Start time: 6:10 Central
Weather: Calm and dry, party cloudy, start temp 62°
Opponent’s excellent SB site: Bless You Boys
TV: BSN. Radio: Always the thing about baseball I miss most in winter
28-year-old lefty Tyler Alexander made his MLB debut in 2019, so yup, when Gardy was still managing the Tigers. He’s a Texas guy, and Gardy is from Oklahoma, so maybe they bonded over cases of Lone Stars, who knows. Something of a sixth starter/long reliever, Alexander’s started a higher percentage of games than ever before, and his strikeout rates have plummeted. 2022 digits:
His Twins counterpart, Joe Ryan, looks slotted in for the season’s last game on Wednesday, and was the Opening Day starter as well. Somehow, that just feels right.
The building you see up at the top here is across the street from US Bank Stadium, or whatever that hideous Cylon Embassy is called. It used to have a little store named “Dome Souvenirs Plus.”
Dome Souvenirs Plus, if I remember correctly, wasn’t much of a store. It smelled a bit musty, and sold the kind of stuff you’d see at TwinsFest, back when that was in the Dome. Lots of baseball cards, some programs, bobbleheads, signed items, etc. Stuff you might be given when a relative dies and you get their box of sports collectibles that were packed up in the attic when they left for the nursing home.
(I have a yearbook from the Dome’s first season I bought at that store, and I keep meaning to post some pictures from it once I figure out how to make that not look awful.)
So the store wasn’t much. But it was part of the Dome experience. Like GameDay vendors, scalpers, and beers at Hubert’s. None of these things were fancy, yet each had their charms.
Dome Souvenirs Plus didn’t survive for long after the Twins moved to Target Field — I believe it hung around for the subsequent Vikings season, then moved to a suburban location, where it died.
In passing by that spot recently, I noticed that the buildings are going to make way for an expansion of Red Lake Nation College. This is a Minneapolis campus of the same college that serves the Ojibwe community in Northern Minnesota; Ojibwe and other indigenous familes also have a long history in Minneapolis.
A very good use for those buildings. Sometimes, change is for the better.
I mention this because, as always at the end of a season, I’ve got Feelings about another year done and what the next season might bring.
This has been eight seasons for me as a staff writer, and I think it’d be fun to do a full 10.
It’s not as easy as that, naturally. There’s the amount of game intro writing time, which isn’t tiny. I love intros, yet they can sometimes take quite a while to do. And with Mrs. James having experienced a life-changing stroke, our time together is more valuable than ever. I’m going to be 50 soon. How much of that time do we have left?
And then also, as most of you know, SB Nation has been shuttering several of its less-profitable sites... TwinkieTown is not one of the biggies.
While Ben remains committed to keeping this site together, if he can, several writers have discussed trying something independent if TwinkieTown dies. Naturally they’d all like to keep the commenting community (and rights to some wire service photos, although that’s tricky!)
Could it work? Maybe. Could it be better? Sometimes changes are better. I’ve also written for independent sites that had hopeful beginnings, but just... died. That happens, too.
In any case, if this is my last season, for whatever reason (every siterunner could probably share stories about my weird rambling late-night emails, and I’m sure they’ve all considered telling me to Please Go Away), I’m going to give my Oscar-style “thank you” speech here. (Don’t worry, it’s short.)
It’s to you readers. That’s it. The writers and siterunners know how much I’ve appreciated them.
I hope you readers know how much I’ve appreciated you too.
That’s what we do this for. Maybe not all, maybe some dream of turning this gig into a more prestigious one, and maybe some have. I was never under the delusion of this happening with me.
No. I liked you folks. I’ve liked your compliments, DUH! But also your witty criticisms of what I got wrong or left out.
I’ve also appreciated the readers who were raised to believe “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” It’s how I was raised, too. But we all know that sometimes the internet tempts us to behave otherwise.
In any case, while SB Nation wishes this site had more readers (and more readers who repost links on Facebarf or Twithead), I prefer quality to quantity.
You folks have been the best readers I could possibly have ever wanted.
(Until I drink Stephen King’s blood and figure out how to be as talented/successful as he is!)
If TwinkieTown isn’t shut down, I’ll be seeing y’all in the offseason, reading what you type and typing some things myself.
But if it is, and we don’t run into each other again...
EXCEPT FOR JOEL DAMN HIM
|Jose Miranda - 1B||Akil Baddoo - LF|
|Carlos Correa - SS||Riley Greene - CF|
|Gio Urshela - 3B||Javier Baez - SS|
|Gary Sanchez - DH||Harold Castro - 3B|
|Ryan Jeffers - C||Miguel Cabrera - DH|
|Gilberto Celestino - CF||Spencer Torkelson - 1B|
|Jake Cave - LF||Victor Reyes - RF|
|Jermaine Palacios - 2B||Jonathan Schoop - 2B|
|Mark Contreras - RF||Tucker Barnhart - C|
|Joe Ryan - RHP||Tyler Alexander - LHP|