Ready for a break, searching for a split

CuddyerGetty550x270.jpgObviously you knew when it was all said and done, whoever won Game 163 — fortunately it was us — the celebration would have be short. You wanted to cherish it and you wanted to enjoy it, but at the same time, you knew you had a game 18 or 20 hours away. So we did that. We cherished it, enjoyed it and headed here.

On the plane ride, I think exhaustion took over. It wasn’t all that exciting. It wasn’t loud by any means. Guys were either sleeping or listening to the radio or watching a movie. It wasn’t jovial. I think it would have been a little more exciting if we didn’t’ have to play today.

We didn’t get into New York until very early this morning. I think I got to sleep around 4:30, 4:45 a.m. — somewhere in there. It was a tough turnaround.

CuddyerAP275x370.jpgYou could sense when we got here today that guys were still a little exhausted. I think the adrenaline took us through the first few innings, but after that, the past four days or so kind of took its toll on us. But we put ourselves in that position having to play that last game. So you take it and can’t use it as an excuse. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the win tonight, but we’re going to recharge tomorrow, and hopefully Friday, we’ll come out with a little more life.

Taking the early lead was a good start to the night for us. I was on the bases and didn’t get to experience much of the excitement in the dugout after we scored that first run. But once the passed ball came and Joe Mauer scored, we felt good about the lead. But you know you’re not going to shut down the Yankees. You know you are not going to win 2-0, 1-0 or anything like that. You know that’s just not going to happen with that team. So you have to continue to put pressure on them.

They came out and Jeter’s home run answered right away for them. It was big for them to come out and hit a big two-run homer just after we scored two runs. In my opinion, that was probably the turning point of the game. Because we couldn’t put the throttle down again after that.

The off-day will be huge for us. Just to rest, more mentally than physically. I think we are all more emotionally drained right now. Physically, you are going to be tired. There are lots of points during the season where you are going to be tired, but to go through those five, six, seven or eight games that we just went through — the emotional roller coaster and mental drain — that’s where we need the break. So that’s going to be really nice day off. Let your mind ease.

For the last month, all we heard about was how we couldn’t get back
into the position to win the division, how the Tigers were going to run
away with it and how the nail was in the coffin about 10 times. But we
still found a way to get it done. So to all the naysayers, we just
don’t listen. We just try to get it done. Here we are down 1-0, but they
still have to win two games.

What you ask for when you come in to Yankee Stadium in the postseason
is to leave with a split. Obviously to go up 2-0 would have been a
bonus, but
you want to leave with a split. And that’s what we’ll try to do Friday.
We want to take it back to our house with a good chance, and we still
have that opportunity.
CuddyerSwing550x270.jpg

40 Comments

In game 2, the most important thing to do against Burnett, is get on base, score early runs, and score at least 5 or more runs. When Burnett pitches, usually when an opposing team scores at least 5 runs, it is easier to win the game. Blackburn has to keep the Yankees ‘ offense from scoring. If the Twins can do these things, they have a great shot at winning game 2. (This strategy also works well against Pettitte). Please pass this advice along to the rest of your team :o)

Gaylen50, I think the team and their coaches know how to prepare for the game. That is their job and they get paid pretty well to execute.

My thanks go to Michael and the team. I have been a fan for almost 40 years, even though I have lived in Las Vegas for the past 20 years. What a fun year you gave us. This season 1987 and 2002 were the best for me as a fan. Game 163 is up there along with the rally night in 1987, when the fans greeted the Twins home (even though I was really tired for work the next day).

I didn’t feel as “up” for the game either last night. I understand how you emotionally were drained. But bring it on Friday!

Michael, you write very well. You are very articulate and I have enjoyed your blogs immensely over the years. It’s fun to hear the “inside” the scenes information.

Thanks again, Sincityjbird

Thanks for writing this great piece Michael, and congratulations on reaching the post-season. Your efforts and the team effort over the past month have been stunning.

Like Sincityjbird mentioned, yesterday’s game was kind of strange. As a fan, I almost felt a little ‘distanced’ from the game, like our little team was totally out of its comfort zone and back to fighting with the big guns. Here were the Twins on TBS of all places, with the nasty Yankee-biased commentators, and I kept pinching myself and thinking: Is this really my team playing out there?!

But CC pitched splendidly, and if the Twins can get a split coming out of NY, that momentum could be immense. Being two down and returning to the Metrodome however could be very tough.

Enjoy your rest day. I look forward to watching tomorrow with the Twins a little more settled but still fired up!

