Okay, fine, so it isn’t really the beginning of the season, but it is the beginning of what I consider to be the most important era to be introduced this season: the era of outdoor baseball. Today’s game was glorious to behold, even though I did miss chunks of it (3 CT is a really stupid time to start a game. What were they thinking?!) to pick up my wife from work and also missed the entire pre-show, the game was glorious, and was a really fitting introduction to what is almost universally regarded as one of the best five ball-parks in the American League, if not MLB. I’m just saying – it is going to be a bit chillier at night, but the players are big boys and they can handle going out and playing a cold game for several thousand dollars (for the cheapest ones, of course). Think about your broader fanbase, people! It’s estimated that March Madness costs employers 1.8 billion dollars – this game probably cost MN employers at least a million. Priorities.
Of course, out here on the East Coast I had to watch the game on ESPN. Don’t get me wrong, I occasionally prefer to watch the game on the tee-vee rather than on the computer via my somewhat balky internet connection (and it isn’t the awesome kind of balky, like Carl Pavano in the first inning, where he got away with a likely balk because his move was so good), but man, ESPN is just a fresh, new kind of hell. As I posted in a comment on Topper’s blog earlier, if I had to take a choice between Skip Caray (he of the fisted balls and the “line drive, base hit, caught for the out!” call during game 163) and the ESPN people, man, I’d probably grab a pencil and puncture my eardrums so I wouldn’t have to deal with the misery. So, that was the first problem.
And, in reality, it was a problem I was willing to accept today, mostly because neither Jon Miller nor Joe Morgan was on the broadcast (thank God) and because they spent a LOT of time pointing out the really cool things about Target Field. I can’t wait until the next chance I have to make a trip to MN to get to the new park – unfortunately, won’t be until August at the earliest. Dumb Bar exam.
Anyway, the Twins started out with a pretty impressive victory over the Red Sox, who right now are only barely behind the Yankees on the official Call to the ‘Pen scale of evilness.™ However, the fact that they really seemed to go out of their way to make sure that the Twins won mends a lot of bridges to me, and has resulted in a slight reduction in the Attributed Evilness score factor, though their other ratings are still high. Marco Scutaro, in the first inning, managed to get caught stealing before Pavano delivered home. Big Papi continued to hit like a wee little papoose. John Lester went to a three-ball count with more people than you can shake a stick at (seriously, you try shaking a stick at 13 people. Can’t be done – your arm gets tired).
So, your heros and zeroes:
- Hero of the Day: Carl Pavano – I have never had a great deal of faith in Pavano, but in order to demonstrate my faith before the opener, I picked him up for a spot start for my fantasy team. Of course, he was brilliant. I think I must have, to a certain extent, internalized the Yankees’ complaints about Pavano. Either way, he was brilliant today: 1 ER on 4 hits and 1BB, with 4K. I’ll take that any day! WPA: .231
- Runners up: Jon Rauch – continuing to remind us that the closer role is constructed to be more important than it actually is: Rauch makes me far more nervous than Nathan ever did, and I’m just waiting for him to have an implosion. But for now, I won’t complain about 5-for-5 in save opportunities. Jason Kubel and Denard Span – The Dude abided in a major way, getting the first home run in a regular season Target Field game, while Span did the same for bases on balls, stolen bases, and runs scored.
- ZERO of the Day: I just can’t do it. If I had to pick somone , it would be Mountie, but I’m not going to. It was just to amazing a day and I can imagine it was a truly wonderful experience for all those that were there!
Tomorrow is the first off day of the young season, and I hope to put up something that looks like a post tomorrow evening. For now the hat standings:
Twins Record: 6-2
- Blue TC logo: 0-2 (both of these were cases where I couldn’t find the one I had meant to wear. Sigh)
- “M” logo: 3-0
- Red TC logo: 2-0
- Champs hat: 1-0