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Let's Play Two !!

"Mr. Cub" Ernie Banks made it famous, the twins took it literally.

The last time I saw the Twins play it was an exercise in boredom. The ugly dome, the ugly field, an ugly game filled with strikeouts, walks, and fly balls lost in the grey dome ceiling.

This time though I bought much better tickets, row 15 right along the first base line, they had a new field which made the whole place seem more "outdoor", and the game itself had a lot more action. This was a great experience.

 

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Outside the dome

The announced attendence was 25,976 which seemed like a good number of people but seemed sparse in the big dome. The Twins had no trouble getting some hits off Mulder despite my fears, but Oakland roared back and it looked like they might steal this outing. But Christian Guzman tied the game with a lead off homer in the 8th inning to tie it up 3-3. And that's how regulation ended.
 
That's also how the 10th inning ended, and the 11th, and the 12th. By now we had witnessed over 4 hours of baseball, and while my son and I were just settling in for what promised to be a momentous afternoon and possibly night, all was not well with my wife and more so my young daughter. Thankfully my son did not put up too much fuss and we left after 12.
 
Doing some quick calculations, and unsure of Minnesota's local customs, I figured we had enough time to walk over to an "Old Spaghetti Factory" that we had seen on our way in and have supper without moving our vehicle out of the lot. I thought the place would get packed once the game was over and that would be the impetus for me to check on the family vehicle.
 
We had our 'paghetti as the youngest calls it, I amazed the family by actually ordering the Spumone ice cream instead of the chocolate, and then I finally saw some diners wander in wearing Twins regalia. I stopped one and asked how the game went, and was informed that he had left after the 15th inning.
 
As we finished our meal I went to the restroom where I asked another apparent Twins fan about the game and was informed he had left in the middle of the 17th inning.
 
We discussed the possibility as we walked back to the car, of going back into the dome since the game was still going on. We wisely decided not to and as I put on the game on the radio as we left the parking lot we found out that the A's had indeed lit it up for 3 runs in the top of the 18th. 6-3 A's and I made speed, anticipating some traffic would soon be leaving the dome area.
 
On the way to see Minnehaha Falls we listened as Canadian product Justin Morneau hit a 2 run homer to bring the Twins within 1 run. This was certainly turning into the wildest game I almost saw. Sadly, I suppose, the Twins came up a tad bit short and the game ended there at 6-5 for the A's.
 

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click for full size

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Two of our tickets

Now I'm not the biggest baseball fan in the world (it trails behind both Hockey and Football by a long way), but now that the Expos are no more, the Twins have taken over as my team of choice. Geographically they are close to Winnipeg. They are the underdogs who overperform. Their manager makes me laugh every time I see him because he's a dead ringer for wrestler Scott Steiner. And they have two Canadians in the line-up including of course Corey Koskie from Anola, Manitoba who played for the Elmwood Giants junior baseball program from my childhood neck of the woods in East Kildonan.
 
I was really pumped to see them play Oakland, as it was two teams leading their divisions, with my only hesitation being that Oakland was sending Mulder to the mound. At that time he was still considered to be a leading candidate for the Cy Young award, and I was afraid of seeing a repeat performance of many years ago with the Twins unable to get the bat on the ball.

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Twins had played 6,945 games since moving to Minnesota in 1961, only four have been longer.
 
  • Aug 31, 1993 Cleveland 22 innings, W 5-4
  • May 12, 1972 Milwaukee 22 innings, L 4-3
  • August 9, 1967 Washington 20 innings, L 9-7
  • August 25, 1976 @ New York 19 innings, L 5-4
  • August 8, 2004 Oakland 18 innings, L 6-5

"Let's Play Two" Ernie Banks