How You Doin’?

7 Oct

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net -

Dear Twins fans,

I’m writing to you this morning to ask how you are doing after the Twins Game 1 loss last night to the Yankees. I’m doing so for a couple of reasons. First, I care. I hope that you are doing well and not letting the game get to you too much. Second, I write this because I honestly don’t know how I feel at this point.

How do I feel? Really, I feel several things, and as I wrote last night, I just feel deflated.

From the sounds of it, a lot of Twins are angry. I’m not angry. I mean, the Twins offense could have scored more, but geez, they scored four runs off of one of the better lefties in the league. Crain? I mean, he gave up a home run to Mark Teixeira. This happens. He was the right guy to be pitching there. Liriano? Again, I have no problem with him giving up a run-scoring single to Cano. He could be the MVP. The Posada RBI single was a soft liner just out of the reach of a leaping Orlando Hudson. And I would have left Liriano in to face Granderson too. Granderson is barely a .200 hitter in his career against lefties… but even that means he’ll get a hit once every five at bats.

A lot of people are upset about a lot of things. A lot of things that during the regular season we probably wouldn’t notice. That’s the beauty and the curse of playoff baseball. And it’s frustrating.

It’s frustrating that the Twins have now lost 10 straight playoff games to the Yankees. To me, that is inexplicable. The Yankees are a great team, but you know what? So are the Twins.

A couple things I may have forgotten in my blog last night… I was somewhat annoyed by the first inning bunt by Orlando Hudson after Denard Span led off with a single. There is no doubt in my mind that Hudson did that on his own. I would really hope that they wouldn’t call a bunt there. The concept of playing for one run in the first inning against the Yankees makes no sense. Was it a horrible baseball decision? Of course not. It can be explained (want to get off to a quick start, want to make CC move, etc), but I think it sets the wrong tone.

I have no problem with Jason Kubel or Jim Thome struggling against CC Sabathia. Both have not been good against left-handers in their careers. There were no better options for Gardy to use in the game, but my expectations for both of them are not real high. But Joe Mauer has handled left-handed pitching very well through most of his career. Not as well this year, but I still expect him to have good at bats. He had three horrible at bats against Sabathia in which he looked like he had never seen a curveball.

Jim Thome also had a few really bad at bats, the worst was against Robertson where he looked like a 20 year old rookie. That said, he is the guy that we all want up there in those situations, isn’t he? Even with the weak pop-up that he hit to end the game, isn’t he the guy we all want in that situation?

I get that people think Jose Morales is so good, but I honestly don’t believe there was a situation last night where he would have been used. Maybe for Jason Kubel in the bottom of the 6th inning with runners on 2nd and 3rd and two outs? Maybe?

I’m frustrated. It was deflating. It’s a lot more than annoying. But I don’t question the effort at all.

The other thing to remember is that tonight the Twins have another opportunity. Andy Pettitte is a veteran with a ton of postseason experience who has pitched well against the Twins in the past. However, he missed a lot of the last few months with injury and even now is far from 100% Last night’s game wasn’t a must-win. Tonight is a must win.

Anyway, I’ll be on KFAN with Paul Allen at 9:20 this morning. I’m going to try really hard to be positive and honest. You might want to listen. I have no idea how it will go! Ha!

Thanks for listening,

Seth

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29 Responses to “How You Doin’?”

  1. mike wants wins October 7, 2010 at 9:11 am #

    Deflated is the right word. My youngest son went from thrilled, and feeling the intensity to being bummed pretty fast.

    BTW, if I wasn’t a Twins’ fan, there is no way I could have watched that game. The pace of a Yankees’ game is brutal, brutal. No baseball game should last that long.

  2. betsy October 7, 2010 at 9:18 am #

    i had such a good feeling about the game last night and then Teixiera had to go and ruin it. My throat is scratchy from screaming so much and i’m so tired cause of the marathon game. Hopefully tonight will have a much better outcome!

