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Game 123: Twins at Yankees

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You’d be SO into this if the Twins weren’t, you know, bad.

2019 London Series Game 1: New York Yankees v. Boston Red Sox
These mascots raced when the Yankees played in London in 2019. I guessing they’re Henry VIII, the Loch Ness Monster, some Boston ward-heeler from 1899, and Freddie Mercury.
Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB via Getty Images

Time: 6:05 Central. Vegas Line: -220 NYY / MIN +200

Weather: Humid, chance of rain, 80° at first pitch

Opponent’s SB site: Pinstripe Alley

TV: BS North. Radio: How everything on your phone works but you can’t get actual radio

Tonight’s Twins starter, Charlie “Not Parr” Barnes, is of course part of a young Let’s See What They’ve Got For Maybe Next Year trio (would have been a quartet if Lewis Thorpe hadn’t gotten re-injured; might still be if/when Randall Dobnak returns). Rather than the usual YTD chart on Barnes and his mound opponent, I thought I’d look at the trio overall as compared to the undearly departed Matt Shoemaker/J.A. Happ:

Shapp: 35 G, 158.2 IP, 7.26 ERA, -3.1 WAR, $10 million

Barnes/Griffin Jax/Bailey Ober: 28 G, 126 IP, 4.71 ERA, 0.7 WAR, 3 x whatever nothing is

Yeah. The aforementioned opponent, Nestor Cortes Jr., is a soft-tossing lefty who’s bounced around Rule 5 and waivers and ended up back with the team that drafted him; because the Yankees are Unholy, he’s been pretty good this year. His newish cutter seems to be doing most of the out-getting. He also came dancing across the water with his galleons and guns.

It’s become kind of a fun thing when the Yankees play on my Fridays to include this old John Oliver clip:

Is it dated? Sure. Are the Yanquis front office still arrogant jerks? Timeless.

This week’s Things TwinkieTowners own is a Yankees-ish, still lovely jersey:

is my TV gaining a beerbelly?

I got it on 90% discount near the end of whatever season it was when Midway Stadium closed. So, 2015? 2014? I dunno. It was at a booth back behind the left infield bleachers, which was the unofficial "bring your beer to have a smoke" area (you weren't supposed to, but you'd never catch crud for it if you weren't being blatantly rude).

And that's the thing about Midway; yes, the main concessions area smelled like pee, yes, the petting zoo had sad-looking animals probably full of mange or aftosa or worse, the bleachers were hot and uncomfortable in sunshine... but it was laid-back and rundown in a way that suited my Exact Life.

CHS Field has nice seating (and a really excellent, affordable beer selection)... but you can't sneak away for a smoke, or set up a grill right outside the front gates, or sit on a hill overlooking right field for free. Worst of all, when I went there its first season, the PA system sucked.

I'm sure they spent top dollar on it. Yet you don’t know how a building's acoustics will sound until you pack it with people. Metallica, a band that knows a thing or two about arenas, helped open the new Vikings eyesore, and reportedly hated it. U2, no stranger to stadiums either, played at the Gophers' stadium in a total downpour, and said it was fantastic.

Half the fun at Midway were the snarky comments coming over that PA system; at CHS Field, I couldn't make them out. Maybe they've adjusted the PA system since. I haven't been.

My favorite Midway memory was a game where one of the promotional mascots roaming the bleachers was a pee cup; a giant cup yellow on the bottom half. For an employment drug-screening company.

The PA guy was in fine form. As always, he'd intone single words like "train" when a train went by, or "strike" when an opponent flailed badly. Not often, just enough to stay dryly amusing and part of the Midway soundtrack.

At one point, a foul ball came whoosing right at me. I totally spazzed, sloshing both my beverage and heavily-condimented hot dog, which deposited significant amounts onto my shirt. Making this display even more elegant, I was sitting behind the foul fencing; that terror missile clinked harmlessly into chain-link in front of my face.

From the PA system: "FLINCH." I tipped my cap but didn't turn around (would you?) Long live Midway, even if it is a miserable office complex hardly anybody uses, now.

As always, anyone who has pictures/stories of their baseball items to share can send them my way per twinsbrewer@yahoo.com. And those of you who said they would but haven’t yet (you know who you are)... look, folks, I applaud your “never stop hoping” attitude, but it’s really really likely the Twins aren’t playing on any Fridays in October after 10/1; hate to break it to ya.

Today's Lineups

TWINS YANKEES
Jorge Polanco - 2B DJ LeMahieu - 2B
Luis Arraez - 3B Aaron Judge - RF
Josh Donaldson - DH Joey Gallo - LF
Mitch Garver - C Giancarlo Stanton - DH
Rob Refsnyder - LF Luke Voit - 1B
Nick Gordon - CF Rougned Odor - 3B
Willians Astudillo - 1B Gary Sanchez - C
Jake Cave - RF Andrew Velazquez - SS
Andrelton Simmons - SS Brett Gardner - CF
Charlie Barnes - LHP Nestor Cortes - LHP