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Article: Mailbag: Adding Keuchel, Opening Day Rotation, Angry Fans

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#1 Cody Christie

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 07:30 PM

Opening Day is a little over two weeks away. Even with the mounds of snow that continue to grow, they believe there will be baseball played at Target Field on March 28. I’ve been to every home opener at Target Field and I have been at something like 15 of the last 16 home openers for the Twins.

It’s not happening this year. No number of puffy vests could change my mind. That being said, there are still some things that need to be decided about the club. Let’s open the mailbox and see what the people have sent in.
Dallas Keuchel would be a strong addition to the Twins rotation, but I don’t think it is going to happen. I truly don’t understand why he is still a free agent. Houston’s front office knows him the best, but they haven’t bitten the bullet on adding him back to staff. There must be more to the Keuchel situation. There are some health and durability concerns about Keuchel, especially if he wants a long-term deal.

He’s only 31 and he has a Cy Young, four Gold Gloves, and two All-Star appearances. He’s not going to pitch the same way he did in 2015, his Cy Young year, but he could be a nice number two or three pitcher on a contending team. At this point, it seems like his agent might be waiting for a key injury to a starting pitcher to drive up the Keuchel cost.


When it comes to the final rotation order, some of the pieces are already decided. Jose Berrios has been named the team’s Opening Day starter. It seems likely that weather will impact some of the team’s early season games and the club wouldn’t need a fifth starter for the first couple of weeks.

Behind Berrios, Kyle Gibson seems like a logical number two pitcher. From there, things get murky. Michael Pineda, Jake Odorizzi, and Martin Perez are the next three in line for starting spots. Odorizzi got crushed in his last Grapefruit League start but he might have been working on some specific pitches. Perez has some experience in relief so he could start the year in the bullpen. A couple more rough starts and Odorizzi could switch places with Perez.

Twins Opening Day Rotation
  • Jose Berrios
  • Kyle Gibson
  • Michael Pineda
  • Jake Odorizzi
  • Martin Perez (begins in the bullpen)

Minnesota has focused on power this offseason, but I don’t think it is enough to reach the 350-home run mark. Last year, the Yankees hit 267 home runs and that was the most in big league history. Minnesota ranked 23rd with 166 home runs. Only five teams in MLB history have hit over 250 home runs and that might have been what you meant.

With Minnesota’s revamped line-up, I believe the club can crack the 200-home run mark. This would put them near the top-10 in the league. Most of the Opening Day line-up should have the potential to hit 20 home runs or more. Also, Nelson Cruz certainly helps any club’s home run total.


In the last week, the Twins announced some family friendly pricing on items at concession stands in Target Field. Unfortunately, there are only two stands with these family friendly prices. Target Field still lets fans bring in any outside food that they want as long as it is in an appropriate container. I took advantage of this policy multiple times when I lived in the Twin Cities.

Unfortunately, I think Twitter allows fans to be negative when it isn’t necessary. People can hide behind their computer screens or their phones and complain about things that don’t have that much of an impact on them. The Twins made an effort to lower prices at Target Field. They didn’t have to do it. If you don’t want to wait in the lines, bring in your own food or go to a more expensive stand.

I love the food options at Target Field. I only make it to a couple games per year so I’m going to buy the food I want and pay full price.

What do you think about this week’s questions? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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Cody Christie
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#2 highlander

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 08:48 PM

I'd rather the Twins signed Kimbrel than Kuechel.
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#3 blindeke

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 09:39 PM

Great point about bringing your own food. 

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#4 HrbieFan

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 11:39 PM

I'd love for all teams to go the Falcons route and roll back food and drink prices to the 80's. A hot dog with a bun and condiments is no more than 40¢, unless you are at a pro sport.
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#5 Don't Feed the Greed Guy

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 12:15 AM

It's ballpark food, not the Last Supper. Bring your own food. Better yet, bring enough cash to buy at least one round of warm, flat beer for the people you love, or have to endure for the duration of the game. And, always, ALWAYS, tip your vendor.

