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Minnesota Twins Announce 2012 Spring Training Schedule

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The Minnesota Twins struggled in 2011, finishing last in the AL Central with a 63-99 record. But they can put that behind them early on in 2012, as the club announced that pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report on Feb. 18, with the rest of the team due to arrive on Feb. 23, giving the team an extra three days of practice compared to recent years, as Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com reports. This should color manager Ron Gardenhire a happy man.

"I'd like to start earlier and give ourselves 13 days before our first game," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said in late August. "It gives us a little more time for our defense and for our pitchers. And it gives us more days for full-squad workouts. Just thinking ahead, knowing we're going to have a little bit different of a ballclub, I think we'll need it."

The Twins kick off their 17-game Grapefruit League schedule against the Tampa Bay Rays at Hammond Stadium at 1:05 p.m. ET. Among the highlights are visits by the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Yankees.

Spring Training tickets are available for purchase by 1-800-33-TWINS or 612-33-TWINS.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.