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About alexlegge

  • Birthday 04/25/1985

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  1. Hahaha. Great quote. For a second I thought he was referring to the Mall of America. Silly me. He secretly probably hates Juicy Lucys too. The man might not be super genuine all the time, but he knows how to play a real solid shortstop and win a fanbase over. I wish him well.
  2. Also recall the front office's whirlwind of trades leading up to the Correa signing. Was it a clever orchestration of baseball resources that blocked an opponent from getting a player we wanted? Sure, I can give them credit there, they same way I'll give them credit for the Trade Deadline optics. At the end of the day, the optics don't matter. What happens on the field matters. And to be frank, the Twins would probably have done themselves a favor to have kept Donaldson and Kiner-Falefa, and forgotten about Sanchez/Urshela and Correa. Would the clubhouse have been as much fun to root for in April and May? Probably not. But for what those three collectively earned, it just seems like a big waste. At least the former FO found crummy performance insanely cheaply (in turn being good for someone, maybe a Pohlad or two).
  3. ...you may appreciate this remix of Prince's "Go Crazy" that I created as an homage to a select few Minnesota sports highlights from my lifetime. Two out of three of them are Twins-based (you can probably guess which games they're from). It's called "The Puckett Formerly Known as Kirby" I'm also including a flac version if you'd like to download it, but clicking on the above link or the below album cover should take you to a streamable version on my Bandcamp page. (Now that we've been mathematically eliminated from the playoff race, I figured this post would be more appropriate, and perhaps even ever-so-slightly uplifting.) 367178346_thepuckettformerlyknownaskirby(loudversion).flac
  4. Great point here. Indeed, if the Twins didn't trade for Mahle, I think almost anyone in this forum would probably agree that they would've at least wanted to try to add someone else as a starting pitcher. They needed a starter and would've gotten a starter almost inevitably. They chose poorly. --- One more related thought, but does it seem like Falvey is irrationally opposed to two-month rentals at the trade deadline?? Not that this is necessarily the right year to put all of one's eggs in the metaphorical basket, but theoretically the right piece for a championship might *only* be available as a rental deal when the deadline comes. One example that comes to mind would be the 2009 Phillies trading for Cliff Lee (they even had the added bonus of warming Lee up to Philly so much that he accepted less cash to sign with them for a multi-year deal in 2011). I supposed the argument against this would be like the 2008 Brewers' trade for CC Sabathia. But even that deal probably opened their championship window far wider...IMHO we'll need to take accept risk like that and pull off a similar deal somewhere en route to propping open our championship window enough. Any Twins road to a trophy this decade will go through Yankee Stadium and/or Minute Maid Park. But even beyond this decade, we'll always be up against one or two superteams in the AL. Treading water and hoping for the best in a playoff "crapshoot," which seems to be the happy medium for this front office as well as both the front offices led by Terry Ryan and Bill Smith, is flawed logic; not to take things overly literally, but that strategy basically just guarantees we'll be firing bullets made of crap on the rare occasion when our championship window is opening...and you can be sure as s**t we'll be up against a team firing steel. Perhaps a more philosophical way of thinking about it is the following: I'd personally opt for the same number and types of flags that the Royals have had since the year 2000 compared to the Twins - basically trading all the division championships in exchange for one championship and one additional pennant. Maybe we lose out on some good regular season memories, but now we're seeing a well-oiled playoff melancholic memory machine.
  5. All good points. And yet the outcomes for the players with injury risks have consistently been suboptimal over the past few years. That's why I think it's worth questioning however medical information and injury risk calculation is being funneled through the Twins baseball operations department. It's not just Mahle. What about the Paddock deal? Absolute nightmare scenario. And Aaron Gleeman's recent Athletic article does a nice job of assessing the Chris Archer signing, which hasn't been terrible but also has been far from spectacular. Can anyone name one player with an above-average injury risk who, during his Twins tenure in the 2020s, has contributed more than OR equal to what we would've expected based on raw talent?? *Maybe* Buxton could count, but that would be a stretch, and only even in the discussion because of prior knowledge of just how susceptible he is. I still think the management strategy this year was a mistake. He may end up with more games played, but he's consistently been missing in key games due to injury and unnecessarily rested in other key games without significant injury. The result has been the same: less healthy Buxton than we could've had. As others have mentioned, Falvey was brought in with a reputation of being particularly forward-thinking on pitching. The organizational results haven't been a total disaster, and some trades have worked better than others (the Maeda, Fulmer, and Lopez deals all seem to have arguably made a decent impact), but I don't think anyone would say confidently that the Twins pitching pipeline is in great shape, or even that their pitching at the major league level has improved drastically. I'm not ready to point the finger at Falvey directly though, because the suboptimal outcomes related to injury risk assessment/calculation seems to be a noticeable common thread. If that's on Falvey, then the organization has much bigger structural problems. I think right now we need to be concerned about their rehab/training and medical teams. Something in there just isn't clicking. Another thought regarding the recent issues this season - Rocco has never been the most pristine manager when it comes to managing a pitching staff on the whole. He seems especially inept with getting the best bang for your buck out of a relief corps. Tbh, it raises the question of whether the Twins would still be in first place had Wes Johnson stayed???
