Originally written on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 10/23/14
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Torii Hunter can't remember who the Twins were playing -- or even if they won, for that matter -- but there was a moment in 2002 that has stuck with Hunter to this day as he talks about his former manager and current Minnesota skipper Ron Gardenhire. With the Twins losing by seven runs in the sixth or seventh inning, Gardenhire stood up and, out of nowhere, told what Hunter calls a "hell of a joke." Whatever the joke was (it likely wasn't fit to print), it got the entire Minnesota dugout laughing. Soon, Gardenhire's team was joking around and loosening up. The Twins started to play better, too, and began to rally. Hunter isn't certain if Minnesota won that game, but that's not what was important. The importance of that one joke was that it helped Gardenhire earn the respect of his team's key players such as Hunter, Jacque Jones, Corey Koskie, David Ortiz and A.J. Pierzynski. That bond Gardenhire formed with his players was a sign of things to come, and a big reason ...
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