Startribune.com digital sports editor Howard Sinker used to cover the Twins and now shares season tickets with friends in Section 219 of Target Field. He blogs about baseball from the perspective of a long-time fan who loves the game, doesn’t always believe the hype and likes hearing what others think. Howard sometimes talks about sports with Cathy Wurzer on MPR's Morning Edition.
It is so much the wrong time for something like this to happen, with the season starting and so much to chew on with the Twins and Target Field and the AL Central. But I need to shut down Section 219 for the beginning of the season to concentrate on getting my health back to 100 percent.
I will spare you most of the details. The very short version is that an infected foot required a couple of surgeries, and my current job is rehab -- keep foot elevated, go to therapy, rest, repeat. I am expecting to be back on my feet again soon. When? I can't exactly say. This limbo makes me appreciate a bit more what Justin Morneau went through after his concussion -- and glad I avoided making wart quips about Michael Cuddyer's foot.
If you were to interview my therapists, I think they'd tell you I'm getting after it in the gym and battling my tail off. Sometimes I need to be better at doing the little things right, especially on the eighth or ninth rep of a tough exercise.
The rehab center has FSN (Yes, that was one of the first things I checked) and there's a flat screen in my room, so I can watch the Twins without annoying the nonbelievers. I have a couple of friends without cable, and they have already dropped strong hints about when the best times will be for them to visit. I will be their grateful captive host. I have wireless, and am wondering how I lived without my iPad.
Enough about me.
I'm excited for the season. I am hopeful that my belief in the new middle infield continues to be rewarded, with Nishioka exciting us and Casilla grabbing a full-timer's role this time without spitting it up. I remembering believing in them before some of you, mainly because there was a tendency to overvalue the 2010 incumbents Hudson and Hardy.
With improvements over last year (from Span and Kubel, mainly) and 100 percent health for Mauer and Morneau, I am excited about the ability of the offense to score runs in batches. I am curious to see how Gardy uses Kubel, Cuddyer and Thome when the team is at full health. I will trust that all the right decisions have been made about the pitching staff, and that Rick Anderson will manipulate the pieces accordingly. The rotation on April 1 isn't necessarily what it will be on May 1.
I want a webcam in the Twins' bullpen so I can watch the Kevin Slowey bullpen seminars. I would pay for that.
I will hope for the best for the outfield defense, but promise never to say things would be better with Carlos Gomez in center field. Will you take that pledge?
With the others in the 2007 trade having dispersed, I think this will be the season when the snapshots of the Delmon Young/Matt Garza/Jason Bartlett/Happypants Harris trade turn into a portrait of the star that the Twins have waited for Young to become. Sometimes we just have to be more patient than we want.
And that's where I'm at right now: More patient than I want to be, while needing to put all my efforts toward getting back to 100 percent. That's where my energy will go for now.
Believe me, it will be frustrating not to be at the home opener, although Ms. Baseball-219 has an excellent Opening Day surrogate in the mutual friend who introduced us. I'll use cable and MLB.tv to keep up, and become that much more a fan of my favorite bloggers. Even without Section 219, there's still a healthy array at startribune.com with Joe and La Velle, as well as the TwinsCentric group and Sooze. And recent days have reinforced to me the breadth of the Twins blogging community. I will be reading many of you that much more closely.
When players go on the disabled list, they often talk about the separation they feel from their teammates. Games go on without them, which is that much more incentive to get healthy and playing. I'm feeling the same way, pretty much, right now. I'm just not in a position to add as much to the discussion as you all deserve.
But I'll catch up. I'm totally committed to that. If you want to email, try me here.
Thanks for being patient with me.
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