I am writing today’s blog from the Metrodome on Friday. Yesterday I had no time to write with the record setting amount of stops we made so this entry is being written solely on memory.
Sitting in Kevin Smith’s
broom closet office this morning I learned a very interesting and equally unsurprising fact. Minnesota just experienced the coldest 76 hour stretch of weather in the last thirteen years. Very interesting, however, this is also unsurprising because Caravan would not be what it is without these bitterly cold temperatures.
People asked us on our travels if we ever considered shutting down our trip due to the cold. I actually believe that we would cancel our trip if it got too warm. Like, “Hey its above zero, let’s pack up and head home”. This is my third year on caravan and without looking back at actual temps I would say I have spent a total of 256 out of a possible 286 hours traveling rural Minnesota in sub-zero temperatures. I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way.
Once again our morning kicked off with the bus breaking down. Gomez once again did a fantastic job of fixing our cruiser and we were off. We peaked early on Day 4 with a bank stop in Mayville, ND. The fine folks at Goose River Bank welcomed us with enthusiasm and a large box of homemade cookies. They had the whole bank decked out in Twins memorabilia and also provided us with excellent questions. Thanks a lot Goose River!!!
We made several more stops throughout the day and finished up with a VIP reception, media interviews, and a meet and greet. Our final night program once again went off without a hitch. We signed autographs and then hit the road. All in all it was a great trip. The fans were awesome and showed up in droves everywhere we went.
I want to sign off by saying thank you to everyone for coming out, for reading my blog, and for being the best fans in baseball.
Special thanks to our whole caravan as well: Kevin Wahl, T.C. Bear, Kelly Thesier, Jean Edhlund, Melissa Therrien, Kevin Smith, Frank Leo, Gardy, and Joe Vavra. It was a blast seeing everyone and I am excited for next year already. Until then, I’ll hope to see y’all in Fort Myers and at games all summer. Thanks Again.
p.s. Tune into twinsbaseball.com this summer to catch more from me on my in season blog. Thanks…
Today I am going to start by issuing yet another apology. When I agreed to do this blog I thought I would be writing about our travels and happenings and not turn into an internet meteorologist. It’s just that it has been so unbelievably cold that I feel not writing about it would be Uncaravanisotan (Caravan+Minnesotan).
My unofficial calculations have our tally of consecutive hours-below-zero at 72 and counting. It has been soooooo cold that me, a Minnesotan for 25+ years, learned something new about playing in the cold. Our server last night at the majestic Northland Inn brought our whole traveling
circus caravan outside at 11 p.m. carrying a cup of near-boiling water. He threw it up in the air and it instantly turned to a cloud of steam…unbelievable.
Backing up to the (35 below zero) morning our bus once again suffered from a frozen throttle cable. That’s right, frozen. Our unflappable bussie Kevin “Go Go Gomez” Wahl fixed us up and we were on our way.
The main theme of Day 3 was school visits. We had three stellar stops along our road to Crookston. It’s always fun to see the kids faces, not when we walk in, but when T.C. comes in and does his “Rickey Henderson hitting a home run and sliding into home” headfirst slide. They light up and scream in almost deafening fashion. Our first visit of the morning brought us to Erskine, MN and Win-E-Mac School. The best part about these stops is that the schools have Kindergartners all the way up to Seniors. If I had to go to school with seniors as a five year old I would have had an accident in my pants. The kids here though are used to it and they warmly welcomed us and participated as well as any other school. Our next two stops were in Fosston and Thief River Falls with Magellsen Elementary and Franklin Middle School, respectively. Again, they were great crowds and their enthusiasm and participation were second to none.
As we pass the midpoint of this 2009 Twins Caravan I feel it is time to clue y’all in on what we do on the bus. We have been supplied with a first-class tour bus decked out with couches, chairs, and a table. DJ Guard Dog (you know who I mean) runs the radio from the co-pilot seat and has done one heck of a job.
I am beginning to question how much time he spends managing versus how much time he spends downloading music. He is one heck of a skipper and with his music collection, he could be the program director at nearly every radio station we have visited thus far. The main tune has been “Chicken Fried” by Zac Brown Band. If you fans wonder why we seem so fired up it has everything to do with this song. Hats off to Gardy for running the radio and keeping us all awake in between stops. Out.
Hi again to all my adoring fans. I want to begin by apologizing for my headlines. I know they are just a list of what we did on that given day and lack any sort of creativity. Kelly told me that she has someone who writes her headlines so in an attempt to boycott not getting my own headline writer (if that’s the correct title) I have decided to make them as lame as possible. Finally, if you thought I mistyped Bosner up top, I didn’t. The guy we met last night after dinner was almost certainly Boof’s long lost brother. I chose to call him Bosner but I will get to that later.
