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  • Why I Will Watch

    Tonight The Voice of Reason™ and I went to a St. Paul Saints game. We soaked in a gorgeous Minnesota summer night, watched a bunch of kitsch and thoroughly enjoyed a game in which we had almost no emotional investment. Because it’s baseball. And it doesn’t last forever.As If A Baseball Fan Needs Reasons To Watch

    I hear Minnesota sports fans lauding the turning of the calendar page, anxious for football and the (albeit limited) hope new seasons bring. I’ll enjoy watching the Gophers and Vikings too. But I’m a baseball guy, and I can’t devise a night much better than I just had.

    So go ahead, tell me how tough it is for you to watch a Twins game right now. Or take it a step further; tell me how you won’t watch a Twins game right now. I won’t be upset. More like puzzled, because I see all kinds of things that are exciting to watch over these last six months of the season. Let’s count down the top six.


    6. Sam Deduno

    The original sin in baseball is to overestimate how much you really know. Sabermetrically and historically, Deduno doesn’t make any sense. But maybe we don’t know everything about this game just yet. I’m very excited to see how this ends.

    5. Chris Parmelee

    “Prospects” kind of get lumped together, and we’re poorer as fans for it. So let’s be clear – nobody has had a season like Parmelee is having in AAA since the Twins moved to Rochester. Not Cuddyer. Not Kubel. Not Morneau. That doesn’t mean he’s a star in the making. But I sure want to see what he can do.

    (And that includes what he can do – shudder – in right field.)

    4. Liam Hendriks & Brian Dozier

    Two guys who were rushed through AAA, brought up to the majors and predictably struggled. I’ve seen enough from both to think they’re on the right path, they just have a ways to go. I’m convinced these stories are going to have a happy ending.

    3. Denard Span & the Twins Medical Staff


    When Span is deemed unavailable for the 15th straight day, will the Twins finally feel comfortable putting him on the DL? Or perhaps they'll decide that they don’t need their medical staff any more, relying solely on the player’s self-diagnosis. When they need a second opinion they'll draw cards from the board game Operation. (The Wacky Doctor Game!)

    2. Other September Callups

    I think we’re going to be disappointed by how few additional September callups there are, but I’m hopeful we’ll get to see some pitching. I’d love to see if Esmerling Vazquez’ recent hot streak represents a breakthrough. I’d like to see if Anthony Slama and his video-game-like stats prove the organization’s brain trust wrong. I’d like to see if Deolis Guerra could have a role next year.

    1. Joe Mauer and Ben Revere

    As a Twins fan in the 70s, it wasn’t uncommon to have nothing more than a Carew batting title to root for come August. I’ll readily admit my fascination with Mauer and Revere’s longshot chances are based on that being an annual occurrence of my childhood. I’d likely be just as fascinated if they brought back the bullpen car.

    (Of course, who wouldn’t?)
    This article was originally published in blog: Why I Will Watch started by John Bonnes
    Comments 44 Comments
    1. Mauerzy4Prez's Avatar
      Mauerzy4Prez -
      Quote Originally Posted by Winston Smith View Post
      I'm not sure which is worse living in Iowa or being able to watch the Twins.
      LOL maybe it's a good thing they can't watch them down there?
    1. John Bonnes's Avatar
      John Bonnes -
      Quote Originally Posted by greengoblinrulz View Post
      Ryan hinted strongly last nite about the open slots bein used for Aaron Hicks.....that enough will keep me interested
      When? Where? Just wondering.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Is there a good reason to add Hicks to the 40 man before November? I can't think of one.
    1. nokomismod's Avatar
      nokomismod -
      Seth, if Florimon's defense is this legit and he isn't given to lapses like Alexi seems to have too often, I would be very happy with him as our SS next season. He reminds me a little of Alexi Ramirez in terms of speed and body.

      Jimminy Crickett, I too agree that MLB.tv would be awesome if not for the blackout stuff. I have to think that MLB is protecting their broadcast partners (FSN here for the Twins) by blacking out the market that FSN is trying to sell too. I had the season pass last year and ended up watching teams that I never would have had the opportunity to watch before.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      Is there a good reason to add Hicks to the 40 man before November? I can't think of one.
      September callup is just about it.
    1. TwinsMusings's Avatar
      TwinsMusings -
      Quote Originally Posted by Winston Smith View Post
      I'm not sure which is worse living in Iowa or being able to watch the Twins.
      Actually, some of us get both...living in Iowa and being able to watch the Twins. In my case here in north Iowa, my cable company carries FSN so almost every Twins game is on TV - HD even. Of course, that doesn't make the Twins any better.

      And, for those who don't live in Iowa and have not reason to know this, MLB.tv blacks out SIX MLB teams in Iowa (whether they are on FSN, FOX, ESPN or WGN) because we are considered "in market" for all of them! (Twins, Brewers, Cubs, White Sox, Cardinals, Royals) It does tend to make us a bit cranky if we are interested in one of those teams and our cable provider chooses to be "in market" for the wrong team for our interests. A little sympathy and help pressuring the Twins management and MLB from you Minnesotans would be appreciated.
    1. Wookiee of the Year's Avatar
      Wookiee of the Year -
      I thought that was you, Mr. Bonnes, across the Saints' grandstand, but with just your display picture to go off of, I wasn't certain.

