When the NHL reached the go-go 1990s, expansion and relocation became all the rage. Cities were jumping at the opportunity to throw money into new stadiums, doing their best to either earn rights to expansion franchises or to lure other, existing franchises with their newly built, state of the art stadiums.
Such was the case in Dallas, and they were able to bring hockey all the way south to Texas from the frigid north from whence it was created. That meant the Minnesota North Stars, a stalwart of the Stanley Cup playoffs who twice reached the finals, were no more, with Minnesota - a hotbed of hockey in the states - bereft of a pro hockey franchise.
Enter the Minnesota Moose.
The Minnesota Moose were a short-lived IHL franchise that was only around for a year or two after the Stars left for Dallas, and Minnesota eventually landed the Wild, an NHL expansion franchise. Fact is, the Cincinnati Reds are playing in Minneapolis against the Twins tonight, tomorrow, and Sunday, and I was not about to miss the chance to get that insanely awesome logo embedded in this preview. How many other chances might I get?
Anyway, longtime AL Central marauder Mike Moustakas owns a career .805 OPS in 96 PA against current Twins pitchers, included a tidy .958 OPS (with a dinger) against tonight’s starter, Jose Berrios. He’s bonked 10 dingers in Target Field in his career - part of his .811 OPS there over the course of his career - and is primed to sock a big one again this weekend. Maybe even tonight. Who knows. After this much blabbing about it, it sure as hell better be tonight.
Anyway, Tyler Mahle will start for Cincinnati as they look to potentially clinch a playoff spot tonight. That could happen in a number of scenarios - including if the Reds lose tonight and the right dominos fall - but let’s just make it easy on our hearts and put more runs on the board that Minnesota tonight, mmkay?
(Also of note: in his career in Target Field, Joey Votto is 4 for 9 with a double, a dinger, 5 walks, and just a lone K. Get ‘em, Joe Dan!)
Sadly, the Twins designated Homer Bailey for assignment today, so we won’t see him in this series.
First pitch is set for 8:10 PM ET this evening. Go Reds.