My friend and Chain of Lakes participant Gary Wassam (Wass) and I joined 19,033 other people to watch the Twins play the Indians last night.
Most likely this was my last trip to watch the Twins in the Metrodome. As I was watching the game I tried to conjure up a top ten list of Metrodome baseball moments. The sterile and cold atmosphere (you know what it’s like to be cold inside a baseball stadium? Sitting in the lower left field stands I felt like I needed to wear a parka. I wonder what the air conditioning bill is for the Twins?) didn’t do much for my memories. But honestly I don’t have a hot list of memories of Metrodome baseball. I’ve seen about 30 games in the last 27 years and none stand out.
The Twins have given us two World Series and many Division Titles at the Metrodome, but I haven't watched any of their memorable games in person.
After a non-inspiring experience at Wendy’s, Wass and I beat the very late-arriving crowd to find our seats. The first three Twins batters belted out hits and it appeared for a moment that the game would be a rout. But true to Twins' form the next three batters went down quietly and we only led by one run.
The Twins have offered us moments of brilliance this year, but their moments don’t last and the ensuing reality is not memorable.
Case-in-point—Scott Baker teased us with three no-hit innings and then labored—I mean labored—through the 4th. So a once-promising route turned into a two-run deficit. With the certainty of the Tigers losing, it appeared possible that the Twins would lose this opportunity to gain a game in the standings.
Then the pesky Twins came back. Cabrera homered to tie the game and then the ultimate piranhas—Punto and Buscher—gave us the funniest moment of the game. With Buscher on second, Punto hit a single to right. Buscher ran right through the stop sign that I could see from the left field stands. Buscher didn't see it and would have been out by three feet if the Indians’ catcher had made the play. No matter the lack of style points—the Twins were ahead, and I was feeling it.
I soon announced to anyone within earshot that the Twins were back in the Pennant Race. Which technically is true. The Tigers look terrible, are losing pitchers every day, and have to play the pesky Twins seven more times. So a vision of a Division Title is possible, right?
But these are the Twins and the moment didn’t last. Wass and I left in the bottom of the eighth as a two-run lead with Nathan on the mound seemed secure. I asked my Facebook Friends if leaving in the bottom-of-the eighth is wimpy and my baseball purist friends told me it was. But with a 5:45 a.m. wakeup call looming it didn’t make sense to have a final, teary, sentimental Metrodome moment.
Of course, nothing with the Twins this year is easy. Nathan gave up a homer and then a walk and a vision of a blown save appeared possible. But Nathan got out of the jam and indeed we are only 4 ½ back with seventeen to play—seven with the Tigers. We’re in a pennant race, right?
Well anything can happen in baseball and as Yogi said, “it ain’t over until it’s over,” but if we do have a pennant race it’s not exactly exciting to watch.