All the so called experts (i.e., John Kruk, et al) can eat my shorts! The Twins are going to the playoffs! The Twins are going to the playoffs! The Twins are going to the playoffs!
Who knew that with all the injuries (Stewart, Radke, Liriano, etc.) and youngsters (Punto, Boof, Garza, etc.) that the team could circle the wagons and get the job done??? I’m sure the boys in the clubhouse knew it could be done!
I ended up “watching” last night’s game on my cell phone. It’s no MLB Game Day but it worked in a Vancouver pinch.
I didn’t realize the ChiSox were playing the Indians last night until this morning when I read the 30 e-mails congratulating me on the Twins’ spot in the post season. I gave Indians’ fan John Mahon a thank you call for the Indians’ help last night.
The Twins work is not done yet. They’ve got to win the division before the season ends. Lets finish this thing off.
More from Canada later…
Wednesday I flew from one capital (London) to another (Sacramento).
Due to my flight, I missed the last game of the A’s-Twins series. Upon landing I checked the scores on my cell phone. The news about Liriano re-injuring his arm hit me like a kick in the nuts…I hope that his elbow has a chance to fully heal without surgery.
You have to go with the guys you have. Thursday that meant BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOF BONSER taking the hill for the Twins. I watched the game on MLB.TV and Boof looked great. He seems to have built up his confidence during the course of his last few starts.
Every time Jesse Crain takes the hill I wonder if he will be the Jesse Crain of ’05 (12-5, 2.71 ERA) or ’06 (4-5, 3.82 ERA). His first pitch last night, a game tying three run homer, cost Boof a decision. Once the damage was done, he seemed to settle down.
LONDON — I am so **** proud of the Twins. Taking three out of four from the same Tiger team that outscored the Twins 33 to 1 at the end of April is an amazing accomplishment. The team was left dead as recently as the first week of June.
Santana may have won the Cy Young with today’s performance. He may also get a few votes for league MVP.
I tried watching the game on MLB.TV. The picture ended up starting and stopping and starting and stopping. For a few seconds, the players looked like the Terminator when it regenerated itself after being shot. Lost in translation once again. At least there is GameDay 2006!
The Twins are winning without Radke and Liriano in the rotation. Who are Boof Bonser, Scott Baker, Willie Eyre and Matt Garza??? Where does the team find these kids? Six of the Twins’ staff of nine were born after I graduated from high school!!! THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT!!!
I know, I know, I know it’s a long way to Oct. 1 and anything can happen. I am not counting my playoffs before they hatch. My fingers are crossed tighter and tighter each day.
Enjoy today’s victory as there is another game tomorrow…
Due to more jet lag and a six-time-zone difference between London and Minneapolis, I’ll have to settle for waking up and checking the scores first thing in the morning.
All day Saturday was spent at the Parkinson show waiting, and watching English TV in the green room.
Parkinson is a distinguished English television personality who is considered a national treasure. He’s funny, a good interviewer and personable. He is like Regis Philbin without the blustery manner and the love/a*s*s kissing of Notre Dame.
The last two nights I woke up knowing deep down the Twins had won. My deep down feeling was right as the Twins won Friday and Saturday nights. BOOF! BOOF! BOOF! Could this be the start of Boofmania???
The Sunday game starts at 7:16 PM London time. Dare I watch the game and potentially jinx the team? What do I wear that will bring the team good luck? I’ve got the rest of the day to figure that out. Time for a wardrobe non-malfunction and some Iron Maiden…
Photos by John Mahon
New York City
Saturday/Sunday was a whirlwind of activity, travel, no sleep and baseball.
After watching the Twins beat the Yankees on MLB.TV from Sopot, Poland, we flew back to London after the show. We got to the hotel at Heathrow Airport at 3 a.m. We left for the terminal at 6:45 a.m. I ended up staying up all night as I was afraid of falling asleep and not waking up for four days. After getting felt up and abused by English airport security, I immediately passed out upon sitting in seat 64A on BA 117.
We landed at JFK in perfect weather for Labor Day baseball. Our travel agent, Dorothy Weintraub, graciously arranged four tickets to the 1:05 PM Yankees vs. Twins game.
What could be better than great weather and seeing your team play for the first time all year?
The first few guys got their bags and made it through customs in record time. It looked like I would make the game without missing much play. Five of use were waiting for the last two and it seemed to take FOREVER for them to make through customs and head out to where I was waiting with the vans.
