Posted at 9:10 AM on August 9, 2006
by David Zingler
Itís August and Rickey Henderson has not played one inning of professional baseball. Rickey hasnít drawn a walk, stolen a base, scored a run or made a snatch catch Ė anywhere. The last time a pro baseball season went Rickey-free, Gerald Ford was in the White House, Saigon fell, Jimmy Hoffa was reported missing and a young couple named Bill and Hillary got hitched.
Curiously, Rickey has yet to announce his retirement. (There was a brief blurb on ESPN last winter that Rickey had retired, but it was denied the following day.) Thereís been no press release, press conference or emotional speech. Rickey was never one to shy away from attention, so has he changed in his old age or he is pondering a comeback? I am hoping for the former and looking forward to his Hall of Fame speech in 2009.
Posted at 12:31 PM on August 9, 2006
by Ben Tesch
An excerpt from When I'm 64 by Garrison Keillor:
It dawns on me that my Minnesota Twins do better if I'm not there cheering for them. I leave town and they have a big winning streak. I go to a game, and our pitcher gets in trouble right away, our clutch hitters hit into double plays with the bases loaded. The team rallies when I go out for a bratwurst, but once I'm back in my seat, our relief ace gives up a cheap home run. This is humbling.
Alot of my friends have similar superstitions as fans. Some haven't been to a game at the Metrodome where the Twins have lost. Some are just the opposite. Some have lucky jerseys or hats, just as the players might. Do you have any superstitions as a fan, or have some friends or family who are running an eerily long streak of something involving the Twins?
Posted at 11:23 PM on August 9, 2006
by Josh Lee
"The sky is falling! The sky is falling!"
"What's wrong, Chicken Little?"
"Liriano is on the DL, and Garza can't replace him because he's already pitching in Smith/Boof/Baker's slot, and we're running out of totally awesome prospects to call up, and the bullpen's getting really tired, and, and --"
"Chick, you're hyperventilating. Take a deep breath, and get to the point."
"Our starting rotation is in shmbles!"
"Now Chicken Little, don't you think you're blowing things just a little out of proportion?"
"But we're going to have to try Scott or Boof again, and their egos are already shot! Or maybe start Neshek, or Guerrier, or call Bert out of retirement, or --"
"Easy now, Chickles. There's more to a baseball team than the back end of the rotation. You should try to be more like Bradke and Santana. You don't see them freaking out and running around like chickens with their heads cut off --"
"Sorry. But it's not all about hot-shot rookies, you know. Sometimes you just have to follow your veterans' leads. Like last night, when the team rode a stone-cold Bradke performance to a win over the Tigers. Or tonight, when Santana racked up 10 strikeouts while giving up only four hits."
"Well, they are pretty great. But they'll never be enough to carry the team past the Sox, or the other Sox."
"The pitching staff don't have to do it all on their own, you know. Every night, it seems like a different player steps up to the plate and finds a way to put the Twins ahead, whether it's Luis Castillo going 4-for-4 with a walk and two stolen bases, or Joe Mauer riding a nine-game hitting streak. And then there's Justin Morneau, who tonight became the first Minnesota player since 1987 to hit 30 homers and 100 RBI in a season. The Twins aren't totally built around pitching and defense anymore; now they've got real bats to boot."
"Wow, maybe the Twins aren't out of it yet. Do you really think they'll make the playoffs?"
"I don't know if they will, Chicken Little, but if they can pull out a series win like this over the league leaders, I really have to believe that they can."