Friday, December 31, 2010

Huh? Why Didn't They Have Twins Fest at MOA?

The red chair in MOA, commemorating the longest home-run hit in Twins history, by Harmon Killebrew at Met Stadium (where the Mall of America now stands).

Harmon Killebrew has cancer,* and they don’t even move Twins Fest to Mall of America? Killebrew Drive? On top of Old Met Stadium, where he and the Twins and the Vikings played? Hello?

I haven’t been to Mall of America in a few years, but I can’t imagine there isn’t empty space there. Seriously, has anyone been on the 4th floor of MOA lately? I bet there’s a lot of space up there.

The Twins must be scaling back this year’s Twins Fest activities in light of the Metrodome Collapse. Personally, I was really looking forward to visiting my beloved Metrodome, so it’s a real bummer. But they could have made it big at MOA. Even I feel like I should go visit home-plate in the middle of the amusement park formerly known as Camp Snoopy.

I suppose maybe (?) the crowds will be smaller in Blaine—if I make it out there?

Seriously though—why didn’t they have it at Mall of America?

* I’ve been a little emotional about this all day, and am not ready to address it yet on my blog. Thanks for understanding.

If you are feeling charitable, give to the Harmon Killebrew Foundation. I have gone to his charity golf tournament banquet, and I know his foundation really does a great job helping disabled children, so it certainly is worth giving to.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

What the Japanese Media Thinks about What Minnesotans Think about Tsuyoshi Nishioka (and another potential Japanese teammate?)

Guess what—the Japanese are even reading Aaron Gleeman now too! Although they seem to think Gleeman's .275 BA hopeful expectation for Nishioka funny.

The Japanese media has been very impressed with what we would call “Minnesota Nice.” While Nishioka was visiting Minnesota this past week, many Japanese media outlets reported about the awesome VIP treatment he received. One news outlet proclaimed that we gave Nishioka the best welcome any Japanese player has ever gotten—and all of this was particularly because GM Bill Smith himself drove Nishioka around during his visit. (西岡に超異例のVIP待遇!ツインズGMが運転手に!! (“Oka Nishi extraordinary super VIP treatment! GM Twins are the driver! !”)) This article said they had never heard of a GM himself driving players around, that Nishioka was very happy, and then described the reception past Japanese stars have received in America—all involving large crowds and police escorts. Hmmm… I guess police escorts aren’t soo welcoming?

The Japanese also reported that Tozawa Hidenori—the head chef at Nami restaurant, near Target Field—has created the “Rock’n Roll” sushi roll in honor of Tsuyoshi coming to the Twin Cities. The restaurant is reportedly Ichiro’s favorite place to visit here in the Cities.

The Japanese media was also impressed with Gardy bringing his “Survival Japanese” book Nishioka’s press conference. Andrew from Off the Mark posted a few weeks ago that the organization gave Gardy lots of Japanese language learning tools for Christmas.

And it might be a good investment—I came across a headline reading “小林宏もツインズ!?打診認めた” (“Hiroyuki Kobayashi Twins too!? Consultation revealed”). A fellow-teammate from Tsuyoshi’s champion Chiba Lotte Marines is also looking to come to the U.S., and apparently the Twins expressed some interest. And good news if it’s true—Hiroyuki is a relief pitcher, something the Twins really need! Is this guy any good? Might as well get our money’s worth from the Japanese translator!

Anyways, it sounds like Nishioka and his wife really enjoyed their visit, and—despite the freakish large amount of snow—are looking forward to living here. Nishioka’s wife, Tokuzawa Naoko, is a famous Japanese model. The couple spent Saturday searching for a new home in Minneapolis.

Nishioka also expressed interst in coming back to the Cities for Twins Fest at the end of Janurary—which brings up the inevitable question of whether the Metrodome will be ready in time. I personally hope so. I would love to go back and visit the dome, and I bet our new Japanese friends might like it too. Remember the video I posted of Nishioka playing in the bizarre-o Metrodome? That’s actually the Tokyo Dome, and it was inspired by the Metrodome!

I told you Japanese fans are the best!

(P.S.: Video of workers shooting shotguns into the Metrodome Roof!)

Friday, December 17, 2010

It's Official: Nishioka is a Twin, Will Most Likely Wear #1

(Nishioka, the main class treatment! "1" from the start!)

I'm also officially addicted to Google Translating Japanese media reports.

