August 11, 2018

Here and there, a few moments with the Twins

Perhaps I’ve been too hard on baseball writer, Roger Angell. I will admit to a growing sense of frustration as I read “Game Time,” a collection of his stories that spans at least 40 years, and wonder: All those years hanging around the diamond and he never wrote about the Twins?

It turns out, at least in this book, that he does indirectly mention the Twins in a piece about pitcher Bob Gibson.

Gibson detested being told what to throw by his catchers. During the 1965 All-Star game in Minnesota, Joe Torre, who was behind the plate, comes out to the mound to talk about pitching to Tony Oliva.

There was the one in Minnesota, when I was catching him and we were ahead 6-5, I think, in the ninth. I’m catching, and Tony Oliva, a great hitter, is leading off, and Gibby goes strike one, strike two. Now, I want a fastball up and in. … So I got out and tell him, and Gibby just gives me that look of his. Doesn’t say a word. I go back and squat down and give him the signal — fastball up and in — and he throws it down and in and Oliva hits it for a double to left center. To this day, I think Gibby did it on purpose. He didn’t want to be told anything.

Angell also writes about the 1991 World Series (How could he not, right?) and yet spills most of his ink on the Atlanta Braves during their National League championship series, and the team’s eventual appearance in the series opposite the Twins. The Twins, unfortunately, are reduced to cliché: Jack Morris is the old battler (“ferocious and durable”) and the Metrodome, we are reminded, is noisy. But Angell does a nice job of summing up just how incredible that series was.

This World Series is over, and we can watch its departure only with gratitude — a great ocean liner, brilliant with lights and the sounds of celebration, slipping off down the dark waters, not soon to come this way again.

Extra innings…

-About a week ago, I implored the Twins to stand up and show their true colors: Were they winners or losers? Well… I got my answer and it pains me to say that they lost three of four games to the Cleveland Indians, and lost the first game of a three game series to the Detroit Tigers. The Twins are now 11 games back of the Tribe.

-Meanwhile, Falvey & Co. continue to remake the Twins after they dealt closer Fernando Rodney to the surprising Oakland A’s for a pitching prospect. And there has been bad news: Starter Adalberto Mejia, who began to show promise, is back on the disabled list with a sore wrist. However, infielder Logan Forsythe, who came to the Twins via the Brian Dozier deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers, is hitting better than .400 the past week.

August 6, 2018

Will the real Twins please stand up?

I can’t figure this team out: The Twins swept the Toronto Blue Jays, lost both series to the Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians, and won Sunday to sweep those pesky Kansas City Royals. So, will this team put it all together or not? If this team has flipped a switch, they’ve done it at... Continue Reading »

August 5, 2018

Remembering Bill Rigney, baseball manager

I continue to work my way through “Game Time,” a collection of stories by renowned baseball writer, Roger Angell, best known for his work with the New Yorker magazine. Angell, who was born in 1920, is still among us, which means he’s been writing about baseball for at least 50 years. And yet in all... Continue Reading »

August 4, 2018

Well, there’s always next year Twins fans

The 2018 season ended Wednesday for the Twins after they went quietly in a 2-0 loss to the Cleveland Indians. The Tribe’s Carlos Carrasco dominated Twins hitters and the Indians took two out of three games to win the series. The season, of course, isn’t over for the Twins, but for all intents and purposes... Continue Reading »

August 1, 2018

Farewell, Brian Dozier

The July 31 trade deadline has come and gone and the Twins have said goodbye to five players, including longtime second baseman, Brian Dozier, who was dealt to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday. Dozier, until Tuesday, had only known one team in his major league career: The Twins. He spent seven seasons with the... Continue Reading »

July 31, 2018

Amid a flurry of deals, a walk-off win for the Twins

Despite losing two more players to other teams, the Twins appeared unfazed in their return to Target Field and beat the Cleveland Indians, 5-4, in Game 1 of their three-game series. The Twins might be 3-6 versus the Kansas City Royals this season, but they are 7-3 against the Tribe. Ervin Santana continues to work... Continue Reading »

July 30, 2018

I bet it was a long flight home for the Twins

Eduardo Escobar and Ryan Pressly are gone, the Twins lost their four-game series to the Boston Red Sox, and now the team is nine games behind the Cleveland Indians in the American League Central. All of this, I’m sure, contributed to a long flight home to Minneapolis from Boston. The actual flight time is about... Continue Reading »

July 28, 2018

The Twins had it… and lost it

Once Boston ace Chris Sale stepped aside, the Twins went to work on the Red Sox bullpen. The Red Sox had a 2-0 lead to that point, but the Twins scored a run in the seventh before Eddie Rosario doubled in the go-ahead runs for a 3-2 lead in the ninth. And then the wheels... Continue Reading »

July 27, 2018

Bang! Game 1 goes to the Twins

With the bases loaded and a 3-0 count to Boston’s Jackie Bradley Jr. in the bottom of the ninth at Fenway, it appeared that Twins’ closer Fernando Rodney was about to let the game get out of hand. But Rodney came back to strike out Bradley and preserve the Twins’ 2-1 victory over the Red... 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.