Throwing an Elbow Minnesota Style

I really thought this time would be different. I thought that I was past caring about how the Twins fared in individual games. I thought that by serenely ignoring the ominous pinstriped cloud heading for Minneapolis, I could stay zen and ambivalent about this whole series.

I was wrong.

After enjoying a nice walk in the early evening we turned on the game just in time to see Nick Swisher hit a three run homer. In seconds, I was calling Swisher more than a few profane names. When Andruw Jones blasted one out deep to left, I turned off the TV before the ball was over the fence. A half-hour later I turned the game back on, and while the little piranhas built a rally for two runs to cut into the Yankee lead, I was far madder about CC Sabathia's petulant tantrum after giving up those runs, than I was happy about the runs themselves.

I shouldn't let the Yankees get to me, but I can't help myself. They turn up, bludgeon the Twins, and leave me feeling worse than an armadillo after getting run over by a semi-truck. It feels like they expect to win, and worse, it feels like the Twins almost expect to lose. We let the Yankees play their game while we play in a fog, just waiting for an umpire's call or flukey hop to justify another loss.

I try not to say what I think the Twins should do--I couldn't hit in Little League, I've never coached and I don't have the experience or information of front office brass, so I trust that baseball pros know more than I do--but last night, just like last May, and last October I found myself wishing that the Twins would follow my advice and do one thing: Throw an Elbow.

There's an apocryphal story that legendary Center Bill Russell never wanted to play dirty and was getting hammered by opponents in the post. After throwing one elbow, in one game, and he stopped getting hassled by the opposition. I can't help but wish that the Twins would do that tonight, start pitching inside to every Yankee batter, knock Texiera on his butt, and be ready to brawl if need be. But that won't happen, we haven't had a real fight with another team since 2003, and it's actually kind of cool to see that the Minnesota Twins, are Minnesota Nice. But that doesn't need to stop us from from throwing an elbow in our own uniquely Minnesotan way: passive-aggressively.

So let's try this: let's have Kevin Slowey quick pitch the Yankees to death. If they get to first base, Morneau can give them the cold shoulder, no chit chat, no banter, just hockey foe death stares. If they get to second Nishioka and Hughes can talk to eachother and pretend that the Yankee isn't there at all. And if they get to third, we'll have a horde of pretty Minnesotan girls squealing when Danny V smiles and offering to give him their phone numbers while telling Jeter and company to get out of the way so they can see Danny more clearly. Then, win or lose after the game, invite everyone in the stadium for a potluck with the team and "oh...yeah...I guess the Yankees could come...but we might not have enough and...we bet they're probably tired still, so...I'm sure they'll understand".

There's my passive-aggressive plan, if you have any other suggestions please leave them in the comments below. The bottom line is that one way or another, we've got to do something differently. Once we do that, once we get a little swagger back and let the Yankees know that win or lose we're going to make their lives difficult every single game, then maybe we won't play like we expect to lose. And we can always remember that when we're in trouble we can just throw an elbow...Minnesota style.

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