According to LEN3, the Twins will have a press conference TOMORROW at 4PM!

Old news over here at Kirby's Left Eye!

Tsuyoshi is most likely back at his hotel now after visiting Target Field. Fifteen or so Japanese reporters waited for him outside. At least one Japanese news outlet is reporting that Tsuyoshi loved Target Field, is excited to play there, and is determined to exceed expectations.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

TSUYOSHI NISHIOKA (arrived and practically signed in Minnesota)!!

Who cares about all the endless Vikings drama?

(So stylish--Thanks Jessica!)


Earlier today Tsuyoshi and his wife (a Japanese model) touched down at MSP international with at least a dozen Japanese media members in tow (who conveniently knew how to speak both Japanese and English). American reporters say that Japanese reporters told them that when Nishioka arrived here, he said, “I’m cold.”

But he also said, “I’m very excited to be here. I already have my number picked out.” (Nishioka was number 7 in Japan, so he will be taking on a new number). Although not officially confirmed by the Twins, Nishioka and many outside sources have confirmed his contract with Minnesota. Sources say the Twins will officially announce the signing tomorrow or Saturday.

Nishioka, 26 years old, was the Japanese batting champion in 2010 for the Chiba Lotte Marines, and has won the Japanese equivalent of the Golden Glove at Second Base and Short Stop. Tsuyoshi has expressed a great desire to play for the Twins.

A friend sent me this Asahi news article with information about Tsuyoshi. Unfortunately it's all in Japanese. However, using Google Translate I think I was able to discern that the article says Tsuyoshi will be examined Friday the 17th, with a press conference afterward. (There's also ads underneath the article with a links to buy MLB tickets! Yes!!)

After searching characters from the article sent to me, I've found many other Japanese news articles with some more information. This article seems to indicate Tsuyoshi knows the bloggers are weary of him because he is unproven, but he is determined to change that and impress the fans.

This article seems to indicate Tsuyoshi saw the video of the Metrodome roof collapse and he had some concern over the cold. It also says that Tsuyoshi was always aware Joe Mauer had number 7, and that he seems to think getting a new number on a new team isn't a big deal. (The accompanying picture proves that he does in fact have a very hot model wife).

In this article, Tsuyoshi apparently says that he thinks the biggest adjustment for him will be playing on natural grass. All the teams play on turf in Japan.

This article says that when Nishioka asked about the Twins and was told the Twins are contenders almost every year, Nishioka was very excited. It also talks a lot about how Nishioka will likely face Boston Red Sox Pitcher Matsuzaka in his first exhibition game as a Twin in spring training. Matsuzaka says he is excited for the Japanese matchup. The article also includes a quote from "Gadenhaia director," something about battling tails off.

And HERE is a video of Tsuyoshi arriving at Minneapolis-St. Paul International. Some idiot asks Tsuyoshi a question in English. The video also shows pictures of all the snow, and Tsuyoshi was surprised by everything being so white. There are also lots of bewildered Minnesotans in the background wondering what the hell is going on.

THIS IS SO FUN! Do I really get to pseudo translate Japanese news articles for the next three years?


This Japanese news site is now reporting the deal is final and the press conference will be held tomorrow at 4pm. Let us see how well Japanese reporters and Google translate actually work.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Rest in Peace, Bob Feller

I remember meeting Bob Feller at least twice, at two different Twins Fests. He came to Twins Fest with his own table, representing the Baseball Hall of Fame (I think?). Not many knew who he was, so you could stand there and talk to him.

Awesome, awesome guy. Rest in peace, Bob Feller.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Hardy's Gone; and Tsuyoshi.... ?

This morning it was announced that the Twins traded shortstop JJ Hardy and Brendan Harris to the Orioles for two pitching prospects. Predictably, Twins fans on the internet started freaking out—you know, because the Twins’ front office changed something.

If you’re a loyal reader of my blog (if those actually exist), you might have picked up by now that I don’t pretend to sit here and know more about how to run the team than the professionals. Do I agree with every single move? No. But do I trust that the people who actual have contact with the players, the accounting books, and the agents are probably able to make much better and more realistic decisions than I am? Yes.

You can’t change the lineup without actually changing the lineup. Change is good. You can’t make significant gains without taking some significant risks. This is a part of baseball. This is a part of life.

