Twins 6, Rangers 3

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My dad, the skyline, and Minnie and Paul

I finally saw the Twins win a game this year! And as a bonus, it was in the new ballpark in Minneapolis. I also got to experience my first rainy outdoor baseball in Minnesota. (I wish I could say that it was my first rainy baseball experience, but it wasn’t even my first such experience this season.) Despite the early drizzle (and it really was just a drizzle), the clouds eventually cleared and Sunday turned out to be a great night for baseball. Despite the fact that my father told my mother to leave the camera at home after I had explicitly told her to bring it because I wasn’t bringing mine. *ahem*
Turns out cell phones come with cameras now, so there is some evidence that we were there. But because I know he hates having his picture taken, I’m letting the evidence be my dad’s mug.

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Is this heaven? No, it’s… Minnesota.

As for the game itself, the Twins broke out to an early lead with a Joe Mauer RBI double in the first and never looked back. Nick Punto turned out to be one of the offensive studs of the night (did I really just write that?) with two hits, an RBI, a walk, and a stolen base. Apparently he is my sister’s favorite Twin (??), so I’ll give him the kudos tonight and ignore the Canadian slugger’s double.
The defensive play of the game, and the most nerve-wracking, was the final out. With runners on first and third, Vladimir Guerrero hit a high fly to shallow center. Span ran in from center field and Orlando Hudson ran back from second base. And then, well all I remember seeing was the two of them colliding and flipping over with the ball somehow winding up in Span’s glove. The umpire signaled the out, the game was over, and we all cheered… but it was short lived when it became clear that Hudson and Span weren’t getting up. It seems Hudson’s previously-injured wrist had collided with Span’s, er, family jewels. (The video is here for as long as MLB leaves it up.) After a few tense moments as the trainers and rest of the team came running out to check on them, both players eventually got up and walked off the field. Span recovered quickly, but Hudson is still out of the line up four days later.

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I make the call to the bullpen… get Rick Aguilera up!

Yesterday, before my flight back to Boston, my mom and I went back to Target Field, not for a game, but for a tour — and this time we did bring the camera. The highlights included all of the fancy-pants sections I will probably never be able to afford to sit in and their accompanying lounges, a visit to the pressbox (where I conveniently committed to memory the username and password to the wireless network which was taped to a desk*), a tour of the visitors’ locker room (where I took a picture of a different username and password for the wireless network, which was taped to the wall), a trip to the dugout and bullpen, and a jaunt around the field. They’re pretty particular about the grass, so I didn’t get to wander onto the infield, but I did attempt a couple of leaping catches at the wall in left field. That wall is higher than it looks!
I also learned that it doesn’t always pay to try and be funny during a tour. The gates at the stadium are all numbered with a retired Twins number (3 for Killebrew, 29 for Carew, 6 for Oliva, 14 for Hrbek, and 34 for Puckett). I asked the tour guide if they would build a new gate the next time a number got retired (and I predict both 7 and 33 will be). He was a little baffled by my question — “But there are only five gates?” despite the fact that rest of the tour group knew to laugh.
* The passwords for both the media username and the visiting team username are pretty cute. However, at the risk of the team changing them before I get a chance to sneak a laptop to the game and attempt to log on, I’ll refrain from posting them here.

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