FORT MYERS, Fla. — First, a confession: I’m not a golfer, and had no idea what an albatross is. (If you saw my rare attempts to play the game, you’d understand why I do know what a “snowman” is.) So when Glen Perkins tweeted photos of Joe Mauer retrieving his golf ball out of the cup yesterday, I made a basic mistake. I jumped to conclusions.
Turns out, Mauer didn’t collect a hole in one Thursday night — he accomplished something even more rare. He holed his second shot, from 236 yards out to an uphill green, on a par 5. Perkins called it an albatross — three under par on a hole — but I just thought he was being colorful.
Mauer was enjoying the congratulations from his teammates this afternoon, and Perkins sounded amazed at how well the first baseman was hitting the ball during his round. He putted well, too, Mauer said — probably the best round of his life.
No hole in one, though. He’s never had one. So please accept my mea culpa for writing in Friday’s paper that he had.
But in my defense, Mauer didn’t know what an albatross is, either. “I’ve only heard it called a double eagle. Glen told me it’s an albatross,” Mauer said. “He said the only reason he knew it was because he’s had one on Golden Tee.”
Fortunately, there is no golf for me to write about tonight — only baseball. The Twins are working out at Hammond Stadium right now, wearing their bright red jerseys, as they prepare for their 7 p.m. Grapefruit League opener against the Rays. (There is no TV coverage of the game, though it’s on Go96.3. Tomorrow’s game against the Red Sox is being televised by MLB Network.)
It was a quiet day in Twins camp, with the players ordered (and threatened with having to pay for a team dinner if they disobeyed) to stay away from the ballpark until 2 p.m. After a week or more of 7:30 arrivals, nobody seemed to mind.
Paul Molitor chose to stick with the lineup he projected yesterday, one that looks like the Opening Day lineup with a couple of exceptions: Kennys Vargas will be at first base instead of Mauer, and Ehire Adrianza will be at second base in Brian Dozier’s place. Kyle Gibson will throw the first two innings (or 30 pitches), followed by an inning apiece from Brandon Kintzler, Taylor Rogers, Matt Belisle, Justin Haley, Brian Boshers, Nick Tepesch and Michael Tonkin.
Rookie righthander Austin Pruitt starts for Tampa Bay.
Here are the lineups for the first of 35 spring games:
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