Thursday, July 31, 2008

Drama on the field

Man oh man, I wish I was at tonight's game. We thought about it, but it was a busy day at work and I needed to get some things done at home. We decided that it would probably be better to go Friday night or during the weekend.

Probably. Probably not. Tonight's game has had (thus far) all the drama I love. If I were there, I'd surely come home with a sore throat and no voice. The first 5 innings didn't go all that well, but then things shifted. Morneau got a 3-run homerun in the bottom of the 5th to bring the Twins to within 1 (4-3).

And then things got really hot in the 7th. Span got hit by a pitch, but instead of being given the base the 1st base ref decided Span had attempted to punt the ball and "put himself" in the ball's way. WRONG. Gardy came out to argue the point and was ejected almost immediately. But Gardy stayed to argue his point and in my opinion, rightfully so. Gardy was fired up and the crowd got fired up too. When Gardy finally left the field, he kicked or threw his cap up in the air. A few fans responded by throwing their caps onto the field. Pretty soon, Ozzie was pulling his guys off the field. Hey, don't these guys play in Chicago? I think the White Sox face tougher crowds just taking the field at home.

Eventually order was returned and the teams took to the field once again. With just a few more throws, Span actually was walked. Sweet. Karma. All this was followed by some nice base hitting and then Kubel, with 2 runners on, hit the ball out--giving the Twins their first lead.
Of course, the Sox answered with a 2-run homerun. It just can't be easy. But like I said, it's been a night for drama. And that makes for good baseball.

Right now it's the bottom of the 8th and the Twins have added on more runs, increasing their lead again. With 2 outs, the Twins lead 10-6.

I may have things that "need to be done", but until this game is over I'm glued to my television and whoopin' and hollerin' through every run and every out.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

1/2 game back and 26 home games to play

Yup, only 26 home games still to play. I got me some baseball games to get to.

And I got to the one tonight. Yup, Perkins was pitching. He seemed a little shaky the first few innings. It was a rough start--with a balk called that eventually led to a run. And the Sox pitcher looked better than expected--for a while. But then Twins magic took over and we took the lead. The crowd of 36,999 stood on their feet throughout the 9th as we won to pull within a 1/2 game of first place.

The bad news is that Casilla has been placed on the DL with a torn tendon in the finger he injured on Monday night. Another f*#*ing finger injury!?! Damn it. I was worried about this. First, we do seem prone to these type of injuries this when they came out to check Casilla last night, I thought--"this won't be good". And then this afternoon Curveball went to the Dome to catch players before the game (for autographs)...Casilla walked in with a soft cast on his hand.

Casilla has been hot and I would hate to see the kid miss the rest of the season. And sorry, I don't think Everett will be that sort of dynamic player.

So the division lead is on the line tomorrow. It's going to be hard to stay away for that.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Where's Perkins?

I was visiting the Twins website last night and went to check the pitchers listed for the Twins/White Sox series. I found something or rather, someone missing. The Twins' Tuesday night pitcher is listed as "To be announced". Monday's pitcher is listed and even Wednesday, Thursday and Friday's pitchers are it's pretty obvious who should be pitching Tuesday...Perkins.

What's up with Perkins missing in the listing of probable pitchers? His name was there on Saturday. Is there an injury the Twins aren't talking about? Is Perkins being thrown into some trade deal in the works?

Trading Perkins would open up a spot for Liriano, and he's certainly worth more in a trade than say someone like Boof. Still I would hate to see this Minnesota kid go anywhere. I think he fits well in the organization and he certainly has talent.

While I'm speculating, let me just throw out there that I think Liriano will be brought up soon--but not before Friday. It's time.

The whole thing with Perkins--let's just hope it's an issue of someone dropping the ball and not getting the right info out there...but it certainly caught me eye.

Anyone out there care to speculate?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

It's Justin, not Jason, thank you very much!

I've been reading the blogs and listening to the commentary on t.v. go on and on about how Josh Hamilton should have won the Homerun Derby last night. No doubt we will be hearing about it all night during the All-star game. But enough already.

I know...I was mezmorized by Hamilton’s show as well...and his story is inspiring. A part of me would have been happy had he won.

But being a Twins fan, I was thrilled to see Morneau--the last man invited to the derby--win. Did we hear anything of Morneau's story? Nope. Hell, the State Farm corporate drone couldn’t even come up with the right first name (It’s Justin, not Jason, thank you very much). Um, Justin was the 2006 AL MVP...did anyone on ESPN even mention that? Probably not, cause those Yankees fans thought he stole the MVP from Jeters (another time Morneau didn’t get his due). How in the world could a honest, hard-working player from a nothing team like the Twins be MVP? Or for that matter, win the Home run Derby?

