Blog Comments

  1. E. Andrew's Avatar
    I heard Breslow on the radio once (maybe MPR?) talking about his foundation for childhood cancer research. Struck me as an awesome, super level-headed guy. I looked up his personal statement at the foundation website:

    Message from Craig || Strike 3 Foundation

    I'm happy he spent a little time with the club. Happy bday!
  2. Jeff A's Avatar
    The headline should have said June 22. Sorry about that.
  3. Jeff A's Avatar
    I misspelled Alex Prieto's name. Sorry about that.
  4. Jeff A's Avatar
    Whoops. You're right, of course. I wouldn't change anything else about those last two sentences, though.
  5. stringer bell's Avatar
    I believe Trevor Plouffe is 27 today, so maybe that changes things slightly.
  6. Jeff A's Avatar
    I agree. If you love it, keep doing it until they make you stop.
  7. gil4's Avatar
    Can't forget Laudner's "Buck-Ninety Fan Club" from the '87 World Series.
  8. gil4's Avatar
    It looks like J.C. is going to get squeeze every last mile out of his playing career. I can't say I blame him - I kept playing slow-pitch softball until it hurt too much to run around the bases, and there was never any money in that. Some people are critical of guys who hang around way past their primes. Not me - if you're having fun playing and they are willing to pay you...
  9. DAM DC Twins Fans's Avatar
    interesting--I share a birthday with Nelson Liriano (best Twins player named Liriano IMHO) and Jim Dwyer...not quite up to the caliber of Rafa Nadal and Jefferson Davis who I also share a birthday with...but interesting
  10. gil4's Avatar
    Gave him his present on Thursday and Friday. Took it back on Saturday and Sunday.
  11. Jeff A's Avatar
    Ballplayers like Jason Tyner don't have a "prime".
  12. ashburyjohn's Avatar
    Jason Tyner's only 36? I thought ballplayers were in their prime during their 30s.
  13. gil4's Avatar
    I think a part of it was it seems like a long time ago that Silva was with the Twins (although it really hasn't been all that long) and he looked like an old guy even though he wasn't.

    I have two teenage boys and one who is now 21, and I still try to keep up with them on the basketball court, with mixed (but usually painful) results. (As long as I can stay on the perimeter and shoot 3's and you can find a reasonably slow person for me to guard, I'm good. Until the next day.)
    Updated 04-24-2013 at 10:02 AM by gil4 (html issues/gave up)
  14. Jeff A's Avatar
    I'm more than twenty years older than he is, so don't feel bad. Besides, as I always say (honestly), life just keeps getting better.
  15. gil4's Avatar
    Carlos Silva - 1979? I would have guessed he was about 5 years older than that, which would still have made me 10 years older than him, which is a depressing thought. Thanks for ruining my day!

    (OK, I'm over it now.)
  16. Jeff A's Avatar
    Also posted in wgom.org

    Ed Hodge (1958)
    Frank Viola (1960)
    Joe Beimel (1977)
    Dennys Reyes (1977)
    Joe Mauer (1983)

    Left-hander Ed Oliver Hodge made 25 appearances for the Twins in 1984. Born in Bellflower, California, Hodge was drafted by Minnesota in the fifth round of the January draft in 1979. There is nothing in his minor league record that suggests he would be a major league pitcher, but the 1984 Twins were desperate for a fifth starter, so after he had three good starts at AAA Toledo, going 2-0, 2.01 with a 0.90 WHIP, Ed Hodge found himself in the big league rotation. He did quite a bit better than could have been expected, going 3-2, 4.12 through mid-June, but then was injured, missing a month and a half. He came back on August 1, made five fair-to-middling starts, then spent the rest of the year in the bullpen. For the season, he was 4-3, 4.77. He pitched in 25 games, 15 of them starts, and pitched exactly 100 innings. Those would also be his career numbers; he was back in Toledo in 1985, had another not-to-good season, and was released after the season. He pitched for the Braves’ AAA team in 1986, and then his playing career came to an end. More recently, he has done some coaching, serving as the pitching coach for the Sarasota Reds in 2006 and for Lakewood in the Phillies’ organization in 2007. He was a batting practice pitcher/coach for Houston from 2011-2012, and has been hired to do a similar job for Detroit for 2013.


