FORT MYERS, Fla. — Fans looking to follow along with the Twins this spring will have plenty of opportunities as thirteen of the team’s 29 spring training games will be broadcast on FOX Sports North while 17 spring training games can be heard on the radio.
Cory Provus, Dan Gladden and Kris Atteberry will be in Florida handling radio duties, while television announcer Dick Bremer will be on the air later in the spring. Bremer will be behind the microphone three times and will be joined by LaTroy Hawkins and on March 26-27, Twins Hall of Famer Johan Santana, who will be making his broadcast debut.
The Twins’ first spring training game, which will take place on Sunday, at 12:05 CT, against the Red Sox can be heard on the Treasure Island Baseball Network, 830 WCCO and 102.9 The Wolf. It can also be found online at RADIO.com. Atteberry and Gladden will call that game. Their first televised game will come on March 3, also against the Red Sox.
The Twins will play a regionalized schedule this spring, primarily facing off against the Red Sox, Rays and Braves with a couple games against the Pirates and Orioles thrown in. At the beginning of spring, they will play seven-inning games because teams have fewer players in camp this year in an attempt to minimize COVID-19 risks. Their last spring training game comes on March 30. They will then have the next day off before Opening Day on April 1 in Milwaukee.
Donaldson talks Mather
Former Mariners president and CEO Kevin Mather’s controversial comments drew the ire of plenty around the game, drawing a rebuke from both the league and the MLB Players Association, among many others.
Mather, who resigned Monday after insensitive comments he made to a Rotary Club earlier this month were made public, touched on a number of topics, criticizing a couple of players — former Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma and prospect Julio Rodriguez — for their English skills, calling third baseman Kyle Seager “overpaid,” and speaking freely about manipulating top prospects’ service time.
That last point especially caught the attention of Twins’ third baseman Josh Donaldson, who said he was sincerely thankful that those comments came out publicly, as it draws attention to the issue.
MLB teams often opt to leave players — especially top prospects — in the minors to begin the season so they can gain an extra year of control, delaying that player hitting free agency and getting a big payday. They often framing it as if the prospect needed more time to develop. Mather’s comments becoming public could help give the MLBPA some leverage when it comes to negotiating the next CBA soon.
“It gives people like yourself, fans that are kind of in here, to understand why some of our positions are what they are. And I feel like the players, we get portrayed to be bad guys in a lot of situations when it comes to instances like that,” Donaldson said. “To know, hey, if we don’t fight for certain things, they get taken away. That’s our goal as a union. The more information. This stuff that happened, young players maybe didn’t believe that this has happened. Obviously, myself, I’ve been around for a while now. I’ve seen it happen throughout the course of my career.”
The Twins signed Andrew Romine to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training, and he joined the team on Tuesday in Fort Myers. With the addition, the Twins are now at the 75 player maximum that they are allowed to have with them in camp.
Romine, 35, is an infielder with major league experience playing for the Angels, Tigers, Mariners and most recently, the Rangers. He is a career. 235 hitter over the course of his 10 MLB seasons.
Twins fans might remember Romine as the as the player who once played all nine positions in one game in a 3-2 Tigers’ win over the Twins in 2017.
“I think any time you can add a guy with the experience that he has, the versatility that he has to go out there and help us in a number of ways, we didn’t want to miss on that chance,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “And he was ready to go. He looked good.”
Former St. Paul Saints manager George Tsamis has been hired as the new manager of the Kane County Cougars, a new addition to the American Association.
Tsamis spent 18 years at the helm of the Saints when they were an independent league team, his last season being in 2020. Now that the Saints are affiliated with the Twins, they will be led this season by manager Toby Gardenhire.