The best baseball team in town. Don’t take this the wrong way, but have fun.
The New York Yankees have the best baseball record. They took more kicks at home and allowed fewer kicks to take than any other team. They allowed the fewest runs on their land and set up opponents with the lowest hitting rate — .210, a number that evokes memories of Koufax and Drysdale.
The starting bowlers scheduled against the Twins this week are Jameson Tellon (6-1, 2.30 ERA), Nestor Curtis “The Tormentor” (5-1, 1.50) and Gerrit Cole (5-1, 2.78). Curtis has baseball’s best ERA, baseball player Aaron Judge leads the majors in races at home, and if the season ends today, he could potentially be the most valuable player in Major League Soccer.
If the season ended today, it would be a shame, because if you lived in Minnesota, baseball wouldn’t be much better than this in June.
The Yankees bring the story lines along with all that talent, as former twins Josh Donaldson will face ex-Yankees Yankees Gary Sanchez and Jio Orchila, as Donaldson will likely say something everyone will regret.
The Yankees are once again able to remind the people of Minnesota of the twins’ continued inability to make themselves suitable competitors. Don’t tell Twins fans that their post-season tormentors have only won a similar number of World Series in the past 21 years as the Florida Marlins and the Kansas City Royals.
The Yankees are good enough to dominate this three-game series and strike existential terror in fans of the Twins, who must swallow their fear nonetheless.
The twins are good, too – good enough three days from now, when the Yankees are gone, they’ll remain number one at AL Central, with a chance for a deeply marked roster to regain their health.
After a winter filled with labor fears and a third season filled with injury and illness, two top-ranked teams will play on one of America’s best football stadiums, and the underdogs have a lot to offer.
Despite the Yankees’ quality, they have no one to run or work in fields like Byron Buxton, who came out of one of the worst downturns of his career.
Carlos Correa, one of the game’s best short breaks, should return from the COVID roster during the series.
And America’s largest television market will be presented to the new and improved Louis Ariz, one of the funniest and most skilled players in baseball.
Entering Monday’s games, Aris topped the top teams in batting, with an average of 0.358. On Sunday, he went 4 for 4 for a walk to help the Twins win a series in Toronto against the good Blue Jays.
Buxton is the most talented and important player of the twins, Korea the most accomplished player, and Royce Lewis the most promising player. Jhoan Duran could become the most dominant loyalist in franchise history.
Araz is the soul of this team.
Signed up to a $40,000 signing bonus as a free international agent from Venezuela, Arraez became more than just a deal. The epoxy player of the Twins has become, ready to play any position and capable of turning any at-bat game into an emotionally charged miniseries.
He shakes his head after knocking pitches out of the strike zone, bouncing after loose balls, spraying thrust lines and somehow extracting memories of both Pete Rose and Tony Gwynn, or, if you’re attached to Minnesota nostalgia, Rod Carew.
Arraez leads average players in twins in average, hits, base percentage and brilliance, and his approach might give him the best chance of any twin for a battle against Yankees pitchers.
In his fourth season, he had a career run of 320 hitters, noticeably less graceful than he was last year. If he finished his career running .320, he would be ranked fifth in Twins-Senators history in that category, behind Carew (.334), Heinie Manush (.328), Goose Goslin (.323) and Sam Rice (.323).
If the Yankees are Goliaths, then Ares is the Slingshot of the Twins.
Watching him against the best pitcher in baseball, as an ominous gray road costume invades the target field?
That’s as good as a June baseball game in Minnesota.