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The Twins’ Summer Sausage Has Not Yet Expired

Willi Castro #50 of the Minnesota Twins catches a home run sausage after hitting a two run home run during the seventh inning against the Washington Nationals.
Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Just yesterday, I was thinking that the sausage had to be put to rest. It had elevated the Minnesota Twins on their 12-game win streak that began in April, but since then, the Faustian bargain the team had made with whatever entity resides within the sausage had begun to take its toll. Starting on May 14, the Twins had lost seven straight, including two series sweeps by the New York Yankees and Cleveland Guardians.

While the Twins forgot the sausage in their home clubhouse before setting off for the road series against the Guardians, they were in possession of the sausage against the Yankees. But trying to ascertain the magnitude of the sausage's power is a risky proposition: Was it the sausage at work during the Twins' initial 12-game win streak, or did the Twins kick off that run by facing the lowly Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Angels a combined 10 times? Never mind if the sausage had lost some of its power—did it ever have any power at all?

The most concerning outcome of the Twins' losing streak was Monday, when the Twins lost on the road to the Washington Nationals, 12-3. Losing to the Yankees and Guardians is an issue that can be explained in earthbound baseball terms: both teams are good. But the Washington Nationals? The Twins needed a spiritual intervention with a smoky aftertaste. The sausage miraculously appeared in the Nationals' away dugout the very next day.

“I don’t know if it booked its own flight or what was going on, but it showed up and it’s still flying around,” said Twins manager Rocco Baldelli, who had previously expressed some health and safety concerns about the sausage.

The return of the sausage was a success. Byron Buxton, who per The Athletic's Dan Hayes had previously refused to touch the magical meat, smashed a solo home run to open the second inning in Tuesday's game against the Nats. The Twins threw the sausage directly at Buxton from the dugout, and Buxton begrudgingly caught it, welcoming its blessing. He would follow up with a two-run homer in the fifth to put the Twins up 6-0. Starting pitcher Joe Ryan threw seven scoreless innings as the Twins won 10-0, snapping their losing streak.

There are also non-sausage explanations for the Twins' trajectory. Before the sausage touched down in D.C., the team reportedly had a players-only meeting to discuss the losing streak. Minnesota's 10-0 victory also came against the husk of Patrick Corbin, who had a 5.59 ERA before the game began; if you need a get-right game, you can't really do much better than that. Perhaps the answer to the question of the sausage's power is that it doesn't matter. All the sausage needs to be is a fun, silly object of blind faith to help explain the inflection points of a long season. It would be an added bonus if it avoids becoming the site of a novel disease.

If you aren't really into meats experiencing intense condensation, the Twins have provided another alternative that is still consistent with somewhat medieval tendencies of worship: a bard in the form of a FanGraphs writer. Davy Andrews personally sat by an armchair and serenaded Edouard Julien with his hit single.

If Edouard Julien touches the sausage, he will hit 40 home runs.

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