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Wiffle Ball


Jeff D.

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Twins Video

This will be short. Hopefully it will be read by at least one person.

When I was a kid, my buddy and I had an uncountable number of wiffle ball games in his family yard. This greatly upset his mother as there were left and right-handed batters spots where we place home plate that would no longer grow grass. Lawn chairs would be set up for the infielders. Hitting a ball to them would be an out except if really laced and it bounced away as in real ball and would be designated an error or hit. Natural growth would provide boundaries, garages, power lines would provide walls or designate if it was a double or homer and a few other designated spots would be ground rules. We chose lineups from the Big Red Machine or the Boston Red Sox, or Twins. Whatever team we chose, we had to bat in the same left or right or switch as the real player. We had hours of fun and lively debates and did this for years. All for free. Competition was fierce.

I've been a Twins fan from a little tyke when they moved here. I have and will always love the team. Still get that joy when they win and suffer in the losses.

Watching the Twins in the last 3-4 years has been a perseverance exercise. We have one approach to games. Make good bat to ball contact. I think 2019 the Year of the Bomba set in place a bad habit. It was fun during this, but we lost in our small playoff appearance. We continue to swing either early and fail to take looks at pitches or really have great at bats in some games. What seems to be missing is risk. What seems to be missing is small ball. What seems to be missing is imagination or creativity in finding ways to win. We just seem to endure exactly the same game approach every game.

The above is only my opinion. No analytics. No last 10 game stuff. Just a fan reacting to years of watching this lovely game called baseball.

We are slipping right now and hopefully can rebound and put distance between the Guardians and White Sox. Without some flexibility and alterations in our approach we are not even going to make the playoffs. Even though we just won over the Rockies 6-0 with great pitching. Cleveland waits for us.

I believe that my buddy and I had more flexibility in our wiffle ball games than our Twins show today. We don't have Yogi, Dick Williams, Earl Weaver or Sparky Anderson in our dugout. They are long gone, and their style of leadership is as well.

Twins Geezer....out!

 

 

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My brother and I did the same thing. Made us pretty good switch hitters too! I agree with you about the bomba days being long gone, but the mindset seems to still be there. Homeruns are sexy. Gets you on Sportscenter I guess. This management team doesn't seem to stress fundamentals like bunting and stealing and baserunning like past management teams have. Maybe they need a longer spring training? Or maybe different Coaching? The game is changing and the teams that are winners will make the adjustments to the game.

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We all have a very similar story.  One of the beauties of whiffle ball was all the different places you could play it:  Different backyards with different dimensions or quirks (just like big league stadiums).  In the street, at the school playground etc...you could switch things up with different ground rules.  It also depended how many people you had playing.  Smaller groups, all groundballs were outs.  If players were on base and a double play was in order...you GOT that Twin-Killing...now matter what.

Yes indeed, you had to bat as the team's lineup dictated.  Twins of course, Big Red Machine, Red Sox, Giants (Willie Mays & Willie McCovey) but I also did the Pirates alot.   Clemente, Stargell, Al Oliver, Manny Sangullien, Matty Alou, Don Clendennon, Gene Clines, etc...it was a loaded lineup and fun to mimic.  HOURS of FUN.  I had as much fun being Bob Gibson, Juan Marichal, Jim Palmer, Don Sutton and Bill Singer and Twins like Dave Boswell, Jim Perry, Mudcat Grant and Bert Blyleven.  

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Did you guys use a trash can for a strike zone? Just need to hear that "tick" on the edge and your backdoor slider was a strike.

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We played in the alley all of us were from the Same block. since are parents wouldn't let us go across the street. But we got to know each other and enjoy are summers.

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Loved whiffle ball (have you seen the 'pro' version? check out YouTube)!

But I don't see the rest of what you are seeing at all. Yep, bunting is down (and shouldn't be in the face of shifting, including bunting with 2 strikes and half an empty field).

But the Twins are notorious for working counts. They have the premiere contact hitter in baseball in Arraez. They have one of the most frustrating hitters to face in Polanco (fouling off pitch after pitch). They had Jeffers bunt just the other day. They can hit the ball out of the yard. They have people like Kirilloff or even Larnach who drive the ball all over the park with pop. (or classically the other day, there was a guy on 3B with one out and Alex came up, and I told a friend 'I hereby guarantee a fly ball to drive in the run' and Kirilloff delivered. They still have others who swing from their heels on all counts (your 'risk' factor).

They also have spectacular (if uneven) players in the field, and some pitchers who move the game along instead of re-setting their zen aura between every pitch. They have two past Platinum Glove winners (when healthy, the best CF and SS in baseball).

Things may be frustrating at times (uncertainty is the essence of sport), but this is possibly the most interesting/fun Twins team I've seen in the past decade. And I'm loving the ride!

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On 6/26/2022 at 6:50 AM, Karbo said:

My brother and I did the same thing. Made us pretty good switch hitters too! I agree with you about the bomba days being long gone, but the mindset seems to still be there. Homeruns are sexy. Gets you on Sportscenter I guess. This management team doesn't seem to stress fundamentals like bunting and stealing and baserunning like past management teams have. Maybe they need a longer spring training? Or maybe different Coaching? The game is changing and the teams that are winners will make the adjustments to the game.

Or are the game changers the winners, until everyone  changes. 

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