GameChat – Angels @ Twins #3, 7:10pm

So far it appears that the game will actually happen but it has started to drizzle at my house.. makes me nervous. It’s going to be cold again tonight AND tomorrow isn’t looking any better. It could be a dicey situation..

Heads up on the roster situation:

  1. Mastrioanni is officially on the DL with what’s being called a “stress reaction” which was aggravated by an outfield mistep, twisted ankle. He could be out for 3 weeks. That means Arcia is back up. 
  2. Ramirez is feeling ok after a scary moment at 1B last night – he took an errant throw to first right on the spine. In fact, he’s the backup CF if anything happens. Let’s cross our fingers that nothing does. We’d like to make sure he’s doing fine when that brand new baby girl, Venus (born Sunday) arrives to see Daddy playing baseball.

The Twins started the first two games of this series with an offensive streak that none of us probably expected. It would be really great if they could figure out a way to keep that up. But like everything right now, it all depends on pitching which suffers a lot in this cold. I really would like to see Vance keep things under control.

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Shuck, LF Dozier, 2B
Trout, CF Mauer, DH
Pujols, DH Willingham, LF
Hamilton, RF Morneau, 1B
Trumbo, 1B Doumit, C
Kendrick, H, 2B Plouffe, 3B
Iannetta, C Arcia, RF
Harris, B, SS Hicks, CF
Jimenez, L, 3B Florimon, SS
  Hanson, P   Worley, P

well that was somewhat predictable… Game is officially postponed – date TBD.

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Ballpark 10 Commandments Part 5, revisited – FINAL!

We have finally arrived at the original conclusion – have I had suggestions for additional Commandments in the intervening years? yes. But I think if these simple guidelines for Ballpark Interactions were followed, we would enjoy ourselves a LOT more attending games.

And to the Target Field STAFF PERSON who thought it was funny to deliberately PHOTOBOMB my attempts to get pictures of Pelfrey? No, I was NOT joking when I said “I will take you OUT”… just try me.

I really need to go dig up the bookmarks I made with the Commandments on them so I could have handed him a copy and told him, “if you’re going to work here, study up.”

This is the final installment of the series for the 10 Commandments at a baseball game.  For a sport that is 150 years old, I would like to see it continue for at least another 150 years!

10. Thou shalt teach thy children the commandments.

This final commandment is near and dear to my heart.  I didn’t discover baseball when I was a child so I had to learn all the commandments the hard way.  It may seem counter-intuitive to include children in a discussion of societal rules and structure but the earlier they are exposed to how to work well with their neighbors the more natural it will be for them to respect others.  These lessons will carry on into their interactions at school, during other sporting events and at home with the family.  How can you argue with that?!

Please, bring kids to the game!  Let them enjoy baseball!  Let them enjoy the ballpark!

But understand that your unruly four year old kicking the seat in front of them (mine) or fighting with his six year old sister and knocking their soda onto the ground and into the row in front of them (mine) or just in general demanding constant attention, food, potty breaks, and distraction breaks the fundamental concept of respecting the other fans at the game (commandment #2).  I have taken more kids to games than I can literally count – I have a huge family and believe it’s a fundamental joy I can provide.  So I know what I’m talking about when I say it isn’t just expected that kids should be allowed to do whatever because they’re kids and others should be expected to deal with it.  B as in B and S as in S.  If you cannot control the kids you are bringing, take them away.  It’s your responsibility.  You are the adult – supposedly. 

But put in that effort!  Start early!  TEACH THEM!  There is nothing more emotive than a kid at a game who gets his/her first foul ball or learning about rally caps or catching that contagious enthusiasm from 35,000 people all screaming at a fantastic game of baseball.  I have experienced those exact things with various youngsters and I’ll remember those occasions for the rest of my life – and they have brought new fans to the game each time. This is a gift you can give the children in your life.  But again, it’s a privilege – and you BOTH have to earn it.

