The Twins seem to be back on track, winners of four games in a row, eight games over .500…all is well. But, the bats are still struggling. Taking both games of the doubleheader from the Tigers and coming back late in the second game were encouraging signs. Giving up only two runs in the fourteen innings, was also encouraging. Scoring only five runs in those 14 innings was a bit less encouraging. Still, they did what they needed to do, and winning teams are teams that do enough to win, even when not playing at their absolute best, and the Twins, for the most part, continue to do that.
Getting Astudillo back and the round mound of energy that he brings to the proceedings might be a needed jolt, bringing back a bit of the chemistry from 2019 that seemed to work so well. In contrast, banishing the peanuts characters from yesterday’s game, and seeing Lucy, Linus, Charlie Brown, and Snoopy unceremoniously cast aside seems very 2020. Was it something they said?
Apparently, the story was that they were casting annoying reflections to the fielders, and while I’m willing to accept that, it just seems so fitting that the least offensive cartoon characters possibly of all time, still wouldn’t be allowed into the stadium in 2020. If anything defines the nature of 2020, that might be it. When Linus is causing trouble, there’s a lot of trouble.
I’m thinking of other options for cardboard cutouts. The cast of Ozark, perhaps? I can envision Ruthie thinking “are you *&%# kidding me” when an infielder bobbles a ground ball. Or more terrifying…imagine seeing Darlene Snell facing down the opposing pitcher, knowing that she’d be willing to kill him on the spot, and not give it another thought. Go ahead, pitcher, throw inside to Nelson Cruz…Darlene is watching.
But, I suppose, if the cast of Peanuts can’t stop from being escorted from their seats halfway through a game, its highly unlikely that the cast of Ozark could make it through more than an inning. So, it’s back to former Twins, and the occasional celebrity, and it’s all fine with me. The important thing is the Twins are back on track and playing with far more life than we witnessed in that cardboard cutout of a team that lost those six games that we won’t mention again.
As the playoffs draw closer, hopefully Odorizzi and Buxton and Donaldson can truly stay healthy and contribute as we need them to in order to genuinely be a championship contender. If things go south again, then our concern with what’s happening in the seats behind Homeplate may grow in importance. Everything is fine when the team wins. Winning is the best deodorant for the clubhouse they say…at least I think they say that. Perhaps yesterday we saw another sign of what winning does. When the team wins, you can literally forcibly remove the cast of a beloved cartoon and nobody will register a complaint. Try to remove those same characters in the midst of a six-game losing streak, and as Ruthie might say, “what the *&%# are we doing?”
Finally, how about Yogi Berra sitting next to Yogi Bear? Or Tiger Woods sitting next to Tony the Tiger? Or for a Minnesota twist, Karl Anthony Towns sitting next to a big cat…or Kevin Garnett sitting next to Glen Taylor or Stephon Marbury (Can’t we all just get along)? In sum, the removal of Linus and Lucy suggests that anything is indeed possible, even when it seems like we’ve seen it all. Now, let’s continue the winning on the field, and in the name of Lucy, and Linus, and the others, even if things are so bad off the field in 2020 that even they can’t attend a game, we’ll replace them with our own on-field characters. After all, Sergio and Willan, seem perfectly capable of proving that life on the field can be every bit as strange (and delightful) as any attempt at entertainment in the stands.