Thursday was a quiet day at Twins camp, but that all changes tomorrow. The full squad will report for an 8 a.m. team meeting, and then camp will officially be under way.
Terry Ryan will address the team first, and then Paul Molitor, for the first time as a manager, will explain what he expects out of his players. It’s safe to say he’s put quite a bit of thought into the speech; he’s been carrying around his notes scrawled on a pad all week.
“It changes all the time,” Molitor said of his speech. “We’ll see how long Terry goes first.”
The Twins will also hear some advice and instruction on dealing with the media from Dustin Morse, and will get a rundown on travel policies from Mike Herman. It all figures to take at least 90 minutes, so Friday’s workout will start around 9:30 a.m.
It’s obvious that Molitor is looking forward to having the whole team on the field, after a week of observing pitchers and catchers. He’s got some ideas about the running game that he wants to put into practice, and he hopes to improve the defense over the next five weeks. As the players were walking off the field today, he pulled Oswaldo Arcia aside and, with coach Rudy Hernandez acting as interpreter, had a 10-minute conversation with the young outfielder.
Many of those position players have been here awhile, working out informally on a back field. But several of them took advantage of their last day off to stay away completely. Still, Joe Mauer and Torii Hunter were on the field, and Kennys Vargas, who arrived yesterday, launched a tremendous home run during batting practice that was last seen bouncing through a parking lot far beyond the outfield fence.
I asked coach Phil Roof, who has hauled the baseballs back and forth from the field, if anyone found that ball. “We decided to let that one go,” he said, shaking his head.