Twins fan ready for season to start
February 18, 2008
Some people have a different interpretation of what paradise is. For Tony Romo, it’s hanging out with a horrible singer turned horrible actress in Mexico. For Johan Santana, it’s swimming in his new found vault full of money a la Scrooge McDuck. For Brett Favre, it’s going to a tractor pull in Mississippi. For me? I would say sitting behind home plate with a beer in my hand at Miller Park. Speaking of which, I had a dream the other day.
It was June. It was about 80 degrees outside on a Sunday afternoon and there I was with my sunglasses on just soaking in the moment. Right in front of me, I could see Twins pitcher Francisco Liriano ready to take on Milwaukee’s best. Not the 30 pack, but the Milwaukee Brewers lineup. Liriano was matched up with Ben Sheets and the two were just dealing to their adversaries. Finally, the Twins flinched first.
After I made fun of Prince Fielder for being fat, he gave me a piece of my mind. Fielder hit a ball so hard, I think he could have taken down Spudnik if it was still up in orbit. The next batter was Ryan Braun, who promptly did the exact same thing. With the Brewers having a 2-0 lead, Liriano was pulled in the eighth inning for Pat Neshek.
Neshek flailed with every pitch as he got the Twins back into it with a scoreless inning of relief. Even though Neshek struck out the side, it looked like it was too little, too late for the loveable Twins. The Brewers had put in new closer Eric Gagne and he was snorting and kicking his leg back like a horse. However, as Gagne ran to the mound, a syringe fell out of his pants, which he promptly stuck back in his pocket.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire ran out to complain about the obvious steroid use that 40,000 people had just seen. Unfortunately, the umpire was Gardenhire’s adversary Angel Hernandez who has thrown Gardy out multiple times during his career. Once again, Hernandez pulled the trigger and Gardy slammed his hat down and started kicking dirt at Hernandez. Finally, the ninth inning would commence.
Outfielder Carlos Gomez led off the inning for the Twins and he laced a Gagne fastball into the gap. While Mike Cameron was trying to get to the ball for the Brewers, Gomez was busy racing around the bases with his speed, the kind of speed that makes that bionic sound when he runs, you know? Bananananan! Eventually, Ryan Braun got to the ball first and tried to throw home, but as usual, the throw was incredibly errant. Gomez hit an inside-the-park home run.
The next batter was Joe Mauer, who watched the first two pitches go by for strikes and then grounded to short. With one out, the Twins turned to Michael Cuddyer who singled to left, and then Justin Morneau who was drilled in the ribs. The Twins sent Delmon Young to the plate and he delivered. Young drilled a Gagne pitch up into Bernie’s Dugout high above the playing field. The ball smoked Bernie and he fell down his slide and into a giant mug of beer. (OK, I wish, he actually slides into home plate.) Young rounded the bases and made the game 4-2 in favor of the Twins.
The bottom of the ninth came around and Joe Nathan came out to close it for the Twins. Nathan immediately loaded the bases with no one out. Then up came Rickie Weeks, who struck out for the Brewers. Shortstop J.J. Hardy was the Brewers last hope, and he sent a laser right to shortstop Adam Everett, who flipped it to second baseman Alexi Casilla, and threw it to Morneau for the final out. As the Twins celebrated at home plate, I could feel the beer that Johnny Redneck threw from the upper deck and then all the sudden I heard the worst sound known to man, the alarm clock.
I woke up and it was 33 below outside and I flipped on the radio. After they had the weather report said that the icy cold abyss would continue, I heard music to my ears.
“Pitchers and Catchers for the Minnesota Twins will report to spring training Sunday.” What a warming thought.
Chris Schad is a student at UW-River Falls.