Put me in the camp that would love to see Thome return. His spot on the 25 man probably belongs to Butera right now, and I think it's safe to say most of us would be fine with Drew in Rochester. Gardy has managed to keep him healthy and hitting in his age 39/40 seasons, so it's not too far of a stretch that he can do it again at age 42. 150-200 productive abs might be worth a C level prospect come July so why not?
Too late to get into this thing? If not here's my list:
1. Hugh Hefner
2. Jack Nicholson
3. Jack Nicklaus
4. Arnie Palmer
5. Lindsey Lohan
6. Collin Farrel
7. Warren Sapp
8. Troy Aikman
9. John Madden
10. Mike Tyson
12. Jaime Foxx
13. Muhammad Ali
14. Michael J Fox
15. Kirstie Alley
16. Al Roker
17. Burt Renoylds
18. Robin Williams
19. Billy Crystal
20. Yao Ming
21. Stephen Hawkins
22. Jerry Sandusky
23. Jeff Gordon
24. George Foreman
Also if this PM doesn't go to Musk21 please forgive my ineptitude and forward to him.
If the Twins want to compete this year (it's debatable whether or not that's the right course) it makes sense to overpay for dependable pitching. Buhrele gives you essentially what Scott Diamond provided this season, and that is an extremely valuable asset. Buhrele+a good FA (Marcum, E-Jax, etc.) combined with Diamond, a reclamation project (Baker, Colon, etc.) and whoever of Deduno/Gibson/Hendrix/Pedro Hernandez should provide a respectable enough rotation to compete in the AL Central.
I said it last season, and it still applies this offseason. The perfect FA signing for this team is Edwin Jackson on a 4 yr/42-48M dollar deal. Young enough, inning eating horse who has been a consistently good, while not spectacular starter. From there go with some combo of Diamond, Hendricks, Blackie, new guy Hernandez, Gibson, and Deduno to fill out the rotation.
Why would Liriano sign any extension for a losing team when he's 2 months from FA? Unless the Twins drastically overpay (think Oliver Perez and his 3/36 to resign with the Mets) there is no chance that Frankie will stay when all he has to do is have a decent last few months and cash in with whatever team he wants. If you can trade him for a B/B+ prospect do it. If not, offer him the $12M qualifier and hope he turns it down. If he accepts, pray the good Frankie is around long enough to do this same dance next year.
Bringing the lady to see it tonight. Originally I was planning on finding tickets to the Twins game, but I was there for Liriano's masterpiece on Friday, and I'm pretty sure he can't top that so it'll be a movie night instead.
Back in the Twin Cities. We ended up skipping the Snappers and Kernals game last night. The 10 hour drive, plus 4-5 hours of baseball pregame and during game activity, followed by the 3-4 hour drive home seemed daunting so we made the decision to head home from Cinci Saturday morning. GABP was very impressive, but the field is ridiculously small. It's easy to see why it's the hitters haven everybody makes it out to be when looking at the shallow dimensions from the stands. What I really enjoyed about it was the sheer size of the land it has to work with. Patios and picnic areas are everywhere around exterior of the park. The Red's team offices and Hall of Fame are just inside of the main entrance, and the view of the river is beautiful. Another thing I really enjoyed is there are about 6 full service bars on each level of the concourses, which is very nice. All in all a wonderful baseball facility, though I will say I'd grow tired of the bandbox, homer happy dimensions if this were my hometown ballpark. After everyone of these trips I try to rank which of the parks I liked the best, but this time I don't think I'm even gonna try. Each of the stadiums we went to are so vastly different it's hard to compare them. Toronto was/is an amazing feat of engineering for it's time, but it's still a dome and even with the roof open you feel like your watching baseball inside, never a good thing. Detroit pays homage to it's history better than any other park I've been too, and the statues of Tigers everywhere are awesome, but Detroit the city is scary and depressing so it's hard to appreciate the beauty of the baseball field with so much desolation in the surrounding area. Pittsburg has the most beautiful backdrop of any sports facility outside of maybe San Francisco, but the apathy of the fanbase (better than 4 years ago, but still a fairly dull atmosphere) and the two deck design make it feel like the greatest minor league park