A girls view of baseball...knowing the game, loving the game, and loving and appreciating the boys who play the game.

All photos are ©Betsy Bissen (unless otherwise noted) Do not use without permission.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Power of J's

It was a beautiful night for baseball tonight! I'm not gonna lie, being that my record was 9-0 going into tonight's game and the Twins were facing the Yankees at another game I was attending, I was a bit worried that my record might get a flaw in it.  Thankfully after the first few innings, the Twins put my mind at ease and coasted pretty well against the Yankees.  This is how the Twins should have been playing in all 3 of the games they faced the Yankees.  The Yankees this year have not been the big power house force that they've been in years' past.  Mark Teixeira has been a sub-par hitting, currently hitting only .216.  I thought for sure Nick Blackburn would raise that average for him with the number Teixeira has put up against him, but thankfully he didn't go much against him tonight, only broke even.

It was my first time having someone's season tickets and USING them to go into the Metropolitan Club.  Quite honestly, it was a beautiful place and the view was great, but it wasn't any more exciting than the Club at the Metrodome for season ticket holders.  I guess I just expected more...
The sign behind the bar.
 View from the Metropolitan Club
Rockets red glare

I was slightly miffed about my fantasy baseball team.  I had opted a couple nights ago to bench Jason Kubel (since he's been less than stellar this season) and opted to play other guys instead.  I should have played Kubel.  He went 3 for 4 with 5 RBI's.  That would have really helped my team out (though I am already winning this week).

While in our section tonight, we witnessed a big douche bag employee that was supposed to be selling soda, instead he was travelling from section to section standing in between the last break in the railing before the top, which coincidentally was RIGHT in my way.  I said something, because I did want to see the game, and then he game me the dirtiest look, said nothing and walked away.  I wish I would've seen his badge and found out his name.  I watched him go from section to section doing the same exact thing EVERY section.  He'd give whoever it was in each section the same dirty look he gave me.  Hello, dude, you're there to do a job.  If you don't want your job, I'll take it.  I need one.

I was thrilled when the power of the J's was very strong.  Joe Mauer was at second, Justin Morneau was at first, and Jason Kubel was up to bat, with JJ Hardy waiting in the wings.  The power helped Jason Kubel knock in a 3 run home run.
The power of the J's on base
When I peeked into right field I noticed something funny, which my friend has pointed out to me at another game, but this time I got to see it for myself.  Cuddy must stand and pace in the same spot EVERY game...he's worn down and changed the color of the grass in one tiny section of the right field.  It almost looks like a dog peed on the grass and it's turning a different color.
See the spot?  He standing in it! 

All in all it was a fabulous game and the weather couldn't have been more beautiful and perfect.  The one thing I could have done without would've been all the bugs.  Where was Kirby the Kestrel when we needed him tonight?  He could have had a large feeding on all the bugs we saw!
Tomorrow I get to test my luck all over again.  I'm not starting to have friends call me Good Luck Charm.  I hope that's the case and I hope my luck never runs out!

Monday, May 24, 2010

That's Twins Baseball and Unplugged

I don't have much to write about.  It hasn't been a good day and I'll just say that I'm glad the Twins aren't playing, because I would feel responsible for their loss.  I did attend the Twins game on Saturday and also went to Baseball Unplugged with Jason Kubel, Denard Span and as always Michael Cuddyer on Sunday night, both of which were fun.

Some of my favorite things from Unplugged were these:
Someone asked Cuddy if Joe Mauer had a girlfriend...his response: "I don't think he's exclusive if he does have one."
Our tablemates and new friends Linda and Michelle asked the guys how they liked inter-league play and Kubel's response "Well, we like to make a joke that the national league is like the JV squad."

I have decided that my new favorite player is Michael Cuddyer.  My boyfriend raised his hand to ask a question, which the host of the event asks people what their favorite part about Target Field is.  Brian (with advice from me) said that his favorite part was that the Twins haven't lost any of the games he's been to, and how I'm 9-0 with games I've been to this season.  Cuddy's response was, "and we're just going to give these guys a tshirt for asking a question?  We need to give them tickets!  Give them some tickets!"  I'm a big fan of Cuddy now, and thank you, Cuddy!