I know I may be singing to the choir here, but Morneau is a good guy, who always plays hard, gives back to the community...He does represent what is good about baseball--and that story should be celebrated as well. He is loyal to his team and his fans--he chose to stay here in Minnesota, rather than seek his fame and fortune in those bigger markets that we despise here in the quiet Midwest.

I’m not saying that Hamilton isn’t the same, but Morneau, without the dramatic backdrop, was not the network’s story last night. Certainly, Hamilton's performance and life story provided greater dramatic flair for the media.

Don't get me wrong--I hope Hamilton continues to have an incredible season. It certainly looks like he's headed that way. Maybe he will be the MVP this season.

But Morneau didn’t write the rules. He just played the game and came out the winner.

Who can fault him for that?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Our very own Homerun Derby Winner!

Justin Morneau! Justin, last player to be invited to the Homerun Derby, claimed the Homerun Derby title tonight! Yes! Yes! Yes! I watched the derby and I know that Josh Hamilton put on a hell of a show. Hamilton hit 28 homeruns in the first round and 5 more in a shortened 2nd round (he elected not to hit the full 2nd round). Maybe Hamilton even deserved to win the title, but the rules are what they are--and the rules are that the 2 finalists start with a clean slate for the final round. Justin hit first in the final round and came up with just 5 homeruns (which is fairly typical for the final round). No one thought he would walk away the winner. But Josh Hamilton had obviously worn himself out and failed to show his earlier power--he only hit 3 homeruns in the final round.

I love it! I love that Justin won! I love that the Twins have 3 players at the All-star game (and I also love that Hunter and Santana aren't there...just for 1 year I want them to sit it out and think about the good thing they had going here in Minnesota).

So tomorrow night we can enjoy the All-star game. The Twins enter the second half of the season just 1 1/2 games out of first place. Not bad. Certainly better than what was expected of them this season.

I like this team. One striking difference between this team and last year's team--they don't give up. Whether they are down a run or a half dozen runs, they still play to win. And that attitude has won them more than a few ballgames.

I hope to be writing more the second half of the season--all the way through the Twins winning the World Series. That nasty little bug I was fighting the last time I wrote turned out to be Salmonella--yup, the same salmonella that is part of the nationwide outbreak (which happens to be called "salmonella saintpaul"). It knocked me flat for quite some time. Finally, I'm ready for dome dogs again!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sweep! Sweep!

I have been laying in bed much of the past several days, fighting off whatever nasty bug I picked up. Since I was feeling so lousy, we didn't make any games this weekend (although Curveball did make it to the autograph party). I have been watching the games on tv though (with occasional naps) and was thrilled that the Twins pulled off another sweep today! Way to go guys!

Doing their part to help us out, the Chicago Cubs just pulled off a sweep of the Chicago White Sox. Very sweet indeed. I really hope the Cubs can continue to play so well--their home record is now 32-8. Incredible.

And the best part is the Cubs and White Sox play again next weekend (this time on the Sox home field).

Go Cubs!

Go Twins! Only 1 1/2 games back!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Back to the blogging world

Here we are celebrating our 1-year anniversary at a Twins game earlier in June.

I am not going to offer any explanations or excuses for my lack of blogging: it's just life getting in the way, as well as a bit of the writing doldrums. (Some days I just don't feel witty. In my defense, I do write two other blogs)

I have been watching baseball, even going to a few Twins games (last night, for example), but my lack-of-blogging guilt has kept me from reading my fellow bloggers' posts.

Sorry. I'll try to do better.

That out of the way, let me say:

Except for that nasty road trip, I am generally happy with how the Twins are playing. I am still nervous though and frustrated that we can't seem to make up any ground on the dreaded White Sox. And now the Tigers are gaining steam.

Pitching has been hard to watch at times. It seems so different from the last few seasons. Yes, I miss watching Santana pitch, but the bullpen makes me hold my breath every time they take the ball (and some of that is on the starters who have struggled of late making it through even 6 innings). I miss Neshek. While I feel bad for Rincon, I was ready to see him go. I'm also worried that Boof will not be able to find his best stuff any time soon. Is it time to cut our losses there as well?

