JUPITER, FLA. -The Boston Red Sox played back-to-back games on Florida's East Coast. They were in Vero Beach to play the Dodgers on Sunday and in Port St. Lucie to play the New York Mets on Monday.

The Red Sox made separate trips with different squads. The mode of transportation for the players and staff was chartered commercial jet. The cost to the Red Sox for the two round trips was more than $100,000.

The Twins, like the Red Sox, had a trip to make from Fort Myers to the East Coast. They were here on Monday to play the Florida Marlins.

"We're the Twins and we get on a bus," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We just hope it makes it."

The Twins left the Lee County Sports Complex at 7:45 a.m. with the expectation of arriving here at 10:30. Ten minutes into the trip, a water hose blew on one of the buses.

The two coaches waited on the side of Interstate Hwy. 75 for a repair. This caused the Twins' caravan to pull into the parking area at Roger Dean Stadium at 11:15 a.m.

"Bus rides are part of baseball forever," Gardenhire said. "I guarantee there are more stories about bus rides among players than anything in this game.

"Like the time you're stuck in the middle of Alabama, it's 100 degrees, and we get out the golf clubs and are hitting balls into the woods for three, four hours.

"Or the bus catches on fire and Big Fella [clubhouse legend Wayne Hattaway] tells Tom Kelly, 'I'm not leaving, T.K. I'm going down with the ship.'

"If you're going to play this game, you have to ride the bus."

Gardenhire is entering his seventh season as Twins manager. He has followed most of the Rules of T.K., including if there's a split-squad situation in spring training, the manager makes the longer trip. That's why Gardenhire was in distant Dunedin on Friday when another group of Twins was taking the 7-mile jaunt across Fort Myers to play the Red Sox.

That's why Gardenhire waited for both buses to be functioning before waving the Twins forward across the interior of Florida on Monday.

There were several Twins looking pouty as they disembarked at the ballpark, but how much can a player complain when the manager has made this long bus ride and all others in spring training?

Gardenhire's lineup has changed in increments during his previous half-dozen seasons. Now, he's facing his largest turnover on the field, with new starters at second, third, shortstop, left field and center field. Throw in a starting rotation that figures to be in flux all season and Gardenhire has more new personalities to deal with than at any time in his Twins tenure.

Several of the newcomers have the potential to be a handful. Tampa Bay gave up on Delmon Young's attitude, not his talent. Livan Hernandez is notorious for listening to one voice -- his own. Carlos Gomez managed to pick up few intricacies of the game in his five prior seasons in the Mets organization.

Also: Ask a Houston reporter about Mike Lamb, the new third baseman, and the first word is "cynical." And Gardenhire has given up trying to put more fire in Jason Kubel, his enigmatic designated hitter.

Obviously, the manager has more issues with the talent level of his roster than ever before. It also appears he will have his highest-maintenance bunch.

"I think so," the manager said. "It's a little different group. They come from a number of different organizations. We're fairly set in our ways here. We do things a certain way, when it comes to putting in our work and playing the game.

"We don't like to throw at hitters and get in bean-ball battles. We don't show up an opponent. We run out every ball. We run in our drills.

"Some organizations are a little more lax, so I'm sure there are going to be more meetings with players than in other seasons."

Gardenhire paused, then said: "I try to get on top of a small thing before it becomes a real issue. I've always been a guy to call in players for a meeting.

"Heck, A.J. [Pierzynski] had his own chair in my office."

Patrick Reusse can be heard weekdays on AM-1500 KSTP at 6:45 and 7:45 a.m. and 4:40 p.m. preusse@startribune.com