Twins Limey

Thanks for everything you have done for the MN Twins this year. I have always been a big fan of yours. Your performance down the stretch was awesome!

Go Twins!!

Thanks for the insight, Michael. It really looked like the guys were a bit tired when they showed close-ups. I wish the Yankees had been considerate enough to wait the extra day to allow the winner of the tie-breaker (which we knew would be the Twins!) to get a little rest and be able to play as well as possible. It definitely worked to their advantage. Considering what you guys have been through the past few days, I think you did a good job. Now, come back on Friday and show the NYY the team that came from way back to win the Division!

Hey Michael,
Love the blog. Had to admit, you guys did look pretty tired, but what can anyone expect? Tuesday’s game was a marathon. I think you guys came out pretty well, managed to get 2 runs when the critics were expecting this 20-0 blowout game. Hope you’re enjoying your much-needed rest day, and here’s to you guys going out tomorrow and proving those Yankee-loving critics wrong! Good luck, and thanks for your awesome contributions this season…there’s a reason you’re my favorite player!

Michael – I’ve lived in Minnesota for about 11 years now, I moved over from Scotland in 1998. I always liked baseball but over the last few years my interest and passion for the Twins has continued to grow and now I’m a total junkie for all things Twins. I have attended a lot of sporting events over the years, mostly in Europe and mostly soccer but I have to say that being at the dome on Tuesday night to see us beat out the Tigers was probably the best, most exciting sporting experience of my life. It was a fantastic game, everyone everywhere is talking about it. I know it’s a team sport and everyone gave their all but for me you were the reason we made the post season, I think your commitment rubbed off on every member of the team and the fans. Thanks for the memories, I’ll never forget it. Lastly, if game 1 is the best the Yankees have to offer , you and the lads can take them. all the best and good luck to us

Thank you for playing such great baseball!! I love that I can have hope for you guys even when it seems impossible. Your scrappy, never give up playing is not only SO much fun to watch but it is also so inspirational and motivating. It makes people want to keep fighting, no matter what the circumstances may be. Have a lovely day off and good luck tomorrow!

Go get those Yankees!!!!

~Aimee

Hey Cuddy!! Thanks for playing such fantastic baseball! I love that we can always cheer for you guys and have hope even when things seem impossible. Your scrappy, never give up mentality is not only SO much fun to watch but it is also so motivating and inspirational. It makes people want to give up and try again, no matter what the odds. Enjoy your day off, rest up and good luck tomorrow!!

Go get those Yankees!!!!

~Aimee

Congratulation Twins on winning the Central Division. I
think you guys can beat the Yankees if you play really
good small ball. The Yankee pitchers are not that good
at fielding so if I was Gardy i would have the four fastest
Twins try bunting to get on. Always bunt to the side that
the pitcher isn’t following through on. You can steal on Posada so try to steal a few bases on him. Make Posada
work his rear end off. I would also try to have Jeter do
the covering of second on a steal. Posada and Jeter are
old and will run down the longer the series goes. Try to
score alot of runs when you have lead so we can keep
Rivera out of game. Make the Yankees work their tails
off with Twins GO GO baseball. GO GET THEM TWINS us
fans up in Winnipeg are behind you.

Michael-
I just want to thank you and rest of the Twins for a great year of baseball. You’ve shown the naysayers what this team is all about….”Never Surrender!” The Twins may not have the largest payroll in baseball, but we have the players with the largest love for the game, and it shows through your continued committment to your fans.

Thanks, too, for the great game on Tuesday night – the experience is one that I’ll never forget! Good luck with the rest of the post-season and GO TWINS!!!

I watched Blackie’s interview on MLB today and I have to say, I admire his attitude. Everyone’s talking about how the Yankees are going to win and blah blah blah… but I just want you to know that I agree, it’s about finding their weaknesses, and after watching you guys pull off those 17 straight games out of 20 at the end here, I think anything is possible. No matter what the stats are, the TWINS are real competitors. So I believe in you 100%! Blackie shows that he’s mentally strong.

I saw a game early in the season where you guys came out smacking so strongly in the Metrodome, I remember saying to my cousin, “They just might go [to the WS] this year.” The game went on forever because you just kept hitting and hitting and hitting….

I’m sure you guys have coaches and resources that tell you about the “Law of Attraction” and such… but I can see that certainty in your faces, the adrenaline, the TWINS dugout on fire, no matter the energy at Yankee stadium, and a final game at the Metrodome where the fans are screaming so loud that the Yankees can’t hear themselves think. With that said, I think no matter what happens, I feel quite proud of my home team this year.

