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dbminn

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  1. Like
    dbminn reacted to DuluthRoots in How did you get hooked on baseball?   
    Thanks for asking this question. It brings back a lot of memories.
    And this morning I am recovering from my (first) Shingrix dose, so I am just sitting and reading. Typing will actually increase my activity level.
    Mine was an itinerant childhood. Sort of a modified "army brat" existence. I played the game in Germany on a US base, between apartments, in 1957. Used a tennis ball to avoid defenestration. No shortage of kids there.  But I had no team to root for. No team in Minnesota.
    In 1960 we moved to Lafayette, Indiana (my father was a graduate student at Purdue)--a small home on a slab purchased for $1500 on the GI bill (nothing down).
    My next door neighbor was a young boy about my age, maybe a year older, and he was a sports fanatic. We played basketball in the garage with a tennis ball and a basket of some sort. (Elgin Baylor was our idol). We bowled in his hallway. We played golf with one club and one ball in his back yard.
    But most of all we played WHIFFLE BALL. And we did it with real lineups. He was always the Yankees (Booooo!!!), and I had to pick a team. No local team, so I picked (drum roll) the new team in my natal state, the Minnesota Twins. I got the lineup out of the paper, and somehow learned if each player batted left or right, Baseball cards helped.To this day I know the starting lineups for the Yankees and Twins of that era. 
    And I have followed every game every day of the Twins since then. First got to see them play an exhibition game in Philadelphia (we had moved east). I will never forget Don Mincher emerging from the dugout. I got Harmon Killebrew's autograph years later in Baltimore. Sad to say, I have never seen a game in Minnesota, but I have seen the Twins in Washington DC and Baltimore.
    Sidebar note: living in Indiana, I picked up my first real basketball, and this became my favorite game to play.
  2. Like
    dbminn reacted to RickOShea in How did you get hooked on baseball?   
    I grew up across the freeway from what was to become Met Stadium.  The freeway separated Richfield (where I was born) and Bloomington.  Behind our house were open fields all the way to what was the parking lots.  On a summer evening you could see the glow of lights from the stadium.  On a still night, you could hear some of the PA announcements.  To me it was like a magical kingdom, just yards away.  As I got older, my brother and various cousins would go a ballgame.  sometimes we paid, sometimes we snuck in behind the left field bleachers.  One time my cousin and I were locked in, on the upper deck.  They had locked the gate and put barrels to block the entrance.  I remember thinking it was the last game of a homestand, and we'd be stuck up there til the Twins came home.  Kids can think up the craziest things.  Once we started throwing trash onto the deck below,, security came up and let us out.
    Baseball was the sport of choice in my family.  So the love affair was there from the start.  Anyone who has gone to a game, can recollect the sights, sounds and smells, that are unique.
  3. Like
    dbminn reacted to Ben B in How did you get hooked on baseball?   
    I grew up a block from the old Wayzata High School. My dad told me we used to go past the field when they were playing varsity games and I was just captivated by it. In his words, "you just knew it was something you wanted to do". This was when I was about 4 years old. We would go to the high school games and town ball games, and my mom bought me my first baseball cards.
    A year later we went to my first Twins game. Oh, and this was in 1991. 🙂 I remember watching bits and pieces of the World Series but I fell asleep before any of the games ended. I remember the morning after Game 7 excitedly asking if the Twins had won.
    From there it turned into an obsession of watching the Twins, playing little league, and collecting cards...and it never stopped.
     
  4. Like
    dbminn reacted to Seth Stohs in How did you get hooked on baseball?   
    I think for me it was watching my dad play baseball and softball, playing catch a bunch with mom and dad. Then in probably 1981, some guy gave my dad a brown paper grocery bag full of baseball cards from like 1981 and 1982. I collected cards when I could. Organized them in a variety of was (by number, by team). Then I started playing Little League... As for the Twins, I remember getting a ball in BP when I was young, maybe '83, but I don't remember a ton. Then Kirby Puckett got called up and became my favorite player, and been a baseball guy since. 
  5. Like
    dbminn reacted to Squirrel in How did you get hooked on baseball?   
    The lure of frosty malts brought me in, the game kept me in.
  6. Like
    dbminn reacted to Brock Beauchamp in How did you get hooked on baseball?   
