Monday, October 17, 2011

So the Bill Smith bobblehead doll turned out to be the least popular item at Target Field this year it seems nobody is buying it, significant because it's nearly impossible to keep Twins fans away from any bobblehead offered up by the organization. During the Metrodome daze seemingly sane men with families would camp out overnight on the urine-soaked cakes of concrete which hold together the vacant east end of Minneapolis exposing life and liberty in exchange for the knowledge that they would be one of the first 10,000 fans into the stadium an accomplishment by 21st century standards which comes with a free bobblehead. Oh but nobody wants Bill's head anywhere other than the chopping block a sentiment I don't disagree with I'm simply amused how my sworn nemesis Ron Gardenhire escapes unscathed. Gardy has had significant input into most personnel decisions since 2002 that's part of the job description for any manager & since I inhaled far to much ethanol living near West 7th Street I cant help but flashback to 2008 when Gardenhire basically lobbied for Johan Santana to be traded when he "went to team officials in January (2008) and said he was concerned about a repeat of the distractions of a year ago during Torii Hunter's final contract season" (Star Tribune 2/3/08) - Twins president Dave St. Peter confirmed the report saying "there were concerns about distractions, it was on the manager's mind." Poor Gardy he doesn't like to be distracted he prefers his ace be dealt and so the '08 Twins went on to finish 1 game out of first place during a playoff year where we would have avoided the Yankees and been prohibitive favorites to beat Tampa Bay who would go on to represent the A.L. in the world series. That was the Devil Ray team we gave Matt Garza to (ALCS MVP) - remember how Matt didn't seem to get along with Gardenhire do you think it was a coincidence he was traded? Garza got us Delmon Young who got us 100 RBI's then got under Gardy's skin who didn't blink an eye when Delmon departed in exchange for nothing..... Matt Garza....Kyle Lohse....J.C. Romero....Glen Perkins.....funny how the guys with the best stuff, you know with actual movement on their pitches, tend to provoke Gardenhire who apparently can't come to grips with a reality where balls move both in and out of the strike zone. Johan knew the strike zone, that much even Gardy knew, what our fearless field general didn't know was how he was going to handle "a repeat of the distractions" - oh the pressure of being a small market Midwestern manager imagine having to answer 1 - 2 additional questions after every one of Santana's 2008 starts - Gardenhire couldn't even wait until the trade deadline to fold his ace he had reservations about playing it in January (no one was going to ruin his Fort Myers Spring with media inquiries) undoubtedly influencing a personnel decision which directly led to a 2nd place finish. Mercilessly we suffered a worse fate than simply finishing 1 game back as the Twins tied the White Sox for the A.L Central title who then beat us in game 163 by a score of 1 -0 on a homerun by Jim Thome, which by the way Jim is why I would have pocketed your 600th HR ball - that and $20,000 - you don't think I would hand it over to Twins officials to hand over to Thome do you? What, in exchange for an autographed bat, a jersey, and a handshake all because that "would have been the right thing to do"? Says who? whenever i shared my plans for hanging out near the right field plaza in anticipation of the moneyball (a plaza flooded with Twins employees who stepped up their presence in a concerted effort to reduce the chances of that ball going to a fan) I invariably got looks of contempt for saying Jim Thome would never see that ball unless of course he was the highest bidder followed by the same question in which they actually sounded hurt "Don't you have any respect for the game?" - the entire F'n game is based on deception from the moment when the leadoff hitter smears the chalk and stands outside the batter's box, yes even before the first official pitch has been thrown the deception has begun and it never stops. Should I respect something based in deception? Sinister left-handed pitchers who get away with balking on every throw to first base would say yes respect the deception, easy for them to say most face one or two hitters per game, compile a 4.50 ERA, pitch until their 45 and cash massive checks while I'm out here in the field looking to shag a carton of eggs & a loaf of bread - that's $2 a week Jesse Orosco my baseball instincts tell me that survival trumps respect and since Thome's 600 landed in a Detroit bullpen (a makeshift structure created when the fences were moved in at Comerica Park due to repeated complaints from Tiger hitters who couldn't get it up and out under the original stadium configuration) I can only dream of the day when I'll have another opportunity to run a $20,000 deposit slip toward the first solvent bank I can find should one still exist.