Craig Finn's ode to the Twins
And, perfectly timed to celebrate the occasion and to get all of us psyched for the postseason (as if we weren't, already), avid Twins fan Craig Finn recently penned some lyrics and lent his vocals to "Don't Call Them Twinkies," a rousing anthem by the Baseball Project (featuring Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey of R.E.M., Steve Wynn of Dream Syndicate, who wrote the guitar-driven music, and former Zuzu's Petals drummer Linda Pitmon).
While the chorus is indeed a bit hokey, Finn's humorous (and accurate) recaps of the Twins past World Series appearances are quite astute and perceptive, as his lyrics have proven to be in the Hold Steady as well. Whether it's threading Zoilo Versalles, Harmon Killebrew and Jim "Mudcat" Grant into his rundown of the Twins '65 loss to the Dodgers, or taking a jab at the Yankees by stating defiantly that "we don't buy our titles," the song is filled with lyrics delivered by a true fan who obviously has paid close attention to the team throughout the years.
In '87, Finn was clearly loving life, having just acquired his license and a girlfriend just as the Twins won the pennant. Finn states honestly that he "prayed more in the Dome than I ever did in church," and that dedication paid off as the Twins won their first World Series championship that year. There's the predictable shout-out to both Kirby Puckett's smile and the ever-present Homer Hankies, but within these localized lyrics is an obvious affection Craig has for this team, which is why he implores everyone to show the Twins some respect and not demean them by calling them the Twinkies.
The verse for the '91 World Series victory is the song's highpoint, with Finn calling out the ridiculousness of the 'Fonda Chop' and bringing up the famously controversial play at first base featuring Ron Gant and Kent Hrbek. For any Twins fan, it's great to relive those sweet memories, and Finn obviously remembers them all fondly, claiming that he knew the Twins had won the Series after Puckett's memorable game-winning home run in Game 6, even though they still had a Game 7 to play.
Now, this is obviously a song geared explicitly towards Minnesota Twins fans, and should be regarded as such. It isn't groundbreaking, or all that memorable music wise. But is it fun? Hell yes. And, considering all of the substandard musical garbage that has been issued in the name of Minnesota sports teams recently (G.B. Leighton and Prince, I'm looking at you), "Don't Call Them Twinkies" is a vast improvement, written by a guy who continues to live and die along with the fortunes of the team he cares so much about.
So, well done, Craig Finn and the Baseball Project, and hopefully we'll be listening to this song long into October (and *gulp* November), as the Twins make a run for their third World Series Championship.