DETROIT – Manager Rocco Baldelli said he enjoyed everything about the Twins’ clinching party Wednesday night, but was especially touched that Marwin Gonzalez included center fielder Byron Buxton and righthander Michael Pineda via FaceTime on his phone.
Buxton is out for the rest of the season following left shoulder surgery, while Pineda was suspended 60 games by Major League Baseball for violating its policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
“Marwin doesn’t forget. Marwin’s been a part of good teams and situations like this before, and in those moments, he’s thinking of other people. He has that perspective,” Baldelli said. “It’s nice that the guys in the clubhouse have taken the time and have had that thought, of thinking about the other guys who have contributed so much.”
Splitting the dough
The Twins took care of one order of business during their homestand last week: Players who were with the team all season took part in a meeting to divvy up their share of playoff income, a pool that totaled more than $88 million last year.
Fifty players wore a Twins uniform this year, and the veterans decide who gets full shares — in general, it’s anyone who spent more than a few days with the team — and who gets partial shares, and who receives simple cash awards. Clubhouse staff members also traditionally receive a cut.
Last year’s World Series champion Red Sox awarded 66 shares worth $416,837.72 apiece, and the Dodgers handed out 67 full shares worth $262,027.49 apiece, according to MLB.
• Some traditional rookie hazing took place after Thursday’s game. Gonzalez, Kyle Gibson and Jake Odorizzi bought costumes based on movie characters for new players, coaches and staff members, requiring them to wear them on the flight to Kansas City. Randy Dobnak was given a purple Globo Gym costume from “Dodgeball,” but he was required to stay in character on his commercial flight to Maryland for his wedding this weekend.
• LaMonte Wade Jr. played first base Thursday, the first time the 25-year-old has not played in the outfield as a professional fielder. Had he ever manned the position before? “Sure,” Wade said with a smile. “Back in college” at Maryland.
• Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire stood outside the Twins clubhouse Thursday in order to congratulate players and staff members who worked with him during his 24-year tenure with the team.