I meant to get this out sooner, but I needed a little longer to grieve the season than I expected. For the past 4 or 5 season's I've made a point of attending the final home game of the season. It's lead to some exciting game 162's (see 2008 and 2009). While the 2011 game 162 was not a prelude to a game 163 or a playoff series, it had it's moments. As a season ticket holder, I also had the opportunity to "run" the bases after the game. I snapped a few pics along the way.
We begin with the John Gordon tribute.
The John Gordon stuff was nice and ended with a cute bit with Gladden riding him around the warning track in a side car. Video here for those who missed it... and the answer is no, I'm not a professional camera woman ;) At the end of it they posted this on the scoreboard:
Things to glean here - 25 years is a long time to do a job and we have some young players.
The game finally began with a nice surprise - The Pavstache was back!!!
It turned out to be a good night for him with a complete game shutout and decent defense behind him. For a game that could have been loss 100 on the season it was a superb pitching performance. Bruce Chen was Bruce Chen and fortunately they finally knocked him out. Wood gave up the game winning run and hit to Span and Plouffe. No 100 loses, season saved... or something like that, either way Twins win.
Was this possibly Cuddy's last night as a Twin. He hugged everyone like it might be. I hope he's back, but may not be in the majority.
Next up was getting to go out on the field. They brought us out through the grounds crew opening under the left field bleachers. Home seems far away all the way back at the warning track. It gives me a new appreciation for the outfielders and the throws they have to make. Revere's arm may be terrible but I guarantee it's better than most of us could do.
Harmon's signature is bigger up close and personal. I wonder if it remains in the outfield for 2012. I'd like to see it as a permanent feature.
We made our way around the bases as the Rays were tying up the game with the Yankees. Boston wouldn't lose until after we left, but the crowd on the field buzzed a bit when the Rays came back. No Yankees fans at Target Field that night.
We crossed home plate. I hope to see more Twins crossing this in 2012.
The season's over and I've made my peace with it. I'll still be a season ticket holder and hope to see more wins than loses. I hope for health for Mauer and Morneau. I hope Thome's back so there's still a Twin older than me, but I know that time has probably passed. I hope to see Cuddyer and Nathan back, but will cheer them as an opponent if they're not. 2012 is a new season and anything can happen.
See you next season.