The last funny thing that happened was that while I was going through the autograph line I told Denard Span how I really am 9-0 and he goes "were you at today's game?"  Cuddy looked over at Denard and goes "she just said she's 9 and 0, do you think she was at today's game?"  It made me laugh.

Now enjoy some more pictures from this weekend!

Now onto Unplugged pictures:
This is what Brian won in the raffle for prizes from playing the bean bag toss.

And I'll throw this out there because this is my blog and I can. If anyone knows of places that are hiring (for Admin/Receptionist jobs) in Minneapolis area, please let me know! I'm looking!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Orlando Hudson on Rome Is Burning

I don't really want to write about the Yankees series (partially cause I didn't watch all of the games). Glad they won however yesterday! That's a good feeling.
I just want to share this video instead today!  It's quite funny.

Or if that doesn't work go here: ESPN Rome Correspondent: Orlando Hudson

Friday, May 14, 2010

Be Gone SATAN!

Everything was starting to go well for the Twins at the beginning of the game.  A.J. Burnett walked in the Twins' first run on a bases loaded walk.  A home run for the Yankees tied it up.  The game was a cat and mouse game all the way up until the Twins got into a jamb (the one hit was not any one's fault really, considering the ball ricocheted off Timmy leg and into shallow right field.) and the bases got loaded.  Here is where I didn't agree with Gardy's choice for a new pitcher.
Now I know that judging Matt Gueirrer based on the small sample size isn't entirely fair, but I don't blame Matty G. I blame Gardy.  It was unwise putting Matty G. in when he's given up 3 home runs (before tonight) alone to A. Roid.  It's sickening and doesn't need to be encouraged or helped along in any way.  I think we would have been better off walking A. Roid (giving up a run that would've tied the game)...maybe then we may have stood a chance at getting out of the inning.

Now as a result of Gardy's poor decision making skills, Scott Baker gets another loss, and his ERA racked up (2 of those 4 runs on the grand slam were Timmy's).  Thanks, Gardy.  Thanks for nothing!

As Jeff Dunham (as Walter) says: BE GONE, SATAN!  I'm sure he must have been talking about the Yankees when making that comment (yes, I have watched Jeff Dunham so I do know the whole background of that quote.).

An Unusual Kind of Day

So while trying to come up with something to write about with the past two game (neither of which I watched much of, one due to the fact that it was a day game and I was working, the other because I was just peeved about how the game went.)  I was trying to think of something else to refer to the Yankees as other than the Evil Empire (which I do like that name, but it's not becoming to frequently used and I like to be different.).  I came across wikipedia and saw that they had a list of nicknames for the different teams' players.  Here's what they had for the Twins (I eliminated the past Twins players and only kept current ones).
Wikipedia's Twins Nickname list (it's short, but wacky):
The only player I think I've heard anyone use those nicknames for is Joe Mauer.  I do only know two people (they are co-writers of Peanuts From Heaven) that call Joe "Chairman Mauer"...though a lot of people that call him "Baby Jesus".  The others I don't know that I here used...well...ever.  Whoever decided to write that list of nicknames for current players is sitting on that island alone.

Tonight, I think the Twins need to really step things up and show the Yankees that they really are in it to win it this year.  They didn't win a single game last years against them, they more or less just let the Yankees walk all over them and the Twins were the Yankees bitches.  I think this is a good year for redemption and to show the whole major league that we are in fact competitors and want to go all the way.  I think they have the capability and the potential this year.  Plus I think if the Tigers can beat the Yankees (more than one game) that the Twins can do that too, and do it bigger and better than the Tigers.

Did you know that the Yankees (still the highest paid team in MLB) have an average salary that is $108,774,222 more than the Twins (this current season 2010.)?  The Twins are ranked #11 (which I would wager is high for a "small-market team", but I'm sure signing Mauer to the deal he got bumped the Twins up a bit higher).  On the note of high payed players, I find it kind of funny that Justin Morneau in the ad for Continental Diamonds (I believe) says "Because I don't make as much as my buddy Joe".  Hate to break it to Justin, but this year, he does make more than Joe.

