If you’re not familiar with Twinkie Town, you may not be familiar with what we refer to as “The Band” and/or “Getting The Band Back Together”. It became a popular catch phrase here due to the propensity of the Twins re-signing old Twins players, but it came to particularly refer to the group of players from the 2002 team, which was the last Twins team to actually win a playoff series. Damn that stupid Rally Monkey.
Me and my friend Dana Wessel of the Go 96.3 Morning Show love talking about “The Band”. In fact, we probably love it a bit too much. Yesterday we were really getting into it, and this post was born. I’m very sorry, because this is all very stupid, but I couldn’t stop myself.
Here’s the gist: The Band... as a band. Like, a band that plays music!
Hey, wait! Where are you going? We haven’t even gotten to the part where I list which players play which instruments yet!
Welcome back! Here we go:
Ron Gardenhire: Band Conductor
Do bands have conductors? Or is that just orchestras? Either way, Gardy would be the Band Conductor, even if bands don’t have conductors.
Doug Mientkiewicz: Lead Guitarist
This one is pretty much a slam dunk in baseball terms. Dougie Baseball played amazing defense (won a gold glove!) and even got in a fight with Kenny Lofton over it one time. Doug would absolutely mash on the guitar.
A.J. Pierzynski: Drums
Duh. This one is just too obvious too. I think it has to do with Animal being the drummer in the Muppets. A.J. strikes me as an Animal. I mean that in a good way, of course.
Torii Hunter: Synths
Synths are smooth, futuristic, and cool.
Jacque Jones: Saxophone
I always wanted to learn to play the saxophone. I had one for a bit in grade school, but it turns out I kind of suck at music. I think I just wanted to be Lisa Simpson or something. Anyway, Jacque was the most valuable player on the 2002 Twins, so I consider him their Lisa Simpson. Hence, saxophone.
Corey Koskie: Bass
Older, white, bald male who looks like the dadiest of dads? Check, check, check, check, and check! Definitely a bass player!
Brian Buchanan: .... Second bass?
Well crap. We already have a bass player. I’m not sure how many bands have two bass players, but it sounds pretty bad ass — or, bass (Dad joke) — to me.
Cristian Guzman: Tambourine
Someone has to do it.
Luis Rivas: Air Guitar
The idea here is just making Rivas happy and occupied, and I’m sure this makes him very happy and very occupied. Maybe too occupied.
Eddie Guardado: Xylophone
I’m not sure if this would be one of those rainbow, Fisher-Price xylophones or a real xylophone, but it works either way.
Brad Radke: Trombone
Listen: Brad Rakde was probably my favorite player in this entire team. Hell, he’s one of my favorite baseball players ever, largely for what he did in 2006 (he pitched with a TORN LABRUM and a STRESS FRACTURE in his shoulder. I’m not kidding). The trombone seems like the instrument that would cause Radke the most pain to play, and hence, that’s his instrument.
Sorry Bradke. You dug this grave, and you and your arm are going to lay in it.
Johan Santana: Cymbals
Now, remember — Santana was still kinda a newbie in 2002. He started 14 games, but also came out of the bullpen in 13 other games. He did hold an impressive 2.99 ERA over 108.1 innings, though. Sort of, say, a simple, but big loud crash?
Please don’t kill me.
David Ortiz: Tuba
I’m not sure any band ever needs a tuba, but I’m pretty sure as soon as you fire the tuba player he goes on to join a much richer band where he becomes an incredibly fantastic tuba player and trashes your band for the rest of time, even though you gave him his start as a damn tuba player!!!!!
Tony Fiore: Lead Singer
Definitely lip syncs all of his performances.
Eric Milton: French Horn
Regal. Defined. Intricate. Also, incredibly the type of thing you would expect to be traded to Philadelphia for a Nick Punto.
LaTroy Hawkins: Oboe
I originally had Latroy on the clarinet, but then my Mom reminded me that an oboe is a thing that exists (because I definitely consulted my Mom while making this list), and I felt this was very much more LaTroy’s jam.
If you don’t know what an oboe is, it’s like a clarinet, except bigger and longer — much like LaTroy’s career. LaTroy had the Oboe of careers.
Bobby Kielty: Flute
Something about the red hair.
Dustan Mohr: Recorder
Dustan Mohr became a regular player for the first time in 2002, and a lot of people thought he even had a chance to be Rookie of the Year (he came in 8th). Though many people thought he might become a legit major league player, he... (checks baseball reference) DUSTAN MOHR PLAYED SEVEN GAMES FOR THE TAMPA BAY DEVIL RAYS IN 2007?
Rick Reed: Bass Clarinet
Basically just googled all the rest of the ‘reed’ instruments and this is the least weird one that was left that I recognized as an actual instrument. Pretty sure this is not the same thing as an oboe. Hopefully.
Tom Prince: Definitely way too damn cool to join your stupid band
Tom Prince is most definitely not going to hang out with you and your friends in your Mom’s garage trying to start a band, much less his shithead teammates. Sorry.
Juan Rincon: Backup Singer
As much as I love Juan Rincon, he doesn’t strike me as an instrumentalist. He does, however, strike me as a very capable wedding singer. He could be Tony Fiore’s backup.
Joe Mays: Keyboards
White, kinda dorky looking... yeah.
Denny Hocking: Roadie
I’m not sure if I have ever nailed a characterization as hard as this one in my entire fucking life.
Michael Jackson: ????
You may not remember Michael Jackson (who often went by “Mike Jackson”), but he was a veteran reliever who made a big impact on many of the young arms in the bullpen. Fun fact: He was also the last player to wear number 42 for the Twins, as the league had already retired the number in honor of Jackie Robinson, but let veterans who wore the number before continue to wear it. Anyway, as far as Michael Jackson goes, I just don’t know what he would do in the band? Nothing musical here pops out to me. I’m not a machine. Sorry.
I didn’t get through the entire 2002 roster, and I apologize for that. Anyone else want to help me out here?