Twinkie Town has learned that the Minnesota Twins sent mascot TC Bear, a pretend bear with a man inside, to negotiate directly with Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani.
“It’s the holidays, and a lot of people are in the ‘use it or lose it’ stage of their vacation hours for the year,” said Twins GM Thad Levine. “When this week rolled around, we were in a real bind. TC was sitting around the office, in costume, playing Minesweeper. We had to make a call, and that’s the call we made.
“In retrospect, it was a mistake.”
Reports from the negotiations say Ohtani’s agent was “baffled” by the presence of a very tall team mascot. One observer said TC Bear “offered to hit home runs in an outfield that wasn’t there,” while another claimed that TC was “doing vape tricks for Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci in the costume” and characterized the tricks as “pretty cool.”
Friday marks the first day that teams can speak directly with Ohtani and his reps. No team is characterized as a clear favorite, but there are concerns that sending a fake bear may impact the Twins’ chances.
“They sent a bear,” said one American League GM with knowledge of the negotiations. “A bear. Jesus.”
“We admit it was unconventional and would definitely choose a different path if we were given a do-over,” said Levine. “It is what it is. We’re still focused on improving our team and building on our momentum from the 2017 playoffs.”
When asked about the reports that TC was doing sweet vape tricks in front of Tom Verducci while representing the team, Levine’s bottom lip quivered and he excused himself from the room.