Tag Archives: Minnesota Twins

Throwing Back Thursday…Paying Tribute to Mary Tyler Moore

 

mary-tyler-moore-statueMinneapolis, MN, June 2008. A statue of Mary Tyler Moore doing her signature hat toss on the very spot she opened her show. R.I.P. Mary Tyler Moore

“Nick at Nighters, here’s a statue of Mary Tyler Moore doing her trademark toss of the tam o’shanter cap in front of the Nicolette Mall on the corner of 7th and Nicolette Mall. Go ahead, act the part of the tourist !!! You know you’ll have this intro on your mind…”

From my post Cruising The Twin Cities, June 2008. You may remember The Mary Tyler Moore show taking place in the Twin Cities, and of course it’s classic opening theme

Prior to throwing out the first pitch during a Twins game in 2002, MTM would perform her signature toss…

R.I.P. Mary Tyler Moore…

 

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Drei’s 2016 A.L. Forecast

Looking Back…

What Drei said last year…

” If there was ever a case for parity ( a word we’ll be hearing throughout the season ) in one division, the AL East makes a case…. Parity. Did I say we’d be using that word A LOT this season ?…Somebody in the Junior Circuit has to win 90 games, right ? The AL’s two best teams could very well be here in the west, setting up a potential ALDS showdown between these two. The Mariners and Angels are among the vast favorites to represent the AL in The Fall Classic.”

If there was one thing I nearly got right last year, I felt the AL would only have one team winning 90 plus games. Turns out two teams ended up winning over 90 games. Appropriately enough, both those teams ended up in the ALCS, one would eventually win the World Series.  Heading into 2016, I still do feel there will be a lot of parity in the Junior Circuit…

A.L East

From top to bottom, anyone is capable of winning this division. Dating back to 2011, each team has had their share of the division crown. Much of the offensive firepower the Blue Jays produced en route to their first post-season appearance in 22 years will be returning this season, including 2nd half pick up Troy Tulowitzki. Having a full season of Tulo should produce more lofty numbers. The loss of David Price from the rotation to the Red Sox may slow them down.

Boston has a good mix of veterans along with some up and comers in Mookie Betts and Xander Bogarts and the addition of David Price to their rotation should help them contend in the east.

The Yankees rotation has too many question marks. Will the off-season acquisition of Aroldis Chapman make much of a difference. Tampa may have the best rotation in the league and should they get any offensive help, could also challenge for the division. On the other side of the ledger, the Orioles, 2 years removed from a division crown, will not be lacking for offense if they can come close to their 217 dingers from last season. Pitching still remains a question. 

A.L. Central

After back to back playoff appearances and a World Series title, the Royals still can’t convince the so-called experts that they are the class of the division. This is another division where there seems to be no clear cut favorite as even Minnesota with it’s young roster remained in contention last season until the final weekend.

Defense, speed and relief pitching carried KC all the way to their first title in 30 years. Having Alex Gordon back should help. The rotation needs for Yordano Ventura to step as and assume the roll of the ace. A third consecutive post-season appearance is certainly attainable for KC.

Cleveland has a pretty formidable rotation of Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar. Will off-season additions Mike Napoli, Rajai Davis, Juan Uribe and Marlon Byrd, players not exactly in their prime make a difference ? Having said that, I still feel Cleveland is ready to challenge for the division.

The White Sox and Tigers, disappointments from last season, look to bounce back. Detroit may be the division’s most improved team  but their biggest question will be their bullpen, which ranked among the worst last season. The Twins are the division’s most intriguing team, with a roster full of youth that started fast out the gate at 30-19. Expectation’s may be unfairly high for them, but last season’s experience in a pennant race should only help this group.

A.L. West

After a last place finish in 2014, the Texas Rangers bounced back nicely to return to the post season for the 4th time in 6 seasons. With Cole Hamels coming back and a healthy Yu Darvish along with along with a lineup that boasts big offensive numbers, the Rangers may be the most balanced team in the division. Their bullpen still has some holes to fill entering the season. 

The Astros, last season’s biggest surprise, is ready to make more noise this season. A full season with Carlos Gomez certainly can’t hurt the lineup. The Mariners, picked by many last season to represent the Junior Circuit in The Fall Classic after an 87 win campaign in 2014, regressed last season, something that could be of concern in Houston with expectations being higher. The M’s strength is still pitching, led by Felix Hernandez. I expect the Mariners to bounce back and be the sleeper in this division.

The Angels, even with the presence of Mike Trout, suffered a decline in offensive numbers last season. Their rotation is still solid and should keep them in contention. The A’s are the one team no one expects to do much. Offensive additions Yonder Alonso and Jed Lowrie should help the offense. Their rotation still has too many holes for Oakland to seriously pose a challenge for the division.

