No television for a week? In a summer, and a race for the division title, where the Twins are knocking the cover off the ball? Unable to check the scores, and live games, of the Indians, the team chasing the Twins?
No chance to watch the noon and 10 o'clock news, weather and sports, which I've done for more than 50 years? Or maybe even the 6 p.m. news?
Can't watch the Golf Channel in the season-ending championship tournament of men's professional golf?
Can't flip over to the Vikings exhibition game for a play or two (not much more than that - too meaningless) to see who the lateest phenom is?
No chance to check the up-and-down Dow Jones average to see if my retirement funds are slipping away? No chance to check the weather channel that is a few clicks away from the Dow Jones channel, as I call it?
That's the word I got from DIRECTV (now run by AT&T) on Tuesday when, according to their somewhat-educated guess, my satellite box likely got hit by lightning. I called in a panic Tuesday evening and the lady (it took her 22 minutes, with a bunch of haggling) said they'd install a new box, possibly get me an HD antenna, etc., etc. and it wouldn't cost me a cent. And I'd get a credit for the time my set wasn't useable.
"Sounds good," I said. "How long - tomorrow or the next day?"
Let me check," she answered. And then came the bad news: It would be a week before they could get a techie to visit the city of Princeton. I could have my choice of 8 a.m. to noon, or noon to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 27th.
"You've got to be kidding," I said, or words to that effect. "Sorry, sir," was the answer. And she began reading, it was obvious, from a prepared script to tell me that it was time to get a new up-to-date box anyway, and how things would be better, and that I wan't going to have to pay for any of it, and that she would even waive an $8 charge, for what I don't know. She kept apologizing, as well as telling me how things would be better with the new equipment.
I was tempted to ask her how I could watch "Blue Bloods" on Friday night if I didn't attend to the Twins game. But I didn't. Had the same question for "60 Minutes" on Sunday, as well as about a couple other channels or shows.
I'm not tied to the television set. In fact, I'm quite sure I bring the average down for TV watchers in the U.S. Some days, other than the noon news and 10 p.m. news, as well as a Twins game in the summer, the television is hardly on. Here it is 8 p.m. Thursday night and, even if I had a working television set, I wouldn't have had it on because I was gone most of the day. I'd be watching the Indians-Mets game right now on the Major League Baseball Channel to see if the Twins would gain or lose a half game of their division lead tonight.
(Full disclosure: I just Googled the game and found that there is a rain delay, with the Mets ahead 2-0 in the sixth inning. Now, if I just had a computer at home.)
I've always said I could get by with only an hour or two of TV most days, or maybe even less. But with baseball going on in the summer. and the Twins doing as well as they are, that's not true.
I'd call and switch to DISH but right now they're in a dispute with Fox Sports North and the Twins games are not on DISH. I've encountered many who are very upset with DISH. A couple of them have switched to DIRECTV and their sets are working.
Let me see — Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday without television. I'm sure I'll survive but I won't be happy. That new equipment, and a lower bill, better be good.
I attended the state town team baseball tournament ion Maple Lake last weekend and there was former Princeton Panther Tony Stay playing third base for the Foley team against Prior Lake. Foley lost 4-1 and for the first time I've seen Stay play with Foley (he started playing there when the Panthers folded for a few years, getting a chance to play with his cousins), he didn't get a hit, although he did hit a long fly to center. I had seen him in a playoff game a couple weeks earlier at Monticello, with former Panther teammates Chad Campbell and Brian Dorr as the umpires. He had a triple that night. When I talked to him after last Saturday's game, he said he figures he has 10 years left in him to play . . . Panthers Sam Archer and Tanner Kinney were drafted by teams in the Eastern Minny after the Panthers were eliminated from Region 1C play, Archer by Isanti and Kinney by Mora. Kinney, I'm told is unavailable for this weekend when Mora plays its first game. Isanti won last week and plays this Friday night (Aug. 23), with a chance that Archer might pitch against Young America . . . The Panthers lost a tough 3-1 game to North Branch at Hinckley the Sunday before last. They had many, many chances with runners on base but just couldn't get a hit. Archer pitched well for Princeton. The team made it to state last year but fell short this year, a normal happening for a young team. The Panthers of the late '80s and early '90s that later became one of the best teams in the state (215-64 from 1997 to 2004, with appearances in the state for eight years in a row, including a second place), took awhile to get going with a bunch of young players. I hope this bunch can stick together and become a yearly threat like that to contend for a state berth . . . Former Princeton resident Steve Sanborn, an accomplished golfer, had a good year in senior golf in the Twin Cities in 2018, and has kept it up this year. He was the senior club champion, both at his club in the Twin Cities and last winter in Arizona . . . God love Sid Hartman the 99-year-old sports columnist for the Star Tribune. To still be writing a few times a week, as well as being on the radio every Friday, is quite an accomplishment at that age. There is a small drawback - many who have listened to him for decades, or read his column for 50 to 60 years, believe whatever he says. And recently he said on WCCO that pitcher (Martin) Perez has been terrible for the Twins. I checked a few minutes later that day and Perez had been 3-1 in his last five starts. Sid also said the shortstop for the Twins (Jorge Polanco) is "terrible" and has lost a lot of games for the Twins with his errors. Polanco has been inconsistent lately on defense, agreed, but he hasn't lost a bunch of games for the team. And he is an accomplished hitter for someone that young. Having said all that, let's hope Sid is around for his 100th birthday next March. He's a Minnesota institution.
