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.

Monday, April 11, 2011

8th Inning Wonder Boy - Opening Weekend

This was NOT the 8th inning...
It's tough to be a strong team offensively when your star player is not getting any hits until the 8th inning of all three of the games during the home stand.  I kept track (via keeping score) and Joe Mauer got a base hit in all three games vs. Oakland during the 8th inning.  Odd, right? I know, the hits will come for him and for the rest of them team, we just have to give it time.  Quite honestly though, I don't like watching them lose, especially when I'm at the game!
Thanks to Shawn Lavelle for taking this great shot of the fly over!
 I was very thankful Friday, that the Twins followed the unspoken rule about a Team's Home Opener. (The home team must win the opener.)  It was a great day outside, weather was lovely and the sky was blue.  I met up with a few other fellow bloggers/twitter folks at the stadium (a new face and a few I already have met!)  It was funny because Jacquie (@Minnie_Jax) and I were sitting in the same section (that was our first time meeting).
I was quite happy with the seats we had and extremely happy to be back at Target Field watching baseball.  I didn't realize how much I missed it until I was there.  I was like a kid in a candy store when I saw the players on the field for batting practice.

Nathan warming up

Slowey playing catch

I was sad to learn of Slowey going on the DL, but I understand the Twins wanting to put him on there so that they are able to get additional help in the meanwhile, until he is healed and able to pitch.  I think the problem that caused this is that he went from being a starting pitcher to a pitcher Gardy wants to use back-to-back-to-back.  It's got to be difficult on his arm and surely something that he's not used to.  I think there should at least be a little transition time before he's used so regularly out of the bullpen.  There are plenty of other guys we can use. (I know some times that is easier said that done and that pitchers have bad outings).

Saturday was another fun day filled with Twins baseball.  That morning, I got to work at Fan HQ for the Scott Baker signing and even sit at the table with him (handing him pens and keeping people moving through the autograph line).  I had such a blast sitting there with him.  Didn't care to be in almost EVERY picture from the event, but it was worth it.  I asked him about why he goes by Scott instead of his real first name of Timothy and he said "that's just what my parents always called me [Scott].  My wife actually goes by her middle name too."  I thought that was pretty interesting.
I also talked to him about the Faith and Family nights the Twins used to do at the Metrodome with KTIS.  On these nights, a few Twins players would give their testimony and then there was a post-game concert from a Christian artist (Matthew West and Jars of Clay were ones I went to).  It was a lot of fun both years that I went.  I learned that Baker didn't speak at the one with Jars of Clay because he was the starting pitcher the next day.  He told me he was going to talk to the team Chaplin about why they haven't done one since the new move. (Which we both figured was probably because they don't want the field to get ruined with the stage.)

one of the cuter pictures I'm in with Baker (photo courtesy of Fan HQ)
I also made cupcakes for the Scott Baker signing at Fan HQ (I was jokingly told I had to make "Baked goods for Baker" to sit a the table.  I followed through with it for fun.)  I brought Red Velvet cupcakes and offered one to Baker if he wanted one.  He did end up taking one before he left and then had 4 other cupcakes packaged up to take with him.  He said "I'll take these to the clubhouse.  They'll get ate right up!"  I'm really quite curious to know who had one of the cupcakes I made...it makes me really excited, but nervous at the same time for the Twins players to be eating cupcakes that I made!
Baker, me and the home made cupcakes (yes, they have TC's and Twins written on them)!
I sure hope they liked the cupcakes (whoever got them!).  I know Michael Cuddyer didn't get one.  He tweeted me back after I asked him if he had one.  Guess I'll have to make more next time!

Saturday night was also full of Twins, but this time baseball.  It was a good game, other than the fact that we couldn't manage to get any hits to save our lives.  It was quite sad that we managed to lose that game 1-0 on an unearned run (Casilla error).  I like most people am fed up with Casilla's poor defense at short stop.  I quite honestly would like to see Casilla at second and have Gardy put Nishioka at SS (of course when he's healthy again).
Looks like Kevin Slowey is licking his lips...maybe he had a cupcake!
Luke Hughes must think Minnesota is a lot colder than Australia.
The new scoreboard in right-center field is pretty nice looking.  It's not quite as big as the main scoreboard, but it does help those who can't see the other one.  It's kind of amusing too, because during players at bats, it shows random tidbits about the player (see below).  Some are better than others.

The  new scoreboard in full view...along with the Twins tower
Sunday was another Twins filled day.  The offense seemed quite lack luster again, with the exception of Justin Morneau.  He went 3-4 Sunday and got some good contact on the ball.  It's good to see Justin hitting the ball again (heck it's good just to see him out on the field playing).  The best part about Sunday was another Target Field proposal.

This proposal however (the first of the season) wasn't quite the same as most of them.  The couple up on the screen kissed when they initially were shown and then the message appeared on the screen.  The camera sat on the couple waiting for the man to give the ring to the woman.  The couple just kept staring at the camera...soon the woman mouths "That's not us." and the camera quickly scans the crowd trying to find the actual couple.  This may be better than seeing people on the Kiss Cam say "that's my sister".  A friend of mine said that he ran into the couple (the wrong one) and they've been married for 4 years.  OOPS!

Sunday also marked a day where I got to watch a home run sail over the center field wall (where the trees used to be).  Thome marked his career 590th home run!  I sure hope I'm there to witness 600 this year!  Congrats to Jim Thome!

Tomorrow marks another game for me.  I won't catch a break until the last Wednesday of the month (other than the road games.)  I however am by no means complaining about going to Twins games.  I LOVE every minute of it, win or lose. (I hope it changes soon to more winning than losing however.)

I'm sure I'll have more pictures after these games and I'll try to recap each series, or more.  Welcome back to baseball season everyone!

Home Opener view of Target Field (thanks to Shawn Lavelle for use of this photo too!)

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