GameChat – Mariners @ Twins #2, 7:10 pm

Wow there was a lot of “trade” discussion in the digital universe today. Kevin Slowey’s options are being discussed extensively – including the fact that he’s getting a second opinion on abdominal pain. Also, out of the blue, someone started the discussion about what Thome would bring.. God that would suck to lose him. I really hope that never happens.

The weather is cool and cloudy but no sign that there is going to be any rain to rescue the Twins if things go badly. Blackburn is starting so lets hope that we can get a good result off a good start from Nick. I would hope that the Twins are able to use that to get a W tonight.

Cuddy’s hip must still need a little downtime – I haven’t checked to see if anyone has said whether he’ll be available off the bench though. Delmon is back so his shin must be ok. It also sounds like both Mauer & Nishioka are getting some time in down in Florida so that could be REALLY good news soon.

I’m getting the post up but I’m off to go say hello to a brand new little baby that arrived on Sunday and I don’t intend to be in a rush to say goodbye… LOL I’m such a sucker for the short ones.. JC is also at a Kernels game tonight and given questionable weather there, if you see him, it’s because he got rained out. Have a good chat guys!

Seattle @ Minnesota
Suzuki, I, RF   Span, CF
Figgins, 3B   Tolbert, SS
Smoak, 1B   Kubel, RF
Cust, DH   Morneau, 1B
Olivo, C   Thome, DH
Kennedy, A, 2B   Young, D, LF
Peguero, LF   Valencia, 3B
Ryan, SS   Rivera, R, C
Saunders, M, CF   Casilla, A, 2B
  Fister, P     Blackburn, P

 

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

 

HELL YES!!

That is EXACTLY what the Twins needed – a fantastic outing from Nick Blackburn, getting some hits, doing some running, and in general breaking a 9 game losing streak at home.

And honestly, I said in the pregame that the Twins really needed Blackburn to do well but they needed more than a quality start – they needed a monster start because three of their bullpen pitchers were unavailable. Blackburn gave them EXACTLY that – a MONSTER of a complete game in 127 pitches and finished with a 1-2-3 9th inning. For simply ROCKING it, Blackburn gets unanimous support for today’s Boyfriend of the Day!

Being a Fan: It’s Not Always Easy

I had a different post in mind today. I’ve got one of those “Who’s To Blame For This Mess?” posts kind of half-baked in my head. But it can wait… I suspect the candidates for “blame” will only increase between now and whenever I get around to putting up that post.

But I’m going a different direction today… and if you really wanted to read another infamous JimCrikket rant about blaming someone for this mess, you have Maija from over at Kirby’s Left Eye to blame. I was browsing through the last couple of days’ worth of blog postings from our Blogroll and Maija’s post about going to (and returning from) Arizona and watching the Twins take on the D-Backs at Chase Field struck a chord with me. It’s a terrific piece. Go read it. Now. You can come back and finish reading this post when you’re done. It will still be here. I promise.

As I read that post, it struck me that the people on that plane and those Twins fans at Chase Field had a terrific time watching the Twins over the weekend. The results weren’t good, but the games were exciting and some of our guys did some good stuff. And those fans were there watching it all right in front of them.

It’s pretty easy to be a fan when your team is a front runner, like the Twins have been for the past decade or so. It’s made even easier when you’ve got a brand new, award-winning ballpark to watch games at, like Twins fans had a year ago.

Fans wearing bags... At least they still show up!

I’m not going to try to tell anyone that winning isn’t important to fans. It is… and it should be. But if you’re only a fan when your favorite team is 10+ games over .500, then there’s a word for you and those like you. It’s easy to be a bandwagon fan. You simply look at the standings and decide whether the team is good or not, then let that determine if you’re going to be a fan that year.

I don’t want to say that’s not being a “real fan”, but… well… yes, I’ll say it… in my opinion, that’s not being a real fan. That’s being a “wow, my friends are all talking about the Twins and I want them to think I’m cool so I’m going to buy a jersey and go to the game tonight” fan. Teams need some of those fans to fill their seats, I know. But just don’t expect me to give two hoots about what they have to say, whether in good times or bad.

Being a “real fan” isn’t easy. It means finding the fun in watching (or listening to, if you’re not allowed to watch due to moronic blackout policies) games with friends and family, even when it seems like everyone associated with your team is trying to find a new way to lose a game every day.