First things first. I told you all yesterday that I left my phone in my car and while going to pick it up, I also picked up a small case of frostbite. I would like to retract that statement and apologize for thinking that it was even remotely cold. Waking up on Day 2 of caravan brought us a less than balmy -27 in Alexandria. I am glad that I am not a morning shower guy because my hair would have undoubtedly frozen stiff on the 17 foot walk to the bus. It wasn’t even the cold temperature that really hurt but the steady wind that knocked the windchill down around 40 below.
Far more important than the weather was our first stop of the day. The Applebee’s in Fergus Falls was holding a fundraiser for the Fergus Falls Marching Band. They will be playing at the presidential inauguration later this month and we helped them raise the funds they needed. For our (extremely difficult) efforts of showing up, shaking hands, and giving a small speech, we were honored by the mayor with January 13th being officially dubbed “Minnesota Twins Day”. Very exciting stuff for everyone involved.
Since I have now fulfilled my official duty as Minnesota Twins bloggist with the above paragraph, we can get back to regularly scheduled (read: more entertaining) programming.
We arrived at our hotel in and on Detroit Lake around 4 p.m. We were greeted by a sign that warmly welcomed any and all Canadians. I have nothing against Canadians (Morneau) and I also have no real knowledge of where Detroit Lakes is, but I think there are at least two and maybe three states that are closer Detroit Lakes than Canada is. Imagine if you were from South Dakota, pulled in after a long drive, and you see that sign. They should either have signs welcoming travelers from at least the five state area, or remove the sign altogether. Besides it’s written in French. End of story.
It took me all of 5 seconds to spot the ping pong table across the pool. I was very excited to get the games going but felt I could use a shower first. HUGE problem… if I were Kevin Slowey. It turns out that the hot water was not working in the ENTIRE hotel. I postponed the shower and proceeded to paste Joe Vavra all over the ping pong table. My next victims were the ever feeble Kevin Smith and our boss Melissa Therrien. Nine games and nine victories in about 1 hour. (Editors note: Glen did lose the 10th and final game to Melissa in overtime)
I get a lot of entertainment out of those celebrity look-a-likes. I have never seen one other than in magazines but I was fortunate enough to meet one last night. I don’t know if this particular gentleman has turned pro yet, but he definitely has a future in the impersonator profession. He’s got the total package- the look, body mannerisms, dance moves, and the name. I can’t remember exactly but i think he told me his name was Bosner (very fitting). I hope a talent agent reads this blog and signs this man, he deserves it. That is all. Thanks for reading.
There’s your All-Star Week Most Valuable Player if they only gave out such an award. Justin Morneau not only won the State Farm Home Run Derby on Monday night, but then he slid before the tag to score the walk-off winning run in the 15th inning of one of the greatest All-Star Games ever played. Congrats to Justin.
Joe Mauer started an All-Star Game behind the plate for the first time thanks to all those Twins Territory supporters who pushed him past Jason Varitek in the final weeks of the Monster 2008 All-Star Game Online Ballot. He walked his first time up and then reached first on an infield single before giving way to pinch-runner Ian Kinsler. Congrats to Joe.
Joe Nathan was one of those relievers who Terry Francona almost wished he could have kept on the mound a lot longer. He was the sixth of all 12 American League pitchers used, replacing Justin Duchscherer from the A’s for the seventh inning. Ryan Braun went down swinging, and then Nate McLouth and Russell Martin each flied out to Grady Sizemore in center. Perfect inning. Sound familiar, Twins fans? Congrats to Joe.
It was an unforgettable week, seeing Harmon Killebrew, Rod Carew and St. Paul native Paul Molitor in their Red Carpet Parade trucks flowing up Sixth Avenue for more than a million spectators, seeing Morneau beat Josh Hamilton and then graciously praise the Rangers’ slugger for that record performance, seeing the Hall of Fame Celebration during All-Star introductions, and then seeing the three Twins representatives play such big roles in another Midsummer Classic that will not only be remembered but might have just given your Twins HOME-FIELD ADVANTAGE at the Metrodome this October!
During the introduction of the reserves.
A look down 6th Avenue…
Justin Morneau and his fiance…
Joe Nathan and his family…
Not a great picture, but here’s Hall of Famer Rod Carew…
Hall of Famer and St. Paul native Paul Molitor
The next big All-Star event is the MLB All-Star Game Red Carpet Show presented by Chevrolet. The event starts in about 15 minutes (1 p.m. ET) and lasts until approximately 3 p.m.
Here is a picture of the Red Carpet…