Looking to bolster a somewhat depleted and disappointing hot dog rotation, the Minnesota Twins will add a fifth hot dog to their hot dog starting rotation. In order to make the best possible decision, the Twins will wait until after Friday night's game. While the new hot dog will not debut in front of the home crowd until after the current road trip, many fans are paying close attention to which hot dog will be selected.
Schweigert, the Twins' hot dog vendor, currently provides four hot dog options: The Dugout Dog, The Dinger Dog, the Twins Big Dog and the Original Twins Dog. In selecting a fifth hot dog, the Twins will need to decide between the Minnesota Dog and the Kelsobasa hot dog, a play on this hot dog's Washington roots and the popular kielbasa sausage.
The Minnesota Dog is a hot dog very similar to the Original Twins Dog and a hot dog that many Twins fans are used to because of how similar it is to their traditional hot dogs. The Kelsobasa hot dog is considered to be the more exciting and talented option, although it is new and young and that scares some members of the front office and coaching staff. Count Ron Gardenhire among those leery of the Kelsobasa hot dog:
"For me, I want a hot dog that I can rely on. I don't need bells and whistles. I need a dog that will play hard in my stomach without leaving a bad aftertaste. If I'm going to be honest, the Minnesota Dog sounds like an attractive option. It reminds me of the Twins Dog and I like that familiarity. I've never had a Kelsobasa and that makes me nervous."
Fans appear to be divided. Some fans prefer the more familiar Minnesota dog, much like Gardenhire. Others have heard about the Kelsobasa Dog from various websites and news sources and are intrigued by the hot dog's upside. Many feel this Kelsobasa hot dog could be a mainstay at Target Field while the Minnesota Dog is not different enough to be a fixture in the hot dog rotation. Gerald Reid of Andover is one of those fans:
"If the Twins add another freaking pitch-to-contact hot dog like the Minnesota Dog, I'll be beyond upset. I'm ready for a more exciting hot dog. We've basically been eating Minnesota Dogs since the 90s and I'm sick of it!"
When pressed to explain how a hot dog can pitch-to-contact, Reid repeatedly apologized for the mixed metaphor and ran off crying.
It is possible that the Twins will add the Minnesota Dog and then replace another similar, but more established hot dog with the Kelsobasa Dog down the line. However, the Twins have been slow to adapt to the concession-related evolution in Major League Baseball. Some fans are worried that the Twins will not act even though the time is right and even though they've said all the right things about trying to add more zip to their hot dog selection. Andrew Mathis of New Hope has that very concern:
"My biggest worry is that the Kelsobasa Dog will be at Target Field for a few weeks, not perform to a high standard that has been unreasonably set and then disappear for a long time. The Twins are prone to going back to the safe option. If that happens, we could be eating Minnesota and Twins dogs for a really long time."
An anonymous member of the Twins' front office explained that the choice is ultimately not all that important. The casual fan is likely not very aware of either option and will simply listen to what Dick Bremer thinks of the new hot dog.
Regardless of their choice, the new hot dog will arrive from Schweigert's little-known Rochester distribution center prior to Saturday's game, even though the Twins are currently in Oakland. It is logical to assume that the new hot dog will wear the same wrapper as it wore while with Rochester.