Saturday, 5 April 2008

Go Twins

Finding myself with an extra day in Minneapolis, I planned to mop up all the stuff I was going to do in other places. I went to the art gallery a block from the hostel this morning, which had a great display of Frank Lloyd Wright furniture and architecture, including half a room from a Wright-designed house which had been damaged and so farmed out to collectors. There was also a good range of paintings from 1750 through to 1930, with a clear progression of all the major styles and artists.

After a hour and a half there, I went downtown to see a baseball game, which is where I am now. Games go for about three hours, of which time the ball is 'live' for about ten minutes in total. The local team the Minnesota Twins were playing the LA/Anaheim Angels, but it was fairly low-key as they are still in pre-season and the result doesn't count.

I was worried they were being a little too casual when during the first two innings (45 minutes or so) neither team even got a man as far as first base. When the teams played yesterday, the Angels won 1-0. But in the third the visitors ran in three runs and it started getting interesting.

It's the bottom of the ninth and there's two out. The Twins are down 4-5. There' a man on first and they walk power hitter Mauer. The pitcher keeps his eye on the man on second. He fakes and throws to second. And again before the next pitch. He pitches low and inside; two balls and a strike. The fourth is a foul ball, a fly that pops up into the fifteenth row. The organist is having a field day and the sugar-addled kids are screaming chants that have become unrecognizable. Another ball, pushing the batter back from the plate. Three balls and two strikes: it's a full count. Then the batter swings wildly at a ground ball and kills the game. Twins lose.

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