Hitting seems to be improving...although I'm anxious for Morneau to hit a hot streak. I would LOVE to see Delmon relax a bit and hit a few homers. Hit anything really.

Random Notes:

  • I like how when Slowey comes on the field to pitch, they play Slow Ride (I'm not sure that's the actual title).

  • While we were standing at the radio station's prize-spinning wheel last night (outside the dome) we saw Harmon Killebrew walk right in front of us to get to the radio's station trailer (to do an interview). I should say I saw Killebrew. I had to nudge Curveball. He was floating on Cloud 9 the rest of the evening because he hung around and got his autograph. He will also be going to the Autograph Party this coming Saturday.

  • Punto became a new daddy and Cuddy is waiting for his little one to arrive as well. I have never figured out: how come these guys don't figure out how to have babies that arrive in the off-season?

  • I find it humorous that crabby-faced, cantankerous Ponson has been picked up by the Yankees. He'll fit right in there.

  • I encourage everyone to vote for Mauer and Morneau for the all-star team. It's really easy to do (repeatedly) online.

  • And finally, hats off to the Twins for sweeping the Nationals! Way to go team!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Going for the sweep...

The past two nights have made for interesting Twins baseball. Tuesday Blackburn pitched an excellent ballgame, only to see the lead slip away in the 9th. Blackburn's pitching has been far better than his record indicates. In the end, more specifically in the 12th inning, we pulled out a win. And that is what really matters.

Last night I have to admit to half-heartedly watching the game while putzing around & working on the computer. I was paying attention to the game, but there wasn't alot to pay attention to...that is until the the 9th inning. Down 8-3 in the 9th, I had no illusions of the Twins even coming close to tying the game, let alone winning it. But hit by hit, runners got on base and a few even crossed homeplate. And then with 2 outs and 2 on, Monroe came up to the plate--representing the tying run. It still seemed like a long shot at best, but my attention was now glued to the tv nonetheless.

And then the unthinkable happened--Monroe hit a 3-run homer--breaking his hitting slump. And with that, the impossible seemed possible--again. And true enough, Morneau came up as the first batter in the 10th and on the first pitch hit one out of the park.

That's all it took. As uplifting as these past 2 wins have been for the Twins and our fans, these 2 losses have been even more disappointing for the Royals. They have now lost 10 in a row. I sort of feel bad for Royal fans--I've been to Kauffman Stadium and the fans there are very kind to visitors. I want the Royals to win.

Right after we leave town.

I want the Twins to sweep the Royals tonight. Going into the 6th inning, the Twins lead 5-0, but after the last 2 nights I know better than to count this as a win until the final pitch is thrown.

And following this sweep, I hope the Twins come home to sweep the last-place Yankees (I love saying that "last-place Yankees").

And then the Royals can win a few games.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Fun Is Good!

Joel with former Twins assistant coach (now with Fort Worth) Wayne Terwilliger.

The ump giving a feeding to the Saint's piglet.

The view from our seats--just 5 rows behind home plate!

Team mascot "Mudonna"

Joel planting one on Mudonna

I am still a Twins' fan (although lack of blogging doesn't necessarily indicate that)--but since the Twins were out of town this weekend, I surprised Joel on Friday's Date Night with tickets to a St. Paul Saints game. We have never gone to a Saints game, although we've talked about it several times.

The idea to go watch the Saints popped into my head Friday morning. I was searching for something fun to do in town for the long weekend. I wanted to enjoy the nice weather outside and with that thought catching a Saints game came in to mind.

I had no idea, however, if there would be any decent tickets available. I jumped online and went to the Saints website. I was in luck! There were plenty of seats--including 2 seats right behind home plate (5 rows up). I snatched those up in a heartbeat.

I didn't give Joel a clue until I got home later in the afternoon. I think he was pleasantly surprised. We got dressed and ready for a night of fun!

It was a lovely night for outdoor baseball (although it did get quite chilly--I was happy I brought along socks). The seats we got normally belong to a season ticket holder, who obviously had "returned" the tickets for a credit. Pretty much everyone around us were season ticket holders that knew one another by name.

I think Major League baseball could take a few lessons in fun from teams like the Saints--that is if Bud Selig could ever get the stick out of his you-know-what. There are fun antics played out on the field and stands between every inning. Fun music is played throughout. Each year the Saints adopt a little piglet (that grows into a not-so-little piglet by season's end) and piglet is trotted out on the field and even receives a feeding from the homeplate ump. For the 7th inning stretch, bags of peanuts are tossed into the stands. And controversial calls are even replayed on the teams "jumbotron"...MLB won't do that, lest the fans boo the umps. Don't you want the fans to get into the game?

