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On the first day of spring training at Tinker Field in Orlando, the Twins had no hot water. The morning of their first exhibition game, they had no water, period. In that game, the Twins led the Dodgers 6-5 entering the eighth. Against two young Minnesota pitchers. Los Angeles scored seven runs on three hits, two walks, two errors and a hit batsman. Minnesota lost 13-6.
The Twins will have hot water in the Metrodome, which is good, because there may be a lot of early showers. And their fans had better get used to the trials of young pitchers. Manager Tom Kelly is searching for a rotation behind Allan Anderson and Roy Smith. Unprovens Kevin Tapani and David West won jobs mainly because Mike Dyer and Mark Guthrie didn't. Says pitching coach Dick Such. "All that potential that we talk about, well, they're going to have to live up to it early."
It isn't of much comfort that the Twins' new closer, converted starter Rick Aguilera, has a grand total of seven major league saves. And his personality doesn't exactly fit the role of wild-eyed stopper: "I'm pretty level-headed," he says, ''but maybe I'll have to act crazy." Maybe he should just concentrate on pitching: His spring ERA. which wasn't helped by a hamstring injury, was 17.55. The Twins offense is as formidable as any in baseball and figures to get a boost from third baseman Gary Gaetti, who hit .419 with three homers this spring and appears determined to atone for last year's .251 performance. But these Twins will lose too many 12-11 games to move up in this crowd.
7. CHICAGO WHITE SOX
Their best player, Carlton Fisk, is 42. Their local TV affiliate dropped them. No one outside Chicago can name their top three starters—which partly explains why they set an AL record last year for fewest complete games (nine). They were the only team without a 20-home run hitter. They were last in the AL in attendance. If there's a team no one knows about or cares about, it's the White Sox. And they're stuck in the AL West.
"We've made big strides, but we could win 80 games and still finish 20 games out," says manager Jeff Torborg. There are hopeful signs in this, their 81st and last season at Comiskey Park (a new stadium will be ready in '91). Young players like outfielder Sammy Sosa and first baseman Carlos Martinez had impressive springs. And the Sox hope that rookie Robin Ventura will end the recent parade of third basemen (15 in four years).
Teams continue to inquire about closer Bobby Thigpen, one of Chicago's few tradable commodities. The White Sox' decision to deal him may be affected by 22-year-old lefthander Scott Radinsky, who saved 31 games last year in Class A and looked great this spring. "That's the kind of stuff that excites me." says pitching coach Sammy Ellis. For the time being, that's about as exciting as it will get.
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