Tonight's Match-up: Scott Baker (4-2; 4.57 ERA) vs. A.J. Burnett (4-1; 3.40 ERA).  Here's hoping for a successful night for Twins players in our line up.  More after this weekend's series.  I hope to give out 3 Stars of the Series again since the haven't WON the last two, merely split both of those series (yes, I know the one is slightly jaded and either was a sweep, split or swept series).  GO TWINS and Go Timmy!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Target Field Preparations

Now I know today is "Delmon Young Day", but I really don't know what to write about Delmon Young, because I'm more just indifferent towards him.  I also don't really want to talk about the game last night, because quite honestly the commentary and comments made about Kevin Slowey and how bad he was (cause don't you know that a pitcher is the only one playing in the defensive side of the game?), so I turned off the game to watch repeats of The Office, because it made me less crabby than the game was making me.  So today, I've decided that for those who haven't been to Target Field, that I would put together sort of a "what to expect/bring with" guide for Target Field to help better prepare others (given that I have been to 8 games so far there).

What will you need to bring with you to Target Field?
Well quite honestly, it depends on what mother nature decides to do on that given day, but I would suggest regardless if it is raining, to bring with: 
1. A poncho (the come in packs of 2 and are small to carry with you.  They fit easily in a bag that for the men out there, could be a backpack).
2. A sweatshirt (or other long sleeved item.)  If you haven't ever sat in the seats you will be sitting you, you may not know if you are underneath the overhang or not.  If you are under the overhang on a sunny (50-60 degree day), you will be cold and want sleeves.  A lady who sat next to Katie on Sunday learned this quickly (she complained the entire game).
3. A blanket.  The night games tend to cool off a lot more than the day games, and considering we are in Minnesota, it can get quite cool at night.  It makes it easier to be more comfortable while sitting in the hard plastic seats for the entirety of the game.  Plus, if the chair gets too uncomfortable, you can always use your blanket as a cushion to sit on.
4. An umbrella.  Sure this goes along with the poncho, but my theory is to always be safe, rather than sorry and miserable.
5. Mittens.  I'm a freeze baby, and those games that I've sat in the shade, or it's dipped down low enough to be a tad bit cold, mittens (just the cheap 1.49 light-weight mittens) were my best friend and kept my hands oh so warm.
6. Good shoes to walk/stand in.  You will do some walking from parking spots/light rail to the new stadium, and also once you get inside.  There are so many things to see once inside Target Field, that you want to be comfortable.

Where do I park/what's the best way to get to Target Field?
I prefer to drive downtown myself, because I don't want to have to wait for a long period of time after the game to get back on the lightrail (I've been told that the line moves quickly, but when the game doesn't get over with until around 10pm for night games, I want to get home as quickly as I can).  I wouldn't suggest parking in any lot that is more than $7.  There are PLENTY of lots around the field that range from $3-$7 for parking, all within a couple blocks of Target Field.  Don't waste your money at the places that try to rip you off and make you pay $10-$20.  It's nuts.  Day games during the week, however, are a different story.  Most ramps and surface lots are used for people who work downtown, and a lot of them also fill up before 10am, so it will make it more difficult to find a cheap, affordable parking spot.  Expect to pay more on these games (however, don't settle on the first lot you find, there may be a cheaper option only a block or two further away.).

What are the best things to see at the new field?
My favorite place at the new stadium, inside the gates, is quite possibly Hrbek's.  It's so incredible (there are tiles on the ceiling that you really have to see in order to know how neat they really are.).  Kent Hrbeck has all of the jersey he has worn in his baseball career (high school included) displayed on the wall, along with some really neat artwork.

Be sure to notice the wind wall (alongside the ABC Parking Ramp B).  It's the largest piece of artwork in the Twin Cities.  It's a wall of small stainless steel plates that moves with the wind.  It almost looks like smoke when it gets moving.
I think the statues outside of the field are neat to see too.  Two of them (Kirby Puckett and Harmon Killebrew) are right by each other (near the ABC Parking Ramp B (the one you see behind the right-center field), but it takes a little searching to find Rod Crew (he's near the ABC Parking Ramp A, near 7th street), he's off a little ways, but worth the walk to see.  The Golden Glove is also really neat (and huge), and worth the wait in line to get your picture sitting/standing in the glove.  The line moves fairly fast, and as long as you have some time to kill, you might as well do it.

