The orange shirt sits in the corner, and it won’t be touched again until the playoffs are over. I’ll be getting a haircut tomorrow, since these hairs on my head obviously aren’t doing their job. And the rally pistachios – 99 cents of mellow salty smoothness – won’t appear at another game.
They’re all dead to me for the remainder of October. That’s the power of the playoffs, especially when the Twins lose a game like this. There were too many Oakland hits that fell just fair. Too many Twins hits that went right at a glove. Not that it was all luck – Oakland deserved that game – but one got the feeling that things weren’t quite aligned.
I'm sure the rally pistachios did their best. I blame myself for being slow to open them before Cuddyer grounded out to end the sixth. They were distributed just prior to Rondell’s home run. And I’m giving them full credit for Cuddyer’s Metrodome-assisted “triple”.
But we can’t forget the eighth inning. Any rally token worth it’s juju MUST get the lead runner from second to third base when there’s no outs. In a day full of miscues, few of which hurt the Twins, that one felt like the difference in the game. Like the Twins effort, the legumes came to life too late and provided just enough to lose.
So tomorrow, the kids will be going to the game, I’ll be wearing the numberless Twins jersey, and wearing a hat on my neatly coifed haircut. The pistachios will be left in a bin at Cub. Time for the popcorn to step up to the plate.
Random, pistachio-free notes from yesterday’s game, featuring insight you can only get watching a game from 550 feet away...
- Maybe the biggest, and most disappointing surprise was the complete lack of Homer Hankies. It was apparent in the first inning that nobody had them, and about 10 seconds later it was apparent that nobody missed them much.
There was a part of me that was pleased, since it’s started to feel forced, and a bit more profit-oriented than in the past. Are the proceeds even going to the Twins community fund anymore? And would it kill them to give them out to attendees of the opening game?
But mostly, it’s sad, primarily because tomorrow will be my kids’ first Twins playoff game. I don’t know how they’re going to react, sitting 550 feet away from the action, following a game that they don’t completely understand, and not having the unfettered access to popcorn or ice cream that exists when the crowds are smaller. But I wanted them to experience it in part because I wanted them to feel what it’s like to be a part of 50,000 people fabricating a textile snowstorm.
And now, I think that’s gone. And I’m not sure what’s next. If the Twins come up empty tomorrow, odds are we’ll need to wait at least a year to answer that question.
- It was sure nice to see that the Twins haven't lost their ability to run themselves out of a an early inning in the playoffs. That didn’t get nearly enough attention in the 2004 ALDS because Juan Rincon gave up the home run to Ruben Sierra, but the Twins had several opportunities snuffed during that game because they were “aggressive” on the bases.
In reality, I was encouraging Luis Castillo to run. I’m not going to let that stop me from being bitter.
- The playoffs isn’t really the time to start something new, but I would’ve liked to see the Twins swap Jason Bartlett and Nick Putno in the order when they face southpaws.
- If the Twins are looking for a new revenue stream, I suggest they take a collection to make sure that Bert Blyleven NEVER leads us in singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” again. I’m in for $5. It wasn’t a stretch. It was a hymn.
Sorry folks, I’d like to talk more, especially about the danger of Santana falling in love with striking out people with his changeup, but I’m done. See you tomorrow at Game 2.