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The Road To Hell Is Paved With Minnesota Twins

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A weekly baseball rundown of one’s own team? Hey, I’m well aware that I’m stealing this idea off fine gentleman Brian Kist. But if you’ve been reading Semper Cardinalis, you’d want to try this too. So here’s the summary of Detroit’s 2-4 road trip which shrank their lead over Minnesota, a team of which you’ll quickly understand I’m terrified, to two games.

Monday, June 29: Oakland 7, Detroit 1 — The Tigers struck out 14 times; although in all fairness, I think 12 of those were by Rob Deer. A’s fans were able to hang enough “K”s in the stands to give one to every fan in attendance. Rick Porcello, the 20-year-old you did not expect, had an outing you would expect out of a 20-year-old. This game also marked the debut of Taiwanese import Fu-Te Ni, which is the reason Tigers fans began saying, “we are the Knights Fu-Te … Ni!”

Tuesday, June 30: Detroit 5, Oakland 3 — This was Level 5 in Marble Madness. Everything you know is wrong. The power was supplied by Placido Polanco and the great pitching was courtesy of Armando Galarraga. A semblance of reality came back into our mental states as Fernando Rodney gave up a two-run Jack Johnson to Mark Ellis, whose second home run of the year (and of the series) was helped by a magic wand that appeared over his head.

Wednesday, July 1: Oakland 5, Detroit 1 — Gerald Laird hit an RBI double! And then I blacked out for seven innings.

Friday, July 3: Detroit 11, Minnesota 9, 16 innings — This game went so long I’m pretty sure I saw Greg Gohr warming up in the bullpen. And the marathon of a game was all thanks to Zach Miner, who pissed away a 7-2 lead in the sixth. God, I hate the Twins.

Saturday, July 4: Minnesota 4, Detroit 3 — On the penultimate American holiday, it was the crafty Venezuelan, Magglio Ordoñez, whose three-run Caracas gave Detroit a slim lead only Brandon Lyon could light on fire and explode in the air. God, I hate the Twins.

Sunday, July 5: Minnesota 6, Detroit 2 — This is where everyone starts to wonder whether or not that 20-year-old is really all that and a bag of Funyuns. Porcello could only last four innings, surrendering all runs, and the only “hooray” came in the ninth when Brandon Inge made his case for the All-Star Final Vote by clobbering a two-run homer off complete gamer Nick Blackburn. God, I hate the Twins.

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  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    God, I hate the Twins.

    I don’t hate the Twinkies, Matt. I even went to the funeral of one of them, Zoilo Versalles. I met a lot of the remaining Twins including the late Kirby Puckett.

    But it sure would be nice if the late unlamented Washington Senators could take the Series more than 3 times in a century!

    It’s just a damned shame that the Dodgers left Brooklyn. When your home team deserts you, it leaves a hole in the uh… whatever.

    I hate the Dodgers.

  • Tony

    You can’t mention the Twins without perennial Tiger-killer Joe Crede. It seems like every time that dude comes to the plate its against the Tigers, in a clutch situation, and he comes through. First he did it with the ChiSox and now he’s doing it for the Twins.

    Really funny article though; anything piece that mentions Rob Deer and Marble Madness is the same universe is fine by me.

    I don’t really think the Twins have the pitching and definately not the offense to stay ahead of the Tigers but it will be a good race. It’s funny that the Twins hatred has resurfaced in Detroit because I always remember my Dad absolutely hating the Twins after that 87 series and — Kirby Puckett friend — Bob Costas, for apparently being totally bias in his announcing duties (although I’m going on pure testimony there).

    That 16 inning game was a bit much but you gotta love Leyland. Throws Zoom Zoom for three innings, Rodney for two, they get the lead and he puts in Dolce! The best was when he walked Mauer and Morneau to load the bases with two outs and it worked.

  • Bliffle

    Zoilo Versalles is dead?

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Zoilo Versalles is dead?

    ‘Fraid so, professor. He passed in the ’90’s sometime.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Crede had an off-series, for him. He did hit a home run but was just 3-for-12 for the weekend.

    That 16-inning game was downright painful. Leyland HAD to use Zumaya and Dolsi three innings each, and I’ve written before how Zumaya is just terrible after two innings.

    Dolsi was their last pitcher. Galarraga was warming up in the 16th in the event Freddy self-immolated on the mound again. I’m still having trouble believing they won it.

    You’re right about Minnesota from an objective analytical standpoint, but … it’s the AL Central. You just have to be in the mix and be a couple games better than the other team. Minnesota is 6-2 against Detroit this year.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Ruvy,

    Looking at it from a mega-historical perspective looks bad, but since 1983, only five teams can brag about winning the World Series twice: the Twins, Marlins, Red Sox, Blue Jays, and the Yankees, who obviously have more than two. The league has tons of parity, and when a team like Minnesota has only one non-winning season since 2001 (only seven teams can say that), there’s not a whole lot to be depressed about.

    Hmm. The Dodgers. I have no problem hating them too.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Matt,

    Truth is, one of the things that eventually soured me on baseball, was the business aspect of it all. Team after team would blackmail the home city to build them a stadium; team after team would over-pay players – because the boys in New York or LA could; so tezms in lesser markets like the Twin Cities were always stuck trading away their talent just to “save a buck” on labor – the players. There are far too many teams in the leagues, and far too many divisions, which are a joke, anyway.

    The fun’s gone from it all, Matt. What kind of trash is this where you have to pay a guy for an autograph, anyway?

  • zingzing

    i absolutely love the twins. if slowey can get over the 10 game hump, blackburn can get some run support and liriano can continue his resurgence, i think we’ll have a pretty good starting crew. the bullpen has been hit or miss, but after an awful spring, they’re starting to show up.

    as far as the batting goes, they’ve got most of their starting line up producing (almost everyone has an obp over .300), and have 5 players with 10 or more homers (some power for the first time in ages). they had a rocky start, but i think they’re starting to come around, finally got over that .500 mark and are starting to win away from home.

    barring any significant injuries (which will happen… i just hope that the tigers/sox get injuries around the same time,) i think the twins should be competitive.

    god, i hate the white sox. the tigers… i don’t have so much hate for them, probably because i grew up in the 80s/90s, so they’ve pretty well sucked almost that entire time. but my hatred is growing.