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Twins Fan From Afar

  1. Gardy -- He's Gotta Go

    [FONT=Times, 'Times New Roman', serif]If you follow me on Twitter[FONT=Times, 'Times New Roman', serif], you probably know that something clicked -- something changed -- last night. The most thorough and comprehensive Twins beat writer, [/FONT]Mike Berardino, tweeted[FONT=Times, 'Times New Roman', serif] a series of quotes from Twins' manager Ron Gardenhire on player injuries. And it set me off. In fact, it might be fair to say that I freaked out. I tweeted a bunch of things, but decided to wait ...
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  2. Rock Cats' Top Bats Scuffling

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    Spring turned to summer a couple weeks ago here in Connecticut. We're beginning a stretch of 90 degree weather and high humidity. Over the past couple weeks, the Rock Cats played great baseball, winning a franchise record 11 in a row. As you would expect, pretty much everything was clicking -- timely hitting, solid pitching, and it certainly didn't hurt that Eddie Rosario were getting comfortable with regular game action.



    But, then, as ...
  3. Twins & Rock Cats' Ownership: BFFs???

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    I happened to catch an interview on WTIC radio with Rock Cats' owner Josh Solomon on my way home from work this evening. A few of Solomon's comments directly relate to other things I have written in the last couple weeks (and, really, this blog), so I wanted to pass along some of his words, insofar as they relate to the Twins-Rock Cats affiliation.




    • Not surprisingly, the Twins organization had no role in the negotiations to move
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  4. Rock Cats to Relocate to Hartford. Where Does that Leave the Twins?

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    Word of a potential deal to move the New Britain Rock Cats franchise to Hartford only broke on Monday, but today it became official: the Rock Cats will be leaving their longtime home of New Britain following the 2015 season, and relocating to nearby Hartford for Opening Day 2016. Twins fans, bear with me, as the first part of this story primarily is of interest to my Connecticut readers (all 3 of you). Here's what Connecticut-area people need to know:
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    Updated 06-04-2014 at 07:41 PM by Twins Fan From Afar

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  5. Rock Cats Report -- Including a Potential Move?

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    It's been a busy couple weeks in New Britain. I'll start out with a little breaking news. Late this afternoon, the Hartford Courant placed a story on its front page suggesting that the Rock Cats' owners may be moving the team to Hartford in 2016 (it's only about 10 miles away, but would be significant for many local reasons I won't get into now). Journalism is funny in the Internet age. The original title of the piece was "Rock Cats Close to Deal to Move to
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  6. The Twins-Rock Cats Affiliation

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    Close to two years ago, the Minnesota Twins and the New Britain Rock Cats extended their Player Development Contract -- the agreement that really is the "affiliation" between New Britain and the Twins, whereby the Twins send players and staff (and provide other things we don't really know about), which all takes place in New Britain. The agreement could have been for varying lengths of time, with 2 seasons being the minimum. For whatever reasons,
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  7. The Emergence of Kennys Vargas

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    Kennys Vargas, courtesy of Scott Blanchette

    Without a doubt, the New Britain Rock Cats' most valuable offensive player this season has been Kennys Vargas. Vargas, a 23 year-old switch-hitting first baseman (destined to be a designated hitter), has been on our radar for some time, but has always been considered a work-in-progress. Yes, the raw power was always there, but the limited defensive ability, large strikeout totals and inconsistent spells kept
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  8. Minnesota's Own Nate Hanson

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    Last season, Twins fans (and minor league geeks like me) hung on Miguel Sano's and Byron Buxton's every at-bat. In fact, the night I covered (and live-tweeted) Sano's New Britain Rock Cats' debut, I gained something like 200 Twitter followers. Sure, Sano is exciting -- a kid with game-changing power and an electric personality. But behind every Sano or Buxton are hundreds of players that never get the recognition they deserve.




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  9. Rock Cats Report 2014.1

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    (MN's own Nate Hanson celebrating a home run)

    As of this writing, the New Britain Rock Cats sit at 4-6. It's important before reading this piece -- or really any piece related to baseball -- that we all realize that we're only 10 games (or so) into the season. Everything anyone says should be couched with the "small sample size" caveat. Still, though, it is worthwhile to start to look at how Twins' prospects are beginning to perform against
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  10. Trevor May and First Pitch Strikes

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    Last season in New Britain, I watched 4 or 5 of Trevor May's starts. I'm still higher on him than most people are, because a few things became apparent to me after watching him -- all of which are fixable (to a degree, anyway): 1) the defense behind him was sometimes lousy (I'm looking specifically at the left side of the infield -- Danny Santana and Miguel Sano), leading to extra pitches made and extra batters faced to get the job done; 2) control issues
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  11. A New Britain Travel Guide

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    [Originally published at Twins Fan From Afar]

    Every now and then, I'm asked by someone over Twitter or email about traveling to see a Rock Cats series. Usually the questions are pretty basic -- what airport do I fly in to, do I have to buy tickets in advance -- but sometimes the questions are more detailed. I'm always happy to give information, and in fact I've even met up with a couple "displaced" Twins fans at New Britain ...
  12. Prognosticating: 2014 Rock Cats Opening Day Lineup

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    [Originally published at Twins Fan From Afar]

    It's one thing to predict an Opening Day lineup after things begin to shake out in Spring Training. It's another to do it a full month before pitchers and catchers arrive. So in the spirit of good fun, what follows is my January 26, 2014 prediction for the New Britain Rock Cats' Opening Day lineup. As you can see, the first several spots in my batting order pack a little punch. Between
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  13. Podcasting: Talking Tanaka, Twins & Rockcats


    [Originally published at Twins Fan From Afar]

    I've only done a few podcasts in the couple years that I've had this blog, but it's a lot of fun to do. Last night, Travis Aune, keeper of Texas Twins Fan, was nice enough to invite me on his weekly podcast. We talked for almost an hour. You definitely have to listen to it, but topics ranged from the Yankees' signing
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  14. Rock Cats Hot Stove Luncheon

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ID:	6350Here's some good trivia: In 2013, 9 former Rock Cats players made major league debuts: Caleb Theilbar; Josmil Pinto; Oswaldo Arcia; Aaron Hicks; Chris Colabello; Michael Tonkin; Kyle Gibson; Andrew Albers; and Brock Peterson. With the exception of Peterson, who saw some time with the Angels, the other 8 players wore Twins uniforms. I've been attending Rock Cats games for about 6 years, but only have been following them seriously for 3 years. That being said, I watched ...
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