Halsey Hall reacted to Steven Trefz for a blog entry, What a difference a month makes...
The Twins away game idea emerged as a "rooting for laundry" dream. Roster moves over the past month have started to imply that something more might be underfoot for our 2023 squad. All of a sudden, I have new names to learn and new expectations to decipher. A trip to re-introduce myself to this nation that I call home now is beginning to reek of fanboy angst...
Are the Twins for real in 2023 all of a sudden?
I wasn't anticipating a need to feel nervous at these ball games. I was just going to enjoy the relationship-building travel and some delicious food along the way. Now I might have to worry about a playoff race? I was just going to cheer on Luis Arraez as he wiggled his way to breaking up some Dodger pitcher's no-hitter in a 9-0 game, but now I might have to be on the edge of my seat with a series victory on the line in Chavez Ravine? I was breathing a sigh of relief at not having to witness Carlos Correa Giants jerseys in year one, and then it was Mets jerseys for a few weeks, and now I'm left kicking myself for not buying every jersey while they were still on clearance. The worst part is, Carlos will know after 81 games of seeing me in the one Correa jersey that I have, that I gave up on him when he said he signed with two other teams. I'm not a true believer.
Increased team expectations for 2023 mean that frigid April bullpen debacles in Kansas City sting that much more. Random acts of lineup malfunction in Chicago in May mean increased blood pressure in September.
I'm pretty sure that the Twins aren't yet finished with shaping this year's roster. I'm guessing that at least one more familiar face that my kid's loved cheering for will be someone I now get to see in a new home on the road this season. There will be more where that came from during the trade deadline in July/August for sure. Why? Because when Correa re-signed the tables turned and the season took on an urgency that wasn't a part of my earlier trip calculations.
I'm fine with it. Trust me. I like winning.
But instead of being "the weird dude in Twins gear at our ballpark when the Twins have moderate to no shot at winning the game," I'm more often than not going to be "the weird dude in Twins gear at our ballpark when the Twins are making local fans angry for shelling out cash to watch our team beat their team in their park so they are gonna verbally (not physically please) take it out on that weird dude" guy.
It's going to be very hard for the Twins to go unnoticed this season on the national level. Will this help our team rise to the occasion? Or will the added attention multiply our faults? Will it drive up my ticket prices and lodging costs? Or will locals stay away because they don't want to cry in their own stadium?
Time will tell, and I for one can't wait to get it started! Pitchers and catchers report in less than a month, on my birthday, Februrary 16th. I can't think of a better gift in the middle of such a long harsh winter on the Dakota plains.
Grace and peace Twins Territory, wherever you are!
Halsey Hall reacted to huhguy for a blog entry, Sick of seeing Molitor Criticism
Whats with all the Molitor Criticism? He should be blamed for Sano beng a child? Buxton Injuries? Morrison ineptness?
Have you noticed Molitor cant bat? Wow...this guy the only coach in HISTORY to take a team from worst to the playoff, is the problem?
Did Molitor make Polanco PED? Did Molitor make Dozier look like Father Time?
Cmon...get a grip!
Halsey Hall reacted to Ben Remington for a blog entry, Bert Blyleven emerges from Minnesota Twins moving truck in Fort Myers dazed and dehydrated
~ A Satirical Story ~
Spring Training is almost upon us, and teams are invigorating their already football-deprived fanbases with images and videos of their team trucks loading up and heading for warmer climates to start the baseball season, and with that they’re packing up everything the team needs.
For the Minnesota Twins, one stowaway on the move truck was welcome, but also perplexing at the same time. Hall of Fame pitcher Bert Blyleven was spotted stumbling out of the Twin’s move truck upon its arrival in Fort Myers, Florida, apparently having spent the entire journey packed up along with pitching machines, batting helmets and Joe Mauer’s ‘napping chair’.
“I don’t know how he got in there, and if I remember right, he already lives in Florida, which just raises further questions.” An unpaid intern of the Twins was quoted while unloading on the trucks. “I mean, I know he’s a little weird, but I don’t even know how he survived the trip. Probably snacked off leftovers from inside the T.C. Bear costumes.”
