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Game 154: Angels at Twins

The Twins will try to lock down the AL Central against an ailing Angels team.

Feds investigating Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu over Angel Stadium sale
Yeah, this guy’s going to jail.
Photo by Kevin Sullivan/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Time: 7:10 Central

Weather: Tiny chance of sprinkles, start temp 73°

Opponent’s SB site is dead, a good indie one is Crashing The Pearly Gates

TV: BSNorth. Radio: Is there anybody alive out there

MLB team record for strikeouts: 1596. Twins’ current pace: 1669

Pablo López is currently #11 all-time on the Twins’ single-season strikeout list, with 221. Right above him is Blylevn in 1971, with 224. The top nine spots are four by Santana, four by Bert, and one in 1968 by Dean Chance, with 234.

López should have one more start next week, so my guess is he’s got a good chance to beat Chance. Franchise-wise, the top spot is Walter Johnson, with 313 in 1910. In 370 innings.

(Anaheim will be starting rookie Davis Daniel, who struck out lots of people in the minors. I don't care, and neither do you. More interestingly, marginal 1990s country music figure Davis Daniel is really named Robert Andrykowski. Which, IMO, is an AWESOME country music name.)

So, hey, what’s up with the Angels these days?

Well, the former mayor of Anaheim is going to jail over his corrupt role in the new Angels stadium that isn’t. Because the deal broke state and city law, and oh yeah, he got bribed to do it. There’s also weird tax evasion involving his illegal registration of a helicopter.

Meanwhile, superstar Shohei Ohtani is done for the season, and pretty much immediately cleaned out his locker. As you know, his contract is up at the end of the year. While Mike Trout, under contract through 2030, has averaged 69 games the last three seasons (Byron Buxton has averaged 64). Trout’s played in 82 games this year, and is currently on the IL.

Also, owner Arte Moreno is saving money by not paying for the radio broadcasters to travel with the team. If only he had a new stadium...

The situation is so yucky in Anaheim, it’d be understandable if any readers mistook this The Onion article for the real thing.

So let’s head on up I-5 for some stuff… that's not about the 2023 Dodgers. But Dodgers-related. Hey, if the Angels can say they're in Los Angeles, I can write about Los Angeles. And I read these recently, so here ya go.

In July, the LA Times launched De Los, a site devoted to Latino stories. And they published this article about Zoilo Versalles and Tony Oliva. I hadn’t known much about Versalles’s last sad years, so that steered me to Wiki. And Wiki mentioned the Minnesota Goofy’s. A slow-pitch softball league Versalles played for in 1977; here’s a barebones site about that team.

Maybe because the Royals are bad, the Kansas City Star ran this memory of when Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda went nuts on the Phillie Phanatic. It’s not an act; Lasorda wails on the thing. There’s video. It was 35 years ago, so, an anniversary, I guess.

Going back MUCH further, to the Brooklyn days, here’s an Old-Timey Baseball Death worthy of Tawny. It’s a SABR article about Len Koenecke, who was cut by the Dodgers in 1935... and took out his frustration by trying to hijack a plane. There was alcohol involved (in Koenecke) and a savage beating (of Koenecke, by the pilot). The post is by Bill Lamb, who’s done hundreds of player biographies for SABR; he covers Koenecke’s life and career, not just his violent death. (Koenecke was born in Baraboo, WI, so maybe that explains some things.)

And sadly, there’s this tragic story about a man whose wife of 59 years was killed at Dodger Stadium by a foul ball in 2018. They were diehard fans who never left a game early, they weren’t being distracted by phones. It was because the netting wasn’t high enough. The Dodgers have since extended it, but in the meantime gave the total cold shoulder to the grieving husband. (Oddly, the only other fan to be killed by a foul ball was also at Dodger Stadium, in 1970.)

Wait, that’s too sad, we can’t end there… so here’s a fun thing about Cory Lewis, the Twins minor-league pitcher who throws a knuckleball. He taught it to himself, and his coaches can’t help him, because none of them know how to throw it. He’s got a 2.49 ERA this season, and TwinsDaily has some game footage of him here, but let’s watch this instead:

As a film buff, I appreciate the black and white. Coaching-wise... anybody know if Tim Wakefield is busy?