    Left-hander Frank John Viola pitched for the Twins for most of the 1980s. He was born in Hempstead, New York and went to high school in East Meadow, New York. He then attended St. John’s (where he was involved in an epic pitcher’s duel with Yale’s Ron Darling that is still talked about occasionally), and was drafted by the Twins in the second round in 1981. He pitched reasonably well at AA Orlando in 1981, and after eight starts in AAA Toledo in 1982 he was in the Minnesota rotation at age 22. He was clearly not ready, posting ERAs over five and WHIPs over 1.5 in his first two seasons. When things clicked in, though, they did so in style. In 1984, Viola went 18-12, 3.21 with a WHIP of 1.16 and finished sixth in the Cy Young voting. He slipped a little in 1985 and 1986, although he was still a solid rotation starter, but in 1987 and 1988 he had his two best seasons. He went 41-17 in those two years, with an ERA of 2.77. He won the Cy Young award in 1988, when he won 24 of those games. Viola also finished tenth in MVP voting that year. He pitched over 245 innings each season for the Twins from 1984-1988. He was still pitching well at the end of July, 1989 when he was traded to the Mets for Rick Aguilera, Tim Drummond, Kevin Tapani, David West, and a player to be named later (Jack Savage). He continued to pitch Well for the Mets, winning 20 games in 1990 and finishing third in Cy Young voting that season. He also continued to pitch well over 200 innings each season. A free agent after the 1991 campaign, Viola signed with Boston and had two more very good years. After that, however, he struggled through injuries, had Tommy John surgery, and was never an effective pitcher again. He pitched briefly with Cincinnati in 1995 and Toronto in 1996 before bringing his playing career to an end. As a Twin, Frank Viola was 112-93, 3.86 in 260 appearances, 259 of them starts. Since his retirement, Viola has done some high-school and college coaching and has also done some broadcasting with the New England Sports Network. in 2011 he was the pitching coach for the Brooklyn Cyclones in the New York-Penn League and since 2012 he has been the pitching coach of the Savannah Sand Gnats in the South Atlantic League. Frank Viola is a member of the Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame.


    Left-handed reliever Joseph Ronald Beimel made three appearances for the Twins in 2004. Born and raised in St. Mary’s, Pennsylvania, he attended Duquesne University and was drafted by Pittsburgh in the eighteenth round in 1998. He started for much of his minor league career. He had not pitched effectively above Class A when he suddenly made the Pirates out of spring training in 2001. He was with Pittsburgh for three full seasons despite not pitching very well: his ERA was exactly five and his WHIP was 1.58. He made some starts in his first two years, but was moved exclusively to the bullpen in 2003. The Pirates released Beimel at the end of March, 2004, and the Twins signed him a couple of weeks later. He had a poor year in Rochester, despite which he was given a September call-up. Beimel pitched 1.2 innings in three games, giving up eight runs on eight hits and two walks. He became a free agent for 2005 and signed with Tampa Bay. He didn’t pitch particularly well in AAA for them, either, but got to the big leagues for about a month and did well in seven appearances. He signed with the Dodgers for 2006, pitched well in ten appearances at AAA, and came up to the majors, where at age 29 he finally found big-league success. He was with Los Angeles for three years, appeared in 216 games, and had an ERA of 3.04. Beimel was a free agent after the 2008 season and took a long time to sign, finally signing with Washington in mid-March. He pitched well there, was traded to Colorado in mid-season, and continued to pitch fairly well through 2010. He was a free agent after that season and signed with Pittsburgh. He was injured much of the year but made 35 appearances for the Pirates, working 25.1 innings. Unfortunately, he did not pitch well and was released at the end of August. He signed with Texas for 2012 but was released in late March. He underwent Tommy John surgery on May 1 of 2012. As he’s 36 today, one assumes his playing career is over, but he’s alive and left-handed, so maybe not.


