Wednesday, February 24, 2010

So You Think You're Getting Opening Day Tickets Easy, Eh?

Excellent update on ticket situation, plus interesting technology involved in preparing the playing field at the new Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins. Pay no attention to the blonde at the beginning of the are here for baseball, correct?

Twinkler Out!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Coming Soon! Target Field Pros & Cons Features in March!

Yes kids, let the rhapsodising begin over our own little field of dreams...I'll have several hundred words to share on the new ballpark (which, sadly, I do not as of yet have tickets to the opening games) in early March, I estimate.

I will try to bend over BACKWARDS to accommodate those saying a domed stadium was neccessary, what with cold weather and rain presenting flies in the ointment, juxtaposed with the thought that those whom are so disposed aren't 100 % red  meat-eating men and women.  Or something like that.

Until then, here's to a quick, speedy tilt of the planet on its axis, and for the return of sunshine and warmth!!

Twinkler Out!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Requiem For A Second Baseman (Or, How Steve Lombardozzi Rammed His Head Into Dan Gladden's Fist!)

[Updated Thursday, May 9, 2013]

Very likely, the most ill-advised decision in the annals of Twins pugilism ocurred on July 21, 1988. That was the morning that "Lombo," aka Steve Lombardozzi, decided to "discuss" matters with teammate Dan "Wrench" Gladden, in the aftermath of the previous night's 9-7 loss (BBRef box) to the Red Sox in Boston.

The simple disparity between nicknames on the Toughguy Meter should have been somewhat of a tipoff to young Stephen, don't you think?

Lombo had been lifted for pinch hitter Kelvin Torve in the 6th inning of the Wednesday night game at Fenway. This was particularly frustrating to Lombo, as he was playing before family and friends in his homestate, and taken out in a close game (5-3 at the time) against Roger Clemens.

Also bearing on the situation, Lombardozzi was unhappy regarding his limited playing time after the Twins acquired Tommy "Get Me The Hell Out Of Minnesota" Herr in an early season trade.

What a go-getter that young fellow was! Truly, one of the team's worst trades on record, especially when considering that they parted with popular outfielder Tom Brunansky.  Without Bruno, the Twins may not have gone on to play and win the '87 World Series! The reluctant Twin Herr may have set the team whirlpool usage record, if not the "most muscles pulled" record, needing stints on the bench for recovery.
Nice airbrushed helmet, Tommy

In any event, Lombo was viewed by a number of Twins as being selfish, and not a "team guy" when he sulked over his misfortune. He and Gladden, a vocal fellow, had words following his exit from the game in the clubhouse, or on the team charter back to Minnesota that night.

Later, the next morning, imprudent wisdom or the spirit of Jersey Joe Walcott  inspired Stevo to make a call on Gladden's suburban estate. I'm not saying the two had a cerebral, dignified discussion...but judging from the scratches and bruises and cracked ring finger on Gladden, in addition to the whopping steak Lombo had over his eye upon reporting to the home clubhouse that afternoon, it's fair to say they found a way to sort through their problems as only real men do. Twins manager Tom Kelly, who saw the storm building for about a week, said "It's probably better that it happened." TK was most likely correct: boys will be boys.  Case closed.

Perhaps matters in Vietnam would have consumated much more favorably from the U.S. perspective had  they not insisted on mollycoddling the Communist regime at the Paris Peace Talks in 1973. Would a similar testosterone-laden approach, a well-timed haymaker by "Hammerin' Hank" Kissinger, resulted in better diplomacy?

We'll never know, but it cleared matters enough that no residual bitterness was evident when the two Twins met again at the 20 year anniversary gala of the 1987 World Series championship!

Lombardozzi was traded to the Houston Astros the next spring, and decided to call it a career after spending most of the 1990 season in the minors at age 30. "I just felt like I had lost a step," he said. "I was a below-average Major League hitter but I was an above-average defensive player, and ... It's hard to believe, but when you turn 30, 31, you just start to slow down a little bit. I could feel that I had lost a step, and just really, I wasn't cutting it."