    I was ten years old when the Twins won in 1987. I had watched a few Brewers games before then (lived in Wisconsin until 1985) but the sport never really held my interest. While my dad is a sports fan, he was never much of a baseball fan and football/basketball were the main sporting events in my household growing up. When the Twins began winning in 1987 and it appeared they were headed to the postseason, it became en vogue in my elementary school to wear the new "M" cap so I just had to have one like the rest of the kids. I got the hat and watched my first World Series that October.
    So ultimately, it was a stupid ****ing hat that got me into baseball.
  7. Like
    dbminn reacted to mikelink45 in How did you get hooked on baseball?   
    I have to add a thank you to my great uncle Clarence.  He was disabled in Ardennes, WWI,  and I would spend a lot of evenings and weekends with him playing cribbage and listening to the ball games.  He taught me what was important and how to root for a team and players.  He lived to be 96 despite devastating injuries and never lost his love of the game.  His brother, my grandfather played catch with me when I lived with him and my dad always had a glove or two in the car when we traveled to see my grandparents or went to see the Braves. 
  8. Like
    dbminn reacted to Melissa in How did you get hooked on baseball?   
    As I just wrote in a different thread, I was born in Milwaukee in the early 1950s. We were a baseball loving family - my grampa took me to see his beloved Cubs at Wrigley when I was quite young.
    Without a TV in the house we listened to the Braves on the radio on our back porch. I could attend games in the right field bleachers of County Stadium as a member of the Knothole Club (Gang?) for 50 cents.
    It added to the appeal that our star right fielder, Mr. Henry Aaron, lived a few houses down our street in Mequon, Wisconsin. His daughter Gail was in my class at public school, but after a year or two her parents pulled her out due to how much racist crap she had to deal with (her dad wrote about this in his autobiography I Had a Hammer).
  9. Like
    dbminn reacted to Parker Hageman in St. Paul to Stardom: Louie Varland is the Real Deal   
    His slider was a work in progress this offseason. Because he has altered his arm angle and is now presetting his wrist angle for his fastball (trying to increase the vertical carry numbers), he felt that his slider needed more work.
    You can see the shape on some of those in this video from May.
    It's ok, he just needs to get more consistent with it. 
    The thing that I want to stress about him is that because of his low release point and high fastball carry, his attack angle plays a lot like Josh Hader. Obviously he's not as side-windy or coming at hitters from close to the first base bag, but what makes his fastball difficult to hit is that it come out of a low slot and then the ball just doesn't fall. So, data-wise, Varland has that effect. The velocity is really nice, don't get me wrong, but the special sauce is that angle plus carry. 
     
  10. Like
    dbminn reacted to Monkeypaws in St. Paul to Stardom: Louie Varland is the Real Deal   
    I was in Cedar Rapids the last 2 nights. Varland and Gross really pop the catcher's mitt.
     
    On a side note, the woman I ended up sitting next to and talking baseball with was Matt Wallner's grandma.
  11. Like
    dbminn got a reaction from wabene in Reasons for optimism   
    I'm optimistic that:
    At least a couple of the long list of SP prospects will become very good major leaguer pitchers. It can take time for them to develop and there have been a lot of injuries, but by sheer numbers, at least a few will succeed.  Rortvedt will eventually hit major league pitching. Catchers are two-way players, so it can take some time for both tools to develop. His defense is so good, he'll get multiple chances to improve his hitting. Miranda will become (at least) a very good major league hitter. He has upped his power a lot, added walks and still doesn't K  much. That's a great combination. I'll continue to attend both Twins and Saints games. The latter to watch all the prospects, the former because major league baseball is great. Once I enter the stadium, I tend to forget about the team's record. It's all about that day's game.
  12. Like
    dbminn got a reaction from MMMordabito in 5 Free Agent Options for the Minnesota Twins to Replace José Berríos   
    These are all good choices, although I don't think the Twins will sign any of them in the offseason. They may be better off trading prospects or select major leaguers for a young SP who has several remaining years of control.
  13. Like
    dbminn reacted to Squirrel in Reasons for optimism   
    I’m going to use this post to remind everyone that if you don’t like the topic or want to change it to what you want, post in another thread. If you want a thread that says ‘Reasons for pessimism’, start one. Don’t rain on someone’s parade because you don’t like the topic or have nothing to be optimistic about. Thanks. 
