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Axel Kohagen

Yup. All Four (Twins versus Yankees -- Games 78-81)

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Blink and the World Ends (Twins 4 Yankees 10 - Game 78)

This was supposed to cross the finish line with the Twins in the lead. I’d decided that late last week. The Twins are struggling but still have a heartbeat. The Yankees have pains of their own. The saga’s supposed to take a turn for the Twin Cities tonight. I expected a spanking, perhaps with the Twins using a broom.

The innings I caught on the radio didn’t spoil my dream, even though I did enjoy hearing Dan Gladden’s plan to walk with Cory Provus past Brett Gardener to see who was taller. Giggles.

When I turned on my cell phone and saw the Yankees scored their way into the tens place, I shoved that phone into my wife’s face. Like when you point at the cat puke on the carpet because you hope someone else will deal with it.

I try to remain a simple man. I believe in a world where things often average out, and someday the Yankees will lose.

I try to believe, but this is the way my world ends. Not with a bang, but with those damned Yankees.

Why Was I Mad at Brian Runge? (Twins 3 Yankees 7 - Game 79)

Every time I checked my phone, the Twins gave up another couple runs. If you could edit together my grimacing, sour-lemon reactions to this growing defeat, it’d make for nice comedy.

Believing in the Twins against the Yankees makes for tragicomedy.

Sick of watching spinning porcelain and hearing flushing sounds, I scanned other baseball related news to find Brian Runge isn’t umpiring in the majors anymore. I pumped my fist, glad to see someone who spit on my beloved Twins out of the way.

Then, I couldn’t remember why I passionately despised this man. It seemed like I should know why I was cheering for his decline, so I did extensive research (checked out two sites after I googled “Brian Runge” and “Minnesota Twins”). Turns out Runge called a strike after Brendan Harris called time and stepped out of the box. Ball whizzed by his head. Scary. He argued, Gardy argued, Gardy got tossed. . . I vowed to never forget.

And I kinda sorta didn’t forget. If you can remember where your rage came from, your blood oath is still good, right? Even if it takes a lifeline or two? Even if the wronged player no longer plays for your team?

Submissive Peeing (Twins 2 Yankees 3 - Game 80)

In high school, my best friend had an adorable white dog who got so excited she piddled every time I walked in the door and scratched behind her ears. The dog was adorable, and I enjoyed watching my friend wipe up dog pee because it was his house, not mine. Such a sweet dog, even if it couldn’t handle excitement.

If you put a Twins cap on that dog as it gives into stress and whizzes itself, you get a pretty good metaphor for every Twins/Yankees series this decade.

When the Twins got a runner on in the ninth, I was thinking “walk-off homer” all the way. But Jason Kubel, last of the cutter slayers, wasn’t at bat and the Twins sprayed another defeat all over the linoleum.

Celebrating relentless failure, my neighbors exploded hundreds of dollars of fireworks. How delightful. Another night of hoping my cowardly dog doesn’t shiver so hard the house shakes.

Guess my neighbors must’ve been Twins fans who gave up on the home team celebrating independence from Yankees tyranny tomorrow.

Never Mind the BBQ, This is the Pits (Twins 5 Yankees 9 - Game 81)

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Hey, I did my part. I wore my Twins socks. Don’t blame me.

Some baseball games are lost in heartbreaking moments. This was a tug of war match always headed toward a Yankees victory. Sure, the Twins pulled back a bit in the end, but the folks in the stands knew our team was going head over heels into the mudpit when the Yankees pulled them over the ninth inning.

I wonder how many fans used barbecues as excuses to sneak away a few innings early.

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We stayed the whole time, enjoying the weather and hoping for some serious Twins magic at the plate. To be fair, the Canadian Justin Morneau brought some nice fireworks to the celebration with two home runs. But with the Yankees threatening to score in the double digits, it just wasn’t enough.

And just like that, the Twins lost all four games, leaving me feeling as sad dog embarrassed for hoping as I was about pounding a whole helmet of nachos and leaving cheese trails all down my stomach.

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