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Teflon

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Teflon last won the day on December 26 2020

Teflon had the most liked content!

About Teflon

  • Birthday 11/07/1958

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  1. Teflon

    Saddest sports city

    Being the worst sports "city" should be a blessing for sports blogs, though, right? A cornucopea of content from the discontented.
  2. The views of the Iowa countryside as the sun went down were as gorgeous and serene a backdrop as I've seen to an MLB game. Kudos to MLB for starting the game at 6 pm to make the most of the "golden time" lighting. The weather couldn't have been more perfect, either.
  3. I'm excited to see more ball girls tackling on-field interlopers. It's like a little bit of roller derby right on the field.
  4. I don't like the AL teams being penalized for playing in NL parks. It's sort of like having to slow down to drive through Iowa.
  5. Over a 7-year career ending in 1979, Twins DH Craig Kusick came to the plate 1461 times, compiling an unremarkable slash line of .235/.342/.392. Kusick may have had a briefer stay in the bigs, however, if it was not for his uncanny ability to hit Frank Tanana of the California Angels who was the most intimidating strikeout pitcher in the American League not named Nolan Ryan or Vida Blue. Kusick ended up facing Tanana more than any other pitcher over his career – 59 times - which was about 4% of all his plate appearances. In those at-bats, Kusick went 16 for 42 (.381) drawing a Bonds-like 16 walks for a .542 on-base percentage. He also took Tanana deep 4 times in those 42 at-bats and drove in 11 runs. Three of those home runs came in consecutive games against Tanana in 1976, after which Tanana walked Kusick 7 times in the next 5 times they met – twice intentionally. While Kusick was certainly not a Twins great, his inextricable linking to Tanana suggests an interesting related topic. Thanks to the Batter-vs-Pitcher data on Baseball Reference we can now ask and answer who were the opposing players Twins greats faced the most and who owned whom? * * * * * * * * * For the first "Who Owned Whom?" we look at a recent Twins great, Joe Mauer. Over his 15-year career, Mauer played in 1858 games and had 7960 plate appearances. He batted .306, had an on-base average of .388, slugged .439 with 143 home runs, scored 1018 runs and drove in 939. His most frequent opposing pitcher over his career was none other than Detroit’s Justin Verlander who faced off against Joe in 97 plate appearances. Verlander, who has a career .228 batting average-against and OPS-against of .652, was definitely "owned" by Mauer as Joe finished with a slash line of .317/.423/.537 on 26 for 82 hitting with 15 walks. The 26 hits are the most by Mauer against any pitcher and the first one came in his first at-bat against Verlander in the second game of a Saturday double header versus Detroit on July 23rd, 2005 as Joe hit an 0-2 pitch deep to left field in Detroit for an RBI double. The other pitchers Joe faced frequently were Rick Porcello –who fared better than his Tigers teammate - (75 plate appearances, .243/.293/.329) and the unfortunate John Danks of the White Sox. (71 plate appearances, .381/.451/.476) Coincidentally (or not), Danks is the only pitcher to have beaned Mauer more than once. CC Sabathia is the pitcher that struck Joe out the most -17 Ks in 52 plate appearances - and, along with another lefty, Mark Buehrle, most “owned” Joe. Joe only managed .196/.269/.239 against Sabathia and .197/209/.303 against Buehrle. Sabathia was also the first pitcher Mauer faced in the big leagues in his debut versus Cleveland in the Season Opener at the Metrodome on April 5th, 2004. Mauer, batting 8th, walked on 4 pitches against Sabathia in the 3rd and struck out swinging on a full count in the 5th. Sabathia pitched through the 7th and left with a 4-0 lead. The Twins rallied to tie the game, 4-4, in the 8th inning and Mauer's first big league hit would come on a single to center off Rafael Betancourt leading off the 9th. The game went to extra innings and Mauer got his second hit on a one-out, one-on single to right in the 11th off Chad Durbin, moving Nick Punto (running for Matt LeCroy who had walked) to third. After a Christian Guzman strikeout, Shannon Stewart lifted a Durbin fly ball deep to LF for a game-winning 3-run homer, bringing in Mauer and Punto and blowing 49,584 Metrodome fans from the exits hoarse and happy. What a memorable game to start a career! Watch for another installment of "Who Owned Whom" coming soon.
