The Annual Cedar Rapids Kernels Hot Stove Banquet was, as always, a fantastic event. The Twins are tromping across the Upper Midwest on the Winter Caravan and made a stop in Cedar Rapids last night. Mascot TC and I shared a few Target Field stories and were joined by over 500 fans enjoying the new convention center. The DoubleTree staff served up a delicious supper as many Cedar Rapidians enjoyed their first event there. Kudos to the team for a great multi-media display up on the big screens.

The Voice of the Twins Dick Bremer piloted a great Q&A session with Hall of Famer Paul Molitor and Twins relievers Brian Duensing & Ryan Pressly and Kernels Manager Jake Mauer. The Hall of Fame inductions of Mike Trout, Chris Sabo, Tom Barbee, Verna Nance and Ron Gonder were well-deserved.

My favorite quote of the night was from Molitor when he was asked about instant replay. "I don't like it." After talking about foul balls, how technology is changing and the NFL's implementation of the instant replay...he reiterated his opening comment. I agree. Molitor played 2 of his 21 years in the big leagues in his native Minnesota.

Kernels baseball begins in just 79 days. Hope Springs eternal for the Kernels and Twins!