Daily diary for the 2019 Twins
Saturday, Aug. 17 — And now the lead is 1 1/2 games after the Twins beat Texas 4-3 on Friday and the Indians lost 3-2 to the Yankees, two games way different than the blowout wins by the Indians and Twins the night before. Two-run homers by Max Kepler (he was 0 for 17 to that point) and Jonathon Schoop did the job against lefty Mike Minor who had won two 1-0 games in August before facing the Twins, Kepler's 33rd homer of the year breaking the record for homers by an European-born player that was held by the Flying Scot, Bobby Thomson, he of New York Giants fame for hitting a winning playoff home run against the Dodgers in 1951, a homer known as Thomson's "shot heard 'round the world."
Sunday, Aug. 18 — Now the lead is 2 1/2 games after the Indians lost to the Yanks yesterday, 6-5, while the Twins beat Texas 12-7 despite a horrible start by supposed ace Jose Berrios (2-4 in the last 72 days, 0-1 in August with an ERA of 8.44). The much-maligned bullpen had 4 2/3 innings of shutout relief after 3 1/3 innings of the same the previous night in a 4-3 win. Berrios was handed a 6-0 lead in the first inning and an 8-2 lead in the second but couldn't get through the fifth as he gave up seven runs, although four were unearned, former Twin Danny Santana hitting two two-run homers off Berrios.The failure with the bases loaded continued as Miguel Sano struck out and Jorge Polanco grounded out. Sano, after leaving seven runners on in three straight at-bats, did hit a two-run homer in the top of the ninth that made the lead five runs and settled fans' nerves a bit. The Twins are 9-7 so far in August. The hope is that Nelson Cruz will be back on Monday when he is eligible to return from the injured list. One troubling stat: The Twins have given up 62 unearned runs now, 12 percent of the runs the team has had scored against them. That's way different (worse) then the past few years and that needs to be cleaned up.
Monday, Aug. 19 — The lead stays at 2 1/2 games as the Twins finished off a 5-1 road trip with a 6-3 win over the Rangers on the strength of a two-out bases-loaded triple by Jorge Polanco in the eighth inning that broke a 3-3 tie. Tyler Duffey picked up his third win in a week as a reliever, getting outs on all six batters he faced in the three games. The bullpen gave up 1 run in 12 innings the last three games of the series. What some don't realize is that the bullpen, often criticized, is overworked because the starters can't get past five or six innings. There were short starts by the starters in the whole Texas series.
Tuesday, Aug. 20 — Lead slips back to 2 games. Unfortunately, for me, I was in attendance for the 6-4 loss to the White Sox last night. But I do have a few takeaways from watching a bad game by the Twins. No. 1 - The game should be a reminder to the Twins fans, and even those in the media who keep telling us that the Twins have a much easier schedule than the Indians have, playing 26 games against the Royals,Tigers and White Sox, that those games are not sure wins for Minnesota. No. 2 - The White Sox, after their win, are 41-0 this season when leading after eight innings. Wouldn't it be nice if the Twins were like that? No. 3 - Do you subscribe to the theory that the Twins would have a better record if Byron Buxton wasn't on the sidelines so much? (They are 57-27 when he plays (.679) and 18-21 (.462) without him. If you think that way (I don't), check this out: After last night's game the Twins were 25-10 without Nelson Cruz (.714) and 50-38 (.568) with him. That's quite a disparity. But the Twins have a better lineup when Cruz is there, no argument. Let's just say those stats are something that happens in the crazy game of baseball - there's no other game like that. No. 4 - I've stuck up for Kyle Gibson many times (his 11-5 record before last night's game was better than the records of Berrios, Perez and Pineda). But he still drives me crazy. He retired the first seven batters of the game and then gave up hits to the No. 8 and No. 9 batters, leading to four runs that wiped out a 2-0 lead. Then he retired 11 in a row but ended up with the loss, although he went 6 2/3 innings, something few Minnesota starters are doing these days.
Wednesday, Aug. 21 - Lead is up to 3 games as the Mets pounded Cleveland 9-2 and the Twins pounded Chicago14-3 after being down 3-0 in the third inning. Cruz had a homer and three doubles (two in one inning), and Kepler and Polanco also homered as Michael Pineda (gasp) pitched seven innings and threw four strikes for very ball. It was a 3-3 game in the fifth when the Twins scored four unearned runs and then they tacked on seven more runs in the eighth. Three relievers pitched two scoreless innings. Cruz is hitting over .500 against the Sox this season and has eight home runs against them. The attendance was two short of 27,000 and the Twins are averaging 28,082 for the season, about 3,800 a game more than at this time last season.
