GameChat – (ST) Minnesota @ Tampa Bay, 12:05pm

MLB is being slow again..  maybe it’s Spring Training vs Regular Season but they used to have lineups up at the latest half an hour before the start of the game.  The lineups are always available elsewhere but they aren’t official and don’t come with the handy links to the players stats!  So, here’s Kelly’s contribution and I’ll replace it with the chart as soon as they put it up.

Minnesota @ Tampa Bay
Span, CF   Bartlett, SS
Hudson, O, 2B   Crawford, LF
Mauer, C   Zobrist, 2B
Morneau, 1B   Pena, C, 1B
Kubel, DH   Upton, B, CF
Young, D, LF   Burrell, RF
Jones, J, RF   Kapler, DH
Hardy, SS   Rodriguez, S, 3B
Punto, 3B   Ashley, C
  Liriano, P     Price, P


Others scheduled to pitch for the Twins: Brian Duensing, Kyle Waldrop

Others scheduled to pitch for the Rays: Winston Abreu, Lance Cormier, Heath Phillips

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Minnesota 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 3 10 1
Tampa Bay 1 0 1 1 0 0 2 0 x 5 9 0

click anywhere in the boxscore for more game details

Spring Training Vacation Wrap Up

I’m heading out bright and early Thursday morning, but before I call it a night, I wanted to post one final “Spring Training Report.” (OK, it might not be the final one published, depending on whether a final ‘Jim Crikket Report’ makes an appearance in Howard Sinker’s “A Fan’s View From Section 219″ blog Thursday).

I can’t recommend highly enough this kind of spring vacation, if you’re a Twins fan or a fan of Major League Baseball at all. I’m sure Target Field will be terrific, but you don’t get opportunities to watch talent of this level as “up close and personal” anywhere but during spring training. And the opportunity to check out the Twins’ “future stars” on the minor league complex is a huge bonus, in my opinion.

With that, I’ll leave you with a few images from my last day at Twins 2010 Spring Training.

Outside Hammond Stadium, Spring Training home of your Minnesota Twins!
2008 first round pick Carlos Gutierrez gets some help with his change-up grip
Michael Cuddyer doing his Nick Punto impression... and he's SAFE!
Jim Thome and Jerry White doing... something... I don't think I wanna know what.
Anthony Slama... closer of the future?
Ben Revere. His time is coming... soon.
Hammond Stadium Mens Room... with "Take Me Out to The Ball Game" murals
TC Bear with a SuperSoaker... coming soon to an outdoor stadium near you!

GameChat – (ST) Florida @ Minnesota, 12:05pm

Florida @ Minnesota
Bonifacio, LF   Jones, J, RF
Maybin, CF   Casilla, A, SS
Ramirez, H, SS   Kubel, LF
Cantu, 3B   Morneau, 1B
Baker, Jo, DH   Cuddyer, CF
Uggla, 2B   Thome, DH
Paulino, R, C   Harris, B, 3B
Carroll, B, RF   Ramos, W, C
Morrison, 1B   Tolbert, 2B
  Sanchez, A, P     Slowey, P


  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Florida 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 7 1
Minnesota 0 0 2 0 0 1 1 0 x 4 10 0

click anywhere in the boxscore for more game details

Captions That Write Themselves… almost

Tuesday’s spring training game with the Red Sox was a night game and I’m too tired to come up with much to say about it except that the Twins won… again. By the way, for those of you keeping score at home, the Twins are a perfect 5-0 in spring training games since I’ve arrived in Ft. Myers to attend their games. I’m waiting to hear from the team about my free season tickets to assure at least 81 wins this season.

To give you something to pass your time while I’m taking in my final spring training game of this season on Wednesday (vs. the Marlins), here are a few pictures taken before the Tuesday night game (and one from DURING the game that I just added to the end this morning, after reading Howard Sinker’s blog at the Strib). They just begged for clever captions and I was coming up blank. Help me out here, will ya?

