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Wins do count

Entries in this blog

Our foundational players - the big six

We were excited when our prospects came up and the future looked bright - in 2019 that future arrived and it was great, but we expected a longer run.  The foundation was going to be Berrios - I know all the arguments that he is not a true Ace, but he has been our best pitcher and is a solid middle of the rotation arm that we did not build around.  53 - 40 with a 4.11 era for his six years 8.1 WAR.  The expected stars on offense were Sano and Buxton Miguel Sano - who is in his 7th year

Prospects number 125-150

https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/how-many-mlb-draftees-make-it-to-the-majors/ It would be nice to think that everyone signed to a baseball contract would see a day in the majors, but here is what this site has to say, "Over three days in early June, more than 1,200 players will have their long-time dreams come true. They will hear their names called as selections in the 2019 draft.   Of those more than 1,200 draftees, more than 900 players will agree to terms and sign contracts to become

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Baseball economics

I once had a degree in economics - admittedly it was in the 1960s so it is out dated. What I am trying to figure out is how do these intelligent, super rich owners in major league baseball get bamboozled.   Okay, the LA Dodgers got Bauer. Wow is that special. Were they not going to win the NL West before they got him? What will he add? What if he gets hurt? How many people/teams were they bidding against?   Last year the Angels signed Mike Trout to a $30 million dollars a year contract because h

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1947 - the mechanics of hitting

A friend gave me old Popular Mechanics magazines to look through. In 1947 there was a mechanics of hitting article - yes in Popular Mechanics and I got such a charge out of it I had to share. I hope you can enlarge these pages. I suspect the adds will give you as much pleasure as the article.   I would love to see what an article like that would be like today - no more bunts (I am sorry to say), don't swing level, who cares if you strike out?   It is fun to see the old time greats as well.

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Ten Moments that shook the sports world

Stan Isaacs chose ten events from his sports writing history that he thinks are significant world events. These are not in order - Munich is his number one on his count down Superbowl I and II The Knicks Willis Reed NBA championship The Amazing Mets World Series Bobby Thompson's "Shot heard round the world" home run Harvard - Yale tie game Secretariat race at Belmont Ali/Fraser - first fight Jets win Superbowl III Bjorn Borg - John McEnroe tennis Wimbeldon The 1972 Munich Olympics He

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Home Runs, Strike outs and walks

What does Bonds, McGwire, or Sosa's home run records mean in a game that is just another version of video game? Set their record up as per cent of HRs hit. Ruth hit 60 and the teams averaged 58, Bonds hit 73 and teams averaged 185. Time to get some real perspective. Bonds would have needed to hit 191.   In an era where we seem to forget how great baseball has been and have instead focused on the "three true outcomes" we have also lost the three great values - excitement, speed, and drama. I do n

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Standing Pat

I have been reading so many lists - the best for the Twins, oh wait, they signed elsewhere. Here are two pitchers who cannot stay healthy, which should we sign? Don't worry they can still get someone. There is still value at the bottom of the list. It is a weekly, if not daily, ritual. But what if they don't sign anyone and look inward?   Let me speculate from I love the young guys to a lineup without a trade or a signing:   Arraez - 2B Lewis - SS Polanco - U Blankenhorn or Gordon - U Donaldson

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The Shortstop factory

The Twins have Jorge Polanco at SS. In 2019 he was an all star. Now all of Twins fandom wants him at utility and hope for the team to sign another SS. I am not sure why. Our number one prospect remains Royce Lewis who is still listed as a SS who should be ready by the end of the year at least. So why do we want to demote Polanco and block Lewis? This is reasoning that does not work for me.   Then we have Wander Javier who came to us in the same international draft that produced Vladimir Guerrero

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moving the needle

As I read the entries on the TD sight we all imagine getting players in Free agency or big trades. This is especially true when we see the Padres making their moves. What I really liked was the WAR team ratings that MLB.com got from Fangraphs and I used for the Blog photo. This is really significant to me. It shows us ranked fifth, but there are five teams close behind us and only two in the AL ahead of us.   So any move we make has to keep us above the teams right behind us like the White Sox.