Wild Card

Astros over Boston

ALDS

Toronto over Houston

Seattle over Cleveland

ALCS

Toronto over Seattle. If this holds true to form…IF…this could be a matchup of teams with opposite strengths. Toronto came within 2 games last season, Seattle was expected by many, including your’s here, to challenge last season. Seattle is my choice for the AL darkhorse, which may not be saying much considering the league wide parity.

So based on my projections, the Junior Circuit is pretty much open for anyone to take, maybe even Oakland. Am I going against the pundits ? For the most part, yes. If the JC is this competitive this year, activity around the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline could be very minimal. I would not be surprised if there was a 3 way tie for either a division title or the wild card.

9th Inning…Drei’s Tale…Featuring Kid Marley Marlz and The Mariner Moose

MarlzMoose1 ” Yo Moose !  What it be…What it do ?..Are we gonna see YOU…In October ? “

MarlzMoose4 Hey Marlz, be nice ! You don’t want The Moose to bite back… ” Is that right ? “

MarlzMoose3 Awe, Kid Marley Marlz is sharing his milkshake with The Moose… ‘Til the next episode…

 

Sandy Koufax Meet Mr. Ed

On Saturday the 16th, the Dodgers will be honoring the 1965 World Champion team  prior to their game against the Colorado Rockies. Among those who will be present is of course Sandy Koufax. Though Koufax would miss Game 1 of the 1965 World Series due to his religious obligations to the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, he would go on to win 2 games in the series, including the deciding Game 7 at Metropolitan Stadium against the Twins, pitching on only 2 days rest.

2 years prior, in addition to the Dodgers sweeping the Yankees in the 1963 World Series, Koufax, along with Moose Skowron, Willie Davis, Johnny Roseboro and Leo Durocher would guest in the classic Mr. Ed

Cruising The Twin Cities, June 2008

Any of you Dodger fans on the road following the team in the Twin Cities ? I hope you’re all staying warm and dry. Amongst my many baseball road trips I’ve had the pleasure to take, here are some pics from my trip to the Twin Cities back in the summer of 2008 when the Twins we’re still in the Metrodome.

Me_Metrodome On the field after a game between the Twins and Brewers on Sunday, June 29 2008 after the Twins had defeated the Brewers 5-0. In this game, Twins young outfielder and future Brewer Carlos Gomez would have an RBI triple for the home team. It seems as if Carlos Gomez has been making some recent headlines, be it the the wrong kind or the good kind . As for the Metrodome, I’m really glad the Twins have a new stadium . The Metrodome was everything baseball was not meant. In a sterile indoor environment with fake grass. But hey, the old Metrodome is another stadium off my list.

1965_TwinsALBanner Banner honoring the 1965 AL Champions. In case you may not know who they would fall to in this classic 7 game series….

Also in the Twin Cities….

MTM_Statue For you Nick at Nighters, here’s a statue of Mary Tyler Moore doing her trademark toss of the tam o’shanter cap in front of the Nicolette Mall on the corner of 7th and Nicolette Mall. Go ahead, act the part of the tourist !!! You know you’ll have this intro on your mind…

In nearby Bloomington…

The Mall of America, . If the kid in you should find yourself at the Nickelodeon Universe , you may want to look for these baseball themed markers . The MOA resides on the spot where the Twins once called home in Bloomington , Metropolitan Stadium.

MetStadium Metropolitan Stadium, Bloomington MN.

Killebrew_chair
Killebrew_logridechair This red chair perched high atop this wall above the flume ride, marks the landing spot of Twins legend Harmon Killebrew’s 520 foot home run, the longest ever at Metropolitan Stadium.

HomePlate_MetStadium The spot where home plate once stood inside of Nickelodeon Universe.

HomePlate_60feet 60 feet 6 inches in front of that dish, history was made in October, 1965, thanks in large part to Sandy Koufax. In case you may have forgot, check out the first YouTube clip. ( Can you tell that a Dodger fan is writing all this ? )

And finally, when leaving the Twin Cities, don’t forget to say high to man’s best friend…

snoopy Oh yeah, America’s favorite beagle, somewhere in Minneapolis Airport. Of course you all know that Snoopy’s creator hails from the Twin Cities

Countdown To Opening Day….32 Days

Koufax_32 32 days until the Dodgers open the season against the Dbacks in The Land Down Under…

32 . The number worn by the great Sandy Koufax. One of Sandy’s many accomplishments would come during the 1965 World Series. Koufax would sit out Game 1 of the 1965 World Series against the Minnesota Twins to observe Yom Kippur. Don Drysdale would get the nod, but would be rocked as the Twins would win the opener 8-2. As Drysdale was removed in the 3rd inning by Walt Alston, he reportedly quipped to Alston ” I bet you wish I was the Jewish one…. ”

Despite dropping the first 2 games in Minnesota, the Dodgers would win Games 3-5 in Dodger Stadium. After dropping Game 6 back in Minnesota, Koufax would take the mound on only 2 days rest in Game 7. And the rest is history…

Did you also know that in spite of Sandy’s greatness, he would only start one Opening Day during his storied career ? What are Sandy’s thought’s on this years Dodgers ?

