On February 4, 1997, the VeggieTales episode, "Very Silly Songs" aired and it featured a segment called "Silly Songs With Larry." The silly song in question was "The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything." If you’ve never seen it before I’ll give you a chance to familiarize yourself real quick VeggieTales: The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything - Silly Song. Did you like it? If you did please leave a like and a comment telling the VeggieTales that you enjoyed it; I’m sure they would appreciate it very much. Now you only get to see it for the first time once but the good news is that every time you watch it again it gets better. If you didn’t watch it or you started watching but got spooked at how Larry, a sentient cucumber, looked while he was lying down and singing, then fair enough and I’ll fill you in on what you missed.
In the song, the singing vegetable pirates lament on a life lived in sloth. How they’ve never swabbed the poop deck, never owned a parrot, and most importantly, that they’ve never been to Boston in the fall. Some have theorized that the real life inspiration for this song comes from a group of real pirates who were hanged in Boston in 1717, others believe it’s a critique of how modern society has lead us down a path of forced comfort and isolation; but I think this song was made to bring light to the drought of the Red Sox and the Twins having never played against each other in the playoffs for 120 years.
Another important part of this song is when the captain of these pirates, an elderly grape aptly named Pa Grape, says he has "never buried treasure in St. Louis or St. Paul." St. Paul is the capital of Minnesota and while the Twins have never played there to my knowledge outside of their minor league affiliate the St. Paul Saints, can you really blame an anthropomorphic geriatric grape for not knowing their MLB geography? I would argue no but feel free to prove me wrong, I’m the guy that's writing about singing vegetables and baseball.
The Twins aren’t the only team that has never played against the Red Sox in the playoffs, by my count there are eleven modern day MLB teams that have never been to Boston in the fall and for most of these other teams that makes sense. National League teams like the Braves and the Padres would only be able to meet the Red Sox in the World Series and some of the American League teams like the Royals who have only been around since 1969, haven’t had as many opportunities to play against the Sox yet. However, the Twins and the Red Sox came into the league at the same time in 1901, both play in the American League, and have somehow managed to avoid each other in postseason play for all of those 120 years. I have to admit that I’m embellishing a little bit with that 120 year number since before 1969 the MLB postseason was just the World Series so in reality the two teams didn’t have a chance to play in the postseason for the first 68 years when the Twins were known as the Washington Senators. However, it’s worth noting that for a long while, the Braves were a National League team in Boston that went by several names (a bunch of which look like they were probably racist including but not limited to The Braves) from 1876 to 1952 and despite both teams making the world series seven total times during this period, they never ran into each other; the Mass Pike was like scorched Earth for these guys.
So why do these two teams seemingly avoid each other at all costs when it comes time for baseball to be played at the highest level? I don’t know. I really don’t, I wish I had a better ending to this but it is actually pretty baffling. The Sox and Twins have played in a combined 55 playoff series; granted Boston is pulling most of the weight with 37 of those but it still doesn’t make that much sense. Maybe it’s as simple as both teams not being good at the same time or just generally not good. While the Sox have enjoyed more modern success than any other major league franchise with four world series wins since Y2K, the Twins haven’t made it past the ALDS since 2002. The Twins also have a .481 lifetime record and the Red Sox have their famous 86 year stretch of not winning a world series. That’s a lot of not so great baseball being played and with it a lack of postseason relevance. These are admittedly weak answers but at the end of the day I think this whole thing just doesn’t make sense, and that’s ok.
The worst part about all this is that the two fanbases would get along great, they’d have a lot to talk about especially with the weather. Both sides would insist that their winters were harsher, about how nobody from Boston had ever seen real snow before, until they were blue in the face and then the series would end, and I don’t know about you but that’s the kind of baseball that I wanna watch. In reality the later months in both areas are pretty bad. In 2014 Target Field hosted a game that was 31 degrees at first pitch and Chris Sale, who spent seven seasons with the often frigid Chicago White Sox, described a 34 degree affair at Fenway in 2018 as, "...the most miserable I have ever been on a Baseball field, by far. Not even close." With that being said, anyone that’s grown up in the northeast or has spent some time there, knows how beautiful the foliage is, how the air feels has a crisp, blue kind of cold, not the sharp, cutting gray void that’ll be coming in a few months. Everyone should get to experience that and it’s a real shame that those Minnesotans haven’t gotten that chance yet. But if they ever do, I’m sure it’ll be a very fun, very cold time. Personally, I hope that one day these two lost ships who have been searching for each other for a hundred odd years, will find each other in the dark, join up with the Pirates That Don’t Do Anything, and sail onto a land of bountiful singing vegetables; but for now both teams have thrown away the map, and no one seems like they’re in a rush to find it.
BONUS VEGGIETALES/RED SOX THING: Another great line from "The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything" is Larry saying that, "... I’m not too good at ping pong." As someone who got whooped by my Dad and uncles at ping pong for many years, I can empathize with Larry here; luckily there is a beloved Red Sock who is very good at ping pong that we can live vicariously through: ESPN: 2012 LLWS - Ping Pong Nomar vs Ronald
God dammit Nomar you lost to a 12 year old.
Addendum: I thought I'd put this in OTM because I'm a Red Sox fan but there is fair bit of focus on the Twins in this piece so sorry if I screwed everything up. I don't really know how all of this works yet but feel free to reach out to me and tell me that I did such and such wrong and I'll try and fix it. Thanks much!
Sources (not in order, sorry):
Also thanks to Ryan Poulton for pointing out how weird Larry looks on the couch, it is kind of disturbing and I’m not sure how I didn’t notice it as a kid.