Happy Fathers Day! I'm always reminded on this day of the two men drinking at the bar. One is commiserating at length on the pitfalls of fatherhood and proclaims finally that ten minutes of pleasure can lead to a lifetime of obligation and aggravation. The other man takes this in while staring into his drink, and after a long pause turns his head and says, "How do you make it last for ten minutes?"
The Twins wrap up Joe Mauer weekend at Target Field with a chance to sweep the beleaguered Kansas City Royals and extend their 25.5 game lead over the AL Central cellar dwellers. Watching the number retirement ceremony yesterday and seeing Joe with his little boy and the rest of his family confirmed for me that the Chairman made the right decision when he prioritized his health and family over another year of major league baseball and one last chance at a championship. I'm sure that given how the team is performing he sometimes wishes he'd given it another year, and frankly I do, too. I do think the reluctance the front office showed to even talk about a contract extension last year helped tip the scale toward retirement and like an inside fastball off the handle of the bat, that still stings a little. But in the end, we're left with a career's worth of memories (the no-look, behind-the-back crouching backhanded pick without missing a beat on a wild pitch that ricocheted straight off the sandstone backstop - I could watch that on an infinite loop). The great thing about baseball memories is that we feel them personally, we make them our own and the best ones we tuck away like treasures. We take them out from time to time to polish and admire, but we also share them freely and happily with our families and friends and other fans around the world, and that makes them even more special because they connect us in a way that transcends differences.
Jake Odorizzi proved himself human yesterday, gave up four runs and saw his ERA balloon to 2.24. Today's starter, Martin Perez, is also human but having a better year than I, for one, anticipated. He's 7-2 with a 3.97 ERA and 67 strikeouts in 70.1 innings pitched. He's served as a good pivot between our aces Berrios and Odorizzi and the less effective end of the rotation in Gibson and Pineda. The Royals today give the ball to 26-year-old Jakob Junis. The KC right-hander is probably better than his 4-6 record and 5.35 ERA, but that will happen with Kansas City's defense and offense backing you up. The Twins start today's game with a 62.6% win probability, so I believe I'll dust my broom. Play ball!