I know how it feels Steve, I know.

Twinkler Out!

Helpful material for Steve Lombardozzi was found at this Washington Times site.
Also, great info From Steve Ashburner's marvelous book: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Minnesota Twins : Heart-Pounding, Jaw-Dropping, and Gut-Wrenching Moments from Minnesota Twins History
AND...for yet more good, not-so-clean fun, visit Coffeyville Whirlwind's post regarding the 1969 Billy Martin brawl with Dave Boswell.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Submitted For Your Approval: Sandy Koufax Vs. Twins - 1965 World Series Game 7, 9th

This one is new to me too! Wonderful, wonderful clip, so much a feast to the eyes, and I hope it's an eye opener for those of you who never got to see a game at the old Metropolitan Stadium. It's got: live action shots of Tony Oliva, Harmon Killebrew, Earl Battey, Bob Allison, Billy Martin, and, of course, the great Koufax!! Throwing his fastball exclusively, at that. Then too, the ambience of the Met, the batters backdrop, the stellar announcing of Twins announcer Ray Scott, how the Dodgers leave the field after the last out with a relative lack of HOO-HAH! [technically speaking] compared to modern World Series Celebrations with the piling on, sprinkling bubbly, overturning / torching city transit vehicles. Enjoy - Twinkler Out!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Jacque Jones Makes Triumphant Return To Twins Territory!!

Our old friend, outfielder Jacque Jones, agreed on Tuesday of last week to a minor league contract with the Twins. The Jockster agreed to return to the minor leagues with the Twins AAA affiliate in Rochester, New York if he doesn't make the 25-man roster out of spring training.

Jones, who was voted "Man With Signature Most Resembling a Sea Serpent," by the esteemed Classic Twins! Voting Committee, is on a mission to rise up out of the murky depths of the independent baseball leagues. He went from being a pretty decent 2nd tier outfielder with the Twins to short stints with the Chicago Cubs, Florida Marlins, to the lower professional Newark [Bad News] Bears, not to mention a coed, softball beer league weekend team at the end of last year. What the hell!!??

A fine athlete with a yen for slapping homers out of the lead off spot, Jones nonetheless has displayed a curiously "disfunctional" throwing arm. I mean, I swear I've heard sedentary grandmothers yell "You throw like a girl," on any number of his wayward pegs from the outfield. He's ended the lives of many an unsuspecting earthworm by throwing it into the turf, or coldcocking somebody's grandfather in the 3rd row of the grandstand. "Hit the cutoff man" is a phrase not included in his vocabulary. Simultaneously humorous and frustratin,' I tell ya!

In any event, Jacque, whom I remember hitting a homer years ago in the College World Series for USC, is a fine chap who should provide nice leadership if he can make the major league roster! Good luck young man!
Twinkler Out!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Deceased Hall of Famer Ty Cobb Evaluates Team Twinkler Cats' Baserunning Skills!

Classic Twins secured the services of the ghost of Ty_Cobb (The "Georgia Peach") in evaluating our household's cat burlars baserunning skills! Nothing like the withering criticism of the esteemed graduate of Satans Baseball Academy For Boys to inspire our troops towards improved play!

Yes, the curmudgeonly baseball great gave his thoughts, good and bad (OK, more of one than the other) on the state of our cats' stealing abilities. But here goes!

"This wretched beast seems a bit skittish about leading off the bag. Aggressive runners take a good stride and a half, and square off facing the moundsman...a Nervous Nellie!"

"This furry fellow appears to like the ladies, or is focusing on the post game spread. Too bad! Seems to possess cat-like reflexes, but until he can focus on the game, he'll be nothing but a yannigan [an early 20th century term for a bench warmer]."

"Again, he's far too lackadaisical. Dim, unintelligent expression on his face makes him appear eager to lay down in the dugout, and take a long nap!"