  14. Like
    dbminn got a reaction from Dman in Reasons for optimism   
    I'm optimistic that:
    At least a couple of the long list of SP prospects will become very good major leaguer pitchers. It can take time for them to develop and there have been a lot of injuries, but by sheer numbers, at least a few will succeed.  Rortvedt will eventually hit major league pitching. Catchers are two-way players, so it can take some time for both tools to develop. His defense is so good, he'll get multiple chances to improve his hitting. Miranda will become (at least) a very good major league hitter. He has upped his power a lot, added walks and still doesn't K  much. That's a great combination. I'll continue to attend both Twins and Saints games. The latter to watch all the prospects, the former because major league baseball is great. Once I enter the stadium, I tend to forget about the team's record. It's all about that day's game.
  15. Like
    dbminn got a reaction from wabene in How confident are you in the FO to turn this around?   
    I'm slightly pessimistic. I have a few concerns:
    The FO has forced themselves into 40-man roster decisions that didn't have to happen. They could've bolstered the MLB roster through trades of prospects. Instead, they have signed several bargain-basement RP to the 40-man roster at the expense of younger players. This cost them an athletic player in Baddoo. The FO knew him as a person and had monitored his progress but still let him go. Nobody could have guessed he'd already be playing well in the big leagues but they completely missed on his potential.
    They left Baldelli without a bench coach in 2021. Not that this would've changed the season, but there is so much going on these days that a veteran right-hand man should be there. This includes spring training as well as the regular season.
    Like Brock said, they have failed to develop pitchers at the upper levels, including the majors. They have been successful at increasing velo and altering pitch mixes. They haven't improved command/control and in some cases, the pitchers have fallen back. The only success was Odorizzi, who gained a little velocity and kept the rest of his stuff intact.
    OTOH, I liked locking up Polanco, Kepler and Sano to long-term deals. They give the team a chance to retool instead of rebuild. They've also done a good job developing catchers.
    Hard to say if they have been successful in the drafts. There have been injuries and a year off due to covid. I think the 2017 draft looks solid. Time will tell but I think the FO can defend their 2017 choices. The Sabato choice left me shaking my head and Cavaco was a reach. Who knows? Maybe they both become all-stars.
    In any case, the honeymoon is over. 2022 is going to show if Falvey and Levine have what it takes. They will need to be aggressive and set a clear plan for the future, whether to retool or completely rebuild. We'll also see if their system has developed prospects into major league SP.
     
  16. Like
    dbminn reacted to Brock Beauchamp in How confident are you in the FO to turn this around?   
    You're being exceptionally negative in your analysis. The Odorizzi trade worked out "OK"? They literally traded a guy they now have back in their system for Odorizzi, who posted a 4.3 fWAR season in 2019.
    Trades don't really get any better than that.
  17. Like
    dbminn reacted to Brock Beauchamp in How confident are you in the FO to turn this around?   
    When people realize how long it takes to build a pitching pipeline, especially during a time when most of MiLB lost an entire season to a pandemic. This front office first drafted in 2017. Here are the rWAR pitching leaders from the first five rounds of that draft (I'm including any pitcher with >1 career rWAR):
    1st Rd:
    Trevor Rogers - 3.0 rWAR
    Tanner Houck - 2.0 rWAR
    2nd Rd:
    Griffin Canning - 2.6 rWAR
    3rd Rd:
    Keegan Thompson - 1.2 rWAR
    4th Rd:
    none
    5th Rd:
    Josh Fleming - 1.2 rWAR
    That's it. Five pitchers with >1 career rWAR in the first five rounds of the 2017 draft.
    Has this front office done a good job developing pitching? I'd argue definitely not... but people are acting as if they should have an entire rotation and bullpen of good pitchers because they've "been here five years" but no one wants to acknowledge that the entire combined MLB has not developed a good rotation and bullpen from that first draft.
    So, yeah, the old regime still gets some blame for completely missing on three consecutive top six draft picks from 2013-2015 because those failures are still impacting today's on-field pitching performances in Minnesota.
    How different would 2019-present look if Kohl Stewart was a Berríos calibre pitcher instead of flopping out? Or what about Tyler Jay? Neither one even turned into a decent reliever.
  18. Like
    dbminn reacted to Brock Beauchamp in How confident are you in the FO to turn this around?   
    A year ago, I was probably 70/30. Now I’m 50/50 because, as you said, 2020 really stunted our ability to judge the farm system and we’re still seeing the after effects of that today.