Does being a real fan mean you can’t get frustrated, upset, angry, or even totally friggin pissed off at your team? Of course, it doesn’t.  Every member of your team is being paid very, very well (the “minimum wage” for MLB players is above $400,000 per year… think about that for a moment on your next payday) and when they play the game in a manner that would make Little Leaguers hide in shame, they should be held accountable. You let them know you don’t approve of their effort. You let the manager know you don’t approve of his decisions. You let the GM know he’s done a lousy job of assembling a roster. You let the president know the blackout policy is moronic (~You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant~). Blow off steam. It’s healthy (so I’m told).

But you don’t stop being a fan.

I’ve been a fan of three sports organizations for most all of my life. The Twins, the Vikings, and the Hawkeyes. I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve been able to witness a great deal of success at various times from all three. I’ve also witnessed ineptitude and embarrassment at near-monumental levels. But that’s true of pretty much every team in every sport.

Being a real fan means you live through those periods of futility and keep your fandom intact. It’s not easy. A lot of people simply can’t do it. When their favorite team du jour hits a rough patch, they shift their focus to a new team that’s playing well. That’s fine, if that’s what you need to do to continue having fun watching baseball.

But for those of us who are really Twins fans, we have a tougher challenge facing us. We have to find a way to enjoy Twins baseball until whenever this organization gets things turned around on the field. It’s not easy, but then I don’t think it’s supposed to be easy. There’s a certain amount of pride you take from being able to do something not everyone can do and that extends to being a real fan of a ballclub that’s not very good (ask Cub fans… they know).

So what about that “Who’s To Blame?” post? Oh, it’s going up… don’t kid yourself. I’m taking aim and naming names… and Bill Smith is smack dab in the middle of the crosshairs.

But for right now, my immediate goal is to drive up to Minneapolis on Tuesday (oops… make that Thursday) and attend the memorial Thursday night that the Twins are holding for my boyhood hero. The details can be found here. I hope some of you will join me there.

Then I’m going to try very, very hard to enjoy watching the Twins take on the Angels on Friday and Saturday (Sunday’s a bit up in the air… I may just do brunch at Hell’s Kitchen and head home). I’ve always said, and still believe today, that the worst day at a ballgame is better than the best day just about anywhere else. I intend to put that philosophy to the test this weekend.

I’ll be staying at a downtown hotel and if anyone would like to get together for a beer or four either before or after the Killebrew memorial or the games, leave a comment or drop me an email.

And let’s try to have some fun!

- JC

GameChat – Mariners @ Twins, 7:10pm

Twins fans attending the game tonight are being encouraged to wear a #3 to honor Twins Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew at this, the first home game since Harmon passed away. The Twins have announced plans for the Killebrew memorial event scheduled for 7:10 Thursday evening.

I plan to attend and if anyone else is planning on being there, let me know. I would certainly welcome the opportunity to share the event with fellow Knuckleballers. It’s general admission with gates opening at 6:00 pm. Details can be found by clicking here.

Our guys haven’t won a home game in what seems like forever, so tonight seems like a good time to do that. Then again, they haven’t exactly played a lot of home games this season.

Jim Thome and Jason Repko are back with the ballclub, while Ben Revere and Luke Hughes have returned to Rochester. Here’s the group that will be taking on the M’s:

MARINERS @ TWINS
Suzuki, I, RF Span, CF
Figgins, 3B Plouffe, SS
Smoak, 1B Kubel, RF
Cust, DH Morneau, 1B
Gutierrez, F, CF Cuddyer, 2B
Peguero, C, LF Thome, DH
Ryan, Br, SS Young, D, LF
Wilson, Ja, 2B Valencia, 3B
Gimenez, C Butera, C
Vargas, J, P Pavano, P

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
Seattle 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 1 1 8 15 0
Minnesota 1 0 0 3 1 0 2 0 0 0 7 10 1

Another disgusting loss in the books.

I really want to celebrate the triumphant return of Jim Thome with his two HRs (which I totally called in the GameChat, by the way), but once again lousy pitching and even lousier defense robbed all of us of a win. I am not generally one for advocating violence, but there at least a couple of guys on this team that I have concluded deserve… nay, NEED… a good old fashioned, take-em-behind-the-woodshed beating.

If you can’t play defense and you can’t hit, then do the rest of us a favor and go get a real job.