Blyleven could be seen roaming the Hammond Stadium complex throughout the day, muttering phrases like “Pitch to contact” and “…at the major league level.” Occasionally he would shout something about complete games but apparently did not harm anyone during the unpacking.
“Yeah, I don’t know what he was doing in there, maybe he found some good yayo in there or something.” Twins Manager Paul Molitor said with a hearty laugh. “I mean, I know I would, you know what nevermind, I hope Bert is alright, he’s a great guy.”
Blyleven has no history of any kind of diagnosis of a mental illness or dementia, but has been known throughout his career as a player and a broadcaster as being an odd duck at times, and this incident just furthers the stigma. It’s been theorized Blyleven may have been looking for his beloved telestrator to circle fans with at the time of the truck’s departure, but the situation is unclear.
At this time, Blyleven is being checked out by the Twins training staff, but will likely be told that he just needs to “rub some dirt on that dizziness” or “keep pitching through the pain”. Blyleven’s immediate future with the team as a color commentator is not in jeopardy at this time, but several fans are signing an online petition to encourage him to rest and get better, as long as it takes, even if it takes until roughly late September.
Halsey Hall reacted to Squirrel for a blog entry, Posting styles discussing our frustrations about the Twins
In light of some posting styles we have been seeing lately on TD, I thought I'd do some venting of my own ... in a blog. The thread that broke this camel's back was this thread, 'It is time to end the insanity.' I've been meaning to address this for a while now, and have here and there in threads when posts become nothing more than venting general frustrations rather than addressing the topic at hand; and redundant threads get started on this same topic of frustration that seem more like rants than opening a new thread to discuss the latest news. Okay, okay ... the general topic of 'This is what's wrong with the Twins' is a topic of discussion ... but we've seen this in several threads already. Obviously there are new salient points that must be addressed, but it is this 'venting' and 'ranting' that becomes a detriment to my and others' enjoyment and participation in the forums.
I've always thought the purpose of the forums on TD is for discussion, critical discussion. Yes, with disagreements and passion, but, nonetheless, critical discussion, with maybe a little humor and/or snark mixed in from time to time, no matter what side you fall on with any given issue. Posters have always been encouraged to start threads to discuss a particular topic, or general topic, or a news item you saw, or a blog you read, or a question you have, or a move that was made/not made, management issues, player issues etc. And yes, those discussions will get emotional and passionate as we all have a vested interest in the outcome of the Twins, and have our own opinions on what should/should not be, and often disagree on the best way forward. And sometimes threads do get a bit meandering and off topic despite our best efforts to try and keep them within loose boundaries. But this recent posting style, such as the OP, in my opinion, really needs to be directed towards the Blogs area on this site. These threads, such as the one I made example of, serve no purpose other than to regurgitate a list of generalized complaints and are not focussed points of discussion and only invite generalized regurgitating of someone else's complaints. The title of this thread 'End the insanity' in and of itself just opens the floor to everyone's complaints and soon we have a morass of unpleasant vomiting to wade through. Yes, we're frustrated and I'm not trying to take that away from anyone, not in the least, because well, it IS frustrating, to no end, at least for me. And I guess we each have our own way of dealing, but the Blogs are there for you to let it all out. You want to vent? Start a blog and vent away. You want to have a legitimate, critical discussion, stick to the forums and structure a thread that leads to that; a post or a thread that has been thought out and isn't some generalized rant that has no real basis in reality other than it's some emotional response, not a genuine reading of facts, to what you think should have happened. Don't just vomit up all your frustration for the rest of us to wade through; that's just lazy. Those are the types of threads and posts that keep me from the forums, not the stances people may take on the Twins in general or specifically. If you don't like a topic, you are free to not read it. If you don't like a particular poster, put them on ignore or skip over their posts. So I find myself more and more throwing my hands up and 'walking away' because threads just become unreadable the more this style continues.
