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Article: Can Minnesota Follow Houston's Blueprint?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:40 AM
There were some dark days for the Houston Astros. From 2009-2014, the Astros didn’t have a season with an over .500 record and this inclu...
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Article: Diving Into The Offseason: A Berrios Extension?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:13 AM
First we dove into what an extension for Brian Dozier. He’s had his first long-term contract, and now he’s one year from free agency. Las...
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Go get Verlander

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:13 AM
http://www.espn.com/...astros-audition   Best possible combination of help in 2017 and help in the next couple years, right where th...
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Article: KARE-11's Cory Hepola Discusses The Astros

Other Baseball Yesterday, 11:07 PM
Tonight in Los Angeles, the Dodgers will take on the Houston Astros in Game 1 of the 2017 World Series. It will be Clayton Kershaw versus...
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Article: Catching Up With RHP Tom Hackimer

Twins Minor League Talk Yesterday, 08:31 PM
Before spring training, Twins Daily caught up with right-handed reliever Tom Hackimer for a Get to Know Him Q&A. He was preparing for...
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That's The Ticket: Rays of Sunshine

[FONT=Tahoma]Sponsored by [/FONT][FONT=Tahoma]Ticket King[/FONT]

 [/HR]Attached Image: USATSI_7985742.jpg [FONT=Tahoma]If you missed the All-Star festivities at Target Field over the past few days, perhaps the incentive of seeing one of baseball’s hottest teams will bring you back downtown at a more [/FONT][FONT=Tahoma]reasonable price[/FONT][FONT=Tahoma].

[FONT=Tahoma]For most of their existence, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays were a league laughingstock, destined to finish last in the AL East for eternity. Then they got new ownership, smartened up and figured out how to beat the financial powerhouses from the big cities up the Atlantic coast. [/FONT]

[FONT=Tahoma]Since 2007, they have won 84 or more games a year and have made the playoffs in four of the last six years. Everything they touched seemed to turn to gold: Carlos Pena, Casey Kotchman, James Loney, Matt Joyce, Kyle Farnsworth and Fernando Rodney -- all unexpected contributors who melded well with Evan Longoria, Ben Zobrist and David Price. These darlings continued to propel themselves towards the top of arguably baseball’s toughest division. [/FONT]

[FONT=Tahoma]As Jonah Keri called it in his seminal book, it was the extra 2% that elevated this organization. It was squeezing the maximum amount of talent out of struggling former top prospects or targeting unwanted free agents with unseen upside. It was developing prospects better and more efficiently to replace departing stars. It was moving soon-to-be departing stars for prospects. In short, it was an impressive top-to-bottom successful approach that turned the losers Devil Rays into the winning Rays. [/FONT]

[FONT=Tahoma]But 2014 has been another story. On June 11, the Rays held the worst record in baseball, harkening back to the Devil Ray era. [/FONT]

[FONT=Tahoma]While it may have seemed as if the Rays were immune to things like pitching injuries, 2014 has proven that their methods are not infallible. First it was starting pitcher Matt Moore, who after finishing 2013 at 17-4 with a 3.29 ERA. This year he lasted 10 innings before he needed Tommy John. Former Rookie of the Year pitcher Jeremy Hellickson has faltered so much that the team made the decision to send him down to Double-A to figure things out. This leaves the pressure on staff leader David Price -- whom the team is considering selling before the deadline per their modus operandi of trading prime value for heaps of prospect talent. On top of that, underperformance from key offensive contributors like last year’s Rookie of the Year Will Myers (injured as well) and Longoria has led to a downturn in runs scored. [/FONT]

[FONT=Tahoma]All this means that the Minnesota will will have several easy home victories coming out of the break, right? Not so fast. [/FONT]

[FONT=Tahoma]If the past thirty games are any indication, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Since bottoming out on June 11, the Rays have gone on to win 19 of the 30 games leading up to the break and no longer have MLB’s worst record. In comparison the Twins, despite a nice road trip surge before the All-Star Game, have finished 13-17 in that span. [/FONT]

[FONT=Arial]This is a pivotal series and homestand for the Twins as the team’s front office will likely make the assessment of where they stand at the upcoming trade deadline. Sweep the Rays and win a few more against Cleveland and Chicago and the brass may consider not [/FONT][FONT=Arial]trading away key players like Kurt Suzuki[/FONT][FONT=Arial] but rather contend for the final Wild Card spot.[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial]Get your seat: Baseball’s second-half is underway. [/FONT]
 [/HR][FONT=Tahoma] Unable to go to Target Field over the All-Star Weekend? Try getting there this weekend. [/FONT][FONT=Tahoma]On Friday[/FONT][FONT=Tahoma], Kyle Gibson gets to redeem himself from his clunker at Tropicana. [/FONT][FONT=Tahoma]Saturday night’s game[/FONT][FONT=Tahoma] will showcase Tampa Bay’s All-Star pitcher, David Price. On [/FONT][FONT=Tahoma]Sunday afternoon[/FONT][FONT=Tahoma] Phil Hughes will attempt to continue his dominant first-half performance. All are an even better deal if you use the promo code DAILYDOUBLE, which will get you 10% off and supports Twins Daily. Whatever your needs, your local ticket supplier, [/FONT][FONT=Tahoma]Ticket King[/FONT][FONT=Tahoma], can help.[/FONT]

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