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Nothing Will Keep Us Together - Twins versus Royals (Games 102-104)

The Way the Ball Bounces (Twins 2 Royals 7 – Game 102)   With the trade talk making the Minnesota Twins look like the garage sale everybody drives past, baseball kept being baseball. The game sounded great in my car, with the window down, and a few hints of fall in the breeze.   Provus described a routine foul ball and it reminded me how elegant but complicated the game is. The ball goes in the air, affected by the way it was thrown, the way it was hit, and the atmospheric conditions with which

Axel Kohagen

Axel Kohagen

Green Shoots from Broken Bat Rubble (Twins at Mariners - Games 98-101)

Daydream Disbeliever (Twins 2 Mariners 8 – Game 98)   The Twins got knocked out early in this game, but everybody played nine innings anyway.   During my little league tour of duty, I spent most of time at whichever part of the outfield they felt saved me from embarrassing attempts at fielding fly balls. If I was lucky and the ball stayed far away from my glove, I had nothing to do but daydream away until I was forced to humiliate myself at the plate.   Getting blown out of the water early, one

Axel Kohagen

Axel Kohagen

If Twins Play In CA, Does Anyone Remember What Time? (Twins at Angels 95-97)

Behind the Maps (Twins 4 Angels 2 – Game 95)   Putting the Twins on a West Coast road trip is like keeping something in your glove compartment. No matter how much you swear you won’t forget this time, your mind goes blank when it counts.   California time victories are nice to find between smashes of the “snooze” button on my cell phone. It’s like getting a nice letter, except no one mails anything anymore. Even the junk mail people gave up the ghost years ago.   Since there’s no reason to focus

Axel Kohagen

Axel Kohagen

End of Twins, Beginning of Baseball (Twins vs. Indians 92-94)

No More All-Star Moments (Twins 3 Indians 2 – Game 92)   This is the story of the 2013 Twins, and there’s really not a whole lot left to cover in these remaining games. True believers will hold out for a miracle, a string of victories, and playoff glory. I love all things TC, but I can’t believe in this campfire tale.   If it happens, I’ll jump on the bandwagon and stand in the parade like I always belonged there.   The Twins came out of the All-Star Break plucky, like nobody told them the odds.

Axel Kohagen

Axel Kohagen

Summer of Massacres, Tornadoes of Sharks (Twins at Yankees -- Games 89-91)

The Twins Were Sharknados First (Twins 0 Yankees 2 - Game 89)   A SyFy televion movie called Sharknado took over the world of Twitter, and I’ll bet most Twins fans didn’t put up too much of a struggle.   Sharknado is a movie whose title tells you exactly what you’re going to see on your TV. The Internet Movie Database estimates it cost about a million to make. I’ll bet no one over the age of eight expected any quality from it, and yet it stole the world’s heart for a moment in time.   The Twins

Axel Kohagen

Axel Kohagen

Loss Leaders (Twins at Rays - Games 85-88)

Lots of Hits, No Crossovers (Twins 4 Rays 7 - Game 85)   Crossed through the radio broadcast of the game like going over the same creek, again and again, driving down a country highway. Things were peaceful enough until I crossed paths with the game one more time to find the Twins down three runs. As I listened, a fourth Rays run crossed the plate.   There was still hope when I got home. Aaron Hicks got his fourth hit of the game and then scored a run. I got home and hurried through a few chores

Axel Kohagen

Axel Kohagen

Blue Jays, Old Age, Totally Lame. (Twins at Blue Jays -- Games 82-84)

Centre of Horrors, With an “R-E” (Twins 0 Blue Jays 4 - Game 82)   After an early first pitch and late jog, my trusty phone informed me the Twins were down four to zip. Last week I might’ve had enough “never say die” to keep an eye on the game, but the Yankees took that with them back to New York.   Catching the pre-game show on my drive home didn’t exactly fill me with rainbows, hopes, and dreams. The crew kept referring to Rogers Centre as a “House of Horrors” for the Twins. They always lose t

Axel Kohagen

Axel Kohagen

Treading Royal Blue Water (Twins versus Royals -- Games 74-77)

