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  • Experts: Naming Five Twins Starters Right Now 'Pretty Good'


    RandBalls Stu

    With two months of games left and absolutely nothing to play for, correctly guessing the Twins starting lineup is the sign of a true fan. 

    Image courtesy of © Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

    When the Twins opened a 4-game series versus the Houston Astros on Thursday, the lineup was markedly different from their brief 2020 playoff series. No Nelson Cruz, no Jose Berrios, and a lot of "wait, who's that again?" Experts say that reaction is nothing to be concerned about.

    "I had season tickets in 2000," said Tyler Bouman, a Forest Lake IT specialist. "Some of the guys who would end up doing things were there, like (Corey) Koskie or Jacque Jones. But if you had asked me who was playing second base at any point in the season I would have had no idea. Jay Canizaro played over 100 games. I had to look that up. Honestly, Baseball Reference might be messing with me. There's no way that can be right."

    [EDITOR'S NOTE: Canizaro played 102 games. Jason Maxwell played 64. Twins Daily has not been able to confirm if these are real people. Baseball Reference could not be reached for comment.]

    The lost season makes it very difficult for casual fans to keep up with a lineup in transition, but authorities like Bouman say it really separates o the diehards from the casual fans.

    "OK, look at tonight's game," said Bouman. "The odds of you guessing more than one outfielder is astronomical. Maybe you'd pull Trevor Larnach if you were on your toes. Maybe. After that you'd be throwing darts. If someone told you on Opening Day that we'd be rolling with Larnach, Brent Rooker, and Rob Refsnyder on August 5th you'd punch them in their filthy, lying mouth. And yet, here we are."

    Jon Marthaler, a Falcon Heights-based expert on sports-derived frustration and boundless rage, says that guessing five of nine starters in any Twins game going forward is incredibly impressive.

    "Kids are going back to school, so they'll be distracted," said Marthaler. "Their parents are dealing with that and COVID and any number of things. How are they to know that Griffin Jax is an every-fifth-day starting pitcher? He sounds like a law firm that will help you with your mesothelioma settlement. Josh Donaldson's calf might turn to wet Grape Nuts at any moment. Correctly naming five of nine starters is frankly astonishing. I include Rocco Baldelli in this."

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    Separating the diehards from the casual fan, as he says, may be fun for us, but when the casual fan doesn't have a clue who they are watching they will stop watching.  And how that helps the organization is way above my pay grade. 

    The other thing us diehards should be watching is the attendance figures; this is what may determine how much money is available in the off season.  Two seasons in a row of huge losses doesn't help the payroll budget a whole lot, especially if the new CBA is more costly.  So we may be seeing this crew long past this September.  Learn their names.  :) 

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    8 hours ago, Mark G said:

    Separating the diehards from the casual fan, as he says, may be fun for us, but when the casual fan doesn't have a clue who they are watching they will stop watching.  And how that helps the organization is way above my pay grade. 

    The other thing us diehards should be watching is the attendance figures; this is what may determine how much money is available in the off season.  Two seasons in a row of huge losses doesn't help the payroll budget a whole lot, especially if the new CBA is more costly.  So we may be seeing this crew long past this September.  Learn their names.  :) 

    Exactly.  I am one of those who longs for a stable line-up.  I have completely stopped watching.  Hoping for a way to catch Berrios pitching tomorrow for Toronto otherwise absolutely no reason to watch.  I can glance at Game Day if I want to or read the box scores tomorrow to keep up a little.  IF Buxton comes back this year I could be enticed to watching regularly again.   But you all probably know by now I have to watch on my iPad which I absolutely HATE.

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    I believe that the Twins have a lot to play for. They are professional baseball players and they want to advance their careers. Also this will  give us a chance to check out some of our pitching prospects for next year. I am impressed they they are playing hard and want to win these games. If they could make it to .500 wouldn't that be grand.

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    15 hours ago, MABB1959 said:

    Exactly.  I am one of those who longs for a stable line-up.  I have completely stopped watching.  Hoping for a way to catch Berrios pitching tomorrow for Toronto otherwise absolutely no reason to watch.  I can glance at Game Day if I want to or read the box scores tomorrow to keep up a little.  IF Buxton comes back this year I could be enticed to watching regularly again.   But you all probably know by now I have to watch on my iPad which I absolutely HATE.

    I do not say this with any malice or glee, but you will never get a stable line-up with this manager; he simply doesn't believe in it.  Remember the days when the manager would be standing on the top step of the dugout, intensely watching the game as it unfolds and sees the whole field?  Me too.  Remember the days when the manager would sit in his chair behind the protective screen with all the computer printouts and manage the game from there?  Yea, me neither.  But that is what we have in our dugout; this is a computer game to him, and he moves the pieces....er, the players around as the computer dictates.  Same with the lineup.  Same with the RP rotation.  It looks more like a youth league game where the coach has to get everyone in the game somewhere.  And the diehards might enjoy the action, but the average fan doesn't get the managed chaos and tunes out.  Personally, I know a lot of old time baseball fans; I do not know one at this moment who cares anymore.  Not a good sign.  Let us hope for better days.

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    You know that the FO has failed when you are more interested watching games of teams your favorite traded players play for than what was and should be your favorite team. Strangers and visitors and AAAA mish-mash doesn't mean they are my team, does it? It becomes you have to like them because they are what is left of your team, but do you really? Or do you force yourself to?

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    On 8/6/2021 at 5:51 AM, mikelink45 said:

    This made me think - can I name five coaches.  Rocco is easy, Wes is pretty well known.  Beyond that it could be the Marx brothers.  Thanks for messing with my mind.

    I can't not know Tony "Rally Killer" Diaz at third. He either holds the fast runner, or sends the slow one. And forget about a runner from first scoring on a double. "Rally Killer" will tackle him if he has to, but he won't let him try to score. That is why I liked Eddie. He would occasionally just ignore Diaz and pretend he didn't see him.... and score!

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    1 hour ago, h2oface said:

    I can't not know Tony "Rally Killer" Diaz at third. He either holds the fast runner, or sends the slow one. And forget about a runner from first scoring on a double. "Rally Killer" will tackle him if he has to, but he won't let him try to score. That is why I liked Eddie. He would occasionally just ignore Diaz and pretend he didn't see him.... and score!

    You have risen to the top of the rememberers.

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    Every single word of what Mark G. said is exactly right!  

    Rocco was trained in Tampa to use his computer rather than his eyes and knowledge of the game.  So sad...  

    Regarding the "line-up" for each game, I'm pretty sure Rocco draws the names out of a hat.

    And, it's pretty disheartening to have MLB where we live, but follow other teams to see how our former players are doing...

    (BY THE WAY - Jon Marthaler needs to be a regular contributor here.  Pithy is good.)

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    On 8/6/2021 at 6:45 AM, RandBalls Stu said:

    Experts: Naming Five Twins Starters Right Now 'Pretty Good'

    If we define "starters" as starting pitchers, the Twins roster doesn't even have five to name at the moment! Officially down to 3, at least until tomorrow's starting pitcher is announced.

    From ESPN's schedule:

    image.png.510cfb461cdf1e4fb52c487a69ec8375.png

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