For those who have lost track of all the Commandments or would like to see them all together and share them, here’s a Powerpoint presentation.  Just click and save AND SHARE: Ballpark 10 Commandments or a the PDF

GameChat – Angels @ Twins #2, 7:10pm

I’m finally posting my first GameChat of the season, and I’ll be around for at least part of the game! The MLB At Bat app told me the Twins won last night, so here’s hoping for more of the same this evening. CapitalBabs and her other half will be in attendance at the game, and while it’s not especially warm, it is sunny, so perhaps it won’t be bitterly cold?

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Bourjos, CF Dozier, 2B
Trout, LF Mauer, C
Pujols, DH Morneau, 1B
Hamilton, RF Plouffe, 3B
Trumbo, 1B Doumit, DH
Kendrick, 2B Parmelee, RF
Iannetta, C Ramirez, W, LF
Jimenez, 3B Hicks, CF
Romine, SS Florimon, SS
  Vargas, P   Pelfrey, P

 

 

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Babs here – yay for seeing live baseball!! Yes, it was chilly at the ballpark tonight AND we were on the first base side which always seems to be about 5 degrees cooler than the 3rd base side. At any rate, Andrew and I both dressed appropriately so we were just fine to sit and enjoy some baseball without losing any major or minor appendages.. I’m hoping that I was able to grab some decent pictures of all the new guys to add to our gallery since there are so many we don’t have yet! I sure had plenty of time since the pace of the pitching tonight resembled a Yankees game.

But what a game! I’m not sure who this team is with all the offense but it does make it a lot more fun to watch. Lineup switched around a bit tonight and Dozier was leading off – guess what, that worked out WELL. He had a good night and I like seeing the effort. The switch to 2nd base has been good for him and I see a very positive future for that.

Also looking good tonight – most of the time – was Florimon. That boy has some incredible throws across the diamond tonight and if he can work on the butterfingers thing he has going a bit, I’m excited to see him improve.

Pelfrey looked good but slow – I have a hard time with slow. But any game where pitching isn’t a major weakness, I’ll call good. Swarzak looked really good – wish he could have gotten the 4 inning save but not today.

However, once again, the offensive show was really ignited and sustained by Joe Mauer. A  second consecutive 4 hit game, this one with 3 RBI. It’s great to have fans cheering him when he comes up to bat again. Tonight, he’s our BOD!

JOEMAUER

Ballpark 10 Commandments Part 4 – continued

We’re closing in on the final Commandments here..

Since so many people seem to be at loose ends tonight due to the postponed Twins game – boy, are WE out of practice! – I decided to go ahead and share the next installment:  commandments 8 & 9.

8. Thou shalt know thy limits.

Special Note:  This commandment was written BEFORE some of the fans in Philly lost their minds but I would like to offer their absolute lack of intelligent outcomes as proof of concept.  The girls over at Babes Love Baseball once again covered my feelings on that particular failing quite well.

Perhaps this would be more clearly understood if it said “thou shalt limit thy drunken misbehavior.” However, that in itself seems to be an unrealistic expectation.  Once you are already too drunk to know any better, you aren’t going to remember any of the commandments unless overwhelming respect for others is a part of your everyday makeup. 

 So, we’re back to KNOW YOUR LIMITS!  Please, if you like them and it’s legal for you, feel free to enjoy an adult beverage with whatever ballpark delectable you found on the concourse!!!  And boy, are the ballparks really doing it up with the good food these days.  Not only that but they are doing a great job with the options of adult beverages too!  But pace yourself.  No, we don’t want to see you jump in front of the guy four seats over from you who just showed up on the jumbotron camera.  No, we don’t want to hear slurred opinions shouted at the umpire an inning and a half after the play.  And Good GOD NO, we don’t want to see your naked ass streaking across the Outfield.  Do security a favor and don’t torture them with the painful sprint and the even more painful thought about where to safely grab you in an attempt to curb your misplaced enthusiasm.  That goes for all you guys too. ;)

9. Thou shalt dress appropriately.

Guys, I think we can almost leave you out of this one entirely.  For all your stereotypical lack of fashion sense in more unfamiliar occasions, as a general rule, you all seem to know how to dress to attend a baseball game.  Frequently, your date or companion is another story.

