Target Field saw its first baseball action of the season this week, as players began reporting for a delayed spring training. Excitement soon turned to chaos as a rogue alligator “gave a good old Everglades chomping” to numerous players, staff, and journalists.
“The team wanted it to feel as much like a Florida spring training environment as possible,” said Larry Thurman, VP of Community Engagement for Orlando’s Wilderness Safari and Topless Frozen Yogurt Bar. “We sent up a couple gators to give it a real Sunshine State feel. I guess Earl got a bit peckish.”
Earl was one of two gators loosed in the Twins clubhouse on Wednesday, where he terrorized and/or gnawed on multiple players and team officials.
“(Max) Kepler came tearing through the clubhouse yelling about the green bear and I was very confused,” said Twins manager Rocco Baldelli. “Turns out Glen (Perkins, retired Twins pitcher and south metro handyman) told him that’s what alligators were when Max got here from Germany and no one corrected him. Anyway, that’s when I saw Earl going to town on a couple advance scouts and I got out of there.”
Minneapolis Animal Control sedated the alligator, and team officials say that while there are multiple injuries and “extensive” gouging, there were no fatalities. Reports that Dan Gladden attempted to ride the gator like a motorcycle and compared it unfavorably to Steve Lombardozzi are unconfirmed at this time.
The other alligator, Eugene, appeared to tire quickly and settled in for a nap on top of The Athletic’s Aaron Gleeman. Officials say both the gator and Gleeman appear to be sleeping soundly and there are no plans to disturb them.
A team spokesperson said the workouts at St. Paul’s CHS Field will go on as scheduled this weekend but with less immediately hazardous Florida effects. Sprawling retirement villages, championship golf courses that wipe out native wetlands, and extensive insurance fraud are all expected to take over the capital city's Lowertown neighborhood beginning Friday afternoon.