GAME 2 UPDATE: When Chris Colabello swung at the John Danks' second-inning pitch in Game 1, Brian Duensing jumped up in the Twins' bullpen and yelled at Jared Burton, "C'mon -- Punch me! Punch me!"
And that's how the Twins' bullpen "brawl," which you are guaranteed to see on sports highlight shows several times this weekend, got started.
Burton and Duensing have been planning the prank for awhile -- since last season, actually, when former Twin Matt Maloney came up with the idea. Noting that relief pitchers are often seen in the background when a home run is hit into the bullpen, Maloney suggested they stage a fight for the cameras to pick up. They tried it in Seattle once last year, and Burton attempted it in Boston earlier this season, "but the camera wasn't zoomed in on us."
When Colabello swung and launched his opposite-field blast, however, he and Duensing realized that the angle and flight of the ball were perfect. "As soon as it was hit, he said, 'C'mon -- Punch me! Punch me!' " Burton said. They jumped up, though "I was afraid I'd get hit with the ball," Burton said, and the righthander faked a right hook to Duensing's jaw just as the ball landed.
"That was about as good of execution as I could ask for," Burton said, "and I heard we made their right fielder laugh. It was all in fun."
His teammates appreciated it, too. After the Twins' 7-5 victory, several players were crowded around a laptop in the clubhouse, laughing at video of the home run.
Pretty good payoff to a prank they had waited to pull for a long time. "Me and Duens are always ready for it," Burton said. "Anytime a anytime a lefty's up when we're here, we're up on the edge of our seats. We're ready."
Now they get to figure out something in case Colabello, a right-handed hitter who tends to hit with power the opposite say, homers in Game 2. Here are the lineups:
Still to come (a roster move is pending, after Rios trade earlier today) -- check back soon.
CHICAGO -- With Josh Willingham back from a brief rehab assignment with Class AAA Rochester, the Twins on Friday made room for him on the roster by assigning Ryan Doumit to the seven-day concussion disabled list.
Doumit was hit on the head by a foul tip last weekend, and had to leave Wednesday's game in the fourth inning after experiencing concussion symptoms that he said left him "in a fog."
Willingham missed 33 games with a left-knee injury that required surgery on July 3. He went 1-for-9 with two walks and a home run in his rehab stint with Rochester.
It's going to be a long day at U.S. Cellular Field, with games at 1:10 and 7:10 p.m. Check back for updates.
Here are today's lineups:
De Aza LF
Jordan Danks CF
John Danks LHP