  6. It's a bad sign when the prospects you traded for a pitcher at the trade deadline are already outperforming that pitcher a month later. That being said, I'm more concerned about the Twins' medical staff than I am about "Falvine" per se. Point 1: Everyone is taking too much time to recover from injuries. That has been the case the entire year. Point 2: The whole Byron Buxton 2 games out of 3 ratio ended up with Buck hurt during the most crucial part of the schedule, leaving the team vulnerable to complete derailment, which is what we're seeing unfold in front of our eyes. It's unclear how to deploy Buxton properly, but I don't think this was the best strategy. If he's not injured, he's our best player and should be able to play more than 67% of the time. If he was dealing with nagging injuries, then he probably shouldn't have been playing 67% of the time. This solution was an overly simplistic approach to an absurdly complex puzzle. Point 3: If the Twins were in pursuit of Mahle for a long time, as has been reported, I suspect that there's a reason the Reds caved in now rather than, say, last offseason. We seem to have been fleeced by them; Mahle's arm is clearly not right, and it sure makes me wonder if this is something that could have been caught earlier. Thoughts?
  7. Ha! Yeah, "Curse of the Plexiglass Removal" doesn't quite have the same ring to it, but for whatever reason strikes me as something inherently Minnesota-sounding.
  8. EXAMINING MISFORTUNES I recently revisited some of the depressing statistics regarding Minnesota big four sports teams' futility over the past 30 years. A couple of the numbers jumped out at me. Namely, when accounting for league sizes, etc. the probability on any given year of no MN sports team winning a championship since the 1991 WS, is approximately 87%. But the probability of no MN big four sports team even *appearing * in a championship game during that time is substantially lower, approximately 0.91%. That's before accounting for relatively large media market size (ironically among the big four sports the smallest media market is Green Bay). Looking at those data points, admittedly calculated somewhat inaccurately, I was struck by the numbers 87 and 91, which of course are meaningful for MN sports fans. Things quickly get more depressing if you're a Twins fan. Indeed, there seems to be a pattern of championship futility that follows the Twins and the Vikings franchises in particular, and seems to be STRONGLY connected to the centerfield Metrodome territory. What I propose based on the subsequent data points, is "strong" evidence in support for what I call The Kirse of Kirby. You may say, curses don't exist. Look at the Cubs and Red Sox, they both proved that. However, do *kirses* exist?? Let me attempt to convince you. A TERRIFYING REALIZATION What is the KIrse of Kirby? An anti-championship hex that affects Minnesota sports teams and players, current and past, based on their relationship to Kirby Puckett and the Metrodome centerfield area. The curse may have started in 1991, or it may have started with Kirby's freak accident, getting hit in the eye. Regardless, part of his baseball soul left him when he retired, a more demonic and anti-Minnesota baseball presence and continued to wreak havoc after he passed away. Those who were affected most notably were teams, players and fans, who have unwittingly invaded Kirby's territory in CF, especially during gameplay. Kirby's soul was upset that he had to retire. And since his death, the baseball gods have been making him pay penance for his baseball sins (see below). The curse applies to all Minnesota sports teams, but most significantly the Vikings and Twins, both of whom played games in the Metrodome and used that part of the field during gameplay. Many Twin Cities fans used that part of the Metrodome in the post-Puckett era, which is why the Kirse extends to their hometown teams. The Lynx weren't even founded until after Kirby's career - plus, we all know that Kirby wasn't exactly thoughtful when it came to women. So they haven't been affected. Certainly, however, the Gophers, who played in the Metrodome, have been. Again, the curse is most highly specific to the CF territory at the Metrodome, and those who would've frequented that area during the post-Kirby years. Here are the oddly-consistent, and legitimately creepy specific rules: - The Kirse of Kirby affects mostly championship probability for those impacted. But it also impacts the ways in which that probability decreases. Teams and moments most closely related to Kirby's CF territory have been devastated by this repeatedly. Following Kirby's death in spring 2006, things seemed to get much worse for the Twins *and* for any Twins player who ever manned CF at the