By Jake Rossen
By Jesse Marx
By Michelle LeBow
By Alleen Brown
By Maggie LaMaack
By CP Staff
By Jesse Marx
As far as contraction goes, and scary as it is to admit it, a pissed-off Fehr might just be Minnesota's best long-range weapon in the battle to at least delay the move. If the union really decides it's not going to go along with contraction, past performance suggests that the owners aren't going to get it done without another catastrophic work stoppage. If the union somehow does decide to accept contraction, whether for tit-for-tat bargaining purposes, or purely out of self-interest--and why couldn't you argue that the loss of 50 major-league jobs might actually drive up salaries, at least for the better players?--then it's a done deal.
Unless, of course, it's not. If baseball has demonstrated anything in its long, rich, and troubled history, it's that anything can happen. That mixture of hope and dread is ingrained in the mentality of every true fan. I don't have any idea what will ultimately happen to the Minnesota Twins, but I'm still not ready to say I don't care.
Carl's Last At Bat
Pick an epitaph for Carl Pohlad and win a prize!
In the spring of 1999, as the Minnesota Twins unveiled a bargain-basement roster featuring 17 rookies, team owner Carl Pohlad's family purchased a plot and a headstone for its patriarch at Lakewood Cemetery in south Minneapolis.
Planning ahead as always, we laced up our cleats and made a pilgrimage to the site, hoping to scout good seats for the father of all season finales. When we arrived, however, we were informed that the clan had been unhappy with the original tombstone, which was just a short hop high, and with the location of the plot, which wanted for luxury boxes and gourmet concessions, not to mention a retractable roof. Ground will soon be broken at a new site, we were informed--presumably after an acceptable mix of public-private funding is negotiated--and a new headstone is also said to be in the works.
But what about the epitaph? The first headstone read simply: POHLAD. Surely the family doesn't intend to retire the old man's number without comment. America's best and brightest always get the last word. Al Capone's stone at Mt. Carmel Cemetery in Chicago, for example, reads "My Jesus Mercy." Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel was buried in Hollywood Memorial Park beneath "In loving memory from the Family," carved in marble. Karen Carpenter was "A star on earth--a star in heaven." And Bette Davis? "She did it the hard way."
We have a few ideas, of course. "If they build it, they have to come" is the current favorite around the office. But we don't want to hog the ball. So we're hereby announcing a contest to allow you, the real fans, to write Carl Pohlad's epitaph.
Just scribble your entry on a piece of paper (or, if you want to be environmentally conscious, on the back of your 2002 season tickets), and mail it to:
Carl's Last At-Bat
c/o City Pages
401 Third St. N., Suite 550
Minneapolis, MN 55401
Alternatively, fax your nomination to (612) 372-3737 or tap an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If the home team survives contraction, the winner will receive a pair of tickets to a Twins game sometime next season. If Pohlad manages to cash in before cashing in, we'll send the winning writer to a St. Paul Saints game instead.
A word to the wise: Be imaginative! You might want to take a cue from the family of Anna Hopewell of Enosburg Falls, Vermont. "Here lies the body of our Anna/Done to death by a banana," her gravestone reads. "It wasn't the fruit that laid her low/But the skin of the thing that made her go."