And for the late morning edition of this post, inspired by Howard Sinker’s post today in his “A Fan’s View from Section 219” blog on 5′ 3″ Chris Cates…

GameChat – (ST) Red Sox @ Twins, on FSN and am1500, 6:05 pm

Ok, it’s time for the boys to get serious and make up some ground in the Mayor’s Cup.

Boston @ Minnesota
Scutaro, SS   Span, CF
Pedroia, 2B   Hudson, O, 2B
Drew, J, RF   Mauer, C
Youkilis, 1B   Morneau, 1B
Ortiz, D, DH   Cuddyer, RF
Beltre, 3B   Kubel, DH
Varitek, C   Young, D, LF
Hazelbaker, LF   Hardy, SS
Lin, C, CF   Punto, 3B
  Buchholz, C, P     Pavano, P


  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Boston 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 8 1
Minnesota 1 5 1 0 0 0 0 0 x 7 8 0


Twins batters really beat up on Clay Bucholtz tonight..  click anywhere in the boxscore for more game details!

Just another walk in the (ball)park

Spending the day at the Twins’ spring training complex, for me, involves spending a good bit of the morning on the minor league complex. I enjoy watching the coaches put the younger players through their drills and give a bit of instruction along the way. I thought this would be a good time to share a couple of pictures from my Sunday morning.

Twins pitching prospect David Bromberg gets some instruction.
Terry Ryan discusses the "Twins way" with prospect Ramon Santana... who tucked his jersey back in his pants.
Twins teen aged Dominican prospect Miguel Angel Sano gets in some work at 3B.

On the way back over to the Hammond Stadium, this familiar face was spotted on Field 5 (next to the stadium).

Joe Nathan signs autograph after a workout on the day he and the team announced he'll undergo TJ surgery.

Finally, a few shots taken during the Sunday afternoon game with the Rays. (No story today… nothing I could come up with would top the “story” of Joe Mauer signing a contract that will keep him a Twin for the next 9 years!)

Orlando Hudson turns a base hit in to an out vs. the Rays.
1B coach Jerry White congratulates Joe Mauer on his single vs. the Rays... or was it on the new contract?
Michael Cuddyer is congratulated by Thome and Morneau following his HR vs the Rays.

My First Look at Target Field

Because I went a little crazy last weekend and bought that season ticket package, I was able to head down to Target Field today and check out my seats, the sights, and a little bit of the food. My friend Molly came along with me, and it was happily not too difficult to find our way into one of the parking ramps.  We had a short hike through the skyway, during which we saw this view.


Just about the time you’re wondering if you’re going to make it where you want to go, there’s this door to the outside, revealing Target Plaza and Gate 34.


These are the stairs that come down from the skyway to the plaza.


This is the view of the plaza as you leave the stairs.


After entering through Gate 34 and heading to the left, a lot of food and beverage options await you on the concourse.


This vendor was a welcome sight.


I love that there are escalators. We took two to get up to section 322.


I forgot to log onto the season ticketholder website (I don’t have my actual tickets yet) to verify what the numbers of my seats are; I thought they were 3 and 4 but they’re really 13 and 14. Thus, this is sort of the view from my seats. I’m hoping that the view of home plate won’t be behind rails ten seats to the left.


Here’s the view of the videoboard from not-quite-my seats.


I’m not sure why, but I’ve been assuming the bleacher seats are the kind without backs. I was very happy to see they do indeed have back support.


Molly and I both tried the Italian sausage and deemed it pretty tasty. Molly also got a cup of fries, which weren’t bad at all (I’m not as much into fries, but I might buy them sometime).

GameChat – (ST) Rays @ Twins, 12:05 CH 29!!

The Twins baseball world started dark enough to bring to mind Shakespearian tragedies…  “Alas, poor Nathan…”  I’m sure there will be no end to the discussion of his loss to this team and not only what will this year look like but next year as well.  For today, I’ll just wish him well and hope to see him again.

I’m putting up the GameChat a little early just to remind people that it’s actually being broadcast on local TV in addition to local radio!!  We get to SEE baseball!!  So I’ll see y’all back here for realtime game discussion at noon!