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#6 Tommygun921

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 07:04 AM

I think if Kuechel would sign for 3 years and $30 million he'd have been signed by 10+ other teams by now. I'm sure he's asking for more like 3 years and $60-75 million....or more. Which is why he hasn't signed. Hard to take that risk on a guy that has been losing velocity the last few years. I believe it's a similar situation with Kimbrel.
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#7 Shaitan

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 08:17 AM

re: "fan outrage"

Don't mistake Twitter for real life.

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#8 bighat

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 08:31 AM

I've also wondered about the constant complaining about concession prices. You don't have to buy 2 beers, a jumbo brand-name BBQ sandwich, a pretzel and stop at the sushi bar. You can eat before the game, and while in the stands just buy peanuts and a coke and you'll escape with a couple extra $20 bills in your wallet.

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#9 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 08:32 AM

Wouldn't it make more sense to put Gibson at the back of the rotation to start, given he's recovering from severe weight loss? A few extra days of recovery could make a difference.
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#10 woolywoolhouse

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 08:35 AM

I've worked at Target Field the last two years, and yes: there are still people who enjoy going to the park for the games themselves, particularly when there's history to celebrate (Hall of Fame weekends) or happening (Mauer's last game.) There haven't been too many sell-outs these last two years (even with the Twins in the Wild Card hunt in 2017) but there are still thousands of fans every game intently watching, scrutinizing, keeping score, cheering and booing at the appropriate times. 

 

But then yeah, there's people who spend the entire game in one of the many in-park bars, never once looking down at the field or even up at the screen; there's kids who want to play at the playground (which will be even bigger this year) the entire time; and there's people spending the whole game on their phones; and you just want to shake your head in the most dad-way possible. 

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#11 JLease

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 08:48 AM

 

I think if Kuechel would sign for 3 years and $30 million he'd have been signed by 10+ other teams by now. I'm sure he's asking for more like 3 years and $60-75 million....or more. Which is why he hasn't signed. Hard to take that risk on a guy that has been losing velocity the last few years. I believe it's a similar situation with Kimbrel.

 

well, closer than the ridiculous 3 years $30M speculated. I'm almost certain that he's looking for an AAV of at least $17M and probably closer to $20M. The bigger issue may be that he's holding out for a 4-5 year deal on top of it.

 

Of course the Twins would sign him at 3/$30M. I think the Twins would sign him at 3/$50M. I think he's trying to get a 4th year minimum and everyone is balking because they think his shoulder might fall off in year 2 or 3.


#12 USNMCPO

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 08:58 AM

 

I've worked at Target Field the last two years, and yes: there are still people who enjoy going to the park for the games themselves, particularly when there's history to celebrate (Hall of Fame weekends) or happening (Mauer's last game.) There haven't been too many sell-outs these last two years (even with the Twins in the Wild Card hunt in 2017) but there are still thousands of fans every game intently watching, scrutinizing, keeping score, cheering and booing at the appropriate times. 

 

But then yeah, there's people who spend the entire game in one of the many in-park bars, never once looking down at the field or even up at the screen; there's kids who want to play at the playground (which will be even bigger this year) the entire time; and there's people spending the whole game on their phones; and you just want to shake your head in the most dad-way possible. 

As a former season ticket holder, I can confirm your take. We had a group that sat behind us one year that drove us nuts. The whole game the guys would be jumping up and pushing to get out and back in to their seats (pushing everyone around them). Their wives would be doing selfies the whole game while discussing loudly anything and everything except baseball. We knew all about their kids, families, jobs and unfortunately their sex lives.

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#13 Thebigalguy

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 09:46 AM

Didn’t know I could bring my own food. Thanks for that tip. What is an appropriate container?

I think this year’s team has the potential to delight us all. Optimism is an opening day hazard, but I’m hoping the team will help us forget ice dams and blizzards with a rainstorm of hits and homers. I won’t be at opening day, too cold for baseball, but later, if the boys of summer grow into poised young men, I’ll be there to razz them on.

#14 spycake

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 10:53 AM

 

Didn’t know I could bring my own food. Thanks for that tip. What is an appropriate container?

Pretty much anything but coolers:

"Coolers and bags of any size with hard sides are not allowed in the ballpark. Soft-sided containers and bags 16" by 16" by 8" or smaller are permitted into Target Field."

