I apologize for my lapse in posting. I was in a bit of a baseball funk. I needed some time to accept that our baseball season will end at the end of the baseball season. No postseason for the Twins this year. No hopeful frenzy for fans. Instead we'll be sitting home watching the Yankees once again in the postseason. To be honest with you, right now I'm more interested in what national league teams are going to make it in.
Life has been busy and I thought September might sort of fade into the sunset with Curveball and I only taking in one last game at the dome this season. Fortunately, Curveball has helped me remember the thrill in end-of-the-season baseball, even when "you're not in it". Call it the return to baseball bliss.
Monday afternoon I came home exhausted from a busy day at work. I really didn't think I had it in me to go to the game. But Curveball asked, and well, it never takes much arm-twisting to get me to go.
We traded in a promotional coupon for two general admission tickets for $1. Yup. One dollar. 100 pennies. Curveball did throw in a bonus though--he bought tickets for Wednesday's game right by the bullpen--in the first row of section 136.
Back to Monday:
It was a small, somewhat pathetic crowd in terms of size. But the crowd more than made up for it in their devotion (vocally and emotionally) to the game. What I love about games at this time of year (when your time is "out of it") is the fact that the crowd that comes to those September games come because they love baseball. They come with knowledge of the game. They come to enjoy the game (not to party or do "the wave").
We sat up is section 212--right behind Cuddy. They offered a great view--the only thing you couldn't see were plays in the right field corner. It was an entertaining game with twists and turns. There was the weird play at 3rd when Hunter had to practically run over the 3rd baseman to get home (he had stolen 3rd and then got to go home following a bad throw by the pitcher). Even stranger was the play at 1st when the ump made a horrible call--not giving Bartlett 2nd when the 1st baseman held him captive. I would have liked to see that one on replay. Gardy came charging onto the field and the drama was on. I'll admit it--I get excited about that stuff. I was standing at the railing, yelling & cheering on Gardy and dissing the ump.
There were also some stupid plays by both teams...and it actually seemed fitting that we won in the way that we did. A win is a win. And hey, we hit two homeruns! I haven't seen that at a game, since...
On a funny side note to Monday's game...Curveball and I were watching the Jumbotron greetings in the 5th inning and he was joking with me about not wishing him a happy birthday on the board (another year, Hon!)...and then I saw on the board something along the lines "Congrats newlyweds Lois Vossen and Jay..." Lois is an old high school friend that lives in California (but was obviously at the game). It's a small world. Congratulations Jay and Lois!
So Wednesday's game...
Curveball decided to spend the better portion of the day outside the dome trying to collect autographs from players on their way into the dome. As big as a autograph collector that he is, this is the first time he has done this. It paid off--he got lots of players to sign, including Gardy, Neshek, Tyner, Bartlett...and actually had a few brief conversations with a few players. I talked to him just as a few players were arriving and he sounded like a kid in a candy store. Ah, the simple pleasures in life!
Oh ya, one other sweet thing that happened while I was slaving away at work--I got a call from the Twins promotional office and I won tickets to Sunday's game for answering a trivia contest at Monday's game. The tickets are sweet too--section 135 (above the bullpen) in row 27.
Well, I was thrilled to bring the workday to an end and head to the dome. Curveball and I had decided to go into the dome earlier than we normally do in order to enjoy our sweet seats.
We've sat nearly everywhere in the dome, but never so close to the bullpen. We were in the first row right at the end of the pen. It was thee best place to watch the bullpen action. It was a horrible place to actually watch the game (I could barely see the batter), but every now and then I think this is a fun place to sit. I snared a few autographs on a baseball (Neshek and Boof) and took lots of pictures. It was interesting to see what the pitchers do while the game is ongoing. They do like to eat sunflower seeds and spit quite a bit (the fascination with spitting is something I've never really understood...at one point Guerrier took a swallow of water and then with great focus and attention, watched the water spray out of his mouth). Guerrier seemed very nice to the fans, Rincon too. Boof sat at the very end of the pen and at times was a little short with those wanting him to sign (I understand not wanting to sign the whole game, but kids don't always get that). Neshek came over and signed my baseball and let me take a picture. He is, beyond a doubt, a GREAT guy that is having a ball and appreciates this opportunity to play in the big leagues...and I think he appreciates the fans, because I don't think he's forgotten what it's like to be one). Word is that his shoulder is pretty sore...I hope he gets some rest and there's nothing to worry about.
The only downer to these seats was the two women sitting next to me. Total snobs with their designer purses. They were so irritated with the autograph seekers and yet, they apparently sit in these seats frequently. (It did seem o.k. with them, however, to get Rincon to sign a ball for them). They rolled their eyes every time I took a picture. Really, I wish I had turned to them and said "Who made you the fan police?" And they were, in my opinion, lousy fans. They never really cheered during the game. They rarely clapped.
But I ignored them best I could and enjoyed another winning game. Again, 2 homeruns by the Twins!! And (drumroll, please) Garza won his FIRST HOME GAME! Way to go, Matt.
So, with a joyous and yet heavy heart, I will be at the dome on Sunday to watch the final home game of the season. I can't believe the season is about to end. In a few weeks it will be time to review the season. The highs and the lows. And while I wish the Twins were continuing into the playoffs, for these next few weeks, I'm just going to savor the thrill of the game--and hold onto that feeling till next year.