(Edit: I want to add that the thread I used as an example has generated a pretty fair and decent discussion. Many threads and posts of this 'listing of wrongs venting' have not. I'm in no way suggesting we can't be critical of the team and its management ... I mean, come on, look at the team ... I'm suggesting that don't just start a thread or make a post listing all that bothers you. Try to frame things so we can have legitimate discussions without being critical of fellow posters who might have a differing point of view, otherwise, try starting a blog. If you have to end a post or a thread start with '/end rant,' which this one did not, it probably would be better suited for a blog. They are very useful for 'getting it out' of your system. But given the OP of that thread, it was very easy for all of us to think to ourselves, 'Oy, this again?' and either walk away or get defensive or pile on. The following paragraph stands ... for all and everything. Stop the divisive language!)
Another issue I want to address: this generalized characterization of posters some of you think necessary to throw into their posts. This 'The Twins can do no wrong crowd' or the 'Twins can do no right crowd' is hugely disrespectful and dismissive, and from this moderator, will not be tolerated. If you want to divide and pick sides, fine, go play a game of dodge ball, your posts will be removed. Lumping posters into such 'all or nothing' categories because they choose to disagree with a point here and there needs to stop. I try to stay fairly objective, as objective as I can in my own like/dislike of certain topics, in my reading here, despite my own frustrations with the team, but there really are only two or three posters that fall into those mentioned categories on each end of this spectrum. The large majority of posters fall everywhere in between. Yes, some have definite leanings, but I have seen very, very few posters who have blindly taken these all or nothing stances on everything Twins. If all you want to do is read posts only in agreement with you, then you are in the wrong place. It is nothing but smug self-righteousness to declare yourself so right and others wrong and then to label others in such a dismissive way. It's the same with the negative/positive crowd. This is nothing but from your perspective, and your perspective is NOT the end all to defining anyone else. Say your piece. Have at it. And if others disagree, so be it. Have a debate, be open-minded to another's views and why they take them, give them the benefit of the doubt, ask for explanations, and disagree if you just disagree, but don't be dismissive about it by saying 'You're just part of that crowd.' If one poster likes a move and another doesn't, they are not in any of the above-mentioned crowds, they just differ in opinions. And if a poster wants to point out a silver lining or a black cloud, so what? It's their opinion and no one is right or wrong here. I'm not sure why that is so difficult to understand. Does it bruise egos when someone doesn't like your point, or picks it apart with their own interpretation of the facts, or their own use (right or wrong) of various metrics, stats, other numbers? Get over it. Don't double down and hunker down so hard you develop tunnel vision, and resort to the "Oh, you just hate so and so" or "Oh, you just love so and so" as an argument. It's unproductive, lazy and weak. And it gets old, and frankly, loses credibility for the poster who uses that as an argument. And maybe, just maybe, we don't need to fight to the end. When it gets to the point of labeling posters, I think it's time to agree to disagree and just let it go.
Okay ... I've run out of steam. Whew! That was so cathartic!!! You should give it a try.
See what I did there? Here's how I got started and so can you. There are all sorts of things to click on to help you find your way through the blogs. There's even a tutorial ... which I didn't click, because I didn't need to. So ... have at it.
1. On the red menu strip across the top, click on the word “Blogs”
2. Click on the black rectangle that says ‘Create a Blog’
3. Read the terms and rules, then check the box that says you have read and understood the terms, then click ‘Continue—>’
4. Fill in the blanks with the Blog name, Blog description, choose blog type, then click continue.
Example: Blog Name: ChiTown’s Fun Takes
Blog Description: All that frustrates me about the Twins
Blog Type: Local Blog
5. Choose your settings
At that point you can choose ‘Options’ and then ‘Add new entry’ and go to town. Or leave, collect your thoughts, come back and choose ‘Blogs’ from the red menu strip across the top, click ‘Add Entry’ and go to town.
Halsey Hall reacted to Brandon Warne for a blog entry, PODCAST: The Breakdown - Ep 5 - Terry Ryan Interview
HEY! WE finally got hold of the audio from the Terry Ryan podcast. If you haven't listened to any of these yet, start here!
