Four or five times a night, the buzz at Target Field vaguely resembles a wake-up meeting. The music swells, a choir sings in a jerky rhythm – “It’s not in my place”, are the somewhat counterintuitive lyrics – and “you know who’s up”, Byron Buxton said.
Yes it is Gio Urshela, whose choice of music as he prepares to bang is surprisingly unusual in an era of drop-in techno-pop songs. While most players choose up-tempo music with heavy beats in order to motivate themselves for their fight, Urshela chose a distinctive religious song – “Where I Belong” by Christian rock band Building 429.
“I don’t know what it is, but I like it,” said the Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “It’s very sweet.”
Urshela doesn’t know much about the North Carolina-based band either, but he’s enjoyed their song since 2015, when he’s heard it whenever his Cleveland bandmate David Murphy came to the plate. When Murphy was traded mid-season, Urshela made the song his own and used it with the Blue Jays and Yankees as well.
He approves of the song’s religious message, Urshela said, and how it makes him upbeat and confident as he comes to the plate. But mostly, he said, “I just like the way it sounds.”
The same goes for fans, several of whom reached out on social media to compliment him on his choice. And his teammates too.
“For me, it’s relaxing. Even when I’m sitting and watching, it’s very calming, like – hey, Gio is there,” Buxton said. “Not necessarily Zen music, but it’s uplifting.”
Celestino has COVID
Buxton broke his 0-for-30 slump with a head-first slide into first base Thursday night, and Baldelli said he checked on the outfielder after the game.
“These head-first slides, each one, you have to take a second look at them,” the manager said. “There’s just a lot of negative health issues that come from guys slipping up at first base. I don’t know why.”
Buxton was fine, although he sat out Friday’s game as part of the Twins’ program to keep him healthy. But the Twins put another outfielder on the disabled list Friday afternoon.
Gilberto Celestino began feeling unwell after Thursday’s game, and the Twins had him tested for COVID-19 on Friday. When the test came back positive, he was placed on the disabled list, joining the pitcher Joe Ryan as warded off by the virus.
“He’s got symptoms, but he’s fine,” Baldelli said.
Coincidentally, left-handed Danny Coulombe, who suffered a slight hitch in his left hip earlier this month, was eligible to be activated, so the Twins brought him back into the bullpen. Coulombe relieved Bailey Ober in the fourth inning on Friday.
Luis Arraezwhose hitting streak reached seven games in the first inning on Friday, received a Hall of Fame compliment last week Rod Carewwho noted that “Luis reminds me as much of me as any hitter the Twins have ever had.”
Carlos Correa Friday compared the Twins’ leading hitter for batting average to another star. When the shortstop said before the game that the Twins’ clubhouse reminded him of the Astros’ clubhouse for its friendliness and work ethic, he was asked which teammate most resembled a seven-time All-Star. Jose Altuve.
“I think it’s Arraez. He gets hits every day and he’s always in a good mood. And when he’s 4v4 and misses his last game, he gets mad,” Correa said. “He always strives for perfection. Just like Jose.”