MLB Network’s 16th Greatest Game & How the Twins Brought Work to a Halt

Monday nights are extra busy in my house so I have managed to miss the first four games in the MLB Channel’s 20 Greatest Games in the last 50 years series. But the stars aligned tonight and I caught the program on game #16 – the Twins/Tigers one game playoff to determine the 2009 AL Central champion. I was surprised that chose such a recent game, but I remember that one very well and, indeed, what a game!

I “watched” that one, which is a completely different thing from watching a game. In 2009 I was still working in the Mortgage industry for a bank recently purchased from the FDIC. If you know anything about the Mortgage meltdown in Southern California, you can probably figure out which one I am talking about and if not, well, suffice to say I had more of a front row seat than I wanted for the whole thing.

Anyway, my department was full of Angels fans and a department both pumped for the game and divided on who to root for…divided over who would best serve the Angels by beating the Yankees in the playoffs, that is. The Twins never beat the Yankees in the post season but they were just so scrappy that it was hard for some of us, myself included, not to root for them. The rest were sure the Tigers had the best chance. The problem was that my department always worked really late, especially at that time, and this was a Midwest game so there was no way any of us were getting home to see any part of it.

So, I was sneaking peaks at the game on my Blackberry as I worked, per my habit in those days, and a couple of my colleagues were checking in from time to time to get the score, per their usual game day habit. The other baseball fans all had company Blackberries, you see, while I only had my personal Blackberry, and company Blackberries had all sports sites blocked. Everything was calm through the 3rd inning with the Tigers comfortably in the lead, but then the Twins started to catch up. Suddenly people are working less and less and checking in more and more and then my boss came striding out of his office and up to my cubicle…no worries, this was standard procedure as well. He just wanted to know the score and get a quick play by play on the last inning.

As you probably remember, it was a heck of a game. The Twins tied it up then, in the 9th, the Tigers pulled into the lead and the Twins tied it up again. By the time the game went into the 10th inning, all pretense of working was gone and everyone had switched to rooting for the Twins. We moved into one of the larger cubicles by playing off of the Minnesota pride of one of the generally non-baseball fan team members and were alternately biting our nails and yelling and cheering as the score seesawed from 4-4 to 5-5. Around the 11th inning, we became refresh monkeys – the 15 second auto refresh rate on the Gameday site was no longer sufficient. When the Twins pulled it off, it was a good thing we were the only team left in our wing because it sounded more like a sports bar than the headquarters of a mortgage bank…and then we went back to work. We repeated this routine for the east coast playoff games until the Yankees took the Angels out of the mix and it was a blast. (I don’t regret rooting for the Twins either, even as things turned out. I don’t think the Tigers could have stopped the 2009 Yankees either. That team was tight and seriously on a mission.)

I do not miss my old job. I worked with good people and had a great run of it but I don’t have the stomach to deal with the volatility of the Dread Pirate Mortgage Banking Industry anymore – Goodnight Blithescribe. Good work. Sleep well. We’ll most likely lay everyone off in the morning. I really love my newer job and I work with great people here too…they’re just more basketball and soccer fans. But sometimes I really do miss the baseball season camaraderie of a department full of Angels fans. However, the job change is part of the reason I started lurking on MLBlogs and eventually blogging myself. It’s funny how well things work out sometimes.


  1. blithescribe

    Jane – They might re-air it later this week. They don’t air the whole game but they invite someone involved, in this case Michael Cuddyer, to sit with the MLB Network crew and narrate an hour long highlight reel of the game in question, which is fun because you get back story, context and a player’s perspective in addition to watching all the best plays again. It’s a pretty neat program.
    Ron – It was such a good game and fun hearing Cuddyer’s take on it too! I loved the story of him confiding in Granderson that he thought he just lost the game for the Twins after the missed play at 1st.
    – Kristen

  2. Catherine

    I remember that game very well. As a White Sox fan, I was bitter for the first half of it, considering how we had rolled over during the second half of the season and let the Twins get to that point. But towards the end, it wasn’t about division rivalries anymore, it was just a great game! Alas, while watching it, I neglected to study for the next day’s bio quiz and got a 69 on it. Oh well, it was worth it!

  3. blithescribe

    Catherine – Thanks for dropping by my blog and commenting. Yeah, it’s very easy to forget rivalries and biases when you are watching a great game. It’s also best that most of the baseball season falls over summer vacation for the very reason you mention, LOL.

  4. raysrenegade

    Liked that Twins vs Tigers one and done game. Made for interesting television that night as other team’s were camped in their team hotels awaiting the results so they knew where they were flying that night.
    Never thought I would see a “Sudden Death” format baseball contest, but that game fit the bill perfectly.
    Fopr some reason I am thinking the same could happen in 2011….one game to the death match for a post season berth…only on Fox.

    Rays Renegade

  5. wrigleyregular

    I’m really enjoying the greatest games series on MLBNetwork, I haven’t had a chance to see this episode yet but I will sometime this week. I actually watched that game on tv that day, great game.

    The way both teams battled back and forth was ‘inconceivable’.

  6. blithescribe

    Rays Renegade – Yeah, I never thought I would see anything like that either and it made for an exciting night that would have otherwise been without baseball. We could see something like that again this year…in your division perhaps? I think the Red Sox are going to be very, very good but I think that rest of the division is going to give them quite a run for their money. I’m sure not ready to call a winner yet.
    Matt – The one and done game definitely was exciting, but I don’t think I would have liked it if it hadn’t happened organically. I’m all for keeping the playoffs the way they are. Of course, I’m one of the purists that growled when MLB added the central divisions and wild card race. But the current format has grown on me over the years, so who knows.
    Johnny – Thank you for dropping by my blog and commenting. That does sound like a great time with your family! And, yeah, I really lucked out on the job front.
    Russel – This was a lot of fun. I’m sold on the series now. It’s great to get to see the players in a different light too. I had no idea Cuddyer was such a good story teller, for example. Inconceivable eh? LOL! “I do not think it means what you think it means.”

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