Twins Fest – Day 3

1 Feb

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net -

Another year of Twins Fest is now complete, but what a weekend it was. I know, not everyone enjoys it in the same way I do, but I think it’s a great event. Exhausting, but fun. You saw my thoughts from Day 1 and a brief look into Day 2, but here are my notes from the final day of Twins Fest. (by the way, have I mentioned yet that the Minnesota Twins 2010 Prospect Handbook is now available for pre-order. Just curious.)

  • Saturday was a long day, but it was really fun. I started writing last night’s update, and completely fell asleep early. It was probably a good thing because the plan for Sunday involved getting up really early to get to an early church service so that we could go back to Twins Fest for a reasonable amount of time.  
  • I was able to meet several more bloggers on Sunday. It’s always fun to catch up with Marty Andrade to see what he’s collecting, and because he is hilarious. I’m thinking a career in stand-up should be part of his future. I saw Brandon Warne, who writes the blog 10 Scoreless for a couple of minutes. Andrew Bryz-Gornia came up and said hello. He started the blog Off the Mark. Parker Hageman of Over the Baggy was also there for awhile in the morning.
  • The Photo Sessions were something that I had never really done in the past, but this year, it ends up that it is a very cool thing. On Friday night, my daughter and I took a picture with Jeff Manship. She got her picture taken with Aaron Hicks and Kyle Gibson. Then on Sunday, she got her picture taken four more times. First, she had her picture taken with Jesse Crain. You can tell he’s a dad because he got down on the floor with her and talked to her and let her wear a balloon hat that had been given to him. Soon after, she had her picture taken with Jose Morales. She was funny with him, making him laugh. He wanted to lift her up on the chair, but with his surgically repaired wrist, someone helped with that. The picture is great. Later, we were surprised to see the line for Jason Kubel was getting short, so she got in line and got a really good picture with him. Kubel is one of five players that she knows about by name, so she was really excited about that. Kubel is also a dad as he was very nice, picked her up and held her really nicely. Then, a little later, she and my sister were able to get their picture taken with Hall of Famer Rod Carew. Of course, the picture she was most excited about, again, was to get her picture taken with TC Bear.
  • She also had a lot of fun in the family area. She took some swings in the batting cage off of a lefty who plays for the Gophers baseball team. She spent time talking to some of the Gophers women’s softball players and showing them how to hit home runs! Of course, she also told the Gophers baseball players that as well. She was able to throw some pitches and measure how fast she threw on a radar gun. She must have been throwing so hard that the radar gun couldn’t even register it! Ha!
  • Of course, I spoke to several people confidentially, but I did spend a little time talking with a couple of players. Joe Benson is definitely one of the good guys. I had met him a couple of years ago, and he looks bigger and stronger. You can see why people are so excited about his potential. I also got the opportunity to talk to David Bromberg. He’s a good guy. He started naming off some of the players that he is working out with this offseason, and it includes several big leaguers. Those types of contacts will only help him learn what it is like and what it takes to get to the big leagues.
  • I got the opportunity to spend a little time talking with Joe Christensen again. There is a guy that is legitimately a great guy.
  • Francisco Liriano seriously looks like he’s ready for a big comeback year. Reports from the Dominican were that he had lost weight and looked stronger. I would say that up-close those reports appear to be close.

  General Twins Fest Thoughts

Three full days of Twins Fest is a lot to take in, but as I have stated over and over, it’s a great event. It was cold in late January in the Twin Cities, teens for the highs. But inside the climate-controlled atmosphere of the Metrodome, it was very comfortable. In fact, on Saturday, it was flat-out warm! The Dome was absolutely packed all day on Saturday. Lines were longer than I have ever seen before. People were talking, talking baseball. It was just a lot of fun to be there. I had so many people come up to talk to me and ask me questions.

What’s going on with Joe Mauer? For obvious reasons, this was the question most asked. Obviously I don’t have any insight, but all indications are that Twins fans have little to worry about. It sounds like it’s just a matter of time, and my opinion is that it will happen shortly before the beginning of spring training. But then again, I’m the guy who had been saying January 29th for four months, and now the calendar reads February.

At SethSpeaks.net, there is a focus on the minor leagues. Now, I don’t think it’s fair to say that the length of lines in the minor league line at Twins Fest is any kind of indicator of future performance. However, in my opinion, the length of the minor league lines does strongly correspond to the improvement in talent throughout the Twins minor league system the last couple of years. Aaron Hicks (#1 SethSpeaks.net Prospect Ranking), Ben Revere (#6) and Kyle Gibson (#5) were certainly the headliners. However, the minor league players also included top prospects like David Bromberg (#8), Rene Tosoni (#9), Joe Benson (#12), BJ Hermsen (#13), Chris Parmelee (#14), Carlos Gutierrez (#15), Alex Burnett (#18), Trevor Plouffe (#21), Anthony Slama (#23). My #16 prospect, Jeff Manship, has big league service time, so he was signing in the non-free lines.

