Welcome to the first installment of a six part series we’re calling “A View From 101”. Some background: the three of us here at TKOT decided that to purchase a six game package of Twins tickets this year. We figured it would be a great way to follow our favorite baseball club in person. It tends to be difficult to get people together to go to a game, especially if you try to do it at the last second. By purchasing these tickets, we already had that roadblock taken care of. So why “101”? Because that’s the section of the Metrodome where we will be sitting at each of these games. Now, six times during this summer, we will be reporting on what we see on these game day excursions. Enjoy.
We begin Game 1 by taking the lightrail down to Minneapolis. The consensus is that this is the only way to travel downtown. It’s cheaper than a cab and more reliable as well. Plus, you don’t have to deal with traffic or parking (or the outrageous parking prices around the Metrodome area). The only negative about the whole situation comes when buying a ticket. If you pay more than the $2 it costs for a ticket, your change comes in dollar coins. It might be one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard of. Who uses dollar coins? Anyways, other than the coin thing, there really is no drawback to the lightrail.
The train arrives at roughly 5:45 and we immediately high tail it into Hubert’s. I love that place. It is the ultimate pre and post game place to grab a beer. It is always packed, wall to wall, with Twins fans for every single home game. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Friday night or a Wednesday afternoon, there will be a ton of people at Hubert’s decked out in Twins regalia, drinking a beer. A good question did come up during our time there. What is going to happen to this place when the new stadium opens? Have/are they going to purchase land by the new ballpark? Will that place just be obsolete during the summer? I really hope this doesn’t ruin them because it’s a great place to be during baseball season. Another great part about Hubert’s is the girls. Fuzz mentioned it in an article recently: there are always amazing looking women at Twins games. An inordinate amount even. And seemingly every single one of them comes to the bar before the game. Now that is the kind of atmosphere I want to pregame in.
I’ll spare you a long, drawn out recap of the game. If you wanted to know details, you would have already figured that out by now. Instead, let’s look at a couple of major issues this team has right now. The first is that the offense is absolutely pathetic. On Friday night, we managed three whole hits. To paraphrase Harry Doyle, “That’s all we got is [three] goddamn hits?” It’s painful to watch, especially from a team that was expected to be better at the plate.
Another problem is our outfielder’s inability to utilize their exceptionally strong arms. This especially applies to Carlos Gomez and Delmon Young. Both of these young men have lethal weapons attached to their right shoulders, but both are having some troubles throwing out runners. This was extremely evident Friday night, as both men at opportunities to throw out runners at the plate and failed. Both situations should have been easy assists for our outfielders, but neither resulted in an out, which is pretty important considering the 4-0 final score. After discussing this, we came to the conclusion that they must not be charging the ball hard enough to buy them those precious extra seconds that make the difference between a Web Gem and another Twins loss. We’re guessing that the purposefully lollygag (copyright Bull Durham) to the ball in an attempt to bait the runner into going. This isn’t a terrible idea given their amazing arm strength, but it’s costing the team runs that they can’t afford to give up right now. This needs to be addressed and soon.
Here are some other non-game-related things that I noticed during our stay at the Hump Dome: Dogg and I are fairly convinced that, if given the chance, we could throw the ball into the Dodge truck from the upper deck in right field…With an opportunity to win free stuff on the line, some genius decided that the correct distance from Minneapolis to Virginia was 750 miles…Did anyone else know that the crowd vendors at the Dome sell milk and cookies now? Why? I mean, it would make sense in the “DQ Family Section”, but not in the “Drunk and Disorderly” Homerun Porch…On a related note, do they send beer vendors to the left field stands anymore? I don’t think I saw one the entire game. Does that area have such a bad reputation now that the team is trying to discourage the drunkenness and bad behavior by simply not sending the beer guys there anymore?...Speaking of drunk, Fuzz was absolutely hammered last night; more on this later…I honestly wonder what some people are thinking with their apparel that they wear to Twins games. Really, you’re going with the 2008 blue alternate jersey with “Killebrew” and 3 on the back? And just because your mom says that she can sew doesn’t mean that you should let her put the name and number of your favorite player on the back of your jersey. It’s not the same, no matter what she tells you.
Once the horribleness of that game was finally over, the three of us decided that the night was still young and figured the best place to be after the game is the same as the best place to be beforehand—Hubert’s. Surprisingly, the place was not nearly as crowded as it was the first time we were in there. Even on a Friday night, which just seemed wrong to me. There were still a good number of patrons there, and people watching is always a good time, especially if it involves idiots wearing beads and crowns. We get that it’s your birthday, but do you have to celebrate like a 13 year old girl? Anyways, the perfect way to cap a night like this is with a trip to The CC.
That’s right; the favorite local watering hole of TK on Toast is a great place for a nightcap. As usual, there was an amazing looking broad that was on the stage singing directly to us the entire time we were there (or at least we thought so). Everything was perfect until Fuzz’s drunk ass decided to embarrass himself. If you recall from our “Live Look In”, he and I had nicknamed the bartender Joe when we didn’t know his real name. Well as luck would have it, that same bartender was there last night. And Fuzz, trying is try to be smooth, goes with the line, “Hey, thanks for everything. Joe, right?” He was dead serious. The bartender responds with “Uhh, no. Todd, but thanks.” as Dogg and I try to decide if we should fall off our barstools laughing or cower in embarrassment (if you know us at all, you already know which of those two options we chose). Finally, we ended the night with the obligatory Taco Bell run. Good times. We’ll catch you again on May 12th.