All Summers are Royal Blue (Twins 3 Royals 1 - Game 74)   When, in the course of baseball events, the Twins are clearly not going to make the playoffs, the Royals will play against them approximately one million times. Neither team will be playing meaningful baseball, and yet they will continue playing.   I shouldn’t complain. The Twins won.   Deduno wins again, too. Aaron Gleeman calls him a UFO, because people believe in his pitching prowess even though all the evidence points toward a more ra

Axel Kohagen

Axel Kohagen

Marred by Marlins (Twins at Marlins - Games 72-73)

Losing to Traffic AND the Marlins (Twins 2 Marlins 4 - Game 72)   Began the drive home with the Twins down by two runs and an unexpected optimism they could pull this thing off. Maybe getting a phone call from my wife informing me we had power after a 91 hour drought made me sentimental. Maybe it was seeing Minnesotans looking over piles of chopped wood, proud to have survived another beating from Mother Nature.   My hope didn’t die when then Twins attempts to score a run died on the basepaths,

Axel Kohagen

Axel Kohagen

Monsters and Yankees

The first thing you need to understand is the New York Yankees breed monsters.   Monstrous Yankees seem to be human, but they grow to be so much more than that. They become legends, with their memory preserved in Monument Park throughout the ages.   This is not necessarily an insult: monsters can be heroes, too. Take Babe Ruth. He began as a boy at an orphanage and grew into a walking appetite. His home runs shot further and further away from the batter’s box until thinking of him as a mortal mi

Axel Kohagen

Axel Kohagen

What Games? Twins at Indians.

Department of Water and Power (Twins 1 Indians 5 Game 69) It’s really easy to forget about a baseball game when you open up your blinds to see water slapping into your window like gravity made a 90 degree mistake.   Weekend baseball series are like a family cookout you can take with you on the car stereo. When the Twins are out of town, the cookout covers the Twin Cities and keeps going. You can ask strangers in blue and red for a score and they’ll tell you. If your biological family is far away

Axel Kohagen

Axel Kohagen

Rolled Sox (Twins versus White Sox - Games 66-68)

Holding a Handful of Water (Twins 7 White Sox 5 – Game 66)   As a kid, I used to fill my cupped palm with water to see how long I could hold onto it. No matter how steady I held my hand, the water always slipped away.   I grew up Iowa. We made our own fun and we liked it.   As an adult Twins fan, the feeling returns to me. Game after game I see the Minnesota team find a big inning – like their four run first inning – and then slowly let it slide through their fingers.   The tall tale used to be

Axel Kohagen

Axel Kohagen

Same Division, Different Worlds. (Twins versus Tigers -- Games 63-65)

History in the Air, Twins Hits Stay in the Yard (Twins 0 Tigers 4 Game 63)   The Twins played tonight, in as much as an official game occurred and they were there.   At least people at Target Field got to see Eddie Guardado and PR guy Tom Mee get inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame.   I listened to the first inning in my backyard, until the mosquitoes ran up the scoreboard in a hellish game of their own. I listened deeper into the game inside my house. I listened past Eddie Guardado’s time in t

Axel Kohagen

Axel Kohagen

The Human Fan Condition (Twins versus Phillies -- Games 60-62)

Twins vs. Phillies   Run(s) Scored (Twins 3 Phillies 2—Game 60)   Run(s) scored.   When my team is at bat, I add up all the players and figure out how many runs could’ve gone on the scoreboard. I assume the highest number possible.   But when it’s the other team . . .   As soon as “Run(s) scored” appears on my smartphone screen all sounds around me cease. I can hear my heart beat. I don’t even count up how bad the damage could be. I just assume infinity.   Somehow, despite seemingly being on the

Axel Kohagen

Axel Kohagen

Trilogy of Error (Twins at Nationals -- Games 57-59)

Twins at Nationals   A Small Amount of New Hope (Twins 4 Nationals 3 - Game 57)   Thanks to rain that wouldn’t go away, this Nationals series will be played in a space of barely over one day.   Condensing things makes this interleague series into a neat little three part trilogy. Like Star Wars or The Godfather.   Well, it will be for anyone in the Land of Lakes still sporting a TC on their hat, at least.   Tonight’s game had the underdog Twins playing the Nationals, a team that is actually good

Axel Kohagen

Axel Kohagen

Feelin' Royally Screwed -- Twins at Royals (Games 54-56)

