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Monday, April 14, 2008

Thoughts from a Fellow Fan

One thing I like to do on this blog is for the readers to hear opinions from people other than me. There are a lot of Twins fans out there, so here is the first installment of Thoughts from a Fellow Fan.

A good friend of mine from high school days back in South Dakota made the trip south to K.C. this weekend to see his first look of the 2008 Twins. Here are Thoughts from a Fellow Fan, Taylor.

Over the weekend I was lucky enough to go along with some friends down to Kansas City for the Saturday and Sunday Twins vs Royals games. Although the weather was probably more suited for football, the baseball games were fun nonetheless.

Saturday's game was great for two reasons. One, the Twins won which always constitutes for a great game, and second, the game was sold out due to Billy Butler jersey night. Coming into the game I expected a high scoring affair with a Bonser, Tomko pitching matchup. Naturally I was mistaken, and instead I witnessed a pitching duel. The Twins jumped up early thanks to a Jason Kubel solo blast, which contributed to his already solid start. If Kubel can stay healthy this year I expect a very solid year, ending with him surrounding the 20 home run mark. The Royals couldn't get anything going, as Bonser looked wonderful on the mound, carrying a no-hitter into the 5th, only to be jynxed by a Royals fan behind us and thus gave up a single to Ross Gload. That was about the only positive for Royals fans as their offense mustered up no real threats throughout the game. The Twins had a chance to blow the game out in the 7th up 2-0, but failed to score a run after having the bases loaded with no outs. Thanks to the solid Neshek/Nathan combo the Twins shut to door and took game 2 of the series.

This game was direct opposites for both teams coming in. The Royals fans failed to come out on a chilly Sunday afternoon, probably because of the back to back losses without scoring a run. On the otherhand the Twins fans came in full of anticipation for Fransisco Liriano's first major league start since late 2006. The game looked as if it would be more of the same from the previous two nights as the Twins knocked on across in the first. But Liriano couldn't hold the lead long as the Royals chipped away and took the lead with runs in the 1st, 2nd, and 4th innings. One positive to take from Liriano's start was he didn't let the game out of hand, which was something that easily could have happened because it seemed the Royals were constantly threatening. Obviouslly the main concern after Liriano's start is with his command as he never seemed to be able to get ahead of hitters and finish them off. It was nice to see the development of his changeup, which if it was controlled properly reminded this me of a former Twins Lefy ace's changeup. Bannister didn't allow any real threat for the remainder of the game, and he continued the dominance he has shown all year, helping the Royals finished off the sweep.

Random Notes I got from the games:
-The Royals stadium is incredible! They have the biggest HD jumbotron in the nation, and it is just wonderful for the fans. Also they have wiped out the old left outfield seats because they are putting in new seats in front of the waterfalls throught the staduim.

-The Royals fans hate Jose Guillen, constatnly chanting 12 million dollars which is what they are paying him to hit .100. It didn't help when he dropped an easy fly ball in the first Sunday, leading to the only Twins run

-If you do attend a Royals game in the future, buy the cheapest available ticket. My friend and I baught the 9 dollar tickets, and ended up front row behind home plate both games. They do not have people checking tickets at each gate, and we basically wondered and sat wherever we pleased.

- The Royals will be good and soon. Their lineup is young and potent with emerging stars in Teahan, Gordon, and Butler. Plus the pitching staff is set up to be real solid with veterans Meche and Tomko and young guys coming into their own with Bannister and Grienke.

-These two teams are very similar, and will probably battle throughout the year in the standings. Who knows, maybe another 2003 is in store with both teams being in the division race after the all star break!

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