FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) -- Before a recent discussion about the Minnesota Twins' infield, Corey Koskie paused to take a shiny, black leather glove out of a cardboard box sitting by his cubicle in the Twins' clubhouse.
He didn't, however, open it like most people would. Cocking his arm back, he punched the top of the box hard with his fist.
This was vintage Koskie -- an unorthodox guy who took an unconventional route to the majors, a combination that fits rather well with the rest of the Twins' infield.
With personalities as diverse as their nationalities, they have just a couple things in common. But they're important traits: good gloves and promising futures.
Koskie, 28, is Canadian; Floridian Doug Mientkiewicz is 27; Dominican Cristian Guzman turns 24 next week; and Luis Rivas, 22, is from Venezuela. Appropriately, they've been nicknamed the League of Nations.
"I don't see an infield better than we are, defensively," said Mientkiewicz, who created a cult following in the Twin Cities last season while batting .306 with 39 doubles and winning a Gold Glove at first base.
"Mientkiewicz is a popular guy all of a sudden," said general manager Terry Ryan. "He knows where he came from."
In 2000, he played only one weekend with the Twins thanks to a poor 1999 season in which he hit .229 and lost his confidence and his starting job.
But the time in Triple-A and a heroic fortnight in Australia with the Gold-winning U.S. Olympic Team helped straighten him out and led to a repair in his relationship with then-manager Tom Kelly.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.