Twins 5, Tigers 2

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Me at Comerica

For the second game of the night, I switched sides of the field. It seems that by doing so, I also transferred luck to the visiting team — or maybe it was all the roster changes. The Twins starting pitcher in game 2, Scott Baker, wasn’t even on the roster for the afternoon game, as he had just been called up from AAA. In the meantime, outfielder Michael Ryan was sent down. The Tigers made a similar move between games, calling up their starter, Justin Verlander, while sending down infielder Kevin Hooper. To make things even more confusing, both pitchers were immediately sent back to the minors after the game, while the Twins’ Terry Tiffee and Detroit’s Vic Darenbourg were called up. Both teams had line-up changes involving their catchers as well — Joe Mauer moved to DH while Mike Redmond caught for the Twins, and Pudge Rodriguez, injured in the first game, was replaced by Vance Wilson.

Just prior to the national anthem, the announcer remarked, “Ladies and gentlemen, please rise and gentlemen, remove your caps.” What a gender specific order! Well, being that I am certainly not a gentleman (and some might argue that I’m not much of a lady), I left my cap on.

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John McDonald leads off after an 8th inning single

The top and bottom of the first inning were nearly identical — Joe Mauer hit an RBI double to score Nick Punto for the Twins and Magglio Ordonez hit an RBI double to score Curtis Granderson for the Tigers. The matching scorecards continued in the second, with both teams going 1-2-3. In the third, Shannon Stewart’s single kept the Twins from going 1-2-3 the way the Tigers did, but the halves of the scorecard really diverged in the 4th.

After Hunter and Jones singled, Justin Morneau hit an RBI double to start off the inning. Mike Redmond tried to follow in Morneau’s shoes by stretching his two RBI single into a double, but he was tagged out in a 9-3-6-3 rundown. Justin Morneau continued to add runs for the Twins by taking the first pitch of the sixth inning deep, putting the Twins up 5-1. In the meantime, Scott Baker pitched an outstanding game, giving up only five hits over seven innings.

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The final score, as displayed on the Tigers scoreboard

The Tigers tried to mount a rally in the bottom of the 7th, scoring one run on a walk and two singles. With two on and one out, Vance Wilson came to the plate in an at-bat that has been talked about on Detroit sports radio for two days. Wilson is currently batting a meager .145, and the armchair managers around Detroit have been lambasting manager Alan Trammell for leaving him in in such a crucial situation. “Pudge could have caught two innings! Brandon Inge can catch!” they cry. But as a Twins fan, I’m glad Trammell left him in. The first pitch of Wilson’s at bat: 6-4-3, double play, inning over, rally quashed. The Tigers had only one hit in the rest of the game, and the Twins were victorious, 5-2.

This was the first game where I saw someone other than myself keeping score. A young girl and her friend sitting next to me had the scorecard from the program open. Her father, upon seeing my own more elaborate scorebook, told me that he had a standing offer of $5 to his kids if they could ever completely score a game without missing a batter. I let the girl (maybe 12, 13 years old) pick up any batter she missed from my scorebook. But alas, the father decided that that was cheating, as she would have easily missed at least two batters without my help. After the game, someone won a car, and we were treated to a half-hour of fireworks being shot off right behind second base. All in all, a good day.

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7 responses

  1. Baseball, as you know, espouses a gentler, more civil time. Yes, it has always had its rowdies; the statue behind Greenberg of Ty Cobb sliding into base, spikes held high, recognizes this. And it is true, that prior to Casey at the Bat, women and children were discouraged from seeing a game played by tobacco spitting, foul mouthed ragamuffins, but, in sum, baseball serves as a reminder that there can be a better world. For it is the baseball field where one sees the conjoining of poetry and mathematics, order within chaos.
    While all sports try to greater and lesser degrees, none comes close to the idyllic that baseball achieves in spite of its current commissioner and his “forward thinking” views. All one needs is a picture of Joe Maurer leading off second and one knows that the cultural breakdown led by the Rovian ethic is doomed to failure.
    But, and this was really my point, you were correct in leaving your hat on, as was the message. Rules of etiquette, which tend to be universally ignored nowadays, require gentlemen, but not women, to remove their hats. You can argue the rationale, but it is a sign of respect for men to uncover their heads and it is a sign of respect for women to keep their heads covered.
    So while you were surprised and somewhat annoyed, once again baseball, in its inimitable fashion, taught you a lesson in etiquette that your parents missed.

  2. Jeff: It is a Red Sox hat (I don’t actually have a Minnesota Twins hat, although I have an Elizabethton Twins hat). But I was wearing a Twins shirt. It seems that none of the pictures I took of myself went low enough to display that…
    Also for whatever it’s worth, I saw two other Red Sox hats at the games.

  3. Well said, Mr. Rhode. I didn’t think about a covered versus uncovered head being a sign of respect for opposite genders. I just got a sudden (although somewhat nonsensical) picture of Erin in one of those wide-brimmed sun hats, like you’d see at a prestigious horse race, and trying to unpin it all before the anthem was over.

  4. I think that may be the most charming picture or you on-screen to date — the face your farther loves and loves to love!
    Relaxation IS good for the soul of the creatures that we are…even when the tension of the game runs high.

  5. As he would put it… “Mr. Rhode was his father; you ought to call him Russ.” Except that there are two Russ’s here. My dad is not the Good Doctor.