Yes, I was there.
And yes, it was cold. The scoreboard in right field said game-time temperature was 45. I had to take a picture to prove it.
I had the good fortune of being able to acquire a ticket last week. One of my friends had an extra and asked if I wanted to go along. Once I cleared it with my boss at work (thanks Ryan), I was good to go.
We left around 10:30 and headed northeast. As we got closer, the excitement started to grow. By the time we hit Minneapolis, I was ready to watch some baseball.
I didn’t have high hopes for the Twins. Shoot, they had just lost three games to Baltimore over the weekend. And now, they were playing the Angels. You know, the team who spent a billion dollars this offseason. Well, not quite a billion, but they landed two of the most prized free agents in the market in Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson.
Wilson was throwing on Monday, and I knew it would be a long day for the Twins hitters.
I was right.
Nick Blackburn threw well for a few innings — if you take off his first and his last innings — but the offense didn’t produce. Instead, it struggled, just like it has been all season long.
The only highlight was a Josh Willingham home run. Which I’m good with since he’s on my fantasy baseball team.
What I wasn’t good with was the fact I was out getting cheese curds when he hit it.
As I walked out, I made a comment to the guy I was sitting next to.
“We don’t want to miss any runs, so we’re going to get food while the Twins are hitting.”
That’s like saying a basketball player has never missed a free throw right before he misses one. Or saying that right before Willingham hits a dinger.
Again, I wasn’t that upset, it was worth fantasy gold.
It was the only run Minnesota had all day, losing 5-1.
But the outcome didn’t matter to me. Sure, it would have been nice to see a Twins win. But I wasn’t optimistic.
For me, it was about the atmosphere. It was about being at the home opener.
I don’t know what it is, but I love being at the opener.
A year ago, my friend Mark and I drove to Kansas City for the true Opening Day game. Even though this wasn’t the official “Opening Day” it was still pretty special.
Any game where they bring a giant flag out onto the field is a special one. I have a soft spot in my heart for giant flags. They did it in KC last year, and they did it at Target Field this year. A flyover made Monday’s game even more special.
And the random sighting of the day goes to Dan Condon, sports editor of the Jackson County Pilot. I was out in centerfield taking the the scene. I was overlooking the bullpen when a guy randomly walked up to me. I looked over, and it was Dan. He claims he didn’t see me standing there, which made for a strange coincidence.
Mark and I are going to make another trip to Target Field this weekend. He’s never been, and I keep telling him how it’s a great place to watch a baseball game.
I know there won’t be a giant flag or a flyover. I’m not even confident in a Twins victory. They are playing the Rangers, after all.
But no matter what, the cheese curds will be delicious and there isn’t anything I’d rather be doing than watching baseball.
Just as long as it’s warmer than 45 degrees.