Girls, please understand that according to #2, other fans are there to see the GAME not you.  We appreciate it if you add to the general atmosphere rather than detract from it BUT it is not appropriate at any time for you to DISTRACT from it. 

First, if the heels are so high that you walk carefully when crossing the parking lot, you are going to look ridiculous attempting to make your way down the stairs going to your row and we aren’t going to even talk about the damage those spikes will do to the toes you will accidentally step on as you move in front of people to get to your seat.  Please, choose footwear that is appropriate to the terrain and hopefully the rest of your outfit.

Second, I’m going to say this politely, STADIUM SEATING!  That means that there are people above you looking down and people below you looking up.  If your neckline is so low we can see your navel, don’t wear it to the ballpark.  If your skirt is so short that you can’t bend over without showing cheek dimples, don’t wear it to the ballpark.  The guy in the row in front of you may be thrilled with the free panty show (I hope) you provide when he turns to look for a vendor but his wife doesn’t.  Besides, we’re really doing you a favor with this warning:  we’re talking plastic ballpark seats and sweat – it would be nice if you didn’t leave all the skin on the back of your legs behind when you get up to leave.

Thirdly, clothing that fits is preferable. There was one entire season where KL and I dealt with another season ticket holder in the row in front of us who could not find a way to make her shirt and jeans come together when she was standing up much less when she sat down.  And the underwear joke above was more serious than you want to know – she never wore any.  That season involved more butt crack than a plumbers’ convention.

Lastly, just as a general commentary on life at the ballpark, I personally will never appear in team wear that is not in team colors.  However, I do not necessarily fault those who want to wear the cute little team t-shirt in pink – as long as it follows the above directions!  If you are making the effort to dress in team wear, whatever the color, for your trip to the ballpark, I commend the effort.

Guys, if the girl you are with is breaking this commandment, you really need to consider if the situation is due to lack of baseball knowledge or lack of ballpark experience.  In which case, you should assist in her education.  If it is simply a matter of she wants to advertise the goods to everyone else at the park in addition to you, perhaps she’s not quite the girl to take to a game.

GameChat – Angels @ Twins, 7:10pm

There will be a Moment of Silence before the start of the game tonight to recognize the victims from today’s events at the Boston Marathon. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those involved.

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For baseball itself, tonight’s game is “confuse the heck out of everybody night” with the whole team wearing Jackie’s 42. I was always a big supporter of ONE PERSON wearing the number and letting teams figure out however they chose who that player would be…  It’s my personal opinion that having everyone wear really makes it a lot less special. There are a lot of people who will probably disagree with that but as you guys already know, that doesn’t change my opinion one iota.  ;)

Anyway, let’s see what happens tonight..  it’s still kind of cold out there folks!

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Bourjos, CF Mastroianni, CF
Trout, LF Mauer, C
Pujols, 1B Morneau, 1B
Hamilton, RF Doumit, DH
Trumbo, DH Parmelee, RF
Kendrick, 2B Plouffe, 3B
Iannetta, C Arcia, LF
Harris, B, SS Dozier, 2B
Jimenez, 3B Florimon, SS
  Blanton, P   Correia, P

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oh yeah, THAT’s why we’re Twins fans. Wins are so much more fun than losses – even in the cold! Lots of good things to report tonight.

Young, Oswald Arcia made his MLB debut and made a real job of it too – collected his ball for his first hit, did a great job of running the bases and a fair job of manning Left Field in the Minnesota cold – of course I still don’t know what he looks like because he was wearing a full face mask most of the time.. poor kid.

Hicks replace Arcia later in the game and walked off the field with both 2nd and 3rd base tucked under his arm… ok, not really but a great steal of 2nd and a heads up advancement to third left him pretty much owning scoring position at that point.