The Saints lost, but it was fun nonetheless. And until 2010 we'll be catching some outdoor baseball by going to the Saints.

(I will add that I was thrilled to hear following the Saints' game about the Twins win...but what happened Saturday? OUCH!!! Today was much sweeter, with a win for Perkins and a grand slam by Kubel--a pretty sweet way to celebrate your 26th birthday! Happy Birthday Jason! The important thing is we took 2 out of 3 games and we remain in 2nd place!)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Well done!

Well, it was worth waiting nearly 2 hours for last night's rain delayed-game! GoGo Gomez hit for the was the sort of thing that you "woke up" to watch (I was starting to nod off)...and fun to see Gomez enjoy it so.

And besides all that, the Twins had about a dozen other hits, scoring 13 runs. Nice way to follow up a game where the Twins only mustered up 1 hit! And to top all that off, Hernandez pitched a complete game--only allowing one run!

Well done boys, well done!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

My bad...

It's my fault. The Twins' loss tonight (nearly a no-hitter for Chicago no less) is on my shoulders 'cause I started talking BIG way too early (see post below). Sorry 'bout that. There will be no more BIG talk for at least a month.

And even though it was a loss, I'm claiming a little pride in Mauer breaking up that No-Hitter.

Go down swinging. Always.

It's way too early, but...

It's way too early,'s hard NOT to imagine what if's...what if the Twins keep this scrappy, pulled-together ballteam together and on top of the Central Division...what if Chicago, Detroit and the other Central division teams can't quite pull it together...yes, I know it's way too early to dream so big, but since I'm a baseball fool that's exactly what I do.

So here's a end-of-season scenario that I enjoy...The Twins win the division and beat the Angels (and Hunter) in the playoffs to make it to the World Series...where they defeat the Mets (and Santana) to win the ultimate prize. (I love Hunter and Santana, but I wouldn't mind proving to them that the Twins are a team that can win it all...and I don't think their former teammates would mind proving that to them either)

Yup, I know it's a long shot, but I think it's visions like that that can keep this scrappy little team eyeing the prize. Who says they're not good enough? Remember 2002? 1987?

Yes, I know it's way too early, but already this team has been winning 1-point games and even on Sunday, coming back from a 6-0 deficit. I don't recall them doing that last year.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

First Place Twins

I am breaking my blogging drought (sorry) to acknowledge the Twin's ascension to first place. Lord knows how long it will last, so we best savor it while we have the opportunity. (I'm not being sarcastic or fatalistic...I just think first place is going to be switching hands more than a few times this season).

And while I'm here, a few other notes:
  • GoGo Gomez, that was a nasty hit you took to the head on Friday night. Hope the world stops spinning soon and we see you back in center!
  • Condolences to Gardy and his family in the loss of Gardy's brother. We plan to carry on in your absence and put together a string of wins. Don't worry about us.
  • And last, but not least, Happy, Happy (somewhat belated) Birthday to Lipgloss! Celebrate with a few beers and dome dogs!

Monday, April 14, 2008


I can't write now. I can swear, cuss, spit...but write, no.

Except for this:

What the hell happened tonight?

Lord knows, we would have to be there when Detroit finally got their game together.

Damn it.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Topsy Turvy

One thing about baseball is that it's unpredictable.

2 weeks into the season and there have been some pleasant surprises. Until today, Kansas City has been at the top of our division and Detroit at the bottom (Detroit is still in the bottom. Thanks to the Twins, KC is now tied for 2nd with the Twins. The ugly White Sox are a 1/2 game in the lead).

Weren't the so-called "experts" predicting Detroit and Cleveland to be the Central's strongest teams ... and yet, there they sit at the bottom. I like that. I know it may not last, but nothing would make me happier than Minnesota finishing first with Kansas right behind.

It's hard to know at this point what the final ranking will be. But I do know that I'm not ready to count the Twins out. Not by a long shot. GoGomez has been exciting to watch and makes you believe that there is nothing better than watching raw new talent. Tolbert has been a real surprise as well. This lineup has not been set by a long shot. It's fun seeing what the new guys can do.

