Thursday August 21, 2003
SPECIAL HAPPY BIRTHDAY
TWINS THOUGHTS and a SAPPY STORY
First thing today, I’d like to point to the hit counter on the left of the screen. It has officially passed the 5,000 hit point, in less than 3 months. That’s pretty exciting for me. I want to thank all of you who have frequented this site. I really hope you enjoy reading this, because I enjoy having a forum to voice my opinions and thoughts. Please be sure to tell your friends about the site as well. We have added a link on the left also where you can send me an e-mail and Subscribe to a weekly update. Basically, that will simply be an e-mail of the week’s highlights from this page. Be sure also to check out the Archives page to see what other topics I have covered. Thanks again to you all!
The Twins really needed to sweep the Indians in the short, two-game series. Last night, Brad Radke struggled in the first inning, giving up a 3-run home run to Ryan Ludwick. After that, Radke really settled down and was able to go through the 7th inning without giving up another run.
The Twins came back in the top of the 3rd inning, scoring 3 unearned runs on 3 Indians errors. You can thank the Indians defense, but I have another theory. The ‘Circle Me Bert’ phenomena finally helped. Before that half-inning, Bert circled a sign of Twins fans from Perham, MN. Those of you who have frequented this site know that that is where I am from, the town I lived in through college. Now those people weren’t pictured for long enough for me to know if I knew them, but still… is this just a coincidence that the Twins were able to score three runs during the inning that my hometown was circled? I think not!
In the act of being a fair journalist, I have to point out a couple of things that two players that I have been really hard on did right last night to create a run that proved to be the game-winner.! In the 7th, with runners on first and second and nobody out, Dustan Mohr took the saying “if first you don’t succeed, try, try again” to heart. He didn’t get the bunt down the first two pitches, but was successful on the third, getting the runners to second and third.
Then Cristian Guzman hit a pop up to the outfield grass that Torii Hunter tagged up on and scored. Because the infield was playing up, John McDonald had to go a long ways to make the catch. Despite the efforts of Bert Blyleven and Dick Bremer to convince us otherwise, I never saw a conclusive reply showing that Torii Hunter ever touched the plate. From every angle I saw, Hunter’s hand was on top of Laker’s spike until it was past home plate. It was a tough call, but I do think Tim Laker was right!
Although Torii Hunter is not hitting much at all this year, and really doing poorly in “clutch” situations, we can not question his effort. Maybe he’s trying to do too much! The play at home illustrated just how hard he is playing. He’s still playing an amazing, Gold Glove centerfield.. He’s still playing hard! I won’t question his effort, or really the effort of most of the Twins. (with the possible exceptions of Rick Reed and Cristian Guzman)
I got some flack regarding yesterday’s post on the handling of the Twins prospects, but also heard from many that agreed with me. Take a look at it and let me know what you think?
By the way, be sure to check out an article from yesterday’s Cleveland Plain Dealer that explains “The Hunter Zone”. Certainly an interesting concept, and actually one that I agree is truth.
Radke was great through 7. Hawkins was great in the 8th and Eddie Guardado picked up save #28 with a clean ninth. That’s the way we all envisioned this team’s success this season. Starter goes 7, Hawkins pitches the 8th, and Eddie closes the door in the 9th. That equation hasn’t happened much this year, until lately. Brad Radke has been great his last 5 or 6 starts. Johan Santana has been even better. Kyle Lohse appears to have turned it around again. Kenny Rogers has been solid. Hopefully Joe Mays can be effective in his return to the rotation. The starting pitching is the key to the Twins success. Hopefully they’ve turned a corner in time!
The Twins went into Cleveland and did exactly what they needed to do, swept the Indians. They also got help from the Yankees, who swept the Royals. However, the White Sox completed a sweep of the Angels, meaning the Twins are just ½ game behind both the Royals and White Sox for the lead in the AL Central. It’s going to be a race!!!
That sets up quite a series for the Twins the next 4 days. It should be very fun to watch. It should be played with great intensity! Good thing Rick Reed is on the Disabled List!!
Tonight, Kenny Rogers will pitch against the Royals Paul Abbott. On this date in 1990, thirteen years ago today, Paul Abbott made his major league debut, as a member of the Minnesota Twins against the Royals. Does this mean anything? A little extra knowledge for you- In that same game, a pitcher named Jim Campbell made his major league debut as he started the game for the Royals. Abbott took the loss in an 8-7 game. Hopefully tonight, he will take the loss again!
I was told of a great article on Joe Mauer from the New Britain Rockcats homepage. I read it last night and it truly is a great, complete article. Everything you’d want to know about Joe Mauer! Click here to check it out!
Last night, Michael Cuddyer hit a 13th inning, two-run home run to win a game for the AAA Rochester Redwings.
And finally, just so you know, Todd Zeile signed with the Montreal Expos, so he won’t be a Twin after all.
Any thoughts on the Twins, e-mail me.
SPECIAL HAPPY BIRTHDAY
I’d also like to say a special Happy Birthday to former major league pitcher John Henry Johnson. You may ask, WHO?
Johnson pitched for 8 seasons in the major leagues from 1978-1987. He compiled a career record of 26-33 record, 9 saves, with an ERA of 3.90. He played for the A’s, Rangers, Red Sox and Brewers.
So again, I’m sure you’re asking, why would Seth even bring up this man’s name?
I went to a game with my family when I was young. The Twins were playing the Red Sox at the Metrodome. Since John Henry Johnson was with the Red Sox in 1983 or 1984, I would have been 8 or 9 years old at the time. I was standing down the third base line watching batting practice when a ground ball was hit near me. As a player came to shag the ball, I did as every other 8 or 9 year old kid would do, yell at the guy ‘Gimme the ball’. I really hope I said “please” because watching fans be so rude during batting practice is really annoying to me now. But anyway, that player was John Henry Johnson. He reached down to pick up the ball, and again I asked for it. He looked at me, and as he turned back toward the field, he said, “Well, I ran this far…” He turned back to me, and flipped me the ball. I’m sure my jaw dropped. And, I really hope I said, “Thank you!”
That was my one experience getting a ball during batting practice. That was exciting. I mean, that was 19 or 20 years ago, and I can still remember it vividly. I also remember taking the ball over to the Twins dugout and got 3 or 4 autographs on it. Actually, I now remember it was in 1984, because one of the players who autographed the ball was Kirby Puckett, and he didn’t debut with the Twins until 1984.
One of the other players to sign the ball was Dave Engle. He was an All-Star for the Twins that year. I remember being by the dugout and dropping the ball to him and asking if he’d sign it for me. He looked at it and said, “That’s a good ball. We can use it!” He proceeded to move as if he was going to drop the ball in their ball bag. I almost cried! But then he said, “Just kidding” and signed it for me.
So you ask, where is that ball? Boy, do I wish I knew! I’m assuming that we went out and played catch with it. I would love to still have that ball. I’d have it in one of those protective holders and hold it in a prominent spot of my place. Sell it? Are you kidding? I would never even consider it!
But anyway, Thanks again, and Happy 47th Birthday to John Henry Johnson!
That’s it for today! Hopefully there will be great things to talk about tomorrow. Hopefully I can talk about a Twins win over the Royals, coupled with a White Sox loss to the Texas Rangers, and the Twins being in first place for the first time in a long time!!!
Any thoughts or comments, feel free to send me an e-mail.
Have a great Thursday!
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