Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Women Who Love Baseball Men

Curlz and Curveballs in Kansas City for a game last year

This is the first entry written by my better half, the best damn curveball that life has ever thrown me! He showed it to me after coming home from Wednesday's game (see the exploits of that adventure at my other blog-- ) Sometime soon I'll post the story of our proposal--which took place at a Twins game!

For the luv of the game, every true male baseball fan’s dream is to come across someone (hopefully) of the opposite sex who doesn’t find the game of baseball boring, silly, or just likes to attend to look at the players in their short pants, flexing their muscles when they bat, and doing the "million-dollar smile" thing.

I’m your typical aging baseball fan, too big for Metrodome seats, happy with dollar dog night, graying at the temples, talking stats and history and follow the game in a relaxing manner. My days of playing the sport are long gone as my speed is non-existent, my power underwhelming, and my ability to lean over and field a grounder, much less throw a bullet to the bag, just won’t happen.

Being a divorcee with two kids who got a lot of my time, I stayed out of the "dating" field for nearly 15 years, and then re-entered the wondrous world of computer dating. – signing up and going thru the pages was like being in a candy store. So many styles, shapes, flavors. Happily, the first lady I ventured out to meet set me straight, as we spent most of our lunch talking journalism shop. She was blunt: no expectations. Just do it to meet people and see where it goes from there. Everyone wants someone smarter, prettier, richer, dynamic, perfect. Good luck, she said, the major majority have issues, are aging, and dream of the lottery. Those that ride bikes, run marathons, climb mountains and sit on beaches are fakes. If they did those things, when would they have time to date, let alone love.

Well, true to form, the lunches and dinners and dramas were enjoyable but, yes, expectations by so many are so far-fetched that you wonder "why" does one put up with such endeavors. But at my age, it was a far more enjoyable experience than the bar scene, church socials, and 10-minute chat and dates.

But I took one hunch...typed in "Minnesota Twins", and lo and behold met the perfect woman. We typed, communicated, but I couldn’t get her to meet at TwinsFest 2006 – thought it would be the perfect informal setting where we could drift towards each other, exchange some time, and part our ways amongst the crowded world of Minnesota Twins mania. But, no, wasn’t to be. It was twisting her arm just to think about meeting. So I continued to meet other women, and finally talked Risa into a quick bite in her neighborhood a few weeks later. She was beautiful. It was sweet, comfortable.

It wasn’t long after I brought her home "to look at my autographed Twins baseball card collection" that we decided to become a couple. I proposed on the scoreboard at the September 8th Twins game, started by Matt Garza who was going to be "our pitcher" but he wasn’t doing so well. All I remember is that we were losing before the moment happened, and won after I slipped the replica ‘87 World Series ring on her finger amidst the applause of those around us. Pat Neshek won the game, so he is now "our pitcher."

Yes, there is far more to our relationship than baseball (we wed June 3rd). But it’s a man’s dreamworld when Baseball Tonight is more important than the local news, when you are told to stand and clap when TC Bear circles the stadium on his 4-wheeler, when she knows the standings and the stats better than...well, most people.

Amazingly, we have to fight for control of the large-screen television when my mid-20s son is over (he can’t understand the fervor for the game). Sometimes we win, sometimes it is futile and one retreats to the smaller set in the secondary bedroom.

Yes, our marriage is still quite young. And as we grow old together, we will always have a love for the diamond game of baseball. Two people who have found each other and do enjoy baseball. A time to relax and enjoy (in 2010) the great outdoors as the game plays itself out over nine innings. Or a time to stand and shout and applaud and scream as the hometown Twins (this old fart has been following them since Day One) win or lose.

