MINNEAPOLIS -- Before coming to the ballpark on Wednesday afternoon for a pair of contests against the Yankees, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire spent his morning speaking to a large crowd of businesspeople at a motivational seminar at Target Center.
Gardenhire was just one of a number of notable guest speakers at an event entitled "Get Motivated!" -- a Tampa, Fla.-based traveling forum whose mission is to promote skills such as leadership, teamwork and competitiveness. Colin Powell, Rudy Giuliani and Steve Forbes were also scheduled to speak at the venue on Wednesday, while Brett Favre and Sarah Palin were expected to join the seminar via satellite.
"Not counting arguing with umpires in front of 40,000, that one right there was probably the biggest crowd I've talked in front of," Gardenhire said. "It was like a boxing match. You walk in, and the whole place is packed. There are chairs on the floors, and the only thing that was missing was the ropes. There were fireworks that went up when I walked up. It was something that I've never done before, so it was really cool.
"It was all geared toward motivation. -- your baseball career and how you handle things and get people motivated at the ballpark. There were pretty good questions. It was good stuff to talk about."
Gardenhire had enough time to stay at the event for only his speaking engagement, but he was certainly honored to be included among a group filled with other notable names.
"I would have liked to sit there and listen to the rest of them talk," Gardenhire said. "I thought it would be pretty cool."