And tomorrow our pitching rotation gets a shot in the arm that it has been waiting for since September 2006. Liriano returns. I don't expect greatness on his very first outing. But I am hoping that his return will take some of the sting out of losing Santana (who by the way has suffered 2 losses due in part to poor run support by the Mets. Sound familiar?).

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Squeeze Play Game Replay

I didn't make it to the ballpark today and the game was not televised. I was listening on the radio when Morneau broke loose with his 3-run homer. Dang. It would have been nice to see that hit.

A few hours later I was able to see a 30 minute overview of the game on FSN's "Squeeze Play". Every hit, every out was replayed. So I got to see that homerun and his double, plus Monroe's first hit (a double) as well as some fine play (again) by Tolbert, Mauer, and Nathan. Hernandez finished 7 innings and was charged with a balk. Everett committed an error and GoGomez went hitless for the first time. Most importantly, the Twins came up with a 6-4 win.

FSN followed "Squeeze Play" with an episode of "In their Own Words"--this time an interview with Delmon Young. I don't think it's the first time this episode has been broadcast and probably won't be the last. I'm impressed by this young man. Yes, he's made mistakes in judgement along the way, but more importantly, he seems to have learned and matured from those mistakes. The man is only 22 years old. At this point, he strikes me as more mature than the average 22 year old male (how much that really says about his maturity I'm not sure!)

Tomorrow the Twins play for the sweep...that sure would help erase the sting of those 3 losses!

And another little note...Detroit has lost their first five home! Sweet!

Notes from the Welcome Home Luncheon and a few more ballgames

It's been a busy week. And all about baseball.

Friday me and Curveball attended the Twins Welcome Home luncheon. This event is hosted by the Mpls and St. Paul Chamber of Commerces, along with several corporate sponsors. All the current Twins players (save Friday's pitcher Baker) were in attendance, along with the coaching staff.

Curveball attended these luncheons as a kid (in the 60s!). Lucky kid! This was a first for me.

Now I have to fess up that I was mistaken about one sort of major thing. I thought that a Twins player was seated at each table. Well, there were some 70 tables and only some 30-odd players and coaches. know where the players the tables with the corporate sponsors. Us lowly fans just had each other to chat with. They did serve a terrific meal however. No was a great event and the money raised benefits the Twins Community Fund.

Dick Bremer emceed the event. Anthony LaPanta from FSN conducted player interviews. Two of the new players, Bass and Tolbert, were interviewed and shared a story of recent rookie hazing. Bass and Tolbert were forced to sing the "We're Going to Win Twins" song on the airplane ride to MN. Bass declared himself the Twins #1 Idol since he won the competition. (Wait until these rookies see the outfits they'll be forced to wear later in the season--on a road trip!) In other interviews, Cuddy talked about getting to try his magic tricks on the new guys, Neshek jokingly gave Mauer a hard time for stealing his air time, and Morneau actually commented about his hitless streak and said he was searching for his favorite Bertuzzi shirt (not sure on the spelling of that, but Bertuzzi is a hockey player...and Morneau wore that shirt forever in 2006). Gardy spoke for a few minutes and when asked about Gomez he joked that he doesn't understand a word he says, but he sure likes how he's playing.

So that was pretty much it. The players left for the ballpark before the luncheon was over (just a clever ploy to get them out while we were still eating). It was fun to see all the guys together in their street clothes. I don't know if there are any other markets that pull off such an event with ALL their players.

We also attended Thursday and Friday's games.

Thursday we had seats in the upper deck, just behind home plate. I love afternoon games! Our section was filled with well-behaved school groups and young kids on spring break catching a game. I love that atmosphere of folks at a ballgame because they love the game. Although we lost this one as well, it was a good game. I managed to be away from my seat when Hunter hit his homer, but I did catch Kubel's homer--the first for the Twins this season. I do hope to see Kubel play more.

And, for unfortunate reasons, I guess I will. In Friday's game, Cuddy suffered an injury to his right index finger while sliding into third. He was promptly taken out of the game (and has been placed on the DL). Kubel was brought in and had a great game. The bright points of the game: GoGomez had another awesome game complete with hits and steals, Morneau had his 1st hit, Mauer had several hits, Baker pitched well (after settling in), and WE WON THE GAME!

We may have also found out new favorite seats for the season. Nothing fancy, just the cheap seats in the upper deck right behind 2nd base. There's less people there, so you can stretch out more. I can yell and scream without bothering fact, if we pick the right row I can stand all I want without blocking people behind me. And the best part: at $7 a ticket I can go to a lot more ballgames.

