Maddie Herdegen, 22, started her public relations internship with the Minnesota Twins on Monday, and was immediately confronted with a task that would give even the most seasoned PR professional pause: getting fans fired up about the team's off-season maneuvers.
"I'm not dumb, I know that there are tough sells in this job," said the Hamline senior. "But even so, this kinda takes the wind out of your sails a bit, you know? You wonder if law school would have been the better path, or maybe teaching. Because, I mean, Doug Bernier? Fucking come on."
Bernier was one of five players the Twins signed to minor league deals this week, along with pitchers Lester Oliveros and Virgil Vazquez, outfielder Jermaine Mitchell, and infielder James Beresford. The journeyman infielder played in 33 games for the Twins, batting .226 with 5 RBI.
"Yes, I am supposed to move season tickets with .226 and five runs batted in," said Herdegen. "He's allegedly good at fielding, but I'm like, shit, you went 12-for-53 in the bigs this year. You better be Ozzie fucking Smith. I asked some of the other people here if maybe we should hold off on any PR efforts like this until the team started making bigger splashes in free agency, and they all started laughing at me."
Herdegen says the team wanted to get their name out there, especially with the Chicago White Sox signing Cuban slugger Jose Abreu to a 6-year, $68 million deal.
"You look around the Central, and you have the Tigers in the ALCS again," said the Bloomington Jefferson grad. "You had Cleveland in the Wild Card, the Royals were better than they've been in 20 years, and now the White Sox, who were just as much of a shitshow as we were last year, go out and spend big on Abreu. I was told we need to 'keep up with the Joneses,' and this is what they gave me to sell. Doug Bernier's minor-league deal. Jesus.
"I don't know," sighed Herdegen, lighting another cigarette, a habit she said she just picked up this week. "My dad says he has an in with someone at Medica, but I'd just be doing overnights at a call center in Pine City, and there is no room for advancement for at least 3-5 years. Pretty sure I'm gonna sleep on it and see what the morning brings." Herdegen took a long draw on her Parliament and sighed.