The Other 32

MAGIC What’s up with Magic these days ? I hear he has some ownership over a baseball team. Oh for the good old glory days…

50 Years Ago Today, Four Lads From Britain Invade America

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Beatles in America , the Ed Sullivan Theater has unveiled this retro marquee outside it’s theater

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Here is the marquee in it’s original look, 1964

originalmarquee

The impact of The Beatles was so huge that eventually they would perform at 9 different MLB venues. Here are some pics that I found at these various venues.

American League Venues

Comiskey Park

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Metropolitan Stadium, Former Home of the Twins

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Ticket Stubs from Cleveland Stadium and Municipal Stadium in Kansas City, former home of the Kansas City Athletics

beatles_clevticketstub

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And now the National League Parks The Fab Four would perform at….

Crosley Field, former home of The Cincinatti Reds

beatles_crosley2

beatles_crosleyfield

Busch Stadium, St Louis

beatles_busch

lennon_busch I love how Busch Stadium’s signature “mini-arches” in the background complement John…

Shea Stadium, former home of the Mets

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And now the venues still standing…

Candlestick Park

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Candlestick Park would be the venue The Beatles would perform their last ever concert on August 29, 1966. Candlestick Park will be demolished later this year ( To the delight of many !!! ), and word has it that Paul McCartney would like to give The ‘Stick one last show before The ‘Stick see’s the wrecking ball.

And finally, the one MLB venue The Fab Four performed at that is still in use and will be the only one standing after this year. Yup, you guessed it….

THE BEATLES AT DODGER STADIUM, AUGUST 28 1966

beatles_dodgerrf

Beatles_dodgerstadium

beatles_dodgerticketstub$6 Dodger Stadium and The Beatles. Proof that legends live forever, ” YEAH YEAH YEAH ” !!!!

Hoping To Reverse History In L.A.

Before I discuss reversing history, here’s some other historical tidbidts that may be of interest to all you Dodger fans, including those of you who have already pushed the panic button. Four other times in post-season play the Dodgers have overcome 2-0 deficits. OK, the most recent was in 1981, when they did it twice that season and some rookie southpaw and future Dodger Spanish broadcaster would capture the hearts of L.A. . But hey, who says history can’t repeat itself, right ?….

1955 World Series

1955-dodgers-win
No doubt the locals, after falling behind 2 games to none, had to be thinking ” Here we go again…. Dem Bums…” . But the beloved Bums of Flatbush, after coming up short against the Yankees in 5 previous tries, finally bring home Brooklyn’s lone World Championship, beating the Yankees in 7…

1965 World Series

1965
In observance of Jewish holiday Yom Kippur, Sandy Koufax is missing in action for Game 1 against the Twins, and Don Drysdale would get rocked. Upon being taken out in the 4th inning, Drysdale reportedly quipped to manager Walter Alston ” I’ll bet you wish I was the Jewish one…” . The Twins would shock the Dodgers and Koufax in game 2 as well and head to L.A. with a commanding 2-0 series lead. The Dodgers would win games 3 through 5 in L.A., and lose Game 6 in Minnesota. Sandy Koufax, on only 2 days rest !!!! ( Yup, for those of you who questioned Kershaw going on 3 days rest in Game 4 of the NLDS….) would silence the bats of the Twins en route to a 2-0 shutout , delivering the Dodgers 3rd World Title in L.A. .

1981 Division Series

1981nlds
In what was deemed the intra-division playoffs due to the mid-season strike of 1981, the Dodgers would be matched up against the Houston Astros in a best of 5 to determine the NL West Champ. After dropping the first two in Houston, the Dodgers would sweep the remaining 3 at home to advance to the NLCS against the Montreal Expos…

1981 World Series

1981WS
After dropping the first two in The Bronx, The Blue would once again rally at home, taking games 3 through 5, all by one run, and in Game 6 in The Bronx the Dodgers would take home their sixth World Series title and their third over the dreaded Yankees…

From The Twitter Feed….

