Twins Caravan: Warm crowds, few answers


(Photo courtesy: Northfield News.)

The Twins annual Winter Caravan kicked off Monday, with goodwill stops planned in 50 communities through next Thursday.

So far, there are a lot of questions, but very few answers about the 2013 team. Manager Ron Gardenhire was quizzed in Minneapolis, Northfield, Owatonna and Mankato (the first stops) about the holes in his starting rotation and how to fill the center field gap.

Gardenhire told the Star Tribune he expects that line of questioning, but admitted the answers really won't come until spring training starts next month.

Infielder Brian Dozier, who will battle for a starting job himself this spring, told that diehard fans welcome the caravan with "open arms." He also admits the past two years have been tough, but: "We want to reassure them we'll get back to our winning ways."

Twins coach Terry Stienbach is also on the tour. He told the Northfield News that being the bench coach this year is a bit more pressure than he's used to-- especially if he has to manage if Gardenhire gets tossed out of a game.

"I’m trying to get him to commit to at least not get thrown out in the first two weeks so I can get my feet wet a little bit," Stienbach said.

The caravan continues today with stops in New Ulm, Sleepy Eye and Worthington, Minn., and Sioux Falls, S.D.

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The Twins are on the road. They've kicked off their annual Winter Caravan, a tour of 50 communities the next two weeks -- to be capped with TwinsFest at the Metrodome. The first stop was in Sauke Centre Monday, as manager Ron Gardenhire, hitting coach Joe Vavre and pitchers Brian Duensing and Glen Perkins met 350 fans at Holy Family School.

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