Let's talk Twins! If you love the game as a newbie, or a encyclopedic book of knowledge, please share your opinion or a story of interest. (Email me if you are shy!) I am writing to learn more about the game. Come learn with me, or feel free to share your knowledge.

Go Twins!!!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What a season

Well Twins fans, so ends a fun drama-filled season! Considering what the Twins were supposed to accomplish this year, we had a fantastic run!

I have had the best time starting up this blog and learning what I could along the way this season. They have made it hard for me to tear myself away from the tv night after night after night.

What I came away with from the season:
  • A goose bump filled memory of game three of the home CWS series that I will never forget, and will make any future games I attend feel quiet and boring for maybe the rest of my life!
  • A new, deeper knowledge of the game that made every play more exciting, and made me hungry to learn something more every chance I could, through reading, watching and talking.
  • An idea of what direction I want to go with this next year, and a notebook stuffed full of ideas.
  • A family that groans at the mere mention of the Twins! A few teen-ager words used to describe me and my blog include - geek, stupid, dumb, waste of time, and the ever popular eye roll and deep overly dramatic sigh (does that count as a foreign word?).
  • Many new friends on both sides of the fence.
  • A realization that mommy CAN take time for herself and a hobby that she loves without the family falling apart. (Of course, if you poll them, the results may vary a little!)
  • And mostly, a much deeper love of something that started as an interest and became an overwhelming passion!

Here is to you Twins for giving us more than we dared to hope for and proving them wrong once again!

Can't wait for Spring Training to start!

See you in the spring!

Thanks Twins!!!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Game 163 for the Twins

The Chicago vs Detroit game just ended, and unfortunately it did not go our way. Ramirez crushed a glimmer of hope after the Tigers had pulled ahead in the top of the 6th, by getting a grand slam in the bottom of the same inning. In case you didn't hear, it was his fourth tying the rookie record.

So the Twins play Chicago at 6:30pm tomorrow.

We control our own destiny!

Go Twins!!!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

And now we wait

The Twins are now 1/2 game ahead of the White Sox, forcing the rained out game to be played tomorrow afternoon in Chicago. I thought since the game was rained out in Detroit, that they would be heading to Detroit to play the game. I guess part of me hoped that they would have to travel a lot before Tuesday's game, if it were necessary. (There was an interesting discussion one day about the importance of gate fees, so my guess is that there was some compensation to the Tigers for the loss of the gate fees.)

So now all Twins fans have to hold their breath and wait until 4-5pm tomorrow to know our team's fate. As I detailed yesterday, if the CWS lose tomorrow we will win the division. The Twins are gathering at the dome to watch the game as a team, and will at least be able to celebrate together. If the CWS win, then we will be heading to Chicago to play the tie breaker. I cannot imagine sitting in the dome tomorrow watching a game that could mean either a champagne celebration, or a quick run to the airport to jump on an 8pm flight.

I will be watching the game tomorrow and hoping NOT to have to watch a game on Tuesday!

Go Twins!!! (and Go Tigers!!!)

American League Central showdown - Twins vs White Sox

So here is how it breaks down...

In the ultimate of end of season showdowns, the whole White Sox vs Twins saga will very likely come down to the Twins fans watching box scores very, very closely the next two days. I have been surprised at how many fans leaving comments on other sites are confused as to what happens next, so here is the way it all plays out.

The CWS missed a game due to rain and so their record compared to ours is off by one game. That game will be made up only if after tomorrow's games we are still within half a game either way. Why either way? Because their win or loss in that game could make it a tie between our two teams. So if they are up by half a game after tomorrow, they do NOT win the ALC. They instead play the rained out game Monday, since if they lose that game we would end up with tied records for the season and be forced to play a tie breaker game. And of course, it flip flops if we are up by half a game.

So if you look at the scenarios, they are as follows:
  • Both teams win tomorrow - Twins will remain ahead by 1/2 game and the CWS will play on Monday.
  • Both teams lose tomorrow - Twins will remain ahead by 1/2 game and the CWS will play on Monday.
  • Twins win/CWS lose tomorrow - Twins will be ahead by 1-1/2 games and take the division!!! Yeah!!!!
  • Twins lose/CWS win tomorrow - Twins will be behind CWS by 1/2 game and the CWS will play on Monday.

So in three of the four scenarios, we will not know the outcome until the CWS play their Monday game.

Now - fast forward to Chicago's Monday game.

  • If we end up after tomorrow's games up 1/2 game ahead of the CWS and they play Monday and win, we will be tied with them and play a tie breaker on Tuesday at Chicago (we lost a coin toss a week ago). If they lose Monday's game, we will be ahead of them by 1 game and win the division!
  • If we end up after tomorrow's games behind by 1/2 game and they play on Monday and win, we will be down a game to them and be done for the season. (And joyfully celebrate a fantastic season!) If they lose on Monday we will again be tied and play the tie breaker on Tuesday at Chicago.

