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Game XXIV: Tigers @ Twins

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Break out your Duff Man hats, the Twins need them.

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Tigers are lovable housepets which will never try to bite through your skull.
Tigers are lovable housepets which will never try to bite through your skull.
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Time: 1:10 (07:10 GMT.) Vegas Line: -120 DET / MIN +110
Weather: Partly Sunny, Wind Gusts, Temp Around 56
Opponent SB Site: Bless You Boys
TV: FSN. Radio: Listen To A Fun Prince Radio Clip (About Dave Chappelle)

The Twins played Washington last weekend, and today's Tiger starter used to play for that team, so we bring you:

terror medeium

I was reading Tom Deveaux's book about the old Senators (officially named the "Nationals," but usually referred to by fans as "Senators"), and several stories ranging from odd to gruesome stood out. To wit:

Clark Griffith (who would manage and own the team before handing it off to son Calvin) had malaria as a teenager. Much worse, his father was killed when Clark was a toddler. The neighbor's kid thought Mr. Griffith was a deer, and shot him.

During WWI, Griffith raised $100,000 to buy baseball equipment for American servicemen in Europe. The first cargo ship carrying this equipment was torpedoed and sunk.

Hall-Of-Famer Sam Rice, a pitcher-turned outfielder, played most of his career with the Senators. Before reaching the bigs, he was on the road with an Illinois minor-league team, when a tornado swept through his family's home. It killed Rice's wife, two kids, two sisters, and both parents.

A pitcher for the Senators' first AL season (and several American Association seasons before that) was Win Mercer. At 19, he was a popular player among fans, especially women. When umpire Bill Carpenter ejected Mercer in one game, "an army of angry females poured out of the stands. They surrounded Carpenter, shoved him to the ground and ripped his clothing."

Mercer would later develop a serious gambling addiction and commit suicide at 28, inhaling the gas pipe in a hotel room. Supposedly he left a note saying "beware of women and a game of chance."

Senators manager Jake Stahl's brother also killed himself in a hotel, and his method of choice was drinking acid. In the same year, Stahl was fired as manager.

The great Walter Johnson began managing the Senators in 1929. The following year, his wife died at 36 of heat stroke. Hazel Johnson was an activist involved in getting women the right to vote, and Johnson supported her, so it must have been a happy marriage and crushing loss.

Journeyman Jerry Priddy, who played for the Senators a few years, ended up broke and in jail at 54 for trying to blackmail a shipping company, threatening to detonate a bomb unless he received $250,000. A happier side venture was pursued by no-hit catcher Moe Berg, who spied for the Allies in WWII.

The penultimate Senators Tale Of Terror is probably the mystery of Ed Delahanty's death. A powerful outfielder who batted over .400 three different seasons, Delahanty was routinely jerked around by owners making shifty financial promises, and he too fell into gambling debt. Plus a fondness for fierce beverages.

Delahanty went on something of an "Archer"-style drunken rampage while on a passenger train headed for New York. Booted off the train, he walked on foot over a railroad bridge crossing the Niagara River. Delahanty encountered a night watchman, and either fell or was pushed to his death. You can read a nice summary of his story here, or just listen to the Baseball Project song:

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The scariest thing about Jordan Zimmerman might be how he looks determined to prove "yep, signing expensive free agent pitchers CAN work. Just not when the Twins do it." Technically, he's almost One Of Us, having been born in Stevens Point, WI. Here's his career and YTD digits:

ERA H/9 K/9 BB/9 HR/9 OPS v L/R BAbip FIP
Nationals 3.32 8.6 7.4 1.8 0.9 .702/.651 .297 3.38
Tigers 0.35 7.6 5.5 2.4 0.0 .469/.619 .268 2.65

Note how skewed his numbers are this season thus far because of no Long Dongs surrendered, so maybe the Twins can hit a few. Tyler Duffey has apparently recovered from being nailed by a liner on Sunday and will throw benders for the Twins. Lineups:

Tigers Twins
Ian Kinsler, 2B
Danny Santana, CF
J.D. Martinez, RF Brian Dozier, 2B
Miguel Cabrera, 1B Joe Mauer, DH
Victor Martinez, DH Miguel Sano, RF
Justin "BJ" Upton, LF Byung "Chan" Ho Park, 1B
Nick Castellanos, 3B Eduardo Escobar, SS
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C Eduardo Nunez, 3B
Anthony Gose, CF Eddie Rosario, LF
Jose Iglesias, SS J.R. Murphy, C