GameChat – A’s @ Twins, 7:10 pm

It’s really good to have our boys back home and I hope that the weather cooperates while they are here!  I think everyone in MN would be glad for a short break from torrential rain.  So Morneau is improving but Gardy announced today that they aren’t talking time tables with him anymore – they want to make sure that he’s ready and so far he still hasn’t had any symptom-free days – at least he’s not feeling bad until he gets home now.  If you want a full recap of life for him right now, Phil Mackey did a great write-up today.

Unfortunately, news about Mijares is not as good.  He’s got more than a sprained knee – it’s a torn meniscus and requires surgery and he’ll be out 4-6 weeks.  Ouch.

TC Bear announced today on twitter that he & Bert Blyleven planted trees over at the Luce Line trail today for all the bats Twins pitchers have broken so far – he said the broken bat total right now is at 131.  At 100 trees per bat, that’s a lot of new canopy!  Here’s a pic!  Bert is supposed to talk about it in the FSN pregame if you are able to watch the program.

Coming off the series win in Chicago, I’m sure that the team morale is high.  Let’s hope that Pavano does a very Pavano job and that our offense keeps up the good work.

Oakland @ Minnesota
Crisp, CF   Span, CF
Barton, D, 1B   Hudson, O, 2B
Suzuki, K, C   Mauer, DH
Cust, DH   Cuddyer, 1B
Kouzmanoff, 3B   Kubel, RF
Ellis, M, 2B   Young, D, LF
Davis, R, RF   Valencia, 3B
Carter, LF   Casilla, A, SS
Pennington, SS   Butera, C
  Gonzalez, G, P     Pavano, P


  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Oakland 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 14 2
Minnesota 2 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 x 4 5 2


That was a CRAZY game – some INCREDIBLE defense and amazing plays and then some absolutely head-banging plays.  But it all worked out to give Carl Pavano win #15 which puts him in a tie for first place in the American League!  In the postgame interview, he FINALLY expressed what it is about Drew Butera that he connects so well with – they are both Italian.  But he did mention that he’s a bit angry with Drew for shaving the mustache off.  AND he really enjoyed the walk-on music that Target Field played for him tonight – the theme to Mario Bros!  And even TC “grew” his mustache in honor of the big guy’s start tonight.  Carl’s not sure what it is about his mustache that has elicited such support from the fans but I think I speak for all of us when I say, if you keep winning, we’ll keep loving the ‘Stache! (at least metaphorically)


The most incredible play of the night was a GORGEOUSLY executed suicide squeeze bunt between Drew Butera and Danny Valencia.  Wow.  Butera’s bunt was perfect and I swear that Danny was 2/3 of the way to homeplate with his leadoff before Butera even made contact.  VERY well done boys.  For that play alone, they both have a special bakery prize – their very own “BUNT” Cake!! Hope they really enjoy it!


SECOND, there were inumberable plays tonight where our boys sacrificed the body to make the play – Lexi, Spanky and Hudson all really laid it out there – literally.  But none came up with blood on the uniform, met with the trainer and stayed in the game the way Michael Cuddyer did.  For that grit and determination, Knuckleballs awards him the very rarely offered GOLDEN BANDAID!  Thanks for all you do, Cuddy!


Additionally, the bullpen came out AGAIN and in some high pressure situations, kept the Twins in the lead and allowed us to walk off the field with the win.  Since there was still a bit of roughness that I am worried is attributed to dehydration after the keg they got last night, they will have to live with rootbeer floats tonight instead of the other kind.  And Jesse Crain – for coming in with the bases loaded and nailing it down anyway, you get yours in a tall, frosty mug straight out of the freezer with an extra scoop!  We really enjoy it when you come in and do stuff like that!


Of course, all this leads up to who did we vote to get the BOD!?!  For that we go back to the beginning.  In addition to that absolutely gorgeous squeeze, Valencia went 2/4, with a double, a run, and 2 RBI.  For that, he has earned today’s BOD!  Viva La Valencia!

2010 Homerun Derby Winner!

2010 All-Star Game Mascot Homerun Derby Champion!


Yet again, TC Bear has proven the master of the bat & ball and trounced the opposition to take the title!  Our most sincere Knuckleballs congratulations!!

Oh, and I didn’t watch that other cometition but I heard that Big Papi won that one fairly handily in the final round against Hanley Ramirez.  I’m pretty sure that they know his name well enough to pronounce it right when they gave him the trophy.

I won’t be watching the All-Star Game tomorrow – I actually have a meeting so I couldn’t even if I wanted.  However, for those of you who do want to watch it.  There is a pretty great opportunity to have some fun with the game courtesy of our own Justin Morneau!  He’s throwing a 2010 All-Star Viewing Party here in the cities.  And it’s free for all attendees.



Tuesday, July 13, 2010


6:30pm – 11:00pm


New Hope Cinema Grill


2749 Winnetka Ave N


New Hope, MN


Justin Morneau was voted by fans to start the 2010 All Star Game and is throwing a party to celebrate! Even though Justin won’t be able to play this year, we’re going to get together anyway. And we’ll come up with some new in-game contests to make things interesting!

Join us at the New Hope Cinema Grill on Tuesday, July 13th to watch the All-Star Game with your fellow Morneau/Twins fans.

Admission to this family-friendly event is FREE and there will be giveaways and prize drawings throughout the game. Seating begins at 6:30 p.m. and the game starts at 7.

The first 33 people* to arrive will receive an All-Star Gift Bag with a T-shirt, poster, movie tickets, gift certificates, and more!

The theater holds 200 and seating is on a first-come basis.

The Cinema Grill will offer a ballpark menu with food and drink specials throughout the evening.


It’s kind of shame that he won’t able to participate this year after being voted in as a starter but his party is on anyway and we all hope that he’s feeling better soon.

Spring Training Vacation Wrap Up

I’m heading out bright and early Thursday morning, but before I call it a night, I wanted to post one final “Spring Training Report.” (OK, it might not be the final one published, depending on whether a final ‘Jim Crikket Report’ makes an appearance in Howard Sinker’s “A Fan’s View From Section 219″ blog Thursday).

I can’t recommend highly enough this kind of spring vacation, if you’re a Twins fan or a fan of Major League Baseball at all. I’m sure Target Field will be terrific, but you don’t get opportunities to watch talent of this level as “up close and personal” anywhere but during spring training. And the opportunity to check out the Twins’ “future stars” on the minor league complex is a huge bonus, in my opinion.

With that, I’ll leave you with a few images from my last day at Twins 2010 Spring Training.

Outside Hammond Stadium, Spring Training home of your Minnesota Twins!
2008 first round pick Carlos Gutierrez gets some help with his change-up grip
Michael Cuddyer doing his Nick Punto impression... and he's SAFE!
Jim Thome and Jerry White doing... something... I don't think I wanna know what.
Anthony Slama... closer of the future?
Ben Revere. His time is coming... soon.
Hammond Stadium Mens Room... with "Take Me Out to The Ball Game" murals
TC Bear with a SuperSoaker... coming soon to an outdoor stadium near you!