Results tagged ‘ Diamond Rio ’
Although the 2011 season did not end well for the Minnesota Twins (the understatement of the year, to be sure), it is still another baseball season in the books, full of ups and downs and memorable moments along the way. This post list those moments that I remember…
-On my couch, hot dogs and brats in hand, to watch Opening Day…and then seeing the Twins out of it in Toronto before it even began, really. Should have known something from Day One, I guess.
-Getting all excited about Nishioka, then seeing the Yankees take him out early and him become a basket case late.
-Liriano’s May no-no against the White Sox. Probably the most unimpressive no hitter I’ve ever seen, but still a special night.
-The mid-June surge that saw Ben Revere and Alexi Casilla ignite the team.
-Watching at Target Field as Matt Capps blew ANOTHER save against the Brew Crew.
-Walking on the hallowed “Field of Dreams” in Iowa as part of a baseball-themed vacation.
-Seeing the Twins play the White Sox at The Cell as part of said vacation.
-Attending (at one point in early July) four games in the span of five days.
-The terrible months of August & September which, towards the end, even tested my patience in sitting through an entire error-ridden, pitching-splintered game.
And then, of course, there was perhaps the most meaningless season finale in Twins history. Except, of course, that it wasn’t. With John Gordon behind the microphone for the final time, the Twins rallied in the ninth for a walk-off win thanks to the bat of Trevor Plouffe and the legs of Denard Span.
Though, for sure, those last few months were trying and many times I just wished the season would mercifully come to a close, that final game really put things in perspective. With each passing day without baseball (and especially when football comes to an end), all I’ll want is simply this, with my Minnesota Twins…
For about the last 2-3 weeks, the sentiment around the Twins organization has been to just continue to play meaningful baseball for as long as possible. Well, that plan was in serious jeopardy earlier this afternoon, as a loss against the Tigers would have eliminated the Twins from playoff contention.
Thankfully, the Twins were able to win a sloppy game (Baker only went five innings, and the defense committed four errors) thanks to the offense’s ability to pick away at Nate Robertson in the early innings and the bullpen shutting the door (besides two unearned runs) for the rest of the way for the 8-3 victory.
Of course, were not this essentially an elimination game for the Twins, the big story would have been the bad blood that permeated the atmosphere all day long between both clubs.
It all started when Scott Baker skidded a pitch right by the face of Marcus Thames…
Thames glared out towards Baker, but then quietly took his base after being hit. It didn’t look as if Baker had an intention of plunking him, especially in such an important game, and there really isn’t any history between the two.
The next batter then grounded a ball that looked like a double-play all the way, but Thames slid hard into Orlando Cabrera and wasn’t called out for interference…
Was it a close play? Certainly, as the tip of Thames’ toes did touch the base. Yet, it was clear that his intentions were to get in O-Cab’s grill. Borderline dirty, especially if Cabrera would have been injured on the play, but understandable if you are Thames and still feeling the wind of that fastball by your chin.
Things heated right back up again in the next inning, when Thames stepped back into the box. A high hard one forced Thames to move out of the box a bit, and he took a long glare out at Baker before reconsidering a charge. Again, I really couldn’t determine intention from the pitch, as it wasn’t thrown at his body and I don’t think Baker would ever purposely throw at a guy’s head.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the end of things either. Who knows who (manager, player himself, etc.) instigates these things, but when Jose Mijares came into the game to relieve Matt Guerrier in the eighth, his first pitch sailed right behind Adam Everett. This time, it was clear that retaliation was the name of the game, and both benches were warned, leading to the tossing of one manager (although not the one Twins fans would expect)…
Described as the “Ron Gardenhire Memorial Ejection” by the TV announcers, Jim Leyland was booted by home plate ump Angel Hernandez. It was clear that the Tigers were now miffed, and it didn’t take too long for the final straw to break.
In the top of the ninth, leadoff batter Delmon Young was quickly plunked in the calf by Jeremy Bonderman, who was promptly give the old heave-ho by Hernandez. But then, one of the strangest sights I had ever seen transpired behind home plate…
Young, in obvious pain after getting hit in what looked to be square on the calf muscle, hopped around for a bit until the pain had subsided, then starting having words with a member of his one team! No Tiger player was within ten feet of him, and Young was mouthing obscenities and pointing towards his home dugout. Both benches emptied at that point, but by the time the bullpens got into things nothing really had developed (no punches or kicks thrown).
Dick and Bert were at a bit of a loss in deciphering what had set Delmon Young off, but the only thing they could think of is that Young was angry at Mijares for instigating the beanball war the previous inning. You know, were this not happening in a crucial point of the season, I think that Young would be a big story in the papers and media. To have words with your own teammate who’s just trying to have your back is upsetting, especially coming from a guy who might still be best known in professional baseball for this unsavory incident…
Like I said, little will be made of this incident in the coming days due to the pennant chase, but if Go-Go is playing the outfield at the Dome tomorrow you’ll know why.
Preview (83-76, 2nd, 2.0 GB DET): Lenny DiNardo (0-2, 7.52) vs. Jeff Manship (0-1, 5.81). The Tigers draw Peavy tomorrow, while the pitchers in this game leave little to be desired or hoped for. Could be a crazy one!