Besides--as a fan, I don’t even have the time to be upset about the Twins trading J.J. Hardy. I’m way too busy doing my job, which is learning how to sing this:


We all know this must be immanent. Can't we just be excited!?!


Check out this one in the Tokyo Dome (an away game):

It's like the bizarro Metrodome.

AND, look at this:

It's like he's using the Mauer Quick Swing!


(BTW--I think Tsuyoshi should take #1... I dunno it anyone has broken this to him yet.)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Twins are Blowing $4-6 M on Target Field ‘Upgrades’!

Most rabid Twins fans are already aware of the team’s payroll issues for 2011. With everyone (except Punto :( ) getting a big old raise, money is tight. However, money is apparently not tight enough to stop the Twins from blowing $4-6 million on “needed” improvements to Target Field. WTF!?

The “improvements” include:

- A second electronic scoreboard being added above the bleachers in right field, so all those fans in left field who weren’t paying attention can now see replays.

- A 100-foot-tall LED-illuminated tower that architect Tom Oslund apparently believes will “create a terminus at the end of Target Plaza that would draw people further into the space and have the ability to be a landmark on the cityscape of Minneapolis.” (Stop—I already looked up the definition of “Terminus.” It’s a Latin word meaning “boundary stone” used by annoying people.)

- Even more Kramarczuks stands, to appease all those fans who boycott Schwigerts hot dogs due to them crushing their life long dreams of being in the Hormel Row of Fame (i.e. myself).

- Addressing customer service issues, which I hope includes firing that Game Day guy who is mean to my Mom (seriously, how are you about to yell at a sweet lady who put her drink down on your counter for just one second so she could get out her money to pay you?)

- More heaters for the outfield seats, because the Twins management has no faith and fails to believe that God (a.k.a. global warming) will no longer make Minnesota excessively cold now that the Twins play outside. (Seriously—I walked to the store today, November 11, in my Spam flip flops.)

- Providing fans with free wireless internet, so that they can sue you when you ‘disseminate’ descriptions and pictures of the game via Facebook without prior written consent of the Minnesota Twins.

- Fixing this HUGE eyesore below the Metropolitan Club by covering it up with more limestone:


- Another creepy bronze statue of a player, to add to the current creepy statues of MLB Hall of Famers Harmon Killebrew, Rod Carew, and Kirby Puckett. (Coughnexthalloffamerbertblylevencough).

Yeah, okay. If the Twins are just going to get swept again in the playoffs, we might as well do it in style. In all seriousness though, these sound like good changes—except the LED tower. I mean, weren’t the Twins just complaining about how the minimalist advertisement put up on the neighboring Target Center tarnished the view? Now they want to add a huge, phallic, light-up tower?

In other news—how about that Joe Mauer? Another Golden Glove and Silver Slugger award.

Thinking about it--that LED tower will scare off Kirby the Kestrel! Boo...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Twins Homer’s Guide to the World Series

If you’re anything like me, you’ve still been watching every game of the playoffs since the Twins were eliminated. There is only so much baseball left before the long, cold, hard off-season, and I’ll take anything and everything I can get. Not to mention, watching the playoffs provides me with a great excuse to stop doing law school work, lay on the couch in my Twins snuggie, and drink some beer.

I think it should be quite predictable that I was rooting for the Giants to beat the Phillies (who wants to see them again?) and the Rangers to beat the Yankees (a no-brainer). Now that I have my “dream” match up, who do I root for??

Perhaps others are having this dilemma. However, the answer became quite obvious to me with only a second or two of reflection. Below I share my thought process, which I firmly believe covers all of the relevant points a Twins fan ought to consider when deciding who to root for this year.

Rooting for the San Francisco Giants

Point: The team hasn’t won a World Series since moving to California in 1957.
Counter-Point: The Giants were supposed to move to Minneapolis, but went to California instead.

Rooting for the Texas Rangers
Point: The Texas Rangers have never won a World Series since the organization’s first season in 1961.
Counter-Point: The Senators (the replacement team who later became the Texas Rangers) beat the Twins in their first ever home game at Metropolitan Stadium in 1961.

Winner: Tie. Giants 0, Rangers 0.

Rooting for the San Francisco Giants
Point: Tim Lincecum is pretty damn likeable. How does someone who looks like such a freak throw a baseball so well?
Counter-Point: Am I taking crazy pills, or doesn’t anyone else notice Brian Wilson paints that beard on his face?

