Fed up with the monotony of spring practices, the Twins front office has announced today that their crop of non-roster invitees has been locked inside the Fort Myers complex to compete in a battle royale for the final spot on the 26-man roster.
“There aren’t enough game reps for each of these guys, and one lucky bastard always seems to make it up north every year,” Twins President of Baseball Operations Derek Falvey said. “This way is much simpler.”
The players woke up Monday morning with their bunks rolled into different locked rooms in the complex, with a friendly note from Falvey pinned to the door announcing the competition and reward for victory.
“We’re not bloodthirsty. We don’t want fatalities,” Falvey emphasized. “Just something that would send a player to the 10-day IL, that’s all we want for elimination. This is the Minnesota team, after all.”
General manager Thad Levine signed off on the project as well, pointing out the benefits for manager Rocco Baldelli and the 40-man roster.
“Rocco gets to spend his time managing the guys who actually have a chance, and those guys get more game reps... everyone wins,” said Levine, chuckling. “Except for the 22 guys who don’t.”
Thus far, no player has been eliminated, but confrontations have already begun. Ryan Jeffers, donning his full set of catcher’s gear, was spotted using the mask from Ben Rortvedt’s locker to deflect balls thrown by Jake Reed, while Griffin Jax was spotted wiring a pitching machine to the batting cage door, whispering the word “tactics” under his breath.
Falvey watched all this from his office, sipping a glass of milk as the monitor showed Drew Maggi searching the dugouts.
“If he’s looking for a bat, he’d better try Larnach’s room. Trevor found ‘em all right away,” he said, “even the ones we hid in the ceiling.”
When asked if this was the first time he’d run this competition, Falvey shook his head.
“[Ryan] LaMarre won two years ago by hiding in the T.C. Bear suit all month,” he said. “Ryne [Harper] won last year... or, rather, we thought he did.”
He grinned as, on the monitor, Royce Lewis disguised himself in a Chicago White Sox jersey.
“Last summer, some janitor found a spare mascot costume hanging in a closet down here. He pulled off the head, and there was Ryan.” Falvey finished his milk. “Why do you think we called him up last September?”