Under fire for a litany of injuries that some say have been misdiagnosed, disregarded or missed entirely, the Twins have announced that they are making "significant changes from top to bottom," both in organizational philosophy and how they treat and respond to various ailments.
"We have a ton of faith in our medical staff and our trainers and how they do their job," said Twins GM Terry Ryan. "But sometimes in this business, perception becomes reality, and changes have to made. That's what we're doing today."
Among the immediate changes Ryan announced:
- The Twins clubhouse will no longer have a Tetanus Room. The Room, which was the only one of its kind in the major leagues, had a floor covered entirely in rusty nails, and was directly between the locker room and the showers. "I'll be honest, I don't know why we put that in in the first place," said Ryan. "Having our players walking barefoot through it every day seems like a misstep. The fact that it was adjacent to our Puncture Wound Annex really seemed to be begging for trouble."
- Trainers no longer using "rub some dirt on it" as the first response to all injuries. "We're a little old school around here," said Ryan. "It's how a lot of us were raised, and I still think there's value to that. But there comes a time when you have to avail yourself of some of the technology that's out there." Ryan made clear that the dirt in question was not metaphorical, but actual dirt. "We had it shipped in from out-of-state," said Ryan. "I think Billy (Smith, former Twins GM) cut a deal with someone. I don't know why there were so many hypodermic needles in it, and I darn sure don't know why it glowed all the time."
- The medical staff will now keep their instruments in a sterile environment. "Again, this seems like one of those minor tweaks, not a wholesale change," Ryan emphasized. "We're just moving them to their own, clean room. Storing them in a burlap sack with old meat and lighters may seem sub-optimal, but they were refrigerated at all times."
- The Twins are now having a sanitation service pick up the garbage from the clubhouse area twice per week, as opposed to twice per year. "It's an expense, to be sure, but one we felt was worth the investment. It would get pretty cluttered in there. Tight quarters. I've never seen flies that size. One of them carried Alexi Casilla all the way to JD Hoyt's."
- Twins pitcher Carl Pavano will no longer be able to raise alpacas the locker room. "We talked with Carl a good, long time about this. He was an investor in a farm that raised those creatures, the recession hit, the farm went under, and Carl was stuck with these buggers. He didn't have anywhere else to put ‘em, so here they are. The dung issues have just become insurmountable. He understands that. We're helping him find them a home."
- The team also announced they are discontinuing Chainsaw Fight! Mondays in the clubhouse. "You don't want to know," said Ryan, who shook his head and moaned when asked for details, but did confirm the exclamation point.