  3. Rasheed October 7, 2010 at 9:30 am #

    Deflated, downtrodden, etc. Definitely the accurate sentiment of my feelings day after the loss. I go to school out east with too many New Englandy preppy kids and all the Yankee fans watching with me by the end, gave me sympathy for my plight as I sat there in in the student center rocking my Liriano jersey. It’s gotten to a point where the most obnoxious and arrogant Yankee fans offer sympathy. My good friend who’s a die hard Yankees fan at the end of the game simply said, “The Twins just don’t know how to get it done against the varsity-level competition.”

    Hard being a Twins fan this morning out here.

  4. Mighty Casey October 7, 2010 at 9:31 am #

    How do I feel? Pissed off. Pessimistic. Deflated also works for me.

    The main thing that keeps going through my head is how we have to go out and play another 162 game season again next year to have the same opportunity we had this year.

    I’m trying my hardest not to throw up the white flag here, but it’s hard to actually convince myself to be hopeful.

  5. deermooserd October 7, 2010 at 9:39 am #

    I am deflated as well. I had such high hopes for game 1, and that could be my fault as well. The high hopes i mean. Either way, we had our chances, again. We just need to capitalize when we get BASES LOADED! or GUYS ON 2ND and 3RD. JESUS!! THis Yankee team does get hits when they need to and thats the difference. Lets get’em today!

    ps. I never thought I could hate the Yankees any more than I do. I doubled my hatered last night.

  6. MnTwinFanInMo October 7, 2010 at 9:43 am #

    Having a really hard time shaking the loss. I feel like the little kid who worked the crane machines at the fair and had finally grabbed the prize only to have some big bully push his way in and take over so that he could have the prize. Part of me just wants to pummel the bully and make him give me the prize back. The other part of me doesn’t know if I should even try again knowing the bully is still there. What I’d give to go to tonight’s game and start chanting — I know we can… I know we can… One has to believe it in order to make it happen. It’s the fans job to believe in their team. I think I just convinced myself that it’s time to take on that bully again.

    • Clint October 7, 2010 at 11:03 am #

      Here here, MnTwinFanInMo!!

  7. adyacent October 7, 2010 at 9:58 am #

    Guys, it’s baseball. Yes, I was ‘deflated” after the game, and said a couple of words that usually are not in my vocabulary. But those who have a job still have a job this morning, the house is still there ,and the kids are healthy. Today there is another game and next year will be another season. Still, buah!

  8. Matt T. October 7, 2010 at 10:13 am #

    Deflated is a good word. I know Kubel hit the grand slam off Rivera early in the season, but I want to see the Twins get a big hit – homerun, 2-run double – late in these playoff games, instead of the Yankees doing it.

    I have no problem with any managerial decisions in game 1. 0-7 with RISP is reason #1 Twins didn’t walk away with a 7-6 win.

    Gotta get it tonight. If not, they’ll be buried in the concrete jungle with Hoffa.

  9. JA October 7, 2010 at 10:30 am #

    Hi Seth,
    Last night’s game would have been gravy. All the situations I feel Grady managed to his best strengths. You called the series in 4, I called the series in 4, we’re still on pace. We learned some good things last night, now its time for the Twins to make the adjustments. Mauer and Thome get ahead and make them chase. Valencia, away, away, away. Delmon looked to be playing with alot of confidence, he’ll come up big. Cuddyer, the man just comes to play.
    Twins in a laffer tonight, 8-2. Keep your head up Seth, the boys are pissed and will respond. Go Carl, and go Twins!

    • Clint October 7, 2010 at 11:01 am #

      Agree JA – gotta keep the faith!

  10. Clint October 7, 2010 at 11:00 am #

    Seth – my sentiments exactly. I am deflated, but not beat! I truly believe this is our year to beat the Yankees. I believe we will win games 2 and 3, lose 4, and win it all at Target Field! We need a Kevin Milar attitude – YA GOTTA BELIEVE TWINS FANS!!!