Tampa Bay @ Minnesota
Joyce, DH   Span, CF
Crawford, LF   Hudson, O, 2B
Zobrist, RF   Mauer, C
Upton, B, CF   Morneau, 1B
Blalock, 1B   Cuddyer, RF
Johnson, D, 3B   Thome, DH
Brignac, R, SS   Young, D, LF
Johnson, E, 2B   Hardy, SS
Colina, A, C   Punto, 3B
  Davis, W, P     Baker, S, P


Scheduled pitchers for the Rays: Wade Davis, Heath Phillips, Dale Thayer.

Scheduled pitchers for the Twins: Scott Baker, Jose Mijares, Glen Perkins, Clay Condrey.

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Tampa Bay 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 3 5 3
Minnesota 5 2 0 2 0 0 0 3 x 12 15 1


thanks to everyone who joined gamechat!  see you next time.


Catching Rays

They say “every picture tells a story.”

I didn’t take a whole lot of pictures at the Twins game up in Port Charlotte against the Rays today, preferring to generally enjoy the game and the company out on the “boardwalk” above right center field. You get a very different perspective out there.

There are observations to be made by the particularly attentive photographer/fan in the cheap seats, though.

For example, this afternoon, I glanced down from my spot above the outfield to notice Nick Punto and Orlando Hudson casually standing deep in the outfield chatting. Now, this might not be unusual if not for the fact that, although both had already been replaced in the Twins lineup, the game was still very much in progress. I wasn’t close enough to hear EXACTLY what was being said, but I’m pretty sure it went something like this…

Punto: I still don’t know why Bill Smith signed you, Hudson. I’m better than you are!

Hudson: What’s your name again? I thought you were the batboy.

Punto: That does it! I’ll show you! We’re gonna race… right here… right now!

Hudson: (Laughing) We can’t do that, there’s a game going on! We shouldn’t even be standing in the outfield.

Punto: It’s OK. As long as you’re with me, Gardy won’t say anything. He likes me.

Hudson: OK, if you say so…

Punto: It’s fine… he won’t even notice. Just stand with your hands on your knees and act like you’re watching the game. Then when Gardy turns his head, we go!

Punto: (puff, puff, puff)

Hudson: Are you sure you aren’t the batboy?

Punto: I win!

Hudson: Wait a minute… you were serious?

Punto: You know, Hudson, you’re alright after all and I suppose there are some things you can do better than I can… but I bet I slide in to first base better than you do!

Hudson: (laughing) Nicky… it’s never even occurred to me to TRY!


One more picture from today’s game… this one’s for you, jamar

Former Nebraska Cornhusker Brian Duensing winds and delivers... "Go Big Red!"

Finally, once again this year, Howard Sinker of the Star Tribune has been gracious enough to post some of my spring training observations on his “A Fan’s View from Section 219” blog. If you’d like to read more about my trip to Ft. Myers, join me there! – JC

P.S. Extra credit for whoever can identify the movie from which, “it never even occurred to me to TRY,” comes from.

GameChat – (ST) Twins @ Rays

again with the MLB site not having the Twins lineup – makes me wonder who is being slow, the Twins or the MLB computer folk? 

Minnesota @ Tampa Bay
Revere, LF   Rodriguez, S, SS
Hudson, O, 2B   Navarro, C
Young, D, DH   Kapler, CF
Cuddyer, CF   Aybar, W, 1B
Jones, J, RF   Ruggiano, RF
Harris, B, 1B   Shealy, DH
Casilla, A, SS   Johnson, E, 3B
Butera, C   Furmaniak, LF
Punto, 3B   Brignac, R, 2B
  Liriano, P     Price, P


Others scheduled to pitch for the Twins: Brian Duensing, Jon Rauch, Jesse Crain, Jeff Manship, Anthony Slama

Others scheduled to pitch for the Rays: Grant Balfour, Lance Cormier, Randy Choate, Rafael Soriano

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Minnesota 1 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 1 6 15 0
Tampa Bay 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 2 9 3