Are smartphones and iPads ruining the Twins' clubhouse?

Torii Hunter says the Twins are too young, but LaTroy Hawkins thinks modern technology is hurting the clubhouse.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Dance parties just aren't the same without Torii Hunter.

But maybe that post-victory Hunter-inspired controlled chaos will return now that Hunter, along with ex-Twins Michael Cuddyer and LaTroy Hawkins, are special assistants in the organization.

GoMN Sports asked the guys Monday if there's a particular player on the roster who they see as the emotional leader of the Twins. Cuddyer and Hawkins looked to Hunter for the answer.

"I think the guys are too young," Hunter said. "They're still trying to find their own way. I always felt [Brian] Dozier is one of those guys who could do it. I'm not saying he's doing it, but I think he's one of the guys that can do it. He has the intangibles."

That means the likes of budding stars Miguel Sano, Byron Buxton and Max Kepler aren't ready to be the next Torii Hunter quite yet.

"Before you can lead you gotta serve," Hunter said. "When I was in the clubhouse I always got to know my players. That's all about taking time and building a bond and relationship with them."

Hawkins blames phones

"You have to lead by example," Hawkins said. "We loved our teammates. We reached out to our teammates. We engaged our teammates. That's an aspect of the game that goes unnoticed – that I know the young players don't do. Everybody's into themselves, they're into their phones, they're into their iPad, into their music. We didn't have that so we actually engaged with each other all the time. That's a huge, huge plus when you can engage with your teammates."

In his first season as Twins manager, Paul Molitor put a ban on smartphones and tablets in the clubhouse beginning 30 minutes before the first pitch until the game was over. According to Sports Illustrated, ex-Twins lefty Tommy Milone said it was a good move because it forced interaction among teammates and kept players from sitting back in their lockers staring at their phone.

Twins boss saw it up close

Even new Twins Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey buys into the idea that clubhouse culture can create success. He said it was a key reason the Cleveland Indians made it all the way to the World Series this season.

"That's a culture that is very unique and it's not in very many places, but I think it's a culture that can be bred," said Cuddyer, who helped develop a winning culture with the Twins more than 15 years ago.

Once that clubhouse culture is established, "it allows you to step on that field with that fire in your belly and that fire in your gut to go out and compete and do everything to win at all costs," Cuddyer added.

Next Up

Sergio Romo

Twins decline 2021 option on Sergio Romo

The Twins begin a potential overhaul in the bullpen.

high school football

'Scalpel approach' gives MN schools chance to keep playing sports

County infection rates are no longer the only thing that matters.

CJ-AHyggeHoliday-Photo2

With the help of HVAC, Circus Juventas will host its first holiday shows

After months of canceled classes and shows, Circus Juventas is hosting its first ever holiday show, with safety precautions.

Cameron Dantzler

Vikings send Cameron Dantzler to COVID-19/reserve list

Dantzler's placement leaves the Vikings paper-thin at cornerback heading into Green Bay.

peterson fischbach

Elections 2020 preview: 7th Congressional District

Will Collin Peterson hang on for yet another term?

Zimmer and Hunter

Zimmer explains why he called Hunter's neck injury a 'tweak'

The coach also said Dalvin Cook should return from injury this week.

magazines

60 charged in magazine scam that netted $300M

It's being called the largest elder fraud scheme in the country.

Screen Shot 2020-10-28 at 10.30.23 AM

The Star Tribune is shutting down City Pages

The free newspaper was bought by the Star Tribune in 2015.

billy's on grand

Coronavirus: Billy's on Grand will close for winter

The restaurant is among a growing list of eateries to close for the winter months.

Related

Are smartphones and iPads ruining the Twins' clubhouse?

Torii Hunter says the Twins are too young, but LaTroy Hawkins thinks modern technology is hurting the clubhouse.

Torii, Cuddy, Hawkins all back with the Twins in assistant roles

Twins give special assistant roles to Torii Hunter, Michael Cuddyer and LaTroy Hawkins.

Torii, Cuddy, Hawkins all back with the Twins in assistant roles

Twins give special assistant roles to Torii Hunter, Michael Cuddyer and LaTroy Hawkins.

LaTroy Hawkins goes off on 'the worst teammate I've ever had'

LaTroy Hawkins called him the "worst teammate" he's ever had.

LaTroy Hawkins goes off on 'the worst teammate I've ever had'

LaTroy Hawkins called him the "worst teammate" he's ever had.

Racism at Fenway is an ugly reminder for Torii Hunter

Torii Hunter says he was called the N-word in Kansas City.

Racism at Fenway is an ugly reminder for Torii Hunter

Torii Hunter says he was called the N-word in Kansas City.

Twins fumigated clubhouse in Detroit to avoid illnesses that hit the Red Sox

The Red Sox left Detroit Sunday with a bunch of sick players.