Go back to wearing the white or navy uniforms, guys, because the effort you’re putting forth on the field is an insult to the gentleman you’re supposedly honoring by wearing those old school uniforms.

And yes, Bill Smith, same goes for you. If you and your staff can’t do any better at assembling baseball players than the sorry excuse for a team that’s gathered right now, you all should go find honest employment elsewhere, too.

There wasn’t a single “man” on the field tonight in a Twins uniform, other than Jim Thome. The rest of you should be ashamed.

- JC

The Kevin Slowey Dilemma

I don’t often listen in via the internet to Ron Gardenhire’s Sunday morning appearances on ESPN1500, but I did yesterday. If you’ve been reading or listening to any Twins-related news in the past 24 hours, you’re probably already aware of his comments with regard to Kevin Slowey. If not, let me give it to you in a nutshell:  Gardenhire and Slowey met together to discuss Kevin’s role with the Twins and there appears to be some agreement between them that Slowey has not worked out as a relief pitcher, so they need to get him innings in a starting role… somewhere.

Gardenhire mentioned possibly sending Slowey to Rochester to be used as a starting pitcher. Slowey hinted to reporters that perhaps the Twins are no longer a “fit” for him.

Assuming Gardy is not going to go “Ozzie Guillen” on us and implement a six-man rotation the way the BitchSox have, there really are only three options for dealing with Slowey at this point: Insert him in to the Twins rotation to replace one of the five arms already there, send him to Rochester, or trade him to another team.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it?

If the Twins would decide to simply move Slowey in to the rotation, say for example in place of Brian Duensing, and have Duensing take Slowey’s bullpen spot, then I suppose it is relatively simple. But the Twins don’t really need a long reliever in the bullpen and that’s pretty much what Duensing would be. They need an arm they can use in critical set up situations. Maybe Duensing could do that, but it’s hardly a sure-thing.  

This swap would also result in the Twins having just one left hander in the rotation and while it’s easy to pick on Duensing because he hasn’t had a lot of success in the past month or so, a glance at his stat line shows us that opponents have a .381 BABIP (batting average on balls in play), which is well above normal, indicating that he may be the victim of a little bit of bad luck. That particular stat, after all, was the one that fans of Francisco Liriano liked to trot out there every time a discussion about Frankie’s abilities took place over the off season (and his BABIP was only .335 last season).

So why not just send Slowey to Rochester and bring up someone else for the bullpen? Makes sense, I guess, but let’s be honest… the Twins haven’t exactly had a lot of good fortune with the bullpen arms they’ve brought up from Rochester already. Yes, Chuck James has performed well in Rochester’s pen and has arguably earned a promotion opportunity. But James is not currently on the Twins’ 40-man roster, so promoting him means someone currently on the roster has to be jettisoned. Would the world come to an end if the Twins lost Eric Hacker, Jim Hoey, or Scott Diamond? No. But I’m not sure the Twins are ready to give those guys up just to find out if James can pitch effectively at the Big League level.

That leaves us with some sort of trade scenario and the internet is abuzz today with “Twins will trade Slowey” stories. Heck, it may even happen before I can post this!

A lot of people thought the Twins should trade Slowey or one of their other starting pitchers before the season started. I disagreed, because it’s not at all unusual for a team to end up needing that sixth starting pitcher at some point during the first couple of months of the season. It turns out, the starting five stayed relatively healthy so the need to insert Slowey in to the rotation has not materialized. Certainly, none of the five guys in the rotation have been consistently effective, but despite the contention of his fans (and those fans who for one reason or another just dislike one of the current rotation members), there’s no solid evidence at all that Slowey would be an improvement over anyone currently with a starting rotation spot.

The assumption all along has been that the Twins would promote top pitching prospect Kyle Gibson from Rochester in June, once the risk of accelerating his eligibility for arbitration passes. Gibson hasn’t exactly set the International League ablaze this season, but he’s held hitters to somewhere around a .250 batting average and has a nice 41/8 strikeout-to-walk ratio, while striking out almost one hitter per inning. The point being, we’re almost at the point in the season where the Twins can afford to trade one of their six pitchers with credentials as a Big League pitcher.

I’m just not sure that should be Slowey.

If it is, so be it. It’s not like he’s demonstrated that he’s irreplaceable. But I’m just not sure that’s the direction I’d go if I were the General Manager.

