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Game 44: Twins at Cleveland

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Kirilloff returns from the IL and Dobbers from banishment to the barren hinterlands of Saint Paul.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 13 Atlantic 10 Conference Championship - Fordham v Richmond
This could work.
Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Time: 6:10 Central. Vegas Line: -125 CLE / MIN -135

Weather: Sticky & dry, 82° at first pitch

Opponent’s SB site: Covering The Corner

TV: BS North. Radio: Where the Twins are good if you’re a few light-years away

Cleveland’s Triston McKenzine (sorry, Sterne fans, not “Tristram”) is very tall, very skinny, and fairly young — all of 6’5”, 165#, and 23 years. He skipped from AA in 2019 to the Big Club in 2020, and did well enough in a handful of games throwing in the low 90s with the usual breaking stuff. As is usual with tall, skinny guys, repeating a consistent delivery has been challenging for him (he leads the AL in walks).

Randy Dobnak will start for the Twins. He is not super-skinny, but perhaps his fabulous Dobstache has affected his balance since the middle of last season or so. Digits (2021 for “Dr. Sticks,” 2020 for Dobbers, since we can hope):

Continuing our doomed Friday series of James’s Twins stuff, here’s a cherished favorite I picked up in 2003, when the Twins played games under shelter from the Evil Sky Orb as God intended:

The player is one Charles Albert Bender; the publication is Gameday, a scorecard available outside Dome games during the early 2000s.

Back then, the only way you could get a Twins scorecard was to buy an official program for $4 which had a crappy little scorecard in it (and pencils were extra). The program, then as now, was mostly just promotional fluff.

Enter the Genrich brothers, a family of Twins fans who began printing and selling their own scorecards/programs for $1 (and the pencil was free). The programs all had analysis and/or history articles in them, new for each homestand or so. The removable scorecards had specific rosters and stats for that game’s opponent.

The Twins, annoyed that they were losing what must have been pathetic program sales income, got a little snippy about Gameday hawking their version (MPR has a brief story here). But, as long as Gameday vendors stayed across the street where ticket scalpers lived, there wasn’t much the Twins could do about it.

Those vendors were an eclectic lot. One was the mayor of West Saint Paul; he offered me stock tips. (I didn’t act on them, maybe I’d be rich now if I had.)

I never went to a Dome game without getting a Gameday. And once it got me into the habit of keeping score, I never went solo to a game without performing that wonderfully nerdy ritual. (Several commenters during last night’s game shared similar feelings about keeping score.) The definition of “nerdy” is basically anything you enjoy for its own sake, whether or not doing so advances your status in the eyes of others. (These days, of course, no activity has value unless one can brag about it online.)

Eventually, Gameday disappeared, first into the official Twins scorecard (which would have one or two brief articles “presented by GameDay”), then into the oblivion where printed stats were made redundant by BRef.

It kinda lives on right here, though. John Bonnes was a frequent Gameday contributor — you may know him from Twins Daily, where TwinkieTown writers end up after declaring permanent retirement from baseball typings. Our own John Foley consistently does electronic versions of the stats analysis articles Gameday thrived on. So, in a way, we’re all like those writers and vednors who sold Gameday issues almost 20 years ago.

That cover story about Bender was later expanded into a full, powerful biography by Gameday writer Tom Swift, Chief Bender’s Burden. It’s highly recommended.

And, as bears mentioning at least once a season, there are no federally-recognized Native American tribes in the state of Ohio. Which isn’t because none ever lived there.

As always, anyone who wants to share pictures/descriptions of their own Twins/baseball memorabilia can send them to me via twinsbrewer@gmail.com — but, frankly, I’ve given up on this happening. You’re a shy bunch.

Today's Lineups

TWINS INDIANS
Luis Arraez - 2B Cesar Hernandez - 2B
Josh Donaldson - 3B Eddie Rosario - LF
Max Kepler - DH Jose Ramirez - 3B
Alex Kirilloff - RF Franmil Reyes - DH
Miguel Sano - 1B Josh Naylor - RF
Trevor Larnach - LF Jordan Luplow - CF
Mitch Garver - C Jake Bauers - 1B
Rob Refsnyder - CF Amed Rosario - SS
Andrelton Simmons - SS Austin Hedges - C
Randy Dobnak - RHP Triston McKenzie - RHP

As Kirilloff returns, being advised by the Twins’ crack medical team that jabbing his injured self with painkillers for the foreseeable future won’t Make Anything Worse, Ben “Mortimer” Rortvedt has been shipped down I-94. So either Willians Astudillo is the backup catcher now, or somebody will be brought up after this game (no pressure, Dobbers!)