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A line of defense for the future

With all the talk about FA and DFAs I got thinking about who the prospects behind each position are – not the top prospects in the system – but the ones that are there for each position on the club. Call it the next line of defense:   C – Jeffers is obvious, but he might be the starting C so who is next – Ben Rortvedt would be the next in line. He is age 23 which surprised me, because it seems like we have been looking at him for the last decade (I exaggerate). He has four minor league season

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The history of Twins DHs

The question is – should we sign Cruz or just let a number of players DH? I thought I would look back at the Twins DH history. I ignore any DWAR since I am only interested in the DH.   Tony Oliva was the first DH. In 1973 he was in 146 games. He hit 291/345/410 and his WAR was 0.7. The next year he was in 127 games with a line of 285/326/414 and 0.4 WAR. 1975 he played 131 games with a line of 270/344/378 and WAR of 0.5. 1976 saw Craig Kusick as the DH – 259/344/432 – 1.5 WAR. In 77 his l

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75 for 75

Seventy five for a seventy five year old Okay, it is my birthday and I love life and all my ex-students, friends, participants in the guided tours, neighbors and family. So I am reflective and that means I have to think of 75 memories – there are many more. But here are 75 Twin memories. 1. Ushering during season one 2. Mudcat Grant – you want colorful – this is it. 3. Vic Power taking over first base in a way I have never seen anywhere else. 4. Jim Kaat just delivering and delivering and deli

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ESPN - Roto fantasy rankings for the Twins

As I said in my previous blog posting I am watching to see where the current Twins rank in ratings outside the Twin Cities. It is always suggestive to read a less biased - less connected view of our own team. So here is the ESPN Roto rankings for 2021 - https://www.espn.com/fantasy/baseball/story/_/id/28285423/fantasy-baseball-2021-rankings-roto-rotisserie   Catcher Garver is rated #7 (between Will Smith and Gary Sanchez) Jeffers 34 (between Romine and Torrens Avila is 47 between Trevino and Kna

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An outsiders Fantasy view of the Twins

I am always looking for outsider opinions on the Twins since it is too easy to have hometown bias. All of us who root for the Twins follow them with much more emotion and fan hopefulness that allows them to rise higher in our opinions than an outsider might see them. So, I was interested in the Athletic’s fantasy baseball rankings. I know fantasy and reality are not the same, but it is one way of comparing players. Derek Van Riper just posted his fantasy ratings of players https://theathletic.co

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Eddie or Miguel or Byron or Max? You choose

Since the main TD articles keep talking about Eddie Rosario being traded, cut, cursed or whatever you want to call it I thought it might be instructive to do a comparison of all the six year players on the roster. In a move that we all thought would make the future of the Twins we had Eddie, Byron, Miguel, and Max arrive the same year and it did not take long before they were part of a home run hitting behemoth and twice got to the playoffs where they, like their predecessors failed. (I chose no

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The pandemic, the economy and 2021 baseball

The baseball owners through their lackey – Rob Manfred – have declared that they lost substantial and unsubstantiated amounts of money in 2020. A May 2020 CNBC report said, “Under the MLB’s plan, the highest-paid players could lose about 80% of their salaries, while players making the least amount could keep up to 90% of their pay. The plan calls for players to retain their salary via a tier system. In short, the more a player is scheduled to earn for the 2020 season, the less he retains under t

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Bring a Glove

ESPN had a gold glove preview which I enjoy because it lists the three finalists and not just the winner https://www.espn.com/mlb/insider/story/_/id/30246554/mlb-gold-gloves-preview-which-stars-elite-field so we get 27 candidates to think about for each league.   The weakness of the Twins is really apparent - there were two Twins listed. Byron Buxton of course and Kenta Maeda. As usual there is a caveat about Buxton - "Buxton would be a good choice, but he played in only 39 games."   In addition

