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!