stadium, where he pitched in a simulated game to get his work in.
Not sure what the plan is for other pitchers. We are still waiting to speak with manager Rocco Baldelli.
The rainout means the Twins have just six games left in spring training - and 16 players cut from camp. Well, 15, since Miguel Sano will start the season on the injured list with a cut on his Achilles.
A couple notes, including Opening Day plans:
Justin Morneau will throw out the first pitch on Opening Day.
Sean Tillman, also known as, Har Mar Superstar, will perform the National Anthem.
Two F-16s from the Minnesota Air National Guard's 148th Fighter Wing, based in Duluth, will perform a flyover.
Breakfast on the Plaza starts at 6 a.m. Gates open at 1 p.m. Forecast is partly sunny skies and 60 degrees.
Tickets for Opening Day remain available.
Lefthander Gabriel Moya, who has not appeared in an exhibition game, will try to play catch on Thursday to see how his shoulder will respond. Moya has been battling shoulder soreness.