What's the best food to try at the new field?
Quite honestly, I've only had the french fries, and some ice cream at the new stadium.  I'm too frugal to spend $9.50 on a burger and fries.  The prices of the food have increased this year, so bring more money with you if you plan to eat there.  I've noticed that for plain nachos (like they had at the Dome last year) have stayed relatively the same price, as I've been told, have hotdogs.  I don't really care for hotdogs, much less Schweigert's hotdogs.  Those just gross me out even more, so I tend to steer clear from hotdogs all together.
Is there a spot the players come out after the games to sign autographs like at the Dome?
Sadly, the parking for the Twins players is now under the new stadium.  It's a player/personnel only lot, so you're chances of getting there are slim.  Plus I doubt any of the players will be signing post games this season.

If anyone has other questions that they would like to know answers to, feel free to post a comment and ask.  I'll respond to them quickly.  If I don't know the answer for you, I'll try to find out the answer.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Just Like A Banana...Split

 Although the Twins didn't win this 4-game series against the Orioles, they sure played a couple great games Saturday night and Sunday.  The bats for the Twins just seem to be quieted on Thursday night, none able to score any runs against the worst team in MLB.  Carl Pavano didn't pitch poorly at all either in Thursday's outing.  He only allowed a total of 2 runs (both earned) in his 8 innings of work.  Why can't the Twins muster up 2 measly runs or more to give poor Carl Pavano a little support. This season, so far, Carl has only allowed more than 2 runs in one of his six appearances.  I think this speaks very promising of the kind of pitcher Carl will be for us for this season.

On the note of having a bad day, boy did Justin Morneau seem to have a bad day at the plate on Sunday.  When that man has a bad day, he goes all out!  He struck out 4 of 4 times during the game.  Only 1 other game this season has he struck out every time up to the plate (this one was his season high so far, the other was only 3 at bats, and the other game he struck out 3 times, he also paired that with 2 walks).  I do find this season a bit humorous for Justin, he uses "Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution" for his at-bat music.  The last time that Justin has this song for what he entered to, was the year he was MVP.  Do you think he's trying to regain that title again this year and take it away from his buddy Joe Mauer, who's got it the last two seasons?

Yesterday as well seemed to have a feel like I was in an episode of the Twilight Zone.  Alexi Casilla was one of the best hitters of the game.  He went 2 for 4, with a double and an RBI.  This is not a regular thing for Alexi.  He hasn't had more than one hit in any of the few games he's played so far this season, yet Gardy still prefers to play him over Brendan Harris (while JJ Hardy is out).

Brendan Harris was also another great asset for the Twins yesterday, he went 3 for 4 with a double, he wasn't able to get any RBI's, because it didn't seem like the guys who were in the line up before him could get on base to give him the opportunity.  I'd honestly like to see more of Brendan Harris at 3rd (or short stop when JJ is unable to play).  I think Brendan has a great throwing arm, and he's willing to dive for the ball and make some great plays in the field.  I think Gardy has a tendency to put Brendan on the shelf and not use him, for what reason, I'm not entirely sure.

This season, there seems to be a lot of smack talk about Timmy (Scott Baker).  Sure, I know, his first few outings could have gone better.  But after seeing him pitch, in my opinion, his best outing of the season on Saturday night, I think he's shown us the kind of potential that he is capable of.  He only allowed 1 earned run in 8 innings pitched, which is the second time this season that he's only allowed one run.  That run was a home run given up to Luke Scott in the 5th inning (a solo shot).

Next (provided the rain stays away long enough to not interrupt or post-pone the games), the Twins face off against division rivals, the Chicago White Sux.  It'll be the first series (though a only two game series) that I will miss seeing any of the games.  So far, I have been to 8 games, and all 8 of the games I have been to, the Twins have won.  I like being on this winning streaks and I think my "luck" will truly be tested at the Yankees game I go to at the end of this month.  Let's hope my luck continues and I do prove to be a good luck charm for the Twins.  It'd be nice...maybe I could get some free tickets as a result.  I definitely wouldn't mind, nor pass those up.

Now enjoy some more pictures during this gloomy off day the Twins have today. (pictures are from Saturday night and Sunday's games)
(nope, Justin wasn't looking for a ball, just day dreaming)