 

https://www.mlb.com/...formation/guide

 

I've brought my backpack or a reusable cloth grocery bag.

 

Also note that while you can bring in any food you want, the same is not true of beverages:

"Sealed, bottled water 32 oz. or less, and soft sided single juice or milk containers for children are the only outside beverages permitted into Target Field."

 

I bring an empty bottle to fill up at a drinking fountain once I am inside the ballpark. Also, if you pledge to be a "designated driver" at the booths behind LF (lower deck) or in the 3B/LF foul corner (upper deck), you get a free soda coupon. (And don't worry, it's just a pledge, you don't actually have to drive anyone :) )

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#15 Knuckleball9

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 11:29 AM

What??You want them to spend for on the Field improvements AND lower concessions?In a TAX PAYER FUNDED STADIUM??What are you people Socialists??


#16 Minfidel

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 04:21 PM

 

I've worked at Target Field the last two years, and yes: there are still people who enjoy going to the park for the games themselves, particularly when there's history to celebrate (Hall of Fame weekends) or happening (Mauer's last game.) There haven't been too many sell-outs these last two years (even with the Twins in the Wild Card hunt in 2017) but there are still thousands of fans every game intently watching, scrutinizing, keeping score, cheering and booing at the appropriate times. 

 

But then yeah, there's people who spend the entire game in one of the many in-park bars, never once looking down at the field or even up at the screen; there's kids who want to play at the playground (which will be even bigger this year) the entire time; and there's people spending the whole game on their phones; and you just want to shake your head in the most dad-way possible. 

I went to a couple of Saints games last year, and I don't like the constant "entertainment". I like some fun, and not taking things too seriously, but it's overdone and distracting from the game. I hate it when I look out on the field and have to ask myself, "Hey, how did that guy get on second base?"


#17 Grandpa Silver

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 04:26 PM

Been a life long Twins fan now living in warmer climes. But I plan on being back for opening day and I will spend $$$ for a sandwich at Tony Oliva's stand if its still there. At 31, Keuchel is past the point where he merits a long-term deal. Just ask the Angels about Albert Pujols. As we get closer to opening day someone will make him an offer he can't refuse. He's probably worth 3 years at $11-12 million with performance bonuses and a option year. Most pitchers peak at 28-29 and he is on the tail end of that and should not expect more. 

 


#18 yarnivek1972

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 06:15 PM

I'd love for all teams to go the Falcons route and roll back food and drink prices to the 80's. A hot dog with a bun and condiments is no more than 40¢, unless you are at a pro sport.


I don’t know where you buy your meat. Good hot dogs cost about $1 per quarter pound dog, which is what most ballpark hot dogs weigh. Bun and average condiments prrobably about $.25. Whatever packaging is probably 2-3 cents per.

Of course, you also are paying for someone to make it and someone to bring it to your seat. Figure probably at least $1 worth of labor costs and $.25 for overhead costs like utilities, taxes, food licensing fees, etc. Your 40 cent hotdog now costs $2.25.

#19 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 08:08 PM

Yeah, I don't understand the point of whining about the price of a non essential service.
There is an easy solution if it's overpriced.
Plus, it's pretty much impossible for a non essential service or product to actually be overpriced. It's value is exactly what people are willing to pay for it, no more, no less. If the concessions truly are overpriced, they won't be for long, because not enough people will buy them, which will force them to lower prices.

#20 h2oface

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Posted 13 March 2019 - 03:40 AM

I can't get to Target.... but I go to a bunch of games at Dodger Stadium (including the 3 game sweep the Twins suffered in July of 2017 and watched Granite throw it to a base where there was no one there to lose a sure win, Molitor totally blow a double substitution, was forced to watch Colon for a game, and watched Rodgers and Kintzler implode and the Twins score first in every game and give up 1, 2 and 5 run leads... argh) every year (I love to see MLB games, no matter who is playing) and always brought way better food than you could get at the park. Same type of policy. At Angel stadium (was in left field when Pujols #600 landed 20 feet away against us), too. No need to line the pockets of the greedy hand.