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.

Posts about Twins: From the Dome

Section 219: And we'll see you...

Posted by: Howard Sinker Updated: October 28, 2011 - 9:03 AM

"If there's a walk-off home run, will Joe Buck say: 'And we'll see you tomorrow night"?

At 11:13 p.m. last night, that's how I updated my Facebook status.

A few minutes later, when David Freese pounded his home run to center field, Joe did just that.

In my social media circles, some people were very worked up that Joe had pirated his father's call, which has become so entwined with the 1991 Game 6 home run that Kirby Puckett hit at the Metrodome to send that version of the Greatest World Series Ever Played to a final game.

While I'm not going to share specific responses, suffice to say that one of the words sometimes used rhymed with Buck.

Here's a link from the Sporting News to Jack Buck's call followed by Joe Buck's.

My initial response was that I thought it was a bit tacky. I thought Joe should have been good enough to come up with his own line, or at least put his call, somehow, in the context of what happened 20 years ago. (I'm sure announcers love having people tell them what to say -- or what they should have said -- in the same way that writers get second-guessed about the words we should have used.)

That being said, I liked the game-ending ESPN radio call by Dan Shulman, who is so underrated that it's ridiculous: "One of the most remarkable, improbable baseball games you will ever see."

And that being said, I think we need to ease up on Joe.

I'm not annoyed anymore.

As possessive as many of us are about Puckett's moment, I think it's better not to dwell on it. After a shortened night's sleep -- Thanks, baseball -- I think we should accept that Buck was paying tribute to one of his father's most legendary calls and be OK with it.

The call was passed down from father to son, and from one of the most memorable home runs in World Series history to another.

Of course, when some of the TV guys started talking about this year's Game 6 as "the greatest World Series ever played," that's total @#$%^&in' garbage.


When you watch this young man play

Posted by: Howard Sinker Updated: April 20, 2010 - 9:42 AM

When you watch this promising youngster who was called up Monday

(AP photo)

play first base for the Mets, keep in mind  that his father is

.

Congratulations, RD!

Much as I rejoiced when Young219 switched by being a goalkeeper to a midfielder on the soccer field -- I'm still a bit shaky from that experiment with the pole vault -- I suspect being the parent of a first baseman is a bit easier than having a closer for a kid.

Fandom rediscovered at TwinsFest

Posted by: Howard Sinker Updated: January 30, 2010 - 5:46 PM

You won't find this in any of the TwinsFest promotions. (At least I couldn't find it.) But if you came of baseball age in or around the 1970s, I suggest bringing $20 to the Metrodome and checking out the table near the Pro Shop where five of baseball's elite are autographing baseballs and chatting up fans.

I hung out with Ferguson Jenkins today!

Jenkins, voted into the Hall of Fame in 1991, pitched seven full seasons for the Cubs (1967-73). In the first six, he won 20 or more games. In 1971, pitching for a team that was four games over .500, he went 24-13 and completed 30 of his 39 starts. That's five more than Bert Blyleven ever completed in a season.

I'm not an autographs guy. Asking for them while covering baseball is taboo and the only autograph I ever got for Young219 was that of Temple basketball coach John Cheney, when I was volunteering at a basketball clinic during the 2001 Final Four.

The last baseball autograph I'd gotten was during the 1980 American Legion World Series in Ely.

It was Ted Williams -- a gift for a New England relative.

For me, the opportunity to visit and listen to such folks far exceeds the value of getting their name on paper, and I so much remember the hour in the Ely High School library when Williams, Bob Feller and an old spitball pitcher named Burleigh Grimes were talking baseball. It was supposed to be an interview session, but we were smart enough to shut up and listen to them talk to one another.

Ms. Baseball, who was with me at the Dome, thoroughly enjoyed my descent into fandom. We chatted for a couple of minutes and I shared some of my Cubs memories and politely avoided asking about the 1969 collapse that let the Mets win the NL East and World Series.

She enjoyed it almost as much as I did.

So here's the deal: Jenkins, Rollie Fingers, George Foster, Vida Blue and Mudcat Grant are at the Dome. For $20, you get a ball autographed by one of them and, because there's not a whole lot of traffic, a chance for a brief visit. I chatted up Rollie Fingers a bit because of a story I did years ago about a former U of M baseball player whose family once recounted the kindnesses Fingers showed when their son was fighting cancer.  An autographed Brewers cap was central in the teenager's room.

Proceeds benefit the Fergie Jenkins Foundation.