in the world, really cool, but too small to feel like a truly major league facility. Cleveland is a workman like facility with a cool setup, but nothing about it really stands out. Also the 3 tiers of suites look ridiculous. Cincinnati is fan friendly atmosphere is great, but a bit overdone, and it's too easy to hit a homer there, which bothers me. I didn't include Beloit and Rochester because it's silly to compare minor league parks to their big league brothers. Pohlman field in Beloit was really fun, but it's like Midway in St. Paul, just a field with some stands built around it. Frontier Field is like a pint sized big league park, but they hardly did any of the goofy games that make minor league games fun. Also if you think the Twins are bad, try to watch the Red Wings. Yikes. That's all I've got. Hope those of you who kept up enjoyed the updates, and I recommend trips like this to every baseball fan out there. If you plan ahead, and use the proper resources (hotwire, expedia, stubhub, etc.) trips like this can be very affordable, and extremely rewarding. My favorite day of the winter is when the full season schedule is released and I open google maps in one tab, and 7-8 team schedules in other tabs, and put together the jigsaw puzzle that is these trips. Hopefully I can find a way to go east next year and finally go to Camden Yards, and the new New York stadiums. If i'm lucky, might even get to see the Twins there.
Night off in Cleveland. Should be interesting to see how this town reacts if LeBron wins a championship tonight. PNC is great, really a beautiful facility that every baseball fan should see in there lifetime. Cleveland was fine, but nothing special. I'm sure it was far more impressive when it was brand new, and everybody else was still stuck in cookie cutter stadiums, but compared to the other modern parks I've been to it just feels bland. Looking forward to seeing the Twins tomorrow in Cinci, and am hoping they put on a better performance than they did on Tuesday night.
Cool roadie jtrinaldi, I love the minor league vibe. Today was a very easy, fun day. Left London around 8:30 and parked a few blocks from Skydome around 10:45. It was cool to see a Metrodome era ballpark that was built specifically for baseball, and with a mindset towards innovation as opposed to utilitarianism. There was a steady drizzle for most of the drive to Toronto so it wasn't surprising when we arrived and the roof was closed. It was very muggy and uncomfortable inside, but that didn't stop us from exploring the steepest and highest corners of the stadium. After 2 hours of exhausting exploration we settled in our seats in time for both national anthems. To everybody's delight after the 1st inning a the roof started to creep open, and an extraordinarily pleasant breeze hit us hard in 100 level of LF. The Jays jumped out to an early lead, but Gentleman Jim Thome started the Phils rally with his 100th dinger as a Phillie, in the process becoming only the 4th player to hit 100 homers for 3 different teams. The score remained tied for a few innings but the Jays started scoring runs, and the Phils did not so the hometown crowd went home happy. As soon as the game ended dozens of bulldozers, forklifts, and other pieces of heavy machinery took the field and started doing awesome construction work. Homeplate and the other base posts were dug out with pick axes before the back hoes started attacking the dirt. Giant tubes were placed 20 feet apart as they prepared to roll up the turf. Nets were removed, auxiliary seating taken down, fences in front of were bullpen dismantled. We watched for about 45 min before we were asked politely to leave. When we asked why all this mayhem was taking place the security guard told us "the Argo's are playing on Tuesday!", we also saw posters for a Roger Waters concert in a week, and the Jays won't be back until June 28th. Couldn't have been luckier this visit. Seeing the roof open and all that machinery totally made up for the $11 beers. Tomorrow, leave the gf in Canada (she went to school up here and is visiting friends while I have a quasi bachelors party week with my buddy who is getting married shortly after getting home), and head towards Rochester. The soon to be married individual went to school in upstate NY so we'll be tearing it up with old college chums. Updates are going to be scarcer as I'm using the gf's laptop, however I'll do my best using my iPod, and his iPad. Good night from Canada!