  11. JD Grove October 7, 2010 at 11:08 am #

    Does anybody want to comment on the “friendly” attitude like our guys takes with this team?!? Started off with span after his double getting all lovey dovey with jeter. Until this team realizes that they are incredibly talented and can beat the yankees, it will be nothing more then one of those fantasy camp games, wake up boys your no longer the underdog!!!!

  12. JimCrikket October 7, 2010 at 11:32 am #

    The ONLY reason to bunt in the first inning was to get Sabathia moving. I guess if Hudson beats it out, everyone is talking today about what a headsup idea it was. Ah well, I still didn’t care for it.

    I’m disappointed at the way the game turned after having that lead, but hardly deflated. I picked the Twins to win in 5 games and that assumed a loss to Sabathia in game 1. If anything, I’m less concerned now about facing him again in a potential game 4. He didn’t look so tough to me last night and he had to work hard enough that coming back on short rest won’t be so easy.

    Beat up on Pettitte tonight and things will be fine.

  13. Steve October 7, 2010 at 11:45 am #

    Thanks for this post, Seth.

    I had class last night and also had to spend an hour at work so I was following the game mostly on internet radio. The 2004 and 2009 playoff losses to the Yanks were so embittering to me… seriously, I’ve noticed we don’t even talk about Game 2 of 2004, but, to me that game should be comparable in Twins’ lore to the Steve Bartman game for the Cubs… maybe a bit less epic, but not much… I just have to turn the games off now for my emotional sanity. I stopped listening to every pitch as soon as Hardy struck out with the bases loaded. It is almost stunning how predictable I considered the rest of the game at that point. I left work shortly after, and was not at all surprised to find the Yankees leading 6-4 when I pulled the game up on the internet. I tuned out and did dishes and took care of other things that needed doing and did not pay attention to the game most of the rest of the way. I was detached enough by the bottom of the 8th that I tuned back in fully expecting the Twins to fail to come through, so it was not that difficult to listen when they actually did fail. I was still bitter, but, so detached at that point that I can’t say I was furious angry. I was furious angry last season. Not cause I expected the Twins to win, but cause I felt the payroll disparity gave the Yankees such a disadvantage that the Twins did not stand a realistic chance simply based on that. I still believe the Twins bear that disadvantage but clearly it is not enough of an excuse at this point. They can’t sing those blues anymore.

    I am a season-ticket holder, I religously stay until games are over. But in these games, I HAVE to tune out. I just can’t listen in.

    About an hour after the game was over, I turned on the Roku and watched the plays I’d been unable to watch. I almost cried. Cuddy’s homer was awesome. Hudson going 1st-to-3rd was awesome. I was actually lucky enough to be in a Davanni’s for a few minutes between class and work to watch Liriano strike-out A-Rod on 3 pitches. That was sweet. The dreams were in my head at that point.

    So to re-watch all those sweet moments knowing the result, I didn’t cry but I felt it inside. The loss makes it feel like we can’t hold on to those awesome moments. It takes the true sweetness away.

    I feel like it shouldn’t. I was in Yankee Stadium for a regular season game in 2004, the series the Yanks swept us and Bernie Williams hit the walk-off division-winning homer. I was very lucky to score really great seats for one game, and I remember Joe Nathan striking out Derek Jeter swinging to end an 8th-inning threat. The whole stadium suddenly quieted while my friend and I jumped and hollared our approval. The Twins lost in the end. But I still cling to the sweet thrill of that strikeout. Hopefully, one way or another, after this series ends and however it ends, some of the sweetness of those first five innings can live on.

  14. 1010sport October 7, 2010 at 11:53 am #

    Just a quick question do you honestly think that Crain facing Teixeira was a better option than Fuentes? I am wondering why you would spin Teixeira to the left-side where he has more proven power (23 hrs this year I believe) one of which came off of Crain?

    If we got Fuentes to get big lefty hitters out in the post-season than use him when they are batting.

    Go Twins tonight

  15. Maija October 7, 2010 at 12:15 pm #

    I feel really annoyed. Not with the Twins, or the Yankees, but with all these Twins fans who gave up so easily on the team last night. After the Yankees scored last night, the stadium was just silent. And when the family in front of me literally asked me to be quiet since I was still cheering, I just left the game. I left the game early, and I NEVER do that.