The next few days look to cause real issues for my manicure! I will be at tomorrow's game cheering on my team with hopefully 45K of my best friends, so I am guessing the voice could be an issue as well!

Here's to an exciting day tomorrow!

Go Twins!!!

Friday, September 26, 2008

O....M... G!!!

What a game!!!

It was an amazing come from behind win that puts us 1/2 game ahead of Chicago. The team and the fans did not give up despite being down 6-1 due to a bone head play, losing Slowey early, and going to the bullpen so early in the game yet again.

It was a game that felt like the play-offs. I have no voice left (literally), my hands hurt from applauding the entire, and I mean entire, game and I got plenty of exercise by standing probably 75% of the game. The fans were wonderful, no slobbering drunkards, no swearing, just a stadium FULL of screaming cheering baseball lovers! And best of all, no barbies asking if a RBI is a good thing. The poor little girls in front of us was not thrilled about the volume, and was covering her ears and looking a little shell shocked, but the rest of us had an amazing time.

Even after spending an hour trapped in the parking garage and not moving an inch, I still feel high.

Congrats Twins on a delivering a fun game to watch! I am back at the dome on Sunday hoping for another exciting game.

Go Twins!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Blackout? Are you kidding me?

So I have been fanatical about watching the games this year, DVRing any that I could not catch. Here we are at the end of the season, the three most important and exciting games of the season, and I will not be able to watch them! My family has both channels of the DVR booked and despite my efforts to find a way to schedule around them, it doesn't look at this point like I will be able to watch or tape the games. How ironic is that? I am not comfortable enough to go to a bar alone to watch. (If anyone wants to go and keep me company, you would have my undying gratitude, and a few drinks bought by yours truly!)

In my spare time I have been reading about MLB contracts. One fun thing I learned is that MLB players are actually protected by a minimum wage. For next year, a MLB player cannot be paid less than $400K. Now, admittedly that sounds low when you think about how high some of them go. But it is a big jump from the minor league minimum of $65K for next year.

The second big surprise? How many of our players are making just over minimum wage. I guess it shouldn't be too big a surprise given the experience level of our team, and the fact that our opening day 25-man payroll was just under $57 million. Take out the big salaries for the stars like Nathan, Mauer, Morneau, and the few veterans and you see that there is not much in the pot left to give.

Gotta tell you, it is exciting reading. Have a night you can't sleep? Just go read the MLB contracts.

Hope to be joining someone at the bar tonight!

Go Twins!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What is in a name?

Interesting thought today. The rumor is that Target paid somewhere in the ballpark (hee hee) of $100 million for the naming rights to the new Twins stadium for 25 years. Questions abound as to if it is worth it. What do they get for approximately $4 million per yer? Name recognition, invaluable to retailers, especially during difficult financial times. But how do you put $4 million into perspective? How do we determine if it is worth it? To me, that is a huge amount of money. Heck, nowadays, $4 is a lot of money to my budget.

I read today that Target donates $3 million per week to local charities. $3 million per week! So I would guess that $4 million a year, given the potential name recognition increase makes it piddly in the scope of their advertising bucket. Given 81 home games, there name will get exposure at least 81 times. $50K per televised event suddenly doesn't sound so bad. Plus the fact that they get rights for a strong presence inside the stadium. Sounds bargain basement to me. Heck, a 30 second Superbowl commercial is rumored to cost $3 million.

One thing I am very pleased about is that they went with a local business that is likely to be around for a long time. When researching fields it was interesting to see how many have changed names (talk about confusing) and how many have changed multiple times. Minnesotans are not good with change, so let's hope the name lasts as long as the rights do!

One thing non-baseball friends are confused about is that this agreement in no way affects the ownership of the team, or the field. All this does is buy the name, advertising and a presence in the ballpark.

Go Twins!!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Target Field

Today's announcement that the new stadium will be called Target Field, and Target's plans for the area including a plaza connecting the ballpark to the Target Center, has some of my non-baseball friends discussing the new ballpark. Their main point has been that the team should have put out the extra money for the roof. All that discussion, plus my earlier blog today about the weather had me curious about retractable roofs.

There are currently five fields that have retractable roofs as far as I could find.

Safeco Field (Seattle Mariners) - Has a three panel system that is meant to be more of an umbrella, rather than an airtight climate controlled covering. This means there are some areas that can be very chilly. It takes 10 minutes for the roof to close.

Minute Maid Park (Houston Astros) - The first of the retractable roofs, it cost $65 million to build. Most of the roofs do not open to provide a 100% viewing area, but this one does. It takes 20 minutes to close but only costs $5 of electricity to open or close.

Rogers Centre (Toronto Blue Jays) - The four section roof cost $100 million and takes 20 minutes to close. Unlike most parks, Rogers closes the roof very seldom, around four times per year.

