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chinmusic

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  1. Like
    chinmusic reacted to mikelink45 for a blog entry, Mighty Covid at Bat   
    Covid at the Bat
     
     
    The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Mudville nine that day:
    The score stood four proposals down, with one idea more how to play ,
    And then when Clark died with the first, and Manfred did the same,
    A pall-like silence fell upon the patrons of the game.
     
    A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
    Clung to the hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
    They thought, "If only Manfred could but get a whack at that—
    We'd put up even money now, with owners and union both at bat."
     
    But Clark preceded Manfred, as did also Buster Olney’s take,
    And the former was a hoodoo, while the latter was a cake;
    So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat,
    For there seemed but little chance Covid would let us bat.
     
    But Players let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,
    And Manfred, the much despised, tore the cover off the ball;
    And when the dust had lifted, and men saw what had occurred,
    There were players taking practice safe at parks and a-hugging third.
     
    Then from five thousand throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
    It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
    It pounded on the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,
    For Covid, mighty Covid, was grabbing at the bat.
     
    There was ease in Covid’s manner as he stopped them in their place;
    There was pride in Covid's bearing and a smile lit Covid's face.
    And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,
    No stranger in the crowd could doubt 'twas Covid at the bat.
     
    Ten thousand eyes were on it as players rubbed their hands with dirt;
    Five thousand tongues were silence when they rubbed it on their shirt;
    Then while the writhing pitcher wiped the virus that hung upon his hip,
    Defiance flashed in Covid's eye, a sneer curled Covid's lip.
     
    And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,
    And Covid stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.
    Close by the sturdy virus the ball unheeded sped—
    "That ain't my style," said Covid. "He tested positive!" the doctor said.
     
    From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,
    Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore;
    "Kill him! Kill the doctor!" shouted someone on the stand;
    And it's likely they'd have killed him had not Covid raised his hand
     
    .
    With a smile of unChristian charity great Covid's visage shone;
    It stilled the rising tumult; the game would not go on;
    It signaled to the Phillies, and once more the Blue Jays flew;
    But Covid still ignored it and the doctor said, "that’s two!"
     
    "Fraud!" cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered "Fraud!"
    But one scornful look from Covid and the audience was awed.
    They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
    And they knew that Covid wouldn't let us play ball again.
     
    The sneer is gone from player’s lips, their teeth are clenched in hate,
    He pounds with cruel violence his infection upon the plate;
    And now the owners hold the ball, and now they all let go,
    And now the air is shattered by the force of Covid’s blow.
     
    Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright,
    The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light;
    And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout,
    But there is no joy in baseball —mighty Covid has struck them out.
     
    AND HERE IS THE ORIGINAL - MY APOLOGIES TO MR THAYER
     
    Casey at the Bat
    Ernest Lawrence Thayer - 1863-1940
     
    The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Mudville nine that day:
    The score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play,
    And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same,
    A pall-like silence fell upon the patrons of the game.
     
    A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
    Clung to the hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
    They thought, "If only Casey could but get a whack at that—
    We'd put up even money now, with Casey at the bat."
     
    But Flynn preceded Casey, as did also Jimmy Blake,
    And the former was a hoodoo, while the latter was a cake;
    So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat,
    For there seemed but little chance of Casey getting to the bat.
     
    But Flynn let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,
    And Blake, the much despisèd, tore the cover off the ball;
    And when the dust had lifted, and men saw what had occurred,
    There was Jimmy safe at second and Flynn a-hugging third.
     
    Then from five thousand throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
    It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
    It pounded on the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,
    For Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat.
     
    There was ease in Casey's manner as he stepped into his place;
    There was pride in Casey's bearing and a smile lit Casey's face.
    And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,
    No stranger in the crowd could doubt 'twas Casey at the bat.
     
    Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt;
    Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt;
    Then while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
    Defiance flashed in Casey's eye, a sneer curled Casey's lip.
     
    And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,
    And Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.
    Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped—
    "That ain't my style," said Casey. "Strike one!" the umpire said.
     
    From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,
    Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore;
    "Kill him! Kill the umpire!" shouted someone on the stand;
    And it's likely they'd have killed him had not Casey raised his hand.
     
    With a smile of Christian charity great Casey's visage shone;
    He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;
    He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the dun sphere flew;
    But Casey still ignored it and the umpire said, "Strike two!"
     
    "Fraud!" cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered "Fraud!"
    But one scornful look from Casey and the audience was awed.
    They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
    And they knew that Casey wouldn't let that ball go by again.
     
    The sneer is gone from Casey's lip, his teeth are clenched in hate,
    He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate;
    And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
    And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey's blow.
     
