chinmusic reacted to RandBalls Stu for an article, Area Fan Transitions Seamlessly from Lockout Panic to Roster Panic
Lisa Edmund is just about to lose it.
“Where are the pitchers? Where’s the shortstop? Do we have any catchers left?”
Edmund, 44, is a Minnesota Twins fan since childhood. She spent most of her winter fretting about the owners’ lockout. As the rhetoric grew harsher and games started getting canceled, she “totally panicked.” When the two sides finally came to an agreement last week, the Belle Plaine native was profoundly relieved, right?
“The regular season starts tomorrow, basically. They made a bunch of trades and still have gaping holes in the roster. This cannot possibly be the plan. I feel like I am taking crazy pills.”
When it was pointed out that the Twins did acquire a top-of-the-rotation starter in Sonny Gray, Edmund grew agitated.
“Did they get four more Sonny Grays? Can he come out of the bullpen on his off-days? Do they really expect to contend this year? And if they don’t, why did they trade Chase Petty? I’m trying to find any sort of road map here and I’m coming up wanting.”
While the front office has urged patience, Edmund refuses to heed that advice.
“I’ve seen this before. Remember when they brought up Jason Bartlett as the 25th man even though it made no sense and then he just went, 'Oops, retired, smell ya later' and we all just had to deal with the fact that they only had 24 guys to bring north and just started asking around if anyone else felt like going? That’s where we’re at now. We just dumped all of Josh Donaldson’s contract, we have money to burn and spaces to fill. Last I checked, we picked up Jose Godoy to be a less-swole Ben Rortvedt. Terrific. I should get season tickets because I’ve never seen a team play without a shortstop for 81 games, oughta be a blast. This is madness.”
When asked if she was actually happy that the season was saved, Edmund took a moment to ponder the question and light another cigarette.
“I guess so? I would have been miserable if the owners banged the season, but I’m miserable now, too. It’s like riding a bike, but the bike is existential sadness and it doesn’t have a bullpen.”
chinmusic reacted to Theo Tollefson for an article, Right Fielders of the 70s: Bobby Darwin
Bobby Darwin was the first of these successors to Tony Oliva, having his breakout season with the Twins in 1972. Darwin was initially signed as a pitcher to start his professional career. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Darwin lucked out being born in 1943 as he was at the ripe age of 18 when the newly-formed Los Angeles Angels expansion team entered MLB in 1961.
Shortly after signing a contract with the Angels before the 1962 season, Darwin made his MLB debut on September 30, 1962, starting the game for the Halos. His first MLB start was not how Darwin likely wanted to break into the big leagues at 19 years old, only going 3 1/3 innings and giving up four runs on eight hits and four walks to Cleveland.
His pitching woes continued throughout the 1960s. He had some success and several struggles on the mound. Consistency was certainly an issue in the minor leagues. Darwin returned to the majors briefly in 1969, seven years after his debut, for six games.
It went so well that in 1970 he became a full-time outfielder in the Dodgers system. He had always been a good hitter for a pitcher, so it was worth trying. In 86 games that year in the minor leagues, he hit .297 with 23 home runs and 70 RBI. In 91 games in 1971 in the minors, he hit .293/.342/.517 (.859) with 17 homers and 55 RBI. He returned to the big leagues for 11 more games. He went 5-for-20 (.250) a homer in 11 games.
Darwin landed in Twins territory following that 1971 season in a trade with the Dodgers for center field prospect Paul Powell. The newfound success for Darwin in the minor leagues as an outfielder was enough for the Twins to give him a chance for his first entire MLB season in 1972. Darwin didn’t miss a beat on that opportunity.
Now 29, 1972 was Bobby Darwin’s breakout season. Twins manager Bill Rigney found a way to get Darwin in the lineup almost every day, leading the team in games played with 145 (out of 154 games).
Darwin hit .267/.326/.442 (.769) with 20 doubles, 22 homers, and 80 RBI. He also struck out 145 times which remained the Twins single-season record until Brian Dozier struck out 148 times in his All-Star 2015 season. A year later, Miguel Sano struck out 178 times, and last season he topped that mark with 183 strikeouts.
In 1973, Darwin again played in 145 games. He hit .252/.309/.391 (.701) with 20 doubles, 18 homers, and 90 RBI. Despite 52 more plate appearances, Darwin struck out 137 times.
For the third straight season, Bobby Darwin led the Twins in strikeouts, this time with 127 strikeouts in 630 plate appearances. In 152 games in 1974, he hit .264/.322/.442 (.764) with 13 doubles, seven triples, 25 homers, and 94 RBI. Only Rod Carew played in more games than Darwin, and he played in 153 games.
