The Twins rallied to walk off the Tigers with two runs in the bottom of the 10th, right around the same time Cleveland was doing the same thing to the first-place White Sox. The combination moved the Twins within a half-game of the division lead.
But during and after those developments, the only thing many Twins fans wanted to talk about was … bathrobes?
As our La Velle E. Neal III reports, Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson gave custom robes to his teammates — some casual elegance as they enter a strict quarantine period heading into the postseason.
Nelson Cruz, who didn’t play in Tuesday’s win, kept busy by bestowing his robe upon teammates during the game. Max Kepler got the robe treatment twice — once when he tied the game in the eighth with a wall-scraping, game-tying home run and again in the 10th when his flare fell in for the game-winning hit.
“I hope we keep it going because it brought some luck today,” Kepler said. “But I can’t wait to lounge in it in the bubble. I’m going to be doing a lot of that from now on.”
Donaldson’s robe gambit is a little silly and basic — akin to a corporate team-building outing to play Laser Tag or a family buying matching ugly holiday sweaters.
But things like that work for a reason: they are enjoyable unifiers. Laser Tag is awesome and fun — just like the robes.
A week ago, Donaldson was being criticized from many directions after getting ejected in a game the Twins eventually lost. If reactions from those like former Twins first baseman and current FSN analyst Justin Morneau were any indication, Donaldson’s dirt-kicking ejection had the potential to cause clubhouse problems.
The robes are just the opposite: A unifying force in a strange season and a small down payment on potential future success.
Do these gimmicks always work? Of course not. Johnny Damon bought all the Tigers players robes in 2010. They finished 81-81.
Then again: The last time the Twins won a playoff series in 2002, their dream season came to an end at the hands of a mysterious Rally Monkey.
They even seem to have unified the toughest base in the world to crack: Twitter. Support in the poll I’m running is close to 90% for the robes and should sweep the electoral robe college.
A smattering of reactions to the robes:
I guess the only question left is this: Where can I get one?