And that's a good thing!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Pics from Opening Day

What a difference a few days make! This will be a memorable opening day for quite a few years, I imagine. I am a baseball fool, but even I'm not sure I'd sit outside to watch a baseball game in this kind of weather.
We'll see what 2010 brings!

Web Gem update

Just a quick web gem update...

Last night I was sleepily watching the 11 pm broadcast of Baseball tonight...forcing myself to stay awake for the Web Gems feature at the end of the show.

The Twins were featured in 2 out of 5 web gems!

#3: Morneau's play at 1st to stop the ball and then toss it backhanded to Blackburn for the out. Great play!

And the #1 Web Gem: Yup! Punto's outstanding catch and throw to Morneau at 1st (and Morneau made a terrific catch)!
Say all you want about Punto's lack of hitting ability; he can't be beat defensively. Out on the field he gives 150%. He may not get on base as often as you would like, but he makes outs that others miss. Plays like the one he made last night makes baseball an exciting game.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Web gems among the slop

I am watching tonight's game from the comfort of my living room. My hips simply cannot take 3 nights in a row of sitting in those seats (even though me and Curveball got new nifty Twins seat cushions at Target for $15...but I digress). Before I review tonight's game, a few brief notes about last night's debacle.

  • Boof had a rough start, but did improve. But that didn't really matter, when the hitting and fielding sucked. Oh and the bullpen was pathetic.
  • Hunter remained hit less, but got beaned in the 9th by Rincon. He did receive his Gold Glove though.
  • I do believe that sitting in the cheap general admission seats is better than sitting in the HomeRun Porch seats when they run a ticket special. It seems more people come to party than watch the game. Sorry, that annoys me. No, I don't want to do the wave or toss a beach ball when they're on 2 on with 2 outs--regardless who is hitting.
  • It was an ugly loss. Every positive from Game 1 was erased in Game 2. But it's a long season.

Tonight's game was a far better game, but with no better result. Blackburn had his stuff and deserved a win for his efforts. Different lineup and far better defensive play.

I have to give a shout out: GO PUNTO!!! I was happy to see him play. Oh you naysayers--He did get a hit and displayed classic-Punto defensive plays, including that WEB GEM throw from 3rd to 1st late in the game. Man, he can throw with speed and accuracy.

Not to be ignored was Morneau's amazing play at first with his throw back to Blackburn earlier in the game. Awesome stuff (and another potential web gem)!

I'll be heading to tomorrow's afternoon game...which isn't televised! I'm looking forward to an afternoon of baseball.

And BIG news: Me and Curveball are attending the Twins Welcome Home luncheon on Friday! It is being held in St. Paul this year near our home. We have no idea what member of the Twins organization will be sitting at our table, but I am PSYCHED! And of course, I'll share all the little details here.

But first, I'll be rooting for a Twins win tomorrow to even the series.



Monday, March 31, 2008

Player of the Game

Gomez was definitely Player of the Game. One can only hope he will continue to hit and steal as he did tonight. If such is the case, fans will soon be saying "Torii who?"

It was a strange start to the opener...the snow and cold put quite a damper on the festivities. Me and Curveball arrived early (3:30pm) to pick up our tickets and get underground parking. All thoughts of wandering around the plaza quickly disappeared with the cold. It was nasty. We ended up walking the long way around to enter the dome. I daresay if it hadn't been the home opener the crowd would have been quite smaller. Actually, if this had been 2010 the game would have been postponed. Tonight it was wonderful sitting under the dome roof.

And because we were sitting under a dome roof the fans came out in full force...some 49,000 plus. It was full even in the upper deck general admission seats where we sat. Folks were eager to cheer on our new team members, as well as welcome back former favorites--even those who played for the. Torii was well-received by the fans, receiving more than one standing ovation. It was nice to see him play, but I was just as thrilled that he didn't score a run. He is an Angel after all.

I think our guys played with enthusiasm. Gomez was certainly exciting to watch. He will certainly give pitchers reason to look over their shoulder. The bottom of our lineup produced some hits as well. That was a welcome sight. And Hernandez did well overall. He struggled some in the 5th, but came back in the 6th and pitched well.

So there you have it, our first win.

161 games to go. No excuses.

Just For Today

Look outside. Look at it. It's snowing like it's the middle of football season for chrissake. Does it look like Baseball Opening Day-type weather? I guess if you live in Minnesota it does. I am one Twins fan that is thankful for a roof today!