Slowey is making just $2.7 million this season, so there’s bound to be a market for him. Maybe the Twins could even get a serviceable middle infielder in return. But they aren’t likely to get anyone significantly better than the mediocrity they’ve been sending out to man 2B and SS so far and adding a MLB infielder means they’re still left with the dilemma of how to fit James on to the 40-man roster so they can promote him. In any event, while I’m not ready to give up on the 2011 season yet, if I’m running the Twins, I’m not going to feel inclined to trade one of my cheaper starting pitching options.

For the same reason, you don’t trade Brian Duensing either. He’s still barely making above the MLB minimum salary.

Nick Blackburn and Scott Baker are both roughly in the $5-6 million per year range through 2012. The Twins won’t (and shouldn’t) trade Baker, but if you can get some decent prospects for Blackburn, I suppose you listen to offers. I just doubt that Blackburn’s performance has done much to create significant demand for his services, given his contractual agreement.

Does Francisco Liriano still have significant trade value? He’s making $4.3 million this year but he’s likely to get more expensive next year. Still, I suspect there are teams who would be very tempted to give up something of value for the chance to see if Liriano can grow in to a consistently dominant lefty. If so, I’d be very tempted to make him available because I just don’t see it as being likely to happen in Minnesota. Blame Liriano or blame the coaches/manager, but either way, I don’t see him ever being worth what the Twins would have to shell out to keep him beyond this season.

And then there’s ‘Stache. Carl Pavano is getting $8 million this season and is guaranteed $8.5 million in 2012. Has anyone who’s been watching the Twins seen anything in Pavano’s performance to make them feel like he’s worth that deal? He certainly has not been the “innings eater” he was last year, having averaged just about 6 innings per start. I don’t know what he’s worth on the market, but I would imagine someone would give up something for him, even if the Twins do have to eat a little of that contract.

Trading one of these guys for decent prospects would clear a roster spot for James  (or for Gibson or possibly RP prospect Carlos Gutierrez next month) without leaving the Twins significantly short-handed in the starting pitching department.  If I could get something of real value in prospects for either Pavano or Liriano, I’d make that move right now.

That said, it will probably be Kevin Slowey sent packing. If and when it happens, I suspect most of us will be underwhelmed with talent received in return.

- JC

GameChat – Twins @ Diamondbacks #3, 3:10 pm

This a quick & dirty post as I’m getting offline due to a tornado on the ground and heading my way.

Minnesota @ Arizona
Revere, CF Bloomquist, SS
Plouffe, SS Roberts, R, 3B
Kubel, RF Upton, J, RF
Morneau, 1B Young, C, CF
Valencia, 3B Miranda, 1B
Young, D, LF Nady, LF
Rivera, Re, C Johnson, K, 2B
Casilla, A, 2B Blanco, H, C
Liriano, P Hudson, D, P

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

Another close loss, but the guys got swept out of yet another ballpark. It woas good to see Delmon get a ball over the fence and the pitching held up better, but this time there were plenty of offensive opportunities that were not capitalized upon. It would be nice to see the Twins put all aspects of the game together in one game. I also am going to be interested to hear why Michael Cuddyer was on deck getting ready to pinch hit for Alexi Casilla instead of getting his cuts in place of Rene Rivera. I’m not one for constantly second guessing the manager (though I don’t feel in-game strategy has ever been Ron Gardenhire’s strength), but unless Drew Butera was not available to catch an inning or two, it makes no sense to me at all to let Rivera hit with 2 out in the 9th inning when you have Cuddyer available. Very curious use (or lack, thereof) of the bench.

It’s time for the boys to return home. They’ve played about twice as many road games as home games so far and that has to change at some point. I’m planning on making the drive up to the Cities for the Killebrew memorial on Thursday and a couple of the Angel games next weekend, so if it’s not too much to ask, I’d like to see the guys get a bit of momentum going before I get up there! – JC

GameChat – Twins @ D-Backs #2, 9:10pm, FSN & am1500

I missed last night’s game in Arizona in favor of going to the latest “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie with various members of my family. From what I’ve read, it’s probably for the best. I don’t particularly enjoy watching Twins pitchers cough up five-run innings. So let’s see if we can avoid doing that tonight.

