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Game 123: Twins at Yankees

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 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

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