Rundown: Target Field Security, Offseason Expectations and More
Image courtesy of © Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY SportsReading between the lines, that more than likely means there are going to be bag restrictions at Target Field in the future. Here’s a link to the NFL’s current bag policy, which is basically any bag that’s big enough to fit more than just your cell phone needs to be clear. This is obviously a hindrance in particular to women, families and persons with disabilities.
The way it is right now, all bags are hand checked by security and all fans pass through metal detectors. I don’t see how restricting bag size and forcing people to use clear bags is going to improve security at all. If there’s a traffic issue, maybe they should just designate certain gates for people bringing in bags in order to keep things moving quickly elsewhere. I guess I don’t have the perfect solution, but then again, there doesn’t really seem to be a problem to fix in the first place.
Also from the STrib, some 49-year-old knucklehead who got banned from Target Field for being an annoying rube is trying to worm his way back in. The Twins took action because “he had violated the Twins’ code of conduct for guests by his overly aggressive behavior in chasing down the balls. The Twins allege incidents have included physical altercations and approaching families and asking to trade their game-used souvenir.”
The most surprising thing to me about this story is that he was only banned for a year. But the real kicker is this turd plans on violating the ban and showing up to the stadium next season.
I’ve got nothing against memorabilia collectors, I’ve got a bit of the stuff myself, but there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about things. Being obnoxious and ruining the experience for other fans is most definitely the wrong way. There’s some really great reporting by Randy Furst in that article linked above, the whole thing’s worth a read.
The Arkansas Democrat Gazette shared a lot of interesting details surrounding the Twins’ hiring of new pitching coach Wes Johnson. A particular item of note is that the Seattle Mariners and Los Angeles Angels had expressed some level of interest in Johnson and that the Twins’ offer is well north of $350,000 per year for multiple seasons.
Charley Walters of the Pioneer Press was first to break the news that Joe Mauer’s wife Maddie delivered their third child, Charles Joseph, Wednesday evening. Congratulations to the Mauer family. I assume the Twins have already assigned a local scout to track Charles' development.
Over at Twinkie Town, Andrew Bryzgornia highlighted seven names as potential Mauer replacements at first base. There was also a poll included asking readers who their preference would be. I was surprised by the results.
Cliff Corcoran of The Athletic listed the five favorites in each league for the 2019 Rookie of the Year awards. No Twins cracked the top five in the AL, but guess who he listed as contender … Willians Astudillo! Yes, his rookie eligibility is still intact.
Dave Schoenfield wrote a fun piece at ESPN that projected a blockbuster offseason move for each team. He had the Twins signing Josh Donaldson, Daniel Murphy and Nathan Eovaldi. Not sure if that quite busts my block. Those would certainly be major upgrades, but that’s closer to the type of offseason additions I am expecting the Twins to make, not a blockbuster offseason.
Last week, the staff over at USA Today shared their predictions on where the big free agents would sign. Six of their writers gave their best guesses on five of the top talents available: Manny Machado, Bryce Harper, Patrick Corbin, Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel. Nobody predicted the Twins would sign any of those players.
Richard Justice of MLB.com shared his seven teams most likely to make big free agent signing this offseason. The Twins were not included, but the White Sox were. Also at MLB.com, David Adler hinted at the three potential fits for a Zack Greinke trade. The Twins were not on this list, either.
There’s been a lot of buzz about how much money the Twins have coming off the books, but the national media certainly doesn’t seem to be buying them as potential major players on the free agent or trade markets. Expect there to be backlash from some of your friendly local columnist, talk radio hosts and casual fans (read: Vikings fans who are aware baseball exist) if the Twins fail to make significant investments. Now that Mauer’s contract is off the books, they have a lot more ammo.
The guys over at 1500ESPN had a good conversation on a number of topics, but they touched on offseason expectations. Derek Wetmore basically asks why not the Twins? Why can’t they sign a Manny Machado or someone like that? Co-host Jake Depue walked him back from that stance a little bit, pointing to the team's lack of activity at the top of the market as reason to doubt their ability to make a huge splash.
There's validity to both Wetmore's sort of "why not us" stance and Depue's maybe more realistic response, so it made for a good conversation between the two. That discussion came somewhere around the 25-minute mark, then rolled into some speculation on other free agents and trade options. The whole thing is worth a listen. That outlet does an excellent job of covering the team.
Wetmore also wrote a piece about the potential of both Jorge Polanco and Miguel Sano switching positions in 2019. He shared some interesting quotes from Derek Falvey from an interview he did on the 1500ESPN airwaves.
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reported that the Phillies placed first baseman Justin Bour on waivers. Bour has reached 20 home runs three times in his career, but his extreme platoon splits make him more of a part-time player. The 30-year-old has hit .269/.354/.499 (.853) against right-handers but just .220/.303/.335 (.639) against same-sided pitching. Tyler Austin mashes lefties, so an Austin-Bour platoon would make a ton of sense. The big question is can the Twins manage to carry two players who are only able to play first base? That’s a difficult thing to do in the days of three-man benches.
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