It was a little spooky bumping down route 666 in a 16 foot Penske truck, but just a number in some Christian myth messing with me. I had a job to do. I had boxes of skin creams to deliver to San Rafael, California and I was way off course, but the guy paying me encouraged me to take 2 weeks and look around and so I did.
I stopped in Denver, Colorado and parked that beast of a truck outside Coors Field. There was more than turnstiles and tickets to pass through. There was a bunch of drunk Indians outside the stadium. It didn’t say Indian on their forehead, but what the hell did I know? They were brown-skinned and had long hair and drinking. I was an ignorant fudge filled with fear.
So I joined them and The Apache and I bought some tickets. He called the stadium a shopping mall and had fun pretending to be an umpire way up in the upper grandstand. He was small like the other Apaches I had met before. Real short arms and perfect posture; low to the ground and strong. My mind was still stuck in Indian Guides; the Wisconsin version of Boy Scouts. I was sure he could catch fish with his bare hands. Hard living and better than me. I watched Dances With Wolves too much.
We drove to Boulder that same night and that’s where we bumped into some Navajos and I never did see the Apache again.
The Navajo had a name and so did the Apache, but hell if I remember like I still can’t remember my freaking Filipino neighbor’s name or where I put the freaking cheese. Turns out it’s in the freezer. Alejandro? The Navajo was piss drunk, but wearing running shoes and that mushroomed into a long story later.
We drove to the Navajo reservation and back then in the early 1990’s the last road to the res was still named route 666.The Navajo warned me things would change when we entered. He warned me about himself. We picked up a bunch of hitchhikers after we got past the last highway patrolman. The Navajo told the cop I was Timothy McVeigh. I had short hair and was just some dumb white guy so yeh I could see that.
So the hitchhikers we picked up were rowdy and raiding the skin cream boxes, but we got along just fine. But the Navajo changed colors. He turned green and pale white and purple with monster faces. He had warned me about change and then he changed colors. I can’t show you with pictures. I didn’t have a camera, but he changed colors.
He was a long distance runner, had run marathons, been in a war and he was drunk most of the time but he was warm and nice and I trusted him except when he changed colors. That spooked me. He wanted me to take him home to see his mom so I did. His mom made us corn bread cakes and he told me to come back when the sun came out next spring.
And the little Navajo shacks were good enough for me; refrigerator, windows, a couple of beds, a TV. A shelter is a shelter and if you got a TV, bed, and a toilet, you got a home. Tell that to Justin Morneau.
He didn’t like Target field and said so. The Minnesota Twins new stadium was too big and not catered for his home run power. And ya know what? The ungrateful bastard got traded. But Target Field is outdoors and has natural grass and less foul ground than any stadium I’ve ever seen. It’s a hitter’s paradise except that’s only the Jekyl. The Hide is outfield alleys deep and bad for lusters of the long ball.
Mister Minnesota Joe Mauer; born and raised in Minneapolis is why Morneau got traded. The Twins spent all their money on the local poster boy-8 years and 100 million plus deal and and that’s saying something for a midwest team because they ain’t got no money.
Morneau went to Pittsburgh last year; helped them get in the payoffs and now he’s in Colorado and he’s on fire again…hitting like he did back in his MVP seasons as a Twin.
One man’s Morneau is another man’s Marco Estrada. Marco was made for Target Field. He had already given up 17 home runs in 67 innings this year and that’s not a typo. He’s the dubious leader in getting bombed and the fly balls were soaring in the first inning Wednesday night at Target Field. No worries. It was a spacious play pen out there for Carlos Gomez until Marco walked the lead off hitter, allowed a single and up to the plate stepped Oswaldo Arcia. It was the fourth inning.
I don’t care about the numbers. This guy looks dangerous. I noticed his swing Tuesday in Milwaukee. It’s a wicked left handed swing; an uppercut swing, a Jim Thome swing. He hit one a country mile off Marco, wrapped it around the right field foul pole but it was fair and long gone-a three run home run and the next guy up Trevor Plouffe hit one even further to the other side; to left field…also wrapped around the foul pole; also upper deck…but instant replay confirmed it was foul.
Marco was noticeably disturbed and kind of fell apart after that; allowing line drive base hits and walks,but he stranded runners and escaped jams and the only other run he allowed was because the umpire screwed him on a bad call. Marco walked in a run, but it was only 4-1.
Rickie Nolasco threw sliders out of the strike zone and the Brewers went fishing over and over whiff. The wind changed in the seventh. Nolasco’s slider levitated a while over the plate and Lucroy and Gomez lined singles and Ramirez-first game in three weeks and here comes a fastball and Ramirez gets his arms extended and bat hits ball on the sweet spot; soaring to dead center field and gone. 4-4.
The equality didn’t last very long. In the bottom of the seventh Will Smith inherited Rob Wooten’s runner and with two outs and two strikes on Arcia, he bent his knees and lined a patented Will Smith slider to right field. Beautiful piece of hitting by my new hero; Oswaldo Arcia. And then Smith allowed his own runner-Arcia to score; only his second earned run 26 innings this year and that’s no typo either.
The Twins led 6-4 and Arcia had a 4 RBI game. That was the final, but not the end. I noticed the bizarreness of Target Field bullpens. They’re two bowling alleys side by side. There’s no secrets out there; some sort of polite Midwest thing?
The Brewers are 35-25.