by Jean Gabler | 4/5/09 • I have news for you on some of the festivities for the Twins home opener. This information was not easy to find on the Twins' Web site; could be that they have been too busy keeping up with the injury reports. In case you haven't heard, Joe Mauer is injured and will be starting the season on the disabled list.
I have purposely not mentioned Joe Mauer yet. People have asked me about it, but the major media folks have taken care of covering that story ad nauseum
. Mauer is certainly a hometown favorite, and having him out for the beginning of the season is disappointing. I was thinking of him last night, staying in Fort Myers while the rest of the team packed up to head to Minnesota. He must be so frustrated. Of course, he does have some company this year since Scott Baker, who was supposed to be the Twins' starting pitcher for the first game, was also put on the 15-day disabled list—with a "stiff shoulder," I believe. Hopefully they will both be healthy soon and able to play.
There was also a scare on Friday when it was announced that Morneau was a possible scratch because of a sore back. On Saturday, though, he played in the last spring training game and pronouced himself good to go after getting three RBIs in his two at-bats. The Twins had a good spring training overall, going 19-13-1.
The Twins' season opener is on Monday, and I want to make sure you get your hot dog for breakfast. For the past three or four years I have gone down to the Dome on the morning of the home opener for Breakfast on the Plaza. One year I knew it would make me late for work and I shouldn't really have gone...but I swear my car has a mind of its own! Before I knew it, I was on 94 heading west, getting in line from the 5th Street exit. I believe that was the year that Harmon Killebrew gave me a cup of coffee—definitely the highlight of my breakfasts with the Twins.
Here's the info, straight from the Twins' Web site
: "Fans are invited to drive through the Metrodome Plaza on Kirby Puckett Place between 6 and 9 a.m. to receive complimentary hot dogs, Old Dutch chips, Lipton Sparkling Tea, Archer Farm coffee (not any old coffee!) and scones courtesy of Target, Land O'Lakes Milk, Star Tribune newspapers and 2009 pocket schedules. Free tickets for the opening series will also be given away randomly."
Plan to wait in line for up to 15 minutes. Most times I haven't seen any celebrities but the handouts have been good. They have a good system in place where you just cruise through with your window open and volunteers hand you your treats. It is a great way to start the baseball season, and I do love getting that first Hormel dog early in the day. A word to the wise: don't wait until the end to go. My son-in-law did that last year and they were out of hot dogs. And don't expect to see anyone more famous than TC unless it's warmer and sunnier than it is today.
By the way, I was just over on the Twins' Web site checking some stats and there is now a press release with highlights for the opening series
. No other big surprises. The pre-game festivities on Monday will feature a tribute to Carl Pohlad and the beginning of the season-long "Top 100 Metrodome Moments" countdown.
Thanks to the commenter regarding that Korecky game I have been writing about
. I never thought to look at the box score! As I mentioned earlier, I am really not about the stats so I just didn't think to go there. Coincidentally, FSN replayed that game yesterday as one of their "Twins Classics." I got to see it all again and I was still on the edge of my seat and had tears in my eyes when he got his hit and when he went on to win the game. The other hero of that game was Howie Clark, who got the winning run. He was another guy who only spent a short amount of time with the Twins at the major league level. What a thrill!
The other game I watched last night was the third game against the White Sox late in the season last year. The Twins were down 6-4, came back to tie the game in the 9th, and went on to win in the 12th. That win put the Twins in first place by a half-game. They then went on to play the Kansas City Royals and couldn't clinch. I was at all three of those games against the White Sox. It was great to relive that excitement but bittersweet to think back on how the season ended with the tie-breaker game in Chicago. If you haven't caught any of these game replays on FSN, watch for them. The nice thing is that I always know the game will end well for us. And I still get excited when they do win!
One question to end with. I mentioned that I am playing fantasy baseball with my kids and some of their friends. I now have both starting pitchers for the Twins opener—Liriano and Felix Hernandez—on my fantasy team. Which pitcher do I bench? My problem with fantasy baseball is that I make decisions with my heart rather than my head sometimes. (Who am I kidding? I do it all the time!) If you think Hernandez is going to win and the Twins are going to lose, let me know. I don't know if I could bench Liriano, but you could tell me you told me so when I don't.