So much was packed into two games! A day later, I've put together a Top Ten list of moments, with no particular metric except my own sense of drama in the moment. Ranking is influenced by impact on the game's outcome, but there is an "Oh No He Didn't!" factor that counts for a lot. You will argue with some choices I am sure - I would probably have ranked them slightly differently yesterday and might change my mind tomorrow.
Game 1 Inning 4: Carlos Co
Baseball didn't start out as a spectator sport, merely a pastime for children, farm boys, or city folk with enough open park space to play in. Three strikes were the rule and fastballs weren't permitted, to allow rank novices to have a chance at putting the ball in play for some healthful fun and a little light competition. In early variants the pitcher was required to suit the batter's preference as to low or high pitches.
What if we were devising rules made for spectators and played by
As is my custom, I've taken a few pictures during this visit to Fort Myers. Well, a few hundred. Most are crap and I don't know yet which is which, and I won't be able to sort through until I'm back from vacation, probably. But yesterday on the back fields, during an away game for the big club, was a lot of fun because of whom they left behind. Buxton, Correa, and Kirilloff all batted (DHed) during one of the two mixed AA-AAA games. And there were other players to watch as well. David Festa
The Glendale Desert Dogs had several representatives from the Twins' farm system. Denny Bentley, Francis Peguero, Jon Olsen and Ryan Shreve were the pitchers, and the position players were Alex Isola, Austin Martin and Edouard Julien. Here's a few photos from my trip in late October. For two of the three games I was joined by the illustrious USAFChief.
Driving there meant going through some dusty desert miles. Here is one of the denizens of the town of Beatty NV where I quartered for th
Two blog posts in one day. But I ran across this, and in honor of Opening Day I just have to share:
Credit where due, this is apparently the work of Nathan W. Pyle: https://www.facebook.com/nathanwpyle2
Does anyone here remember who have been the Twins' players union representatives in years prior to Taylor Rogers?
Rogers was the team's rep, Garver was the assistant rep. Both gone via trade. After the CBA was finished up.
I wish I had a history of the past several years, for this role on the team, before drawing conclusions from a Small Sample Size of 2. OTOH the recent CBA renewal was contentious, and perhaps recent history of the quiet years before the present wouldn't tell us mu
Disclaimer: Despite the photo, no Byron Buxtons were used in the preparation of this blog entry.
Do I have to say it? Okay, I will, just to get it out of the way: I love the Correa signing. Teams should be trying to get good players, and we just got one of the best baseball players on the planet, in the middle of what should be his prime years - a center-cut slice, as they say.
But ever since I heard about it, TWO LONG DAYS AGO, there's been something on my mind. Risk versus reward.
Thursday afternoon's game in Mesa was marred by an injury to Matt Wallner due to an errant pitch high and inside. I wrote up what I know here. I find it disquieting that we have not quickly heard a simple "X-rays proved negative" by mid-evening. The 11-4 drubbing administered to the home Solar Sox by our Twins' Scottsdale Scorpions pales in comparison to the concern I have for Matt, but here is my game summary from a Twins fan perspective.
In attendance along with me at Sloan Park was Tw
Matt Wallner was hit in the face by a pitch in this afternoon's game versus Mesa. Looked like his lower jaw. I happened to be taking photos during that plate appearance - it's a bit out of focus and blurry but I can't help uploading and posting it anyway. Matt was able to make his way to the training room at the far end of the ballpark under his own power, so I'm hopeful that he escaped serious injury.
I'm in Scottsdale for 3 days in the late-autumn sun. Well, no sun tonight, but it was a nice evening for a ballgame despite a sparse crowd of under a thousand, with the always convivial baseball fan Mrs Ash attending with me at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick tonight, where we witnessed the Rafters at home defeat "our" Scottsdale Scorpions 3-2.
Two Twins prospects were in the starting lineup, Andrew Bechtold playing third base and Michael Helman in left field. Bechtold showed a willin
Recently a side comment came up about why modern pitchers don't start 40 games a season like they used to. The question intrigued me so I did a little searching. The results surprised me. Mostly I used the Stathead tool at baseball-reference.com, and the most useful table I constructed is this:
Since the modern era, 1901 and forward, it's never been the case that pitchers in general were regularly making 40 starts.
For periods of years, the major
Mrs Ash and I went to Worcester last night to see their brand-new AAA team, the Worcester Red Sox (known almost exclusively as the Woo Sox). It's part of our farewell tour in New England as we prepare to move back to Nevada.
