Super Ball Party

February 6, 2012

Another year, another Super Bowl, and I think an unexpected line has been crossed. While I was about as apathetic as I could be about the Super Bowl (I was much more into the Chelsea-Man United game earlier in the day), my wife had a distinct rooting interest in Eli Manning, and was much more interested in the game than I was.

My kids, on the other hand, were rooting for Darth Vader, and the two year old was delighted by the number of “football guys” who fell down during the course of the game. I was glad that he had fun. When I mentioned that we were going to a Super Bowl party, he heard and repeated “super ball” party, so must have been disappointed when we arrived at Granna and Pop’s house to find that there was not a super ball to be seen.

Whether or not I have any interest in the game itself, the day after the Super Bowl marks a significant day on the sporting calendar: just 12 days until pitchers and catchers report.

The Force was With Him

January 26, 2012

Nothing is quite as exciting as a 5th birthday party. I know that from experience. It had been the hot topic of conversation ever since the Christmas presents were opened. His favorite part was the presents; but I was able to take just a tiny bit of joy from the fact that my son, having a million different party theme options, chose specifically to have a Star Wars party and was most interested in how many appearances Darth Vader could make.

Of course, the best part of the day was watching my son in his extroverted glory being the center of attention for a group of pre-schoolers. He is already asking about next year’s party (and has started making a list of gifts he would like). It may be a tough sell in January, but I bet I could plant a seed for a Twins-themed party….

Happy Birthday

January 18, 2012

Five years ago today Emily nudged me awake around 3 AM to tell me that her water broke and to ask that I help her get things ready to go the hospital. It took us roughly two minutes to get there (maybe I am remembering that wrong), but it turned out we didn’t have to be in such a rush. We spent the bulk of the morning and early afternoon alternating between taking laps around the hospital hall in an attempt to get things moving along and sitting in the room waiting.

All of the waiting was worth it, because around 4:30 PM, my oldest was born.

Now he’s five. He’s an older brother, and will be starting kindergarten in the fall. Where did the time go?

A New Perspective

May 7, 2010

Game 29: Orioles 2 (8-21), Twins 0 (19-10)

There is no way that I leave happy from this game. I have had partial season tickets for eight seasons now. With kids and a job that gets me up early in the morning, weeknight games have been a struggle for the past few seasons. If this game happened a year ago, I would have spent the drive home cursing myself for even taking the time to attend.

There wasn’t much to see from a Twins’ perspective. The Orioles are not a good team, but they handled the home team rather easily. A pitcher who had been allowing opponents to hit him at a greater than .400 clip essentially shut down on of the best offenses we have seen in these parts since the early ’90s. The Twins continued a frustrating trend of leaving the bases loaded, and left 10 on base in total. It’s a game they should have won.

Carl Pavano looked good holding a pretty bad lineup in check. If the competition had been a little better, this one might have been enjoyable as a pitchers duel. Alas, it was the Orioles.To add some insult, it rained the whole night.

A funny thing about Target Field, however, is that I found some consolation in the loss. It was a fun night at the ballpark. The seats, to my surprise, were shielded completely from the rain. In fact, I learned of the rain only from the HD scoreboard in the early innings (later the umbrellas in other, less fortunate sections were the giveaway). I had another Cuban sandwich, and got to keep score most of the game, something that has become more of a luxury the larger my family gets.

The three-year-old, who spent the bulk of the game punching all of the little holes out of an All-Star ballot, had the line of the night. When Nick Punto’s name was announced for an mid-game at-bat, my son looked up from his task and said, quite loudly “Oh, it’s Nick Punto. I don’t like Nick Punto!,” and went back to punching holes. That’s my boy. A happy camper despite the fact that neither of his favorites were playing (Delmon Young and Joe Mauer). He seemed to latch on to Jason Kubel as a temporary favorite, which is okay by me.

In short: a bad night for the Twins, but not a wasted night for my family.

WPA Stars of the Game
1. Brad Bergeson
2. Carl Pavano
3. Alfredo Simon

AL Central Standings (through Thursday)
1. Min 19-10, 149-108, -
2. Det 16-13, 139-135, 3.0
3. Chi 12-17, 118-141, 7.0
4. KC 11-18, 125-161, 8.0
5. Cle 10-17, 95-134, 8.0

Francisco Liriano takes the hill tonight to head off any talk of a losing streak. Kevin Millwood is up for the Orioles.

“The Twins Play Outside Now”

March 22, 2010

The title is a quote from my 3-year-old son.

Here are some pictures from the Target Field open house we attended yesterday.

First: the view from our seats.

A close up of the “Twins”

…and from just above the batter’s eye in center field.

Unfortunately we didn’t get any great pictures of the baby, but here is me and the 3-year-old on top of the first base dugout.

I am impressed with the ballpark, and echo the question my son asked all afternoon: “when does the game start?”

Rod Carew and Delmon Young: A 3-year-old’s Favorite Players

March 4, 2010

Recently, as I was watching Olympic curling, my oldest asked me “when do we watch baseball?” I replied that baseball will be back soon.

