Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Emotional Melt-Down Averted (and Other Notes)

Things were looking pretty bad for a minute there. I was almost convinced that all the non-Pavano starters for the Twins had turned into Jesse Crain in a pressure situation (my own personal hell).

But a trip to Target Field and a series win over the Tigers make me feel a lot better.

Now, to show that I am a real Twins blogger, I will address some hot topics I’ve seen floating around Twins internet territory.

“The Twins Need to Trade for Cliff Lee NOW”

Apparently a bunch of people think the Twins should trade Wilson Ramos—plus others—to get Cliff Lee.

I say: Really? People want to trade a top prospect and more for a two month rent-a-player? Am I taking crazy pills?

Anyone who thinks the Twins have a prayer to keep Lee past the end of this year, if a trade were made, must not know who Scott Boras is or the game Scott Boras plays. Lee would definitely be a two, three month rent-a-player TOPS.

I’m all for trading Ramos for a good deal, but come on people. Don’t get so rambunctious.

“Jeez Gardy—Jim Thome NEEDS to play everyday!”

No, he doesn’t. Jimmers is freakin’ 40 years old. He’s only hitting .206 against lefties. He has had back issues for quite some time, not to mention recent bouts of plantar fasciitis—a.k.a. Shannon Stewart disease. That stuff does not go away in one offseason.

As my professional scalping friend told me, he asked Thome at spring training if he would start an old man’s club with Brett Farve. Thome said, “I don’t know—but 40 years old and still playing professional football? Now THAT’S impressive!”

So for the love of freakin’ Jim Thome, please stop this nonsense.

“Interleague play is soooo unfair!”

This is just too much. Yeah, so the White Sox got to play the Pirates while the Twins got to play the Phillies. But guess what—luck is a very big part of baseball. Schedules are never going to be balanced and fair. Sometimes the Twins get to face a slumping team early in the season, while the Tigers have to face the same team during a hot streak later in the season. Your team just has to make sure they stay hot. That’s the game.

“Brendan Harris was outrighted to AAA! WHOOPEE!”

Okay, I was pretty darn excited about this too—but I felt a little bad after reading Brendan Harris’ most recent blog post, which he wrote just two days before being outrighted. It was a nice reminder that Brendan Harris is a real person. Even though he apparently doesn’t know the difference between a blog and a blog post, he is aware enough to admit he has been struggling and sounds eager to work hard at improving. So I’m behind him. Keep your head up Harris, and let’s see those numbers turn around!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Santana for the Dogs

All kinds of nostalgia going on here.


I totally called it on the Twins Talk podcast last Wednesday. I knew the Twins would do well against Santana. And I had absolutely no scientific stats to back it up.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Milwaukee Brewers are Not Very Good

Back on May 20th, 2005, I attended a Twins game at the Metrodome against the Milwaukee Brewers with some friends. We were late to the game because we were busy making a huge banner that read: “The Milwaukee Brewers are Not Very Good.” It was a riff on a poster someone had made a year before about Carlos Lee, who had just been traded to the Brewers. Anyway, we only got to hold the thing up across some rows of empty cheap seats for a tiny bit, because Carlos Silva pitched a complete game on 74 pitches. The game only lasted a bit over 2 hours. So at least we had called it.

I know the Brewers got to Baker last night—but it doesn’t even matter to me right now. You know why? The Brewers suck. Do you know why I think that? I spent all afternoon yesterday reading about Bernie Brewer. Yes, that blonde-mustached mascot for the Milwaukee Brewers who looks like Robin Yount.

This had to be the best mascot of all time, or at least tied with San Francisco’s Crazy Crab. Bernie is as genuinely Wisconsin as racing sausages. The problem is that the Brewers ruined Bernie. Now-a-days, when the Brewers get a home run, Bernie celebrates by going from one platform down a big yellow slide to another platform.

This used to be entirely lame up until last year when the Kalahari Resort from Wisconsin Dells decided to endorse the second platform. Now the platform sprays water all over the crowd when Bernie lands on it, so it’s a little less lame.

(Stupid un-embeddable video of the "Splash Zone" can be seen here).

This slide business is supposed to emulate what Bernie was REALLY born to do—live in a chalet in the outfield and celebrate every Brewers home run by sliding down a slide into a giant mug of beer.

But wait—it gets even better, because all this was actually done in tribute to a REAL FAN.

