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Minnesota Twins' Top 10 Moments of 2013 [Video]

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ID:	6246With the calendar flipping to 2014 tomorrow, Twins fan must be eager to hurry that process along. After all, the previous season was mired with yet another 90 losses on the ledger.

Although no one should be criticized for having their attention wander from the team before the summer months, there was still plenty of entertaining moments to remember - little things that make the entire sport of baseball beautiful.

Below is the Top 10 moments from 2013.

Honorable Mention: Glen Perkins Pitches With Fly Down

Just what it sounds like.

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10. Aaron Hicks: Card-Carrying Member of the NRA

He has to be when you see his gun. It should be no surprise considering teams were thinking about drafting him as a pitcher out of high school where he threw upper 90s cheddar on the mound. Turns out that the velocity translated well to the outfield.

After letting the ball carom off of the wall, Hicks caught up with it just short of the warning track at Yankee Stadium and delivered a bullet to third to nail the Yankees’ Vernon Wells who was looking for the extra base.

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Wells would be just one of Hicks’ nine outfield assists in his rookie year -- that would be the highest amount of assists with someone with so few innings (701 innings).


9. Oswaldo Arcia Tries To Bo Jackson His Bat, Fails

All rookies have a tendency to struggle as they adapt to a higher level of pitching. Oswaldo Arcia was no different. While demonstrating mouthwatering power at times, he also went through a big stretch where he could not make contact with a pitched ball. With it, apparently, came frustration.

In Tampa, Arcia could not take it anymore. After another K, he tried to take it out on his bat but the bat -- presumably not weakened by contact -- wouldn’t give.

(h/t Me and my Vine)

8. Darin Mastroianni’s Belt-Busting Grab

Mastroianni, who spent a significant portion of the year sidelined with a foot injury, showed that he can cover a sizable amount of real estate. In limited time, he made plays on 32 of the 34 balls in his zone while playing outfield.

Additionally, he managed to snag eight more that were outside of the typical fielder’s zone - including this one in Houston.
While thwarting this should-be extra base hit, Mastroianni lays out on the warning track. In doing so, the coarse Texas dirt did more damage to his belt than a night at the Old Country Buffet.

Mastroianni was saved by borrowing the pants holder-upper from a member of his bullpen:

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Just a reminder that baseball is the only one of the four major sports to have belts as a part of their uniforms.


7. Brian Dozier’s Glorious Hair

After an unsuccessful season at shortstop in 2012, Brian Dozier moved one position to the left in the infield. There, he displayed solid glove work and, occasionally, flashy plays like this one.

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Ok, so it is less about the actual catch and more about the Hollywood hair. This must be female baseball fan’s equivalent of watching Phoebe Cates climb out of the pool in slow motion in Fast Time At Ridgemont High. Makes you feel all funny inside; like climbing the ropes in gym class.

It is clear he lathers, rinses and repeats. Repeating is so important.

Yahoo Sports Big League Stew)

6. Joe Mauer Is An Athletic Freak

Measuring a catcher’s contributions has grown exponentially among the statistics crowd with the proliferation of framing studies and data. While the jury may still be out on how much those extra strikes can provide a team in value, having an athletic freak of nature wearing the tools of ignorance still provides dividends.

Case in point, with a relay from Hicks-to-Florimon-to-home gone awry Mauer, a towering former football and basketball recruit out of high school, leaps in the air to secure the errant throw and adjusts to tag Boston’s Stephen Drew out at the plate. Simply amazing to watch.

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With the move to first base set for 2014, Mauer should be remembered as one of the game’s most athletically gifted catchers because of plays like this.

Drawn To MLB)

5. Justin Morneau High-Fives Nobody

Justin Morneau had a career-high streak of 168 at-bats without a homer when he busted out with a long one in June 20. When he returned to the dugout, his teammates gave the veteran the big snub. Rather than succumb to their silent treatment, Morneau threw out a bunch of air fives:

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Traded to Pittsburgh at the waiver deadline, Morneau has signed with the Rockies and rejoined former teammate Michael Cuddyer who, according to Twins members, distributes an extremely painful high five.

Drawn to MLB)

4. Ballboy Makes Second Best Catch At Target Field

Paul Neshek, former Twins reliever Pat Neshek’s brother is patrolling the left field line. White Sox Alexi Ramirez laces a liner that is destined for a fan’s face. Neshek leaps from his perch and snares that mofo before it can do damage. Look at the clearance he gets in order to intercept this missile.
(h/t MLB.com)

3. Jared Burton Knocks Out Brian Duensing

Oh the fun you have in a bullpen.

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Apparently, former teammate Matt Maloney had the idea of miming a knockout punch in the bullpen and so when Chris Colabello (Italian for “Beautiful Cola”) launched a drive that would clear the Twins bullpen in Chicago, Brian Duensing told Burton to throw a punch, to which Burton obliged. Naturally, the results were amazing.


2. Trevor Plouffe Goes Ass Over Tea Kettle In Kansas City For A Foul Ball

For good reason, Plouffe takes a lot of heat for his defense at third. This was not one of those times.

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(h/t Drawn To MLB)

1. Chris Parmelee Makes Twins Fan Lose His Effin’ Mind

Chris Parmelee, giving Justin Morneau a reprieve at first, chased a Milwaukee Brewer foul ball towards the camera well near the Twins’ dugout. The ball appeared well out of reach of Parmelee’s grasp, easily being a play that could have been given up on. Instead, Parmelee superman’d himself over the padded gate, over the three concrete steps down and somehow found the ball as he landed at the feet of FSN’s Marney Gellner. It was a play that was made with complete disregard for human life.

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Ok, so in full confession, the reason that this was - in my opinion - was the best play of 2013 was because I saw the play up close and personal. With seats on the rail, the foul ball tail off the field of play and was headed directly to wear I was sitting. In fact, I believe I called it in the air. The ball, however, was going to land a few feet short of my outstretched hands.

Fixated on the ball the entire time, I completely missed Parmelee’s approach. Out of my peripheral, I saw a white blur diving and gloving the ball before landing hard on the concrete surface below.
Outside of seeing my daughtering being born, it was the single-greatest thing I have witnessed within a few feet. Thus, I made this face:

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Buzzfeed later dubbed it a “Mom made Pizza Rolls” face. I defy any of you to watch the play from the same aspect I had and not have the same reaction.

(Bonus fact: That’s my Dad doing the double-barrelled fist-pump next to me.)

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