Once, there was a time when the Minnesota Twins had a natural rival in the Milwaukee Brewers. The Brew Crew was the only American League team near the Twins within a pretty reasonable drive, so fans could experience baseball on their rivals turf, and during the 90s when each club was downright horrible, the winner got bragging rights, which was something. Then Bud Selig, everybodys favorite baseball commissioner--and former Brewers owner--decided to realign the league. Our boozy friends shifted to the National League, relegating the friendly feud to a handful of games during interleague play. And, just like earlier signs of spring due to global warming, the AL-NL matchups seem to be coming earlier each season. The Twins, with their first-place record, will battle the typically anemic Brewers. Making a great series even better will be the sweet giveaways this weekend. The first 20,000 fans Friday night get a pretty neat Twins water bottle, and Sunday is Joe Mauer bat day. But before you Mauer-worshiping fanboys get too excited, only fans 14 years old and younger get a bat. Grownups will have to prowl eBay for one.
Fri., May 21, 7:10 p.m.; Sat., May 22, 3:10 p.m.; Sun., May 23, 1:10 p.m., 2010