August 18, 2017

It’s official: I have seen the Twins play baseball at Target Field

There was no rain, baseball was played and the Twins finally beat the Cleveland Indians Thursday after losing the first two games of the three-game series. More important for me and my son: We got to see the Twins play after Wednesday’s game was rained out, resulting in a doubleheader Thursday. The Twins lost 9-3 in Game 1 and won 4-2 in Game 2, thanks to a Max Kepler home run, his 15th.

Kepler wasn’t in the starting lineup, but filled in for starting right fielder Robbie Grossman after Grossman collided with center fielder Byron Buxton during the game and fractured his left thumb, according to MLB.com. It was an odd play. It looked to be a routine fly and yet somehow they miscommunicated.

In addition to seeing the Twins play and win, Hall of Fame pitcher Bert Blyleven tossed us another autographed ball for the second night in a row. Thanks again, Bert!

Ervin Santana gets the ball on Friday.

Extra innings…

-Triple-A callup Aaron Slegers started Thursday’s game for the Twins. After the Indians scored 17 runs off Twins pitching in the first two games, Slegers limited the Tribe to two hits and two runs over six-plus innings. He came away with a no-decision after a blown save, but the bullpen held on to get the eventual win and save. Slegers is 6-foot-10.

-Before the game, we spent the afternoon at the Mall of America so that my son could indulge his interest in video games. The mall was built on the former Metropolitan Stadium site, so we tracked down the location of home plate. We found it:

-Truth be told, my five-year-old son lasted only five innings before he wanted to leave Thursday’s game and play some baseball of his own. We purchased a Max Kepler bat and ball at the team store, then headed out to a patch of grass that sits outside Target Field near left field. That’s also the location of an outdoor TV monitor where fans can sit and watch games. We played ball while keeping an eye on Thursday’s action. Another father-and-son team joined us, so we had a batter, pitcher and two outfielders, and played baseball on a warm and breezy evening in downtown Minneapolis. It was a nice end to the day.

-Some more Blyleven stats: 3,701 strikeouts (5th all time), 242 complete games, 60 shutouts and a career ERA of 3.31.

August 16, 2017

We traveled 1,600 miles to see the Twins and the game was rained out

Wednesday’s game against the Cleveland Indians was rained out almost immediately after a Northwest-like storm swept through the area, including flash flood warnings. But it’s not a total loss: The makeup game is set for Thursday, which means we will still be able to see a game before we leave. And Wednesday’s experience, despite the... Continue Reading »

August 15, 2017

We made it to Minnesota, home of the Twins

We left Seattle aboard Amtrak’s Empire Builder at 4:40 p.m. Sunday and arrived in St. Paul at Union Depot about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday. Some observations: -It was crowded: Forty-five people got on at Whitefish, Montana, and the train was sold out from that point forward. The conductor had his hands full trying to mix and... Continue Reading »

August 13, 2017

Yes, it’s finally happening

I’ve been a Twins fan for more than 30 years. I’ve seen them (and Kirby Puckett) play exhibition games at Civic Stadium in Portland, Oregon, and I’ve seen them a number of times in Seattle to battle the Mariners, both in the Kingdome and at Safeco Field. But I’ve never seen them in Minnesota until... Continue Reading »

August 12, 2017

Twins win 6 straight to retake second place in AL Central

The Twins’ longest winning streak of the season has come at the right time. After a dreadful road trip to end July, the Twins have bounced back to win six straight games, including a four-game sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers. The win streak has lifted the team into second place in the American League Central.... Continue Reading »

August 8, 2017

Don Baylor, who hit key home run in ’87 World Series, dies at 68

Don Baylor, who spent late 1987 with the Twins during their first World Series win, died Monday after a long battle with cancer, according to various reports. He was 68. Baylor was best known for his years with the California Angels, including 1979, the year he was named the league’s MVP. But near the end... Continue Reading »

August 7, 2017

Ho-hum: Twins split 4-game series with Rangers

It wasn’t a sweep and it wasn’t a series win, it was merely a four-game split with the Texas Rangers. That’s good enough for the Twins to keep their heads above water, but not good enough for the club to gain any ground on the Cleveland Indians. But at least they won on Sunday and... Continue Reading »

August 3, 2017

A win, at last

It’s not even Thursday as I write this and yet it has been a long week for the Minnesota Twins. The team has struggled of late, management changed course dramatically on Sunday and Monday, and the Twins showed up punchless on Tuesday and lost 3-0 to the lowly San Diego Padres.  To make matters worse,... Continue Reading »

July 31, 2017

There goes the Twins’ season, folks. So say Falvey & Co.

It appears the Twins’ Falvey & Co. — Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey, General Manager Thad Levine and Assistant GM Rob Antony — have decided to not go all in on the remainder of the season after they traded left-handed starter Jaime Garcia to the New York Yankees on Sunday. Garcia made one start for... Continue Reading »

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Hi, I’m Rolf Boone and I love the Twins.

I became a fan of the Minnesota Twins after a friendly wager in the early 1980s. I survived Ron Davis, the meltdown in Cleveland, Phil Bradley at the Kingdome and then marveled at a rising generation of stars and two World Series wins in 1987 and 1991. Brad Radke made the 1990s bearable, while Kirby Puckett’s eye injury, exit from the game and eventual death made it almost too much to bear. The new century ushered in more talent — Joe Mauer, Johan Santana, Joe Nathan, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau — and consecutive seasons of playoff baseball, followed by consecutive seasons of losing baseball. A winning season returned in 2015. So here we are. Go Twins.