Brett Ballantini, who covers the Sox for CSN Chicago, got it all down:
"These are las sardinas (the little sardines) here," he said. "They are [bleeping] sardines. You see a bunch of circus midgets out there. But they can play."
Despite missing boppers Joe Mauer(notes), Justin Morneau(notes), Jim Thome(notes) and Jason Kubel(notes) with various injuries, the Twins beat the White Sox using a makeshift lineup. It was Chicago's seventh straight loss at Target Field and the Twins, who were 20 games under .500 on June 1, improved to 28-39.
(And, Ozzie ... "midgets" is not the proper nomenclature. Dwarf or little person, please. Besides, none of the players shown above in the sardine container — Ben Revere(notes), Tsuyoshi Nishioka(notes), Alexi Casilla(notes) or Matt Tolbert(notes) — qualifies. They're all taller than 4-foot-9.)
A number of years ago when they still played home games at the Metrodome, Ozzie started referring to the Twins as "Piranhas. Despite spending fewer dollars than most teams, the Twins won partly by using tenacious (and smallish) supporting players. And they usually beat the White Sox in exasperating fashion.
The nickname stuck, at least regionally, but most of the Piranha-like players from those Twins teams — guys such as Jason Bartlett(notes), Jason Tyner and Nick Punto(notes) (he was Big Chief Piranha) — are long gone.
I don't quite get it. "Sardines" because they play outdoors now, and it's like when you roll back the lid on a can of sardines and there's yummy fishies inside? And how can they be Sardines if Dane Sardinha(notes) isn't catching? Bah. Sometimes, it's just better to enjoy Ozzie than to try and figure him out.
That kid who is the leadoff guy [Revere] is pretty good. When you're missing Morneau, Mauer, Thome and Kubel, and you're still winning games, you have to give those guys credit."
"They never sit back and say, 'We're missing the big boys,'" Guillen said. "They continue to play. That's the reason Gardy is the most underrated manager; he won Manager of the Year last year but he waited 10 years to win it. Gardy makes those guys play and play right."
That's why his face is on the sardine can.