      It is nice to step away from the Twins for an evening and enjoy another local team's baseball performance. I just wish the rosters they handed out included batting stats, and not just height/weight/age/hometown. I'd feel like a much more informed and invested fan. And while they sometimes put up those stats on the scoreboard during the at-bats, it's not with enough regularity to feel useful to me.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by John Bonnes View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by greengoblinrulz View Post
      Ryan hinted strongly last nite about the open slots bein used for Aaron Hicks.....that enough will keep me interested
      When? Where? Just wondering.
      He said something about him (like how well he is doing and he is fulfilling the big expectations they had for him) but really totally diplomatic (I did not detect a hint) when Tom Pelissero asked him on his ESPN 1500 show (6ish PM CDT?)

      He will need a spot for 2013 anyways (Arcia too). Just hard to see him do that right now, unless Span is well done.
    1. one_eyed_jack's Avatar
      one_eyed_jack -
      Oh I'll keep watching, and probably attend in person at least a couple of more times.

      I'm really interested to see how these guys, youngsters and vets alike, finish out the season. Last year, it was 10-32 in the last quarter. A repeat of that, and heads should start rolling immediately after the last out of the final game.

      Most of our games left are against division opponents, so there's opportunity to play spoiler and climb out of last place.

      We've also got the Yankees coming to town. We split in the Bronx in April, so we can win the season series. They may be resting regulars by then, but it would still be a nice little moral victory.
    1. JB_Iowa's Avatar
      JB_Iowa -
      Quote Originally Posted by TwinsMusings View Post
      And, for those who don't live in Iowa and have not reason to know this, MLB.tv blacks out SIX MLB teams in Iowa (whether they are on FSN, FOX, ESPN or WGN) because we are considered "in market" for all of them! (Twins, Brewers, Cubs, White Sox, Cardinals, Royals) It does tend to make us a bit cranky if we are interested in one of those teams and our cable provider chooses to be "in market" for the wrong team for our interests.
      I hate to make this a referendum on TV watching in Iowa (and to hijack the thread to focus on that issue) but I want to add a couple of things. JC and I have been over this in the past so he knows my position.

      I agree that having 6 MLB teams blacked out can stink. BUT for some of us, it is a great thing. I have DISH network. Without subscribing to any additional "baseball package", I get all 6 of the "blackout" teams -- Twins, Royals, Cardinals, White Sox, Cubs and Brewers on a number of different regional sports stations and they are all included without extra fee. Add that to the Mets on WPIX, plus MLB network and MLB alternative and there's plenty of chances to watch most teams so I see absolutely no reason to shell out for internet mlb or a satellite baseball package.

      I also live in a community where my local cable carrier includes FSN. JC's problem is that he is in southeast (okay southcentral-east Iowa) where his cable provider probably offers the Cubs, White Sox and/or Cardinals.

      I sympathize with JC's complaints (even as I feel like I reap the benefits of the whole thing) but the problem is that Iowa really is a very mixed baseball market. Depending on where you live, you may traditionally have been a Twins, Royals, Cardinals, White Sox or Cubs fan (Brewers probably less so even in Northeast Iowa). One solution would probably be to simply make an exception for Iowa on the mlb tv rules while leaving everybody else alone. I don't think there is another state with a similar situation of being considered in the market of so many teams.
    1. jimbo92107's Avatar
      jimbo92107 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      People said I was crazy. Maybe I am, but Florimon's defense is impressive. That said... if anyone thinks he'll hit .333, it's not going to happen. .233 is a better likelihood.
      How about I say .333, you say .233, and we settle for .290?

      With 35 doubles, 10 triples, and 15 home runs?
    1. Don't Feed the Greed Guy's Avatar
      Don't Feed the Greed Guy -
      Obviously most players' MLB stats are not as high as the ones they posted in the minors. But there are exceptions. Who can name some? Ready, Go...
    1. Riverbrian's Avatar
      Riverbrian -
      Matt Holliday comes to mind right away.

      I also think you will find quite a few examples. The outta nowhere stories are all over baseball.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      Quote Originally Posted by Riverbrian View Post
      Matt Holliday comes to mind right away.

      I also think you will find quite a few examples. The outta nowhere stories are all over baseball.
      guys who have been rushed can come out of nowhere so to speak.

      One guy in MN that could eventually be on this list is Plouffe.
    1. USAFChief's Avatar
      USAFChief -
      Quote Originally Posted by Don't Feed the Greed Guy View Post
      Obviously most players' MLB stats are not as high as the ones they posted in the minors. But there are exceptions. Who can name some? Ready, Go...
      One guy who comes to mind immediately is Denard Span.