I remember back in the old days when the Twins ate NL teams for breakfast, lunch and dinner. What was that… 1 or 2 years ago? I want to see THAT start happening again! – JC

TWINS @ DIAMONDBACKS
Span, CF Roberts, R, 3B
Plouffe, SS Johnson, K, 2B
Kubel, RF Upton, J, RF
Morneau, 1B Drew, S, SS
Cuddyer, 2B Young, C, CF
Valencia, 3B Montero, M, C
Young, D, LF Miranda, 1B
Butera, C Parra, G, LF
Baker, S, P Owings, M, P
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Minnesota 0 1 0 0 1 2 0 2 0 6 9 0
Arizona 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 6 x 9 11 5

As I mentioned in the pregame post, I didn’t see the game Friday night, but from what I read and heard, it sounds like it was kind of the same story as the Saturday night game. Build a lead and then watch helplessly as the bullpen implodes and coughs up the game. It’s great to see the bats warming up. It’s great to see starting pitchers being effective (though we really do need to get more than five innings out of a starting pitcher). But at some point, you need a few guys in the bullpen who can hold a lead. Hope that last piece to the puzzle falls in to place… and soon.

- JC

The End Is Near

I tend not to treat matters of religion and faith lightly. I’ve been fortunate in my life to  meet people of so many faiths and I’m blessed with real friendships from across a wide religious spectrum. Those of you who grew up in the “big city” are probably thinking, “so what?” (in fact many of the rest of you probably are thinking that, too). You probably grew up and went to school with friends of all sorts of faiths (as well, of course, as agnostics, atheists, etc.)

But if you’re like me and grew up in relatively small towns in Minnesota and Iowa, perhaps you can appreciate how fortunate I feel to have been given the opportunity to live, work, play and sometimes just hang out with a much more religiously diverse circle of friends than those I grew up with. (True story: As a part of my Lutheran religious education, my class attended church services at a different church every Sunday for several weeks. As I recall, we attended services at our local Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian, Church of Christ, and Baptist churches. That really was the extent of our options for exploring religious “diversity”.)

I remain a member of a Lutheran church today, though I admit I’m not as active as I was when my kids were younger and I can’t say I agree with some of the more… shall we say… conservative doctrines of my particular Synod. But this post isn’t about my religious beliefs or really even about religion itself. I’ve rambled on so far just to get to the point of saying, I know just enough about religion and various faiths to feel it’s just a really bad idea to poke fun at anyone’s beliefs.

That’s not to say that I don’t crack an occasional religious joke (usually about me and my fellow Lutherans), but people take their religious beliefs (or lack thereof) very seriously and there’s something admirable about that… as long as they don’t take it so seriously that they feel compelled to infringe on my rights to believe as I choose and, even more important, the rights we all have to live our lives out in a peaceful manner.

So why have I devoted over 400 words (so far… I’m not done yet) to religion on a baseball blog?

Well you may have heard… the world is coming to an end tonight. At 6 pm apparently. Though, I’m not sure what time zone we’re talking about so maybe it has already started ending in Europe and I just haven’t turned on the news to see it happen live on CNN.

I hope this is all just a miscalculation on Harold Camping’s part, if for no other reason than it would suck to have had last night’s loss to the D-Backs be the last ever game for the Twins. What a way to go out. I suppose, though, if I spent a lot of time thinking about it, I could come up with a couple more important reasons to hope the deadline passes tonight with all of us still here.

On the other hand, I just took out a loan on a new SUV for a wife I no longer live with and it might be kinda nice not to have to make good on that commitment. Hope she enjoys driving the new vehicle for the one day she’ll have that opportunity!

If the world does end tonight, the Twins would be the team with the worst record in Major League Baseball when the curtain comes down, having fallen a game behind the Astros with last night’s loss. Being a fan of the worst team in baseball for… well… forever… would sure suck. Though I guess it’s not something I’d have much time to reflect about.

But it would be unfortunate to go down in history on that note because, to me, this team is NOT the worst team in baseball. Don’t ask me to identify a team that’s worse, because I can’t… I just haven’t watched many of the other teams with bad records.

So I will say that I agree with Mr. Camping and his followers… the end IS near. No… not THE end… but I believe the end of misery for the Twins and their fans is near.

I know it may be totally irrational to believe this, but I believe the Twins WILL get in to the AL Central race yet this season. It’s not that I have “faith” in them. I don’t really “trust in” the Twins players or management to perform better. I simply believe, based on what I’ve seen of these players in the past and currently, that they are better at baseball than they’ve shown us so far. There are good players on this team and some of them have really played unbelievably poorly. And some of those guys are starting to show a few signs of returning to levels of productivity that I expected from them.