“Yay! – Joe Mauer and Rod Carew and Delmon Young! Go Twins!”

A little back story on my son’s three favorite Twins. The first is, of course, a no-brainer. He wants to be the catcher like Joe Mauer (Daddy gets to be the pitcher).

He has a more complex love of Rod Carew and Delmon Young. As soon as he was able to walk he took an interest in the Twins bobble head collection on display in the basement. He could enjoy them on a “look but don’t touch” basis. His favorite was probably Doug Mientkiewicz (because of the bubble gum). Before too long, “look but don’t touch” wasn’t cutting it anymore, so Daddy did what any good Daddy would do – I gave him two of the doubles I had to have for his own. I have a pair of Rod Carews, and the Twins give Delmon Young dolls away like candy, so I didn’t have too much trouble parting with him.

For a while, he carried Rod and Delmon with him around the house. He learned the names, and started asking if Rod Carew and Delmon Young were playing everytime baseball was on the television (imagine his excitement when I was watching an old All-Star game on MLB Network in which Rod Carew was actually participating).

Rod and Delmon have sat quietly on his bookshelf since the baseball season ended last fall, but perhaps sensing spring is around the corner, he stopped playing with his legos yesterday, looked at me and said “I’ll get Rod Carew and Delmon Young.” He returned from his room moments later with two of his favorite players, plopped them on the coffee table next to him, and went about the business of building lego cars with the smiling bobble heads looking on.

If you happen to be at Target Field this summer, and hear a little guy screaming for Rod Carew and Delmon Young (pronounced more like Delmonyoung – all one word) – that would be my son. Hopefully, he will remember to boo the Yankees as well.


February 22, 2010

Several months ago I realized that I had begun a defacto hiatus from Coffeyville Whirlwind. I had not planned to take an extended break for the offseason. I found out quickly, however, that the second child doesn’t add to the work of a parent, instead it multiplies the workload. Between that, a new job, and a thesis to write, I simply found that I wasn’t up for researching and writing in my down time. I also found that typing is a lot more difficult with one hand.

Now the second child is four months old, able to entertain himself in an exer-saucer, and seemingly as excited as his daddy that pitchers and catchers reported on Sunday.

Overall, I am happy with how the team looks heading into Target Field’s first season. The acquisitions of J.J. Hardy and Orlando Hudson have made the weakness that was the middle infield start to look more and more solid. Cal Ripken seems to think that Joe Mauer will sign with the Twins shortly. It is entirely possible that the snow will be mostly melted by opening day at Target Field (though if it is cold one can warm up at Senor Smokes) Life is good.

The plan is to return to regular posting here. I intend to finish the franchise series, and to continue to write about the most interesting moments in the history and the present of the Washington/Minnesota franchise.

The reason things will be slow at CW for a while…

October 24, 2009

Caleb James

Hopefully his new world won’t involve a Yankee World Series win. That would be a rough first month of life.

The one good thing about the ALDS

October 20, 2009

The 2.5-year-old took an active interest in the games. He even, in a moment of anger, called his mother a Derek Jeter.

watching the game by you.

Yes, that is his official Target Field hard hat and his Joe Mauer batting champion wiffle bat. The best part is that he asked to get all of the baseball props out while he watched the game.

As I was watching Game 3 of the ALCS last night, he asked for about the fourth time in the last week “when are the Twins going to play?” How do you explain the concept of offseason to a kid who probably has no memory of the last time the Twins didn’t have a game tomorrow?

A very long day

October 11, 2009

I didn’t have the heart to comment on Friday night’s game after it happened. As much as I like seeing my favorite team play meaningful baseball in October, I don’t know how much longer I can take it. My only saving grace was that my son was sleeping in the next room during the final innings, forcing me to keep my comments about the Yankees and the umpires under my breath.

Quick note on that: lets put to rest this meme that the Twins have to play mistake-free baseball to beat the Yankees. The Twins made dozens of mistakes on Friday night, and were still in a situation where they could have won had one more break gone their way. The 2009 Yankees are a very good team, but they are far from invincible.

As I started to compose my thoughts Saturday morning, I was interrupted by my wife, who is 37 weeks pregnant and was having fairly regular contractions. She called the doctor, who basically told her that it was up to her whether she go in to the hospital or not. We decided to wait, make sure it was the real thing. About six hours later the contractions continued at regular intervals, and we were advised that it would probably be a good idea to check in to the hospital.

We put the plan into motion, getting the two-year-old (who was alternating between excitement that his baby brother might be coming and frustration that he had to miss a cousin’s birthday party) and the Schnauzer to Grandma and Grandpa’s house and checked in to the hospital at about 5:00 PM. We waited and waited, and nothing changed. At about 9:30 we checked out, baby still healthy and seemingly happy (except for his tendency to kick the heart monitor), contractions still pretty regular, and one very tired woman.

I thought that I might be watching the Game 3 from the hospital, hoping that I could share a Twins win with my youngest. Now I just have to figure out how to explain to a two-year-old that his baby brother wasn’t quite ready to come out yet, and we’ll do it all again sometime soon.


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