Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett died on March 6 this year. Like so many others, i was a huge fan of the man’s play on those championship Minnesota Twins
of the 1980s and ’90s. And like so many others i joined in on the reminiscing and wool-gathering activities on that March day, seeking career highlights and recaps of that impossibly wonderful 1991 World Series.
For myself and so many others, however, some good may have come of this brilliant ballplayer and imperfect human being’s passing away. For those seeking solace upon Kirby’s death, thousands were able to discover the quality extant in Minnesota Twins blogs online.
To say that there are quite a few good baseball blogs out there would be akin to saying that baseball has quite a problem with steroid use. By this googler’s account alone, though, a nice proportion of Minnesota Twins blogs boast insightful reporting and high-quality writing. Is it something about Minnesota that creates this swell story-telling capacity? (Call it Garrison Keillor syndromeÃ¢Â?Â¦) Is it a desire for the summer game that, like the Minnesotan’s desire for summer itself, slides only from long periods of wanting to a tenuous grasp?
No matter: Since Kirby Puckett’s left and gone away, i’ve been following Minnesota Twins blogs. “Blessed” with an affection for the Colorado Rockies, this fan is not a Minnesota Twins fan, merely a Minnesota Twins blog fan.
My trip around the cyberbases looks something like this.
First stop. Most Valuable Network is a burgeoning and ambitious site with blog reportage on teams in “the big four” sports, plus “extended sports” such as the Olympics, NASCAR and pro wrestling (WhaaaÃ¢Â?Â¦?). The MVN Minnesota Twins blog is a page called “Twins Killings” (http://twins.mostvaluablenetwork.com) and is penned by Andy Wink and Mike Kramer.
Wink and Kramer clearly know their Twins up and down, producing entries of just long enough to get the point across without belaboring. Though sometimes they be given to some wandering speculation – Torii Hunter to Houston? Really? – this can probably be chalked up to the restlessness of a fan following a team 11 games back with about 70 to play. Although, on the other other hand, this blog has stuff about trading Torii in March.
The book on Twins Killings says that this one’s a solid leadoff hitter and performs well with just a few consistency problems.
Second stop. “The Bleacher Bums” (http://www.publicradio.org/columns/minnesota/baseball) is the Minnesota Twins blog produced by Minnesota Public Radio. Writing up this one are Josh Lee, Ben Tesch and David Zingler, interestingly enough all immigrants to Minnesota. The accent here is on the Twins and other Minnesota clubs such as the St. Paul Saints, Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks and Sioux Falls Canaries, but this trio of writers mixes in amusing and tightly-crafted entries on personal anecdotes, baseball reminiscences and stuff like coverage on Sioux Falls player Jim Eriotes, a spry new Canary of 83 years.
On that March day, Zingler wrote, “In this information age of intense media scrutiny, the true hero is dead. Let’s not blame Kirby for that. It’s up to Puckett’s family to assess his transgressions; Game 6 is his legacy to us. Farewell Kirby, you’re the best we’ve ever had.”
As a no. 2 hitter or anywhere in the lineup, “The Bleacher Bums” is more than a great Minnesota Twins blog; it’s a great baseball blog.
Third stop. The power hitter in the Minnesota Twins blog lineup is “Twins Geek.” “Geek” is powered by the eponymous John Bonnes, of whom “Twins Killings” called, “the blogfather of the group. He was blogging about Jacque Jones’ terrible lefty/righty splits before man made fire.” Bonnes was formerly the official Minnesota Twins blogger for the 2004 season. Bonnes really knows his stuff.
This is not to say, however, that “Twins Geek” (http://twinsgeek.blogspot.com) is a Twins blog solely for geeks who dig on sabermetrics at 2am. Bonnes’ style is knowledgeable without being arcane, everyday without being mundane. A clearly moved Bonnes on Kirby wrote: “Like the old man and the sea, he was our DiMaggio. A man who became larger-than-life, that represented everything we wanted to be, damn near immortal. Turns out that Immortals don’t last as long as they used to.”
If you follow this page, you just might learn something; you will definitely be reading some excellent prose. And as a bonus, “Twins Geek” is connected with what must be every Minnesota Twins blog in the universe.
But the Geek is at the center of that universe, make no mistake about it. An all-star and a true number three hitter.
Homepage. If Bonnes is the Minnesota Twins blogfather, Bat Girl is the uncontested blogmother. (Or should that be “blog mamma?”) Bat Girl (www.bat-girl.com) is an unabashed Twinkies fan who writes with vim, vigor and spunk. “Less stats, more sass” reads her logo, and she delivers daily about her boys. She’s funny, intelligent and…i think i may have a little e-crush on her.
Aside from fun and games like that Joe Maeur Sideburns Contest and the Boyfriend Of The Day, Bat Girl offers regular recaps and analysis. Alongside the lovingly detailed play-by-play, though, you’re likely to get color like “after he flied out to end the game tonight, Aaron Boone went into the dugout and threw Gatorade cups all over the place, which is just so classy, because the cups were evil and made him fly out and must die.” And after a recent weekend against the “Cleveland Indigenous Peoples,” Bat Girl’s box score read:
Twins Outfielders Down: 3.5; Temper Tantrums by Indians: 2; RBIs by Jason Tyner: 5; RBIs by Travis “Crash Position” Hafner : 1; Three-HR Games by Casey Blake: 0; Cheesebugers Eaten: 84; Gardy Ejections: 1; Earned Runs Allowed: 6; Bitches Sat Down: 26; Total Temperature : 2400; Victories : 3; Happy Batgirls : 1.
Ah, Bat Girl, i could go around the bases with you anytimeÃ¢Â?Â¦all hail the Queen of the Minnesota Twins blog!