I SPEAK IN A COMICAL AUSTRALIAN ACCENT FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS STORY.
Immediately following the game -- which marked the third time the Twins have been swept already this season -- pitching coach Rick Anderson gathered all 13 pitchers and both catchers for a 20-minute, closed-door meeting while manager Ron Gardenhire held his post-game press conference with the media.
ANDERSON: Okay, guys, I think you know why we're doing this thing, right?
[Lots of muttered yeses and uh-huhs.]
ANDERSON: Starters: we can't keep running you out there and putting us in a hole like that. We're killing our bullpen guys, the innings are taking forever-did you see Plouffe fall asleep out there in right field? He just laid down on the grass and used his glove as a pillow. We can't have that happening again.
LIRIANO: I know, I'm sorry.
ANDERSON: Heck, Frankie, I know you're sorry, but that's just not good enough. You're our ace now with Bakes on the shelf, and I know you still have the stuff to do it, because your last bullpen session was a knockout. You were breaking off that slider like it was 2006, the fastball was popping, and then the Kleenex thing happened.
LIRIANO: Yeah, I know, I feel real bad about that.
ANDERSON: If you lose your shoes, you can't put Kleenex boxes on your feet to pitch in a major league baseball game. It's going to mess with your plant foot, your delivery, all that stuff. And then when the umpire walks out to the mound to tell you to put some shoes on, and you just sit down on the mound and stare into the middle distance? They scored it as a double balk, Frankie.
[LIRIANO sighs, sinks lower in his chair.]
ANDERSON: It's not even a real thing, Frankie. They had to make a stat up to deal with that. And you're still wearing the Kleenex boxes, for pete's sake.
LIRIANO: I don't know where my shoes are, Andy. I'm sorry.
ANDERSON: Have you looked in your locker?
LIRIANO: Oh, man, I bet that's where they are. That's a good idea, Andy.
[ANDERSON shakes his head, rubs his eyes.]
ANDERSON: Anyway, Jason and Blackie, I know you guys are coming back from some things, but you've just got to get better the next time out. We don't have any other options. Carl, you just keep going on with what you're doing, and Liam...
HENDRIKS: FRUIT SALAD! YUMMY YUMMY!
ANDERSON: Beg pardon?
HENDRIKS: Sorry, mate, I'm just polishin' up me Wiggles songs for when we sees ‘em next month. Love them Westies. FRUIT SALAD! YUMMY YUMMY!
MAUER: Hey, that's a great song. FRUIT SALAD!
HENDRIKS: YUMMY YUMMY!
MAUER: Heck, that's awesome. Me and mom watch it all the time. Should change my at-bat music.
ANDERSON: Anywho, guys, if I could continue, I-
MAUER: FRUIT SALAD!
HENDRIKS: YUMMY YUMMY!
MAUER: Haha, man, I love that. And it's true, guys. Fruit salad is really tasty. A lot of people don't give it its due, but gosh, in the summer, when you have some fruit salad and glass of the big white, that's livin' right there. Don't want to knock plain vanilla ice cream in a bowl, because that's not how I handle my business, but fruit salad can hang with it.
ANDERSON: Again, guys, we just have stick to the plan. Don't overthink it, just pitch how you know you can, and it'll turn itself around. It has to.
MAUER: And hey, guys, I know we all talk to the reporters, but I really don't want to read Joe Christensen saying that I was poop-mouthing vanilla ice cream. That stuff stays in this room, okay? My mom would be so T.O.-ed if she read that.
ANDERSON: Okay, I think we've cleared the air a bit here. Make them adjust to you, wear shoes on the mound, don't talk to the media about Joe and vanilla ice cream. Let's hit the showers and go home.
HENDRIKS: FRUIT SALAD!