Rooting for the Texas Rangers
Point: It’d be nice for Vlad to stick it to the Angels. How about that, Torii!?
Counter-Point: The Rangers left Cristian “Guzzy” Guzman off the post-season roster.

Winner: Tie. Giants 0, Rangers 0.

Rooting for the San Fransisco Giants
Point: Every time a Giant hits a homerun, the ReLeaf Herbal Center is giving a free joint to every Giants fan at their dispensary!
Counter-Point: Pretty sure marijuana is still illegal.

Rooting for the Texas Rangers
The Rangers are giving away free red pom-poms to fans attending playoff games (while the Twins, for the first time, made fans buy their Homer Hankies.)
Counter-Point: Pretty sure shaking red pom-poms at a baseball game is illegal.

Winner: Giants. Giants 1, Rangers 0.

Rooting for the San Francisco Giants
The Giants managed to just barely squeak into the playoffs in the last few days of the season, which is very Minnesota Twins-esque.
Counter-Point: The Giants were not swept in the opening series, which is very un-Minnesota Twins-esque.

Rooting for the Texas Rangers
The Texas Rangers are managed by Ron Washington.
Counter-Point: ….

Winner: Rangers. Giants 1, Rangers 324,325.

So yes—if it wasn’t already obvious, the only factor that really matters for the Twins Homer is that Ron Washington manages the Rangers. Not only is Ron the only ex-Twin (as far as I’m aware) involved in the World Series (my normal method of picking a team to root for in a Yankees-less series), he was Kirby Puckett’s "big-league father" and sat by Kirby’s bedside during his final hours. So how can I not be rooting for his team to win? Kind of a chimerical concept.

Go Rangers!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sad? Why should I be sad?

The Yankees finished their ALDS sweep of the Twins last night, meaning the Twins’ 2010 season is over. So what am I doing this afternoon? You guessed it—I’m taking the afternoon off to celebrate the Twins amazing 2010 season!! WOOHOO!!

Okay—so I know a lot of Twins fans out there are very sad/depressed/angry, because their dreams of a World Series Championship have been dashed. You know what I think about that view? How depressing! Why should I let 3 lousy games make me forget about the joy and excitement I got from watching the Twins play over the last 6 months?

There are different ways one can go about their fandom. One way is to expect your team to win the World Series every year. This, obviously, is the ultimate task to be accomplished every season. Why else does your team play? So, then, if your team is clearly having a losing season, there is no point in watching (except, maybe, to complain about what the team needs to change to win a World Series the next year). If your team is clearly having a winning season, you don’t really need to pay much attention until October, because a few extra wins or losses during the regular season are meaningless. All you really want is for your team to win the World Series, and if they don’t, the entire point of the season has been frustrated. The year will be a failure, and you’re understandably peeved about the whole thing. You complain about what you think needs to be changed to make sure next year isn’t such a god damn awful failure as well. But if your team happens to win the World Series, your expectations are met and you can gloat to all other fans about how your team is so much better than theirs. What a joy! Because the whole point is just to win it all—right? So your team wins! This might be called “being a Yankee fan.”

But that is not the only way to be a fan. You can also be a fan just because you like to watch your team play baseball. You want your team to win, of course—but that’s not the ultimate point. The point is actually watching baseball. That’s what makes it a pass-time. That’s what makes you look forward to game time everyday, because every game is unpredictable: maybe today someone will hit for the cycle. Maybe tomorrow everyone on the field will hilariously be attacked by bugs. Maybe the next day someone will break a record. And maybe the day after that, your team will play horribly and lose. But because you continue watching everyday, you become invested in your team. You notice how different players interact, how they react to wins and losses, how they grow and change over time. You might even start to notice similar interactions, reactions, and growth among the fans and society around you. You might notice your team becoming more popular, or how a new stadium has transformed the city you were born and have lived in the majority of your life, or maybe even how fans are starting to become disenfranchised by recent events. Most importantly, however, is that over time, you really start to care about noticing these things—because this isn’t just a movie, this is real life passing before your eyes. This is it. As a great Twin once said, “Don't take life for granted, because tomorrow isn't promised to any one of us.”

I cherish every Twins game I get to attend, watch, or listen to. The Twins have certainly given me a lot to be happy about throughout this season. Why should I be sad? Sure, I would love a World Series championship, or just to be able to watch the Twins play more baseball games. But thus is life. All I can do, being the fan that I am, is try my best to cherish every moment I have. That's what makes me a fan. And that's what makes me happy.