      8 minor league seasons, .711 career minor league OPS. Posted exactly one .800 OPS (in a 49 game sample in high A ball). .723 AAA OPS and .693 AA OPS.

      .748 career major league OPS, with two seasons above .800
    1. snepp's Avatar
      snepp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mauerzy4Prez View Post
      I doubt that the MLB just blacks out the state of Iowa for no good reason, are they not a business that wants to maximize revenue in every way possible?
      Are you aware of the ridiculousness of the blackout restrictions in Iowa? The Twins, Brewers, Royals, Cardinals, Cubs, and White Sox, Iowa is "home territory" to them all. What a fantastic way to build support for your game.

      The MLB's blackout policy is an archaic disaster.
    1. Ultima Ratio's Avatar
      Ultima Ratio -
      Quote Originally Posted by snepp View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Mauerzy4Prez View Post
      I doubt that the MLB just blacks out the state of Iowa for no good reason, are they not a business that wants to maximize revenue in every way possible?
      Are you aware of the ridiculousness of the blackout restrictions in Iowa? The Twins, Brewers, Royals, Cardinals, Cubs, and White Sox, Iowa is "home territory" to them all. What a fantastic way to build support for your game.

      The MLB's blackout policy is an archaic disaster.
      Furthermore, the Twins were broadcasted on WHO radio across the entire state and beyond in the 60s and 70s I believe (my father tells me), surely someone on here knows exactly (I looked this up to no avail). This was before the Cubs moved their AAA team to Des Moines. In short, Iowa used to be much more Twins territory... there is not even a station in Des Moines (nor 80% of the state) with the Twins games now. It's quite a loss of ground leading to the current cluster "mess" If only the Twins would have moved to Des Moines in 1981.
    1. Riverbrian's Avatar
      Riverbrian -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ultima Ratio View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by snepp View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Mauerzy4Prez View Post
      I doubt that the MLB just blacks out the state of Iowa for no good reason, are they not a business that wants to maximize revenue in every way possible?
      Are you aware of the ridiculousness of the blackout restrictions in Iowa? The Twins, Brewers, Royals, Cardinals, Cubs, and White Sox, Iowa is "home territory" to them all. What a fantastic way to build support for your game.

      The MLB's blackout policy is an archaic disaster.
      Furthermore, the Twins were broadcasted on WHO radio across the entire state and beyond in the 60s and 70s I believe (my father tells me), surely someone on here knows exactly (I looked this up to no avail). This was before the Cubs moved their AAA team to Des Moines. In short, Iowa used to be much more Twins territory... there is not even a station in Des Moines (nor 80% of the state) with the Twins games now. It's quite a loss of ground leading to the current cluster "mess" If only the Twins would have moved to Des Moines in 1981.
      Snepp... FUBAR is the acronym that describes it.

      The map needs to be fixed... And it most likely won't because the owners won't be able to stay out of each others way. Money is involved. There are a few states FUBAR like Iowa is... Yet Iowa is especially FUBAR because 6 teams all claiming it is just plain over the top.

      First off the Cubs and White Sox don't need Iowa... Chicago, Indiana and the Rest of Illinois is big enough.

      The Brewers and Royals are non factors...

      The state should be divided up between the Cardinals and Twins... Easy enough... And if the owners can't get out of each others way here... Let Iowa be the beneficiary and remove the blackout... Let the state actually get the baseball that the clubs are fighting over.

      And while they're at it... boot the Cubs AAA out of Iowa as well. Let them have Indianapolis... Move Pittsburgh AAA to Rochester and let the Twins have Iowa... Everyone will have a shorter trip to their AAA affiliates that way.
    1. snepp's Avatar
      snepp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Riverbrian View Post
      Snepp... FUBAR is the acronym that describes it.
      Indeed it does.
    1. JB_Iowa's Avatar
      JB_Iowa -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ultima Ratio View Post
      Furthermore, the Twins were broadcasted on WHO radio across the entire state and beyond in the 60s and 70s I believe (my father tells me), surely someone on here knows exactly (I looked this up to no avail). This was before the Cubs moved their AAA team to Des Moines. In short, Iowa used to be much more Twins territory... there is not even a station in Des Moines (nor 80% of the state) with the Twins games now. It's quite a loss of ground leading to the current cluster "mess" If only the Twins would have moved to Des Moines in 1981.
      Honestly I don't remember if the Twins were on WHO. WNAX out of Yankton, SD used to reach a large part of Iowa (as well as a lot of SD, some in ND and in MN). According to radio map, they still carry Twins games but their signal strength must not be nearly what it used to be.

      All of the current Twins radio broadcast stations in Iowa are in the northern part of the state -- Sioux City, Spencer, Mason City, New Hampton and Cedar Falls.

      I really think the answer is in simply lifting the blackout rules for mlbtv for the state rather than trying to divide it up differently. Lifting the blackout rules for mlbtv subscriptions shouldn't significantly adversely affect any team OR any particular cable operators because the state is a gigantic mess on broadcasting rights anyway. Same thing with radio subscription rights.
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