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!)