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Game Thread: Royals @ Twins, 8/17/22, 12:10PM CDT (10:10AM PDT)


Good morning/afternoon, Twins fans! A two-game winning streak has rekindled a few embers of optimism in Twins-world. Is three in a row too much to ask?

* * *

Today I’d like to throw out the following discussion topic, which is related to the Twins for those who weren’t born into Twins fandom. How do/did/should you pick a favorite team when obvious factors such as geography don’t matter?

I am a Twins fan because I was 7 years old when the Senators moved to Minnesota and it was obvious that our family should switch allegiance from Cleveland (where my father was born) to the new local nine. Similarly for the Vikings and the other Minnesota sports franchises with which I’ve lost contact. (Anyone remember the Minnesota Muskies?)

A more cerebral choice of team happened for me in 2008 when cable TV returned to our empty nest after a few years’ absence. In the previous decade, I had become a huge fan of the game everyone except Americans calls football. The Fox Soccer Channel had Premier League games from England on Saturdays. I quickly fell into watching the English games on Saturday mornings; after a month or two I decided that it would be more fun if I chose a team for which to cheer.

But how to choose? My patrilineal ancestors came from the region of Essex, north of London, but that was 370 years earlier, when witch-burning was more popular than football, so there didn’t seem like much of a connection there. So what criteria would make sense? Here are some of the things that made led me to Aston Villa Football Club:

  • Not the Yankees! I couldn’t root for one of the then-current Big Four: Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, and Arsenal. That also worked against other London clubs and other mega-rich clubs. Villa had a rich American owner (Randy Lerner, infamous for his ownership of the Cleveland Browns), but nothing like a Russian oligarch or an Arab sheikh.
  • Not the Pirates! I didn’t want to root for a hopeless team through seasons of losses, relegation, and descent into obscurity. Villa were solidly in the top half of the Premier League and were challenging for the “top 4” spots that qualify for the Champions League. There was definitely hope!
  • Club history and personality. William McGregor, chairman of Aston Villa, founded the English Football League in 1888, so there are few older teams and none with more illustrious history. Villa Park in Birmingham is renowned as one of the best grounds in England. A traditional, four-sided football ground, it has stood in basically the same configuration since 1897, with obvious upgrades over time (such as seats).
  • Team personnel and style of play. The 2008 Villa squad played aggressive, high-tempo football with numerous exciting players (including Ashley Young, James Milner, Gareth Barry, and American goalkeeper Brad Friedel) and a likable manager in Martin O’Neill (currently managing Ireland). They won more than they lost and usually made even the losses exciting.

Villa and I have been through a lot together in the last 14 years. A couple of years of success, followed by steady decline and relegation in 2016, when they posted the second-worst record ever since the Premier League was founded in 1992: Just 3 wins (and 8 draws) in 38 matches. Dawn came with the purchase of the club by a pair of wealthy and engaged owners, one of whom also owns the Milwaukee Bucks and has led them to success. Now back in the Premier League, the new season is only two games old, but there are sure to be a lot of ups and downs ahead and you know that I’ll be watching every minute, except the games that start at 4:30am PT, which I’ll watch later!

Have you ever deliberately chosen a team? Did you choose the Twins rather than having them chosen for you? How did you decide?

* * *

On the mound for the Twins is Tyler Mahle, in his third start since becoming a Twin. In his first start, he looked like a Twins’ pitcher; in his second he looked like the pitcher the Twins hoped he would be. We’ll hope for more of the latter today.

For the Royals, it’s lefty Daniel Lynch, who most recently shut out the Dodgers for 5 innings. We all know how easy that is.

Today’s starting lineups are below. Another “real” lineup for the Twins, despite the day game after night game and no off days.

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Go Twins!

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I never had to pick a team as I was 8yrs. old when the Twins arrived here. MLB baseball was regularly on TV and it was our sport. Football and basketball were secondary to baseball. It was exciting to have MLB in Minnesota and my Dad took me to many games at Metropolitan Stadium. I have been a Twins fan from day one and always will be.

Ohh and your "football" our soccer wasn't in sight back then.

 

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Hate that Nick Gordon is getting a start against lefties. But I guess we don't have any viable options at the moment!

I know this has probably been hashed out, but shouldn't Buxton spend less time at DH and more at CF? Head to 10-day IL if the knees need rest.

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17 minutes ago, Sean.h said:

Hate that Nick Gordon is getting a start against lefties. But I guess we don't have any viable options at the moment!

I know this has probably been hashed out, but shouldn't Buxton spend less time at DH and more at CF? Head to 10-day IL if the knees need rest.