    Oh, somewhere in this favoured land the sun is shining bright,
    The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light;
    And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout,
    But there is no joy in Mudville—mighty Casey has struck out.
    This poem is in the public domain.
  2. Like
    chinmusic reacted to mikelink45 for a blog entry, Play the rookies   
    So we whiffed in FA and now we have the feeling that we never really had a chance and no one wants to come here! Boo hoo! People say trade the prospects. Wait a minute - they have to come here. They have no choice. For six years they are ours. So lets play them. Cleveland where our FO was trained moved their prospects up to their team and have had a good winning record for a few years now.
     
    Forget where they were in the minors - many teams are now running players out at a much younger age - see Acuna (22), Soto (19), Tatis 20, Jimenez (23), Lindor (22), Corey Seager (21), Corea (21), Gleyber Torres (22)... Forget the lets play keep them in the minors for years and push them forward. Noah Syndergaard is one of our targets and he is 26 and came in to the league at 22.
     
    Many players have started young and succeeded:
    Vada Pinson, RF: 19 years, 247 days in 1958 (Reds) ...
    Sibby Sisti, 2B: 19 years, 265 days in 1940 (Bees) ...
    Brooks Robinson, 3B: 19 years, 332 days in 1957 (Orioles) ...
    Rogers Hornsby, SS: 19 years, 351 days in 1916 (Cardinals) ...
    Adrian Beltre, 3B: 19 years, 363 days in 1999 (Dodgers)
     
    Lewis is still our number one rated player - put him at 3B if you want to put Sano at 1B. If he is not ready put Kiriloff, Rooker, or Raley at 1B.
     
    If Wade or Kiriloff is better than Cave then replace cave. Put Kiriloff or Larnach in LF since people complain about Eddie Rosario.
     
    If Lewis is going to take Marwin's place give him time at all the positions.
     
    Then package Gonzales, Rosario, and Cave and instead of trading prospects trade these players for Boyd or some other starter.
     
    I want to see the team start to push the envelop and get away from scraping up the crumbs at the end of FA.
    In other words, what is the plan?
  3. Like
    chinmusic reacted to Cody Pirkl for a blog entry, In Appreciation: Jake Odorizzi   
    The beginning of the offseason was a time of hope and optimism. The Twins were coming off of 101 wins with their most prominent need being starting pitching in one of the most pitching rich offseasons in recent memory. Nobody expected a contract luring Gerrit Cole or Stephen Strasburg to Minnesota, but there was hope that we could acquire a starting pitcher that would at least push Odorizzi in the rotation down one spot, some form of an ace to pair with Berrios. As I write this on December 27th, this kind of pitcher has not yet been acquired, nor has any starting pitching that was not in the organization in 2019. While the fan base's frustrations boil over, I wanted shine some light on a player that was a true star of the 2019 Minnesota Twins.
     
    I'm not much of a "best shape of his life" truther, but rumblings of the potential for Odorizzi's impressive 2019 began in the offseason when reports surfaced that he had changed his workout routine to improve his ailing back. This report was expanded upon later throughout the season by Dan Hayes of the Athletic.
     

     
    Odorizzi showed a lot of dedication, and while this report may sound ridiculous, the results have spoken for themselves. Odorizzi finished the season with a 10.08 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, 0.91 HR/9, 3.51 ERA and 3.36 FIP. Those numbers may have been even better had he not suffered from a blister mid season that really inflated his numbers in a short period of time, capped off by the famous 5 IP 9 ER against the Yankees on 7/24. After returning from his blister, he righted the ship to the tune of 2.89 ERA to finish the season.
     
    I think Odorizzi's performance in game 3 in 2019 goes unnoticed since we lost. In an elimination game, Odorizzi threw 5 innings of 2 run ball, striking out 5 and walking none against a patient Yankee lineup that dismantled just about every other pitcher they'd seen to that point. The Twins were on the ropes, and Odorizzi was nails. He exited with the game well within reach despite a Twins lineup that had squandered several opportunities to that point. Odorizzi showed that he was up to the task of facing any lineup in the major leagues not just in the regular season where he dominated, but in a postseason setting with the season on the line.
     
    In a perfect world, the Twins do still acquire a number 1 starter, although it looks increasingly likely that this will have to come via trade with top options leaving the free agency market. I still advocate for the front office to not only look for this addition, but to also add to the back end to not be as dependent on last year's rookies in the regular season. However, we as fans often discount the value of the numbers our teams players put up because of how we watch them all year and see the bad just as much as the good. Let's say the Twins signed an unnamed pitcher to a 1 year deal who put up Odorizzi's numbers in 2019. How excited would you be to slot this player between Berrios and Pineda in 2020? In my opinion, those numbers aren't a bonafide ace, but you feel great sending that pitcher out every fifth day, including the playoffs.
     
    The doom and gloom among fans that has crept in has only grown while watching the teams around us add players, and I think it's gotten to a good point in the offseason to appreciate the players we already have suiting up for our AL Central champions in 2020. Teams like the White Sox are no doubt improving their team, but the bench mark set by the Twins impressive roster of returning players will be hard to reach.
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