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Game 134: Twins at Rays

They’ll still always be Devil Rays to me.

Tampa Bay Rays v Baltimore Orioles
This SHOULD SO be the Rays’ mascot. It's not a ray, but the one they have isn't an anything. This at least lives in the ocean.
Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

Time: 6:10 Central. Vegas Line: -180 TB / MIN +165

Weather: No rain no sun no wind, 72° (it’s indoors)

Opponent’s SB site: DRays Bay

TV: BS North. Radio: That guy doing postgame with Henry Lake makes me turn it off fast, Lake himself I never used to

You all know the Randall P. Dobnak legend by now: his unexpected rise to the bigs in 2019, including a Pineda-suspension surprise postseason start (where Yanqui fans behaved with their customary classist jerkiness). His terrific start to a COVID-curtailed 2020 season, and later scuffles. His offseason mutiyear contract extension, which resulted in Dobbers starting 2021 as a... long reliever. Which didn’t work. Possibly because he was hurt. Or because he's just not quite as talented as we all rooted for him to be. (You can read JohnFoley’s typically in-depth analysis of the data here.)

In any case, he was hurt, and now he's back. Let's happy for him, and make no more of these last few starts than we are Ober, Jax, Ryan, etc. Even though we assuredly will. OMG THE TWINS HAVE NO STARTERS A SURE THING FOR 2022 AAAAAHHHHHH

Anyhoo. His mound opponent will be 30-year old righthander Michael Wacha, who throws mutiple fastballs moving multiple ways, and a change. He was terrific in 2013 as a rookie, an All-Star in 2015, released after 2019, and has struggled since. Per his Wiki page, a "‘restaurant in St. Louis named a milkshake the “Wacha Wacha” following his 2013 NLCS Most Valuable Player honors. The milkshake’s ingredients included vanilla with chocolate chips and Cracker Jacks.’" Digits:

(Now watch this one feature two complete games and a 1-0 score, just because.)

This week's entry in Baseball Stuff TwinkieTowners Own is about Dome roof segments. Because today they will be playing in “that other” dome.

There's a lot of these souvenir segments out there. Goodness only knows what part of what segment of the roof, replaced whenever, makes all of them up. For all I know, every part of the 1991 roof has long been parceled out to members of that year's team, who use it for framing background to their memorabilia, or as heavy-duty rewashable backcountry duck hunting TP.

Somewhere in unpacked moving boxes from five years ago I have a segment of Metrodome roof foolishly purchased from the Minnesota Historical Society that, I believe, looks like this. A better item I don’t own, by the company Duluth Pack (they are from Duluth; they sell packs) is no longer available:

Image per this “Dorado” article/post, whatever Dorado Magazine is.

Pretty neat, and probably pretty sturdy! However, all well-used backpacks will eventually come apart, which would leave the owner with a large unusable piece of Sacred Baseball Stuff (sacred to those of us who loved the place). Which brings us finally to this:

The other side has some neat leather embossing of a Dome aerial view. I won’t make you look at more photos of a keychain.

It’s just a nice little keychain a friend who knows I love the Twins gave me. I only keep one key on it, my house key.

What rules about this piece of baseball memorabilia is its practicality. Yes, it’s got a part of my favorite baseball building in it. It also holds keys. More than one, for those so inclined. That’s it.

What can you do with the rest of that Dome memorabilia? Keep them. Maybe drag them out to look at ‘em once in a great while. And think, “oh, I remember I got this when...” some part of your life, some time and place you hadn’t thought about in awhile.

Which is all well and good... the first few times you do so. You hit a point of diminishing returns when it comes to the mnemonic capabilities of items. After those first few jolts of memory, the thought is fairly imprinted on your brain. You won’t need a keepsake any more.

At which point the item just becomes stuff. Stuff without a great deal of sentimental or practical value. You really should give it away or toss it, but you’re worried you’ll be losing a part of your life by doing so.

And that’s how I end up with Dome bits in boxes I can’t even find. Along with some useless baseball items so rando that their origin and purchase are a total mystery. But a keychain I can always find! And will always be practical! Until Mrs. James changes the locks! Which I’m sure my staying up late writing 500 words about a keychain doesn’t help my cause for!

I mean, I don’t have pieces of buildings I used to live in, love in, drink in, laugh in, fight in, all more important memories than enjoying baseball and wanting some dumb keepsake of it. What would you take from an apartment, anyways? Carpet cuttings, I suppose.

Whatever! As usual, if anyone wants to share photos/stories of their own baseball items, the address is on my profile page. (I keep getting spam to Mr. Twins or Mr. Brewer whenever I list the email in these intros.) But, you’re almost out of time. And we’re going to have a contest pretty soon! Probably!

Today's Lineups

Luis Arraez - 3B Brandon Lowe - 2B
Byron Buxton - CF Joey Wendle G - 3B
Jorge Polanco - 2B Nelson Cruz - DH
Josh Donaldson - DH Austin Meadows - LF
Max Kepler - RF Randy Arozarena - RF
Miguel Sano - 1B Kevin Kiermaier - CF
Nick Gordon - LF Yandy Diaz - 1B
Ryan Jeffers - C Francisco Mejia - C
Andrelton Simmons - SS Taylor Walls - SS
Randy Dobnak - RHP Michael Wacha - RHP

Whistle as the wind blows!