The Diamond Awards were held last night, which is a banquet where the Twins present awards from the previous season. It is also a fundraiser for the University of Minnesota Medical Foundation, specifically research surrounding muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and ALS. If you would like to see more about last night’s festivities, you can check out their website.
The Voice of Reason™ and I had a great time, but we’re also seriously exhausted. Middle age stinks. So here are just a few quick notes.
- Kyle Gibson seems like about the most humble, coachable guy in the world. When asked by Dick Bremer what he needed to do to go from AAA to the Majors this year, he admitted that he had no idea, but he was really hoping the coaching staff would let him know, and he would work on it. Good plan, that.
- When Joe Benson came on stage, TVOR’s eyes popped out of her sockets like a cartoon character. “Oh, MY. (pause.) HE’S handsome.”
All right. Note to self. Don’t introduce wife to Joe Benson.
- Jesse Crain was on hand to accept an award for outstanding community service. Yes, the same guy who had no real pressure to be there because he has signed with the White Sox. I can’t say enough about how much class he showed, and it was clear just how much he was going to miss the Twins. It was touching, plain and simple.
- Seriously, these are some terrible, terrible diseases. I’ve seen first hand just how devastating they can be to a family. Give a little thought to supporting neuroscience research at the U of M. You can find out more about what they’re doing here
- The introductions to many of the award recipients were often done by baseball writers. The best? It was Jim Souhan, who was head and shoulders above the rest. Absolutely full of one-liners. If I ever need to have someone host a roast, it’s him (provided it’s not my roast).
- Michael Cuddyer won a couple of awards, which The Voice of Reason was excited about, because he is her favorite Twin. Which prompted this response:
TG: So, is it safe to say that Cuddyer can’t leave the team until Joe Benson arrives?
TVOR: No, it’s not the same thing. It’s “cute & dimples” versus “Oh, my GOD!”
Glad we got that clarified.
- It appears the nickname that Gardy is going to go with for Tsuyoshi Nishioka is “Nishy.” I had thought maybe Yoshi, so I would be disappointed, but this allows me to spell it “Nietzsche.”
(Honestly Bat Girl, it’s like Gardy is baiting you to come back.)
- Gardy really seemed legitimately upset to see so many of his players leave, mostly because he felt so close to them. He went out of his way to make us understand that he feels like they are his kids, and he really missed them.
- If Bill Smith was trying to make Twins Territory even more nervous about a return by Justin Morneau, he did a heck of a job. He went out of his way to point out that their goal was to have Morneau ready to return by April 1st. He even guarded us against expecting him to come back when players report to spring training. So I think it’s pretty safe to say he’s not yet 100%.
- Danny Valencia: “I couldn’t envision my rookie year going any better than it did.”
We feel the same way, Danny. Now get ready for a roller-coaster of a sophomore year.
- Which Twins player had the best one-liners of the night? You won’t guess. Go ahead. List your top five. List your top 10.
Answer: Delmon Young. I might be more encouraged by that than I was about him losing 30 lbs.
- Good lord but Jim Thome is a big ball of positive energy.
- The only award recipient who didn’t attend was Carl Pavano, who instead filmed an incredibly awkward video from Florida. I wonder how that absence would have been received by Twins fans if it was Young. Or how it would have been received by Yankees fans if it was Pavano.
- Pat Borzi of MinnPost.com introduced Joe Mauer
by reminding us that he could have been signed by the Yankees this past offseason.
- Michael Cuddyer, in accepting his leadership award, gave a shout out to his wife and all baseball men’s wives for all that they do, their versatility and leadership. At which point TVOR told me that she was counting me as a baseball man and was happy that Cuddy had noticed all she did. And do you know what I said?
“I couldn’t agree more.”
Incidentally, I'm coming up on my 17th anniversary.
- Bert got his lifetime achievement award, and afterwards the Twins announced that they were retiring his number, #28, as a send off to his Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
- And finally, before the ceremony ended, Rod Carew basically walked up to the podium unannounced, and asked that we all think about sending Harmon Killebrew our best wishes. I agree with Sir Rodney. You can leave him your thoughts and comments here