Halsey Hall reacted to Sarah for a blog entry, The "other" spring training
I visited Arizona last weekend and since most of you will be posting about Florida I thought I’d add my thoughts about the “other” spring training. Arizona is nice because all of the teams are within about 20 minutes of Phoenix and if you fly out of MSP you have a few options on airlines. The main thing I didn’t like about the Phoenix area is that you will need to rent a car to get around and their rental car tax is about 18% total. Everything is close yet just far enough that you have to drive but considering it was -6 when I left Minnesota it was awesome to drive around with the windows open.
Games generally start at 1 p.m. local time and I went to one game each at Sloan Park (Cubs home), Tempe Diablo Stadium (Angels home) and Salt River Fields (Rockies and Diamondbacks home, I was at the Rockies game). Sloan Park is VERY nice, probably my favorite out of the three. (Okay so I am a little biased since I’m a Cubs fan.) It’s only about two years old and is like a miniature Wrigley Field complete with the red sign and brick wall behind home plate (no manual scoreboard or ivy on the outfield walls though).
They all had impressive team shops for merchandise and Salt River Fields had the designated driver program where you could sign up for a free soda (Tempe Diablo didn’t have designated driver and I forgot to ask at Sloan Park so they may have it too). They had great concessions at Sloan Park and Salt River Fields but the concessions at Tempe Diablo Stadium weren’t all that great. There is a Whataburger really close to the Angels stadium so I stopped there because we don’t have that in Minnesota and thought it was pretty good. Tempe Diablo is the oldest of the three (recently renovated though so it’s pretty nice) so that one was probably my least favorite but they do have free on street parking if you get there early enough.
Parking at Sloan Park was $5 and there is a huge shopping complex by Salt River Fields called the Pavilions with Target, movie theatre, restaurants, etc. so I parked there for free and walked over to the stadium. If you are infirm there are a lot of bike cabs parked right outside the gate to take you to your car. (Sorry, don’t know how much they are.) There was also a huge classic car show in the parking lot near Salt River Fields after the Rockies game on Saturday afternoon so that was neat too.
I also took a tour of Chase Field which is right downtown Phoenix (you really can’t miss it) and it’s only $7. You may want to get reservations in advance as the tour guide said they tend to get full during spring training. I took the first one at 9:30 and it was sold out. Luckily a guy who was a Rockies fan saw me standing there and gave me his extra ticket. Baseball fans are so nice.
Since all of the teams are so close, the city is literally crawling with baseball fans. There seemed to be a lot of Giants fans which makes sense since they have won the World Series twice in the past few years. I would recommend getting tickets to the games ahead of time as well because the Saturday Rockies game we went to was sold out. If you go to the Cubs park you can get a free copy of Vineline right when you walk in the main gates where they sell the programs. (The current issue is a good one because it has Ernie Banks on the cover.) This may go without saying but do not forget your sunglasses or sunscreen and drink a lot of water. They even have free sunscreen dispensers at the Rockies/Diamondbacks stadium. The Cubs game I went to ended in a tie after nine innings. They just announce on the loud speaker in the top of the 9th “Ladies and Gentlemen if the game is tied after nine innings the game will end in a tie.” When I was at the Yankees spring training game in Florida the game ended after ten innings so maybe it’s up to the manager’s discretion or something.
As I’m sure a lot people do during spring training games, I somewhat paid attention to the actual game. Pujols, Trout and Jered Weaver started in the Angels game I went to, Kris Bryant hit a long home run in the Cubs game I went to and Justin Morneau started in the Rockies game I went to (LaTroy Hawkins also pitched in that game). Since I was there for the first few games it was fun to see everyone so excited to be watching baseball again. For lack of a better term, I’ve found spring training to be super chill – mostly just a great excuse to sit outside in nice weather and watch baseball. I did some sightseeing in Phoenix too- if you have extra time I would recommend either the Wrigley Mansion (yes, that Wrigley), Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West or the Desert Botanical Garden. They are all pretty easy to find and interesting. I thought Phoenix in general was not terribly hard to navigate (I am directionally challenged so if I can get around, so can you) and the traffic didn’t seem to be any worse than it is in the Twin Cities. I hung out mostly on the east side of Phoenix in the Scottsdale/Tempe/Mesa area so I’ll just to go back someday to watch the teams on the west side. If you’ve never been to spring training I highly recommend it!