And that's why I love baseball.

P.S. Perhaps my explanation of fandom will help explain why I still think this was my favorite moment of the entire "season". How far this team has come since 2001, how much they have been through, and how loyal true Twins fans are... This made me so proud to be a Twins fan.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Are You Kidding Me?

Let me start off by saying how awesome the atmosphere was at Target Field at the start of yesterday's playoff game against the Yankees. It was loud, it was exciting, home hankies were twirling, everyone was hanging on every pitch.

Then, when CC Sabathia hit Thome in the 2nd inning, followed by Cuddyer's homerun, Target Field went even crazier.

The Twins were definitely feeding off the energy. So great home field advantage, right?

But fast forward a few innings. In the top of the 6th, the Yankees score 4 runs to take the lead by 1--and the fans just went silent. Things perked up a little when the Twins tied it up in the bottom of the 6th, but when the Yankees scored two off Jesse Crain (!#!@!) the next inning, Target Field just went dead. And I mean dead dead. I literally turned to my mom and said, "You could hear a pin drop in here." You could even hear people cheering for the Yankees.

Oh, but it gets worse.

My reaction to all this quietness, quite obviously, was to continue to cheer. I mean--these are the Twins! This is a playoff game! We're only behind by two runs! You would think it would be acceptable--no, mandatory--to continue to cheer for your team. Apparently, the family sitting in front of me did not agree. All three of them turned around and glared at me whenever I opened my mouth. They said something to my sister. And then, their daughter did this:

SHE SHOVED A HOMER HANKY IN HER EAR. Yes. She shoved a Homer Hanky in her ear because she was so annoyed with the girl sitting behind her cheering for the Twins at a Twins playoff game. No, I was not yelling in her ear. Yes, I was loud, but frankly, it was no where near as loud as it had been just a few innings earlier, when the girl was happily waving her Hanky around as it is properly to be used.

I look at the picture, and a part of my heart just dies.

Out of the hundreds of baseball games I have gone to in my life, I could count the number I left early on one hand. And after this family continued to tell us to pipe down, last night's game became one of them. It was probably the first time I left Target Field both before the game ended and thinking "I miss the Metrodome."

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Front row seats? Front row seats!

Last Thursday I had the awesome opportunity to sit in front row seats behind the Twins dugout for their game against the Blue Jays—and yeah, okay, I realize I’m a bit late on writing about this, and everyone has moved on to the Yankees, and such forth and hereto with. Unfortunately, law school classes have started up again, and being a law school student seriously cramps my Twins fandom style. And my time available for blogging. I apologize.

Anyway, these were the same seats I got the chance to sit in very early in the year on May 3rd, during the game in which Wilson Ramos convinced Twins fans for a week or so that he was the second coming of Joe Mauer and ought to play 3rd base. Good times, right? Target Field was still fairly new at that point and I had nothing bad to say about sitting in the front row.

Mind you, these are still entirely awesome seats and I think every Minnesotan should get the chance to sit there. Standing up, you’re able to look right down at the players in the dugout, literally just a few feet away. It's really just like you could lean over and rub Thome's head.

Jim, by the way, was awesome. A fan yelled for him and he turned around and just game him a "Rock on" sign. He really genuinely seem as nice as everyone says.

The thing is, you can only see this stuff standing up, and being in the front row, you feel obliged to sit for most of the game. The dugout comes up rather high—presumably to protect fans from objects flying out of the field. So when you sit down, you can no longer see any players in the dugout.

Ok, I lied—you can see the top of Jon Rauch’s head.

Now I know the real point is to watch the game, but the view of that isn’t necessarily the best either. I personally feel that the view would actually be much nicer a few rows back. Of course, then you'd lose the novelty of sitting in the very front row, where you can pretend you're a superstar.

Jose Bautista.

ME and Jose Bautista.

Anywho, I had an enjoyable time--drank a beer, saw Jose Bautista absolutely murder a baseball, drank more beer, saw Bautista murder another ball, waved at Jerry White (he likes waving to fans), and took a lot of pictures.

Mauer on deck.

Plouffe warming up the pitcher (they really don't let Morales do anything)

Danny Valencia!

Crowds clearing out after the Blue Jays hit homeruns like it's the Metrodome.

