59 days until Opening Day. The Twin who wore 59 that sticks out most in my mind is Kevin Slowey. He was a really smart dude and allegedly that got him in some hot water in the with the Twins brass and that (along with eventual ineffectiveness) got him run out of Minnesota because apparently Gardy wants 25 braindead idiots who know nothing but baseball. Side note—make sure you really dumb yourself down Mal if you ever plan on stepping foot on the Target Field mound again. Slowey was a fixture in the rotation in the later years of the Central Division Title runs because he was pretty decent and pretty cheap, which are the two traits everyone wants in a player. Also, remember when everyone got all riled up when Gardy yanked him from a no-hitter thru 7 when he coming back from injury and had thrown like 129 pitches? That was fun. The other thing I loved about Slowey was his name. I think Kevin Slowey is a hilarious name for a big league pitcher, and an apt one for a Twins pitcher. Also I'd be remiss if I forgot to mention Brad Swanson's Twins blog named for Slowey "Kevin Slowey Was Framed!" It's really good and you can find it here: http://smartpitcher.blogspot.com/
I was listening to KFC Radio today and one of the topics they talked about was what rules would they change in any sport if they had the chance. They went over the 4 major sports and made some pretty interesting suggestions; you should give it a listen if you think you’d be interested because I think it was pretty well done. Anyways, it got me thinking about some of the other suggestions I’ve heard elsewhere and some of my own.
Football—I would make it illegal to roster a guy who only is on the field to kick or punt. The guy who kicks or punts must have played at least 50% of his team’s offensive or defensive plays up to that point. Obviously this would change the game in a big way—in how the game is taught, in how it’s recruited/drafted, and how it’s coached. Kids would have to learn how to kick or punt as well as get good enough at linebacker or wideout or whatever to make it to college or the NFL. The guys who could actually kick or punt well would be so much more valuable too because it’s not like you can just stick a guy out there a few plays and hide him so he can kick—if he’s playing at least half the plays, he can’t just suck in the other aspects of the game or that would really hurt the team too. If I ran a high school or college team, I think the go-to would be to just teach your QB how to kick and punt to a certain degree, but still the game would change so much. More 4th down attempts, probably a lot more 2 point conversion attempts, and just a lot more intrigue. And just think about the team’s go-to “kicker” getting carted off and they don’t have another reliable one to go to. I can just see this happening to the Vikings in an NFC Title Game.
Hockey—No more shootouts. Fuck shootouts. Instead, I would invoke an idea I heard on the Sportive Podcast (which is hilarious and local—you all should listen to it): hockey innings for overtime. Each team gets 2 minutes of 5-on-3 to score as many times as they possibly can before the buzzer sounds, then the other team gets to try and answer. If they tie, it goes to 4-on-2. If they’re still tied, 3-on-1. And if they’re STILL tied, they would go to innings of 2-on-0, which would be the most exciting thing in sports I’m convinced of it. Can you imagine 2 minutes of free-for-all with Sid Crosby and Geno Malkin fucking toasting some goalie to the tune of like 25 goals in 2 minutes and then the other team having to try and top it. It would be so rare, but so INCREDIBLY entertaining. Honestly, just make this part of the NHL Skills Saturday Night during the All Star break. Bettman makes OT hockey innings a thing and his whole tenure is viewed in a new light. If this happend to Patrick Roy back in the day, there's no telling how many twigs he would snap over the crossbar.
Golf—I know in golf they NEVER react well to any type of innovation. For instance, they banned putting croquet-style way back in the day because they thought it looked funny and now they’re banning the belly putter. But if I had the type of pull where I could start a golf tournament, I would make one up where the limit on number of clubs was really low. Like 3 maybe. I think this would be SUPER interesting to see what kind of clubs each guy stocks his bag with. The ol’ Scotty Cameron is the most obvious one and driver is probably next, but what would be the third? I think that depends on the type of player. Guys who hit the ball a fucking mile would probably grab like an 8 Iron, but a guy like Chris DiMarco would probably have to grab like a 5 or 6 so that he could get to the green in a respectable amount of strokes. In all honesty, I think I would be a better golfer if I did this just in general because two of the things I’m worst at are driving and club selection, so I would just tee the ball with like a 3 Iron (and actually maybe hit it straight here or there), then hit that again a little softer to get hopefully near the green and obviously have a wedge or short iron and a putter. Actually I should round up a couple buddies and do this at the country club this summer.
Baseball—I wouldn’t change a goddman thing. Baseball is the most perfect and beautiful thing in the world.