"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Of All the Gin Joints In All the World…

…Why’d it have to be the Twins?

First of all, I’m going to be very careful not to get too jinxy here – ahem, Mayor Bloomberg, what the hell?!  – because of course it’s entirely possible that the Twins will come back; they’re plenty good enough to win three games in a row. (Not that I actually believe in jinxes, of course. I would never walk all the way down five flights and two blocks over to find a tree so I could knock on wood because there was none in my platic-metal-glass office, for example. Nope, never done anything like that, certainly not during the 2005 postseason, not that it worked anyway).

That said, it’s not looking good for the Twinkies right now, and although of course I want to see the Yanks move on, I wish it could be any other team. Minnesota’s been my second-favorite AL club for a long time now: I like how they’ve managed to succeed with a small market and a relatively small payroll; I loved reading about them on Bat-Girl back in the day; I have issues with some of his strategic movies but I find Ron Gardenhire to be a likeable and twinkly little baseball gnome; I am in awe of Joe Mauer even though there’s no way he’s actually that wholesome and one day I’m sure they’ll find a bunch of heads in his freezer or something. I liked Joe Nathan, I like Orlando Hudson, because I am a red-blooded American I of course adore Jim Thome, and then I always root for my guy Denard Span, the only other Span I’ve ever come across outside of immediate family.

The presence of useless wretch Carl Pavano helps, of course, but even he can’t make the Twins unlikeable all by his lonesome.

Back in August, I went to Minnesota for a college friend’s wedding on a bison farm outside of Rochester (not a typo). My traveling companion and I figured, how the hell often are we gonna be in Minnesota? So we flew in a day early, got standing-room tickets, and drove our rental car the 90 miles up to the Twin Cities. The park itself is lovely (only complaint: they need to get something better than a few dull-looking trees out there in center field), but I was more impressed by how psyched the fans were – for outdoor baseball, for their first-place club, for Jim Thome.

Also, the cheese curds. Mmmm… cheese curds.

Their fans were enthusiastic and engaged without being quite so rabid as I’m used to here in New York – which has both advantages and drawbacks, I suppose (I grew up surrounded by rabid fanbases, and a game watched without surrounding spittle and bile doesn’t quite seem like a game to me). Almost everyone at the ballpark seemed to have some kind of Twins gear, and even though Carl Pavano got crushed by the White Sox, the crowd never turned sour or hostile. (They did boo A.J. Pierzynski every time he came up, but that’s both understandable and praiseworthy). It was just a nice atmosphere, and while I’m generally used to shrugging it off and enjoying myself when the Yankees crush small-market competitors, I feel no bloodlust for the Twins. I hope they lose tomorrow, but I want the best for them.

If they do come back and beat the Yanks somehow, then as soon as I get past a brief mourning period, they’ll have my support all the way. And if they don’t… well, I hope they run into somebody else next year.

[Photo via 1) http://www.gephartelectric.com and 2) stolen from my traveling companion without even asking]

Categories:  Bronx Banter  Emma Span  Playoffs  Yankees

Tags:  ALDS  Minnesota Twins

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1 Just Fair   ~  Oct 8, 2010 6:34 pm

The only reason I care about the Twins is they've been Rochester's farm team since '03. I've seen some big leaugers who have wound up losing to the Yanks in the playoffs. : ) Not to mention Matt Garza. Cack.
Is it Saturday night, yet?

2 Just Fair   ~  Oct 8, 2010 6:35 pm

Oh, and Utley's got nothing on Cano. hee-hee. 2 bad errors in one inning.

3 RIYank   ~  Oct 8, 2010 6:48 pm

I do miss Bat-Girl.

Just Fair, that's kind of unFair of you, calling the Twins Rochester's farm team!

Also, this: Melky Cabrera is batting fifth for the Braves. Good for Melk! Not so good for the Braves.

4 The Hawk   ~  Oct 8, 2010 6:48 pm

I've wondered about knocking on a tree, if it really counts as knocking on wood. Now I have my answer and now I know why 2005 didn't work out.

