Monday, September 19, 2005

Kyle Lohse viciously smashed Ron Gardenhire's office door with a baseball bat. That's the good news. The bad news is that his assault with a deadly weapon happened three years to late. Lohse entered the 2002 playoffs with the 2nd most starts and 2nd most wins on the 2002 pitching staff so naturally Gardenhire sent him to the bullpen for the entire post-season. Lohse hasn't forgotten which arguably makes his recent attack premeditated. If a batter strikes out and walks into the clubhouse with his bat and bashes in a door you might be able to convince me that it was a spontaneous, heat of the moment, act. When Lohse - with a history of resenting Gardenhire - who doesn't even need a bat in an American League stadium - grabs a Louisville slugger after being removed from the game and walks directly to the manager's office and inflicts damage upon the door (why was the door closed anyway ? who's going to steal Gardenhire's bowling trophies?) its premeditated and thereby easier for a jury to convict him of a criminal offense because at the very least it was vandalism. Am I overreacting simply because Lohse got to live out my dream ? Probably, but the last time I checked the Twins don't own the Metrodome. The Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission operates the Humpty Dump for the government which paid for the stadium with tax dollars taken from you and me. For those of you remaining out there who still believe that justice is blind that would mean Kyle Lohse is no less guilty of a criminal offense than I would be if I took a bat to Gardenhire's door (what a Twins fantasy camp that would be for me). Want to meet Harmon Killebrew ? No thanks, just show me to the manager's office. Of course, this aint fantasy island - I would be hauled to the Hennepin County jail while Lohse was given a start five days later even though Gardy cant wait to lobby for what he sees as a loose cannon to be unloaded. How fair is that ? A Twins fan has infinitely more reasons to harbor resentment and wish ill will upon the Metrodome than a Minnesota Twin. Players come and go and even when they are here they still get to play 81 games in places like Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, and Camden Yards. Twins fans are seemingly forever destined to a purgatory of spending our summer nights indoors at a venue better suited for tractor pulls, although many fans of tractor pulls tell me that they would prefer savoring that experience in an open field on a frigid night rather than get in their cars and drive to the thriving east end of downtown Minneapolis where they pay to sit inside a structure in which they are outnumbered 2 to 1 by the Metrodome's permanent inhabitants - Mississippi river rats.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Gardenhire was a bit blocked up so he paid a recent visit to Taco Bell. I am sad to report that he still couldnt manufacture any runs. And so as the Twins manager sits on the pot unable - unable to get his players to move runners over, unable to time a hit and run, unable to configure a batting order capable of scoring 1 run in Kansas City Wednesday - the light dims at the end of the dark tunnel for the 2005 Minnesota Twins. The season of sensational starting pitching has been squandered. Waste, waste, waste.....not the type of waste floating around New Orleans but the kind when your least effective pitcher in the starting rotation allows only 1 run in a must win game and you cant find a way to beat Denny Hocking's Kansas City Royals. When Denny played for the Twins he always found a way to pester and annoy the other team, it was almost as though the opposition wanted him to score so that they wouldnt have to talk to him while he was on base. The only facsimile of that type of ballplayer i've seen this season has been Luis Rodriguez but Gardenhire apparently isnt interested in the art of manufacturing runs he would rather play favorites and Rodriguez aint one of them. Rookie contributions dont impress Gardy and there is no more damning evidence of this than Scott Baker. I remember our west coast road trip months ago when Baker was called up to make a spot start against the ball-crushing California Angels and all Baker does is hold them to 1 earned run. Eric Milton threw a 10 a.m. no hitter against the Angels in 1999 (it was so early the metrodome rats were still eating breakfast) but since that memorable morning (an early start because the Humpy Dump had to be converted from a baseball diamond to a football field so that the Gophers could play a night game against Prarie View A & M) i dont recall a whole lot of Twins pitchers shutting down the Angel attack. After Baker's start he wasnt given another one before Gardy shrewdly put him on the Greyhound back to the Grapefruit league. Scott Baker returned weeks later and pitched lights out again but the pilot light flickering in Gardenhire's brain convinced him to send Baker immediately back to AAA. Yet somehow our manager finds a place on our staff for Terry Mulholland. I was waiting for a famous Gardentool quote like "this young man is simply to valuable to the Rochester Red Wings at this time to make a move to our starting rotation" similar to when the entire State of Minnesota was clamoring for Johan Santana to get some starts back in 2003 only to be repeatedly rebuffed by Gardenhire who, for those of you who care to remember, said Santana was to important to the bullpen to get put in the rotation.