Glass-milkOf course, the hometown boy seemed to feel like getting some positive attention from fans again – I think he missed us. Mauer went 4/5 with a everything for a cycle but a triple. On pretty much all occasions that would be enough to get voted BOD but not today. It’s still worthy of recognition so for a spectacular offensive performance that definitely seemed to liven up the rest of the lineup, we award Mauer a glass of fresh, Minnesota milk.

correia

April 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

But for fans of a team that HAS good hitters while feeling a bit stretched by our starting pitching rotation, I think it was only natural that there was a significant lead in vote totals for Kevin Correia! We have a starting pitcher who got outs and a win and went 7 innings!! I don’t care if it is a little sad that for us this feels so uniquely special. The truth is this: you start to value something more when it’s rare. Thanks Kevin!

Minnesota Twins Podcast – Talk to Contact – Episode 33

Episode 33 of the Twins baseball podcast,  Talk To Contact (@TalkToContact), is now available for download via iTunes or by clicking here.

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We ran into a slight audio issue this week, because Eric is bad at recording.  There is a slight echo on the recording for the first 25 minutes or so.  Sorry!

In Episode 33 Cody and Eric discuss the finer points of a five game losing streak, Oswaldo Arcia’s surprising call-up, what the do with a struggling Aaron Hicks, and we look at the general happenings around the league.

Cody and Eric both enjoy a Leinenkugel’s beer to remind them that summer is near.

Just a one hour show this week, but Cody and Eric are pretty cool dudes, so they make it work.

Thanks for listening!

 

 
You can follow Cody on Twitter (@NoDakTwinsFan) or read his writing at NoDakTwinsFan.  You can follow Paul on Twitter (@BaseballPirate) or read his writing at  Puckett’s Pond.  And of course, you can find me on Twitter (@ERolfPleiss) and read my writing here at Knuckleballs!

- ERolfPleiss

Sunday Morning Comic Relief – almost

443340-Royalty-Free-RF-Clip-Art-Illustration-Of-Cartoon-Diehard-Fans-Sitting-In-The-SnowApparently all those diehard fans that sat in Target Field to watch the first two games of this series have had enough – and so have the players and coaching staff. With more snow already arriving here in MN, today’s game has been officially postponed until August 19.

Maybe they figured out that the MN boys don’t have any more advantage in the cold than any other team would have??

But just so you actually get to see some fun baseball today anyway, I found this clip on Deadspin that I thought you guys would enjoy!

 

GameChat – Mets @ Twins #2, 3:10pm

Believe it or not, ALL the Knuckleballer facilitators actually have LIVES on this Saturday so we aren’t going to be here at game time to get the chat going. So, I’m putting it up early with no information just so it’s there for those who CAN be here. I might be able to get here by the 2nd inning or so… Good luck boys!

 

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Today can be summed up by the phrase, “too little, too late”. Of course, Mauer & Willingham started a little show in the bottom of the 9th.. yeah, not enough to overcome the Mets’ 3-run lead though.

It was nice to see Scott Diamond make his season debut – although his numbers aren’t exactly what you want to see. He at least got a K in the first inning but only was out there for four innings. That fifth inning got really rough.  For coming back from injury, it was still an encouraging outing.

In case you hadn’t heard, instead of the guess that maybe Hernandez would go on the DL while Scott came back, they left him alone and sent Liam back to Rochester for a bit. Hard to argue too much with that though. We’ll see where we go with it all. See y’all tomorrow.

 

10 Ballpark Commandments Part 3 – again..

This weather has me wondering if eventually there might have to be a player/fan Bill of Rights to go with the 10 Commandments but I’ll let that absorb for a little while and ponder..

Continuing in our series hoping to improve the baseball experience for everyone, here are Commandments 5-7!

5. Thou shalt not STOP in the pathway.

This is one of those things that can happen “accidentally” more than anything else.  But as you learn to be more aware of others while at the baseball game, hopefully, you will understand why this is such a difficulty.  After all, there are fellow fans doing their darnedest to get to their seats before players take the field!  Please, do not stop at the top or bottom of a stairwell while you try to figure out (or remember) where you are going.  God forbid you would actually stop in the MIDDLE of the stairwell.  Understand that the general flow of traffic is much like the streets you drove on to get to the ballpark.  Stay to the right and merge gradually if you need to get to the left – which might mean planning ahead a little bit.  STOPPING to turn into oncoming traffic where it’s unexpected is a good way to get run into – from both directions.  This is just plain DANGEROUS not to mention disrespectful to the other fans you put in harm’s way.  Stairwells are a limited and crowded pathway already, so please be kind and move out of the flow of traffic if you have to consult regarding your destination or if you need to wait for someone.

