DETROIT – Glen Perkins stopped on his way to Target Field on Sunday to refill his gas tank. As he stood next to the pump, he began reading his Twitter feed on his phone, and noticed a plaintive tweet from a Bemidji State student, addressed to him. He answered the tweet, accessed a players-only website — and became a media sensation.
“I never thought it would be a story. Never expected to hear about it again,” Perkins said. “So this has been a little amazing.”
“This” is the attention he has received for leaving four tickets to that afternoon’s game, a 5-0 victory over the Rangers, to Alex Berg, who feared he had been cheated by a ticket broker’s website when he tried to buy tickets for himself, his girlfriend, his grandmother and his cousin. The story was picked up by USA Today, Yahoo.com, and several TV stations and websites, all universally praising the Twins closer for an act that, he said, “I didn’t think was any big deal. Honestly, I feel like stuff like that happens all the time. Maybe not.”
No, it’s probably not common for a major league player to spend $80 of his own money to help out a fan in distress. And had the tweet not arrived at the same moment he was idly reading his phone, maybe it wouldn’t have happened this time. But when Perkins read Berg’s plight and request — “Any chance my fav.player @glen_perkins could help me out?” it read in part — he logged on to the Twins’ system for players’ tickets and obliged.
“For whatever reason, I just felt like, ‘Why not?’ It’s something as simple for me as typing a password on my phone,” said Perkins, who earns $2.5 million this season. “It cost me 80 bucks that I’ll never notice came out of my check. I don’t know, it just hit me right. Money well spent.”
• Cole De Vries formally will begin his rehabilitation assignment Sunday, when he starts for the Class A Fort Myers Miracle in a game against Tampa. De Vries, out since late March because of a forearm strain, threw three innings (and 34 pitches) in extended spring training Tuesday, then threw in the bullpen to get more work. The Twins have 30 days to determine whether to restore him to the roster, and estimate he will need at least three starts to get ready.
• Samuel Deduno also pitched Tuesday, going four innings and throwing 70 pitches. He’s getting close to being ready to begin a rehab assignment of his own, after suffering a groin injury last month.