04/13/2013 8:06 PM ET
At Target Field, Mets look to heat fingers before bats
By Patrick Donnelly / Special to MLB.com
MINNEAPOLIS -- A handful of Mets players lingered in the clubhouse three hours before the start of Saturday's game against the Twins at Target Field. The 1994 movie "Little Big League" was airing on MLB Network, and one could excuse any of those players for gazing longingly at the Hollywood version of the Twins' game playing on the big-screen TV.
From 1982-2009, the Twins played in the Metrodome, where the temperature was comfortable and (save for the occasional catastrophic roof collapse) it never snowed. That was not exactly the case Friday night, when the game-time temperature was 34 and snowflakes filled the air as the Mets drubbed the Twins 16-5.
After nearly three decades under the Metrodome's Teflon roof, Minnesotans have mostly embraced the idea of outdoor baseball. Of course, it is easier to appreciate fresh air and real grass when you can feel your toes. Mets third-base coach Tim Teufel, who played for the Twins in the mid-'80s, said Saturday that given the tradeoff, he preferred playing in the Metrodome.
"I'll take the Teflon roof," Teufel said. "I always liked coming to the park knowing it was going to be 70 degrees, so having the dome was nice. But it's a give-and-take. The first month and the last month you kind of get what you can get, and in the middle months you're going to get great weather and a great atmosphere."
Outfielder Collin Cowgill -- one of the Mets taking in "Little Big League" -- said playing at the Metrodome looked nice compared with the conditions they faced Friday. But the 26-year-old did his best to give it a positive spin.
"We actually came out and swung the bats well, and that's tough to do when it's cold; your hands are cold, your body's cold," Cowgill said of Friday's game. "But you have to try as hard as you can to stay warm. I just keep looking forward to when it gets warmer. Hopefully we've got some warmer games ahead of us."
Given the forecast for Denver -- site of the Mets' four-game series starting Monday with the Rockies -- Cowgill's optimism might have to be placed temporarily on hold.
Teufel has not forgotten time with Twins organization
MINNEAPOLIS -- Tim Teufel is probably most often identified with the Mets, the franchise with which he won a World Series ring in 1986 and is currently employed as third-base coach. But Teufel began his career in Minnesota, where he came up through the Minor Leagues with the nucleus of another World Championship team before moving on to New York.
Teufel was the Twins' second-round Draft pick in 1980, and a year later he was the starting second baseman for Minnesota's Double-A affiliate in Orlando. In 1982 his manager in Orlando was Tom Kelly, and they both made their debut with the Twins in 1983, where they joined the likes of Kent Hrbek, Gary Gaetti, Frank Viola and eventually Kirby Puckett, who helped put Minnesota on the baseball map by winning the 1987 World Series.
"We just saw that we had some young players with some talent and it could happen with some pitching," Teufel said. "They added a few pieces to the puzzle from outside the organization, and they made their run. You could kind of see it forming and happening, and it was great because most of the players came out of the organization, which bodes well for the development."
However, Teufel had moved onto the Mets by then, part of a January 1986 trade that landed the Twins future A's executive Billy Beane and not much else. Teufel spent six years with the Mets and went 4-for-9 with a home run in the 1986 World Series.
He wrapped up his career with three seasons in San Diego before getting started down the coaching path, but he said Saturday that he will always have fond memories of his time with the Twins organization.
"It was the beginning of my career, and it was a great opportunity to get up to the Major Leagues and play at the highest level," Teufel said. "I'm always thankful to the Twins for giving me that chance. I spent three years in the Minor Leagues and then got that September callup in 1983 and spent a couple years here with some quality people -- players and coaches alike -- in the organization."
Patrick Donnelly is a contributor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.