dome. - Because it affects championship probability, the Kirse definitely applies more and more to teams and players as they progress through the playoffs en route to the championship - er, the inevitable heartbreak before reaching the championship game, High probability moments have the potential to be very strongly impacted. Because things really only get meaningful during the postseason, it's the only time that teams are affected. So don't blame the Kirse for the Timberwolves failure to make the playoffs. Just for their inability to win anything meaningful when they've infrequently made it. - By far the most notable moment single play involved Kirby's territory and a ton of championship probability but NOT the Twins! Indeed, this moment involved a team on the brink of advancing to the championship and a play that occupied a critical part of Kirby's CF territory - namely left-center field, near the landing spot of his Game 6 homer. As you may already have guessed, I'm speaking of Gary Anderson's missed field goal in the 1998 NFC championship, which likely traversed over area which was frequented by Kirby and undoubtedly required use of that portion of the outfield during play. - Also mysterious is that the Kirse of Kirby seems to follow athletes that ever played in the centerfield region of the Metrodome; Carlos Gomez, Denard Span, Shannon Stewart, Jason Kubel, Jacque Jones, Shane Mack, Marty Cordova, and most notably Torii Hunter have played in a cumulative total of zero World Series games. Neither has Ben Revere nor Aaron Hicks, who never played in that part of CF at the dome during the regular season though who I suspect did play there in spring training/exhibition games. If nothing else, they are also part of the Twins classic 'lineage' of centerfielders following Kirby. Very few notable ex-Vikings from the Metrodome era have won a championship, and in many cases have been part of notable championship losses - in particular Randy Moss who was part of the Patriots' perfect season that resulted in Super Bowl misery. Did any Twin play CF in the dome since 1995 and go onto win a World Series at any point after occupying Kirby's territory? I've found only two that ever even played in a World Series game. They both lost and performed abysmally. One was Otis Nixon, who played for the Twins in 1998, then the Braves in 1999. The baseball gods apparently preferred to penalize Kirby over rewarding the Braves (one championship was enough). Naturally, the only other Twin who ever would've manned metrodome CF and made the WS was Michael Cuddyer. And he was a magician! He played in only one World Series game as part of the Mets' 2015 losing effort. Here's his batting line that game: 3 plate appearances, 3 strikeouts. - Conversely, *avoidance* of the Metrodome's centerfield region seems to have been an excellent strategy, both spatially and temporally: among the list of ex-Twins who have experienced playoff success with seemingly little effort are guys who would never have had to play in that part of the field. The most successful has been David Ortiz, obviously. But several dome-era Twins who never would have been in CF won the WS rather quickly and/or easily after departing the Twins - Jack Morris, Kyle Lohse, AJ Pierzynski, and Doug Mientkiewicz, just to name a few. Many other Twins have played exclusively in the post-Dome era. - Players who were predominantly middle-infielders at the Metrodome seem to have a mixed-bag of postseason success, as one might expect given the above two bullet points (they had to back up into CF to catch a lot of pop-ups, but probably were able to dance around it a bit). As one might expect, the Kurse has applied more to shortstops than second basemen. Jason Bartlett appeared in the Rays' 2008 WS loss and performed abysmally. Christian Guzman never played in a World Series game. Chuck Knoblauch, in contrast, went onto win several rings with the Yankees, and Nick Punto won with Cardinals in 2011. - Performance isn't all about winning and losing either - note that regardless of outcome, it has generally been those who avoided Kirby's territory who have had success with the Twins in the playoffs. Dozier and Rosario both hit homers in the wild card game against the Yankees. Mauer and Santana performed strongly in the postseason for the Twins. And the last playoff series they actually won was because of huge ninth inning hits from AJ Pierzynski and David Ortiz. - The Twins have lost 18 consecutive playoff games, though recall that they actually won Game 1 of the ALDS back in 2004, the same year the streak started. Since Kirby passed away in spring 2006: 15 baseball seasons, 15 postseason losses, 0 postseason wins. Indeed, the very first ball hit to a Twin in centerfield during postseason play after