Chase Field (Arizona Diamondbacks) - The two halves do not close 100% but take only five minutes to close. The stadium can be cooled 30 degrees in three hours when needed, which given Arizona's weather, is most of the season. The halves are so light that it only takes $2 in electricity to open or close them.

Miller Park (Milwaukee Brewers) - The fan shaped, seven panel system cost $50 million, closes in 10 minutes and has been plagued by issues. When opened the fan still shades the first base side most of the day making it hard to grow natural grass. It also leaks (which designers say it was never meant to be 100% waterproof) and has had several expensive mechanical repairs needed.

While I agree that it would have been nice to have a retractable roof on Target Field during some games, I still think the impact of postponed games will be minimal. Listening to my friends, the rain delays might have a larger impact. Make some of the less fanatical fans wait for a game to start for a few hours, and they might not come back.

Now for my bigger question - Target gets extensive brand presence as a part of the 25 year deal. Wonder what we can expect under that umbrella?

More on that to come...

Go Twins!!!


I am very excited for outdoor baseball to begin. I am old enough to remember games in the Met, and some friends drove to Milwaukee for a game when we were in college**. Outdoor baseball IS baseball.

But the recent wash outs have posed an interesting question as teams clamoured to find an indoor arena to complete postponed series games. Given another end of season pennant race, would we move washed out games to the Metrodome? The White Sox even approached the dome but were turned away because of scheduled football games.

I heard someone say a few weeks ago that this would have been the perfect year to start outdoor baseball because the weather had been ideal. Huh? We hearty Minnesotans have selective memories apparently. (After giving birth, many moms also forget the pain that made them swear at their husbands and can be heard to say it really wasn't that bad.) Now, I am not saying it was horrible weather, but I remember game after game of my daughters' lacrosse team being cancelled due to the late departure of winter and then as storm after storm rolled through.

We will need to expect games to be postponed due to weather in Minnesota. At the beginning of the season, not a big deal. But as we have seen in the last few days, end of season delays can cause big issues.

I would be curious to see if any games are ever moved to the dome...

My first gut reaction is to wish they had pursued the retractable roof harder. But then the baseball lover kicks in and except for a few weeks at the end of the year, a few postponed games will cause no issues. I love the design of the stadium, which would have had to have been altered to accommodate the retractable roof. Besides, we Minnesotans will forget the hassles of rescheduled games and only remember enjoying a cool beer and hotdog out in the sun as our Twins headed full steam for the World Series!

**(I have always loved Paul Molitor since one of the guys that we went with to that Brewers game had the same name. So of course, every time the Brewer's Paul Molitor had a good play, we congratulated our version. Did I mention there was drinking involved?)

Go Twins!!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Game 16

Game 16 done... fun game what I saw of it. FSN did not carry the entire game. Denard Span got two homeruns, and Carlos Gomez four RBIs in the 12-2 win. Plus, it was nice to see Michael Cuddyer back after missing so much of the season. He didn't do much, but it was a baby step back. Most fun? Seeing Carlos coming back to life and starting to smile again. Keep smiling Carlos!

25 minute break till the next game. Time enough to fill and empty one of the aforementioned bar glasses!

Go Twins!!!

Nothin says lovin...

...like new Twins barware!!!
Thanks to the hubby for some awesome glasses.
Better than a dozen roses
  • cheaper
  • last longer
  • won't make you bleed if you grab them wrong (well... it is harder to do anyway)
  • can't drink cranberry vodka out of a rose!

Go Twins!!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

16 and counting - Sudden realization

Okay, so today I realize there are 16 regular season games over the next 17 days. (Like the clarification?)

By the time the season is over I will have over 500 hours into watching the Twins games on tv. I will have almost as many hours in listening to them on the radio, listening to talk radio, reading sports pages and Twins blogs, and writing my blog. I probably have almost as many in sleepless nights thinking over stats and possibilities, and of course what the heck I should research or write about next. (Yes, that much of a loser...) If you add up all that time it totals roughly two months of my life.

My point? This has been a hobby that has consumed me for many months now. What am I going to do till negotiations heat up or Spring Training gets underway? How will I reintegrate back into the household?

Pure panic! Anyone care to talk Vikes? Luckily I have hockey and football to keep me occupied.

So I plan to make the best of this late penant race and allow myself to jump into it completely. With such a long season, there is a tendency to hold back a little (unless you ask my kids). Right now I am re-researching contracts. I looked at them a long time ago, but have to admit I find the process confusing. Lots of terms, and just when I think I get it, I realize I don't. Thanks to fellow fan Dave who gave me a great site about contracts. I will post what I find for anyone else who doesn't quite have them down early next week.

Next up - Baltimore. In order for me to get even close to my prediction, we need to take the series and I am hoping for a sweep. Taking 10 of the next sixteen, might be possible, but it won't be easy.

Let's go Twins!!!