Twins at Royals   Salem’s Lot (Twins 3 Royals 0 - Game 54)   I started my day with a run. My Michael Cuddyer shirsey kept me company.   It’s funny how sturdy a fan’s heart is. After the announcement a beloved player will no longer be a Minnesota Twin, grief sets in. Then, when the season rolls around, you’re cheering for the players still in the dugout and you only pout when you hear former Twins’ names on highlight reels.   Sorta like breaking up with the person you kissed at summer camp.   I d

Axel Kohagen

Axel Kohagen

Swing's the Thing: Twins versus Mariners (Games 51-53)

Twins versus Mariners   No Big Deal (Game 51)   The ball game was relegated to nothing more than background noise. The goose-egg on the Twins’ side of the scoreboard did little to lure me back in.   With baseball refusing to signal the beginning of weekend joy. My conversation with my friend turned to ghost stories and hard luck tales. I even dug out the flashlight for that special campfire vibe.   And so it’s like this: Baseball is apple pie, and when people are done with their slice they retur

Axel Kohagen

Axel Kohagen

Dancing in the Rain: Twins vs. Brewers (Games 49-50)

Twins versus Brewers   The Coliseum Cheers (Game 49)   I tuned into the game just before Sam Deduno got enough outs to put himself in line for a win. He’s like dynamite: The Twins get the exact perfect ratio of balls to strikes from him or everything blows up in their face.   The radio was all about the solid defensive performance from the Twins, but all the signals beaming out of Target Field amped up to 11 for a foul ball Chris Parmelee snagged, battling fate and gravity the whole way.   A gr

Axel Kohagen

Axel Kohagen

Two Occurances in Wisconsin: Twins at Brewers (Games 47-48)

Twins at Brewers   Wanting What Uecker’s Got (Game 47)   Twins found a win on their first game of the series in Milwaukee. I listened to the first inning on the radio and monitored the rest of the action on my phone. I only half believe giving up on a team hurts their chances of winning, but I absolutely know they won in spite of my pessimism today.   Listened to Bob Uecker call that first inning. Still weird to think about him having a stalker for all of those years. I guess, when you’re the vo

Axel Kohagen

Axel Kohagen

Dimly Aware in Detroit: Twins at Tigers (Games 44-46)

Twins at Tigers   10 Pins Fall Down (Game 44)   I asked the score if I should watch the Twins game. The score said no, and I had no regrets about spending some time with my wife, my friend, and an awful movie called The Greenskeeper.   The formerly infamous John Rocker, pitcher, played the killer.   It’s on Netflix.   In the ninth inning, we watched our phones to make sure the Twins avoided getting no-hit.   Following a baseball team has very few real-life side effects. Getting no-hit can really

Axel Kohagen

Axel Kohagen

Sunk in Atlanta - Twins at Braves (Games 41-43)

Twins at Braves   Gimme Danger? (Game 41)   Bad night in the US outside of baseball. Tornados took a chunk out of the country again, leaving too many dead (no matter the number) and many of the rest battling post-disaster financial hardship like it was a kind of cancer. For those affected, this will be a mile marker for the rest of their lives.   Sadly, but less tragically, Doors’ keyboardist Ray Manzarek died.   The Doors were dangerous rock and roll. They made music fearlessly, and when they w

Axel Kohagen

Axel Kohagen

A Quick Case of the Sox (Games 35-37)

White Sox at Twins   Four Sacks of Groceries and Two Dingers (Game 35)   When the Twins have a three run lead, it’s safe to grocery shop without excessive worry.   When the Twins are behind, each trip down the grocery store aisles is pure agony. Every spare moment and empty space offers an opportunity to check the score on your cell phone. When the other team’s runs pile on, it’s hard to keep shopping.   The Twins rewarded my trust with a surplus of runs and a magical day for Aaron Hicks. He hit

Axel Kohagen

Axel Kohagen

I'm the Away Team - Orioles at Twins (Games 32-34)

Orioles at Twins   A Damn Shame (Game 32)   These days, it’s a lot easier to keep up with the Twins when you’re traveling.   This can be perilous, however.   For example, when the Twins blow a six run lead and you find out in the middle of a friendly conversation with your family. There are words and phrases that desperately need screaming, but politeness dictates you keep your mouth shut.   I settled on letting out a wordless scream. I think it did the trick.   Later, as we settled in to sleep

Axel Kohagen

Axel Kohagen

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