Opening Day 2011
Today is Opening Day for the Twins, historically my favorite day of the year. I can remember where I was and what I was doing for every single Opening Day since I first started following the team in 1993.
Listened on Radio: 1995, 2005 (the year of Victory Sports One)
Watched on TV: 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2009, 2010
Attended in Person: 2004, 2007, 2008 (attended home opener every year from 2002-2010 except 2005)
I could go into more detailed specifics but why would anyone other than me possibly care about that. But the point is, I have been tuned into every opening game since I was 10. Today, that all changes as I will be able to do none of the above!
For some reason the league decided to start the season on a Friday for the first time in 20 years, and I didn’t realize this in January when I signed up to DJ a wedding dance for April 1st (and 2nd). I suppose, best-case scenario, I can catch the first inning on TV before I leave, listen to the second inning on the radio on my drive, and follow along on my phone for the rest of the game. But with lots of upcoming travel, the DJ income is very much needed and I didn’t even try to get out of it.
I think last year’s fifth straight playoff fizzle has left me very bitter. The Twins got our hopes way up again in 2010 and it once again ended in the most pitiful way, a one-sided three-game ALDS sweep. That’s twelve straight playoff game losses, one away from tying the all-time pro sports record of 13 held by the Red Sox. The team is 6-21 under Gardenhire in the playoffs, and the number of ways they’ve found to lose games during that streak makes me think they are cursed. Joe Nathan blowing 9th-inning save opportunities in both 2004 and 2010. Torii Hunter misjudging a flyball in 2006 that led to an Oakland inside-the-park home run. Joe Mauer’s extra-inning double in 2009 that was ruled foul. Yes, I’d rather the Twins get swept in the playoffs than not make it at all, but it just makes it that much tougher to get over.
Last year really seemed like the year everything would change. 50th anniversary, new stadium, perfect weather all season, payroll over $100 million, big-name players coming to the team, aggressive trade deadline moves… yet the same old result. I think that really deflated me worse than ever and is making it much more difficult to get excited about it this year. The team doesn’t seem any more capable this year of doing any better than last year or the year before.
But I’m sure that tonight, once that first pitch is thrown, I’ll be hooked back in regardless of what I say right now.
This week I was told I would be attending the NAB Show in Las Vegas with the company April 11-15. I was listed as an alternate and it turned out someone had to cancel, so I got the green light.
It was tough to find airline tickets on such short notice, so my flights are different from the rest of the employees. I will be leaving very early Monday morning, while the others go out Sunday morning. I’ll also be coming back a little later Friday on Sun Country while they’re all on Delta. I get my own room at Harrah’s, which of course is home to Toby Keith’s. I am excited to go out there for a week, but it is hard work being on my feet for 10-12 hours a day for four straight days, giving the same speech over and over about various products.
So between now and the first week of June, I will be traveling to Las Vegas, New York, Boston, South Dakota (10-year class reunion), and another mystery location for a surprise bachelor party for Andrew K.
• Happy first birthday to niece Hadley Elizabeth Malinda Glanzer!
• Last week’s Shed Party Show was one of the best yet, featuring guest calls from Luke Katuin of FNS Delivers, Hot Lunch up in North Dakota, and nieces Peyton and Emerson Krogman. Download or stream it today!
• Lauren and I continue to plow through The Sopranos. We managed to watch 76 one-hour episodes in March alone, with 10 left to go. Truly an amazing show. I plan to film a parody of the theme song next time I’m in Carpenter.
• Oh, remember how in my last blog I was mentioning how it was just another ho-hum wedding dance, nothing particularly special? Well that all came to a crashing halt when 10-15 cops showed up and busted up the party at 12:50. From what I was told, many wedding party members wound up spending the night in jail. Apparently some people were having a bit too much fun out in the parking lot.
• Patrick invited me to the Timberwolves/Bulls game Wednesday night, center court, sixth row! The Bulls destroyed the Wolves. It seemed so obvious to me that the Timberwolves are playing with no heart whatsoever. They need to brawl with another team and unite. Most of the players, Darko especially, seemed like they couldn’t care less.