Time: 7:15 Central. Vegas Line: -130 MIN / STL +110
Weather: Pretty nice, hopefully less smoke than we had, 82° at first pitch
Opponent’s SB site: Viva El Birdos
TV: BS North. Radio: Disappointed people clinging onto bottles; also, Provus
Veteran lefty Wade LeBlanc is the kind of guy you have to tip the hat to; never particularly good, never a member of any one team for very long, he’s still managed to find odd pitching jobs in MLB (and one brief job in Japan) since 2008. That’s a pretty decent career for a AAAA swingman type. He throws a sub-90 fastball, cutter, change, and breaking ball that’s alright when it’s located, well, alright.
His scheduled mound opponent as of Thursday night may not be a Twin by publication time. Or he will be, and I possess the Second Sight, available for hire upon request. Digits:
(OK, so as it turned out I do not have the Second Sight. Or, I do, and I'm not revealing the true nature of my powers until it's too late for you unbelievers to do anything about it.)
Today’s entry in Baseball Thingys TwinkieTowners Own is this blanket with armsleeves. It it a snuggie? I'm not sure. Let's call it a Twuggie:
I got this at a Bed Bath & Beyond one time when I was looking for a particular item with a friend; as usually happens, we didn’t find it. We did find a few mangled shipping boxes full of these Twuggies marked for clearance at $5 a pop; maybe they’d accidentally been smushed in the truck under $100 kale juicers.
Besides just being a random Twins item (and these are the best kinds of team items), it’d prove to be useful when my landlord went from Miserly Crabass to Full Fathom F***face.
The building I lived in at the time was over 100 years old and accordingly full of history; it had once been the first hotel in Saint Paul to feature electricity. Unfortunately, the heating technology hadn’t been improved since Thomas Edison’s day, nor had the huge heat-dumping windows. Warmth came from a single half-inch hot-water pipe running along the bottom of one wall; hot enough to barely warm your hands if you grabbed it. Needless to say, this did not cut it for a Minnesota winter.
The first time I complained about this to the landlord, I was told to buy caulking and plastic sheeting for the windows. That got the indoor temperature above 50. The next time, I was told to buy space heaters; if I ran them at full blast day and night, including while I was away at work, it could get to 60. (Fire marshalls generally frown on apartments cold enough to need space heaters, as these are a major fire risk.)
While 60 is warm enough to sleep in under blankets, blankets aren’t convenient to wear. My Twuggie, with its sleeves, was. I kinda felt like some deranged ghost wearing a long cape that dragged on the carpet. “Ah, Scrooge, these are the fabrics I wove in life! Each time the Twins lost another playoff game, my cape grew ever longer, until it became the reminder of baseball cruelty you see before your very eyes!”
Still, even if he was a skinflint, the landlord was reasonably fair. He wouldn’t pay to improve the heating, but he did credit what I spent on window weatherizing & those space heaters (primarily the elevated electric bill) towards my rent; usually, about a month’s worth.
Until he retired, and his son took over.
Now, to protect the innocent, I’m going to call this son “Jeff DeLisle, Jr.,” because that’s his actual name and the man epitomized every form of Human Slime (so, not innocent at all). When I sent my usual spring tally of winter’s heating costs, I got no response. I sent it again. And again. Then finally just paid my normal rent minus those winter costs. This got DeLisle’s attention.
He confronted me in a hallway one day when I was headed out to catch the bus. “That deal you had with my dad? No, we’re not doing that anymore.” Then threatened to have me evicted if I didn’t pay the full amount, plus $100 for kitchen/bathroom countertop cleaning that he claimed I’d been neglecting because I was “a pig.” My girlfriend said she liked how clean I kept the bathroom; and, yeah, DeLisle had inspected my apartment without notice, which the rental agreement forbade.
This was about the only type of time anybody ever saw DeLisle, who seemed to take pleasure in bullying/demeaning random residents. That, and hanging around the lobby at the beginning of every month, when young female students at the nearby music college moved in. He’d oil back his hair like a 1980s Wall Street stockbroker, and ask them if they wanted to see his sportscar outside. Usually you’d see them moving back out shortly afterwards. First & last month’s rent plus a security deposit isn’t worth it to put up with that kind of pustulantly oozing landlord, if you could help it. Not everyone could.
Wish I could tell you that this shared misery united all we tenants in righteous outrage. But it didn’t. We’d fight each other over access to the always sporadically-functioning washers and dryers, we’d use the elevator even when the sick guy on the top floor begged us not to (because every time it broke, it took months to get fixed). I was leaving for work when the sick guy died; I let the EMTs into the building. They rushed their gurney to the elevator and pressed the button. “It’s broken, you’ll have to take the stairs,” I told them. Never saw that sick guy again. (Maybe he didn’t die, just went to... um, a better place. Like a farm upstate.)
OK, so what does this all have to do with baseball? Not a whole lot. Maybe something about how easy it is for folks in a bad situation to think about “me first”? We’ll go with that. And y’all did get to see a nifty Twuggie. I still use it if me or my wife get a bug that gives one the shivers.
As always, if you have photos/stories of baseball-ish items you'd care to share, send them to me via email@example.com. Put "I like to Twuggie myself" or some such in the subject header so I know it's not my old landlord.
|Jorge Polanco - 2B||Dylan Carlson - RF|
|Brent Rooker - LF||Paul Goldschmidt - 1B|
|Josh Donaldson - 3B||Nolan Arenado - 3B|
|Mitch Garver - C||Tyler O'Neill - LF|
|Trevor Larnach - RF||Yadier Molina - C|
|Miguel Sano - 1B||Harrison Bader - CF|
|Nick Gordon - CF||Tommy Edman - 2B|
|Andrelton Simmons - SS||Paul DeJong - SS|
|Griffindor Jax - RHP||Wade LeBlanc - LHP|
|Griffin Jax - RHP||Wade LeBlanc - LHP|