Return of the Sam

After eight years, I returned to Target Field. Return of the Sam.

My sons were with me. Solomon and Samson’s first Twins game. This was a moment I’d been looking forward to for years.

A beautiful September evening. A three-game series against the Cleveland Guardians, with a chance to move into first-place in the final weeks of the season. What more could a Sam ask for?

Then it happened. Chris Archer took the mound.

His first pitch was a mile outside. His second pitch wasn’t any better. Walked the first runner. Then Amed Rosario took the next pitch out to left field. The game was already over.

“That,” I told my boys, “is what Twins baseball is all about.”


We drove to the Twin Cities on a Friday after school. Pulled into Bloomington around 8:00. Made our way through the western suburbs.

“This place is nice!” Solomon shouted. “I love the Twin Cities.”

He really liked 494 at night. The bright buildings.

This was our first trip home after returning to the Midwest. We stayed with Katie’s cousin and her family.

The boys spent Saturday morning playing with their cousins. We got to Target Field early. We signed up for a tour of Target Field. Seemed like something the kids would like.

“We built this stadium like a muffin,” the tour guide told us. “Kind of like my stomach.

The tour guide was not young. He made all sorts of comments about millennials not respecting the game of baseball. Kept shooting glances our way.

“I’m bored,” Solomon said pretty early on.

“Good,” I told him, “because we’ve got eight more hours here.”

It was cool to tour the stadium. We watched a little batting practice. Judging by the Twins bats, there should’ve been more.

I saw Ken Rosenthal up and close, bowtie and all. I snapped a picture of him from behind.

The game started and, as I said, was over just as quickly. The following nine-innings were a slow death. Jake Cave is great, but he’s no starting center fielder. And Max Kepler has run his course. And Chris Archer, who lasted all of 2 innings, should be in AAA. They brought Pagan in during the middle innings. I can’t think of an uglier sentence to write than the one I just wrote.

But the kids ate cotton candy and ice cream. And they met Sue the organist. We climbed up to the cheap seats before we left. You could see for a million miles. I got dizzy.

We were back at Katie’s cousin’s house before the game was over. Watched the Twins muster a few, futile runs in the 9th. Not enough, I’m afraid. My return to Target Field didn’t provide any luck. Instead, the Twins ended their disappointing 2022 campaign before my eyes.

The eyes of my children, too. Weep, children, for this franchise doesn’t make watching baseball any easier.


I figured we’d make more trips home to the Twin Cities this summer. But the days raced away from us. It’s busy getting settled in a new place. And tiring. Emotionally and physically.

We got home on Sunday and I collapsed on the couch. Watched the Vikings dominate the Packers. Napped a little. I’m going to need all sorts of restorative naps this fall.

A new job. A new place. All of this change is giving me a run for my money. Hopefully, unlike the Twins, I won’t have to pull my starter in the second. I don’t think that’ll be the case. I’m more like Nolan Ryan. I think could go another 9 innings. I probably will. I might have 18 or even 27 innings left in me, baby.

Throw a no-hitter? I don’t know about that, but I’m doing well here in the Midwest.

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