Touch Em All John Gordon

John Gordon started doing play by play for the Twins in 1987, when I was a wee lad. These were times when people actually listened to sports on the radio, before every game was on TV. I remember listening to Herb Carneal and Gordo on any one of the high-tech Walkmans, boomboxes, and car stereos of my younger days. Twins baseball would pass the time cutting the grass (we had a big yard) and keep us company out on the lake. I was so emotionally involved back then. I’d wear headphones around the house just to listen to a random game and I didn’t care how the season was going. Sometimes I’d keep a scorebook just to practice. Those guys painted all the picture I needed. I guess I’m just as emotionally-vested now, but I listen on my way to or from Target Field or on my iPhone. That’s how I listened to Gordo’s final call last night.

I always preferred Herb growing up, but now I realize that I will miss Gordo’s voice, his ultimately positive outlook on the state of Twins baseball, and his stories that sometimes would take precedence over a ball 2 call. He’s another one of those connections to my younger days that keep slowly fading into memories.

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This is a photo I found from the pregame tribute. Dan Gladden gave Gordo a ride around Target Field in a Harley sidecar. Here’s a link to the ceremony if you didn’t get to see it. And here is his final call.

“Touch Em All Kirby Puckett!! Touch Em All Kirby Puckett!!” That call of Kirby’s Game 6 winner in ’91 will forever forever be ingrained in my gourd. So I salute you Gordo. Thanks for the memories.

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Can We Just Put the Twins Down?

Seriously. This season, already ugly, has become a complete embarrassment.

The Twins are 1-9 in their last 10 and are firmly planted in last place in the AL Central.

Defense is terrible, and offense is nonexistent.

Span and Morneau are out probably for the rest of the season, and we just found out that Joe Mauer is shut down for the rest of the year with pneumonia.

The team is apparently mailing in the rest of the season, and I can’t think of a good reason to pay attention. I haven’t watched a game in probably 3 weeks.

Bring on hockey season.

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Lazy Sunday at Target Field

Spending a few hours with my Dad at Target Field today for Twins v. Tigers. The Twins are finally playing a decent game, currently leading 7-4 in the 7th inning. Still early for our favorite squad though.

We have Legends Club tickets today, but we never actually made it to our seats. We got here in the middle of the 1st inning and decided watch the first few innings inside at an open drink rail instead of fight through to the middle of the row where our seats were. That was sorta cool – good view of the game through the cleanest windows I’ve ever seen and you can hear the radio play-by-play. (Speaking of radio, consider this my endorsement for Bob Kurtz getting the full time gig next year.) It was pretty dead over on the first base side and pretty quiet inside. Dad and I had some nice conversation while we watched the game.

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We decided to walk around a bit, and wound up moseying to some open seats in the Home Run Porch View. Back with me people out here. Out here, you’re in the sun, you get listen to drunk guys converse, and you get the full ballpark experience. (Apparently, out here you also get to see Luke Hughes hit two homeruns…make it 11-4 Twins.)

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It’s an interesting vibe in here today. Sort of a “lazy Sunday” I think. No one is going to get out of control giddy about this big lead with the Twins out of it, so The crowd is content in enjoying a beautiful day at the ballpark. (Luke Hughes is killing it today…great diving play at 2B.) Twins fans will likely get through through the last month of the season in this way.

It’s different not being in a playoff run in the month of September, but we can handle it. All our other pro teams have taught us how.

And at least we won’t lose to the Yankees in the first round again.

Playoffs? Nope, but Twins Baseball is Still Fun

Seems like every year before the Twins’ season starts I’ve got big plans to muse about my favorite baseball squad, but then I never post a thing. I think I read too much from the local media that I feel like my takes have already been covered, so why regurgitate?

At any rate, here we are in August, Twins season all but over. Been quite a disappointing year. No one expected the horrid start the boys came with out of the gate, and really, that was their ultimate demise. Although when they closed the gap to 5 games last month I did think #itshappening. Unfortunately they couldn’t keep the pace; now 10 games out and most recently swept by the Chi Sox, #itsclearlynothappening. The Twins are playing lifeless baseball with no offense and error-filled defense. All we’ve got to be excited for as Twins fans is Jim Thome’s run to 600 home runs, the potential that Justin Morneau might come back for the last few weeks of the season and start to regain his swagger, and the daily Will Joe Mauer Catch Today game.