  16. StuartD October 7, 2010 at 12:49 pm #

    As deflated as I was last night, and a little this morning, I get the feeling more and more that Pavano is going to shove it to the Yankees lineup, and the Twins will get after Pettite hard. Go Twins!

  17. Kunza October 7, 2010 at 1:03 pm #

    I think the hardest thing for most Twins fans to accept is that we continually fail when it comes time to get it done. We are all huge die-hard Twins fans, but in reality, once your team continually chokes, they start to lose some of their luster to the casual fan.

    Last nights game happened. No big deal. Second guessing. No big deal. Giving Gardenhire a continual free pass after continually failing. HUGE DEAL.

    When will the Twins call him on the carpet for something. I know, I know, I know…. that some of you will spout something like the best manager in baseball, gets the most out of the least, etc…. but this is professional sports and the goal is to win a championship. I have to wonder when is Gardenhire’s time going to be up?

  18. jimbo92107 October 7, 2010 at 1:48 pm #

    Every Twins player should take a handful of dirt, then rub it in their own hair. Outdoor baseball, baby. Get in touch with the real thing. What does it take to beat the Yankees? Same thing it takes to beat anybody else. Play good baseball. You apply pressure to them, not the other way around. You make adjustments that give you an advantage. Span could have stood back a little in the batter’s box. Crain needs to sharpen his delivery. All the lefty hitters need to keep that front shoulder in on lefty pitchers. Delmon needs to dive for a ball. Valencia needs to scrape the deer-in-headlights look off his mug. Liriano needs to get ready to pitch an even better game.

    Pick yourselves up and get back in the fight!

  19. Matt T. October 7, 2010 at 1:58 pm #

    To answer Seth’s questions, I was ok with going with Crain, as he has been the most reliable over the season. His slider was usually devastating, but he hung one and Big Tex made him pay. I would expect him to do the same thing if he was on the right side.

    Steve’s post is heartbreaking. It’ll get better. It has to. Pistons had to get by the Celtics in the ’80s and the Bulls needed to get by the Pistons in the ’90s to win their titles. The Yankees are the Twins Pistons. They just need to get over that hump, which is obviously easier said than done.

    And to Kunza, it’s easy to 2nd guess Gardy after the fact, but what move last night that he made directly led to the loss? He had pinch runners at appropriate times. Used bullpen appropriately. Liriano facing Granderson wasn’t the wrong move. Hitters 0-7 w/ RISP was the problem.

    Baseball, of all team sports, is amazingly individual. Pitcher vs. batter. Yanks bullpen & Tex won those battles last night. Managers on both sides did fine.

    • Kunza October 7, 2010 at 2:46 pm #

      I didn’t say I was 2nd guessing Gardenhire. I was simply stating that Gardenhire has a lifetime “get out of jail free” card from everyone in this damn state.

      Does winning division titles guarantee you a job with one organization for as long as you want?

      Maybe Gardy should man up and let the Twins show White Sox highlights on the scoreboard during the pennant race to grow some bigger balls. Quit treating them with kid gloves. These guys are professionals and get paid a ton of money to WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Anare October 7, 2010 at 2:25 pm #

    I feel pissed. The Twins should feel embarrassed, mad as hell at themselves and ready to do something about it. Tonight the Yankees should leave the field feeling like they were assaulted. If that happens, then tomorrow I’ll feel all happy inside.

  21. Seth October 7, 2010 at 2:34 pm #

    Anare… I don’t even know what that means… and what can I do from 6 hours north of the stadium to help this “assault?”

    • Anare October 7, 2010 at 3:53 pm #

      What does what mean?

