Don’t let a loss get in the way of a great celebration

Let’s just pretend the final 2 innings of Saturday’s game with the Rays never happened, shall we? If you’ll join me in that fantasy, I’ll share a couple of pictures from the day, starting with the game ball being delivered by a group of Navy Seals that came in from above.

The Strib’s Joe Christensen tweeted that he thought it was “idiotic”, and that “People came to see baseball, not potential catastrophes.” I dunno… I guess I just think this kind of thing over Independence Day weekend is very appropriate and I applaud the guys.

I also really enjoyed the messages shown on the big scoreboard during play stoppages from Minnesotans currently serving in the Middle East. I can only imagine the pride and emotion felt by their family members.

By the way, I realize not every one of us is as much of a Vikings fan as we are Twins fans, but I read this article over brunch at Hell’s Kitchen and I have to admit that reading about the surprise coach Brad Childress got while on the NFL-USO tour struck a chord. (Yes, it was a bit odd reading the print version of the StarTribune.)

Jim Thome crosses home plate and in to 10th place on the career HR list

As for the game, it was exciting to see JJ Hardy return, of course. Francisco Liriano threw a terrific game as he sat down one Ray hitter after another. But Jim Thome most certainly stole the show today.

Thome lined a home run just inside the LF foul pole (and barely above the wall) in his first at bat, to tie Harmon Killebrew’s mark of 573 home runs… and give the Twins a 1-0 lead in the second inning. But that was just a teaser. In his next plate appearance, Thome launched one in to the Rays’ bullpen for #574 and pass “Killer” in to sole possession of 10th place in the all-time Major League HR list.

Harmon could not be in attendance, but he recorded a message to Thome that was played on the big screen immediately after Thome circled the bases.

Harmon Killebrew delivers a congratulatory message to Thome

In his game story at the Strib, Christensen quoted Killebrew from a telephone conversation after Thome hit #574.

“Good for [Thome]; he’s a good guy,” Killebrew, who hit 559 homers in 21 years with the Twins franchise, said by telephone from Arizona. “I talked to Jim quite a bit when I was in spring training. I told him, ‘Don’t feel bad if you pass me up, because I passed up a lot of guys in my career.’ “

Is that class or what?

Thome and his team mates watch the message from Killebrew

The 23 foot wall in right center field is all that kept Thome from making it a 3-HR day as he doubled in the 9th inning with the ball hitting just below the top of the wall.

So, those of us at the game got to see history, Navy Seal skydivers, another top notch pitching performance by Liriano, the successful return of JJ Hardy (who barely missed a HR of his own when he doubled off the LCF wall in his first AB), another home run by Justin Morneau and a pretty darn good day at the plate by Joe Mauer.

Now, if only they had won the game! – JC

GameChat – Ray @ Twins #3, 3:10 pm, Fox & am1500

JJ HARDY!!!!!!!

Wow, he really is excited to get back to hitting!  I hope that it translates into his AB’s.  Of course, I was ever-hopeful that it would translate into Cuddy returning to the OF.  So, my joy is tempered.  *sigh*  Gardy has apparently fallen in love with this arrangement and while I’m frequently in the position of Gardy-defender for all those who get on his case, today, I’m looking at him kind of sideways.

Sorry I missed y’all yesterday.  I simply couldn’t get over to the computer because my house was invaded by 45+ people.  Craziness ensued.  I missed the entire game!!!!  *sigh*

So here’s hoping that they are able to repeat the win for me today – at least the brief bits I get to watch!

Tampa Bay @ Minnesota
Rodriguez, S, 2B   Span, CF
Crawford, LF   Hudson, O, 2B
Longoria, 3B   Mauer, C
Aybar, W, DH   Morneau, 1B
Shoppach, C   Kubel, RF
Upton, B, CF   Cuddyer, 3B
Zobrist, 1B   Thome, DH
Kapler, RF   Young, D, LF
Bartlett, SS   Hardy, SS
Davis, W, P   Liriano, P


  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Tampa Bay 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 7 0 8 10 0
Minnesota 0 1 2 1 0 0 0 0 2 6 13 0


That was a tough game to watch. 7-run seventh innings really are no fun when it isn’t your team doing the merry-go-round around the bases thing. And giving up a grand slam to dead CF to a guy hitting .158? Ugh.

But Can I just say it was GREAT to see JJ Hardy back out there, hitting the ball hard and being Mr. Reliable at SS? And I can do nothing but bow to the great Jim Thome. Catching and passing Harmon Killebrew in the same game and then narrowly missing his third HR in the 9th inning (who’s idea was that 500 ft wall in Right Center Field, anyway?). All of that on top of Cisco Liriano sitting hitters down consistently through 7 innings.

No the result wasn’t what we wanted, but I suggest we all just pretend nothing after the seventh-inning stretch even happened. -JC

Target Field Fireworks… and a win over the Rays!

Looks like we didn’t get a GameChat posted and we express our apologies to anyone who showed up hoping to chat. According to my family, my seat at tonight’s game was directly in line behind 1B when they used the camera at the LF foul pole so apparently I was on camera every time someone reached first base. Fortunately, they tell me I wasn’t doing anything embarrassing when the camera caught me.

In any event, I hope a few pictures from the postgame celebration will make up for any disappointment (as if a cool 2-1 win shouldn’t be enough, in itself!). – JC

The Twins and their families came out and sat on the grass to watch the fireworks after the game.
The Countdown before the Fireworks
First Oudoor Fireworks at a Twins Home game since... a long time ago.

Delmon is doing a number on his old team mates.

UPDATE: Thanks, Jamar… for reminding us we need a Boyfriend of the Day. We’ve decided Delmon SHOULD have gotten a BOD last night and he certainly was worthy again tonight. Way to stick it to your old team, DY! Scotty Baker and Danny Valencia  are more than worthy of piles of baked goods, as well!

Robby asks DY to comment about his BOD award.