After a promising, snow-hampered start, every light on the Minnesota Twins dashboard is yellow or red. No matter how high they turn up the volume on “Never Been Any Reason”, those lights are still flashing and there’s a grinding noise and it smells like burning.
This has been a car metaphor.
What is saving the season right now, besides the indomitable Eduardo Escobar and best Minnesota Twin ever Ryan LaMarre, is the Fox Sports North pregame show remote broadcasts.
They still have host Tom Hannemann and that day’s former Twin locked up in some Minneapolis studio, but they occasionally send a third member of the team out to a tavern for a live scene report. Since they are going to authentic Minnesota bars, you are exposed to the kinds of people who are at the pub on a weeknight for happy hour/dinner (or supper in certain sections of the state).
On Thursday, they dispatched Kendall Mark, survivor of the dumbest motherfucking promotional idea in modern sports television, to the Village Sports Bar & Grill at the Stadium in White Bear Lake. And brother, they White Bear Lake’d so hard.
If you can, and I don’t expect you to, ignore the guy on the far right with the leather and the embroidered viking skull and the sweet wallet chain. What do you think Leon and Randy are talking about as they enjoy the Thursday special (16 oz. ground sirloin dinner with mashed potatoes and gravy, $12.95) behind Mark’s live shot?
LEON: TV people are here.
LEON: Thought the Wild were done playing?
RANDY: Nope, think it’s for the Twinkies.
LEON: Potatoes are good tonight.
RANDY: Mm-hmm. Gravy.
LEON: Think I’m gonna take a leak and grab a smoke.
RANDY: Sounds good. Barb comes by the table you want another Mich Golden?
I encourage FSN to go even further out into the suburbs and beyond for these events. Talk to the person selling pull tabs. See if you can get in on the dice game. Order a Heggie’s. Put the crew’s names in for karaoke. Have a camera on the family that brought their nightmare kids to the bar because it’s the only place in town that has a kitchen open and you can tell the mom is going to lose it on Chloe if she asks for another pop just ONE more time.
The season has much better odds of going south than many of us thought a month ago. We’re going to need this, FSN. Think about it.
(Now you can theorize about leather guy. I think he’s from North Branch and does consulting.)