GameChat – Twins @ Tigers #3, 6:05pm

Today’s big news is that Zach Parise and Ryan Suter have signed with the MN Wild in a huge shocker to the NHL Hockey world!!

oh wait… baseball blog.. right. summer = baseball season. right.

Today’s big news is that the Twins have optioned Nick Blackburn down to AAA and selected the contract of Casey Fien to come up and join the bullpen. I’m not sure what that means the starting rotation will be but that tells me that, even after tonight, Duensing is likely to stay a starter for now. Any other theories?

Raise your hand if you thought we’d be on game three of this series with two wins under our belt. Yeah, me neither.

I don’t know how we got here but I will say that offense has been huge (which makes a lot of sense) and the bullpen has been ridiculously good. Thank god because the starting pitching has still not been great. Let’s hope Duensing can really do something tonight against this lineup because I would really like to see what a lefty with good stuff can do – which means he needs to have good stuff.

Just so everyone knows but I’m sure the announcers will talk about this to death: it’s 103 degrees in Detroit right now.. and more possible storms on the way which I’m sure all of Detroit will appreciate if it brings down the temps at all. The boys wouldn’t have any relief if they were playing at Target Field either – hit 101 here at my house today so .. yeah, it’s just hot on America’s birthday this year. Good luck to ALL the players and fans and I hope they stay hydrated and healthy out there!

[edit] There is a delay to the start of the game because the previously mentioned storms have just hit.. the good news is that it means that the boys will have lower temps to play in.. the better news is that at least this isn’t a west coast game…



Span, CF Jackson, A, CF
Revere, RF Raburn, LF
Mauer, C Cabrera, Mi, 3B
Willingham, LF Fielder, 1B
Parmelee, 1B Young, D, DH
Plouffe, 3B Peralta, Jh, SS
Doumit, DH Boesch, RF
Carroll, SS Avila, C
Casilla, A, 2B Santiago, 2B
  Duensing, P   Verlander, P




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

Let’s be honest, we didn’t really EXPECT to beat Justin Verlander, did we? So the fact that the Twins lost tonight hardly comes as a surprise. Weather caused the start of the game to be postponed, but not nearly long enough.

The GameChat was looking for silver linings toward the end of this contest. There weren’t many. Chris Parmelee did take a Verlander pitch for a major ride, so that was nice to see. Brian Duensing was hit in the leg by a batted ball, but the X-rays were negative, so I suppose that’s good news, too. Unfortunately Saturday’s scheduled starting pitcher, Cole DeVries had to make a relief appearance, so now both Saturday’s and Sunday’s starting pitcher slots are, as they say, “TBA”.

Fun times.

– JC

A Holiday for America

Is there anything more “American” than baseball? Has our country given the world anything more lasting… more identifiable with our nation than baseball?

The answer to both questions is, undeniably… yes.

Yes, there’s something more that our American ancestors gave to the world… something that is more valuable and more identifiable with our country than baseball. From the time a small group of courageous patriots sat in a room in Philadelphia and declared certain truths to be self-evident some 236 years ago today, up through this very moment, brave American men and women have demonstrated to the world that freedom is not just a word, but a right worth fighting for… and sometimes giving your life to defend. As we go about our celebration today, let us not forget the sacrifices made by others to assure we have the freedom to do that celebrating.

I don’t remember all of the 55 Independence Days I’ve celebrated as a citizen of these United States, but a few of them stand out in my memory. I’ve celebrated at family picnics and I’ve watched half a century of evening fireworks with friends and family. I’ve watched parades down main streets in Albert Lea, Minnesota and Webster City, Iowa… and even Cody, Wyoming, where we capped the night attending a rodeo. I’ve watched a parade of floats down a river in Iowa Falls, Iowa, as well.

But more than parades and more than fireworks, baseball has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I’ve spent July 4 playing baseball, coaching baseball, and watching baseball at pretty much every level it has been known to be played, from T-ball to the Big Leagues.

This morning, I even started my holiday by watching Field of Dreams on HBO. I’ve watched that movie a lot and if I’ve seen it 30 times, then I’m 30 for 30 in terms of tears during the final scene. Every time I see Kevin Costner “having a catch” with his father, it’s as if I’m able to do the same thing with my dad one more time and it reminds me of all the time I spent on a ballfield with him, not to mention all the time I’ve spent on ballfields with my own son. It was a perfect way to start the day.

A couple of years ago, I spent July 4 watching the Twins host the Tampa Bay Rays at Target Field and catching a Major League game on this holiday is something highly recommended. Alas, our Twins are on the road in Detroit tonight so most of us will have to wait at least another year to enjoy that pleasure again.

Fortunately, I do have an alternative. The Cedar Rapids Kernels take on the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers at 5:00 this evening at Memorial Stadium here in Cedar Rapids and I’ll be there with family and friends to enjoy the game and the post-game fireworks.

As I’ve mentioned here before, many minor league organizations raise money for various charities by having their players sport special jerseys several times a year with those jerseys being auctioned off to fans. Tonight is no different in Cedar Rapids. The Kernels will be wearing these rather patriotic jerseys tonight and again on Armed Forces Appreciation Night this Saturday. They’ll be auctioned off Saturday night. I’ve already bought more Kernels jerseys at these auctions than I’ll ever wear, but I may have to get me one of these!

What are your plans for the day? Is baseball a part of them?

If the inspiration strikes you, feel free to use the comments section to share something about your favorite July 4 memory or perhaps about your plans for celebrating the holiday this year.

Whatever your plans, please take a moment at some point during the day to remember and thank those who have made this great celebration of national and personal freedom possible.

– JC