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Game 66: Twins at Diamondbacks

We're going late, for TwinkieTown After Dark time! Encouraging you to look at pictures of Johnson’s.

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37th Annual Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race - Day 1
Pay no attention to the giant human behind the camera.
Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

Time: 8:40 Central

Weather: Metal/concrete sky, first pitch 78° (100° outside the roof)

Opponent’s SB site: AZ Snake Pit

TV: BSN. Radio: On 102.9 watch the song ID listing whatever tunes would be picked by Audacy

32-year-old lefty Madison Bumgarner, whose current MLB.com profile pic looks like “world’s saddest hillbilly,” had a rough 2020 (who didn’t?), the first season of a five-year contract in Arizona. He bounced back to OK last year, and is doing quite well so far in 2022, relying more heavily than ever on a 87ish-MPH slider/cutter (or, “slitter,” which is about the least offensive mashup of those two words). YTD digits:

Note that FIP thinks both Bumgarner and my guy Devin Smeltzer are due for some serious regression. I mean, yeah, probably, but I choose to enjoy nice things until they inevitably go bad.

It appears that Bumgarner is also something of a fairly talented rodeo guy. Well, Arizona is the Southwest. He’s originally from Hickory, North Carolina, as is the songster Tori Amos. (Her family was passing through the area.)

Another player with a non-golf/fishing outside hobby is Randy Johnson — not the Twins’ one. No, the very tall, initially very wild lefthander who was stupidly traded away by Montreal at age 25. In 2015, radio station WTOP did this article about Johnson’s interest in photography; he’d picked up the hobby in high school and was a staff photographer on USC’s Daily Trojan newspaper (hey, I worked there for a bit, too, years later!)

Johnson has a photography website, rj51photos.com, where you can see samples of his work. And they’re pretty good! They’re divided into three categories, wildlife, travel (my favorites) and concerts (Johnson’s favorites). Here’s a concert one from a 2020 Grunge article about Johnson’s hobby:

Anthrax is the most Randy Johnson band you’d expect Randy Johnson to love.

(Yes, the logo on his site is the dead bird. The Grunge piece also linked to this fun survey of bird scientists on that incident. Johnson is fairly nonchalant about the whole thing.)

What’s obvious from this and the gallery is that Johnson has a solid eye for composition. I’ve known amateur photographers who are dedicated to the craft, experts at the technical aspects of photography, and their pictures just don’t “look” interesting. I suspect that an eye for composition is something that can’t, really, be taught — you either have it or you don’t. (Violent filmmaker Quentin Tarantino has it; so does the minimalist film genius Kelly Reichardt, whose work Tarantino hates.)

Is Johnson still at it, professionally? I dunno (he’s previously had pictures published in Rolling Stone). One would need an Instagram account to find out, and my attempt to sign up for one just made me wish I hadn’t bothered (as with my one attempt at Twitter, ages ago). Given Johnson’s interest in travel photography, he’d be a terrific photojournalist — any writer venturing to some of the world’s most strife-afflicted regions would be thrilled to have a mean-looking seven-footer in tow.

In any case, cool on Johnson for not just having an atypical athlete hobby, but being pretty skilled at it to boot. And I’ll always love how he won Game 6 in 2001, then got the save in Game 7.

BTW, those of you who notice the names on our game photos here may remember that several of the most memorable came from Getty photographer Hannah Foslein, who isn’t covering the Twins anymore; she’s working as part of the White House Photo Office. You can check out some samples on her website if you like; here’s the Twins one I enjoyed most.

Getty Images

Here’s a touching short article she wrote in 2012 about her father’s death; how she learned to love sports, and the Twins, because of him.

Finally, as we prepare for what’s going to be an unseasonably hot June stretch in Minnesota, spare a thought for the city with America’s most heat-related deaths, annually: yep, it’s Phoenix. Tonight’s game will be air-conditioned, though, via a system that uses enough juice to cool 2500 homes. Seems kinda wasteful, doesn’t it? Almost like irrigating golf courses in a permanently arid region...

Today's Lineups

TWINSAFTERDARK DIAMONDBACKS
58008 Buxton* - DH Carson Kelly - C
Carnal Correa - SS Josh Rojas - 3B
Urges Urshela - 3B Jordan Luplow - LF
Saliva Sanchez - C Christian Walker - 1B
Areola Arraez - 2B Daulton Varsho - RF
Musky Miranda - 1B Buddy Kennedy - DH
Kegel Kepler - RF Alek Thomas - CF
Cuddly Celestino - CF Jake Hager - 2B
Lusty Larnach - LF Geraldo Perdomo - SS
Sexy Smeltzer - LHP M. Bumgarner - LHP

(* — Used upside-down on calculators by 12-year-old boys back in the day to great mirthful effect.)

Jorge Polanco was put on the IL today, retroactive to June 13, and Alex Kirilloff was called up to replace him. Are you HAPPY NOW, Kirilloff fans?