 There is a notable exception to this commandment that was previously noted in #3.  If you are going to your seat and a batter comes up to bat, it is appropriate to stop and sit or kneel in the stairway.  Obviously, other fans who are paying attention will do the same thing as they wait for appropriate travel times.  Those who are NOT paying attention probably need the reminder of pausing to wait for you to become aware of their circumstances – just use caution and know your surroundings.

6. Thou shalt not scream, “throw it back!”

This is perhaps the dumbest thing you could do at the ballpark – unless you are in Wrigley Field and btw Cubs fans, I have a bone to pick with you.  For one, going to the ball park is not an everyday occurrence for all the fans in the park with you.  For some fans just being in the ballpark is a special occasion.  And that means that catching ANY homerun ball – even from the opposing team – could be a once in a lifetime experience.  Should you choose throw such an achievement back on to the field of play, a) you’re really not thinking about how to best use your opportunities and b) you’re not being respectful of the players on the field or the security and officials who now have to WAIT for you to be done with your moment of mental failure. 

 But for the fans that brought their gloves to the game and sat in the outfield, I can guarantee that they weren’t hoping for a foul ball.  So let’s leave the peer pressure routine in Jr. High shall we and allow other fans the personal choice to pass that Homerun ball to the four year old kid they brought with them to the game or whatever their options are and shut your trap.

7. Thou shalt leave the beach ball at home!

It’s all in the name folks.  It’s a BEACH BALL.  So what could be even less respectful of the other fans at the park (breaking #2) than getting so bored, you do the Wave (breaking #4)???  The answer is bringing a beach ball to the game (or horror of all horrors, dozens of them), inflating them and choosing to toss them down onto the unsuspecting attendees in the lower rows. 

 What on earth went through your mind as you packed the car to go the game?  “I don’t think getting drunk and screaming obscenities is nearly rude enough so I think I will come supplied with things I can throw at people – maybe I’ll even get lucky and it fall on the field and disrupt the game!!!” 

 Do you hear how ridiculous that sounds?  That is what every other fan on the field thinks about you if you fall into this ridiculous fashion trend.  It’s kind of sad to have to say this but it falls under a common-sense category.  If it is something your mother would scold you for doing in the car when you were 8 (or should have), please don’t do it at the ball park.

GameChat – Mets @ Twins, 7:10 pm

So… THIS is what people expected when they announced they were building an open air ballpark in Minnesota – April games in the snow and cold. We just got lucky the first couple years and we ALL know it. That being said, despite a butt-load of the HEAVY, SLUSHY snow pile that arrived over the last two days, the grounds crew has done a remarkable job to have the field ready for play.

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Mother Nature hasn’t been as on-the-ball. Game time temp is supposed to be 34 degrees and go down from there… Today’s silver lining? The Twins don’t have to worry about how long Zack Grienke is going to be on the DL with a broken collar bone.

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Valdespin, CF Hicks, CF
Murphy, Dn, 2B Mauer, C
Wright, D, 3B Willingham, LF
Davis, I, 1B Morneau, 1B
Buck, J, C Doumit, DH
Duda, DH Plouffe, 3B
Byrd, RF Ramirez, W, RF
Baxter, LF Dozier, 2B
Tejada, R, SS Florimon, SS
  Niese, P   Worley, P

 

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yep, that was ugly.. that was cold and snowy…

Hernandez is now day to day after leaving the game with a leg injury but as was immediately pointed out, that leaves a possible spot for Scott Diamond who is back this weekend and will need to carve out a corner of the roster. Yep. That seems the wrong side of convenient.

After that, it was just more ugly.. let’s hope it’s warmer tomorrow – no snow in the forecast though!