Kirby's death resulted in a freakish misplay by Torii Hunter and an inside-the-park home run by Ray Durham. Yikes. WHY CAN WE NOT BE SPARED??? Why the Kirse of Kirby? What cruel world would do this to such a beloved player? Why would the sports gods need to punish Minnesota? And why does it have anything to do with Kirby Puckett in particular? What were Kirby's 'baseball sins?' 2 possible reasons here, neither of which has been proven publicly but neither of which is wholly unlikely either: - Reason 1: The baseball gods needed to get back at the Twins for unfairly disadvantaging opposing World Series teams during '87 and '91 via selected use of the ballpark fan systems. This would explain why the 'Kirse' is somewhat specific to the Metrodome. But why should it only affect Kirby? Kirby hit the biggest home run in either of those two world series, and he hit it out to centerfield territory (left-center). Let's not forget how he robbed Ron Gant of a double by jumping up against that silly plexiglass (which I believe was only present during the postseason). - Reason 2: Seriously, though. Kent Hrbek hit a Grand Slam in '87 and wouldn't have been caught dead in CF. So why Kirby so specifically? This is the more painful one, and perhaps the more weighty from the baseball gods' perspective: he may be the only Hall of Famer who used steroids, or at least the Hall of Famer whose success was most dependent on steroids. Jose Canseco has stated that there are juicers in the Hall of Fame, and if he's to be believed (which he probably should be - he has been accurate about most of this) then unfortunately Kirby would fit the profile disturbingly well - a guy whose body and power changed early in his career at the peak of the steroid era. And it makes sense that nobody has come public with this. A dead guy who was beloved amongst his peers is not someone likely to be accused in that kind of forum. Yet based on Kirby's fall from grace, we can extrapolate that he wasn't always the most ethically sound man. I actually suspect he was using steroids for much of his career, including both years worth of Twins Championships. He was one of those guys that started off slim and fast, then got more jacked and added power somewhat suddenly. And I don't say this lightly, since I grew up idolizing him. I even owned his children's book "Be The Best You Can Be." And to be frank, if we're taking that title quite literally, a major leaguer in the 80s and 90s couldn't really be the best he could be without some frequent injections of the clear. Sad but true. Also notable is the Twins failure to acknowledge Kirby's darker moments that became apparent after his retirement. To some extent, his early death might've made it easer to ignore these as a community. Indeed, the Twins have been essentially silent about it for years, instead putting up statues of him. I don't completely disagree with this approach, but it certainly leaves something to be desired if we're going for emotional honesty. Maybe coming to terms with that, on an emotional and community-wide level, is a necessary part of lifting the Kirse and bringing the trophy to Target Field. Regardless of whether Kirby ever laid a finger on a steroid, we do know that his legacy is oddly less complex publicly than it probably should be. I don't say this to demonize him. Kirby came from nothing, lived a whirlwind of a dream life which was cut short, perhaps before he was fully able to process his misgivings. He made mistakes, and he should be remembered as a flawed human, but also a human who brought millions of people joy. Perhaps the day this mindset is prevalent across the Twin Cities, our next period of sports dominance will be ushered in. BUT REALLY - HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO BREAK THE KIRSE Other than the above, don't ask me. I'm just speculating based on known data points. I don't know what the baseball gods need, if anything. Hopefully fewer than 108 seasons. Goat meat? Some corollary to a Bartman or Buckner moment? Maybe the next Twins World Series victory needs to feature an outfield without any homegrown talent? The Buxtons of the world are too close to Kirby's centerfield lineage. Or maybe it'll just be a 34 year drought in honor of Kirby? That wouldn't be so bad. We can only hope. What about MLS? And the Falvine administration - heck, maybe the Kirse has already been broken, we just genuinely don't have the right talent in place. Maybe you don't believe in kirses, or curses, or any of this mumbo-jumbo, just in the love of the game.
  9. 1991 Twins on April 23rd: 4-10 2006 Twins on May 1st: 9-16 2017 Twins on August 5th: 52-56 2017 Dodgers from August 26-September 11: 1-16 Baseball is a weird sport. 8-13 feels like garbage, but let’s not rush to judgment.
