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:
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 email@example.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.
|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|