Don't think twice: Twist of fate may save Twins

On desolation row, team may get shelter from contraction's storm

Sports Plus

November 18, 2001|By Andy Knobel | Andy Knobel,SUN STAFF

Dave Hoekstra of the Chicago Sun-Times has a plan to save the Minnesota Twins from Major League Baseball's plan to eliminate two teams. More specifically, a man for the plan: Bob Dylan.

How many years can a ballclub exist before it's washed to the sea? The answer may depend on a certain singer-songwriter from Minnesota pictured on the cover of a recent edition of Rolling Stone.

"Look closely, on the picture inside, he is reading a copy of Baseball Weekly," Hoekstra said. "He's a Gemini ... makes sense he would save the Minnesota Twins.

"He would rename his team tambourine men. I suppose they would wear leopard-skin pillbox hats. He would retool the farm system as Maggie's farm. He would build a stadium off Highway 61.

"His players could heckle opponents by saying they play just like a woman. Ensuing brawls or arguments with umpires would have the players tangled up in blue. Players on waivers would wonder if `I shall be released.' And home runs would be blowin' in the wind."

Of course, notes Sun-Times columnist Elliott Harris, should anyone approach Dylan about becoming the franchise's savior, expect him to declare: "It ain't me, babe."

There's too much confusion

Dylan once wrote a song about Hall of Famer Catfish Hunter ("Reggie Jackson at the plate, Seein' nothin' but the curve, Swing too early or too late, Got to eat what Catfish serve"), but the musical legend doesn't have many connections with the national pastime.

That didn't stop Seattle Mariners reliever Ryan Franklin from using the following phrase in Japanese star Ichiro Suzuki's English lessons: "Chillin' like Bob Dylan."

"Then," Franklin said, "I had to teach him who Bob Dylan is."

They can work it out

Norman Chad, in his column for America Online, says, "Over the last three years, the Mariners have lost Randy Johnson, Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez - and [finished with] the best record in baseball.

"This would be like the Beatles losing Paul, John and George - and then recording Can't Buy Me Love."

In need of light from above

Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, many sports teams have had singers perform God Bless America before and during games. It's a trend that Los Angeles Times columnist J.A. Adande would like to see ended before the song "gets mangled beyond all recognition."

At two games, he says, singers tripped when they got to, "Stand beside her, and guide her, through the night with a light from above." Even worse, R&B star Ginuwine used a new melody and sang, "From the mountains, to the prairies white with foam."

Says Adande: "Foaming prairies? Is there an epidemic of rabid gophers?"

In the mood

When Duke's football losing streak reached a nation-worst 21 games on Nov. 3, even the marching band was depressed.

Recalling the 49-0 halftime score, flutist Jenny Green complained: "It gives us no incentive to put on a good show."

Maybe he means Phil Linz

In an effort to boost tourism, New York celebrities are appearing in TV spots out of character. For example, malaprop master Yogi Berra, dressed in a tuxedo, asks, "Who is Phil Harmonic?"

Compiled from wire reports and Web sites.

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