Not coming through in the clutch would be an understatement, especially Yasiel Puig, who seem’s to be pressing in his first tast of NLCS action. One of the big reason’s the Dodgers got by Atlanta in the LDS was their ability to come through in the clutch, especially with 2 outs….

Should, coulda, woulda ( I think that’s how it goes….) . In a series so evenly matched up where great pitching is displayed on both sides, every move is subject to scrutiny, including the managers, and now for the 3rd time in the playoffs the people of L.A. are 2nd guessing Don Mattingly’s

decisions. Before we discuss his recent blunder from Game 1, let’s also not forget a couple other moves from Game 2 of the NLDS having Paco Rodriguez pitching to Jason Heyward and the 8th inning of Game 4 where the inablility of Juan Uribe to lay down a bunt ACTUALLY benefited The Blue !!!!! And now why Adrian Gonzalez would be removed in the 8th inning of a tie ballgame for a pinch runner in Dee Gordon is beyond eveyone’s belief. There was still plenty of ballgame left and the way both pitching staff’s we’re performing, it was not out of the question that AGon would be needed if the game went extra’s, which of course it ultimately did. And well, we all know what happened when it was Michael Young instead of Gonzalez at the dish with a chance to take the lead. So yeah, while I do agree with Mattingly’s quote that we’re a couple of hits away from being up 2-0, Mattingly is still as much to blame for the Dodgers being where they stand right now. Now, as for his managerial status after the season should we not have a parade in DTLA later this month, I won’t be in panic mode>, though it seem’s some people are already….

Some words of encouragement from L.A. King Dustin Brown. Of course Brownie would know something about coming back from 0-2 deficits to teams from St. Louis….

Hoping To Reverse History

Why I bring this up ? The only other time the Dodgers and Cardinals met in the NLCS was in 1985, the first year MLB would use a best of 7 format for the LCS after previously using a best of 5. The Dodgers, led by the pitching of Fernando Valenzuela and Orel Hershiser, would take a 2 games to none lead heading to The Show Me State for games 3 through 5. Then….

“2 of the darkest days of my life as a Dodgers fan occurred within 2 days of each other. And this 11 year old kid certainly did not GO CRAZY after this series….

You had to pick this game to hit your first ever home run from the left side of the plate Ozzie ?That home run by Ozzie would be voted by Cardinals fans as the number all-time greatest moment in old Busch Stadium’s history….gocrazy1

gocrazy2

And…

Why did you pitch to Jack Clark ? The question asked in L.A. all winter long in ’85….

I’m still trying to figure out how I picked up enough courage to reflect upon my 2 darkest days as a Dodger fan. I never really came down hard on Tom Niedenfuer for giving up those home runs. If anything, I was actually harder on Lasorda for having Niedenfuer pitch to Clark with 1st base open and 2 outs. The hitter on-deck ? Andy Van Slyke, father of future Dodger Scott Van Slyke. Yes, I am aware that Andy is best remembered for his playing days with the Pirates, but at the time, no one knew who he was. As we said 28 years ago…. ” WHY DID YOU PITCH TO JACK CLARK !!!! “…. Speaking of the number 28…Guerrero-thumb-362x800-7893
My favorite Dodger as a kid, Pedro Guerrero. Put up some big offensive numbers for The Blue througout the 80’s , yet my lasting memory is of him throwing his glove down in disgust after Jack Clark’s decisive 3 run home run sent the Red Birds to the World Series against their in-state rivals the Kansas City Royals, in which they would eventually lose in 7 games. ( To any Cardinals fan that may be reading this, yeah, Don Dekinger blew the call at 1st base in Game 6, but having broken the heart of this 11 year old kid 10 days prior, my only feeling was and even at 11 years old… ” Hey Cards fans !!!! Oh well !!! Life’s a B***H isn’t it ? ” . 28 years later those feeling’s haven’t changed….LOL . “

http://dodgerdrei.mlblogs.com/2013/10/11/nlcs-show-down-at-the-show-me-state/

The exact dates when all this happened ? Monday, October 14, 1985 and Wednesday, October 16, 1985. Well, let’s see, we’re scheduled to play tomorrow on Monday, October 14 and Wednesday, October 16 ( Yes, I’m saying it right now. THIS WILL NOT BE A SWEEP !!!! ) and in ’85 it was the Cards who came from a 2-0 deficit. Oh yeah, what’s is it about Dodger manager’s being second guessed in the NLCS ? Anyways…..It’s our turn now to reverse all this. It’s time to REVERSE SOME HISTORY !!!!

holliday Matt Holliday, you’ve always had a place in my heart since 2009…

blue LETS DO THIS BLUE !!!!