The guy’s name was Milt Mason, and he was 69 years old in 1970 when the Brewers came to Milwaukee. Milt was so excited to have baseball back in the city that he vowed to live in a trailer on top of the scoreboard until 40,000 fans came to a game. On the 40th day, 40,000 fans came to a game, and Milt slid down from the scoreboard on a rope. Yes--slid. This sliding badly burnt his hands, and he ended up falling the final 15 feet and breaking multiple bones.

The Brewers felt bad so they gave Milt free beer for life. He died a few years later, supposedly from drinking tainted beer.

That same year, Bernie was born as a tribute to Milt.

Can’t make this stuff up.

But gone are the good old days when Bernie slid down into a beer. Now he slides down onto a platform, and he doesn't even wear lederhosen. I understand the ‘trying to not promote beer to the kids’ part of this, but give me a break. It’s the BREWERS, they play at MILLER Park, in MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN.

The Twins, of course, would never have any beer related mascot.

But I digress...

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Did you see that blast off Butera?


Did you SEE Drew Butera hit that homerun? THAT'S why stats can't predict the future.
Holy freaking cow.

It totally made me feel like this:

That's me in the blue Kirby Puckett jersey, looking like I am about to give birth after O.C.'s home run in game 163. The Phillie game today definitely had this feeling. Gardy agreed, saying:

"We are never going to top game 163 last year, but this one was similar. It had a lot of stuff flying around. You never felt very comfortable."

Of his home run, Drew Butera said:

"When I hit it, I started running and then I thought, 'Whoa, it has a chance.' "

Whoa indeed.

Somehow a Twins fan caught Butera's home run ball, and was kind enough to give it back to him--in exchange for a ball signed by Joe Mauer.

And did you know Drew Butera's Dad--former Twins' backup catcher Sal Butera--was at the game, and it was the first time he had ever seen his son play in the major leagues? Happy freakin' fathers day Sal!

My only piece of advice is to check out Curve For a Strike sometime soon, as I know Topper was at the game in Philadelphia today!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Kirby the Kestrel IS Alive, and Other Homestand Notes

I don't have cable, but someone told me the other day that Bert Blyleven said that Kirby the Kestrel has not been back to Target Field since awesomely catching and eating a moth on live TV May 6th, 2010. That is not true. Apparently Bert is paying too much attention to the game, because I saw Kirby on Mother's Day and against the Brewers.

AND I saw Kirby the Kestrel circling above Target Field just before the first pitch on June 16th.

(Picture Courtesy of My Mom)

Speaking of birds, has anyone else noticed that a bunch of barn swallows freaking love to fly around Target Field at sunset just before games?? My Mom and I named them.

Peanut-Free Twins

The Twins announced today that they are reserving, for a couple games, a mostly standing room only area for people who are allergic to peanuts. Doesn't that give you the warm fuzzies?

You can see the Star Tribune report on it here. Note lehun14's comment:


Can we please create several "double play free" games as well?

Walks Will Haunt

If you were trying to find the one thing that survived the trip from the Metrodome to Target Field, I found it. And it's awesome.



The after picture wins because (a) it's outside, (b) the ghost doesn't look like he just took a pee bath, (c) it's more haunting, and (d) the disgruntled Twins O-Gram in the corner.

Morneau is MLB's Most Fan-Accessible Player

Before the Royals game on June 10th, some fans near the right field (where the Twins were warming up) kept yelling at Justin Morneau. Justin then came over to the Fans and signed autographs for about 15 minutes!

This was just before the game started. Very awesome on the part of Morneau. He must be trying to show up Mauer in the most fan-accessible player rankings.

Jon Rauch Will Eat You

All those complaining about how the Twins need to trade for a closer need to shut up. Look at this awesome intro the Twins made for Rauch.

Doesn't it feel like Jon Rauch is going to reach through the computer screen and punch you in the face?

Other Pictures From the Home stand:

Liriano, working the strikeout board.

Twins fans watching the game.

Downtown at rainy/humid.


Friday, June 11, 2010

SHHHH! No Yelling at the Target Field

I must not have gotten the memo, but APPARENTLY you’re not supposed to yell at Target Field. You're supposed to clap and cheer when the Twins get a hit, or when a squirrel runs on to the field or something like that—but that’s it. Don’t try yelling any other time, because—EXCUSE ME—people sitting around you are trying to watch a baseball game in some peace and quiet.

I was informed about all this last night. In the top of the 8th inning, my boyfriend and I were just sitting around yelling, having a grand ol’ time, when the fun cops in front of us turned around and told us to be quiet.