Upon arrival at the hotel, I grabbed my bags, checked the band in and met bass player Bob Birch and percussionist John Mahon in the lobby. Also tagging along was Mark "HELLO NEWMAN" from MLB Advanced Media. The van driver was kind enough to run us out to The House That Ruth Built and Costanza Almost Ruined.
We arrived in time for March Rod’s three-run home run.*****,*****,*****! The game was downhill from there as the Twins hit ’em where they were.
March Rod may have broken out of his August slump but I’m confident he’ll be back to his usual 0-for-whatever playoff hitting. Maybe George Costanza can do the same thing for March Rod’s swing that he did for Danny Tartabull’s.
I am beginning to wonder if the new Moonlight Graham golf shirt I bought from MLB.com is jinxing the team. Every time I wear it the team gets badly beaten.***** jinxed shirt. It might have to be part of the offseason wardrobe.
Thanks to John Mahan for taking the pictures in the photo gallery above. The Skillet Guy walks around with his skillet and gives fans a spoon so they can bang on it. If you see a skillet used as an instrument in any of the Elton John Band’s upcoming shows, then that’s where John got the inspiration.
The Twins head off to Tampa for three very important games. The good guys need to remember that last-place teams like the Royals and Devil Rays can be very dangerous this time of year. They may be out of their division races but there is nothing like playing the role of spoiler and preventing a team for making the playoffs.
I may not like the Yankees, but I respect Steinbrenner’s commitment to the team. I wish the Pohlad family would let Terry Ryan spend more than $66 million.
Think how great the Twins would be with Ryan’s baseball smarts, a fully stocked farm system and a $90 to $100 million budget. Imagine Alfonso Soriano at second base, Torii Hunter in center field, a rotation that includes both Santana and Liriano (sounds like a law firm) and the current bullpen!!! They’d play DEEP into October every season.
I Meant to Write This In January. Goodbye, Puck. What the **** is Going On and Other Assorted Tales…
I meant to start writing Out of the 612 after the Twins? off-season signings were done. I wrote this from the Opera Lesna in Sopot, Poland.
The off-season moves by the Twins had little or no effect on anything but the bottom line. Juan Castro went back to the Reds. Ruben Sierra and Tony Batista were released. Rondell White has been ineffective when he?s not on the DL. Luis Castillo was the one off-season move that worked.
The kids have been more than all right. Nick Punto, Jason Tyner, Jason Bartlett and Jason Kubel have done a great job of filling in and taking over for the veterans in many cases.
The arbitrator who awarded Kyle Lohse another raise deserves a kick in the nuts. How in the wide world of sports can you award a raise to a pitcher with a record of 9-13 and an ERA of 4.18???
Lohse?s trips to and from AAA Rochester proved he?s a No. 5 starter at best. His short-term success at Cincinnati goes to show how much weaker the NL is.
I was deeply saddened by the passing of Kirby Puckett. He was the reason I became a Twins fan. His play in Game 6 of the 1991 World Series was one for the ages. The catch against the Plexiglas, the home run, the leadership…Puck did it all and did it with a huge smile on his face.
Rest in peace, Puck…
The team played horribly in April and May. The team was **** in each and every department. The way they were playing led me to believe a fire sale would take place around the trade deadline.
Whatever happened in June, July and August was pure magic. Things came together better than I ever imagined. Who knew that the Twins would have legitimate candidates for the ROY, CY Young, MVP and batting title?
And just like that, the well ran dry. Francisco Liriano and Brad Radke went on the DL. Castillo sprained his ankle, our bats went quiet and the team lost two out of three to the Royals at home. Who stuck the pins in the Twins? voodoo doll?
A pitching staff being held together by spit and duct tape just got a lot thinner with the loss of Radke. The team has been forced to start pitchers with little or no experience at the Major League level. Looks like the September call-up started early for the Twins.
I would hate to have Torii Hunter play for another team next season. I?ve resigned myself to the fact he won?t be patrolling center field in 2007. Shannon Stewart will most likely be gone, too.
That?s the bad news. The good news is Joe Mauer is a freaking stud, Justin Morneau is finally delivering on his potential, the bullpen is freaky good and the kids are all right!
More to follow…
PS — Thanks to MLB.TV, I?ve been able to watch the Sunday games while in Europe and just about every game while in the US. MLB.TV seems to get better each season. Keep up the great work, ladies and gentlemen!