This feline appears to be trying to rip the base from its mooring, so as to raise it high in triumph. Must've witnessed Rickey-Henderson doing just that after beating my stolen base record by about 20. Another glory stomper.!"

Below: "Now that's better! Yes she may have slid in short of the bag (a la Willie Mays Hays in the movie "Big League") but at least she's giving it the old Pete Rose head first try!"

Cobb departed in a huff after dispensing his wisdom. Unfortunately, he keeps on peaking in the front picture window of our home, creeping out the cats further! Break out the life size blow up doll of Babe Ruth - that ought to disgust him into leaving!

Twinkler Out!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Classic Twins Remembers: Vic Power

As this July, 1962, Twins score book feature makes plain, the art of airbrushing photos was alive and well back in the team's early days. And a lovely job it was with our subject, the flashy-fielding Vic Power, in his pasted over Indians uni. I like the nice Twins logo the artist worked onto the deltoid region! A click on the image makes for easier reading!

Victor Pellot Power was highly out of step with the times, with his candor and independence a source of irritation for his previous employers, including the Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees. That, plus his tendency to not catch the ball with two hands...

Of course, you had a great chance in the early 1960's of being labeled "uppity" if you weren't shy about dating white women or driving showy Cadillacs. Back in the days when dark skinned men were often confronted with restaurant signs reading "We Don't Serve Blacks," Vic was known for replying "That's OK, I didn't want to eat any Negroes today anyway!"

My oldest brother remembers a visit Power and other Twins made to the Prague Theatre in downtown New Prague in the summer of '63. He doesn't remember Power dispensing any dating advice - just the standard playing tips, eating the right foods, staying in school.

I wish I could have seen this guy play live! Of course, in '63 I was just in the process of getting used to plastic undies and realizing I was a living, breathing entity.

Twinscards - from whence this 1963 Standard Oil Minnesota Twins portrait of Vic Power originates.

Twinkler Out!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

All-Star Hudson Rumored Ready To Sign On With Twins!!

As if to rebuke the Minnsota Twins fans assertions that he is cheap, General Manager Billy Smith and his "braintrust" appear to be hot on the trail of former Dodger second baseman Orlando Hudson.

Taking a break from his Del Monte snackpack and cheese and cracker dipper, Smith angrily asserted "If these Monday morning general managers think they can push me around and call me a tightwad, they've think another got coming..." before pulling himself together with a deep, cleansing breath.

Continuing, he vented: "We just might have a few more suprises under our bonnet!! Secretary, if Christenson calls me back again, tell him he can take a hike! The nerve of that guy, implying the coffee boy pulled the trigger with Thome's agent while I was on the crapper!!"

Meanwhile, the Aaron gleeman types of the blog world have gone "en fuego" over the realization that a few choice arrows at Smith just might produce results. CMathewson over at TwinkieTown is readying a piece on how even the worst GM's in history were more bold than Billy on his best day AND that he'd never ever have the guts to sign Orlando AND demote Nick Punto to the minors AND pull off a trade to pick up NL Cy Young award winner Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco Giants.

"It doesn't hurt to try," winked the veteran Twin Cities blogger.

Meanwhile, the Twins are making it extremely hard for All-Universe catcher Joe Mauer to still believe the Twins won't be aggressive in adding talent to the roster. It is widely believed by his fellow players that Mauer is predicating his signing with the Twins with tangible signs that they're doing more than just stockpiling draft picks.

Meanwhile, Twins fans are pinching themselves over the prospects of landing Hudson, who along with impressive on-base totals and defensive abilities also dabbles in movie star impressions, shown above breaking into his "I Am Christopher Lambert as the immortal 'Highlander'"spoof, a ploy he's used for years to distract pitchers and infielders to laughter, and then gunning basehits past the cowed opposition.

Stay tuned for a possible signing announcement!!


Twinkler out!

Hope To Be Posting Soon!

Cold bug has had me strapped, like a fast one to the ribs... new features in the works! Stay tuned!
Twinkler (down and ) out!