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.
I was going to write about how you can go to a game this time of year, watch a pair of out-of-contention teams and remember that baseball is baseball -- and kind of like sitting on the deck as the seasons change. Good sights, good sounds, good smells.
And then the Twins stunk.
The good news was that Tuesday's game was baseball-on-the-cheap. We went StubHub fishing at 5 p.m. and scored fourth-row tickets in Section 110 -- draw a line from third base to our seats that cuts across home plate and that's where we were sitting -- for $20 each. We were able to get a table -- with chairs, even -- at Town Ball Tavern. Ms. Baseball-219 went shopping for the 4-year-old nephew whose birthday is today.
Then the baseball started. Liam Hendriks gave up bombs to start and the Twins fell behind 2-0 five minutes into the game.
Oh, did I mention it was Star Wars Night?
No such luck.
There was lots of bad baseball, as you would expect from two out-of-it teams starting 12 rookies in a late September game.
Let's make a potentially long story short.
There is little to get excited about in the current group of Twins youngsters who are getting their chance to wear the big-boy uniforms for a month. I was watching a bit last week when Dick Bremer, hoping for a silver lining, asked TK (who was filling in for Bert), about what some of the youngsters could provide for the Twins down the road.
He allowed that Hughes and Plouffe could have roles as utility players.
Oh, great. (Not that you should ask TK a question and expect a reply filled with sunshine, of course.)
To keep their faithful faithful, the Twins need to be dealing this off-season without being dealing fools. It is becoming a bit harder to fathom the potential loss of Cuddyer and Kubel on a team that has such minimal help coming from the minors, and there are holes that will need to be filled from the outside throughout the roster. You can read that as middle infield, starting rotation and bullpen, not to mention issues of health involving Mauer, Morneau and Span. Their potential free agents -- the ones worth keeping -- will need market-value contracts as well as a reason to believe that Minnesota won't become baseball's new Kansas City.
Touting the young players in the organization as being of much help for 2012, or even 2013, is reckless.
We stayed until the end, so we saw the pathetic bottom of the ninth, when the 9-1-2 guys in the order loaded the bases (with some help from Seattle's defense) and the 3-4-5 guys failed to bring any of them home in a one-run loss.
Ms. Baseball-219 and I walked back to the Baseball Cruiser.
We laughed a bit, trying to figure out how to describe what we'd just watched.
"We outsucked them," Ms. Baseball-219 said.
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