    Left-handed reliever Dennys (Valarde) Reyes pitched for the Twins from 2006-2008. Born and raised in Higuera de Zaragosa, Mexico, Reyes was signed by the Dodgers as a free agent in 1993. He was a starter in his minor league career and was somewhat up-and-down, but pitched well in a month and a half stint with the Dodgers in 1997. At mid-season of 1998, the Dodgers traded Reyes to Cincinnati, where he stayed through 2001. He was not terrible in those years, although not particularly good, either. He split 2002 between Colorado and Texas, not doing much for either team. Reyes signed with Pittsburgh for 2003, was let go in May, and finished the season with Arizona, spending most of his time there in the minors. Reyes moved to Kansas City in 2004 and San Diego in 2005, doing nothing to attract anyone’s attention. The Padres released Reyes in July of 2005, and he was out of baseball until February of 2006, when Minnesota signed him. Reyes then went out and had one of the best seasons a LOOGY ever had. He appeared in 66 games, but pitched only 50.2 innings. In those innings, he went 5-0, 0.89 with a WHIP of 0.99. His ERA+ was 507. He did not repeat those numbers, but remained a valuable LOOGY for two more seasons. As a Twin, Dennys Reyes appeared in 191 games and pitched 126.1 innings. He was 10-1, 2.14 with a WHIP of 1.27. He became a free agent after the 2008 season and signed with St. Louis. He pitched well for the Cardinals in 2009-2010, then became a free agent again and signed with Boston. He made four appearances for the Red Sox and was made the fall guy for their poor start, getting sent outright to AAA. He then missed most of the season and was released in late September. He signed with Baltimore for 2012 but was released in early March. He did not play in 2012, but did play winter ball last season. We’ll end this with the same line we used in regard to Joe Beimel. As he’s 36 today, one assumes his playing career is over, but he’s alive and left-handed, so maybe not.


    There’s nothing to be said about catcher Joseph Patrick Mauer that anyone reading this does not already know. He was born and raised in St. Paul and was taken by Minnesota with the first pick of the 2001 draft. His lowest average in the minors was .302, with Class A Quad Cities in 2002. He showed very little power in the minors, never hitting more than five home runs in a season, although he hit 30 doubles in a 2003 split between Fort Myers and New Britain. He started 2004 with Minnesota but was injured most of the season, getting only 107 at-bats (in which he hit .308 with six home runs). His first full season came in 2005, when he hit .294 as a 22-year-old. In 2006, Mauer won his first batting title, the first American League catcher ever to win one. He has won two more since, including his highest average to date in 2009, .365. In 2009, when he won the MVP, Mauer also led the league in on-base percentage and slugging percentage. In 2010, in what some considered an “off year”, he hit .326/.402/.469, won the silver slugger and the gold glove, and finished eighth in MVP voting. He has made the all-star team five times, has finished in the top eight in MVP voting four times, has won three gold gloves, and has won three silver slugger awards. He had an injury-plagued 2011 and took a lot of criticism, but still hit .287 in just under 300 at-bats. He spent substantial time at first base and DH in 2012, but stayed healthy and came back with a fine season, batting .319 and leading the league in on-base percentage. His top ten in similarity scores include five Hall of Famers and two more who eventually will be. Joe Mauer turns thirty today. If he stays healthy, he should be a very good player for several more years yet.
  17. John Bonnes's Avatar
    I had no idea (or had completely forgotten) that Ricky Bones was ever in the Twins organization. Or that he is now a pitching coach. Thanks for this.
  18. gil4's Avatar
    Can't we take away Boone's birthday for his performance with the Twins?
  19. gil4's Avatar
    Another awesome entry in the series. I think the lack of comments means you're so thorough that there's nothing else to add.
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