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Baseball in Thailand?

Just letting everyone who’s reading my blog know why it hasn’t been, or will be, updated in a while. I’ve joined the Peace Corps and will be leaving for Thailand January 8, 2011. At this point (December 23) I have no idea how much free time and internet access I’ll have in Thailand. I’ll do my best to write a Triple In the Gap blog now and then, but it probably won’t be on the regular basis is has been for the last year.

I will be starting another Thailand based blog on WordPress for those interested. I’ll post the site when I establish it.

I will miss baseball a lot while I’m in Thailand. Luckily, I’ll be able to keep up on the internet and maybe even watch some games on my computer.

Thanks to everyone who’s read Triple In the Gap. This isn’t the end of it, just a break.

Peace!

-Jeff Jackson

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Triple In the Gap will be taking a hiatus while I gather material for further writing. I will be leaving tomorrow (6-14) for Washington D.C. where I will be meeting my friend Nick, his wife Emily and their son Luke. On the way there I plan to see the Toledo Mudhens and Pittsburgh Pirates. I will in Philadelphia Friday for the Twins/Phillies game and hopefully the White Sox Nationals game on Saturday. Where I stop on the way back has yet to be decided, but I’m leaning towards seeing games in Louisville and Indianapolis.

On a side note, I was planning to write a blog about Armando Gallaraga’s “perfect” game and how it was a better story because of the sportsmanship showed by himself, umpire Jim Joyce, manager Jim Leyland and the Detroit Tigers’ fans. Then I read Tom Verducci’s piece in the newest Sports Illustrated: excellent baseball writing.

Off to D.C.!

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Ken Griffey Jr., one of the most talented players of all time, retired this afternoon. He did it in style – on his own accord.

As a fan of the No. 5 home run hitter of all time, even though he played 22 seasons, he’s left me wanting just a little bit more. No, I don’t expect 30 home runs or a World Series title. What I want is one last hit, RBI and/or home run.

I remember when John Kruk retired. He got a single, asked for a pinch runner and walked off the field forever.

Ken Griffey Jr. did what regular ballplayers do at the age of 40 – they get old. He’s never been linked to performance enhancing drugs and it shows in his career statistics.

I would have liked one more hit, but will be content to live with the memories. He’s a first ballot hall of famer and it was a joy to watch one of his 630 home runs scream over my head in 1996 as I sat in the first row of the right field upper deck at the Metrodome.

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This will be almost pure Gonzo journalism as I just learned a few minutes ago that Joe Mauer has signed an eight-year, $184 million contract to play for the Minnesota Twins. I’m at the beginning of a 12-hour shift and this couldn’t be more pleasing to me. Joe Mauer is the greatest person to come out of Minnesota since F. Scott Fitzgerald. The next eight years won’t all be .365 batting averages and MVP awards, but they will be filled with satisfaction knowing that Minnesota’s own will be home. He will get injured and he may not even be playing catcher at the end of this contract, but he will be home and fighting the forces of evil.

I never had any doubt he’d go to the east coast. He’s pure Minnesotan and not only would the fans have burned down Target Field, but Mauer’s family would have disowned him. Hell, I heard his family had a hard time when he started playing for the Twins because they played in Minneapolis and not his hometown of St. Paul. That’s devotion. If they were tentative about him playing in Minneapolis, they sure weren’t going to let him play for a team that has beat the daylights out of their team in the playoffs or another team that took the whip to the Twins in 1967. Real Twins fans won’t forget 1967, even if they wouldn’t be born for another 11 years.

Joe Mauer to Minnesota is to what Bruce Springsteen is to New Jersey.

There will never be another Kirby Puckett, but Joe Mauer is now bigger than Kirby Puckett (R.I.P.).

Touch ’em all, Joe Mauer … touch ’em all.

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