Spring training is winding down. The Twins ended their games in Fort Meyers on a winning note including two ninth-inning rallies. On Saturday the Twins beat the Red Sox after trailing 8-3 going into the ninth, scoring six runs off Bobby Jenks. I’m sure you remember Jenks from his years pitching for the White Sox. And for those who are wondering, this victory also captured the 2011 Mayor’s Cup for the Twins.
On Monday the Twins came from behind in the ninth to beat the Pirates. Yes, this is spring training and these games don’t really matter. However, in both of these games the players who were responsible may never get the chance to have this thrill on the major league level. Check out the names of these unlikely heroes: Rene Rivera, Dustin Martin, Mark Dolenc, Deibinson Romero, Chase Lambin, Danny Lehmann, Brian Dozier, and Brandon Roberts.
Regular season games start this Thursday, and the Twins open their season on Friday in Toronto. They play three games in Toronto and then four games with the Yankees. I have heard it said, “Good thing we can get those games in Yankee Stadium done early.” (Above is a photo of me at the original Yankee Stadium in 2007.) There is certainly a lose-lose attitude among some Twins fans when it comes to playing the Yankees. This is understandable considering our record against them—but what happened to that positive win-win attitude? We can win in New York and we can win when we play the Yankees here at Target Field. In life we’re taught to seek a win-win situation for all, but in this case we just want it for the Twins. The Yankees can worry about themselves.
After a week on the road the Twins open at home on Friday, April 8. Right now the early forecast for the end of the week is temperatures in the low 50s with the possibility of rain. I have two tickets for the opener, and I have decided to give them to my son Joe and my son-in-law John. When they argued that I couldn’t miss the opener I replied that I think the weather is going to be cold and I am just as happy spending the time with my two grandchildren. Thinking about this earlier today, I was wondering if I am losing my enthusiasm.
What I always loved about opening day was getting as many tickets as I wanted for family and friends and going together. The fun was not only the excitement of the return of baseball but also the thrill of a sold-out crowd in the Dome, and sharing the game with others. Now that we are at Target Field every game is a sell-out crowd full of people excited to be at a Twins game. I only had the option, as a season ticket holder, to entering a lottery for a chance to buy two tickets for opening day. And watching baseball on TV is an excellent alternative: great camera shots, lots of replays, the perspective of the announcers—and if I’m lucky, it will be on a 42-inch high-definition TV.
The only thing I am asking is that Joe and John get a magnetic schedule for me and promise that they will arrive in time to see the fly-over before the game. My son was at the game last year and missed it and my son-in-law had put this on his bucket list.
Speaking of bucket lists, what do you think of that phrase? Because I have been trained to be one of the Highly Effective People, I thought this referred to the concept of leaving room in your bucket for the things that are important to you. This past weekend I found out that there was actually a movie called The Bucket List: a movie about two old men who are dying and the things they want to do before “kicking the bucket.” Quite a different thing.
Anyway, have a great week and jump on the bandwagon early! This season should prove to be another great ride.