FIRST PITCH: 3:10 PM CDT
TV: Bally Sports North / ~ / Radio: TIBN
I didn’t realize the Rays were such a big rival, but then I saw that they ran an article promoting a podcast episode where they determine whether or not The Rookie is a “snooze-fest.”
Now, it’s true that Dennis Quaid’s 2002 entry into the baseball movie canon has only ever been consumed on ION television, in between doses of the low-level REM of a 3:30 nap, but that doesn’t make it a snooze-fest, it makes it an integral puzzle piece of cinematic dadcore.
If you haven’t seen it, The Rookie is based on real-life major-league pitcher Jim Morris, whose minor-league career was stunted by constant injuries, rendering him unable to progress beyond Single-A ball. A decade later, Morris — now a high school physical science teacher/baseball coach — made a promise to his students that, should they win the District Championship, he would attend the open tryouts for the recently-expanded Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
It’s home to one of my favorite scenes in a baseball movie, where Morris — struggling with the vulnerability of feeling hope again, years after moving on from his dream — pulls over on an evening drive to throw a baseball past a roadside radar gun.
At the age of 35, Morris earned not just a minor-league contract, but a September call-up in 1999 after a successful stint with the Triple-A Durham Bulls. He struck out Royce Clayton of Texas, the first hitter he faced in the majors. He put up a 4.80 ERA (107 ERA+, given the era) and recorded 13 strikeouts in 15 big-league innings between 1999-2000.
(As is the case in most thought-out dramatic storytelling, the given circumstances — in this case, Morris’ baseball journey — are largely a vehicle through which to get to the relational heart of the piece, which in The Rookie has to do with Morris’ family, and in particular a strained paternal dynamic.)
It reminds us of the important things in life, like how Chicago could be in last place by the end of the day:
Or, more topically, how we have our own rookie joining the team...albeit a more appropriately-aged one.
Bailey Ober is going to the 10-day IL as expected with a right groin strain, and the #MNTwins are giving RHP Cole Sands his first MLB call-up.— Do-Hyoung Park (@dohyoungpark) April 30, 2022
Sands is the No. 17 prospect in the organization per @MLBPipeline.
Or, perhaps it ties in best with yesterday’s conclusion to the winning streak, a brief run of success that ends at seven games. We all know you can’t win ‘em all, but when you’re in a stretch like that, it sure feels you can.
Maybe the lesson here is exactly that, even if your own career hasn’t been derailed by arm surgeries; no matter how childish it may seem, and no matter how much cynicism and age seem to go hand in hand, there’s never anything wrong with unbridled hope.
Byron Buxton has been scratched from today's #MNTwins lineup as a precaution for the right hand contusion he sustained yesterday when he was hit by a pitch. He's available off the bench.— Do-Hyoung Park (@dohyoungpark) April 30, 2022
Gilberto Celestino will play center.