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Old school - sure to make a lot of you mad

I had an idea. What if someone got a hit, stole second - maybe third and someone else got a hit and they scored?   In new school does that not count?   What if someone got a hit, someone bunted and then a single brought them home? Does that not mean that the run scores?   Do I have to wait for a HR? Should I look for a K instead of a sacrifice?   Do I have to fire up the computer. What to do? No HR? We cannot score that way. We need HRs without runners on base because analytics say that is reall

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Nelson Cruz - our new Don Baylor

If you wonder if Nelson Cruz is one of a kind you have to go back to the Twins 1987 and a man named Don Baylor. Here is a video clip to remind you of his power and importance from that world series. https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=3461288973914917   At his death the Pioneer Press had this to say, "Don Baylor’s 27 games with the Minnesota Twins were by far his shortest stint with any team, but they were a big 20 games, for the Twins and for the longtime major league slugger. “It was the best ti

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Twins Bullpen in the playoffs - those ex - Twins

Sure the team made the playoffs and also made a quick exit, but there are ex-Twins who are now in the league Championship series.   I will start with my surprise - Aaron Slegers is a RP for the Tampa Bay Rays. He was in just 11 games, started 1, saved 2. He had a 3.46 era this year and a WAR of 0.5   Then there is Nick Anderson a RP for the Tampa Bay Rays. Drafted by Milwaukee, A free agent sign by the Twins in 2015 and traded for Brian Schales in 2018. He had a 1.1 WAR in the BP with a 2 - 1 re

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Round 2 - what can we learn?

I am still watching the playoffs and with the Twins out of it I picked two more teams to root for - Miami and Oakland and - well - they are not doing to well so far. But still this is some exciting baseball.   The Yankees bats remind us why we did not want to play them, but their 18 strikeouts remind me of why the HR or nothing is either lethal or a bomb (a negative bomba). So Tampa Bay is 1 - 1 and of course I am cheering for Tampa Bay. And Nick Anderson (we traded him for Brian Schales in one

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Round one who won the playoffs

Wow – the combined AL/NL Central division had 7 teams in the 16 team post season mix. That must be a great division so we can take great pride in all our wins, right? Maybe not. Let us look at the division record for the first round.   This is for those of you who have decided not to watch any more baseball until spring. The game does go on even if the Twins do not. And if you did see other series you would see something that we missed in the Twins series, besides relief pitching, batting, and f

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Bring on the Yankees?

I hear the Pint commentators, I see the bloggers and TD writers and the posts saying the 16 game losing streak to the Yankees does not count - there are Twins who were not even born when this began - okay I exaggerate. But some were pretty young. It is a different team, different players - and that is true. I think we have said that in every playoff appearance.   Don't tell me that the players don't know about this - heck they might even read this rambling essay. Fans know it, the media knows it

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The season's seventh inning stretch

It is the seventh inning stretch of the 60 game season and I thought we might have to alter the baseball anthem just a little bit to make it work;   Katie Casey was baseball mad Had the fever and had it bad Just to root for the hometown crew EVERY DAY In the baby blue On a Saturday her young beau Called to see if she'd like to go To see a show, but Miss Kate said "No I'll tell you what you can do:"     You can’t take me out to the ball game Or take me out with the crowd; But you can buy me some

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Baseball has a special connection to Black Lives Matter

I cannot refuse to play baseball, basketball, hockey, soccer, but I would if I could. I will support those who can, I will stand for the Black Lives Matter and not confuse it with the need to respect all lives. I will always feel a connection with the American Indian and the genocide of that Indian race in our nation. I will sympathize with the racism that affect the Chinese who built our railroads and the Japanese put in prison camps.   I grew up in a black neighborhood, I spent time with my re

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