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Game Thread Twins vs Orioles 5/24/2021 6:40 CDT

A Byrd In Hand

The Byrds. No, not the Birds, the Byrds, the folk-rock band of the ’60’s. You know, “Roger McQuinn had a 12-string guitar it was like nothing I’d ever heard.” - David Alan Coe lyrics from his song “Willie, Waylon and Me”.

I was always envious of Roger McQuinn of the Byrds. He could make a Rickenbacker 12-string guitar jingle-jangle while I had trouble plucking your basic 6-string. That’s how I wound up a bass man. Only had to pluck four strings. It was said I could play the bass by ear, but to be honest, I only ever used my fingers.

I had a buddy, our rhythm guitar player, who also liked to play bass and sometimes the two of us would get together to drink a little beer and try to create a two-bass riff. Usually, after a couple hours of intense “practice”, the basses were loaded. The runs often came later.

We both played in a garage band, that’s like Low A ball in the music world. We were just good enough to play cheap taverns for all the surreptitious beer we could drink, but occasionally we’d get real cash in payment; sometimes to stop playing. But there was one small town tavern that booked us every couple of months because we always packed the place. I often wondered if the semi-isolated town was that hard up for entertainment or if the local population was tone deaf. If so it could've been genetic. They kept calling each other “Cousin”.

One of the cousins, a dishwater blonde with chapped hands, had a thing for me. I once told her an off-color joke during one of our frequent intermissions and she wrinkled up her face in disgust and scornfully demanded “God! How low can you go?”

“Well, I am a bass man,” I told her. Needless to say I struck out.

“So what the hell does all this have to do with the Twins game?” you demand impatiently, suspecting the Dastard is about to throw you a curve ball.

“Patience, Grasshopper,” I reply in my best impression of a learned Shaolin monk. “A master weaver threads carefully.”

Or should that be “treads carefully”? You know, so you don’t tear the rice paper as you run away from irate dishwater blondes.

However I will graciously concede Roger McQuinn has nothing to do with today’s game or the Baltimore Orioles for that matter. But he does have something to do with Minnesota. You see the Byrds first hit was “Mr. Tambourine Man” which was composed by none other than Bob Dylan, a native Minnesotan who actually has musical talent.



Dylan, according to legend, began writing “Tambourine Man” while attending Mardi Gras and completed it during a cross-country trip from New Orleans to New York with friends. One of those friends, according to Dylan, was none other than the ubiquitous yet often inspiring Mary Jane.

Anyway, if you drive cross-country from New Orleans to New York City, you have to go through or around Baltimore. And if you’re into one of those wide-eyed driving-stupors that come on after too many hours behind the wheel, with or without Mary Jane, and get caught up in Baltimore rush-hour traffic you just might see a bird or two. Not a baseball player. Or Roger McQuinn. The middle finger kind. I know this from personal experience.

Which, circuitously brings us back to today’s game with the Orioles; aka in sports writer slang; The Birds. It seems John Means, today’s pitcher for the Birds, recently got the Flying Fickle Finger of Fate award for almost throwing a Perfect Game. Apparently Means did throw a Perfect Game, but since his catcher dropped a third strike pitch and the batter made it safely down to first, a runner did reach base and therefore technically Means threw a Perfect Game that can’t be scored as a Perfect Game. Talk about getting the middle finger. Just goes to show you that the end doesn’t always justify the Means.

I know, I went a long way to get that one in and lend this effort a somewhat tenuous connection to baseball, but in my own defense I would like to point out that I devilishly turned the phrase “basses were loaded” and also used such iconic baseball words as “Low A”, “struck out”, "runs" and “curve ball” while threading my way to this denouement.

I guess you could say I’ve been stringing you along.

Whatever, it's time for the Twins to stop stringing us along and turn this season around if they want to avoid getting "birded" by their fans.



Today's Duelists on the Mound


Orioles - John “What Does It” Means  4-0    ERA  1.70    K- 59

Twins - Matt “The Cobbler” Shoemaker   2-5    ERA  6.08    K - 25




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Speaking of the Byrds, my favorite folkie did an album of all Woody Guthrie songs, including "Turn, Turn, Turn." When introducing the song in concert, the folkie describes it as being "co-written with God," but always recounts asking Woody, "How do you handle the royalties?"

John McCutcheon's version, with The Steel Wheels: 



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Your basses joke made me think of a joke my dad used to tell--see below.


The Boston Symphony recently performed Beethoven's Ninth symphony which is a wonderful piece that has a part near the end in which the bass violins do nothing. So, the bassists snuck offstage, out the backdoor, and next door to the local pub for a drink.
After quickly gulping down a few stiff drinks, one of them checked his watch and said, 'Oh no, we only have 30 seconds to get back!'
Another bassist said, 'Don't worry, I tied the last page of the conductor's score down with string to give us a bit more time. We'll be fine.'
So, they staggered and stumbled back into the concert hall and took their places just as the conductor was busily working on the knot in the string so he could finish the symphony.
Someone in the audience asked his companion, 'What's going on? Is there a problem?'
His companion said, 'This is a critical point - it's the bottom of the Ninth, the score's tied, and the bassists are loaded!'

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11 minutes ago, MMMordabito said:

"You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" seems like an appropriate theme for this team.  

One of my top 3 favorite Dylan songs! (at the moment)

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Orioles Lineup

C. MullinsCF 52-177 12 6 5 .294
F. GalvisSS 36-137 17 6 1 .263
T. ManciniDH 49-175 41 10 0 .280
A. SantanderRF 17-69 10 3 0 .246
R. Mountcastle1B 36-161 20 4 3 .224
D. StewartLF 19-91 10 2 0 .209
M. Franco3B 33-166 23 4 0 .199
C. SiscoC 9-52 3 0 0 .173
S. Wilkerson2B 4-11 1 0 0 .364


Twins Lineup

K. GarlickRF 17-68 7 2 0 .250
J. Donaldson3B 28-116 18 5 0 .241
A. Kirilloff1B 12-55 14 4 0 .218
M. GarverC 21-100 14 7 0 .210
M. SanoDH 19-104 18 8 0 .183
R. RefsnyderCF 9-24 5 1 0 .375
T. LarnachLF 8-43 2 1 0 .186
A. SimmonsSS 26-113 12 2 0 .230
N. Gordon2B 1-2 0 0 2 .500



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11 minutes ago, AceWrigley said:

But why is Garlick leading off? Rocco!?!

Means giving up a 485 OPS against left-handed batters.

On the other hand, it’s 480 against righties...so..


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3 minutes ago, Dave The Dastardly said:

Which one?

2012 Liam Hendricks lines up well with the ERA/WHIP/lack of strikeouts. Also somewhat close to 2013 Vance Worley and PJ Walters.

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7 minutes ago, Dave The Dastardly said:

20 pitches to get out of the 1st inning. The Shoe's going to hit Rocco's Line In The Sand by the 4th inning.

Lasting 4 innings is a plus Shoemaker outing no matter what the pitch count.

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25 minutes ago, USAFChief said:

Chief, and Chief Jr Jr in the house.



Great photo on a nice night for a ball game so far!  Hope you remembered to get 40% off admission to a scheduled Shoemaker start with Promo Code BLOWOUT.

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5 minutes ago, USAFChief said:

Not if you're drunk.

I guess that I assumed someone of your experience would have managed to stay sober at least through the first inning!

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