This morning the Twins Caravan came to Mason City, Iowa and I found my way there to see Ron Gardenhire, Kent Hrbek and new play-by-play broadcaster, Corey Provus.
There was a decent crowd for a Monday morning even including five school-age boys who I’m guessing are members of the host’s Little League team. By the way, you can’t miss who the host was for this event by the banner in the background of the photo.
This was my first time attending one of these events so I don’t have anything to compare it to, but it probably was about the same as any Twins Caravan they have done this winter throughout Twins Territory.
Each guy made some brief opening comments and then Provus acted as MC and took questions from the audience.
During the course of the morning, Gardenhire said he was on his way to spring training. He and his wife are driving to visit family in Kansas and Oklahoma before heading to Florida.
Provus said a little about how he likes to approach broadcasting a game and after some prompting made a couple of demonstration calls for the crowd including a simulated walk-off home run for Joe Mauer. He also mentioned that a new feature was being added to the Twins radio broadcasts this year – this day in baseball history. They will pick various events from the past, both Twins and MLB history, to weave in as stories during each broadcast.
Probably the most interesting bit of news was Gardenhire’s answer to the final question of the morning that came from one of the Little Leaguer’s. The question was “Have you decided on the starting lineup for opening day yet or is every position pretty much up for grabs?” I thought it was a great question and was quite surprised that he answered so directly. Here is his opening day lineup (confirmed by Corey Provus’ Tweet today).
- Denard Span, CF
- Jamey Carroll, SS
- Joe Mauer, C
- Justin Morneau, 1B
- Josh Willingham, RF
- Ryan Doumit, DH
- Danny Valencia, 3B
- Alexi Casilla, 2B
- Ben Revere, LF
Can’t say there are any surprises in that lineup, but it was interesting that Gardenhire would volunteer that info even before spring training begins. However, he had earlier announced that Carl Pavano is the opening day pitcher so he may be more interested in having the players know exactly what to expect than holding any in suspense. Of course, the health of the players coming back from serious setbacks last year is still the determining factor.
Overall, it was a nice event. After getting a chance to see him in person, I’m looking forward to hearing Corey Provus call the games this year.
Update: I see the Star-Tribune has picked up on the Provus tweet and has a brief story on the starting lineup.