Thanks for reaching out to us fans. Thought I’d let you know I get up early – sometimes 5am – in South Korea right now just to listen to the games online and show my support. I think my friends on Facebook might be getting sick of my incessant posts: TWINS TWINS TWINS!

-Debbie, Minnesota born.

Good Luck, Cuddy! We’re ready to cheer you on to a victory on Sunday.

Good Luck, Cuddy! We’re ready to cheer you on to a victory on Sunday.

Good Luck, Cuddy! We’re ready to cheer you on to a victory on Sunday.

Good Luck, Cuddy! We’re ready to cheer you on to a victory on Sunday.

Good Luck, Cuddy! We’re ready to cheer you on to a victory on Sunday.

No matter what happens in the Yankees series, it has been a great season, one that underscored why it’s so great to be a Twins fan. Just when everyone had counted you out, you came roaring back, much of it due to your stellar play at first base and with the bat.

Still, with the right breaks and relaxed attitudes (easier said than done in Yankee Stadium), you guys can definitely take the Yankees.

Hopefully you’ll be able to hear to the collective roar of Twins Nation during the game tonight. We’ll definitely be cheering LOUDLY!

Good luck.

Michael,
Thanks for writing this blog! It’s awesome! You guys had an amazing season and came a long way, especially with all the injuries to the team. As a Twins fan, all I can say is THANK YOU! You guys gave us something to cheer about, especially at the end. Being at the last game and being at the tiebreaker game is something that I will NEVER forget! I know a lot of people who aren’t normally Twins fans that are rooting for you guys to beat the Yankees. Your heart is definitely in it! Good luck and hopefully all of Minnesota will be cheering so loud you can hear it all the way in New York…okay, not possible, but I think you get the idea! Kick some Yankee butt!

Hey Michael,

Thanks for a fantastic year. I’ve been out of the baseball loop for a few years..and this year, started paying closer attention again. Good luck against the evil Yankees!!! I’ll be cheering =)

Your my fave player! My family in Montana is watching and thrilled that the Twins are in the playoffs!

Tuesday night’s game at the dome was the most exciting and memorable game I have ever had the pleasure to watch. We’ll all be cheering for you in New York tonight and will welcome you home for the showdown on Sunday. You and your teammates do this state proud.

We’ll all be cheering you on! Hope you guys can bring it back to the ThunderDome all tied up. Thank you, Michael Cuddyer and all the rest of the Minnesota Twins.

As a die-hard Twins (and Michael Cuddyer) fan, THANK YOU for everything! The Twins are such a great team to watch and support. I really appreciate you taking the time to update us with an ‘insider’ peek into the team – the Twins have always considered the fans a priority and I think your blog is a prime example. Best of luck in the playoffs, I know you guys have the talent to succeed!!

I think what you guys did Wednesday night against the Yankees was great. I mean you guys went into that game exhausted, but you still had the energy to make them sweat. You got hits against one of the greater pitchers, you got on base and got a 2-0 lead. So if that’s what you guys can do going into a game tired, I can’t wait to see what you have in store for Friday nights game. I am excited to watch it, and will be cheering no matter what for you guys!! Win or lose I love this team!

Michael, thanks so much for this blog, and a gigantic thank you for the way you guys stuck together during this season. My dad, who lost his job last November, and I were euphoric after Tuesday’s epic win. You guys have been such a blessing for him to keep his spirits up, I know. And you’ve proven to me and my five-year-old son that it’s truly not over until the final out.

Thanks again, and go beat those Yankees!

Having that 2 run lead in Game 1 against the Yankees really got me up out of my seat! Unfortunately Jeter got that 2 run homer and I think that’s what started the fire under the Yankee’s that night.

GO TWINS!!!! Bring on the Yanks in Game 2 tonight, lets see somethin’ pretty!!!!

Michael:
Your team has given Minnesotans and unbelievable lift. Your never say die way of playing baseball is a credit to all of you. You guys were given up for dead when you were 7 games out! You guys never quit. Your team is just that a team!! The game against the Tigers exhausted all of your team and all of us Twins fans but we wont give up !!!! Tell your teammates that Minnesota Twin fans are pulling for them with all our hearts and energy. If it were possible we would be there rooting for you guys. Just think of all the noise the New York fans make and think there Minnesota rooting for you. Our hearts and love reaching out to our team and you are that OUR TEAM.

