Thursday, April 21, 2016

If I Had A Blog Then: 2006 4th of July Weekend Trip to Kansas City.

For having the reputation of one of the best looking ballparks in baseball, Kauffman Stadium sure looks clunky from the parking lot. What gives? Me and three buds drove down from the Twin Cities to escape the Dome and get a taste of outdoor baseball, and all I can see is asphalt and dead gra-
OH! Keep in mind that the Twins play in a teflon covererd, concrete bowl - with old Astroturf covering that concrete. This was not the first time I'd seen an MLB game outdoors, just the first time in about 8 years.
But take a look at that lineup! Not a typo, Joe Mauer was hitting a George Brett-like .392 on July 6th. Pretty good for a Catcher, am I right? Ron Gardenhire was experimenting with splitting up the M&M boys with right handed hitting Michael Cuddyer in the Clean up spot. Morneau was a team player about it, but you know he (and Torii Hunter) would have preferred to be a bit higher in the order.
The iconic K.C. Waterworks. Did you know Kansas City is known as the City of Fountains? Well, it is. You just learned something! Or not.

We got the park on the right day - Johan himself was there to go after his 10th win of the season (He finished the year 19-6). Best of luck to Scott Elarton, hoping to avoid his 10th loss. Speaking of ten wins, Coming into the game tonight, the Twins had won 10 Straight Games! Even with the streak, Minnesota was still in 3rd place in the AL Central, 9 games behind the front-running Detroit Tigers.
Here's the first pitch of the game from our seats - Elarton delivers to Luis Castillo. Castillo bluffed bunt and Royals third baseman Mark Teahan started to crash towards the line and home.
Here's a View of Home Plate from the Right Field Line. If you look closely, you'll see several fans wearing Jeremy Affeldt T-Shirts - there must have been a giveaway!

Fireworks were provided by the Royals -- and by the Twins. Mauer and Morneau both homered. The Twins took a lead in the 8th inning with a 3 run burst. Morneau hit an RBI single, and then two wild pitches led to 2 more runs in the inning. Your 2006 Kansas City Royals, everyone...

It was a great weekend in KC - not pictured: way too much BBQ.

By the end of the 2006 season, the Twins made up those 9 games on the Tigers and had the privilege of getting swept by Oakland in the ALDS.

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