5 rbj   ~  Oct 8, 2010 6:49 pm

Pavano kills the deal for me. Any of the other teams is fine (no Boston), but not the Twins simply because of Pavano.

I could even have rooted for Bonds. Or Dodgers era Manny.

6 The Hawk   ~  Oct 8, 2010 6:49 pm

[1] Wait are you a Rochesterian?

7 Just Fair   ~  Oct 8, 2010 6:52 pm

[6] Yup.
[3] Damn you! : )

8 The Hawk   ~  Oct 8, 2010 7:01 pm

[7[ That's funny. I went to U of R and also lived there a couple years after. I was just busting my friend's balls via email about the weather. He hates it to be insinuated that it's cold or snows a lot there, for some reason.

9 Emma Span   ~  Oct 8, 2010 7:03 pm

[7] I visited your fair city in August. Would've looked you up if I'd known! You ever been to the Canadian Honker?

10 Sliced Bread   ~  Oct 8, 2010 7:10 pm

[0] that was a foolish comment by the Mayor, and it has nothing to do with the jinky jinxes. Announcing that you're planning a championship parade in the middle of the Division Series is disrespectful to the Yankees' opponent, and also suggests a lack of more important matters on your city's agenda.

The Twins? Yeah, good club, and I dig the proud, anti-obnoxious fanbase. I idolized Carew as a bat left, throw right kid 2nd baseman. They have a lot of players in their history to be proud of.

11 Sliced Bread   ~  Oct 8, 2010 7:15 pm

[9] Canadian Honker sounds like a bar, but Katy Perry comes to mind. She's Canadian, yeah?

12 RIYank   ~  Oct 8, 2010 7:32 pm

[7] I think Just Fair lives in the other Rochester.
You're talking about the Minnesotan one. He's talking about the home to Minnesota's farm team.

13 RIYank   ~  Oct 8, 2010 7:33 pm

Uh, by [7] I meant [9].
That's because of the MN -> conversion rate.

14 Just Fair   ~  Oct 8, 2010 7:33 pm

[9] Definitley not. I thought that was a Niagara Falls strip club until I googled it. Minnesota's a long drive from New York. : )
[8] Love the weather. Wouldn't trade it for the world. I love me the four seasons! Even if summer is 6 weeks long in a good year.

15 RIYank   ~  Oct 8, 2010 8:38 pm

Bottom of the sixth in Philly is just torture. I mean, I guess it's okay if you're a Phils fan. No hits, no runners have advanced on a ball in play, but BB, HBP, HBP, BB, Philadelphia scores.

16 OldYanksFan   ~  Oct 8, 2010 9:00 pm

Holy Shit!!!!!
Did anyway just see Cincy throw the game way?
Just UGLY!

17 OldYanksFan   ~  Oct 8, 2010 9:03 pm

[3] Melky (OPS+ of 83) Cabrera is batting 5th?
Maybe they would rather have AJax (102) or JD (104).....
or 2 better Defensive guys....
Brett Gardner (106) or Granderson (109).

I think Cashman's strategy worked OK.

18 RIYank   ~  Oct 8, 2010 9:05 pm

[16] Yeah, anyway saw it.
A whole lot of unearned runs in that game.

19 OldYanksFan   ~  Oct 8, 2010 9:05 pm

Man... I'm glad I'm not a Cincy fan.
They just blew the lead by giving up 3 very ugly runs.

20 The Hawk   ~  Oct 8, 2010 9:38 pm

[12] No that's the one I meant. Just Fair and I are on the same page. Having lived there, I know of the Red Wings, and a shitload of snow.

Also I don't remember seeing something quite so pathetic as the Reds' performance tonight. The key Phillies runs were all unearned, I think.

21 RIYank   ~  Oct 8, 2010 9:48 pm

[20] I know -- I mean, I knew you knew. I meant to be telling Emma in [9], who was talking about the Minnesotan one. But I just made everything even more confusing. Much like a Reds infielder. Or outfielder, for that matter.

