FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Funny moment this morning in the Twins' clubhouse. I was chatting with Terry Ryan (who looks great, by the way) near the trainers' room, and Matt Hoffman walks by. Ryan stops him as he walks past, and says to the relief pitcher, "I don't think we've met. I'm Terry."
Hoffman was polite, stopped and shook hands, nice to meet you, all that, but clearly had no idea who he was talking to. Just some middle-aged gentleman in a golf cap, right? After a couple moments of small talk, he started to turn into the trainers' room when Ryan said, "I'm the general manager."
Oooooh, that Terry. Suddenly, Hoffman had plenty of time to chat, and he gave a much more in-depth account of how he's pitching. They talked for two or three minutes, getting acquainted.
When Hoffman returned to his locker, I asked if he really didn't know his boss. "No clue," he said with a smile. He had been signed by minor-league director Brad Steil, and had never met Ryan. "Seems like a nice guy, though," he said.
Anyway, to today's game: A sellout crowd is expected, the first in Hammond Stadium history. And a full contingent of media will be here, too, including the throngs of Japanese reporters and photographers who follow Masahiro Tanaka everywhere he goes. Tanaka starts for the Yankees, and he may be just about the only recognizable name in New York's lineup. The veterans don't generally make the 2-hour bus ride from Tampa, so Brett Gardner may represent all the star power the Yankees lineup can muster today. The Twins, meanwhile, are rolling out their likely Opening Day starters again.
Here are those lineups: