Time: 6:07 Central. Vegas Line: -200 TOR / MIN +180
Weather: Clear, comfy, 20° Canadian at first pitch
Opponent’s SB site: Bluebird Banter
TV: BS North. Radio: Most Canadian stations have call signs starting with C, sensibly enough
Eight-year MLB veteran lefty Hyun Jin Ryu has been one of the most successful KBO players to reach our shores; he was an All-Star in 2019, and started a World Series game in 2018 (both firsts for KBO pitchers). He throws the old-school four pitches plus a cutter, none very hard, has good control, and his best pitch is his change. Per BRef, his nickname is Monster, for some reason; he wears the cool number 99, made less cool by the Jays' dorky Tron number font. He'll be up against Big Mike Pineda. 2021 digits (note the almost exact reversals of ERA and FIP):
This week’s edition of Stuff TwinkieTowners own are the few survivors of some many I once had, when I used to put every Twins freebie giveaway button on my favorite jersey:
Eventually, I stopped doing this, as the jersey began rattling like Ramblin’ Rod’s sweater. Who the heck is Ramblin’ Rod, do you ask? "Ramblin'" Rod Anders was the host of a long-running 1970s/80s Portland children's cartoon-introduction morning show. The show featured a studio audience of tots who cheered each upcoming cartoon, and would probably gnaw each other's jugulars for Rod's attention. (Giving him buttons to add on that sweater was part of this fawning tot sycophancy.) Birthday tots got a line on camera, and there was a "smile contest" which won some lucky little SOB a Chuck'E'Cheese meal or something of the sort.
Of course, I was part of this studio audience at one point; a friend's birthday, maybe. None of us friends won the Smile Contest, and so the birthday meal took place at a disappointingly audio-animatronic-free pizza joint. I'm sure we all complained about this ignominy, as kids are monsters.
What shocked and appalled me was that the studio kids didn’t even get to watch those crappy old cartoons! (Mostly bad off-brand Looney Tunes like Woody Woodpecker, IIRC, whatever cheap junk the station had rights to.) Rod would announce, "here comes another cartoon," we'd go mad for the cameras and the "applause" sign... then more studio bits. No cartoons. Only the kids at home got to see cartoons.
I learned right then and there that TV celebrities were a wholesale assembly of LIES.
Incidentally, since "The Simpsons" creator Matt Groening was from Portland, and had undoubtedly at some point seen the duplicitous Ramblin' Rod, there was some speculation that cartoon intro host Krusty The Clown might have been inspired by Anders. This seems to not be the case; Krusty's likely doppleganger was an even earlier Portland TV host, whose character went by the tetanus-suggesting "Rusty Nails":
Oh, hey, back to those buttons! As you can see, one has the photo of 2000s Twins stalwart, the Canadian-born (and briefly a Blue Jay) Mr. Koskie. What's he been up to lately?
Well, on occasion, he’s continued some of his charity work for homelessness help (Koskie used to do winter sleepouts as a Twin to sponsor coat drives). And, as this outstanding profile by The Score’s Travis Sawchik describes, Koskie ran a couple of fitness gyms, which didn’t go great. Lately, he’s been getting into town ball in Loretta, Minnesota with his grown-big sons.
Which leads us to this strange story of petty frustration from the PP’s Bob Sanservere. Apparently, as Koskie was never cut in his last MLB comeback attempt (with the Cubs; he retired before they could cut him), he needed “disposition papers” before he could play (even amateur ball!) for another US team. Koskie was blown off by the Cubs, and by Twins honchos the Falvine when he asked them for help; finally, Twins team president Dave St. Peter got in touch with some Cubs office staff who weren’t butts, and Koskie was able to play on his sons’ team.
Unmentioned in either article is this 100% ABSOLUTELY TRUE conversation recorded between St. Peter, Thad Levine, and Derek Falvey:
DSP: Hey, guys, I just wanted to ask you about this Koskie town ball thing he contacted you over. It shouldn’t take long.
DSP: Corey Koskie. He was part of the team that made the Twins fun again in the early—
DSP: Well, he just wants to play town ball with his sons—
LEVINE: What the f@%k is that?
DSP: It’s a farm-state tradition. We celebrate it at Target Field in the Town Ball Tavern.
FALVEY: Oh, yeah, that thing. Note to self: we need to convert that space into an influencer hot spot.
LEVINE: Brilliant! Let’s call it the InstaTok Taproom!
FALVEY: You’re brilliant!
DSP: You know, I think I’ll just check my old phone list from Chicago... (walks from room, shaking head, closes door, FALVINE voices can be heard in the background)
FALVINE: and THEN we’ll trade Berrios! But keep Pineda! Brilliant!
Now, if you’re saying to yourself, “my Lord, that’s a lot of padding for a photo of some old ratty baseball buttons,” well, first off, don’t bring the Lord into this. But, second of all, you’re right. Yet, hey, the Twins’ season’s almost out of Fridays!
And, next week, look for a contest. Where you can Win Stuff! That’s actually reasonably new stuff! I mean, not super new or having any collectable value, this would be against the spirit of this Series. Newer than my stuff, though!
Lineups posted if I get home before 5, which ain’t likely, since I have to make the rounds distributing "Mauer Luv 4 Guv" buttons among his many, many mistresses in my work as an unpaid advance campaigner for his 2022 run.