I forgot to mention the highlight of the night: Jacque Jones receiving a standing ovation when he came to the plate in the 8th inning.

Jones stepped out of the box a couple of times. He's always been an emotional player, and you could tell he was affected by the affection.

The moment reminded me of one of my favorite aspects of the early-millenium Twins. Those teams from 2001-2003 didn't have many stars, and most of the players who helped take the franchise from contraction talks to contention to the cusp of a new stadium gave the best years of their careers to the Twins.

Eric Milton was never the same after he left. Cristian Guzman, Luis Rivas, Dustan Mohr, Doug Mientkiewicz, LaTroy Hawkins, Eddie Guardado, Corey Koskie, Joe Mays, and Jones all played their best baseball when the Twins' franchise desperately needed a boost.

They saved the franchise, and the fans remembered that when Jones came to the plate.

One of the topics we discuss with Ron Gardenhire on this week's Ron Gardenhire show is how much closer the fans are to the action in Target Field.

Gardenhire said he had fans yelling at him to use Jim Thome on Friday night. Gardenhire said he'll respond to fans if they ask a question.

It's a little different covering the Twins now than when I covered the team in the mid-'90s and you could sit in the press box and hear Tom Kelly yelling at his pitcher.


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First Twins game at Target Field

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Observing Big Monday from Anaheim