The Boys of Summer Are Back!

I promised initially that this blog would be an outlet for all my diverse interests, and so it is about time I start making good on that promise.  What interests me these days are that the long, cold, void of winter is now over and baseball season is back in full swing.  A couple of thoughts as the season gets underway.

First, I want to give serious props to the Minnesota Twins organization for a few things.  Building a new ballpark.  Signing Joe Mauer.  Redesigning their logo in a very, very classy way, calling it "The Minnesota Twins Baseball Club."  As far as I can tell, nobody else calls their organization by a cool, historic-sounding name.  Signing Joe Mauer.  And the new road uniforms?  Simply a perfect blend of classic and contemporary.  I love them.  Beefing up the lineup this year with the additions of Hudson, Hardy, and Thome.  Signing Joe Mauer.  Not making the yearly mistake of signing washed-up veterans to fill rotation spots, but giving Baker, Blackburn, Slowey, and Liriano the chance they all deserve to pitch big in the Big Leagues.  Oh, and signing Joe Mauer.  Did I mention that?

Anyway, plenty to be excited about this season.  This is the most fearsome lineup the Twins have likely ever fielded.  For the first time since, oh, 1991 I feel like any given guy, with the exception of the #9 hole hitter (a guy named Punto, Argh!), obviously, can put one out of the park.  Potent, potent bats, up and down the line.

So the first few games have been promising.  Morneau is obviously feeling healthy, and is getting tremendous swings in.  The pitching staff has been great, except for Mijares' hiccup the other night.  All in all, the Twins will not go into any game this year overmatched before they even throw the first pitch.  And that's a beautiful thing for baseball hope.

A side thought.  Apologies to Dodger fans, but having watched the replays last night, I can tell you that you might as well cash in your tickets already, after a mere two games.  Your team is done.  Finished.  Not a chance in the world they will go to the playoffs.  Why do I say this?  Because the Dodgers found themselves in a tight game, bottom of the 9th inning, tie game, against the Pirates, for crying out loud, and they coughed up the game-winner.  No, in the grand scheme of 162 games that isn't a big deal.  What is a big deal is that the pitcher on the mound at the time was....Ramon Ortiz.  Trust me, if you're starting out the season thinking that Ramon Ortiz is a good option for a late-inning reliever, your team is dead, and the general manager must be fired, at once.  He is the dictionary definition of "washed up," as the Twins found out a couple of seasons ago.  LA apparently didn't get that memo...

So, here's to the boys of summer, packing our lives with all manner of joy and heartache for the next six months.  Play ball!

Brian Mattson