Turned on the car’s XM a bit before 7 — and the screen flashed: Red Sox 2, Twins 1. It didn’t matter that the Twins were losing. There was a baseball game on the radio, even if it was with the Boston announcers, and it didn’t matter that another snow dump was on the way.
It was fun to hear the other team’s announcers wax on about the Twins — the way they blasted back into the AL Central race, the individual awards, the trepidation at facing Johan on Sunday, even if it’s a meaningless game in March. It was cool to hear them laud Matt Garza for his 2 perfect innings and to point out how unusual it is for a pitcher to be yanked midway through an exhibition inning, which is what happened to Scott Baker in the 4th.
It was 4-1 Boston when I pulled into the Cub parking lot and 4-4 when I pulled out. The radio guys were still recounting Joe Mauer‘s opposite-field homer when the Red Sox came to bat and, being midway through the earliest of exhibition games, it was fun to hear them try to keep up with the unknown players coming into the lineup. Denard Span took over for Torii Hunter in the 5th and Glenn Williams got some innings at 1st base. Mauer got to leave after his homer and it sounded like the rest of the night’s pitchers were going to be guys with unnaturally high jersey numbers and no chance of making the roster.
It was a good introduction for what’s to come, a toe in the water for a season that will last more than 200 games if the Twins make the postseason. Feel good about Garza, worry (some more) about Baker, wonder whether that high-numbered substitute in 2007 will be a major leaguer in 2011. I’ll take s’more of that action, please.