On Thursday, the Minnesota Twins made Rocco Baldelli their new manager. Here's the perfunctory baseball scouting report on Paul Molitor's replacement:
Baldelli, 37, spent eight years in the bigs, mostly with the Tampa Bay Rays, smacking 60 home runs while batting .278; the native Rhode Islander retired in 2010 and promptly joined the Rays coaching staff, where he's been generating managerial buzz for years. Veteran baseball writer/talker Peter Gammons thinks the Twins scored one helluva skipper.
Profoundly more interesting, however, is Baldelli's apparent mega-fandom for Phish, those cultishly followed jam-band gods from Vermont. Major League Baseball's youngest manager is a Phan!
The proof is in the tweets, all 51 of 'em. That's how many times Baldelli has posted as a member of the Phamily, the term for those who worship at the smoked-out altar of Trey Anastasio & Co.
Good show. Lots of hugs in GA. Couldn't ask for more effort #phish— Rocco Baldelli (@roccodbaldelli) January 3, 2016
Fenway organist featuring Tweezer and Energy during breaks in action. Yup. #Phish— Rocco Baldelli (@roccodbaldelli) May 5, 2015
Will there be on-field implications? Of course not. Except for the possible soft influence on players' walk-up song selections. Just look at this praise of former Twin Wilson Ramos:
Very chill, very chill.
Among Baldelli's other cultural passions, if we're to believe his tweets:
- His beloved German Shepherd, Bowie (pictured above, alongside on-brand Baldelli sporting a Phish T-shirt)
- True Detective (Season 1, of course)
- Bon Iver (almost local!)
- Twin Peaks (see the Dale Cooper quote in his Twitter bio)
- Dave Chappelle (Baldelli attended a 2016 gig at Minneapolis' State Theatre, it seems)
- Prince, thus endearing himself to Minnesotans "right off the bat" -- and, with that, we're full-circle back to baseball!
Phor phurther Phish reading, please enjoy this 2016 City Pages report headlined, "Stoned reporter seeks the truth during Phish at Xcel: A timeline."