You know, because it’s a baseball game.

And this wasn’t even just a fluke either! Some girl wearing one of those hideous hair bump things you buy at Walgreens then told us to “Shut up,” with her orange friend adding in, “You guys must not get out much.”

You’re probably thinking, “Wow, they must have been really out of line if two people told them to pipe down.” So what exactly were we doing? We weren’t yelling expletives. We weren’t yelling at another fan. We weren’t simply screaming or even yelling anything mean hearted. No. All we were doing was trying to get Rusty Kuntz to turn around and look at us.

It was just me and my boyfriend, yelling together on the count of three, “RUSTY!!!”

We weren’t even yelling “RUSTY KUNTZ!!!” There were kids around.

I guess some people just don’t understand the joy behind yelling at first base coaches. This is by far my favorite pass-time at the pass-time. What could be better than yelling, “NICE CALVES LEEE!” until Lee Tinsley flicks you off? If you guessed coming back every night of the series against the Seattle Mariners and yelling, “NICE CALVES LEEEE!!” until Lee Tinsley turns around and tips his cap to you, you are correct!

Harold Baines is also a really good sport with this. Harold—like most first base coaches—does not like to stand in the first base coach’s box. So we remind him to 'Get In The Box Harold!' and that 'It’s For Your Safety Harold!' and most of the time he’ll act like he can’t hear us. But he can. He can hear us because he does things like go stand with one foot in the box (“You’re Almost There Harold!”), or walk all around the box, or rest his hand on his back with his middle finger sticking out. But when he really gets sick of us, he just drops his shoulders, marches over to the box, steps in to the box, turns around, and shoots us a stare. We squeal with delight, he marches back over to his spot outside the box, and we leave him alone—until the next time the White Sox are in town and the game is dragging.

Then you have your weird-os like Rene Lachemann. You don’t even have to say anything to him. All you have to do is watch him chew gum, blow bubbles, and carefully pop them with a toothpick before doing it again. And again. And again.

But there is one visiting first base coach who tops them all. That, of course, is Andy Van Slyke.

I don’t even like Andy because of the time he pulled off the ol’ middle finger resting on his back trick when I told him to Stop Spitting Sunflower Seeds All Over The Floor Because Someone Has To Vacuum That Up You Know. No. I like Andy because he’s extremely talented. He apparently used to play baseball and I know nothing about how good he was, but I don't even have to know because I know this: Andy Van Slyke can chew bubblegum and sunflower seeds at the same time—AND he can blow bubbles while doing it.

Andy Van Slyke’s cool factor goes up by about a billion points because he even came over to me during a game against the Tigers last year and we had an entire conversation about this. It was like the 14th inning, and there wasn’t a single sunflower shell on the field turf and he hadn’t blown any bubbles. So I stole a front seat from someone who left the game early and politely requested that he blow a bubble (“BLOW A BUBBLE ANDDDYY!!!”). He came over to me and explained that he had just gotten something done to his teeth and couldn’t chew gum or sunflower seeds. I said some things and he said some other things too, but I don’t remember what exactly because I was too busy thinking, “Andy Van Slyke is talking to me.

So you can imagine how extremely bummed out I was when I realized just before that game against the Tigers on May 3rd—when I had those super sweet front row seats—that Andy Van Slyke had retired. Boo.

One first base coach who has never acknowledged me is Rusty Kuntz. Now I realize the guy probably has a sore spot for being heckled by fans, but I never have or would say anything mean to him. I just want him to wave at me. He has to crack sometime. I’m not giving up.

Hmm... Maybe I do need to get out more.

Monday, June 7, 2010


On June 3rd, 2010, I wrote about a kid that caught a Ken Griffey Jr. homerun ball in the Metrodome and threw it back. My Mom informed me that it was actually a grown man who did this, and provided me with her personal photographic evidence.

(P.S.— My Mom also has a She hasn’t updated for awhile, but it is still quite entertaining if you’re in on that sort of thing.)

Also: When going over the story I posted on May 28th, 2010—the one about Twins fans buying beers for a lone Cardinals fan during Game 7 of the 1987 World Series—my father told me that he was the one who started the beer buying. My Mom is unable to confirm. I’m skeptical of this, but if he really did start the beer buying, I will forgive him for fumbling the game winning ball Wilson Ramos threw right at him back on May 3rd.

In other words, my bad Twins fans.