I’m currently re-reading Stephen King’s novel 11/22/63. It remains one of my favorite tomes. If you haven’t had the pleasure, the book tells the tale of Jake Epping—a high school English teacher—who stumbles upon a time portal to 1958 in the pantry of his friend’s restaurant (classic King!). Once the awe of such a discovery abates, a plan is created to remove one Lee Harvey Oswald from the history books—thus ensuring the survival of President John F. Kennedy on that fateful day in Dallas and presumably putting the world on a better course.
This got me thinking about what I’d undo to put the 2022 Minnesota Twins on a more pleasing path. Here are my top candidates, should I stumble into Al’s Diner anytime soon...
- Surreptitiously destroy The Falvine’s (TM) phones so they cannot pull the trigger on the Taylor Rogers-for-Emilio Pagan & Chris Paddack deal. Even as poorly as Rogers has pitched this year (54.2 IP, 81 ERA+), keeping Pagan off the roster may have been an “addition” alone.
- In the same vein, maybe it would be easier to simply shanghai Pagan right before his epic meltdown torpedoed that late-June series with Guardians.
- Nervously monitor Joe Ryan’s close contacts so he doesn’t get COVID-19 in May. Before his convalescence, Ryan looked like a bona fide ace. After? Solid—but maybe not spectacular.
- Head back to 1919 and finance Harry Frazee’s play No No Nanette. As such, the producer has no reason to sell young George Herman Ruth from his side-gig (owner of the Boston Red Sox) and the Yankees never develop into a team that curses the Twins.
- Similarly, go to late-2019 or early-2020 and raise enough of a ruckus that Commissioner Rob Manfred is forced to disband the cheating Houston Astros—meaning the Twins likely beat them at least once in ‘22.
- Weasel one’s way onto the Twins’ training staff to make sure Tyler Mahle gets enough shoulder rubs, ice packs, or physical therapy to thwart his “dead arm” before it begins.
None of those paths would be easy, as a common theme in 11/22/63 is that “the past is obdurate”—it doesn’t want to be changed. Every time Jake tries to shift a big historical event, the universe pushes back with any number of obstacles (flat tires, health issues, etc.) to keep the main timeline intact.
Let’s put it to a vote...
What do you change in ‘22?
This poll is closed
Hold onto Rogers
Kidnap Pagan pre-Cleveland
Break up the Astros
Keep Mahle healthy
Other (comment below!)