We took a train scheduled to arrive an hour early, so as to have time to take in the sights, but mechanical troubles had us traveling about 5 MPH for the last 5 miles, meaning we arrived about when the next train was supposed to (though it became delayed too, in a ripp
I feel like posting a little bit on my trip to Phoenix for the Arizona Fall League. I arrived Thursday and was picked up at the airport by ashburydavid. Nice that he could take a day off from work to join his dad for a long weekend of baseball watching. Salt River, the team all the Twins prospects are on, had played earlier in the day, so we contented ourselves watching the evening game in Scottsdale. You can get good seats at the AFL: The game itself between Scottsdale and Peoria was ver
The Red Sox won the World Series on the road, so my tentative plan to be a Cheapskate and lurk the Fenway environs in anticipation of a fourth win proved impractical. Next best thing was to pencil in Wednesday the 31st, when a parade in the team's honor was scheduled. Large crowds were anticipated for the 11:00 start, so again I relied on public transportation. And again I was concerned that the commuter train might already be full before it pulled into my station, but again it was easy-peasy.
I'm a five-minute walk away from the east-west commuter train that also stops at Fenway Park. So with Game 1 of the World Series being held at Fenway, Tuesday night, despite not being a diehard Red Sox fan and despite the forecast of iffy weather I felt like I'd be a fool not to take advantage of the logistics. The title for this blog entry is deceptive because I didn't actually "attend" the game. I didn't have tickets, and of course no way was I going to pay scalper prices. But I thought I'd
[re-posted from the night's minor league summary thread...] I was in attendance at Pawtucket last night, so let me offer some additional impressions and details. First, a minor correction: the Red Wings' final run scored on a wild pitch. The bases were not loaded when Motter walked, but when ball-four skittered past Mike Ohlman, Edgar Corcino on third scored anyway. He was there because of another wild pitch on the previous batter. I don't have a lot to say about Pawtucket's players in thi
I happened upon this nice leaping stab by Polanco from a few days ago: https://mediadownloads.mlb.com/mlbam/mp4/2018/07/03/2224124283/1530583378940/asset_2500K.mp4 Question: on a ball hit to the left side, does Brian Dozier have anything better to do than make a beeline for second base, on the small chance it's caught and they might try to double off the runner? The runner has to change direction, Dozier could have been close to full speed by that point. Seems like he was napping there.
Red Sox relief prospect Ty Buttrey came up in one of the discussions about trade talks. As luck would have it, I could drop Mrs Ash at Logan Airport today and head down I-95 in time for the last game in Pawtucket before their All-Star Break. So I did. The pretext is scouting a trade candidate, but of course I am not a scout. I'll tell you what I saw, and offer some opinions, and hopefully keep the two straight, one from another. Even better luck: the Yankees AAA affiliate in Scranton/Wilkes-Ba
Looking to kill a few minutes? Have a look at this peculiar project a ten-year old some knucklehead enterprising person took the time to construct via a series of posts in 2011-12. http://burncardburn.com Follow it through to the end, and in total there's about five pages of images and videos of captioned baseball cards, defaced baseball cards, intentionally damaged baseball cards, burnt baseball cards, and, ..., well, more captioned and defaced and damaged and burnt baseball cards. PS: hope
Attending a nice panel discussion at SABR this morning, including 1979 Pirates champions John Candelaria and Grant Jackson. They reminded the audience that the team started out 12-18, and were in fourth place at the all star break. Their recollection was that there was still a long way to go, and they just continued to play the games one at a time. While the odds are against our 2018 Twins, it wouldn't be unprecedented to go all the way. The panel reminds me that the players have to just shut ou
I offer a brief writeup for the final game of my three-game Arizona Fall League visit, which the host Surprise Saguaros lost to the Peoria Javelinas 11-10 in disappointing fashion Saturday night. The headline from the game of course would be Lamont Wade's concussion injury from a collision in right-center field. I posted a few photos in reply to that thread, found here. He was injured in the top of the second inning, before having a turn at bat. I haven't talked too much about the other team
Just a quick summary of Twins-oriented doings, at the AFL game in Peoria Friday evening from which Our Heroes emerged victorious. Because every one of the Twins pitchers appeared in the Thursday game, we did not expect to see any Friday night, and thus were not disappointed on that count. However, perhaps in compensation, all three of the Twins batters were in the starting lineup and played all game. Lamont Wade batted sixth in the order. He achieved sac fly RBI in each of the second and
Not to take away from Steve Lein's excellent AFL summaries, but USAFChief and I (plus special guest ashburydavid) were in attendance at Surprise Stadium this afternoon, and we got to see several of our Twins prospects appear in the 6-2 loss to the Glendale Desert Dogs, so I thought I'd write something up, given all this Twins game action. Chief might chime in with his own perspectives, if he ever gets free of rush-hour traffic to his hotel. Basically, nobody really impressed me, I'm sorry to s
Got a theory that the Twins trade Duran 1/1 for an OK starter they think they can optimize. He's the Luis Arraez of this offseason. A buzzy fan-favorite at peak value with an amazing skillset that the Twins FO doesn't value too much. They've always treated relievers as fungible. I think they seriously consider flipping him.