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1/30/05 Twins Fest
Today was the grand event of the year, Twins Fest 2005. It couldn't of went much better for numero uno. It started off by getting a pair of free tickets from a friend, which is always a good start.
Once I got there, my friend Garrett McConnell (a Twins Junkie but to a lesser degree) and I began passing out flyers spreading the good word about this website. I am hoping to get a mad rush of hits in the coming week because I spread around about 100 of them.
Walking down one of the aisles I noticed Dick Breamer walking all alone and I introduced myself to him and gave him a flyer (I hope you get to read this Dick). Then I happened to give a flyer to a charasmatic man known only to me as "Sammy" who was apparently at the Hot Stove League Banquet. We chatted for a bit, and he mentioned that I should meet his friend, and motioned to him. Somewhat uninterested, I turned and shook the man's hand, and he said, "Hi, I'm Terry Ryan."
My jaw now hurts from hitting the floor, and Sammy, seeing my bewilderment, suggested that we should conduct an interview sometime, to which I strongly seconded. Terry said, "Well why not now?" 
I fumbled for a pen and grabbed one of my flyers and began blubbering and stuttering away, trying to think of a flipping question, but my mind was just napping at the time. Finally I asked the most generic question in the book: "So what is your outlook on signing another free agent this winter?" I wanted to slap myself in the face.
He politely answered, as he has countless time before this, that it is not very good. He said they had been looking for a good left handed bat and signed Eric Munson and Armando Rios. He added that Munson was an especially good pickup because he can play 1st, 3rd, and he can catch.
Now my brain had started to warm up, and I asked him about the criticizms over the bat of Juan Castro. He made it clear that they did sign him to field. As far as batting, he noted that it is difficult to produce offensively when you come off the bench most of the time (see Doug Mientkiewicz) and that he still has some "pop in his bat" and "is certainly not an out." Castro has been around long enough to be able to produce when called upon.
My next topic was something that only he could give me the dope on. "Did Corey Koskie really want to stay, and what led to him leaving?" Without flinching, he replied "No, he liked Minnesota. It was just a combination of money and years that we couldn't agree on." I guess everyone sort of figured that, but its good to hear it from the brains himself.
C'mon Trevor, think of another question! You're starting to sound like an idiot. C'mon....current events! Ummm....ooh I know! "How are you coming along in the Santana negotiations?" In his usual matter-of-fact, concise manner, he explained that they are getting close with Santana, Lohse, and Silva on contracts. When I asked to comment on the structure of the deal he narrowed it down to 1, 2, 3, 4, or 4 yearswith an option, and all he guarentee was that it wouldn't be 3 with an option.
"How is the rotation looking?" 1. Radke 2. Santana 3. Silva 4. Lohse 5. Mullholland/Mays/Other candidates. Speaking of Mays, how is our old pal doing, I wondered. "He'll be ready to go at Spring Training" and said he and Terry will both probably share time in the rotation and in the bullpen. Speaking of health, Joe Mauer and Shannon Stewart will be ready to go as well, and the overall health of the club is excellent with the exception of Jason Kubel.
The name Jason triggered, "How is Jason Bartlett's fielding coming along?" Well, Terry says he is similar to all other young players coming up, he picked Corey Koskie as an example, who struggle in the beginning and need to be acclimated. He has good range, a strong arm and good agility, so he will come around. When I inquired how much time he was going to get at the shortstop spot this summer, he said it would be up to him.
After this thrilling event, the last great moment was doing a sports cast with Clay Matvick, and I gave him a flyer so he plugged the site in our two minute segment which I got a free VHS of. Another great guy.
Well, now that we have all the formalities out of the way, lets get this season rollin'! I'm ready, Terry's ready, Gardy's ready, Dick's ready, Clay's ready, so I guess I'll see you there with my free tickets, only usable in April and September.  

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