    Maybe next year, I guess. 
  19. Like
    dbminn reacted to Mike Sixel in Reasons for optimism   
    Remember when this was a thread about optimism?
  20. Like
    dbminn got a reaction from Nine of twelve in Reasons for optimism   
    I'm optimistic that:
    At least a couple of the long list of SP prospects will become very good major leaguer pitchers. It can take time for them to develop and there have been a lot of injuries, but by sheer numbers, at least a few will succeed.  Rortvedt will eventually hit major league pitching. Catchers are two-way players, so it can take some time for both tools to develop. His defense is so good, he'll get multiple chances to improve his hitting. Miranda will become (at least) a very good major league hitter. He has upped his power a lot, added walks and still doesn't K  much. That's a great combination. I'll continue to attend both Twins and Saints games. The latter to watch all the prospects, the former because major league baseball is great. Once I enter the stadium, I tend to forget about the team's record. It's all about that day's game.
  21. Like
    dbminn reacted to chpettit19 in Is Anybody Watching? Twins See Sharp Decline In TV Viewers   
    I live in the cities, work in baseball analytics, have MLB.tv and BSN, have Twins season tickets, used to watch or attend 150+ Twins games a year while watching on average 1 other game a day, but have watched maybe a dozen non-Twins games this year to go along with maybe 2 dozen Twins games. Three true outcome baseball with shifts taking away baserunners constantly, the aversion to base stealing, and every AB seemingly taking 8 pitches to get to the inevitable K, BB, or HR is ruining the product. And it feels like there's more plodding corner OFers now that are there for their ability to hit balls 450ft without a care to defense. The athleticism of the game overall feels lesser and that's less entertaining.
    People tune into sports to see people do things the rest of us can't. Like run real fast and jump real high. I'll watch a game featuring Buxton, Acuna, Tatis, Trout, Ohtani type guys even if their team is bad because their athleticism is incredible on it's own. The efficiency of front offices has taken away a lot of the excitement in the game because they've reduced the need for athleticism.
    If the Twins were better I'd watch them more. I'm a prospect watcher so as they call guys up I'll tune in to see how they look at the big league level, and if/when Buxton comes back I'll tune in to watch him. Have a few more games to attend to pretend I'm getting value out of my season tickets, but Twins baseball (and baseball in general) is no longer appointment viewing for me and I'm about as diehard and dedicated to the game as anyone you'll find. The pandemic changed things and any work stoppage over the CBA may be a deathblow to MLB as we know it. It'll still be around, but will be down by hockey in terms of popularity.
    Long post and will end with this, MLB is a regional sport and they're doing themselves no favors by having the Twins play the Brewers only 6 or 7 times a year. Build regional rivalries across the leagues and spread the talent out more. Have to get people to tune into games outside their region and give other franchises a better chance to build a national brand so every ESPN game isn't either a Yankee or Dodgers game.
  22. Like
    dbminn reacted to Platoon in Is Anybody Watching? Twins See Sharp Decline In TV Viewers   
    TiVo!  Flip through the game. 3/4 of the time you can FF to the inevitable 2-2 count and pick up the action. I just can’t sit and watch a 3:30 game live anymore. Since the vaccine I have also rekindled my interest in amateur ball. Legion, VFW, and some town ball. Needless to say the quality isn’t the same, but there is 3 times the action. Btw, sometimes in Legion ball the outfielders actually hit a cutoff man!
  23. Like
    dbminn reacted to Brock Beauchamp in Is Anybody Watching? Twins See Sharp Decline In TV Viewers   
    I watch about half of the games, less than usual. Part is because the team is bad, the other part is because baseball is bad.
    MLB needs to take action yesterday. TTO baseball with 30 seconds between pitches is boring as **** to watch. 
  24. Like
    dbminn reacted to Brock Beauchamp in Reasons for optimism   
    Oh, I'm very wary of trading a catcher but I'm even more wary of running out another awful starting rotation.
  25. Like
    dbminn reacted to Brock Beauchamp in Reasons for optimism   
    People really make too much of the lineup rotations. This team has had between an average and very good offense for three consecutive seasons and Baldelli has rotated players through the lineup all three seasons.
    Baldelli has done a lot of stuff that makes me cringe this season but the lineup changes don't even register on my radar.
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