Going to leave you with some words from out wedding ceremony:

"We are gathered together here in the presence of friends and family to celebrate the love which Risa and Joel have for each other; to give social recognition to their decision to commit their lives and accept each other completely; to learn how to help and understand each other; and together, to travel through life and share their love of baseball.So what’s baseball got to do with this? Well, baseball and marriage aren’t all that different! Both require a lot of hard work, a lot of running, and a lot of learning and analyzing mistakes and starting over, every morning is a new day, a chance to make it better – as long as you are committed to make it better. A good game, and a good marriage – don’t just happen. It takes love to get started, and sheer determination to make it through. And in spite of all the curveballs life throws you, it is a wonderful experience with which we grow and in which we fulfill an important part of who we are and who we become.

Before we continue, if any of you has anything to say that might change their minds, they don't want to hear it. However, they do want to hear from you that you are their village, that you will always be their friends, and that you will always support and encourage them as they build the skills and work up the commitment and dedication needed to make marriage work. You are here as fans, coaches and team members. I realize each of you comes from one side, so I would encourage you to embrace both of them and support them in their journey."

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

An OT Win

Just got home from the game...a nail-biter that went 12 innings. Baker pitched a great game--9 strikeouts. It should have been a win for him, but Toronto's pitcher did his job as well. We ended up winning in the 12th--bases loaded (due to an intentional walk of Red) and then Cirillo was brought in as a pinch hitter. He got the hit that was needed...although it looked like it possibly could have been caught. Doesn't was our game to win. (Twins' pitching overall was great).

Interesting tidbits...

--Castillo sucked it up and played tonight. The guy brings an intensity to the game that I love watching.

--Gardy was ejected, protecting Hunter from the same potential fate. Was Hunter safe? I'm hoping to catch the highlights on Baseball Tonight.
--Two twentysomething female fans, undoubtedly intoxicated, decided to make their major league debut by running onto the field during the extra innings. They were no threat to security.

--There are new jumbotron intros for our relief pitchers. New video and new music. For Neshek the B-52s "Love Shack" is played (Get it--Nee-shack). For Rincon, music from the Clint Eastwood movie "The Good, the Bad, the Ugly". It works. I always think they can do more to fire up the crowd (like hire me to lead a cheering section).

--The sno-cones are not worth it. Trust me. The orange dreamsicle smoothie at the roasted corn wagon is.

And best of all...

I won tickets for tomorrow's ballgame at the KSTP's booth before the game. I have never taken a spin at their prize wheel until tonight. When we arrived at the plaza there was only 6 in line, so what the hey...

Take me out to the ballgame...again tomorrow!


Castillo rolling over in pain after having his hand "spiked"

The Twins' loss came with a pricetag. Castillo suffered a nasty injury at homeplate, when his hand was stepped on by Toronto's catcher. Not intentionally, but nasty all the same. Castillo stayed in the game--until the 9th when his at-bat came and his hand was too swollen to swing. Having watched that replay a few times, it's hard to imagine he'll be playing tonight. Cirillo, having covered first base since Morneau's injury, is experiencing knee pain. The question remains whether he'll be playing tonight as well.

On a brighter note: 4 out of 5 "web gems" (from Baseball Tonight) were from the Twins-Toronto game. Top web gem: Punto's amazing catch in the dugout (also featured as the top play on Sports Center).

Regardless of who's playing, I'm planning to be at tonight's game, cheering on the battle-weary, bruised boys of baseball.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Twins take care of Marlins

Overall, it was a good series against the Marlins, with more interesting interleague play. Here are some memorable moments:

Friday, June 22nd: Without question this was the most costly game of the series. Not just because of the loss, but even more so due to Morneau's injury. A scary injury with Morneau still in the hospital and no word yet when he'll return to the line-up. This is not good news when we are at the beginning of a 17 game stretch without a day off. Heal quickly Morneau! You're not Wally Pipp! (Late in the Twins game Saturday, Morneau sent a simple text message "Wally Pipp--referring to a player who lost his position to Lou Gehrig when he was injured).

Saturday, June 23rd: Lots of hitting and good pitching from Silva. Hunter, hitting a triple, double, and single, came just short of hitting for the cycle. Why aren't we signing him?