  10. Of course, but it's easy to see how there might be different incentives for players and trainers coming from a country with a different set of values and laws regarding PEDs. I know MLB is already coordinating some "education" for young Dominican players regarding the adverse effects and career risks associated with use, but clearly there are still a lot of issues. First, they probably should focus on ways to improve cultural sensitivity. I'd also be interested in finding out if there were any particular trainers or 'hubs' of trainers in the DR that tend to distribute PEDs. There might even be trainers down there who administer PEDs to players unknowingly to advance their own careers. There are several angles that could be improved, because clearly something's wrong with the system at this point.
  11. True, but at the same time Eduardo Escobar was raking at 3B while filling in for Sano. Sure they are worse without him, but it's a smaller difference than you'd think. Adrianza is a better fielder, and Escobar is arguably a better hitter (unless you're *really* buying into Polanco's hottest 6-week stretch, with or without PEDs). They'll make it work.
  12. I feel like this news is getting a lot of overreactions because it really stinks from a 'fan of Jorge Polanco' perspective and raises some questions about the position going forward. Realistically his ceiling this year was a 4ish-WAR player. So we're really only 'losing' max 2 wins over 80 games, and the team has enough depth to make up at least one win - so we really only lose one win, maybe even less....The bigger story to me is the continued suspensions among Dominican players especially given that many PEDs are legal there. If you were a young player and you thought you could be a lot more successful by doing something that's completely legal where you grew up, wouldn't you? MLB needs to address this better
  13. Just that some of his regular season numbers are better than Koufax after adjustments for ballpark & league-wide offense during the era. It's a popular comparison. I personally wouldn't make that argument, but it's waaaay closer than most people think, especially based only on regular season performance. So yeah, *arguably* better in the sense that you could make a reasonable argument if you had to
  14. Let's say, just for fun, that Johan wasn't injured at the end of 2010, and instead ended up playing 11 more years, staying relatively healthy but pitching substantially worse overall. Let's say he doubled his career innings, averaging the following stats over that stretch: 9-8 record, ERA of 4.00 and an ERA+ of 110 (approximate midpoint of Patrick Corbin's and Chris Archer's ERA+ from this year, since they both had ERAs just barely over 4). Then, overall, Santana's career numbers would look like this: 238-166 (.589), 3.60 ERA, 123 ERA+ Even if he never won a World Series, those numbers look Hall-of-Fame worthy to me. By comparison, Mike Mussina's career numbers are: 270-153 (.638), 3.68 ERA, 123 ERA+ Also: Don Drysdale's career ERA+ was 121, John Smoltz's was 125. You get the idea. ... And now compared to Jack Morris: 254-186 (.577), 3.90 ERA, 105 ERA+ 3 points to be made of all of this: 1) Johan's candidacy is in a different league than Morris. Morris is really only relying on slightly above-average pitching, win totals, and 2 great postseasons (leaving aside the crappy postseasons he had). As a Twins fan, I'd find emotional satisfaction in Morris getting elected, but he's well below the admittedly-subjective 'standards' for the hall. Let's also not forget that most of Morris' wins came before the steroid era. Santana, by comparison, could have had 11 more years of mediocrity and his career numbers would still far exceed those of Morris. 2) If Johan doesn't get elected (which he won't) and perhaps even falls off the ballot (a distinct possibility), then he will basically have been penalized for not having 11 years of middle-of-the-rotation caliber pitching. Is that really what we want the Hall of Fame to be about?? In my personal opinion, a player that has a 4-5 year stretch of awesomeness (like Johan) is just as solid of a candidate as someone who was steadily above average for a long time (like Mussina), and both of those players are very worthy selections. 3) The saddest part, I believe, is that Johan's candidacy is being reduced due to market sizes. He was arguably better than peak Sandy Koufax from 2003-2007 with the Twins, but there was slightly less national attention paid to that because it happened in Minnesota. Then he went to the biggest media market in the US and had 1 great season. Hence, the lasting image from the NYC market perspective is more focused on the guy whose Mets career sadly faded due to injuries than the guy who was a monster for 5 years in Minnesota. Unfortunately, that's the perspective of most HoF voters too
  15. First time I've ever seen someone strike out on a pitch that almost hit him in the face. Talk about adding insult to injury.
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