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Game Thread Twins vs Evil Empire June 9, 2021 7:10 CDT In A Galaxy Way Too Close To Home


SPITSBERGEN - Baseball Style





I had this buddy growing up; we called him LB, though it wasn’t his real name. He became LB when a high school nun who made a habit (chuckle) of misremembering names called him “Little Boy” because he was only five and a half feet tall. We teased him about it of course, but out of the kindness of our hearts we eventually cut Little Boy down to LB and he was thus christened from there on ever after.

Me and LB were a Mutt and Jeff team. I hit six feet in junior high while LB labored to reach 5’4”. We took a lot of kidding about the discrepancy in our heights, but LB had a bigger heart than I did, so I overlooked his shortcomings. As he did mine.

We played on the same city league baseball team. I played short and batted clean-up and LB was our everyday third baseman, our second pitcher in our two-man rotation and our back-up catcher. He was also our unanimous pick for team captain, partly because he knew more about baseball than the rest of the team put together but mostly because he had this small gap between his front teeth and he could spit better than any of us.

Thhht! And a stream of spit would come flying out between those front teeth to land unerringly on the chosen target. If LB was playing third, thhht, he’d spit on third base, unless there was a base-runner. Then he’d spit on the runner’s shoes.  If he was catching, thhht, the batter’s shoes would get it.

When he was pitching it was a risky proposition for us infielders to conference on the mound.

“LB, we got a slow guy on first and this next batter is a dribbler. Keep it low and let’s go for the double-play.”
Thhht! Shoe toe - direct hit.
“Dammit, LB!”
Thhht! Knee cap.

LB was no Gaylord Perry, but he did have a peculiar nasty curveball for our level of play. Fortunately our umpires, whichever adult happen to walk by when the game started, never thought to check the ball for foreign substances.




Me, I tried spitting, but didn’t have a talent for it. What didn’t dribble down my chin wound up on my shirt front. If we’d been old enough to chaw tobaccy my uniform would have looked like it’d seen service in a porta-potty.

Twisty, another buddy who often hung around with me and LB, was our first baseman and our team’s second-best spitter, but he had to be armed with sunflower seeds or he went dry. His cheeks loaded, Twisty could bury the first base area in sunflower shells by game’s end. Thuugh! And a pair of split shells would be ejected, tumbling aimlessly into the dirt.

When LB was on the mound and Twisty at first us infielders were treated to a spitting concerto. Thhht! Thuugh! Thhth! Thuugh! Thhth! Thhth! Thuugh!

Twisty kept a pack of sunflower seeds in his back pocket and would reload between pitches. He had it timed out perfectly. LB would toe the rubber, spit twice, check the sign, spit twice again, then go into his wind-up. But right in the middle of one game LB decided not to spit and went straight into his wind-up instead. The abrupt change of pattern threw off Twisty’s timing. The first baseman still had his glove tucked under one arm and was in the process of pouring a fresh batch of seeds down the hatch when the batter laced a hot grounder to short. I scooped it up on a short hop and accurately, which was usually about a 70-30 proposition for me, flamed the ball right into Twisty’s glove, which as mentioned, was not on his hand but rather tucked up under one elbow. The glove flew in the air, the ball flew down the baseline, the sunflower seeds flew to the ground and the runner flew down to second base, then third base as Twisty tripped over his glove and finally home while Twisty, back on his feet, chased the ball down the right field line. Probably the only time in history a guy scored an inside-the-infield homerun on account of a missed spit and a perfect throw into a bag of sunflower seeds.

So why do I bother to relate this story? Well, because we’re playing the Evil Empire who always seem to find some ungodly way of embarrassing the Twins. Or maybe its the Twins who always find some ungodly way to embarrass themselves when playing the much-despised Yankees; misjudged fly balls, stumbling base-runners, cut-off throws that are either missed or thrown into the stands, horrendous fielding errors, wild flailing strikeouts with loaded bases, etc. etc.


My advice to the Twins; just try not to embarrass yourselves. We’ve all had enough of this losing thhht!