This baseball fool is not going to let the weather dampen my enthusiasm (I may however pick a parking lot closer to the dome this afternoon). I am ready to start the season with optimism and glee (Knowing myself, I'll probably end the season the same way). Today I am not about to ponder what the Twins' standings will be mid-season or where they will place in the division. I do not care to debate how strong our pitching rotation is or if our lineup will produce the hits necessary for a winning season.

No, Just For Today, I am going to celebrate the start of a brand new season where anything is possible. Truly. Remember 1987?

Just For Today, I am going to cheer & scream for every new Twins player like they are our hope for a future title. They are.

Just For Today, I am going to walk in that monstrosity of a dome (that I admit I love) and let all the tension in my body evaporate as a state of baseball bliss overcomes me.

Just For Today, win or lose, I am going to savor every minute of the game and the joy of watching live baseball.

This day cannot be spoiled by weather or nearly anything else. This day is all about baseball and nothing else. Soon I will be pulling on my new Pat Neshek jersey and heading to the dome. Me and Curveball will be claiming our seats early (just general admission seats tonight) and I'm excited just thinking about sitting there and soaking up the atmosphere.

There's a lot more baseball to come, but Just For Today, I'm going to enjoy the greatest game on earth.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Baseball fool

Two weeks.

Finally. In just two weeks the baseball season will officially begin. I can't wait.

I know I've been a bad baseball blogger. I know it doesn't show, but I have been keeping my eye on spring training...staying updated on how we're doing, learning more about the new players and getting a sense of this "new" team.

But I'm holding back my enthusiasm for the season opener.

And then I will be there. In the flesh.

I bought my tickets for the opening season at Twinsfest. They are sitting in the drawer where I stash my Twins tickets. I am dreaming about that first day. I'm psyched because I have that week off at work, so I can be a baseball fool full-time that week. I've thought about attending the breakfast on the plaza that first day, but I'm not sure I'll roll out of bed that early. I do think I'll make the Noon rally though.

Thinking about it, I can almost feel the excitement on the plaza before the game that night. I can hear myself screaming for my team as the players, new and old, are announced. No doubt, I will leave that game with little voice left. And I'll be back there the next night.

Ah, to be a fool for baseball again!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

The Sandlot...featuring guess who?

Take a look at the new Twins commercial revealed during the Super Bowl (the only real reason to watch the Super Bowl). Did you catch the great ending with T.K. (note the shirt worn by the other guy).

Word is that one of the other commercials features Pat Neshek and another features Delmon Young and the "Three Wise Men". Want to guess who they are?

(And hey, what former local football "hero" wasn't enough of a hero tonight?)

Thursday, January 31, 2008

A letter to Mr. Santana

Dear Mr. Santana (Johan if I may),

The news from New York is that negotiations are not going smoothly. Those bastards--don't they realize what you are worth? They obviously don't deserve your greatness.

If that 6th year is a sticking point, maybe you would like to consider staying with the Twins for 5 years? Or, even stay one more year and see how another Cy Young kind of year will increase your worth.

I know that the Twins organization has a few bastards of their own, but they did sign Morneau, Mauer and Cuddy for the next several years. With you as our #1 pitcher (not to mention Liriano following you), we are still contenders. We can make this happen. You have the unwavering support of Twins fans everywhere. I personally pledge to attend every home game that you pitch! I'll be one of the standing, screaming fans every time you take the field. (Remember, New York fans have a tendency to be fickle and the Mets sort of choked last year).

Anxiously waiting for your reply (and hoping to see you throw the opening pitch for the Twins 2 months from today!),


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Say it isn't so

Say it isn't so.

I'm not ready to say goodbye to the best pitcher this franchise (and maybe the whole league) has ever seen.

I'm not ready to say goodbye to a player who was just incredibly fun to watch, who made your joy and even, pride in the sport grow each time he threw the ball.

I know it may be so...but until that contract is signed, I'm going to sulk a little, no a lot and even then I expect a certain extended period of pouting to be observed.

I bought my tickets for the opening game on Friday with the hope that I would again experience the joy of seeing Santana throwing the opening pitch.

Scott Baker, opening day pitcher?

Say it isn't so.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Sunday at Twins Fest

Banners were hung around the dome welcoming Twins fans, while the jumbotron played 2007 season highlights as well as player profiles.

We chatted with Al Newman at his booth. He was so willing to talk and enjoyed looking at Curveball's cards from the good ol' days. I had the feeling that he would sit down with you for the whole afternoon and tell fun would that be!

