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  1. Full Tilt Failure!: My Baseball Story.

    Whiffle ball led off my failed experiment at playing baseball. We owned two thin yellow whiffle ball bats and two big fat red bats. We hacked away with the yellow bats and eventually, after spinning around on strikeout after strikeout, someone would stomp into the garage and grab Big Red. It was the only way we could get a hit.

    This was country ball. There were never many of us, so pitcher's hand rules went into effect. Bases were usually leaves, sticks, or scratched out portions of ...
  2. Opening Day Mindset

    Baseball returns, and the internet trembles.

    The devout among us spend our days filling our brains with bucketfuls of thoughts. When presented with a keyboard, we pour these thoughts into various molds and send them out into the world.

    We find others who agree with our world views and we build ideas about why the ball moves the way it does. We create grids. We build structure. We invent games to prove we understand baseball better than baseball does.

    We think ...
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  3. Red-Seamed, Rose-Colored, Heart-Shaped Glasses.

    Bummed Darin Mastroianni got sent to minor league camp. My unpleasant mood has nothing to do with strategy or intellect. I am bummed because my friends who got autographs from him said he was a great guy. Mostly, I am bummed because I liked to pretend he was secretly a stubbly private investigator in a lesser known horror film directed by Dario Argento.

    Baseball, appreciated from the keen and reasoned eye of a scientific scholar, moves like a beautiful piece of clockwork machinery. ...
  4. Spirit of a Ballplayer, Flesh Like Anyone Else.

    "Then the boy saw alló Since he was old enough to know, big boy
    Doing a manís work, though a child at heartó" - Robert Frost

    Got the Sano news via phone notification as I got out of bed, and the grayness hung in the air like it saw this one coming.

    Flesh fails us all, but it is not supposed to crap out on a young physical wonder standing in the wings, moments away from his MLB debut. In January, Sano drew long lines of fans at Twinsfest. Now he begins ...
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  5. Twinsfest: Honoring the Order of Summer.

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    Twinsfest ended today, and the weather report strongly suggests the rest of the world might end tomorrow. The temperature is already dropping to numbers that make you whistle, whether you want to or not. A path to the street from my house, clear in the early afternoon, is now a ragged trickle of cement overwhelmed by snowy cliffs.

    The Twins annual call to arms was cozy, busy, but still ordered. Fans brushed past each other, and the occasional ...
  6. The Hoosecows - The Midwest's Top Prospect?

    Just bought my 2014 Twins Daily Offseason Handbook, and I started thinking my baseball thriller The Hoosecows, written with Roy C. Booth, is a prospect to watch in its own right.

    If you're a Twins fan, the joy of watching prospects mature is going to be a big part of your 2014 experience. Sano, Buxton, Meyer . . . What could be more exciting than supporting a future superstar before they slip into a big league uniform?

    Now, I'd like to offer you a chance to dial into another ...
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  7. People Forget Casey Struck Out (Twins versus Indians - Games 159-162)

    Headaches, Old and New (Twins 5 Indians 6 - Game 159)

    A busy day ended with a headache and an early trip to bed, like I was a starting pitcher getting the hook.

    It occurred to me, annoyed by pain as I was, that I might be lucking out. After all, I had a reason not to pay attention to baseball.

    Grinding out the last few months of recaps has reminded me baseball really only has a few stories. The dominating conquerors. The wily Cinderellas. The damned losers. ...
  8. A Season Blank and Pitiless as the Sun (Twins versus Tigers - Games 156-158)

    Look Upon Mauer and Tremble (Twins 4 Tigers 3-- Game 156)

    Mauer's out for the season, like we all knew he would be. Concussion City gains a new resident. And this Pinto kid seems like he's ready to play some catcher. People wonder if Mauer can come back to put on the tools of ignorance. People wonder if Mauer can come back at all.

    The M and M boys are gone, leaving Target Field empty like a Halloween candy bowl. Mauer seems likely to be back in some way, shape, or form. ...
  9. Mean Routine (Twins at As - Games 152-155)

    Memory Lane Trips (Twins 6 As 8 -- Game 152)

    In 2006, I watched Boof Bonser take the mound against the Oakland As. I was close to Torii Hunter when he tripped up and misplayed a ball. I watched a good season end.

    Now the As are looking pretty good and the Twins are collapsing their way to 90+ losses. Again. Third time in a row.

    Nighttime is getting dark, and these games are just little tombstones in a season so forgettable you couldn't describe it by mentioning ...
  10. (Twins at White Sox -- Games 149-151

    Cool Breeze, Eyes Closed (Twins 1 White Sox 12 - Game 149)

    After getting our house Halloween ready the night before, I came home to a perfectly decorated house. The smell of fall blew through the windows and hung in the air.

    It covered the stench of what Liam Hendriks was doing on the mound in Chicago. The Great Dane agreed with me.

    If anyone's excited to see the Twins lose, it's Stella the Great Dane. She was traumatized when I jumped up and stomped around ...
  11. Fall Guys (Twins versus Rays -- Games 146-148)

    Voorhees: A True Dynasty (Twins 0 Rays 3-- Game 146)

    On this Friday the 13th, I regret choosing Friday the 13th Part VIII - Jason Takes Manhattan as the film I watched. Jason Voorhees may be unkillable, but this lame hodge-podge of maritime hijinks and flimsy backstories sure signaled a sign this franchise had seen better days.

    The Twins, another franchise that's seen better days, got blanked. If I had cable, I'd have been just as bored watching them as I was watching a ...
  12. This Fan Ain't No Good (Twins vs As -- Games 143-145)

    Swarzak Attack (Twins 4 As 3 - Game 143)

    You'd have a tough time coming up with a cooler success story for the Twins than the tale of Anthony Swarzak. Dude got injured rough-housing at Twins Fest and put himself out of commission for while. It seemed like one more reason to end up in Gardy's dog house, and an embarrassing way to escort yourself off of a major league roster.

    Now it's September, and he's a success story. Maybe we should all start believing in the existence ...
  13. Angels with the Scabbed Wings (Twins versus Angels - Game 142)

    A Pop-In (Twins 6 Angels 3 - Game 142)

    Make-up games fit perfectly into Minnesotan living. If we're not winterizing something we're complaining about the electric bill from running the AC. We're always paying down the interest on past due weather expenses, so our baseball team might as well, too.

    Amidst summer's last hissy fit, the Twins came to play. They won 6-3 and kept Glen Perkins' status as The Last Twin With Something To Smile About intact.

    Pinto seems ...
  14. The Great Blogsby (Twins versus Blue Jays - Games 139-141)

    The Mob Has Tweeted (Twins 5 Blue Jays 6 - Game 139)

    This game paired up two pitchers I knew, in my gut, were going to become amazing. R.A. Dickey rose to the challenge. Mike Pelfrey must not have gotten that memo.

    When your favorite team will only win prizes for participation, the only excitement left comes in sifting through the wreckage to find future stars.

    We all know how this game works, even if we pretty it up with BS from time to time. You pick a player ...
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