Purely coincidentally, the Yankees are sending Gerrit Cole  to the mound today just after “Ribs” Donaldson squawked about modern day pitchers he claimed were loading up the ball, Cole being on such pitcher. Should be interesting if the two face each other tonight.

Pitching Matchup

Twins:  Keep Your Dobnak Up  1-5  6.17 ERA  22K

Yankees:  “Gooberball” Cole 6-3  2.26 ERA  104K



To be posted later by an erstwhile reader after Rocco finishes comparing his spreadsheets to the results him and Falvey get from asking the Ouija Ball.




D. LeMahieu1B 58-227 15 3 2 .256
A. JudgeRF 59-204 34 14 0 .289
G. TorresSS 52-189 23 3 4 .275
G. StantonDH 41-160 24 9 0 .256
G. Urshela3B 53-198 26 6 1 .268
R. Odor2B 21-114 13 5 0 .184
M. AndujarLF 22-89 6 4 0 .247
K. HigashiokaC 14-76 9 5 0 .184
B. GardnerCF 25-129 5 1 1 .194



J. Polanco2B 48-202 24 6 3 .238
J. Donaldson3B 41-163 22 7 0 .252
T. LarnachLF 20-77 8 3 0 .260
N. CruzDH 49-175 25 10 1 .280
R. JeffersC 12-54 7 2 0 .222
A. KirilloffRF 26-106 18 4 0 .245
M. Sano1B 25-153 28 11 0 .163
A. SimmonsSS 39-151 13 2 0 .258
G. CelestinoCF 0-12 0 0 0 .000
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SPITSBERGEN - Baseball Style       I had this buddy growing up; we called him LB, though it wasn’t his real name. He became LB when a high school nun who made a habit (chuckl

Holy cow... 11 hits, 5 HRs, 3 walks... and 0 strikeouts. It doesn't get much worse than that! Unless you're Matt Shoemaker.

That revamped slider tamed a couple of those dingers keeping them in the city limits. Otherwise they may have killed a few people in Duluth.

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5 minutes ago, wsnydes said:

Youtube might be more to your liking.  Videos of dogs getting kicked off of tables and pans upon pans of lasagna are all over the platform! 🤪

When I look at videos on TikTok, Snapchat, Youtube, etc., I am reminded of the "Ow My Balls!" segments from Idiocracy.  There is a remarkable amount of content of people wiping out, doing dumb things, wiping out while doing dumb things, doing dumb things with the purpose of wiping out while doing dumb things, etc.

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I hate the Yankees with every fiber of my being. As a MN sports fan of all MN teams there isn't a team that comes close in my hatred. The announcers, fans, and the baseball world for praising them champs every preseason.

And it continues with jerks like Michael Kay telling Gerrit Cole to break Donaldson's ribs. There's no place in the game for this trash and that includes Duffey throwing at Mercedes. Don't like the actions of another player? Show him up by beating him as a pitcher or hitter. Embarrassing that no one can take any criticisms. And yankees fans lap it up. The way they just think they every other team is so inferior because of their history and that anyone who doesn't want to play for them is a loser is ridiculous. 

I hope they never win another World Series and I've enjoyed every year since 2009 watching them not win. I hope the Twins break the curse someday, but that is not today.

At the very least let's show the MLB that Cole is human without his sticky crap.

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8 minutes ago, RickOShea said:

I wish Audra Martin would do all pre and post game interviews for Rocco.

I agree, Audra asks more in depth cutting edge questions than others do. Seems to cause Rocco to talk more freely about how he views the players, the season, and the future. Other interviewers seem to get the spreadsheet  Rocco 

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1 hour ago, wavedog said:

Sports Hernia for Garlick - from doing sportsy type stuff.   Maybe from swinging and missing yesterday.   Injury bug is touching everyone.     

For some reason this made me think of a trainer saying "Kyle, take this Garlick bobblehead and point to where the injury bug touched you".

And for what it's worth, I'm all for the Twins crushing optimism early on tonight instead of keeping up the ruse until late in the game...

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