by Randy Ooney
My Nickel’s Worth by Randy Ooney
First of all, let me say that I don’t presume to have the moxie or experience to manage a major league baseball team. I am now wondering if anyone in the Twins organization does. I have been a baseball fan since the Millers played at Met Stadium. I am too young to remember Nicollet Park. (drock thinks I was never too young to remember anything, but just so old that I forgot.) When the Twins came to town and held Grapefruit League camp at Tinker Field in Orlando, players showed up fat and out of shape and used spring training to get in shape and ready to play. Spring training lineups always included Killebrew, Allison, and players who would see their name in the starting lineup on opening day. There would always be speculation on a rookie or two who would battle for a place on the team, maybe in the lineup or maybe on the bench. Fast forward to our present day. I followed the Twins in Spring training. Most players show up in tip top shape. (Ervin Santana may have been in better shape than others). I assumed that Mauer, Dozier, Danny Santana, and Plouffe would be our starting infield. However, seldom did I see them in the lineup of a spring training game, and when they did start, they were usually replaced by some guy with a uniform number over 70 by the fourth inning. The result? Same old, same old Gardy Bruno lineup not ready to hit major league pitching when the season opened. Hopefully, by the time you read this, the Twins will have scored a run, but I would not count on them winning soon.
Farewell to Lariat Lanes. This 12 lane establishment at 63rd and Penn in Richfield has a great tradition and history. I know the center for hosting Holy Angels Academy’s Bowling team in a Minnesota High School League. Thumbs down on the article in the Star Tribune, which insisted on referring Lariat, as well as Maple, Maplewood, and other centers as “bowling alleys.” I wrote them and complained about their choice of words once, but they ignored me. With Patrick Reusse on staff, the Strib obviously has the journalistic quality of the “Onion”.
Now for some bowling highlights: Last Friday in the Phil Bros Classic League at Texa Tonka there were two 300 games, Robert Foote and Geoff Weiss. I think they were about the 25th and 26th perfectos that the league has seen this year, but in game two, David Pashina converted a 7-10 split. I had the desk announce congratulations for all three feats. Then I spoke to David, mentioning that the 300s are no big deal since the 7-10 is much tougher. I may have mentioned that I have 18 - 300 games but have never picked up a 7-10. (Although I have had many, many opportunities). Dave told me that he has seven 300 games but has picked up the 7-10 split 8 times in his career! Shows you what I know about the degree of difficulty.