He began the 1975 season with the Twins. In 48 games, he hit .219/.307/.343 (650) with six doubles and five homers in 48 games. He was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in mid-June for outfielder Johnny Briggs.
The quick three-season peak of his career was entering its decline in those 48 games, but Darwin turned his season around with his chance in Milwaukee. Following the 1975 season, Darwin split time his final two seasons between the Brewers, Cubs, and Red Sox, retiring after the conclusion of the 1977 season.
Darwin was one of the fortunate Twins from 1970 to 1972 that had the chance to be teammates with five future Hall of Famers; Harmon Killebrew, Rod Carew, Bert Blyleven, Tony Oliva, and Jim Kaat. Darwin found himself as the successor to Oliva and started a lineage that would see an African-American player starting in right field for the Twins almost every day from 1972-1980.
Those at Twins Daily would also like to wish Bobby Darwin a happy 79th birthday today!
chinmusic reacted to RandBalls Stu for an article, How Does the 2021 Eddie Rosario Experience End?
Atlanta is getting their first taste of the very best part of the ERE, as he demolishes whatever Los Angeles throws at him and puts the Dodgers on the brink of elimination. This is the Eddie that we all grew to love in Minnesota.
We know what comes next.
I shouldn’t say we know exactly what comes next. The beauty of the ERE is not knowing how he comes crashing back to earth. Sometimes it’ll be a garden variety mistake like missing a cutoff man or blowing through a stop sign. Others are things that approach art. Given the stakes, it seems obvious that the latter is more likely. Here are my three best guesses as to what comes next:
Absolutely nothing. Eddie Rosario continues his blistering pace and carries Atlanta to a World Series title. Minnesota let him walk and Cleveland traded him for the ghost of Pedro Sandoval, of course two of America’s most cursed sports cities would give Eddie extra mojo. An outfield assist goes horribly wrong. There’s a play at the plate. Eddie fields the liner on one hop, winds up, misses the cutoff man, misses the catcher, misses the entire stadium, sails the ball into traffic, hits a city bus, sends the bus into a transformer, causes a chain reaction power outage that exposes dire flaws in the Atlanta electrical grid, sends entire region into chaos and vandalism, Atlanta reverts to subsistence farming and bartering with a collection of feudal lords clashing over control of the humid land. Dodgers advance due to forfeit. A crucial plate appearance goes sideways. A mighty swing and there it goes, a walk-off HR! But no. The bat has also flown out of Eddie’s hands. It connects a second time with the ball in flight, sending it into the waiting talons of a migratory bird. The bird carries it for miles before dropping it over Tropicana Field in Tampa, Florida. It falls through a hole in the roof and hits the catwalk in foul territory. Foul ball. Eddie strikes out on the next pitch, ending the rally and Atlanta’s season. That said, I’d like to hear your thoughts below. How do these playoffs end for Eddie Rosario? Does he quit in the middle of a game to become an HVAC repair tech? Wear a Hawaiian shirt to the plate? Hide all of Atlanta’s bats and gloves before the game because he “just loves pranks.” It’s the only interesting thing left in this postseason, and I can’t wait to find out.
Image license here.
chinmusic reacted to RandBalls Stu for an article, Glenwood Man Readies Self For Next Bad Trade
With the trade deadline looming, the Minnesota Twins are acknowledged sellers. And for Benjamin Mason, the awful dread of which future former Twin will become an All-Star in 2023 is consuming his every waking moment.
“I’m resigned to Jose Berrios winning the Cy Young next year for someone else,” said Mason, a Glenwood native and licensed pre-owned pontoon dealer. “But it’s the one you don’t see coming that’s going to hurt more. Who is the Akil Baddoo or LaMonte Wade that we’re going to throw in for three pitching prospects who tear the ulnar nerve in their throwing elbows all at once? That’s the one that keeps me up at night.”
With a pitching staff in desperate need of, well, everything, Mason is mentally readying himself for the unforeseen kick in the shins that has tormented Twins fans for generations.
“My grandpa remembers the Graig Nettles deal,” said Mason. “I think the Rod Carew trade is what finally did him in. My dad quit watching baseball after David Ortiz won a World Series and mom left because he wouldn’t stop swearing to himself in the garage. I was minding my own business on Tuesday night, watching the All-Star Game, and there’s Liam Hendriks and Kyle Gibson. It’s the circle of life and you know what, I hate it.”
While Mason agrees that the team must do something, the fact that everyone knows they’re a seller probably impacts any potential return.
“We’re not going to get Wander Franco from the Rays,” said Mason. “We’re going to get his roommate. And the Rays will get our 38th best prospect, who will enter Cooperstown in 2047 after leading Tampa to seven straight titles in front of 259 delirious fans at Tropicana Field. He’ll have his own breakfast cereal, videogame, and talk show. I hate baseball, I really do.”