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!