Boof signing autographs--although this photo doesn't really show it, Boof obviously has dropped a few pounds (about 20). It sounds like he took the concerns of the coaches seriously and didn't want to be sitting in the bullpen any longer. Let's hope the weight loss improves his consistency and durability. (Boof was another player who proposed to his sweetie during the off-season).

Former Twin Dave Goltz signing a card for Curveball.

Delmon Young and Baker signing graphs.

Twins Fest is a great place to bring the kids. There's plenty to do--including the inflated T.C. Bear jumping "mini-dome" (geez, I forget, what do you call these things?)

These two might not be Twins today, but maybe someday?

One of the many young fans enjoying the day!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Fast Fun Facts from Twins Fest

  • Both Punto and Cuddy are joining the "New Daddy" club during the season; Cuddy will become a dad in June; I believe Punto is expecting his "little girl" earlier (Cuddy actually gave out the actual due date--you could tell both are quite excited about becoming dads).
  • Sorry ladies, it was confirmed by the man himself: Morneau proposed to his girlfriend "sometime in October or November" while they were in Hawaii; Mauer still remains eligible, but quickly changed the subject when asked about his dating scene.
  • There seemed to be a number of players getting sick with colds or stuff during Twins Fest; Liriano was sent home on Saturday and didn't make it on Sunday, Punto was also ill and Delmon Young was coughing all day Sunday
  • Delmon Young actually extended his stay in MN to participate in Twins Fest on Sunday; he did additional autograph signing and also sat down for a radio interview with KSTP today. He is not a fan of Minnesota's cold weather (maybe we should put together a MN care package for him!) Other players are raving about his potential and his openness to learn and become "part of the team"... hmm, let's hope he's the next great thing in baseball.
  • Koskie was sighted at Twins Fest on Saturday--but as a spectator. He lives out in Hamel, MN and hasn't signed with a team as of yet. Koskie is a class act and he didn't play last year due to a head injury (caused by being hit by a ball during the '06 season). Let's hope we see him in a uniform again.
  • Al Newman was present...with his own booth promoting his new fundraising ventures for nonprofits. He was very personable and willing to take time talking to the fans.
  • Former MN Viking Chuck Foreman was also present on Sunday signing some autographs. Um, did someone fail to mention this was a baseball event? (Although I did sight a number of folks walking around with Wild and Viking shirts Timberwolves though)

More pictures from Twins Fest will be coming soon!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Opening Night of Twinsfest in pictures

Lots of people, lots to do!

Looking out over Twinsfest

Justin and Joe getting ready to do a radio interview before the crowd.

Justin seemed in good spirits!

Radio interview conducted by Dan Gladden with Rod Carew answering the questions.

Autograph lines--that's Liriano with his head down signing away.
His line was very long!

Two young fans manning the autograph lines

Curveball with Gladden

Curlz getting a picture with Neshek at the photo booth.
Can you believe they spelled his name "Neshak"?!?

That's Wayne Hattaway walking by.

There's lots of fun stuff for the kids--including this space
for "batting practice".

Opening Night of Twinsfest 2008 was loads of fun! There's so much to do that we're going back on Sunday. I'll write a wrap-up then.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Twinsfest here we come!

The anticipation has been building for weeks. The day has finally come. I woke up this morning and was anxious to pull on my outfit for the day. Twinsfest is here and I'm outfitted in Twins garb (I'm sporting the new Neshek jersey Curveball got me for Christmas and a new Twins zipped sweatshirt hoodie).

Curveball gave me 4 tickets to Twinsfest for Christmas. Two years ago Curveball tried to lure me to Twinsfest to meet him for the first time. For reasons that make no sense now, I put him off. We were, however, attending ballgames together by the time the baseball season opened that year.

Last year was my first Twinsfest. Curveball is a veteran. I enjoyed walking through the stadium, spotting players and watching some of the radio interviews with players. Curveball, as always, enjoyed getting autographs of players new and old.

Our plan is pretty much the same this years. Thanks to cell phones we'll be able to go our separate ways and both have a good time. I'll be buying tickets and cruising around taking in the sights. In fact, I'm so excited about buying tickets that I'm staying here at work till 5:30 so I can buy tickets online before we go!

For me, Twinsfest signifies the beginning of a new baseball season. I promise that my blogging drought is over. I'll be back here soon with news and pictures from Twinsfest 2008.

Hope to see you there!