I also managed to take a video, apparently of Jose Molina's homerun.

And Julie--the umpire twirling his finger around in the air means it's a homerun.

I went to the games Friday and Sunday as well (although not in the front row seats, of course). Some people might get bored at these games since they 'don't really matter'. Personally, I love watching the last few games of the season, both in person or on TV. In fact, I especially love watching games between two teams who are totally out of the playoff picture. Back when I had Extra Innings (or even any cable at all), I used to try and watch as many of the last games as I possibly could. The very last games were, understandably, usually on the West Coast. I remember a few years back, watching the very last regular season game in all MLB--a Dodgers game--and both teams were totally out of the race. But then the Dodgers scored a run, and the camera panned around to show all the cheering fans. "And for one brief moment," Vin Scully orated, as the camera zoomed in on a small boy, sitting on his father's shoulders, barely holding on to an ice cream cone as his dad jumped up and down, "it's Camelot in Dodgers Stadium."

"But then," Vin Scully went on, as the boy and his father still cheered, "reality sets in."

As a Twins fan, this season has been an absolute dream come true--and I know I can saw that regardless of what happens in the playoffs.

Thank you 2010 Twins!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Assorted Curious Crap

  • At 4:33 am last Thursday morning, Justin Morneau gave birth to his first child—Evelyn Audra Sheryl Morneau. Justin will most likely continue his maternity leave through the end of the post season.
  • You've probably heard about this week’s Sports Illustrated featuring a cover story on Jim Thome and Target Field. Weird part for me while reading this? Realizing that author Joe Posnanski was quoting both my boyfriend (“Home run, Jim!”) and my mom (“double play or a homerun”)! Apparently, Joe used my YouTube video for help when recounting Jim Thome’s walk-off homerun against the Sox back in August. Nothing like reading about a sports moment in Sports Illustrated told through the exact perspective you actually had of the moment… Great article Joe!
  • Good thing Ben Revere was called up in time to take part in Twins rookie dress up day (although I can’t figure out what he is supposed to be dressed up as [EDIT: Thank you to the anonymous commenter, apparently Ben Revere is supposed to be this]). Thanks for the pictures Pat!
  • Although this has already gotten attention on many other Twins blogs, I wanted to mention this Open Letter to the Minnesota Twins and their Fans (written by a White Sox fan). Basically, it's a White Sox fan explaining why he still hates the Twins, why the Twins suck, and why the White Sox are still better than the Twins. My question is--why are Twins fans offended by this? Were you really expecting White Sox fans to like the Twins after the Twins swept their team and dreams of reaching the postseason? They are White Sox fans. This is exactly what they are supposed to do. Just compliment their team, keep playing Minnesota Nice, and it will piss them off even more.
  • Except, er, extremely obnoxious Chicago White Sox TV broadcaster Ken "Hawk" Harrleson is apparently now pulling for the Twins to win the World Series. You can... put it on the board? I'm not even sure what to think about this.
  • Ozzie Guillen--normally Twins fan number 1--however, now thinks the Yankees or Rays have a better chance at clinching the AL than the Twins.
  • Ron Gardenhire missed Saturday's game after Alexi Casilla threw a ball at his head during batting practice. Luckily, Gardenhire passed a concussion test and won't have to take maternity through the end of the post season.
This blog post is dedicated to my biggest fan--Target Field, of Facebook fame. I am glad you enjoy my assorted curious crap, Mr. Target Field!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Is Ben Revere Eligible to be on the Postseason Roster?

Topper over at Curve for a Strike wrote a post earlier today arguing that Ben Revere should be on the postseason roster. Basically, the argument goes that since the Twins will likely need pinch-runners and defensive replacements on their bench more than pinch-hitters, and Ben Revere is good at defense and very fast, he should make the cut. I tend to agree, but add only that Ben Revere should make the postseason roster because he is absolutely adorable. I mean, did you ever watch this video?

Then I noticed a comment one reader made on Topper’s post: “Hes not postseason eligible, he wasnt on the roster as of september 1st”

So wait—is this right? Is Ben Revere not actually eligible to be on the postseason roster?

