(Note from Howard: When frequent commenter Jason Iacovino he told me that he was going to Kansas City for the weekend, I figured he’d be a perfect candidate to file on behalf of the Twins fans who made the Twins. Jason is an attorney and a play-by-play announcer for KRFO Radio in Owatonna, MN. He’s a 2001 graduate of the University of Minnesota, with a bachelor of arts in journalism and mass communication and a 2006 graduate of the University of St. Thomas School of Law.)
You think our season is over? Take a peek at where Kansas City ranks in the standings. All props go to the 33,000+ that showed up for what was a meaningless game for a team that is 18.0 GB in the AL Central on Saturday night. Of course there were plenty of Twins fans like us, but I handicapped the crowd at 62:38, Royals fans. That’s called understanding how good you have it. I haven’t been to Fenway, Wrigley, or New York, but I sincerely believe Kauffman Stadium is the best baseball experience in America.
Basically, you have the field and the fans, both intimately connected, and that’s about it (except for a monster HD screen). No tacky in-your-face advertising, no annoying pre- or post-game gimmicks…just baseball, up close and personal.
Saturday it was a battle of which bullpen wanted to lose it more. As it turned out, Kansas City won that contest. So thanks to an Oakland win, we’re still hanging on that limb. Brian Duensing impressed, but Gardy apparently wanted to make it interesting by bringing in Bobby Keppel with a 6-2 lead in the sixth after Duensing threw just 80 pitches. Who knows, he may have been on a pitch count, but that move spelled disaster from the word “Go.” Then Crain came in to put more gas on the fire, but it wasn’t enough for a hometown comeback win on a night when they packed Kauffman.
It was another adventure in right field that made the difference. The boys and I watched the replay from our hotel no less than seven times and debated if Josh Anderson screwed up the Cuddyer double in the ninth. I’m convinced he did. He pulled up lame on a ball that could’ve easily been caught. That move made Cuddy, aka ‘Not My Fault,’ a hero in an ugly battle of bullpen ineptitude. And if KC is looking for a villain, you could arguably pin both losses on Anderson. But who cares, I’ll take the win. Way to go, Cuddy! Way to go Twins!
Thirty-three thousand came to see a game that had no meaning. Not bad, KC. We had a blast…friendly locals, great views, and Josh Anderson absolutely could hear what we threw his way after Cuddy’s sand wedge fell in for the game winner. If you haven’t been to Kauffman, it’s a must-see. We’ll have it good next year, but we won’t have the pregame atmosphere these guys do.
Hey, our patchwork lineup and pitching staff snuck us another W, so I’ll cheer hard for some “My Local Hardware Store” brooms to be in play by the end of Sunday’s game.
Don’t give up, Section 220…and don’t pass up the chance to experience Kauffman–tailgating to the final out–it’s unbelievable.