If your’re partial to JumboTrons, you can watch every Twins away game this series at Target Field for free! They do ask that you electronically claim your seats first; here’s the link. I assume they want a rough idea of how many people are coming, so they know how many ushers/concessions workers to staff. (Food and beverages are not free, although if Joe Mauer’s there, he might have a few tabs of acid to spare.) And, you can bring your new playoff shirts!
Remember those wicked cool Grateful Dead/Twins-themed shirts that Joe Ryan helped design a while back? Well, he might score some points with his boss if he did a Phish variety, because it turns out Rocco is a monster Phish maniac. He’s even suggested Phish as theme music for various Twins players, who politely declined, so the Target Field music director uses some Phish during games instead. Baldelli’s also into Greensky Bluegrass and is friends with a bandmember. Hey, Rocco, ever hear of a little act called Trampled By Turtles? Try ‘em, you might enjoy…
Not too long ago, rocker Joan Jett (she spent part of her childhood in Maryland) joined the Orioles booth. And demonstrated the correct grip for throwing a screwball. Incidentally, her birth name was Joan Larkin, but she changed it because she thought Joan Jett was more rock star. She was right. She’s so cool.
Brian Grubb at Uproxx has this amusing article on how the Phillies might win it all, which involves a leadoff hitter who fits the Joey Gallo profile and a fan with a real live alligator. Now you might hate the Phillies, which would anger my dead dad’s ghost because he loved them, but it’s a fun article. And go ahead and anger my dad’s ghost, he was a jerk.
Miami’s already out of the playoffs, but here’s a quick reminder of why Arráez will always be one of the more loveable guys in baseball.
And while Diamondbacks youngster Jacob Steinmetz is currently a ways aways from the big leagues, he’s already an interesting guy as the first Orthodox Jew ever drafted by a MLB team. This fascinating Zach Buchanan article is about what the team is doing to accommodate Steinmetz’s religious beliefs, and how he’s trying to mesh those beliefs with baseball. For example: he’ll play on the Sabbath, but he won’t take motorized transport; he’ll walk from the hotel.
Around the mothership, we have Dan Secatore at Over The Monster being furious at Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto for saying that the goal of teams is not to spend money and win a championship, but save money and try to sneak into a ridiculously expanded postseason. He’s since said that’s not exactly what he meant (in this article with a very douchy-looking photo), but Secatore’s right. That’s the whole point of the expanded playoffs, to make getting in less expensive and more lucrative.
stlcardsfan4 at Viva El Birdos (natch) has a look at which starting pitchers will be available as free agents this year: Part 1 / Part 2. Since both Gray and Maeda’s contracts are up, the Twins will be signing a few starters of their own. stlcardsfan4 doesn’t want the Cards to sign either (or ex-Twin Martin Pérez), but thinks Kyle Gibson should be a maybe. I’m not sure I agree (except on Pérez), but it’s an interesting list to think about.
Ken Schultz at the always-wonderful Outsports has this winning salute to retiring pitcher Sean Dolittle, a longtime friend of the LGBTQ community. In 2015, when Dolittle was on the A’s, the team had their first Pride Night, and some bullheaded A’s fans got cranky and said they’d sell their tickets. (It’s the Bay Area, folks! If you disapprove, move to Boise!) So Dolittle and his then-girlfriend (now wife) Eireann Dolan said, fine! We’ll buy the tickets of anyone offended by Pride Night, and give the tickets to a community center for LGTB youth (that fun story’s worth reading in full).
Besides loving Dolittle for his outspoken support, Schultz describes other ways in which he’s just a fun guy, a “nerdcore closer.” And now I pretty much love the guy, too. Somebody at ESPN should hire this guy for game coverage! (And maybe replace this other guy.)
Finally, non-baseball, but sports-ish. Actor, woodworker, and author Nick Offerman has been vacationing with his Illinois family to the same Minnesota lake for years, where he now tries to hit his brother with fish. It’s a sweet family story, and Offerman’s a funny writer. We were recently listening to the book he wrote with his wife Megan Mullally, about their relationship, and in the introduction they completely go off the text and are delightfully, romantically R-rated. (Well, they have been in an informative sex ed video.)
Well that’s all I got for now! Maybe I’ll see you for next Friday’s Game 5, but who are we kidding? The Twins won’t need more than three! (One way or the other.)