Although the commenter was not too far off the mark, the answer is actually no, Ben Revere most likely can be on the postseason roster. Major League Rule 40, entitled “Players Eligible for Post-Season” governs, er, players eligible for the postseason. A copy of the Major League Rules is available at the Biz of Baseball (an excellent blog for those of you who are interested in this aspect of the game). According to Major League Rule 40(a)(1)(A), a player must be on the major league team’s active roster or disabled list by August 31st to be eligible for the postseason roster. Thus, it would appear the commenter was correct. Ben Revere was called up on September 4th.

However, if one reads on just a couple lines, one will find Major League Rule 40(a)(3)—an exception to the basic rule. Under Rule 40(a)(3), any player in the organization may be put on the postseason roster in place of another player who was eligible (i.e. was on the major league team’s active roster or disabled list on August 31st), provided that the player who was eligible before is now injured and cannot play. The Twins have two such players: Ron Mahay and Justin Morneau.

The fact that Ben Revere was not the first player called up to replace either of those players does not matter. The rule contains no such limitation. It simply says that if there is a player who was eligible on August 31st, but is injured and cannot play in the postseason, that player can be replaced on the postseason roster by any other player in the organization.

That would include Ben Revere.


In 2006, the Twins clinched the AL Central Division Championship on the last day of the regular season. In 2009, the Twins clinched in a post regular-season, epic tie-breaker known simply as Game 163. In 2010, the Twins apparently won 10 extra games--because last night, they became the first team in MLB to clinch their division and guarantee themselves a trip to the playoffs!

Anti-Climatic? Maybe. But watching the White Sox lose to give you the championship certainly isn't the worst thing in the world. With the White Sox down by three in the 9th inning, even Hawk Harrelson was talking Twins, pointing out how good Cuddyer and Young have been, and how "Mauer is Mauer." And the Hawk's Twins' MVP choice? Jon Rauch--you know, because the Twins weren't supposed to win anything after losing Joe Nathan for the season (or something like that).

Ozzie also tipped his hat to the Twins, saying:

"Look at my quotes in Spring Training. ... Look at my quotes all year long. Look at what I said about them the last seven years. Good ballclub. Now, I hope people will start believing that. It's not the same Minnesota Twins we saw 10 years ago. ... This is a good ballclub. They spent a lot of money. They have good ballplayers. They deserve to be there.

"They kicked everybody's [butt] ass. That's the reason they clinched before everybody else. That's the only reason they did it, because they're a good ballclub. They earned it. They deserve to be there. They play very hard. When your enemy kicks your butt, sometimes you've got to tip your hat to those guys for the way they played, at least against us. ... I think Ron Gardenhire should be proud of his ballclub."

But that's pretty much typical Ozzie.

The Twins celebration started at 11:37pm CT--a little late, considering the Twins play today at noon. I suspect today's game might be a little rough for the boys, based on the following observations:
  • Span stroking Punto's arm while walking out to the field to high-five fans.
  • O-Dog telling a reporter, "Right now we rollin'!"
  • Matt Guerrier, when asked how he and Crain support each other, responding, "Well, we hold hands when we walk out to the bullpen, that helps."
  • Rauch running on to the field with a cooler full of water and throwing it on fans.
  • Various players doing an MVP chant around Ben Revere.
  • Nick Punto screaming "I love Dick [Bremer]!!!" all night.
  • Nickleback playing in the clubhouse at one point during the celebration
Luckily, unlike last year, today's game is not a play-off game in New York City. Clinching in your last game might be exciting, but the Twins' extra downtime will certainly be appreciated. For once, our boys will be rested and ready for the playoffs--which is really what makes this season's division championship exciting.

Go Twins!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Hate to Break it to You, Ozzie...

“We don’t need a sweep, we need to win the first game,” said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. “We need to win the series. We’ll see what happens.”

Explained in this flow chart published by the Chicago Tribune earlier today (it's great, trust me), the White Sox still had a chance to win the Al Central Division--provided they swept the three-game series with the Twins this week. After tonight's 9-3 Twins win, we know that's not going to happen.

However, the Twins haven't technically clinched yet. Because I don't want to jinx anything, I'll just post some headlines from the Chicago media instead:

White Sox Drop Critical Opener to Twins
Defeat all but finishes off White Sox
Thome 'very, very happy' with Twins
A hole too deep for White Sox
Here Lies The 2010 White Sox

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Legends Weekend: Can We Do This Before Every Game?

All pictures in this post can be SUPER enlarged by clicking on them!

