The flowers were what surprised him. And the texts. Doug Mientkiewicz hadn’t been on the Twins’ payroll for years, had played for seven other organizations and worked as a coach in the Dodgers’ system, yet every June 19 his phone would buzz and he’d see Terry Ryan’s name, and when his wife took ill a bouquet showed up, signed by his first team.

Mientkiewicz’s departure from the Twins was abrupt, even rude. After he played first base for the group of young Twins who rescued the franchise, Ryan, then and now the Twins’ general manager, traded him from one Metrodome clubhouse to the other during a 2004 series with the Boston Red Sox. Mientkiewicz strolled down the hall, pulled on the cap with the ‘B’ on it, won a World Series and never again wore Twinstripes as a player.

So it’s odd to see him on the back fields at the Twins’ spring training complex these days, working as the new manager of Class A Fort Myers, wearing what looks like his old game uniform, looking like he hasn’t aged a day. “How about this,” he said recently to a visitor, looking down at the Twins’ script on his chest.