This is my favorite time of the year. The weather outside is beautiful, cool, and crisp. You can spend the day outside without a jacket, yet at night it cools down and your bedroom can be almost cold, which is perfect for sleeping. The trees are turning and if you have a reason to head up to northern Minnesota, photo opportunities are not difficult to find(of course this is always the case). This all means winter is coming, but by choosing to live in Minnesota it comes with the territory.
This time of year also means some other things, hockey season is just around the corner, the NBA season is starting soon, football season is already here, and baseball is entering the final weeks. This year the Minnesota Twins have been a huge surprise. As it's been dubbed here it is "The Summer of Stun" The Twins had traded off their best pitcher, Johan Santana and lost Torrii Hunter to free agency. No one expected much from them, .500 wouldn't have caused anyone to stress. Instead the Twins shocked us all. They kept winning, and kept winning. In the division the Indians and Tigers kept losing, none of this was expected. Halfway through the season the fans started to realize that if we could keep pace with the powerhouse White Sox we would have a chance at winning the division and making it to the playoffs.
If you follow the Twins you know that this week they play the White Sox in what is as big a series as any series in the playoffs. If the Twins win all three we will be leading the division heading into the final 3 games of the season, we wouldn't be in the playoffs yet, but the chances would increase dramaticly. Last nights game was huge, the Twins looked like they had until the last 4-5 weeks of the season. Running the bases correctly, hitting with runners in scoring positions, and completing the perfect suicide squeeze. We won 9-3 and went into tonight feeling good. As I write this post, they are up 3-1 and are making the White Sox's best pitcher look mediocre. As a fan you have to love this series, it's a hated rival, it's a home game, and everyone has to remember 2006 when we beat the Sox and saw the Royals win to clinch the division on the last day of the season. As a player they have to be happy, and even if they were to lose, the fans, though dissapointed in the loss, won't be upset becuase they overshot their expectations for the season by so much.
The other great this about this season is the trickling into the liquor stores of the brewery's seasonal beers. Spring sees the release of the summer seasonals but for me fall and winter brews are by far the best of the two. With Octoberfest fast approaching, you can find more and more Octoberfest beers. Currently I'm enjoying Schell's Octoberfest, an excellent beer that is perfect for the cool evening. It has a great hoppy flavor that isn't overwelling yet is very complex. Personally I give this beer a 4.5/5. The last beer I purchased was Point Brewery's Oktoberfest. This was another very good beer, it's not quite as flavorful as the Schell, but it is a very good beer. Though not quite as good as the Schell, I would rate it a 4/5.
Speaking of beer, I'm dry so I'm going to conclude this post. Remember, cheer for the Twins and go grab a six pack of a fall season, you won't be dissapointed.
As I was finishing this Cory Koskie was on with Dick and Bert on FSN talking about his injury. His story is gut-wrenching and I want to point you to the event he was promoting which is happing in October 4th.
UPdate 9/24/08 9:55pm: The Twins Won tonight 3-2, pulling to within a 1/2 game of the White Sox. Great game.