Jack Was Back 21 Sep 12

Jack Was Back
Photos and Story by Gordy Jones

Jack Hannahan loves playing in front of friends and family at Target Field.

Several weeks ago when the Indians were in town, I had the chance to talk to St. Paul native Jack Hannahan. He was in a great mood as he told me, “It’s always special to come home and play in front of my family and friends. They all come out! It’s really special because I grew up a Twins fan. I remember in ‘87 and ‘91 waving the Homer Hankies, so I really enjoy coming home and playing against the Twins.” I asked him if he gets many requests for tickets from friends and family. “Yes, I always have tickets to give out. Today I gave out 10, so that wasn’t bad.”

After the season Jack will be a free agent. It would be great if the Twins signed him to play third. If playing against them makes him feel special, just think of how being a Twin would make Jack feel. He’d be giving out tickets all season.

Take a Break

It was good to see Justin Morneau get his stroke back.

Unless there is drastic Twins news, this will be my last column until the hot stove season. Sometimes around the holidays, there are acts of kindness by those involved in MLB as they take the opportunity to give back. Sometimes that is fun to write about. Then in January there are many dinners, award banquets, the Twins Caravan, followed by Twins Fest, just weeks before the players report to training camp. I am really looking forward to reporting on the “fun stuff” again.

As much as I love baseball, it’s not much fun following a team whose current goal is not to lose 100 games. I continue to believe we have a good team and good people throughout the coaching staff and the entire organization. But nobody can lose all of their starting pitchers, and half of their bullpen, and survive.

Joe Mauer was healthy and back on track in 2012.

There is a ritual where a rookie relief pitcher must fill up a child’s pink backpack with snacks and gum, and carry it to the bullpen, giving the veterans a treat on demand. This year they used a pink tackle box, but it changed hands…sometimes weekly. I would ask relievers who would be carrying it out on a given day, and sometimes they didn’t know. Once a player said, “I think it’ll be the new guy. Someone was called up today.” When Brian Duensing was a rookie, he carried a pink Tinker Bell backpack all year long. But that shows what disarray this club has been in; they can’t even keep a guy healthy enough to handle the snacks this year.

It’s been a tough season, but a few good things have emerged. Justin Morneau is healthy and back on track. Joe Mauer has had a healthy and productive season. Scott Diamond was an outstanding surprise. Josh Willingham brought us the long ball. Ryan Doumit is versatile and rock steady. Ben Revere made many exciting catches, and he hit well, too. Darin Mastroianni brought us great speed as well as some spunk. I think we’ll be able to put a good infield together; I only hope we can fix our pitching.

One thing for sure: The next time you read Twins Talk, we’ll be tied for first at 0-0, and we’ll have both hope and fun once again.