In an effort to keep well ahead of every trend in baseball theory, the Twins have announced a radical new plan that may have the greatest impact on the game since the transition from rocks to the modern baseball. The story was first reported by a blogger using the pseudonym "Baaron He-Man," and later confirmed by an unnamed baseball writer using the pseudonym "Rhett Bollinger."
In a nutshell, the Twins will no longer employ a catcher, and instead just send Drew Butera to the mound, where he will pitch to contact and let his defense do the work. Furthermore, the Twins announced they will no longer employ middle infielders. Freeing up three lineup slots will enable the Twins to deploy a six outfielder alignment. The final component of the plan is to demolish the first thirty rows of outfield bleachers and move the fences back a whopping 100 feet--with one (make that three) small (not so small) caveats.
When confronted with the breaking story, Ron Gardenhire didn't attempt to deny it. In fact, he divulged the detailed plans in the manner of a government official telling secrets about the JFK assassination that he's been carrying around for forty years.
"I mean, heck, yeah this has been the plan for a long time. I mean, sheesh, you think we seriously got to the point of having Scott Diamond and eight guys with pulses as our starting rotation unintentionally? Same with the Middle Infield. We've been systematically trying to lower fan's expectations for those positions for years now, so that when they're gone for good, they won't even be missed. It really all goes back to the Santana trade. TR decided we needed to go radical new-school. There was no way he was paying Johie what he wanted, so he flipped the whole deal on its head. He knew it was such a good idea that he should take a leave of absence and make Billy take the fall. The perfect part was that during his time off, he even wrote a book about it, called "FunnyBall." Should be in stores soon and hopefully in theaters not long after. TR's hoping to be portrayed by Robert Duvall. I was thinking I'd be Tommy Lee Jones. Kind of a Lonesome Dove throwback thing, you know. Torii will probably be played by that 'Show me the money' guy. "
"Anyhow, there've been a few hiccups. Billy pulled of the Santana trade perfectly. We got rid of a great pitcher and nabbed one of the fastest outfielders in the game. Would've been perfect, except Billy accidentally traded Carly for a good shortstop. He had one of them new touch phone dealies and hit the "Accept" button instead of the "Decline" one. No matter. He got that one fixed really quick--he dealt Hardy-ie for a couple of crappy non-starters. Brilliant."
"But he nailed the Garza trade--got rid of a competent starter and shortstop in one fell swoop. You know, though, it's an organization wide philosophy, and everybody's been on board. I mean, think of the draft. You think we've intentionally whiffed on every single Middle Infield prospect in the last ten years? Macallum and that other dude right on up to Levi Michael? Protecting Estarlin Des Los Santos on the Forty Man? Hell no! We knew they stunk. Same with pitching. You think its a coincidence that every single college pitcher we've drafted has sucked or gotten hurt? Hunt, Bashore, Tootle, Gibson, Wimmers? You can't plan to have bad luck like that without great scouting. On the flip side, we've nailed it when it comes to drafting speedy outfielders, which is key to the whole deal."
"The coop da grace was the Marquis signing. Problem was, he was actually looking kind of o.k., so we had to send someone to New York. Lucky Sally knew someone. Kind of a low point, but you don't make egg salad without cracking a few eggs, you know."
When pressed for more details, Gardenhire was more than forthcoming:
"Yeah, we made Target Field big, so that when we made it even bigger, people wouldn't notice so much. We're gonna tear out some bleachers and move those suckers back a ways. They're mostly empty anyway, but that was part of the plan, too. There's gonna be three jagged shark teeth on the wall that stick in a ways. Yeah, I said shark. Screw that piranha crap. Anyhow, our three extra outfielders will be Van Mil, Mutombo, and Darko Milicec. They've all got great length, and they'll just camp out in those shark teeth with their hibachi's and snag fly balls--see, the idea is that opposing hitters will tee-off on Booty-Call's pitching and aim for those power alleys, and boom, there's a seven footer just waiting there with a glove and a bratwurst. Plus, having those guys on the team will strengthen our presence in Australia, and give us a toe-hold in the untapped Nigerian and Latvian markets."
"Everything else will be run down by Bennie and Spannie and the Italian guy and Hicksy and Buxxie. And Eddie Ravioli and Danny Ortizie and well, you get the picture."
"Course, we're banking on some outdated sabermetric ideas. Like, you know, no bunting by the opponents, because you don't want to give up an out and all that. But the nice thing about having your catcher be your pitcher is that if there's a play at the plate, you know, he can handle that. And, we've always thought Booty could call a nice game (hence the nickname), so we figure, hey, let's cut out the middle man here. No way to steal signs that way, unless you have one of those brainscanner apps on your talkie thing. Speaking of which, there's this great create a line-up app out there. It's free. No kiddin. FREE. Anyways..."
"Plus, with one pitcher on the roster, we're thinking we could just sign a bunch of seven-footers and speedy guys to take those spots, and pinch hit. I might have to read up on that a bit. I've been told that right-handers hit better against right-handers...or maybe that's opposite. I'll bet Matty has a book on that in his ice-fishing hut."
Finally, when pressed to explain how signing Joe Mauer to a lucrative contract could possibly fit in with a catcher-less lineup, Gardenhire responded thusly, "One word. Red herring."