Thursday, April 22, 2010

Different is better.

It's April 22, and I realize the season started like 2-1/2 weeks ago. But this blog doesn't run on MLB time, so I'm starting now. And if this is your first time reading Twins Hotspot, you should know we do lots of things differently around here. You won't get point-by-point game reports or minor league updates every day. But I do care about that stuff… it's just that I package it differently and simply am not "in it" to make money. You won't ever see pesky ads around here, though I probably write as well as most other Twins blogger guys. I just do this stuff because I love the Twins and am excited about their successes and feel the disappointment when they lose. From Game 1 to the Playoffs, I hang on just about every pitch. Which means I'm a damned mess during games.

For the record, I haven't been to the new Target Field yet. Maybe you've heard about the place. And there are a variety of reasons why (in no particular order):
  1. Laziness - The Dome was a lot easier to get to from St. Paul. Just hop on 94 West and you're there in 10 minutes. That means the ticket office was more convenient, parking was faster and the tickets themselves weren't nearly as "hot". So now I have to put more effort into it. Not cool.
  2. Cost - I'm not poor. But I'm not exactly a "man of means" either. So Twins games are on the priority list, but not the IMMEDIATE priority list, budget-wise. I've got a family to feed! And these games are significantly more spendy than Dome games.
  3. Nostalgia - I was at Game 162 last year… that beautiful Sunday when all was right in the world. The Twins won, the Tigers won, and we set up what turned out to be an unbelievable showdown between the two a couple days later. I want to always remember the Dome like that. Homer Hankies flying, people screaming their guts out, and Papa John's deep-dish pizza. Do they still have that? I love that stuff. Anyway, this part of it has been the most difficult for me. Walking into Target Field is going to alter the way I think about the Twins… for years we've had the crappiest facility, the boiler room of the league. Now, with the state-of-the-art building, there's going to be a new mentality. My new son will never see the inside of Metrodome (assuming the Vikes leave soon). I'll get over it soon - we have tickets to the May 9 game - but I may never recover from having a beloved sports landmark erased from existence.
Speaking of things that are different, last night was the first time I'd seen Liriano pitch this year. The first thing I noticed - and I was positively GIDDY when I saw it - was that all of his motion was positive. No jerking around during the delivery. No falling off the mound. Just fluid, straight-toward-the-plate movement. I loved it. I actually bounced on the couch a little bit when I was watching. My wife can vouch for that. Plus, I kept him in a fantasy baseball league, so that's going well. All together, it's 15 shutout innings in a row with 14 Ks over that span. Plus two wins (which don't matter, but do look good).

Also, the team looks to be on quite a roll, with 11 wins in 15 games, and a chance at a sweep at noon today vs. Cleveland. Scott Baker vs. Mitch Talbot. Feels like a mismatch. Looks like a mismatch. Must be a mismatch.

More writings and thoughts and stats to come!

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