Daydream Disbeliever (Twins 2 Mariners 8 – Game 98)
The Twins got knocked out early in this game, but everybody played nine innings anyway.
During my little league tour of duty, I spent most of the games at whichever part of the outfield they felt saved me from embarrassing attempts at fielding fly balls. If I was lucky and the ball stayed far away from my glove, I had nothing to do but daydream away until I was forced to humiliate myself at the plate.
Getting blown out of the water early, one thousand miles from your fan base and further away from a shot at post-season baseball... I wonder if the Twins outfielders daydream as much as I did. Kinda warms my heart to think they’re out there, in a big league uniform with families and drunkards screaming all around them, and all they’re thinking about is what TV series they’re going to power through next on Netflix.
If they’re hoping the softball players they have a crush on don’t see them strike out with three off-kilter swings, then I know exactly how they feel.
Felix is a Real Cool Cat (Twins 3 Mariners 2 – Game 99)
I never hate it when King Felix bests the Twins. I might lose home-team zealotry points for saying it, but it’s true. Seems like no matter who steps into the batter’s box, he’s got a fistful of answers to whatever questions they raise.
I have warm feelings for the Mariners, and always will, just because of Ken Griffey Jr. The guys who knew sports (at this time in my life, I was not one of them) adored Junior without question or reservation. No athlete, except for Michael Jordan, could top him.
The King didn’t have a full game in him, so both teams kept playing so rookie Chris Colabello could give the Twins a 13th
inning lead, then the game. New growth under scorched earth, maybe.
Epilogues and Codas (Twins 4 Mariners 0 – Game 100)
I didn’t know it was a day game, but Twins basically won the thing before I noticed they were playing ball. It's difficult, as a fan, to know the team can manage a victory without me fretting over them. I like to think they need me.
Morneau hit a homer. Moments like this are quick jabs to the heart. The badass brawler who came up with the team had already become a husband and father, and then disaster arrived with a knee to the helmet. Morneau developed a grimness, but he didn’t quit.
Now he might end up being traded, even if his trade value is nothing like it would’ve been, once. No matter how likely or unlikely a trade is, fans mark each event from a point of future nostalgia. “That was his last game as a Twin.” “That was his last home run as a Twin.” “That was his last shaving creamed towel to the face as a Twin.”
I talked about Chris Colabello as new growth under the burned-out wreckage of past winning seasons. There’s growth everywhere, even if some of it’s not immediately growing straight up to the sky. Sano’s going through some attitude-related growing pains, but at his age, that’s what he’s supposed to do. Somehow, Deduno still has the capacity to fascinate. Whether or not he’s for real, he’s demonstrated a deeper root structure than I would have expected.
A new team is growing, and it looks like Morneau is old growth.
No Colabello Getaway (Twins 4 Mariners 6 – Game 101)
Tiny sparks of life weren’t enough to turn a day game into a Twins victory, but they were there just the same. Colabello slugged another home run. Maybe he won’t grow into a Twins landmark, but he might have a place in the ecosystem.
Elsewhere, Miguel Sano gets back to the business of baseball, perhaps a step closer to being big-league ready.
The fans tidy up their houses to prepare for jobs on Monday, and the Twins do some travelling. When the Twins set up shop in Target Field again, fans will suddenly realize there aren’t as many home games left as they thought.