GameChat – Twins @ Indians #2, 6:05

Ok, let’s pretend that yesterday didn’t happen and try this again.

Player updates:  Punto and Mijares are now activated – Punto’s hammy is still a bit off so running is not likely but if we need him, I’m sure he’ll be jumping up & down waving his arm saying “Put me in Coach!”  Fuentes said he’s feeling good, bullpen went great and he should be available by tomorrow.  Thome is back in the lineup and that is sure a boost to team morale I’m sure.  Baker is still working through soreness, has had one bullpen session and will likely have another in Chicago.  And Jason Repko is finally a DADDY!  He and his wife now have a little girl.  Congrats Ripcord!

For tonight, I just want Blackburn to pitch well and the offense to hit well.

Minnesota @ Cleveland
Span, CF   Brantley, CF
Hudson, O, 2B   Cabrera, A, SS
Mauer, C   Choo, RF
Kubel, RF   Hafner, DH
Cuddyer, 1B   LaPorta, 1B
Thome, DH   Crowe, LF
Young, D, LF   Donald, 2B
Valencia, 3B   Valbuena, 3B
Hardy, SS   Marson, C
Blackburn, P   Carrasco, C, P


  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 R H E
Minnesota 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 8 0
Cleveland 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 2


Where do we begin to tell the story of this game?

I suppose we should begin with the fact that the game didn’t get started until almost two hours late, due to rain in Cleveland.

But once we got things going, the Twins got 8 innings of darn fine shutout pitching by Nick Blackburn. He took a no hitter through 5 innings and ended up giving up only 5 hits and a couple of walks. Jesse Crain followed with a couple of innings just as fine. Matty Guerrier came in with runners on 1st and 2nd and nobody out, made one heck of a play on a bunt to get the lead runner at 3B, then closed out the inning without giving up the winning run. Matt Capps gave us a 1-2-3 for the save. How about a nice big New York cheesecake with the toppings of their choice for those pitchers?

Now about the offense. Each team had 8 hits in 12 innings. The Tribe had 8 singles. Until the top of the 12th inning, the Twins had 7 hits, all singles. Ahhh… but that last hit… I know we all got excited, but should it really have surprised us that Jim Thome would eventually launch a ball several hundred feet and over the CF wall in his old stomping grounds? It was almost like it was scripted (though I’d be fine with the script being shortened 3 innings next time).

And you know what’s REALLY cool about that home run? With one swing of the bat, Mr. Incredible got to shove a knife in to the gut of TWO former teams… enabling the Twins to beat the Indians 1-0 AND the Bitch Sox (who lost to the Royals and thus lost a full game in the standings and two games on the “Magic Number” chart).

And for that game winner, Jim Thome (is our Homey), you are our Boyfriend of the Day! – JC

Remembering 9-11

Today marks the ninth anniversary of the horrific events of September 11, 2001.

I’ve always been a little torn about how to appropriately acknowledge the events of that date. Its meaning varies widely from person to person largely depending on where you, your family, and your friends were on that date. Your perspective may certainly also depend on whether you or those you care most about serve our communities as firefighters, police officers, or as other emergency service professions. It also depends some, understandably, on how your life has been affected by those events. Before 9-11, I don’t think any of us could have even imagined the number of our family members, friends, neighbors and even co-workers who would spend much of the next decade fighting in two wars on the other side of the world.

Our Twins had spent the night before beating the Detroit Tigers 3-2 on the strength of an impressive 8 innings of pitching by Joe Mays and a 9th inning triple by Torii Hunter followed by a Matt LeCroy sac fly. The win improved their record to 76-68. They would go on to finish second in the Division to the Cleveland Indians, in what would be Tom Kelly’s final season at the Twins’ helm.

On the morning of September 11, I was at the same place I almost always was on weekday mornings… in my office and at my desk, 1000 miles away from New York. One of the department’s Administrative Assistants poked her head in my door and mentioned that a plane had struck the World Trade Center. Even then, my reaction was more something along the lines of, “wow, that’s weird,” than anything approaching shock or concern. I opened up on my computer and it didn’t take long before the full impact hit home.

I had several professional colleagues… people I had known for 10-15 years and considered good friends… who worked and/or lived in Manhattan. I began trying to contact them and eventually either heard directly or indirectly that all were safe. It would be a year later (I was with many of them at a conference on the first anniversary of 9-11) before I would hear all of their individual stories about just how they survived… and about their friends and family who were not so fortunate. I still become emotional just thinking about it.

As Twins fans, we remember 2001 as the year the Twins figuratively rose from the ashes and began what has become a decade of consistent competitive excellence. As Americans, we remember that time quite differently. Terrorists set our country on fire on 9-11 and we have been quite literally rising from the ashes of those Towers ever since.

Today our thoughts and prayers are with those who have been most directly affected by the events of 9-11… those who lost loved ones… and those who survived the terror of that day in New York.

Over the years, I’ve come to the conclusion that the most appropriate thing I can do to honor those who lost their lives on that day is to say thank you to the men and women who are putting their lives on the line today, doing their best to assure that nothing like that ever happens again.

So, to those who are serving us as local emergency response professionals and as members of our Intelligence Agencies and Armed Services…Thank you.