Last night, the two Red Heads and our nephew, Joey Henning, ventured to Target Field to watch our first Twin’s game of the year. Our family has shared season tickets at Target Field every year since the ballpark has opened. We love this ballpark.
Coming to the ballpark for the first time of the year is like seeing a relative I hadn’t seen for a while. “I forgot about this,” or “look here is something new” or “remember when we were in this place and this happened,” were all thoughts that went through my mind last night. I enjoyed the new eating area in the left field corner that replaced a Twin’s store. The area has huge LCD monitors sharing video of the game and other baseball games that are being played. Good job, Twins!
But of course, our experience is so much better at Target Field when the ball team is doing well. And the last four years—especially last year—have been hard. Last year the narrative of the team seemed to be look at all our hot young prospects who are in the Minors. Which isn’t helpful to people (like me!) who are paying money to watch the current team.
I’m not ready to get on the bandwagon, but I like some pieces to this team. I was impressed on Monday night when the Twins came back after being down 4-0 in the first inning against David Price. The Twins had the tying run on second with one out in the ninth. I’m not into moral victories, but I saw a resiliency to this team that I hadn’t seen before.
The same happened last night. We fell behind twice against Anibal Sanchez. Then when we had a rally in the bottom of the sixth Oswaldo Arcia ran right through a stop sign and was out by 20 feet at home plate. If he had stayed at third Torii Hunter would have been up with the bases loaded. Major mistake!
But we rallied in the seventh. Eduardo Escobar doubled in the tying run and Kurt Suzuki batted in the lead run. Mike Pelfrey was surprisingly very sharp and the bullpen held. Victory. We went home happy!
It’s way too early to say that life is different with the Twins, and the Twins don’t deserve any benefit of our doubt. And our record this year is not as good as it was a year ago. But I like the resiliency. I don’t expect the Twins to win the Division, though I’m looking forward to the day when that expectation is reasonable. And I don’t expect base runners to be out by 20 feet at home. But so far so good.
It’s nice to go to Target Field and celebrate more than the quality of the ballpark.