February 29, 2024

The highlights of Wednesday’s Twins game? There weren’t many

The Twins got knocked around pretty good on Wednesday, losing 12-3 to those AL East winners, the Baltimore Orioles. And the O’s took advantage of not just a bunch of pitchers trying to make the cut, but established veterans.

Pablo Lopez was tagged with the loss, allowing two runs on three hits, including a home run, across two innings.

Closer Jhoan Duran fared even worse, securing only two outs before being asked to step aside. He served up four runs on three hits and a walk with no strikeouts.

Newcomer Justin Topa coughed up another spring run and Jordan Balazovic stuck with the same theme by allowing three more runs on four hits with a walk and two whiffs.

About the only bright spot was Eddie Julien, who had two hits at the top of the order and scored a run.

There will be better days.

Extra innings …

-Although I will miss the voice of Cory Provus in the radio booth this season, the new tandem of Kris Atteberry and ex-Twin Dan Gladden is growing on me. So far I would say they have pretty good rapport and perhaps better than existed between Provus and Gladden. At times, I thought Gladden’s grumpy old man routine would get under Provus’ skin.

If there was any animosity, I imagine it was largely generational. My guess is that there is a 20-year age gap between Provus and Gladden, while I bet it’s less than that for Atteberry and Gladden. Atteberry seems to be more in tune with Gladden’s curmudgeonly humor.

Given the state of Wednesday’s game, it was no surprise that they veered onto topics unrelated to baseball. My ears perked up when they began talking about life in Japan, a country that was my home for seven years. In fact, both Gladden and I were there at the same time. While I was teaching English in Mihara, Hiroshima Prefecture, he was playing for the Yomiuri Giants in 1994.

Although he misremembered the rules of the two baseball leagues — the Pacific League allows the designated hitter, the Central League does not — Gladden was spot on about the Japanese language, saying it was easy to pronounce but hard to understand.

Strange, but true. Japanese has distinct syllables, similar to English, which helps when trying to sound out words. The Chinese and Vietnamese languages, for example, have such a sing-song quality that it’s hard to tell when one word begins and ends.

The other observation I enjoyed was Gladden’s memories of eating out in Japan and taking advantage of the plastic displays of food in the windows of certain cafes and pubs. Unsure of what to order? Well, you could always ask the waiter to come outside with you and then point at the dish you wanted. I certainly did that on more than one occasion during my early days in the country.

COMMENTS

Hi, I’m Rolf Boone, Twins fan.

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.