  6. Your triple emphasis sounds like Rocky from the latest Andy Weir story. Intentional - question? If not, must read.
  7. The Kansas City road trip used to be a necessity back in the Metrodome days. Originally, the fountains ran for a larger expanse in the outfield and there were no other features or seating out there - so they were a more integral part of the design. Also that stadium can get insanely hot (worse when they had synthetic turf) and the fountains seemed to take some of the edge off that. I love the location of the park and the fact that KC had the foresight to build separate dedicated baseball and football facilities in the 70s that share common infrastructure. Cities were building multi-purpose stadiums back then but KC really had the right idea as both are still viable venues to this day. The placing of the ballpark away from KC proper and all the adjacent parking that location has made possible foster one of the best tailgating atmospheres imaginable. The original plan called for a rolling roof structure that could be moved on rails over either stadium or parked over a plaza between them. The stadiums were built with the required alignment but the roof never came to be. For lodging, there are two hotels right across I-70 that are within easy walking distance that will be populated with scores of fellow Twins fans down for the series if you are looking for some camaraderie. Some attractions I would add in Kansas City are: Negro League Baseball / Jazz Hall of Fames - located in the 18th & Vine neighborhood. You can see both HOF's with one admission. I enjoyed each very much as well as learning about the history of that historic part of KC. American Royal Barbecue Contest (in conjunction with rodeo/horse show/livestock competition) - I went down once in late September when the contest was going on and remember the whole town smelled like barbecue! They used to hold the barbecue contest at the old Kemper Arena but it's out at the Kansas Speedway now where there's more room.
  8. Robert Arthur at Baseball Prospectus posted an article today speculating that A Lighter Baseball May Be Behind The Strikeout Increase. He states that the MLB, in reengineering the baseball to be less lively off bats for 2021 didn't consider how the changes would translate to pitching dynamics. In addition to the ball being lighter, MLB pitchers like Clayton Kershaw and Blake Snell are also claiming the seams on this year's baseballs feel different enabling increased spin on pitches. Arthur goes on to write that since 2018 lateral movement on curveballs and sliders have increased 25% and 20%, respectively although he notes there was a change in MLB camera tracking systems in 2020.
  9. Friday Night, May 21st - The Los Angeles Dodgers (26-18) take on their classic rivals, the San Francisco Giants (28-16), at beautiful Oracle Park in San Francisco. Trevor Bauer (4-2, 2.20 ERA) toes the hill for LA while Alex Wood (5-0, 1.75 ERA) gets the nod for SF. First pitch is at 8:45. Conveniently, this is the Free Game of Day on MLB.TV! Preview
  10. Interesting fact - when the Metrodome Teflon roof was installed in 1982, 100s of pigeons were trapped inside. The Metropolitan Sports Commission was then forced to bring in an appropriate service to carry out a "final solution" on all the pigeons. Coincidentally, the next week, the Dome Dog debuted.
  11. Dang! We should call the Twins sandwich shop the Ball-deli!! I would also offer an alternate Rocco Baldelli sandwich made with slow-cooked goose topped with a sweet & sour cranberry sauce.
  12. For years the Stage Deli and Carnegie Deli created sandwiches honoring famous clientele such as: Marv Albert - Corned Beef and Swiss Cheese. Mel Brooks - Pastrami, Turkey and Swiss Cheese. Katie Couric - Turkey, Ham and Swiss Cheese. Clint Eastwood - Turkey, Tongue and Corned Beef. Gloria Estefan - Tuna, Bacon, American Cheese, Lettuce and Tomato. If you were creating a Twins version of the Stage Deli, what player-named sandwich creations would you put on the menu? Sandwich with the most likes wins.
  13. Here's an interesting YouTube video on the correlation of spin rate improvement and the use of foreign substances: Gerrit Cole is Cheating and MLB Wants To Stop Him
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