Thursday, Aug. 22 — The lead is still 3 games. When the Chicago series began I was hoping the Twins would win the first two games because they were going to have to face Lucas Giolito in the third game and he's one of the best pitchers in the league. I didn't know he would throw a three-hit, 12-strikeout shutout in a 4-0 win over the Twins yesterday but I assumed he would be tough. And now the Twins have only a 1-2 showing against the White Sox, the Twins continuing to have a problem with the third game of a majority of their three-game series this year. Chicago is better than Kansas City or Detroit, the other supposed weak teams on the schedule. Minnesota better make hay against the Royals and Tigers if they hope to win the division. And, thank you Mets.
Friday, Aug. 23— And now the lead is 3 1/2 games. Eleven days ago the Twins slipped into second place in the division after more than 100 days in first. But now here it is Aug. 23, with a game at home against Detroit tonight while the Indians play the Royals, and Minnesota, despite a 1-2 series against the White Sox this week, increased its lead by 1 1/2 games with 35 games remaining. The Indians went 2-2 against the Yankees but couldn't get out of Gotham fast enough last night after dropping three in a row to the Mets. I don't think they were planning a 2-5 mark in the Big Apple. The Twins have three games against the Tigers this weekend with Jose Berrios (10-6), Kyle Gibson (11-6) and Martin Perez (8-5) as the starters. That better be good enough for at least a 2-1 series win. The Twins are 6-3 vs. Detroit so far this season and Cleveland, after begin swept by Kansas City in a three-game series in April, is 10-3 against the Royals since.
PRINCETON SPORTS MEMORIES
Aug. 27 1959 - Doug Fraser had the low score for the week at the Rum River Golf Club, a 37 . . . Twenty-seven turned out for the PHS football team, only half of the 54 that signed up in the spring, said coach Pete Finelli.
Aug. 27, 1964 - Princeton was to scrimmage Crosby-Ironton in football and then open the season Sept. 11 against non-conference opponent Sauk Rapids.
Aug. 27, 1969 - Ron Deglmann led the Legion baseball team in pitching with a 13-2 record, 1.59 ERA and 119 strikeouts in 102 innings. He had five shutouts and opponents hit only .132 off him. The staff ERA in a 22-7 season was 2.13.
Aug. 28, 1974 - Jo Bornholdt won the women's title at the Rum River Golf Club, her seventh in a row and ninth overall.
Sept. 6, 1979 - Dave Mingo struck out nine and pitched a two-hitter in a town team 3-0 win over Shakopee in the first round of the state tournament. Kevin VanHooser hit a two-run homer.
Aug. 30, 1984 - The Nelson Construction softball team placed fifth in the district Class C tournament. Les Nelson hit eight home runs . . .Brian Dorr was one of only three outstate players on a Minnesota high school all-star team that played a Wisconsin team in a doubleheader at Parade Stadium.
Aug. 31, 1989 - Eighteen-year-old Judy Bornholdt won the women's title at the Rum River Golf Club with a 160 . . . Greg Braford, 23, won his sixth straight men's title at the club with scores of 37, 37, 38 and 38 for a 150 . . . The Pizza Barn women's softball team went 1-2 at the state tournament.
Sept. 1, 1994 - Butch Nichols and Helen Sanborn won senior titles at Princeton Golf Club . . . Marianne Ossell won the women's title and Rick Cotter the men's title at theclub . . . Nicole Koskey and Paul Anderson won junior championships at the club.
Aug. 26, 1999 - The Princeton Panthers edged Clarissa 5-4 to stay alive at the state tournament. Jason Miller (11-1) got the win. Dan Patnode had two homers and three hits, Curt Wilson had three hits and Mark Beattie, Chad Campbell and Brian Dorr all had two hits . . .The Sparks & Chips Class D men's softball team won eight games in a row after losing their first one in the district tournament and advanced to the state tournament. Select Print of Princeton beat Sparks & Chips 11-1 in the title game to also advance to state, as well as to the national tournament in Faribault. The district tournament was in Princeton.
Sept. 2, 2004 - David Sanborn, with an ace at No. 14 in Princeton, became the fourth member of his family to record a hole in one. The others were mother Helen and brothers Steve and Ernie . . . The Princeton Panthers upset Brainerd (33-3) 3-2 in 11 innings in the second round at the state tournament. Jason Miller (12-1) got the win and also drove in two runs. The team then lost 3-2 to Green Isle (30-7) but stayed alive in the double-elimination tournament, Hinckley draftee Jerrod Brennan pitching a good game for the Panthers.
Sept. 3, 2009 - Karen Bromberg had a hole in one at No. 10 in Princeton . . . PHS cross-country runner Dylan Hass finished 39th as Princeton placed 12th in the 19-team Early Bird Invitational at Milaca.
Sept. 4, 2014 - The Union-Eagle announced it would track results for Princeton teams vs. teams that would be in the new Mississippi 8 Conference the following school year. There was little enthusiasm among PHS coaches for the new conference.
Dorr is the former editor of the Princeton Eagle (2 years) and Princeton Union-Eagle (31 years), and has covered sports in the Princeton area for 52 years.