“F” the Yankees. Words cannot begin to describe my hatred for the Yankees. They are all a bunch of goat ropers and child molesters. Please beat the Yankees for me. Thank-you.

There is nothing like jumping up and down with your 10 and 7 year old sons watching the Twins win! The Twins players and coaches have really provided a team a father is proud to cheer on with his boys–thanks for the memories we’ll always cherish and for continuing to inspire us all that teamwork and great ethics can persevere! My 10 yr old son stated that Tuesday’s game was the best he’s seen since 2 months ago when his own team won the city championship in extra innings! Your in good company with that game! Good luck tonight–we’ll be watching and jumping up and down!

We have our homer hankeys in hand as begin to watch the 2nd game. Whatever happens today we are so proud of our Minnesota twins. We are backing you up back here in Minnesota. Go Twins

Congratulations to you, Michael, and the entire Minnesota Twins players and organization! I was so excited for all of you to win game 163 on Tuesday night! It was so much fun to watch the celebration at the Metrodome via FSN. I only wish I could have been at the game that night. The Minnesota Twins are America’s team. Your fans are behind you a 100%. We know that you will never give up, and that nothing is impossible when you give it your all. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with all of us. It is fun to see the happenings through your eyes.

Trust the Twins are well rested for this one tonight, cause it sure looked like the last one they were suffering from 12 innings and a red eye flight….
~peter
Outside the Phillies Looking In
http://devilabrit.mlblogs.com

Cuddy, you rock!!! You are a class act along with the rest of your team. You all make Twins fans very proud. It’s been a great season to be a Twins fan!

My husband and I were lucky enough to be at that amazing game 163. We’ve seen many great ball games, in all kinds of venues, as we’ve moved across the country over the years (including the infamous “pine tar” game at Yankee stadium). But we’ve never experienced anything like that game. What a show of grit and determination, but especially heart! And boy did the crowd react in kind!

There are many reasons why we love your team – probably as many players as there are on the team! Not to mention that we think Gardy is one of the best leaders we’ve ever seen. But we’re especially huge fans of you. Despite last year’s relentless injuries, you never gave up – and what a year you’ve had this year: on the field, in the dugout and off the field. So thanks for keeping us all entertained with your “game-ball” antics. Thanks to your whole team for playing your hearts out. And most especially, thanks for being such great role models for our kids. These days, they’re hard to find!
Megan C-K, Minneapolis

hey im a jays fan watching the game in canada. just wanted to say that i feel for you twins fans after that horrible call!!!

I hope that left field umpire is fired or severely fined for his unbelievable call in the 11th inning and Joe Mauers hit. That was in by a foot…unbelieveable…we could have one maybe two runs in and the momentum to win the game! Simply unbelieveable!!!!!

Hey I know that we are suppose to realize that we are all human, and that we all make mistakes, but come on now these people are suppose to be the best. That call was so obvious that the home plate umpire could and should have seen this. What do we tell all the young kids that saw this? Well I’m one disappointed fan that just can’t understand why these professional people are allowed to make it even easier for a team like the Yankees. This team is already loaded with great players. They need no extra help. Okay I’m done ranting but I just had to get it out of my system.
Now for the good part. No matter what happens I think our Twins are the greatest bunch of men that I have had the privlege to watch play the game of baseball. Win or lose you guys have the greatest heart and soul for the game. Kirby would be proud of you all, I know I am. Go Twins go! I’ll be praying for you all. Good Luck!

short comment, thanks for such a great season michael, you have been my favorite player for years since i saw ya beat the sox in like a 15 inning game in chicago, playing 3rd and hitting a hr. long ago it seems, anyway im a life long twins fan but i live in chicago. but at the start of this year i was preaching how u would be the difference maker for our team. Clearly the whitesox fan that are my friends didnt agree when i said u were gona hit 25+ hrs. although the entire team fought extremely hard and should have made all twins fans proud, it was your leadership and solid hitting that got the job done. Anyway thanks for the excitement at the end of the year. On a side note, lay off those outside breaking balls and you will hit 300. Go twins, all the way next year

I am going to the game on Sunday, September 19th, and I am bringing along 4 generations of my family to the game – last name “Eich”.

My grandpa is 95 years old and has been a Twins fan since the Twins came to town from Washington. I would like to be circled by “BERT” recognizing this. I can be reached at 612-986-7013 or, you can find us at Section 203, Row 4 and we will all be yelling your name…..

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