Fyi, the medical people say a 10 day IL stint would just mean Buxton didn't play at all for 10 days and his knees are in more or less the same condition they would be if he DHed a handful of times, had a day off, and played CF a couple times. 10 days off isn't going to get him back in CF more frequently is the moral of the story coming from medical people.

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10 minutes ago, chpettit19 said:

Fyi, the medical people say a 10 day IL stint would just mean Buxton didn't play at all for 10 days and his knees are in more or less the same condition they would be if he DHed a handful of times, had a day off, and played CF a couple times. 10 days off isn't going to get him back in CF more frequently is the moral of the story coming from medical people.

Even if that were 100% true (I'm a bit skeptical), Buxton brings a ton of value as a CF. As a DH, not so much. The DL stint would also open up a roster spot. 

I'm a huge Buxton fan. But I'd rather see him play CF healthy, than take up a roster spot to occasionally play CF.

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Wow, imagine that...someone wanting one of the best players on the team to give up their roster spot due to injury.  Haven't we dealt with that enough this season?  I'd much rather have him in the lineup just about anywhere than not.  What's happened to this team in the past when he's gone on extended injury stays?  He's just gotta get through these last 2 months and then hopefully the day after the season ends, doctors can get in there and clean out whatever it is so he's 100% by spring training.

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To answer @PDX Twin's question in the intro, I chose the Twins because I was a Puckett fan.  I grew up in central PA and was deluged by Phillies, some Pirates, and a little Orioles and Yankees.  At the time (probably '85 or '86), I'd see the Twins only when they played the Yanks or O's and the very rare time they'd show up on NBC.  I took a liking to Puck and company and then 1987 happens and that cemented my fandom.  Same thing occurred with my NFL fandom -- fan of a player and then the team won the Super Bowl soon after and that's where I stayed.  

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I’m a Twins fan simply because I was born in Duluth. Been a fan for 61 years ….. If I had been born somewhere else, say St Louis, then I would probably laugh and ridicule them like everyone else does.

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1 minute ago, PDX Twin said:

I wonder. Can someone more informed than I suggest how he compares to other prominent rookies?

Rodriguez in Seattle has all the pub so Miranda is gonna have to continue tearing things up and the Twins will need to make the playoffs for him to get the right push.  Miranda winning rookie of the month once is a good start.

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5 minutes ago, PDX Twin said:

I wonder. Can someone more informed than I suggest how he compares to other prominent rookies?

Most will say Julio Rodriguez will run away with it in the AL.  But Miranda isn’t going unnoticed 

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4 minutes ago, LVTwinsfan said:

Most will say Julio Rodriguez will run away with it in the AL.  But Miranda isn’t going unnoticed 

I think the only way for Miranda to win is for Rodriguez to get hurt and Miranda to put up video game numbers the last six weeks.  4.1 > 1.1 bWar is a tough hill to climb.

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Very nice game intro. I grew up in the NY / NJ metropolitan area, and I had baseball ingrained into me as a child. My dad played minor league ball in the Phillies organization for a few years in the early 1950's. He realized that he probably wasn't going to be able to make a career out of playing ball...he wasn't good enough, but baseball was a center piece of our family life. Living in the NY / NJ area, it was either the Yankees or the Mets. For some reason, I was always a Mets fan. I hated the Yankees...still do. My dad had a couple tryouts with the Yankees which didn't amount to anything, and maybe that had something to do with it.  I moved to the twin cities in 1982 and although I still loved the Mets, I began to follow the Twins. It didn't take long for them to become my main baseball team. They had a very young team and were still a few years away from being any good, but they had a decent young core. It was very easy for me to start to really like them and make them #1. Yeah, I still follow the Mets somewhat, but there's no doubt that the Twins are my team. 

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What in the world was Rooker doing on that play? I know we sometimes say that anyone could do better than player A, but in this case, I think any of us here could quite literally have made a better throw than him.

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50 minutes ago, TwinsCD said:

Wow, imagine that...someone wanting one of the best players on the team to give up their roster spot due to injury.  Haven't we dealt with that enough this season?  I'd much rather have him in the lineup just about anywhere than not.  What's happened to this team in the past when he's gone on extended injury stays?  He's just gotta get through these last 2 months and then hopefully the day after the season ends, doctors can get in there and clean out whatever it is so he's 100% by spring training.

When Buxton is in the lineup as a CF, the marginal improvement is Gordon --> Buxton (BIG improvement). When he is in the lineup as a DH, the marginal improvement is Arraez/Miranda --> Buxton (small improvement). When he is on the bench, obviously no improvement because he is not often used as a pinch hitter.

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