There’s so much negativity to point to this season, but it’s been analyzed to nausea. I’ve still had a good time at Target Field in the handful of games I’ve been to this summer, including Thome’s monstrous home run last month. Here’s some multimedia – courtesy: me…

I mean…cold.
Lots of guys selling beer…
Fireworks!
Mauer’s 1st plate appearance after DL
Who doesn’t love Robbie?
Joe Nathan coming in for a save (when they meant something).

Psyched for Twins Baseball?

If you’re as antsy as I am for the new year of Twins baseball, there’s plenty of ways to get your fix as Spring Training starts up. Media reports are up-close and personal this year. With 1500 ESPN being the flagship of the Twins Radio Network, there’s plenty of Twins talk from 12 p.m. to around 7 p.m. every day on 1500, and it’s Twins heavy on Reusse and Mackey from 12-3. 1500ESPN.com is also a great place to go…Phil Mackey is spending his time about 2 feet from the squad. He’s posting batting practice, bullpen sessions, and press conference video. You can also follow him on Twitter (@PMac21).

StarTribune.com has also jumped into the immediate-video business. Today they posted a pretty cool video of the infielder “Good Morning America” drill. Their spring training reports are coming hot and heavy as well.

And let’s not forget the old standby…KFAN still has uber-plugged-in Lavelle E. Neal from the Strib checking in with Paul Allen and Dan Barreiro on a regular basis.

There’s lots of intriguing story lines this spring (read: Morneau, starting pitching, Mauer, Nishioka, Casilla, bullpen, Nathan) and this spring you can follow along immediately as the stories break…like never been able to before.

Twins Baseball at Target Field is REAL

Well not really real-real yet. They were just exhibition games this weekend. But now that I’ve attended a Twins game I can finally say Target Field is reality. My dad and I went to Saturday’s game v. St. Louis and it was awesome. It was upper 50s-lower 60s and breezy, but we were in the LF Home Run Porch View seats and in the sun for the whole game and it was plenty warm. So happy to have big-time outdoor baseball just minutes from my house.

Can’t really say much else, so click below to check out the pics:

Click for more pics.

Target Field Smells Like Goodness

It must be burned into my clothes. Right now it is 11:50PM, about 9 hours after my dad and I left the UMTC baseball game at Target Field, and I swear I smell sausage. Grilled sausage. Hot dogs. Italians. Polishes (Polski?). A smell that never permeated Metrodome but maybe for a small section of the tunnel-like concourse. But this smell seemed to waft from one end of the park to the other. Like an intoxicating perfume.

I had to keep reminding myself we were in Minny.

Today was my first experience in Target Field. Not a season ticket holder, so I missed out on the first open houses. So today, for $2, we were able to walk the entire stadium, including the areas we will likely not see for a long time unless someone wins some sort of lottery.

We spent almost 6 hours inside the new center of Twins Territory, and I did not want to leave. It is an absolute thing of beauty. Ironically today was overcast – the sky about matched the color of the Metrodome roof, but this sky did not end. The whole place is open. Very intimate. Metrodome opposite.

We sat in every pricing section to try to get a feel of what we liked most. There are definitely some obstructed views…every outfield section except lower-left field will not be able to see all of the outfield. But you’ve got to give and take. The park has such charm…and thinking about it, in order to ensure those outfield seats could see all of the outfield, the seats would need to be farther from the field. I’m willing to give.

My favorite seats are along the 3rd base line, really any level. We liked the Skyline Deck, the Field Terrace along 3rd base, and Skyline View. Great views of both the game and the Minneapolis skyline. Never really paid much attention to the architecture of those buildings, but I already can envision staring off into the concrete jungle and missing a Jessie-Crain-grooved fastball down the middle of the plate that lands in the bullpen.

We still have 3 weeks until our first Twins game and I can’t wait. From Metrodome where Dad brought me to so many Twins games, to a new era, that Dad I can have good times in the summer and teach my daughter to be a Twins fan.

Hopefully she will bring me to Twins games in the new-new stadium in 30 years.

Click below for more photos from our day.

Gopher Game @ Target Field