I won’t recite the names of injured players, but it sounds like almost all of them are working their way toward or through rehab assignments with one Twins minor league affiliate or another (a couple of those teams could post some pretty impressive looking line ups if several rehabbing players find themselves in the same uniform for a week or so). That’s a sign to me that things could return to a status closer to normal pretty soon.

I’m not confident that the Twins will manage to dig completely out of the hole they’re currently in, but I do not believe for a moment that they will finish at the bottom of the AL Central standings. I don’t believe they’ll finish fourth either.

But I’ll go on record right now predicting the Twins will be a “buyer” toward the end of July as the trade deadline nears. There are plenty of people who disagree with me, I know. There are already all sorts of articles, columns and posts out there projecting which Twins players might be available on the market for contending teams at the deadline. I won’t be joining those discussions for a while yet, anyway, because I think it’s a waste of time. By the deadline, the Twins will be looking for help to close the gap, not looking to dump players.

If Harold Camping and his followers are right, they won’t have a whole lot of time to tell the rest of us, “I told you so.” But if I’m right about the Twins… make that WHEN the Twins are working their way up the standings and looking for ways to move up faster in July… I’m going to take some pleasure in linking back to this post to remind everyone just how smart I am!

On the other hand, if the world DOES end tonight, I guess we’ll never know if I was right or wrong… and we probably won’t really care.

Either way… fear not, fellow Twins fans, the end is near!

- JC

GameChat – Twins @ Diamondbacks, 8:40 pm, FSN & am1500

And Interleague play begins.

However appreciative the Twins might be that they are in Arizona to play baseball on the day of Killer’s funeral, they now have to play baseball after that very emotional service.  I’m sure it is going to be hard for many of the guys to concentrate tonight but I think that it will give them extra motivation to stay focused on work tonight.  At least I can hope.

Minnesota @ Arizona
Span, CF   Bloomquist, LF
Plouffe, SS   Roberts, R, 3B
Kubel, RF   Upton, J, RF
Morneau, 1B   Drew, S, SS
Cuddyer, 2B   Young, C, CF
Valencia, 3B   Montero, M, C
Young, D, LF   Nady, 1B
Rivera, Re, C   Johnson, K, 2B
Duensing, P   Kennedy, I, P

 

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

 

Well that was both extremely frustrating an somewhat encouraging at the same time. It hurt to see Twins pitching give up that fatal big inning yet again and then, to see the hitters keep fighting and make progress to come back.  Yet, again, LOB is what killed us in the final outs.  We were inches from gaining the lead back with the bases loaded in the 9th inning but we were unable to pull the trigger. But the encouragement comes from the effort to overcome that large a deficit and to come that close to doing so.  At least it makes me want to watch the next game agian!

Celebrate the life of Harmon Killebrew

photo courtesy of Ann Heisenfelt/AP

 

I’m not sure what kind of coincidence comes into play that the Twins are in Arizona on the same day as Gentleman Killer’s funeral but I’m not going to look a gift horse in the mouth.  It allows Cuddyer, Morneau, Nathan, & Gardenhire to act as pallbearers for Harmon in addition to Molitor, Oliva, Carew & Quilici.  Additionally, Bert Blyleven will be giving the eulogy. I have no idea how this will effect the team as a whole but I’m sure that they are all grateful to be able to pay their respects to his family in person.

I was very glad we were able to share the funeral with anyone who was able to watch and our thanks to Kare11 for using an embeddable video code! Here is the video provided by Kare11 that you can watch at your leisure if you were unable to watch.

It was a very touching service and I am certain that no eye remained dry through it’s entirety. I know mine didn’t with all the family and friends who shared. I am so glad that the team was able to participate in Arizona. For those of us who are stuck in MN and couldn’t join the thousands at the funeral, the public memorial for Harmon is next week here at Target Field.

Memorial service (open to the public)
Thursday, May 26, 7 p.m.
Target Field
Live coverage from Target Field begins at 6:00 p.m. on FS North.

 


 


Watch re-airings of Spotlight: Harmon Killebrew Tribute on FOX Sports North 

Friday, May 20: 7:30 p.m., 1 a.m.
Satuday, May 21: 8 p.m.
Sunday, May 22: 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, May 24: 6 p.m.
Wednesday, May 25: 3:30 p.m.
Thursday, May 26: 2:30 p.m.