Twins players caught off guard with hoopla

Twins players caught off guard with hoopla

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins expected a lot of hoopla surrounding the first Opening Day at Target Field, but some of the players admit they were caught by surprise with just how much attention was focused on the first game at their new field Monday.

Catcher Joe Mauer said he pulled into the parking lot at Target Field around 9 a.m. CT and was immediately greeted by a camera to be interviewed as he walked into the ballpark. The interview was part of Fox Sports North's live broadcast throughout the morning.

"It's expected, people are excited," Mauer said. "I just wasn't expecting it at 9 a.m., but you roll with it.

"It's a big day for all Minnesotans and for this organization. A lot of people are excited and we are too as players."

Mauer wasn't the only one to notice the increased media attention and fans arriving early into the ballpark to take part in all of the events. There was also the additional enthusiasm of the crowd, which cheered every home run hit during batting practice.

"Delmon [Young] and I were just talking about it. It feels like were at the All-Star Game," said Michael Cuddyer. "It's a fun atmosphere."

Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.