Citing safety concerns and the need to "move on," Twins General Manager Bill Smith is refusing to release photos of the Twins offense from the 2010 regular season.
The controversial pictures, which are alleged to show popular Twins players like Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Delmon Young and Jim Thome in good health, hitting for power and driving in runners in scoring position, have been the subject of a spirited debate among the Twins fan base.
"After much deliberation with the Pohlads, Ron Gardenhire and his staff, I've decided that it's simply time for us to move on," Smith said. "The consequences of releasing these pictures could inflame a populace that's already boiling mad. I had to change my cell number because some guy just kept calling me at 2:30 in the morning to tell me Wilson Ramos' batting average. It's just wrong."
Smith's announcement comes at a time when some of the Twins newer fans, attracted by the nightlife scene that's popped up around Target Field, are questioning the existence of the photos in question. Jeff Lundquist, a 22 year old from Blaine, is one of them.
"This is some (stuff)," said Lundquist, a student at Minnesota State-Mankato. "Me and my boys Axed up, crushed some brews and a bunch of (darn) jag bombs at Sneaky Pete's, got some digits, then hit the game around the 3rd inning. Can't remember who we were playing, but they kept scoring and we didn't do anything. Couple of buddies said the same thing happened to them last week. No (darn) way this isn't a set-up."
When told that there is copious visual evidence of the Twins' 2010 offense archived online and in newspapers from last year, Lundquist grew more animated. "Anyone can Photoshop that (stuff), man. And what's a 'newspaper?' Now you're just making up words."
In the Twins clubhouse, reaction to Smith's decision was mostly positive. "We know what we accomplished last year," said catcher Drew Butera. "We don't need to be reminded of it." Longtime Twin Michael Cuddyer agreed with this sentiment, adding, "What we need are pictures of the 2011 Twins, because I'll be honest with you, I don't know any of these guys. I just gave my dry cleaning to Rene Tosoni. Did you know he's an outfielder, not a clubhouse attendant? And he's been here for over a week? Crazy."