Staff Pick: Craig Finn is fantastic but the Minnesota Twins are garbage

Andy Downing
Craig Finn

With less than two weeks remaining in the regular season, the Minnesota Twins have a comfortable four-game lead over the Cleveland Indians in the American League Central Division.

The Twins have already won 93 games after winning just 78 games in 2018, a total that led Indians brass to believe the team could cut payroll in the offseason (see ya, Michael Brantley) and still walk away with the division this year — an attitude with which most pundits agreed. Of course, it being Cleveland, the Twins jumped out to an early 11-and-a-half game lead, which the Indians eventually erased before enduring a late-season slide that has left the team scrapping with friggin’ Tampa Bay for a potential wild card slot. GOOD TIMES.

The Twins, meanwhile, have like three-dozen players on the roster who have already slugged more than 20 home runs (fact check: the number is actually 8), placing them ahead of even the New York Yankees for the most in baseball this season. And good luck naming even two of them. There’s Max Kepler, Nelson Cruz and ??? Would you believe it if I told you that one was named C.J. Cron? It's true! And that's barely a real name. It’s a collection of consonants around a single vowel and some stray periods.

And the Twins are doing this with a payroll of just over $119 million (just shades above the Tribe and well below the Yankees, whose payroll rests just shy of $204 million, or what we here call “journalism money”). All of this so that they can get swept by the Yankees yet again come playoff time. It’s INFURIATING.

The Tribe, meanwhile, has seemingly lost half of its roster to injuries, including bouts with cancer (pitcher Carlos Carrasco), broken forearms (pitcher Corey Kluber), broken hands (second baseman Jason Kipnis, lost for the season, which will allow him to spend more time with his Short North investment) and tired arms (pitcher Brad Hand, fittingly).

Not that I’m at all bitter at having seen Minnesota win a pair of World Series titles in my lifetime (1987 and 1991) while watching the Tribe punt away multiple chances (1997 and, perhaps most painfully, 2016).

Anyway, Minnesota-raised Twins fan Craig Finn probably celebrated ’87 and ’91 with as many beers as I downed in trying to drown the pain of ’97 and ’16, so good for him. Great. Fantastic. Finn will be at A&R Bar tomorrow absent his Hold Steady mates, having released his fourth and best solo album, I Need a New War, earlier this year. Here’s hoping the concert coincides with a season-closing 10-game losing streak for the Twins that sends the Tribe rocketing to the division title and its first World Series title since 1948. Because Craig Finn is great, but, man, fuck the Twinkies.

A&R Music Bar

7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20

391 Neil Ave., Arena District


Craig Finn & the Uptown Controllers