Cheerio all from London Ontario! As predicted the early start time of today's Tigers game reeked havoc with the morning schedule. Instead of being able to sleep off the morning hangover we were on the road at 8am. Traffic wasn't too bad in Chicago, and everything else was smooth sailing to Detroit. We got into the downtown area about half hour before game time and tried to find parking. The first few lots were full, but we found a lady that said the next lot down had spaces so we headed that way. The attendant (cocktail in hand) asked for our parking pass, we didn't have one but told us not to worry about it and to follow him. He walked next to us as we slowly drove a few blocks down and told us about a women who just took a piss right in front of "his" bar. Eventually he lead us down an alley and pointed at a recycling dumpster. Very nervously we asked if this was actually where he actually wanted us to park and he very confidently reassured us it was cool. We got out of the car, asked how much ($20 plus the tip he asked us for) and walked the block to the park wondering what would be left in the alley when we got back. We got into the stadium just as the anthem was finishing up. We watched from a SRO area as Miguel Cabrera launched a moonshot over Cuddy, it was pretty cool. For 2/3 of our party this was a repeat visit to Comerica, but it was the first time for my gf so we took her to the statues in left center. For those of you who aren't familiar with the statues at Comerica google them, they are the coolest thing in baseball. The Tiger greats are enshrined in action shots, Cobb sliding in spikes up, a baseball rocketing off of Greenberg's bat, Al Kaline leaping to catch a ball. They are absolutely incredible. From there we climbed the stairs to our seats in the upper deck down the third baseline. The seats had my least favorite feature, cup holders on each armrest creating an extra narrow place to sit down (think powerball pavilion at TF). Highlight of the game action was Delmon ripping a ball down the line and Cuddy nailing him trying to stretch it into a double. The close second for game highlights was Cabrera hitting a one hopper to the pitcher that he misplayed, and threw past Helton into shallow RF, Rockies catcher got to the ball and attempted to get Cabrera heading to third, this was also booted and Cabrera trotted home for a little league dinger. For the last 3 innings we wandered the park eventually settling in some awesome padded box seats in the lower level that a Tiger usher invited us to sit in. After the game we beelined to the car hoping the car would be intact. It was and we headed out of the motor city. From there we made the uneventful drive to border town Port Huron MI. We loaded up on some duty free liquor and crossed the bridge to Canada. The last stop of the evening was Tim Horton's for a sandwich and donut combo and then after another 45min of driving arrived at our hotel in London On. Tomorrow's drive to Skydome should only take a couple of hours, but it's a day game so still have to wake up fairly early. That's all I've got for tonight. This ended up being a really long post, so thanks to all of you who enjoyed my rambling account of today's activity.
Day one in the books. Snappers win 6-3. Post-game fireworks way more impressive than the actual Twins, but mortar fireworks are legal here so I guess that makes sense. It was 90s night at the park and none of the players or staff appreciated my nineties style because they were 8 years-old tops in 1999. The $25 ticket for all you can drink/eat free beer and hamburgers/brats tickets is awesome, and so are the super cheap Jameson prices at the local bars when you get to your hotel. Sano only had one hit, but he hit it very hard up the middle and he was the only baseball player who had a man sized body tonight. It's incredible how young these players looked. I'm only 28 but I felt like I could have been each of their fathers...except for Sano, he looks like a grown up. Fox for whatever reason picked Rockies v. Tigers as worthy of national television so I have to get up at 7 in order to see the first pitch tomorrow at 3 central time. I'll try to update tomorrow, but it'll be a big day of driving, so you might have to wait til a full Sunday in Canada. There can't be too much to do in the Great White North so i'll have plenty of time to update the roadtrip.
Is anybody else taking the trip to see the Twins in Pit and Cin this week? In about 45 min I'll be departing Minneapolis heading to Beloit for tonights game. Saturday in Detroit to see the Rockies. Sunday go north of the border for Jays and Phils. Monday in Rochester to see the 2011 left side of the Twins infield. Tuesday the hometown 9 at PNC, Wednesday the hated Indians take on the Reds in Cleveland, Thursday no baseball (gasp), and Friday see the hometown 9 again at GABP. Finally a quick stop in Cedar Rapids on Saturday to see the Snappers fight the Kernals, then driving home Saturday night. It'd be a pretty big coincidence if anybody else had the exact same itinerary, but I'm curious what, if anything other Twins fans are doing this week?