22 thelarmis   ~  Oct 8, 2010 9:57 pm

pat the bat w/ a 3-run jack off hanson in the 1st. crappity crap.

23 thelarmis   ~  Oct 8, 2010 10:04 pm

well, that was quick. bobby cox just got ejected. call at 1st base...

24 Chyll Will   ~  Oct 8, 2010 10:47 pm

[10] Kaiser Bloomberg thinks all New Yorkers are either his house guests or lousy tenants. Knowing that, the problem I have with what he said is that everyone else will think all New Yorkers and Yankee fans think the same way, no matter what we really say (he'll just drown us out with advertising)...

25 Diane Firstman   ~  Oct 8, 2010 10:53 pm

Hi folks ... what's shaking?

26 Diane Firstman   ~  Oct 8, 2010 10:54 pm

Has any guys' potential stardom dimmed as quickly as McLouth.

27 thelarmis   ~  Oct 8, 2010 10:55 pm

braves taking out hanson after 4 innings and 61 pitches. huh.

pinch hitter. no one on, 1 out. seems silly. braves have 5 hits and zero runs in 13+ innings this postseason. why take out your starter now? he's not hurt. 5 k's, 1 walk. the homer was the main crushing blow...

28 thelarmis   ~  Oct 8, 2010 10:58 pm

[27] of course, the pinch hitter got a hit, now a walk. a veritable rally! i'll shut up now...

29 Chyll Will   ~  Oct 8, 2010 11:20 pm

[26] Lastings Milledge... oh, you meant as quickly, not quicker...

30 Chyll Will   ~  Oct 8, 2010 11:21 pm

[29] As Quickly is batting fifth for the Braves I think? >;)

31 OldYanksFan   ~  Oct 8, 2010 11:30 pm

[25] "what’s shaking?".... hmmmmmmmm
Well... The Brave finally penetrated the Giants pitching
(OK Girl... now calm down)

[26] Let's hope Joba can stay off the top 10 of that list.

So.... It's looking like all 4 teams have a 2-0 lead?
And the Yankees the only one of the four that play the next 2 at Home?

Too bad Larry 'Chipper' Jones had to miss this series.
My name happens to be Larry too. Can't really figure out what the fuck my mother was thinking. My nickname as a kid was 'Beaver'.
(OK Girl... now calm down)

32 thelarmis   ~  Oct 9, 2010 12:10 am

braves tie it off the *worst* beard ever of all-time! is that thing even real???

33 thelarmis   ~  Oct 9, 2010 12:21 am

[31] i remember you mentioning your real name a coupla times a few years back at the old banter. i have a buddy who was also named "lawrence" and it was totally not fitting for him. his mom agreed. he legally changed his name to "Jet"...

34 thelarmis   ~  Oct 9, 2010 12:23 am

pocket full o' posey works an 11-pitch at-bat off kimbrel.

result = swinging strikeout.

really good battle.

35 OldYanksFan   ~  Oct 9, 2010 1:06 am

Wow... I just noticed the Mutts finish 4 games BELOW .500.
That with a $132m payroll.
I guess you can 'buy' a pennant, but I guess you can't buy a .500 record.

36 thelarmis   ~  Oct 9, 2010 1:20 am

wow... how 'bout a splash shot for ankiel?!?!?! holy cool!!!

krazy kyle in to close it out. yikes! billy wags left with some kind of left side injury. not good...

37 thelarmis   ~  Oct 9, 2010 1:25 am

braves win!

farnsworthless closes it out.

2 more games at The Ted...


38 The Hawk   ~  Oct 9, 2010 9:12 am

I'm rooting for the Giants and the Reds, both of which games featured key errors by "my" team. I guess that 8th inning error for the Giants shouldn't be compared to the butchering performed by the Reds but still.

I really don't care too much but my mind is reeling just at the thought of that Reds-Phils game.

Speaking of Phils, I really hope he does well tonight. Girardi played it right pitching Pettitte in Minnesota, but I feel like it may have been to Hughes's detriment.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver