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Goodbye, Wes Johnson - A Twins Blog

Wes Johnson, huh? This doesn’t feel good. I’ve read the articles and the blog posts and the comments. I’ve had a chance to digest this thing. So far, it doesn’t sit well in my tummy. Like a member of the clean plate club choking down a particularly bad supper, I gagged on Wes Johnson writing until I could feel despair grow in my chest. First of all, the Twins were paying him $250,000 a year? Doesn't Griffin Jax makes twice that? Hell, doesn't every player on the team makes at least twi

Be Aggressive - A Twins Blog

The Guardians took two out of three from the Twins, sending us down to second place. On Wednesday the 22nd, the Twins put up ten runs and still lost. Now it’s time for a three-game series against the Rockies and then a five-game series against the Guardians. Part of me wants these games to be as feisty and spirited as a parking-lot fist fight. We need a lot of runs to win games. Everyone needs to contribute, and the elite need to be at their best. Every at bat is personal now. Defensiv

Bullpen Blues - A Twins Blog

The Twins dropped the series to the Diamondbacks and, as of this writing, are only one game ahead of the Guardians in the division. Next up, a whole slew of games against those Guardians. Beware. I’m trying to maintain my optimism after the series loss in Arizona. It’s not going well. I tried to listen to the game on Sunday, but all that happened was that I got to hear the Diamondbacks hit a grand slam. A door to victory shuts. I switch my Echo Dot (a wonderful Father’s Day gift from my bel

I Know the Pieces Fit - A Twins Blog

Writing one column for every Twins series has made me realize how fickle a fan I am. If the Twins lose a few more than they win, I’m the first guy to say we’re all doomed. Twins win a few and I’m starting to plan for the playoffs. Win and strut about. Lose and pout in the corner. I’m the exact kind of fan that drives other fans nuts. Today, though, I feel as if I’ve arrived in a moment of clarity. The Twins are far enough into the season for me to say they are a play-off worthy team. There’

Rays of Freaking Sunshine - A Twins Blog

Thanks to Apple TV, my family got to watch a Twins game for a change. As luck would have it, we got a good one. The Twins crushed the Rays nine to four. Dingers abounded. I silenced my yelps of delight so my daughter would stay asleep. I enjoyed seeing some of the players I’d only heard about on the radio. I’m not sure I knew what Pagan or Larnach looked like. Watching Buxton hit a home run is a lot more fun than just hearing about it. He enjoys every second of his trot around the bases. I

Schrödinger’s Twins - A Twins Blog

When I went to bed last night, the Twins were up seven to three. I know what you’re thinking – how early does he go to bed? I have to get up early so I go to bed early. Anyway, the whole game turned into a Schrödinger’s cat kind of thing. Overly simplified, Schrödinger posed an interesting dilemma. First, theoretically, someone could place a cat in a box with a radioactive particle. Then, a radiation detector would be connected to a hammer. The hammer would be poised over a container o

Saints and Cubs - A Twins Blog

The Twins took two out of three in Toronto, even in a depleted state. And if the Twins were playing without players, then the St. Paul Saints were stripped down to the bone as well. I wasn't sure what to expect from them when we watched them take on the Iowa Cubs in Des Moines. I know I didn't expect a record-setting day for home runs and a near double-digit victory for the Saints, but I was glad to see it. I sported my Rosario shirsey and Twins hat, but I'm sad to say my daughter did not m

Done Dirty in Detroit - A Twins Blog

In my last blog entry, I said the Twins needed a strong showing in Detroit to prove they were legit. During those five games, the Twins did not prove their legitimacy. Far from it. They looked bad out there, and they chalked up some injuries. Five games, and now success seems like it's falling out of reach.  This column's getting posted later than I'd like because life got busy for a bit. During that time, I didn't get much of a chance to follow those five games. The final scores popped up

That One Royals Series - A Twins Blog

This Royals series was inevitable.  The air is filled with the business of summer. Schools are either out of session or winding down. Kids are making plans to play outside after being given more time off than they know what to do with. Parents put together the finishing touches on family trips. Family dogs look for sunny spots in the lawn where they can pant peacefully. Ice cream consumption is up. Air conditioners are on. Somewhere, someone is already bored. In the midst of this comes

Stats for Dark Days - A Twins Blog

Confession time. I’m not a stat-head. I need to be clear. I THOUGHT I was a stat-head for many years. I love stat-heads. I love the way the game can be broken down into useful pieces of information. There’s something mind-boggling and magical about watching a game and knowing that, just below the surface, hundreds of calculations and adjustments are being considered and implemented. It feels so tidy to me. Every bit of baseball goodness is squeezed out of every player.  Gut instinct is a fi

A Sunday Afternoon Comeback- A Twins Blog

Sunday afternoon. I’m making PB and J sandwiches for my daughter, my wife, and myself. I turn the game on the radio for a little bit and it’s the third inning. No runs in at this point. The Twins had already won the series, so I kind of wonder if we were due to lose one. The sandwiches made, I turn off the radio and go into the living room with lunch. My wife cleans up from mowing the lawn and I’m watching a JoJo Siwa special. I’m thinking about how much I’d rather be watching the Twins pla

Royce Lewis and the Abyss - A Twins Blog

Being a hero means spending time in the abyss, mired down and challenged in every way. Royce Lewis has the potential for being a hero, but for now he’s spending a season in the abyss - in this case, staying patient in AAA. He’ll have to grow and add skills during this time, which is how heroes make their way back into the light. To stay a hero, he’ll need to transform into an even greater version of himself. If his brief time in the majors was any indication, he should have no problem doing that

Clear Skies at Target Field - A Twins Blog

The Twins won two out of three in their series against the Guardians. As luck would have it, we managed to go to the game they lost. It would’ve been much more fun if we attended the game where the Twins put up twelve and Royce hit his first home run, but we did not. We got the low scoring game, where the teams went into extra innings tied one-all. The cliché holds true, though. A bad night at the ballpark is still a good night. I went in good company and enjoyed the conversation. The weat

Gut Punched - A Baseball Blog

I remember the first time I got the wind knocked out of me. I was climbing a tree at my grandma and grandpa's farm. I missed a step, saw foliage tumble before my eyes, and landed on my back. I couldn't breathe. Then, when the oxygen came back, I sprinted into the house. I was more afraid of the sensation than I was hurt. I didn't know know my body would do that to me. By the time the Astros swept the Twins, I knew the feeling all too well. Life likes to suckerpunch you. My last blog post de

Joyous Victory! - A Twins Blog

Three baseball games. Three consecutive one-run victories. All around Twins territory, fans’ brains are secreting happy hormones.  Last year was such a different story. I had a dry-erase board at work. I drew the Twins logo on it and then two numbers underneath that logo. One for wins, one for losses. We all remember which number grew the fastest. Every day, it seemed like I’d be adding one to the loss column. “They lost again?” the people I worked with asked. “Your team sucks,” came next.

Betrayed By Your Own Body - A Twins Blog

Our bodies betray us. Let’s say you’re a professional baseball player. You’ve been given tremendous physical gifts that allow you to play the game. Your muscles, tendons, nerves, eye sight . . . All of it coming together to create a ballplayer. A team puts a uniform on you, and suddenly you’re a sight to see. Like an ancient Greek, you represent the highest achievement in human athleticism. (Note: I realize not every baseball player represents a Platonic ideal of human anatomy. Babe Ru

The Roar of the Crowd - A Twins Blog

I am not a handyman. I am a jack of no trades. When it became time to prepare my snowblower for storage, I took it as a threat to the peace and harmony of my weekend. Sure enough, I managed to stretch a small chore into two days of choking back cuss words because my daughter was in earshot. It's ready now. Probably. The nice part is I didn't suffer alone. I had Cory Provus and Dan Gladden to keep me company. I listened to the Twins play in the garage. It felt right, somehow. Baseball and sm

The Scream of the Goat - A Twins Blog

"I'm not superstitious. But I'm a little stitious." - Michael Scott As fans of The Office know, Michael Scott can sometimes share deep knowledge. I think a lot of us are a little "stitious" when it comes to baseball. Prior to this Twins/Tigers series, I'd have told you I'm not a very superstitious person at all. Then, my coworker and I made Max Kepler good again. I'll explain. Before the series started, we were talking about Miguel Sano. We both remembered Aaron Gleeman's mailbag

Buxton and the Bad Sox - A Twins Blog

Never much cared for the White Sox, so seeing them get swept this weekend felt pretty darned good. I converted to Twins fandom in 2006, so I never knew A.J. Pierzynski as a Minnesota Twin. A Cubs fan painted a picture of him as a jerk, and I never really got convinced he wasn't. I went to the first White Sox game at Target Field just to boo him. Ozzie Guillen rubbed me the wrong way, too. If you need a team to be the bad guys, the White Sox seem tailor-made for your needs. It might not be ration

Stumbling Out of the Gates - A Twins Blog

Baseball is a marathon, not a sprint . . . but I'm willing to bet you can spoil a marathon with a weak start. Mental fortitude cracking with the arrhythmic slapping of your feet against the pavement. Planning and precision giving way to panic. Comparing yourself to the other runners, who seem to be running flawlessly. Baseball is a marathon . . . for the fans, too. It takes commitment to stay abreast of a whole season. The game this afternoon felt like a must-win situation to keep some sens

Axel Kohagen

Axel Kohagen in Essay.

"Baseball GOOD!" Says Frankenstein's Monster - A Twins Blog

There were lots of bad baseball moments this holiday weekend. Yesterday, I would've written a whole blog entry about despair and bullpen blow-ups. Today the Twins split the Red Sox series with a decisive victory and I'm a happy boy. Couple home runs, some late inning score-padding. Dylan Bundy turning in a solid performance - we'll just worry about those hard-hit balls later, shall we?  Game-by-game, I'm like Frankenstein, Twins win. Baseball GOOD. Twins lose. Baseball BAD. The big guy's be

Axel Kohagen

Axel Kohagen in Essay.

A Bad Day for Dodgers - A Twins Blog.

In about 24 hours, the Los Angeles Dodgers disassembled the Minnesota Twins and left them in little pieces, out in the rain. On top of that, two of the moving parts don't work anymore. Alcala and Kirilloff need repairs, and they're both key cogs in the Twins machine. They say the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and right now those parts do not add up.  I monitored the first game on my cell phone. My ear was too clogged (allergies) to listen to the game. I'd watch the game, but I

I've Been Hurt Before - A Twins Blog

When I dipped my toe into the new Twins season, I braced myself and winced. Like most people on Twins Daily, I'm excited for our hitting but unsure if we've got the pitching to be competitive. More than that, these old bones are sore from the 2021 season. Things looked swell last year at this time, and then the losses piled on and on. And on and on and on. Admitting you were a Twins fan got you a free bowl of soup and a friendly ear in Depression-era diners last year. "Times are tough," the cook

Axel Kohagen

Axel Kohagen in Blog

Saving Baseball.

Everybody's trying to save baseball from something. Things aren't the way they oughta be. Or they're not the way they were. Baseball purists tilt a windmills and sling arrows at one another with one goal in mind - keep The Game intact for the future. The generational hand-off has to occur, or The Game gets lost. What's really at stake? What are we fighting for? Real life has enough to engage us. There are plenty of other sports. What makes baseball so noble? Just recently, many denigrated t

Axel Kohagen

Axel Kohagen in Essay.

The Last Days of My Beautiful Twins Zubaz

I just asked my wife if my Twins Zubaz still existed.   I have to ask. They’ve seen better days. Their greatest wound is an inch and a half ripped seam in the crotch, rendering them useless for anything public. I’ve thought about mending the tear, but the rest of the Zubaz are worn so thin I imagine they’d tear in ten other places like ice crackling during a spring thaw.   Do I wear them expecting they’ll bring me closer to the Minnesota Twins as I slumber? Absolutely. Pajamas should always be a

Axel Kohagen

Axel Kohagen

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