MINNEAPOLIS -- Tuesday marked the return of former Twins catcher Mike Redmond, who is in his first season as manager of the Marlins.
Redmond, 41, played with the Twins from 2005-09, and said he was happy to return to the Twin Cities. He joked that he never got a chance to play at Target Field as a member of the Twins, but did go 1-for-3 there as a visiting player in his last year in the Majors with the Indians in 2010.
Redmond also praised Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, and said he learned a lot from him during his time in Minnesota.
"He backed his players up," Redmond said. "He was always in our corner and we knew that, and we played hard for him. He made it pretty simple. He said, 'Hey, you guys play hard for me and play the game the right way, and you'll never have a problem.' That was true. We played hard. We went out there to win. I learned a lot from Gardy. I have a lot of respect for Gardy, and he knows that."
Gardenhire said he's happy for Redmond, who was known as one of the leaders in the clubhouse during his time in Minnesota and was always considered a potential manager.
"He's a great guy," Gardenhire said. "He's an ex-catcher, and he always was into the game and paying attention. So it's fun to see him over there. We all knew he'd be in this part of the game eventually."
Twins catcher Joe Mauer admitted it's a little strange seeing a former teammate managing in the big leagues, and he had nothing but praise for Redmond, who served as his backup for five seasons.
"We're still really good friends, so I'm happy for him to get that opportunity," Mauer said. "I think everybody in here knew that would be his next chapter in baseball. So it's different, but I'm very happy for him and proud of him that it happened this quick."