Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Hello folks, Hank Rickenbacher checking in. Well, my son Henry gave me and Betsy tickets to Opening Day as a birthday present, so yours truly was at the Target Field for yesterday's festivities. Before we get to the game, I thought you folks would like a "Rickenbacker Review" of the Target Field.Now let me just say, I don't know why the Twins ever left Met Stadium for a football stadium named after a hippie. What was wrong with the Met? And I remember all the hype about the Metrodome before that place opened, and look how that turned out. So when I heard all the hubbub about the Target Field after two practices, I thought, let's not put the horse before the apple cart here.

Well, I don't want to be a drain on the old parade here, but let's just say the Target Field isn't perfect. I mean, it's a nice looking park and all, and for all the tax money they spent on the place it better be. But after the drive Betsy and I were hungry enough to eat a pony, so we got in line at one of the concessions. Of course all the kids in front of us had to use their debit cards and the debit card machine wasn't working, so we waited thirty minutes just to order. What happened to good old fashioned green backs? Anyway I ordered a hot dog and they said they didn't have any hot dogs at that stand. You could've rolled me over with a feather. A baseball game, and I couldn't get a hot dog. Betsy, bless her heart, ordered us cheeseburgers, but they tried to charge us nineteen dollars for the two of them. Like heck I was paying that for two cheeseburgers, so we just left and found our seats.

Of course we had to get the seats in front of the four loudmouth Boston kids who watched about three pitches of the game total and babbled on and on with those mobile phones instead. Betsy said if I let them get to me, they'd win. Well I'm no loser, but let me just say I don't want to talk about those Boston kids anymore. Except that those punks could have used about five bars of Lifeway to clean out those mouths, good Lord, and I let 'em know it too.

Well after all that there was still a game to be played, and that’s why I made the trip down for my first game since 1981, because I have high hopes about this team. And I’ll say it was a good game for this Twins fan. Pavano pitched 6 strong innings, outdueling the Lester kid from Boston. I for one was not impressed with this “Lesser” fellow. He started his outing with a walk, and after hits by Hudson, Cuddyer, and Kubel he was down 2-0. Later, Punto turned his monthly hit into a run, and a lucky hop off the bag on a patented Mauer grounder led to another run. In the 7th Kubel hit the first moon ball in the Target Field and even landed one section from me and Betsy.

The Twinkies showed some swagger Monday which was refreshing since they usually play frightened against the Big Boys. They smacked the ball around, came inside with some pitches (though with the feminine way that Youklis kid holds the bat, I’d throw at him too), and generally acted like they were the better team. Gardenhire tested the limits of cockiness when he trotted out Brad Duensing for the 7th and then to start the 8th too! If that kid gets you three 7th inning outs against the Red Sox, you thank your lucky stripes and have a good chuckle about it later. You don’t tempt fate by sending him out there again! Thankfully the joke ended with a screaming double from one of the Beantowners, and from there it was Guerrier and Rausch to close things out.

All and all, a decent visit to the new park. I suppose I would go back, but I’ll plan on having Betsy pack some ground ham sandwiches for us, because nineteen dollars for two cheeseburgers is criminal. The Twins are back at it Wednesday at noon, Slowey vs. Lackey. Hammering Hank, signing off.
Photos: (1) & (2) - AP/Ann Heisenfelt; (3) AP/Paul Battaglia

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