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Twins beat 4/9

April 9, 2011

Gardenhire receives AL Manager of Year trophy

MINNEAPOLIS — Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was honored before Saturday’s game at Target Field and presented with the trophy for his 2010 American League Manager of the Year Award.

Gardenhire earned the award after leading Minnesota to a 94-68 record and the 2010 American league Central Division title. It was the first such honor for Gardenhire, who is in his 10th season as manager and has led the Twins to six division crowns.

Before the game, Gardenhire was asked if he was looking forward to the presentation.

“Sure,” he answered. “Yeah, that’s fine. I kind of like to stay away from those things, but that’ll be neat out there I guess, getting the award.”

New batter’s eye draws positive reviews

MINNEAPOLIS — It may not have translated into immediate success at the plate, but early reviews of the new batter’s eye at Target Field have been positive.

During the offseason, the Twins removed the 14 black spruce trees that previously were behind the center field wall. The club also installed a new honeycomb-like material on the backdrop that reduces the glare for hitters off the batter’s eye.

“It was nice,” Mauer said. “We had an overcast day, so that’s always nice. But yeah, it looks great. Definitely an improvement.”

Both the trees and the glare were cited as issues during the Twins’ first season in their new home. Through one game, the changes seemed to be a success.

Despite collecting eight hits, the Twins went without an extra-base hit Friday in their 2-1 victory over the A’s. While they did not hit the ball too hard off Oakland’s Brett Anderson, the hitters all had good things to say about the batter’s eye.

“I liked it,” Jason Kubel said. “I saw everything fine. [In batting practice], when it was sunny out there, it was fine. Three o’clock games were the worst ones.”

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