Monday, August 16, 2010

Did you hear Pavano's new intro music?

When Timmy Baker takes the mound, they play "Baker Street." When Kevin Slowey takes the mound, they play "Slow Ride." So naturally, when Carl Pavano takes the mound, they now play this:

As we all know, Pavano went on to win the game last Friday, and the Twins as a whole went on to sweep the series against the A's. I was lucky enough to attend Friday's game, attend Saturday's game, and have Kevin Slowey pulled before possibly completing a no-hitter on Sunday when I did not attend. I would have really raged about missing a no-hitter, so kudos to high pitch counts and tendinitis issues in Slowey's elbow.

On Saturday, mini-replicas of Target Field were given away to the first 10,000 fans, so I got to the park as soon as the gates opened. According to the girls I overheard in the bathroom, the replica looked like an ash tray. I hadn't opened mine.

While walking around before the game, I noticed something a little out of place.

It's Waldo watching batting practice--IN Target Field!

If you have no idea what I am talking about, here’s some background information: Waldo is a well-known Twins fan and ballhawk. He attended every game at the Metrodome since 2004, sitting in center field and cheering on Torii Hunter. "I know he's my biggest fan," Hunter said about Waldo in a Star Tribune article from 2007. "I think he's one of the guys I'm going to miss most because he comes to every game." Newspapers and bloggers have written several stories on Waldo’s fandom and ballhawking.

According to Alright Hamilton!, Waldo had his tickets to the final six games at the Metrodome stolen last year, and the Twins were uncooperative with helping him out. Waldo felt the Twins had treated him unfairly at other times as well. So he decided to boycott Target Field. Instead of buying tickets, Waldo sat outside Gate 34 on Kirby Puckett Plaza (and please do not tell me that isn’t the real name of the plaza).

I have never personally met Waldo, although he rode his bike by me before a game a few weeks ago and complimented my Radke jersey. I didn’t go up and ask Waldo why he decided to come into Target Field, although I probably should have.

Saturday's game was also special because it was my friend, Johnny Love's, first time at Target Field. You might know about Johnny if you are in Uptown a lot. He rides his bike around, carries everything he owns in his bike trailer, and has a home-made Foghat tattoo on his arm. Johnny's been sober for seven months now and doing relatively spectacular, so I figured I could take him to the game. He's not even the biggest baseball fan, but I lent him a jersey and brought him in, and holy crap he was excited. He told me the last baseball game he went to was one of the very first exhibition games at the Metrodome back in 1982.

I gave Johnny the grand tour. I took him into the Metropolitan Club and he told me he had some relative named Mush Morris who played for the Millers. We went to look off the balcony and I noticed Waldo taking baseball cards and empty Target Field replica boxes out of a trash can.

I was jealous I didn’t think to do that. (Per my Mom: baseball cards given away at the ballpark can be very rare and valuable, and they gave out a big card in addition to the replica). Of course, I also don’t think to come to batting practice all the time and collect thousands of used balls. Clearly I'm a little behind on the baseball collector's learning curve.

In any case, I hope Waldo had a good time. I know Johnny did.

Johnny enjoying the action.

Johnny and I at the game.

Brian Duensing sure didn't disappoint!


It does look like an ashtray.

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