Five Things That Would Streamline Minnesota Twins Games


2010 Minnesota Twins

The Minnesota Twins play an exciting brand of baseball that emphasizes hustle and fundamentals. There are, however, some changes to the game that could make fans even more excited to see a Joe Mauer plate appearance or Orlando Hudson turning a double play with an efficiency that is rarely matched.

By Patrick Herbert

1. Limit the number of trips that catchers can take to the mound

During Friday night’s game, Angels Catcher Mike Napoli was wearing out a path on the grass between his position and that of pitcher Dan Haren. During a trip to the mound for the Dodgers this season, Don Mattingly found out the hard way that managers and coaches are limited in the trips they can make before administering a pitching change. The catchers should be limited also. After all, hitters do not get time granted by the umpire any time they desire.

2. Expand the use of replay

ESPN recently aired an expose on “Outside the Lines” about the amount of missed calls during a finite period in major league baseball. The frequency of blown calls was shockingly high considering that the umpires are the best of the best. The casual fan needs to remember that they are not professional athletes and the speed of the game makes their calls incorrect on occasion. Allowing replay for close calls at bases would rectify this. There must be a time limit to the analysis in the booth and the umpires could choose when this function is necessary.

3. Fix the maple bats or outlaw them

Baseball officials must look at the college game and the decision to permit metal bats. The ignorance in this ruling is appalling. Major League Baseball also allows the use of unsafe bats during play.  The maple bats shatter at an alarming rate. It is only a matter of time until a splinter enters a pitcher or catcher’s eye. The fans seated in the area near the batter’s box are also at risk during plate appearances.

4. No arguing balls and strikes by players

This is already an unenforced rule on the books. It’s now time to start stepping up to the plate and put a stop to it. Pun shamelessly intended. This slows the pace of the game and consistently gets managers thrown out of games defending their players. Bobby Cox, manager of the Atlanta Braves, is the leader in this category. He’s not as mobile as he used to be. Don’t make him take on those daunting dugout steps for no reason.

5. “In the neighborhood” play does not cut it

Double plays have been turned for decades with the neighborhood play at second base. This call by umpires has undoubtedly saved some injuries to second basemen and shortstops, but it takes away from the pureness of the game. It is comparable to home run statistics after the widespread use of performance enhancing drugs. Integrity of the rule must be restored for the credibility of statistics.

Joe Mauer has a franchise record contract nearing one hundred eighty five million dollars. Some of this is due to his ability to drive in runs. Every time he grounds into a double play and a run scores, he does not receive credit for this. It is time to make sure that these twin killings are legitimate.

Baseball still is our national pastime. Nearly forty thousand fans come to Target field for every game to see the M&M boys work their magic. The aforementioned suggestions would make the games even more appealing.


  1. paulmbanks says

    I don’t know about streamlining this portion of Twins games- the playing of Foghat’s Slow Ride at the beginning of Kevin Slowey’s starts. If I was a Twins fan, and lived there, I would attend every Kevin Slowey start to hear it

  2. Patrick Herbert says

    That’s a good enough reason for me to head to a game.

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