World Series

Twins’ offense has apparently been revived by a summer sausage

Twins' offense has apparently been revived by a summer sausage

Summer sausage could become a popular item among Minnesota Twins fans this season. It's already a symbol of celebration in the Twins' dugout.

Infielder Kyle Farmer made the cured meat product a thing for the Twins when he left a sausage on a table in the clubhouse, according to St. Paul Pioneer Press reporter Betsy Helfand. Not content to simply leave the item where someone might begin to eat it, hitting coach David Popkins brought it into the dugout during last week's home series with the Chicago White Sox.

The Twins swept four games from the White Sox (not a surprising result versus the worst team in the American League), scoring 25 runs in the series. That led Minnesota hitters to believe that the sausage was good luck, and they've been touching it before they go up to bat. It's also used in celebration after a home run.

Tapping the sausage has become enough of a thing with the Twins that beat reporters asked manager Rocco Baldelli about the team's new totem after Sunday's 11–5 win over the Los Angeles Angels.

"It’s a summer tangy sausage is what it is, I actually looked at the package yesterday," Baldelli said as he pressed his forehead, seemingly perplexed that he was talking about this.

"It’s bringing us a lot of hits and runs and stuff, so I’m all for it," he added. "For anyone that hasn’t been following, it’s a substantial packaged sausage that (Ryan) Jeffers has been carrying around in his bag and throwing at people when we score runs and hit homers. So I’m all for it."

“I’m slightly concerned as, I’m not even an adult, but slightly concerned as more of an adult than maybe some of the people in the other room, that the package is going to open up," Baldelli continued.

"And the thing hasn’t been refrigerated in many days. And there’s no doubt that when that thing opens up, whoever’s touching it is in deep trouble. There’s no doubt in my mind that we are carrying around something that is very, very unhealthy to the human body."

For the skipper's benefit, this is where the media can help. Just as managers like Baldelli inform reporters about game strategy, lineup construction and decision-making, the press can provide the people they cover with needed information.

Baldelli can relax. That summer sausage isn't going to spoil. Opening that thick plastic packaging won't suddenly release rancid odors and possible pathogens into the Twins' dugout, clubhouse, team plane or other such gathering place.

"Summer sausage" is so named because it doesn't require refrigeration. Despite containing beef or pork, it's cured and dried with shelf-stable items like salt, pepper and mustard seed. The sausage was created to provide food that could be eaten during the summer when the weather was hot, according to Southern Living.

It doesn't need to be cooked. It's ready to eat right out of the package. Perhaps that's why the sausage is also a popular holiday gift and party item, since it can be shipped without refrigerated packaging.

So the Twins' new good-luck hitting charm could conceivably last through the duration of the 2024 season. Maybe it can be saved for the team's year-end holiday party, if the Twins have such a gathering.

The important thing for the Twins is that the sausage appears to have invigorated their bats. Since last Sunday's loss to the Detroit Tigers, in which they only scored one run, Minnesota has put 57 runs on the board in its past seven games, which have all resulted in wins. That includes 16-run and 11-run outbursts in their two most recent victories.

Unhealthy for the human body, in Baldelli's view, but apparently good for baseball and scoring runs. Will these results compel other MLB teams to copy the shelf-stable meat strategy?

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