***

On Friday night, Ms. Baseball scored an invitation to a private party at the Dome during which Twins players came in for interviews. We found out for example that #JimThome is not run by Jim Thome and that Joe Mauer didn't have much to say about his contract status, even when a snowed-in-Oklahoma Nick Blackburn called in the question by cell phone through a Twins media official.

We were sharing a table with a couple of fun middle schoolers from Chanhassen, who got Al Newman to autograph their Twins jerseys after we told them who Al Newman was. The boys left for a while to buy stuff from the baseball card vendors and came back with stacks of card.

One of them asked us: "Who's Jerry Rice?"

Me 'n' Ms. Baseball explained that he was the best receiver in the history of football. (Sorry, Bernard Berrian.)

One of the boys smiled. "Oh, him! My mother talks about him. He was on Dancing with the Stars."

Are we getting that old?

 

 

 

Liriano tops a list of good things

Posted by: Howard Sinker Updated: January 29, 2010 - 3:41 PM

Chalk this one up under winter hope springs eternal:

Yes, it was only "winter league," but Francisco Liriano looked awfully sharp Thursday night when he struck out 10, walked none and gave up only 1 hit in 5 innings in the Dominican Winter League championship game. What I noticed -- and this is echoed by Twins Geek in his post -- wasn't so much the fastball as the bite on the slider. I'm not going to fall in love with a webcast radar gun that shows 95-96. What was very cool thought was the biting slider, about 8-9 miles per hour slower, that totally flummoxed his overmatched opponents.

You can find the game replay here.  Be sure to check out the second inning at-bat when Wilson Betemit is left holding a wood fragment after Liriano nastily amputated his bat.

***

Joe C. and La Velle have a spring training/TwinsFest preview video that they shot Thursday afternoon. It's 6 minutes of baseball talk -- and there's something in this video you aren't likely to see for the rest of the year. Watch and then ask yourself if ZZ Top was right when they made this claim.

***

Did a quick Target Field walk-through this afternoon and learned that Mauer and Morneau have claimed one corner of the clubhouse as their own. It's the corner with the double-wide locker for Mauer's catching gear. The new clubhouse makes the Metrodome version look like a walk-in clothes closet. They also had the center field video screen going through a dry run -- with this lineup posted:

Span, cf; Hardy, ss; Mauer, c; Morneau 1b; Kubel, dh; Cuddyer, rf; Young, lf; Harris, 3b; Punto, 2b.

Darn, no Evan Longoria.

***

I hope some of you will come visit at the Star Tribune TwinsFest booth from noon to 1 p.m. Saturday. It's beyond the third-base dugout, just to the infield side of the KSTP area. I'll be the tall guy in the Canada baseball or the Rochester Redwings hoodie. Haven't made a final choice.

Enjoy the weekend.

 

 

 

 

 

Liriano tops a list of good things

Posted by: Howard Sinker Updated: January 29, 2010 - 3:41 PM

Chalk this one up under winter hope springs eternal:

Yes, it was only "winter league," but Francisco Liriano looked awfully sharp Thursday night when he struck out 10, walked none and gave up only 1 hit in 5 innings in the Dominican Winter League championship game. What I noticed -- and this is echoed by Twins Geek in his post -- wasn't so much the fastball as the bite on the slider. I'm not going to fall in love with a webcast radar gun that shows 95-96. What was very cool thought was the biting slider, about 8-9 miles per hour slower, that totally flummoxed his overmatched opponents.

You can find the game replay here.  Be sure to check out the second inning at-bat when Wilson Betemit is left holding a wood fragment after Liriano nastily amputated his bat.

***

Joe C. and La Velle have a spring training/TwinsFest preview video that they shot Thursday afternoon. It's 6 minutes of baseball talk -- and there's something in this video you aren't likely to see for the rest of the year. Watch and then ask yourself if ZZ Top was right when they made this claim.

***

Did a quick Target Field walk-through this afternoon and learned that Mauer and Morneau have claimed one corner of the clubhouse as their own. It's the corner with the double-wide locker for Mauer's catching gear. The new clubhouse makes the Metrodome version look like a walk-in clothes closet. They also had the center field video screen going through a dry run -- with this lineup posted:

Span, cf; Hardy, ss; Mauer, c; Morneau 1b; Kubel, dh; Cuddyer, rf; Young, lf; Harris, 3b; Punto, 2b.

Darn, no Evan Longoria.

***

I hope some of you will come visit at the Star Tribune TwinsFest booth from noon to 1 p.m. Saturday. It's beyond the third-base dugout, just to the infield side of the KSTP area. I'll be the tall guy in the Canada baseball or the Rochester Redwings hoodie. Haven't made a final choice.

Enjoy the weekend.

 

 

 

 

 

      

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