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Game CXXXIX: Minnesota Twins @ Tampa Bay Rays

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Game Thread and The Best of Fillmore

Goodbye State Fair
Goodbye State Fair
Jonathunder/wikicommons

First Pitch: 12:10 PM. Vegas odds: Ask Your Bookie, Pete Rose.
Weather: It's Indoors So No Hurricane
TV: FSN. Radio: [Something witty about the usual radio stations]

Opponent's SB site: DRays Bay

So James Fillmore (nee twinsbrewer) is "unavailable" today. I'm sure you've heard the rumors or maybe myjah will post something later, so instead thinking about that and all the losing the Twins are doing, here's an uplifting story he wrote long ago where he ponders Aaron Hicks being confronted with the end of his baseball career in 2015:

Aaron Hicks and the Death of Dreams

Aaron Hicks had been demoted to AAA. This frustrated him, as it would any sensible person with the self-respect small gods bequeath to sea flotsam, much less an aspiring MLB centerfielder. He banged a palm against his hotel wall. "I hate this. I hate it."

MOST DO. SOME FIND IT RELIEVING, BUT THE MAJORITY ARE SAD.

Aaron whipped around in pure terror. A tall, cloaked figure was standing near the bathroom door. It trailed a piece of paper by its feet, and if Aaron had the vision of super-skilled eyesight animals he would have observed how that piece of paper read "we will charge you $5 for any missing washcloths." Since Aaron was human and not a snow owl, he lacked such ocular acuity, and regarded the large robed incarnation as a fucking spooky thing. "What the hell are you?" Aaron asked, rather bravely assuming this apparition was open to dialogue and not just something you should run from screaming in pure terror, which is how I would have reacted.

I AM THE DEATH OF DREAMS. I APPEAR WHEN DREAMS DIE, said the Death of Dreams.

"No! This can't be real!" So said Aaron Hicks.

IT IS.

"It's not!"

IT IS.

"This is a hugely boring interchange with a bizarre supernatural figure!"

IT IS.

"Okay." Aaron sat down on the edge of his hotel bed. Instinctively, since this is what one does in a hotel room when realizing there are absolutely no other options about what to do, Aaron grabbed the remote control and tried to figure out how to make the TV work, then quickly put down the remote and readdressed the DoD. "It's not fair! You've never lost a dream!"

THIS IS TRUE. I DO NOT HAVE DREAMS.

Aaron looked askance and about, thinking he might discover something less trippy than a friggin' DoD, and found only one binder with a TV channel directory plus phone numbers for the nearest Subway. "This is so depressing! I've wanted something most of my adult life and I never got to have that dream come true!"

YOU DID. YOU GOT EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANTED.

Aaron threw the incredibly confusing, because hotels just do this to piss you off, I can't imagine any other reason, TV remote down on the floor. "I didn't get what I wanted! I didn't get to be a major-league ballplayer!"

NO. YOU GOT TO LIVE YOUR DREAM OF BEING A MAJOR-LEAGUE BALLPLAYER.

"But it's not working out!"

YOU WERE ABLE TO TRY YOUR DREAM. HOW MANY OTHERS HAVE NOT? THROUGHOUT ALL HUMAN HISTORY, PEOPLE HAVE DREAMED OF BETTER LIVES THAN THEY POSSESS. SOME DO SO IRRATIONALLY, PEASANTS IMAGINING THEY COULD BE KINGS. MANY ARE QUITE TALENTED AND NEVER HAVE A CHANCE TO DISPLAY THEIR ABILITIES. INVENTORS HAVE THEIR IDEAS STOLEN BY OTHERS. ARTISTS HAVE SUFFERED FROM LACK OF FINANCIAL SUPPORT. YOU ARE LUCKY.

Aaron raised an eyebrow, since this is fiction, with eyebrow-raising being a thing, and querily (a word I just made up) gave DoD the stink-eye. "How am I lucky?"

YOU ARE NOT GOING TO BE A MAJOR-LEAGUE BASEBALLER. YOU HAD A SHOT AND WHILE YOU WERE BETTER THAN 99.9999% OF EVERYONE IN THE WORLD AT BASEBALL, YOU WERE NOT QUITE GOOD ENOUGH.

"And that's supposed to make me feel better?"

YES. YOU WILL NEVER WONDER WHAT MIGHT HAVE HAPPENED IF YOU "GOT YOUR CHANCE." NOW YOU CAN MOVE ON. YOU CAN BE AN AEROSPACE ENGINEER OR NURSE OR PROUD FAMILY MEMBER OR WHATEVER IT IS YOU WISH TO PURSUE, LIFE IS SHORT BUT DREAMS ARE LONG. A WISE HUMAN ONCE SANG "THERE'LL BE NEW DREAMS, MAYBE BETTER DREAMS, AND PLENTY."

Aaron looked at DoD curiously. "Who sang that? Because it sounds awfully familiar, like from a record my parents might have played. They were big into different kinds of music when I was growing up."

I'M NOT SURE. IT'S JUST A LINE I HEARD.

Aaron idly fingered the TV remote; again, what the hell else are you gonna do when confronted by a spectral incarnation of emotional distress. (Plus the default channel was describing some cool-sounding breakfast deals.) He looked up at DoD. "You know, this might be a good thing for me."

OTHERS HAVE SAID THIS. I CANNOT DETERMINE THE OUTCOMES.

"I still think I have a shot."

INDEED.

"If I don't, though . . . and I can't believe I'm saying this . . . thanks for your advice."

FEW TAKE IT SO GRACIOUSLY.

DoD began to fade. Aaron was a bit happy to see it go (damn creepy, to be sure) and also curious about one more question. "Will I ever see you again?"

PERHAPS. MY COUSIN? COUNT ON IT.

********************

Well, I thought 2011 was a fluke and the 2012 Twins would be right back in the thick of the AL Central race, so nobody's peferct.

********************

  • Pitching for the Rays will be Blake Snell (LHP, 3-6, 4.02 ERA). Blake is one of those guys the Rays always seem to have a plentiful supply of. He's pitched at least six innings in his previous five starts and had an ERA of 2.97 for August.
  • 6'10"-245 lbs. - Aaron Slegers (RHP, 0-0, 2.84 ERA) has a posse. The "Tower of Power's" shiny ERA comes with a 5.18 FIP though, but he's only had one start so small sample sizes, etc. That one start was against Cleveland and he managed 6.1 innings pitched while only giving up two earned runs on two hits and two walks.
  • No Sexx Dragon today

Today's Lineups

MINNESOTA TWINS TAMPA BAY RAYS
Brian Dozier - 2B Kevin Kiermaier - CF
Jorge Polanco - SS Corey Dickerson - DH
Byron Buxton - CF Evan Longoria - 3B
Eduardo Escobar - 3B Lucas Duda - 1B
Robbie Grossman - DH Steven Souza - RF
Kennys Vargas - 1B Brad Miller - 2B
Niko Goodrum - RF Adeiny Hechavarria - SS
Chris Gimenez - C Mallex Smith - LF
Ehire Adrianza - LF Jesus Sucre - C
Aaron Slegers - RHP Blake Snell - LHP