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  1. glunn's Avatar
    You gentlemen have obviously given this a lot of thought and I am enjoying your analysis of what might have happened.
  2. Jim Crikket's Avatar
    You miss one critical point in your analysis: If Cliff Lee is in the Twins' rotation instead of the Rangers', there's a very good chance the Twins aren't even playing the Yankees in the ALDS. The Yankees wanted no part of Cliff Lee in the first round and intentionally tanked the final few games of the season, allowing the Rays to win the AL East so that NY would face Minnesota in the first round while the Rays had to start off against the Rangers. There is no doubt in my mind that, had Lee been on the Twins' staff, the Yankees would have tried much harder to win their Division and very likely would have done so.

    Of course, the Twins record with Lee that year would likely have been a bit different than it turned out to be, so it's impossible to know for sure what the postseason seedings would have been.
    Updated 10-02-2012 at 02:25 PM by Jim Crikket
  3. Brad Swanson's Avatar
    AJ too. I don't really understand it. I guess Hunter was a more beloved figure while here, so he is remembered more fondly.
  4. Twins Twerp's Avatar
    Isn't it crazy how we give him a pass, yet we hate on Knoblauch?
  5. OldManWinter's Avatar
    He chose big money. That is fine, understandable even. I would not have kept him for those dollars and those years. But, after he left it seemed to me he trashed the Twins in a manner that made him a hypocrite.

    Hunter leaving let us develop Span so I am glad he left.
  6. Shane Wahl's Avatar
    Good analysis and Hunter really did bounce back this season when he could have continued to decline.
  7. old nurse's Avatar
    Thank you for the article. I now know when I see your name next to an article what quality the piece will be and ignore it.
  8. Brad Swanson's Avatar
    This Tigers team might be the perfect embodiment of Mike Trout's MVP argument. If you think that baseball is solely about offense and that defense and base running mean nothing, Miguel Cabrera is the MVP. If you think there is more to baseball than just offense, you have to give the award to Trout. However, if baseball was just about offense, you would think the Tigers would be a much better team.
  9. J-Dog Dungan's Avatar
    No, this display of baseball is almost exactly what I was predicting after they signed Fielder and shifted Miggy to 3rd. They have probably the lowest fielding range in the Majors, and they are relying on their hitting to overcome their severe problems with fielding. They sometimes do, but more often than not their fielding hurts them more than their hitting can overcome.
  10. AllhopeisgoneMNTWINS's Avatar
    Deduno is Dedone.....I completely agree with your thoughts. His ERA is starting to sky rocket (todays game sure helped that). I think if he hasnt found it yet, he never will. He was a flash in the pan, it worked for a bit, but we could not expect him to continue his "effectively wild success". To have a guy with a 4.5 ERA be the second best in the rotation is terrible. He is 29, he is not like Hendriks who still has time to figure it out. If we dont do something, its going to be a long year next year once again.
  11. Brad Swanson's Avatar
    Thank you for the compliment, and please apologize to your students for me.

    Part 2 - coming soon?!?
  12. OldManWinter's Avatar
    Be strong! Life has no guarantees.
  13. Twins Twerp's Avatar
    First, you have a gift for story telling. I was intrigued throughout the whole article. Second, I threw up all over my desk and some of my students. The good news is I got to go home for being sick (wouldn't want those little one's to get sick). The bad news is I am probably going to hang myself after reading such a nightmarish story. How dare you? I had to check back at who wrote the stroy because I was sure R.L. Stein (Goosebumps) wrote the story.
  14. Siehbiscuit's Avatar
    You bastard!!! Why would you even plant this into an already saddened and depressed fan base. You better get Part 2 up before the weekend.
  15. jm3319's Avatar
    Plouffe missed a lot more than 5 games with a little thumb injury and hasn't returned to form since. Where was all the outrage over that? Or does no one care because he isn't making $23 million a year?
    Updated 09-18-2012 at 10:45 AM by jm3319
  16. USAFChief's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Swanson
    Let's be honest, are your numbers any less cherry-picked? Did I miss a press release somewhere that said that 120 games caught is a reasonable expectation for a catcher? Also, he was within about 10 games of your 120 figure in 3 more seasons ('05, '09, '10). The Twins always have seemed fine with the amount of games he has caught.

    I'll agree with you 100% that he will never get anywhere close to 120 games caught again. However, I think that we as fans need to start accepting that he is a part-time catcher at this point of his career. There are still parts of his game that we should be enjoying, instead of constantly pointing out the few flaws that he has.

    I guess my point would be, this team has so many flaws that Mauer missing 5 games in September of a lost season is hardly one to focus on.

    1. You didn't miss a press release. You did apparently miss the last 40 years of baseball, though. 120 games (roughly a 75% workload), isn't "my" definition, it's considered a reasonable expectation for a full time catcher by everyone familiar with the game. 120 games started isn't even particularly demanding. Plenty of catchers exceed that number, often by quite a bit.

    2. Mauer didn't even start 110 games at C in '09 or '10. Again...120 games is reasonable, so 105 is 15 games short of reasonable...roughly another 10% of the season with Mauer not behind the plate.

    3. I agree missing 5 games isn't a big deal. Had that been your original point, I would have no disagreement. But you went to great lengths to prove that "Mauer plays a lot of games for a catcher." He doesn't. Never has, and most likely never will.
  17. Brad Swanson's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief
    Something like 120 games per season started per season is a reasonable expectation for a full time catcher (3 out of every 4).

    Mauer has done that twice in his career, 2006 and 2008.

    And it's extremely unlikely he'll ever come close to that work load again.

    A sarcastic "iron man" label is a lot more justified than your cherry picked numbers and weak arguments imply.
    Let's be honest, are your numbers any less cherry-picked? Did I miss a press release somewhere that said that 120 games caught is a reasonable expectation for a catcher? Also, he was within about 10 games of your 120 figure in 3 more seasons ('05, '09, '10). The Twins always have seemed fine with the amount of games he has caught.

    I'll agree with you 100% that he will never get anywhere close to 120 games caught again. However, I think that we as fans need to start accepting that he is a part-time catcher at this point of his career. There are still parts of his game that we should be enjoying, instead of constantly pointing out the few flaws that he has.

    I guess my point would be, this team has so many flaws that Mauer missing 5 games in September of a lost season is hardly one to focus on.
  18. Obie's Avatar
    On Sunday's Sid Hartman call-in show, Dave Mona referenced the recent Randball comparison of Kirby Puckett and Joe Mauer at the same stage of their careers. Mona suggested fans were astounded to learn that their stats were essentially equal--quite apart from the different demands between outfielder and catcher. The facts don't fit the anti-Mauer meme. All the "baby-Jesus" naysayers will be shocked when he is a first ballot Hall of Fame inductee. Mauer's career OPS ranks as good as or better than nearly all the great catchers, except for Mike Piazza who was a defensive liability and played during the steroid era.
  19. USAFChief's Avatar
    Something like 120 games per season started per season is a reasonable expectation for a full time catcher (3 out of every 4).

    Mauer has done that twice in his career, 2006 and 2008.

    And it's extremely unlikely he'll ever come close to that work load again.

    A sarcastic "iron man" label is a lot more justified than your cherry picked numbers and weak arguments imply.
  20. Brad Swanson's Avatar
    I'm absolutely with OldManWinter here. In 2011, the snarky "iron man" remark would have been more justifiable. I would have still disagreed, but I could have seen that side of an argument. This year, the comment is unfounded and somewhat unfair.

    Last year, he had a bad knee. I had a bad knee a few months ago and I could barely use the stairs. I can't imagine trying to catch.
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