Posted at 6:05 PM on October 3, 2006
by David Zingler
11:30 am: The Metrodome is in its usual playoff form. There is sparse bunting and a “Division Series” logo painted near both foul lines. The most notable addition is the large “2006 Central Division Champions” banner hanging on the folded seats in right center next to the “baggie.” The curtain that covers much of the upper-deck in right field is gone. The retired numbers are now on relatively small, flat baseballs hanging on the facing of the upper deck just above the press box. Aside from the before-mentioned 2006 banner, there is nothing commemorating any of the Twins division, league or world championships.
11:35 am: In a clash of the titans, Twins bullpen catcher Aron Amundson triumphs over TV anchorman and former Twins farmhand Mike Pomeranz and TC the Bear in the pre-game softball homerun hitting contest. Amundson hits four balls into the left-centerfield seats from the second base area, Pomeranz two, TC just one.
12:11 pm: A’s leadoff hitter Jason Kendall strikes out to start the game and loses his bat in the process.
12:21 pm: American League batting champ Joe Mauer is greeted with raucous applause as he heads to the batter’s box for his first playoff at-bat. (He would ground out to second).
1:00 pm: As I head to relieve myself in the troth, I notice that the concession stand lines have all but clogged the Metrodome’s concourse.
1:02 pm: The are no lines in the men’s bathroom, so I get back in time to see Nick Punto drop a drag bunt and slide head-first into first base. The play is close, but he is out. Luis Castillo moves to second.
1:05 pm: Michael Cuddyer flies out to end the 4th, leaving Castillo stranded at third. The Twins still do not have a hit.
1:13 pm: Justin Morneau teases the listless Homer Hanky holders by lifting a fly ball to deep left-center. Unfortunately it lands in Mark Kotsay’s glove.
1:36 pm: Frank Thomas is nearly gunned out by Michael Cuddyer at first base after hitting what looked like a routine single to right. (Shouldn’t have made the “Big Hurt” angry.)
1:48 pm: With his circle machine in storage, Bert Blyleven sings the “Take me out to the Ballgame” with his arm around TC. (No f-bombs were dropped.)
2:03 pm: The day’s attendance is announced. 55,542 people cheer.
2:14 pm: “Big Hurt’s” second homerun ball is tossed back onto the field (his first was not). Too little too late.
2:41 pm: The humid concourse is jammed full of irate hometown fans. Defiant ushers guard the non-rotating doors. More than one person voices their displeasure about the unused doors. (Wonder who would do a thing like that).
2:54 pm: I’m on the Light Rail headed home.
I have few dreams left before I pass on. But one is catching a ball at Major League Baseball game.
What the heck are people who throw them back thinking? Do they regret it later... when the cheers of 55,000 people they don't know and will never see again begin to fade. You know... about 15 seconds later?
I see your point, but a baseball is just a small, white sphere that will collect dust somewhere......how many times do 55,000 people cheer for something you do??
This year I've had two friends who have either got a homerun ball, or got a crushed hand after not getting a homerun ball. What's interesting to me is that they were both at the same level of enthusiam about it. The guy who missed the ball was just as excited afterwards as the person who got one.
But how many times does a ball go right to you out of 55,000 people? I'd keep it.
Well, I'd like to think I'd toss it to the closest kid but I'm unlikely to be in the "catch a major league baseball" scenario so I guess we'll never know.
What about those people who relentlessly bring their gloves when attending games? Eternal optimists or lugging one more darn thing into the dome?
there are banners for the championship teams in the left field corner at the top of the lower level. (the same wall the has the faces and dates of twins players.) you have to look hard, but they are there.
Interesting take but not useless if you ask me ;)
Tough loss today. I think they have it in them to make the comeback and advance, but it's gonna be rough with the A's pitching. Here's hoping they'll start to produce on Friday with less than 2 outs!