Like most major league players, Glen Perkins has a clause in his contract that pays him a $25,000 bonus for making the All-Star team. The past two seasons, Perkins said, “I’ve lost money on it.”
Not that he minds, he was quick to add — the bonus paid (well, almost) for airfare, hotels and game tickets for three days in New York for his family, his parents and his in-laws two summers ago, and it allowed him to practically hold a family reunion when the game was at Target Field a year ago. “Best money I’ve ever spent,” the Twins closer said. “Memories we’ll never forget.”
For his third All-Star appearance, though, Perkins scaled back a little — with one exception. Since the Twins fly to the West Coast on Thursday afternoon, Perkins chartered a jet to fly him; his wife, Alisha; their two daughters; and a babysitter to Cincinnati, and home again after the game Tuesday night, partly at his expense and partly paid for by the travel stipend MLB provides for each All-Star. “That way, I still get a day and a half at home to relax with the family,” he said. His parents, brother and in-laws will be in Cincinnati, too, but are headed there separately.
Perkins did have a couple extra passengers on his flight, though. When Brian Dozier was named an All-Star on Saturday, Perkins invited the second baseman and his wife, Renee, to fly with them. “The generosity of teammates,” Dozier joked. “He hasn’t told me what he charges.”
And the cabin in central Minnesota that Dozier had rented for the four-day break? That worked out, too, Dozier said. Blaine Boyer and his family plan to use Dozier’s reservation.
The short game
In what may be a reflection of the way their new manager wants them to play, the Twins have already turned 15 bunts into base hits this season, after managing just 18 bunt singles in 2014. How much have the Twins taken Paul Molitor’s emphasis on watching for opportunities to heart?
The catcher bunts now, too.
Eric Fryer laid down a perfectly placed bunt in the fourth inning Sunday and easily beat the throw to first, becoming the first Twins catcher to bunt for a hit since — no, not Joe Mauer, surprisingly — Drew Butera pulled it off at Cleveland on June 6, 2011.
Detroit third baseman Nick Castellanos “was playing really far back. [Third base coach] Gene [Glynn] gave me a look, kind of gestured at him so I’d notice how far back he was,” Fryer said. “This whole team has the mentality that any time you give us a base, we’re going to take it. It just worked out.”
Said Molitor, who bunted for 111 hits over his Hall of Fame career: “[Fryer] runs better than people think. He killed it perfectly.”
Sunday’s game concluded a remarkable grind for the Twins: 17 consecutive games, 30 games in 31 days and 43 in 45 days. Yeah, they can use a couple of days off.
“We’re feeling it, for sure,” said Trevor Plouffe, who smashed his 11th home run Sunday. “We had a meeting at the beginning of the homestand, and Mollie said: ‘Don’t worry about the break. Continue to focus on the baseball field.’ And now it’s time to rest up.”
He planned to stay in the Twin Cities, as did Molitor, but most Twins players scattered Sunday night all over the country. They will reconvene Friday in Oakland.
• Ervin Santana will open the second half for the Twins in Oakland on Friday, Molitor said, followed by Phil Hughes on Saturday and former Athletics pitcher Tommy Milone on Sunday. Then Kyle Gibson, Mike Pelfrey and Santana, a former Angels pitcher, will start in Anaheim next week.
• Ricky Nolasco’s arthroscopic surgery to remove the bone fragment that has been impinging his right ankle is scheduled for Monday in Charlotte, N.C. Nolasco, who hasn’t pitched since May 31, is expected to miss up to two more months.