Last weekend the Twins celebrated their 50th Season with a slew of celebrations: Pictures with Twins Alumni near gate 34 before the game; announcing the 50 Greatest Twins on the field; Greg Gagne’s induction into the Twins Hall of Fame; Thome tying and passing McGwire on the all-time homerun list; awesome throwback uniforms all three days; and, of course, the Twins Legends game. It was basically the greatest weekend of my life.

I was lucky enough to go to the games Friday and Sunday. For Friday, I was able to score some pretty sweet seats close behind the plate.

The 50 Greatest Twins were announced on the field before the game. The whole thing was really cool—there was a little video for each player, with different narrators talking about the player for each one. For example:

Corey Koskie (Narrated by Justin Morneau)

My favorite one was when Theresa Mauer read the bio for Joe Mauer. I think I cried.

Jeff Reardon (and if you look real close in the lower left corner, you can see Eddie Guardado turned around waving at my Mom!)

Brad Radke waves to fans.

The last Twin to be announced--Harmon Killbrew--takes the field.

Harmon waves to fans as Thome is shown cheering on the jumbotron.

The PA guy announced that Harmon Killebew was going to catch the first pitch. I'm not sure if that was a surprise on him, because he looked around a little confused for a second. Luckily, Gardy ran out and did the dirty work for the Killer.

The game was nice. Some crazy guy named Fox pitched, and the defense was able to squeak out the win.

In the 8th inning, former Twins all-star Christian Guzman pinch ran for Josh Hamilton.

I heard shouts of “GUZZZ” come out from the crowd, but nothing too crazy. I had been excited to see him myself, so I yelled pretty loud.

Before the game on Sunday, Twins alumni played the Twins’ first ever Legends Game at Target Field. There were Twins everywhere!

The guys warmed up and took batting practice on the field for about an hour before the game. They were all having a blast. I'm willing to bet Herbk had already put a few back in the clubhouse.

Not everyone took batting practice--but I swear every time I turned around Corey Koskie was in or just coming out of the cage. He seemed very exciting to be playing ball on a field in front of a crowd again.

It was really fun just to watch all the guys socializing on the field and in the dugout.

Ron Washington, donning a Twins uniform, gets secret information from Jon Rauch and Matt Capps.

The Killer

Radke rubbing Eddie Guardado's head in the dugout.

Radke smiling after rubbing Eddie's head in the dugout.

TK and Cristian Guzman catching up.

Valencia looking pretty gitty.

Jim Perry checking over the lineup.

Before the game, all the alumni were announced.

Greg Gagne--the newest member of the Twins Fall of Fame.

Mudcat couldn't get out when they called his name, but Jim Perry came to help a minute later.

Apparently, Rod Carew refuses to wear a jersey after his retirement.

Men of stature.

When the Twins took the field, an old version of "We're Going to Win Twins!" accompanied them. You can hear some parts in the video below.

The game itself was absolutely hilarious. Guys were falling all over the place, giving mid-inning interviews, hugging, laughing, and trying to play.

How incredibly happy does Gagne look just to catch a ball?

Koskie back at Third.

Bert on the mound!

Bert tries to bean Dazzle!

Bert laughing at Gladden (and looking like he's been eating lots of birthday cake, too).

Dazzle then hits one out to right center field--and AL NEWMAN makes a great play!

Ron Washington up to bat.

Bert tries to bean Ron Washington; gets warned by Home Plate Umpire Don Shelby.

Ron Washington gets a hit (and yes--Eddie Guardado is playing 2nd base!)

Tom and Ron share a tender moment.


Hrbek gave this explanation in an on-field interview: "I'm used to that bouncy turf!"

Al Newman batting.

Eddie Guardado batting!

JIM PERRY BATTING! (He even got on base!)

Eddie later substituted himself back into the game to pitch (apparently going for the Cesar Tovar!)

The Minnies beat the Pauls 5 to 1, or something like that. No one really cared. In fact, I'm not even sure if everyone stayed on the same team for the entire game.

Afterward, the players all came out for a group photo.

Jim Perry helps Mudcat off the field after the game.

An absolutely awesome day. If only Kirby could have been there too...

CapitalBabs over at Kunuckleballs was also at the legends game, and has more great pictures. She also has links to video clips from the game.

Also, please note--FSN is re-broadcasting the entire Legends Game this Friday at 9:30!

Many, but not all, of the pictures are courtesy of my Mom! (The others are mine, of course!)