It was very cool seeing other baseball greats there, including Bob Feller, Ferguson Jenkins, Rollie Fingers, Vida Blue, Frank Howard and more.

In all, it was a great, three-day weekend for me at Twins Fest. I had a lot of fun, met a lot of people. Now, I don’t know if going all three days is necessary, however, I definitely think that going at least once is something all Twins fans should do.

Were you at Twins Fest? If so, leave your observations or stories in the Comments. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to e-mail me or leave them in the Comments section.

9 Responses to “Twins Fest – Day 3”

  1. Andrew February 1, 2010 at 2:34 am #

    I’m about to type up my thoughts on TwinsFest after I get my photos uploaded. Had to unpack since this was the first time I’ve been home since Christmas break (J-Term class).

    It was very nice to meet you! Your daughter was very adorable. My girlfriend and I got to see Jesse Crain receive that balloon hat, we had our pictures taken right before a guy in the neighboring booth came through the dividing curtain to place the hat on Jesse’s head.

    Overall, all of the Twins were very friendly. I’d say more, but then that cuts down on what I can say on Off The Mark! Honestly, I could see myself going all three days if possible. I know I didn’t get all the signatures I wanted, nor did I see everything in all the booths, so I really think multiple visits are necessary.

  2. Jeff in WI February 1, 2010 at 8:58 am #

    Made the 5 hour drive to the Cities for Twinsfest. We went Saturday, and I think I saw you there in a Sethspeaks.com cap and a Twinscentric shirt. Wanted to come over and thank you for the blog, but I wasn’t sure and my boys and I were in the Revere-Gibson line at the time and didn’t want to get out.

    We just did the minor leaguers and were very impressed with all the guys who signed. Big shout outs to Ben Revere, Toby Gardenhire, Cole Devries, Trevor Plouffe, Joe Benson and Chris Parmalee in particular. They were very engaged with both the boys as they brought their Beloit Snapper gear to be signed. (Gibson signed too, though we joked he might never put on a Snapper uni.) But all the players were great!

    Also enjoyed having Bob Feller, Fergie Jenkins, Rollie Fingers, George Foster and Mudcat Grant there. (I am missing someone I think?) Feller was amazing, he sat there all day signing stuff. Here is a WWII vet and HOF pitcher chatting away and talking up the kids and adults alike. What a man.

  3. brad February 1, 2010 at 9:08 am #

    Did you see Delmon? Did he look like he has lost 30 pounds? If true it could be a sign of HUGE things to come from him. For most players his age he would have just finished up or be getting ready for his first MLB season, instead of learning in the bigs

  4. Jeff P February 1, 2010 at 10:34 am #

    Sounds like a great time. Pretty cool that your daughter is so comfortable being in pictures with strangers.

  5. mike wants wins February 1, 2010 at 10:35 am #

    Thanks for all of the updates, Seth. This site is a great source of information and inspiration/hope. I love the positive tone here very much. Glad you had a fun weekend.

  6. joelthing February 1, 2010 at 11:01 am #

    Your daughter, so cute cute cute in those pictures!

    I think it is wodnerful that the Twins bring a gaggle of prospects to town to meet the fans and such.

    Watching Bob Feller work his booth all day, I do think the Twins could spread some guys out in the mninor league section and work the different farm club booths, too…of bring the managers or coaches in to sit at those booths…I would like to meet Tom Nieto, Jeff Smith, Chris Heintz, Jake Mauer, not to mention Gary Lucas, Jeff Reed and Ray Smith, Jim Shellenbak, Floyd Rayford, Riccardo Ingram — msot longtime aprts of the Twins family.

    Again, glad you kept my wife compnay for awhile in the radio stands!

  7. Betsy February 1, 2010 at 11:06 am #

    Your little one looks very happy and excited to meet those players! super cute photos

  8. Gopher Nation February 1, 2010 at 12:45 pm #

    Great updates from TwinsFest!

    Did you see the report today that Twins may be getting more serious on Orlando Hudson. That would be great. To add Hudson to this lineup would make an already strong lineup really strong and really set up the lineup adding him in the #2 spot. I am a little surprised it may only take $3 million or so to get him. Go getem!

  9. tom v February 1, 2010 at 7:39 pm #

    Pics of your daughter are priceless! Visa commercial-esque

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