      I knew we were in trouble last night when I saw Mauer looking so clean shaven that I think he had his face waxed. Sadly it appeared that he had actually sent in a wax replica of himself. Could the real Joe Mauer show up tonight? Honestly, the boys looked scared last night. What was up with that? Tonight with Stachey on the mound I expect to see the Twins show up already dirty and rocking the 5 o’clock shadow. I want to see them wipe the grin off Cheater. I want to see Carl drill Tex with a Konerko-ball right in his beak. That will teach Tex to turn to the side and quit thinking he can bully the pitcher. I want to see Danny Boy step up to the plate and tell the Yanks they better hide their wives, girlfriends and daughters when he shows up in NYC. We’re the fans, we have spent a lot of time and money supporting these boys and now I want to be paid back by witnessing an assault. I have had enough of watching them hug it out in the dugout!

  22. Sam Millitello October 7, 2010 at 3:52 pm #

    “Crain? I mean, he gave up a home run to Mark Teixeira. This happens”

    But longballs off relief pitchers Twins fans think are great ALWAYS happens late in games when we play the Yankees. Name one occasion where the Yankees beat us in the last 2 years where a homerun wasn’t the deciding factor? Kubel’s slam is all we have ever mustered!
    (other than hunters extra inning jack 7 years ago) The Yankees are vastly superior mentally than the Twins. Period! Otherwise the law of averages would play out and we would win some games if not a series or two. I’m afraid this one was over when the Ray’s clinched east.

  23. Rick October 7, 2010 at 4:21 pm #

    I just don’t know how much more baseball I can watch or follow when the economics are so screwed up. Take away the free agent aquisitions of Texiera, A-Rod, and Sabathia and you have a Yankee team that the Twins are on the same level with. If not better. But the disparity of a $216 million dollar payroll versus a $100 million dollar payroll has shown through now for 10 playoff games. I will give the Yankees credit. Their players have a swagger. Our guys are Minnesota nice. And pressure situations do not bring out the best in them. It does the Yankee players. So maybe an extra $100 million and a little more moxie and the Twins could be competive. But this will be 3-0 sweep again. Same old, same old until there is revenue sharing. Pettite will master the Twins tonight as he always has and Pavano will eventually give up the dingers that will put us in a hole that this team can’t seem to dig out of. Zero come back wins in all playoff history.

  24. Erik October 8, 2010 at 11:15 am #

    I diasagree with you saying Gardy cannot be fired. He HAS to get fired. By not firing him, the Twins are saying that they are happy to get into the playoffs and get embarrassed every year. Want to beat the Yankees? Start thinking like them by sayinga year without winning the World Series is failure. Oh, and Joe Mauer is the most overrated player in baseball. I know he is facing tough lefties. Frankie is considered a tough lefty by some and look what Granderson did to him…got a big hit when it mattered. The Twins lack the player who can step up and get a big hit when it counts. Bench Mauer in game 3 if you want a chance…and Kubel as well.

    • Matt T. October 8, 2010 at 3:30 pm #

      I can definitely understand your frustration, Erik, but can not agree with most of what you wrote. Managers get fired when their players stop playing hard for them – you’ll hear it in comments or beat writers who follow the players day-to-day get the sense that it’s happened – or they have a history of poor decisions.

      Usually, there’s some talk amongst fans, talk-radio, etc for weeks or months saying that it needs to happen. None of this has happened for Gardy. Winning takes care of a lot of that. What, in the playoffs, could Gardy have done to get the Twins victories? He’s put his best lineup & pitchers on the field (sans Morneau).

      Since these guys aren’t getting on base (individual part of the game), Gardy hasn’t had a chance to hit & run or bunt a guy over, and he’s playing the pitching match-ups the way it should be done.

      And Mauer is rated exactly as he should be, I think. An MVP catcher, without whom the Twins wouldn’t have been in the playoffs the last two years when Morneau was injured. He, along with Thome & Kubel, have been disappointing this series, but remember Mauer hit .400+ last year in the playoffs and was on base a lot, which is the player he is. I predicted he needed to hit .370+ for the Twins to win this series. Obviously that’s wrong, as Thome & Kubel haven’t done one thing. Mauer needs a 4-4 on Saturday night.

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