Sunday, June 24th: Another jewel from Santana. This time, Santana, the hitter, connected for a stand-up triple. I love seeing the smile on his face that tells you the guy is having a good time. The smile was there when he hit the triple and then with each strike-out that he threw. Mauer hit 2 home runs and Bartlett stole 2 bases. Interesting line-up trying to compensate for injuries...and later for Cuddyer and Gardy's ejections. For a moment there in the 4th, I thought Santana was going to get in trouble with the ump.

Now the Twins return home for just 4 home games. Then they're off for Detroit, Yankees, and Chicago. It seems set to be a pivotal road trip.

But first, let's take care of Toronto.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


A bit of fun preceded Thursday's Twins game. Santana made Blyleven make good on his bet to shave his head if Santana pitched a shutout complete game. Santana did the honors. (A video of the "haircut" can be viewed on

I think Bert as an announcer has brought a lot of fun to the Twins broadcasts. It doesn't matter where the Twins are playing, there is sure to be someone in the stands with a Circle Me Bert sign. (I love seeing the signs on t.v. but I hate sitting behind one at a game) Bert definitely knows the game and is a good commentator.

The questions remains--Why is Bert not in the Hall of Fame? It baffles me. The statistics below bear the prove that Bert is Hall of Fame worthy.

287 wins - 24th on the All-Time list.
250 loses - 10th on the
All-Time list.
4,970 innings pitched - 13th on the
All-Time list.
3,701 strikeouts - 5th on the
All-Time list.
685 career starts - 8th on the
All-Time list.
242 Complete games - 90th on the
All-Time list.
60 shutouts - 9th on the
All-Time list.

"Bert (Blyleven), forget the wins and losses. You finished almost five thousand innings. You pitched in 700 games. You struck out almost four thousand guys. What more does one arm have to do, to prove to people that this was a gift from God, and a guy who busted his butt for 22 years, and completed 242 games, and shut out sixty teams?" - Pitcher Rob Dibble


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Santana wins shutout!

"I don't talk. I just let what I do talk for myself." - Johan Santana on (November 18, 2006)

I'm not ordinarily a fan of NL rules, but I have to admit it was fun seeing Santana hit a double last night. The guy likes to give it everything he's got--even when it comes to swinging the bat. I do believe if the play at 2nd had been close, he might have tried sliding into base. That I don't want to see--because I don't want our Ace to get hurt.

If you were watching the game till the end last night, you know that Twins announcer (and former player) Bert Blyleven threw down a little challenge to Santana before the game...Bert agreed to have his head shaved if Santana pitched a complete shutout game. Santana did just that.

So now Bert (who pitched something like 60 suutout games--I ask why is he not in the Hall of Fame?) will get his head shaved before tonight's game.

What can Bert shave if Santana does it again? Hell, make that any Twins pitcher.

Santana got the job done, but not in his usual manner. He had only 1 strikeout that came in the last inning. Santana went out there and pitched a great game. He kept his pitch count down (possibly because he wasn't going after the strikeouts). He got run support. HE GOT RUN SUPPORT! What a huge difference that makes.

I'll be watching the head shaving tonight.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

An introduction from Curlz

I recently created a personal blog ( -- a place to write about lots of changes going on in my life, such as getting married, changing jobs, and just handling the curveballs that life keeps throwing my way. As baseball is one of my passions, I found myself writing about baseball from time to time--especially Twins baseball. It only made sense to start a baseball blog.

I started kicking around the idea of a baseball blog with my then fiancee (now husband--we got married June 3rd). We've decided to start this blog as a joint venture. We are both baseball fanatics. In a sense, baseball brought us together. It was our common interest in baseball that brought us together. We eventually got engaged at a baseball game--with the proposal on the jumbotron (it was my dream come true!).

Bear with us as we get this blog underway.