Night Of A Thousand Blunders


The heroes of tonight's game were Vernon Wells of the Blue Jays (a homer, three hits and three RBI) and Mike Redmond (two hits and a pair of RBI) for the local nine in the Twins 8-5 loss. As for the goats, I say, what goats? Tonight, we got slapstick all over the place!

Yes, it was the Marx Brothers against the Keystone Kops, as both the Twins and Blue Jays duked it out to see who would make the most errors and outright blunders through nine. Both teams could have worn Keaton's big shoes and goofy hat, leaned precariously on Chaplin's cane, and bugged their eyes out with all the verve of Harold Lloyd dangling off a clock face. It was that kind of night. Consider:

Second inning and Torii Hunter has yet another of his baserunning exploits, bolting for second before the Jays Roy Halliday threw to his catcher. For whatever reason, Halliday didn't turn quickly enough, fired to first instead, and Torii had a stolen base in spite of himself. He would later score on Redmond's single.

In the third, Mike Redmond couldn't hold onto a called third strike and then fired to first base for the easy out... where Jeff Cirillo, having just announced yesterday that this season would be his last, let the ball carom off his glove, as Toronto's John McDonald sped to second. He was sent home by a long, long homer on the part of Vernon Wells, and the score was 2-0.

Fourth inning and Torii races to deep center on an Aaron Hill blast. In typical Mack Sennett style, he overruns the ball, pirouettes, stabs at the pill as it falls and catches the damn thing at his waist. It could only have been better if Torii fell into a trough of wet concrete or plopped onto giant cake or custard pie.

The topper in the top of the fifth: Matt Stairs lines to Cuddyer, who then tries to catch Vernon Wells off first. But the throw is off by a few inches, and it bounces recklessly past Cirillo. Now, in a normal game played by the professionals of Major League Baseball, the batter will advance only if there's no one backing up the throw, yes? That's the plan, but the best laid plans of mice and Twins often fall prey to some terrific hijinks, as the ball then squirted past a fumbling Kevin Slowey, and then dribbled under the glove of a diving Mike Redmond before resting innocently against the backstop. How often do you see a throw go on past three players? Only in the comedies, my friend, only in the comedies.

In the bottom half of the same damned inning, Roy Halliday threw a wild pitch that scored not one, but two Twins while Halliday looked on, helpless. In his dive to score, Castillo looked as though he landed on his cup first and skidded past home on the thing before he came to a grinding halt and grabbed at his crotch.

Think you can get these laffs at Vikings or Wild game? Hell no! Baseball is the sport of kings and clowns. Always has been, always will be...

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