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  1. Stealing Second With Runners On The Corners

    I just listened to Denard Span short circuit a potential rally by trying to steal second base with runners on the corners and one out. He was caught. I wondered if that was an especially stupid decision.

    It turns out, it's not that risky. Or at least it's not if you accept that a baserunner usually needs to steal bases about 2/3 of the time to be effective.

    Generally, one studies something like this using Palmer & Thorn's Run Expectancy Matrix. It's a neat grid that shows, ...
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  2. Changing Focus: The Danny Valencia & Francisco Liriano Moves

    At some (very depressing) point, as a season becomes turns into an extended offseason, the focus needs to change. For the Twins, that change has been coming since the middle of last week. The turning point was tonight.

    At some point, the focus changes from the team to the players. The moves become less about what the team needs, and more about what each player needs. It doesnít necessarily mean coming down on one side or the other, but the balance changes. That balance changed tonight. ...
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  3. Opening Presents Too Early

    Brian Dozier turns 25 next Tuesday.

    Thatís not young for a prospect. This spring he barely made the cut of Baseball Americaís top 10 Twins prospects. Above him on that list were Chris Parmelee (who is hitting .203), Liam Hendriks (who is being demoted to AAA-Rochester) and Joe Benson (who was demoted yesterday to AA-New Britain yesterday). He has never hit even double-digits home runs in his minor league career. Prior to this year, he was never a fulltime shortstop in the minors. ...
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  4. Gleeman & the Geek Ep 40: Morneau down, Dozier Up

    Aaron and John talk about Justin Morneau's latest injury, Brian Dozier's arrival, swapping Clete Thomas for Erik Komatsu, giving Scott Diamond a chance in place of Liam Hendriks, their new PickPointz game, Ron Gardenhire's job security, bad news for Danny Valencia and Alexi Casilla, answering questions submitted by listeners via Twitter, and the latest from the minor leagues with special guest Seth Stohs. Here are:

    ...
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  5. Just Better Than Awful

    Even prior to tonightís shellacking, the Twins collective ERA sits at 5.59, last in the major leagues. On the Gleeman and the Geek show last week, I asked ďCan a team that ranks towards the bottom of the league in pitching even pretend to be competitive?Ē It turns out they can.

    Since 2000, there have been five teams that made the playoffs even though they ranked in the bottom third of the league in ERA. One of them was the Twins. In 2009, after a tense game 163 versus the Tigers, the ...
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  6. Anatomy Of A Mauer Boo

    Iím not particularly fond of how Minnesota treats its sports stars. The Puckett-like love affair is rare. More often, we pick nits. Kevin Garnett doesnít score enough, or isnít clutch enough. Joe Mauer doesnít hit for enough power or doesnít show enough leadership. Fran Tarkenton canít win the big one, Harmon Killebrew is too quiet, Rod Carew is self-absorbed Ö the list goes on and on.

    (There are forces at work here that are slicker and far more powerful than subjective analysis. ...
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  7. Gleeman & the Geek Ep 39: Ragged Rotation

    Aaron and John talk about the Twins' terrible starting pitching, Delmon Young not going to Hebrew school, booing Joe Mauer, putting past division titles in proper perspective, Ben Revere's brief return, skipping Francisco Liriano, Ron Gardenhire's odd bullpen usage, and jinxing anything and everything. Here are:

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  8. Red Sox 6, Twins 5

    I blame myself.

    I do. Heading to the middle of the eighth inning, Iím forced to leave my seat to pick up my kid at 10:00. By the time I walk through the stadium, Iíve heard the roar and see Jamey Carroll standing on third base with no outs and the third through fifth batters coming up.

    If I didnít have to pick up my kid in 10 minutes, I SWEAR I wouldíve stuck around. I mean Ė you know me by now. Is there anyone MORE superstitious?

    Four blocks away from Target ...
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  9. Gleeman & the Geek Ep 38: F Bomb

    Aaron and John talk about Francisco Liriano's latest ugly start, Luke Hughes leaving via the waiver wire, the clock ticking on Alexi Casilla and Danny Valencia, phone calls from listeners, why the bullpen has been better than expected, and why getting old stinks. Here are:

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  10. A Neanderthal's Rebuttal

    I wrote this in 2003, but somehow haven't revisited it for a while. Give the recent stadium kerfuffle, it seems like a good story to revisit, especially because it reflects a core tenet of this site: sports ARE important, and we don't shouldn't apologize for thinking so.
    ~~~~

    Reject the fundamental assumption. After that, the arguments start answering themselves.

    This Sunday morning I was awakened by our 3-year-old son, at the customary time of 0-dark:30.
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  11. MLB Payroll By The Numbers

    Every year USA Today examines the salaries of the Major League Baseball teams and their players and publishes them. Let's see that their numbers tell us about the Twins recent payroll cut....

    Swimming Upstream
    Twins payroll went from $112.7M last year to $94.1M this year, a decrease of $18.6M or 17%.

    Overall, MLB payrolls increased 6%. If the Twins payroll from 2011 would have increased 6%, the payroll would have been $119.5M, $25.4M more than actual level.
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  12. Gleeman & the Geek Ep 36: Radio Radio

    In which Aaron and John take the podcast to the radio with their KFAN debut and talk about Clete Thomas' big first impression, Ben Revere's demotion to Triple-A, what the rotation looks like after injuries to Scott Baker and Nick Blackburn, why Liam Hendriks is sticking around, what the future holds for Francisco Liriano and Alexi Casilla and what Delmon Young and porn have in common. Here are:

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  13. Twins Bats Defeat Twins Gloves 6-5

    The Twins won their first game of the season last night as their bats defeated Jared Weaver, the Los Angeles Angels, and the Twins own defense by a score of 6-5.

    It was a victory not just for the players on the field, but for the front office and coaching staff, as it finally validated decisions they had made throughout the offseason and spring training. Those decisions, contrary to the popular view of the Twins as a fundamentally sound team, have emphasized scoring runs over solid ...
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  14. Gleeman & the Geek Ep 36: Bad Starts and New Beginnings

    Aaron and John share some exciting news about the podcast and the unexciting news surrounding the Twins 0-4 start. Here are:

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