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Clearance Clarence: Denard Span, Jim Thome, El Chupacabra and a Target Field urinal update

Posted by: Michael Rand under Professional baseball, Target Field Updated: August 2, 2011 - 12:03 PM

Each week, commenter Clarence Swamptown delights you with his odd tales. This week, you might think he's going off the rails on a crazy train. Is he? Clarence?

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Like most Americans, Star Tribune employees often use the summertime to take extended road-trip vacations with their friends. Just last week our humble proprietor Michael Rand toured North Carolina minor-league baseball stadiums with his buddies – identified only as ‘Rocket’ and ‘P-Money’. This week Paul Douglas (proprietor of the Star Tribune’s weather blog OnWeather) is touring Branson, Missouri with his buddies -- identified only as ‘The Augustyniak-Attack’ and ‘Sven-sational’*. 

 
With so many Star Tribune blog writers on vacation, goofy weekly guest posters like myself have been pulling double-duty as temporary blogger substitutes. Today, I have been asked to combine a Clearance Clarence post with an OnWeather post*. For the OnWeather blog, please go here. Today, I do my best to take over.
 
*Unfortunately none of this is actually true.
 
 
El Chupacabra is the most serious threat the world has ever faced. German imperialism? A minor uprising. Global terrorism? Baby urine. The science is settled and El Chupacabra is real. Those who continue to argue that additional research is needed are simply seeking to protect their vested interest. These people want El Chupacabra to eat your children.
 
 
If you missed last Friday’s Fox Sports North Twins broadcast, here is a link to their video of the adorable 2-year old “Batting Stance Baby” that impersonates the batting stances of various Twins players. The boy’s parents are friends of mine, and his best impression is actually Delmon Young in left field, which simply involves the toddler spinning in a circle, crashing into the wall and then messing his diaper.
 
 
 
FORECAST: After disappointing series in Texas and Oakland, the Twins will start a 3-game series in Anaheim tonight. Then they travel back home to face Chicago and Boston, then back on the road to Cleveland and Detroit, and then back home again (see map).
 
Today: Brian Duensing (8-8, 4.35 ERA) vs. Ervin Santana (6-8, 3.47 ERA)
 
Tomorrow: Scott Baker (8-6, 2.86 ERA) vs. Joel Pineiro (5-5, 4.91 ERA)
 
Thursday:  Francisco Liriano (7-8, 4.67 ERA) vs. Tyler Chatwood (6-7, 3.93 ERA)
 
 
There will always be those who challenge El Chupacabra, no matter the science. Many Americans don’t believe in evolution. Some geologists don’t accept plate tectonics. Should people die from disinformation and delusions? If we continue to ignore El Chupacabra, all baseball stadiums will have as much foul territory as Oakland Coliseum.
 
 
 
HOUSEKEEPING: Nearly everyone agrees that Target Field is one of the nicest parks in the country. While the food, atmosphere, and architecture are wonderful, the stadium does have some minor faults. Last summer, I posted the diagram above and wrote the following about Target Field men’s bathroom situation:
 
“The men’s restroom is shaped like a ‘U’.  Most of the guys waiting in line do not realize that there are urinals in the back, so they clog the line while waiting for a front urinal to open up.  That is the problem.  Maybe they need to add a big sign that directs people to the urinals in the back.
 
So just last week I was using the men’s bathroom at Target Field and noticed that a sign (pictured below) had been installed, as suggested. HEY EVERYONE, COMPLAINING ON THE INTERNET WORKS! POWER TO THE PEOPLE!
 
 
EXTENDED FORECAST: Expect Denard Span to return to the lineup tonight, and expect Justin Morneau to begin playing in simulated games in Fort Meyers soon. Expect El Chupacabra to be omnipresent, ready to kill us all when we least expect it.
 
 
Cat picture! He’s surrendering! Ha! LOLz!
 
 
Twins Narrowly Avoid Tragedy: As Ryo Shinkawa has discovered, sometimes you’re just in the wrong place at the wrong time. During Sunday’s loss to the Oakland Athletics, Jim Thome mistakenly used Tsuyoshi Nishioka’s interpreter as a bat.
 
“LITTLE GUY’S STANDING NEXT TO THE BAT RACK AND OL’ JIMMER JUST GRABBED ‘EM,” explained Thome after the game.
 
“SLAPPED SOME PINE TAR ON ‘EM AND DIDN’T NOTICE I HAD ‘EM BY THE ANKLES UNTIL BRESLOW SPUNNED THAT OL’ NASTY CURVE RIGHT BY OL’ JIMMER. HAVE TO TIP MY HAT TO THAT BRESLOW KID HE’S A GOOD PITCHER.”
 
The Twins’ increased security around Jim Thome after an unfortunate April incident in which he mistook Matt Tolbert for a tongue depressor and used the utility infielder to clean mud from his cleats. Although Twins’ security failed to protect Nishioka’s interpreter on Sunday, Ryo Shinkawa remains unfazed.
 
“I almost died, but it’s still better than hanging out with Kevin Slowey,” said Shinkawa.
 
“Kevin keeps texting me to play bass in his Mr. Frogg tribute band. “I’ve never heard of them, and I don’t know how to play bass. I keep telling him that.”
 
 
 

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