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bighat

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  1. Like
    bighat reacted to Sherry Cerny for a blog entry, Simmons is OLD!   
    If you get the movie reference, good for you! If you don't, rewind your life to 1995 and find the movie Liar, Liar. You are welcome. Onto Baseball!
    The Twins have made some really great moves in the trade season. While it brought some heart break for fans of players like Berrios and Cruz, it also brought in some pitching prospects that are going to be a great addition to the line up in terms of pitching, to include the pitcher from the Team USA Baseball Team that won silver in the 2021 Olympics, Joe Ryan. Our roster is continuing to improve, we can round out the team and safely secure our position in the 2022 season, hopefully as division leaders again. In order to do that, players that are dragging down the team like Simmons.
    Andrelton Simmons has not been worth the money that the Twins initially paid him to bring him in for the 2021 season. January 31, 2021 the Twins signed Simmons from Anaheim for $10.5 million dollars, a signing that most (this fan not included) Twins fans thought was a “great move” and “he’s a golden glove player”...the excuses kept coming. The trade deadline came and went and there were some really fun transactions, but one thing stood out, I was right about Simmons. We couldn’t get even a bag of balls for him based on his performance this season. The best thing for the Twins to do at this point is release him and bring up or retain talent that will fit the big moves we have made already this year. 
    Simmons started out the year with coming down with Covid-19 which shut down our entire Club for two days and removed Simmons for the two week duration of the ailment. We don’t have anything to compare his performance to prior to coming down with Covid-19 but upon his return and since then he has struggled at the plate with a lackluster .219 average and more walks than RBI’s. Defensively he is average comparatively with other shortstops in the league but still not the best when you look at players who are making around his same salary. There are other players that can not only hang with him defensively, but can bring more hits to keep our offense doing their job and give the pitching a break. 
    One player that stands out is one that we have brought onto our field from right across the river  in St. Paul, Nick Gordon. Gordon not only has shown so much promise and improvement, he’s only actually played 12 games for STP while playing 37 games for the Twins and continues to be a permanent fixture. Gordon has a .250 batting average, continues to make great decisions at the plate, his fielding is where he is really showing that he can make a huge difference compared to Simmons. He has played 2B for most of his time here, but he has also taken on the shortstop positions, showing he is versatile when the team needs him to be. Bringing Gordon up from St. Paul in a market where there are shortstops that the Twins likely wouldn’t pay for would not only be the best decision for the club house but make the most sense financially. 
    If the Twins were willing to spend a little more money for assets, two other great players they could work with are Carlos Correra from Houston and Javier Baez. Both would be fantastic acquisitions to the team. Carlos Correra is one of the best shortstops in MLB as far as I am concerned and he can rake at the plate. He has a discipline and swing at the plate that could be far more worth the money we are paying Simmons. Not only can he out hit Simmons, but his hustle at shortstop is one of the fastest. Fielding is bound to have errors and between Simmons and Correra the errors are within two, but the fielding percentage is better than Simmons over all.
    Javier Baez would be a FANTASTIC free agent choice if the Twins were to make a purchase here. He has 24 homeruns this season in comparison to Simmons' meager three and his .241 batting average while still lower than Nick Gordon’s is far better than Simmons. There are options that are ready to go, the Twins just have to bring their wallet to dinner. If we could acquire one of these two players, it would help our team exponentially. 


     
  2. Like
    bighat reacted to Sherry Cerny for a blog entry, Bringer of Rain....(Finally)   
    Two steps forward, one step back. The Twins have had a horrible season and they keep getting worse. I actually am speechless as to how bad they have become. There are lots of theories, ideas, frustrations, and trade talk, but there is a silver lining in the storm that is the Minnesota Twins baseball season: Josh Donaldson. 
     
    Josh Donaldson certainly has given us headaches since the beginning of the season. He left us in game one with a reoccurring injury that kept him out for weeks, and upon his return, he struggled at the plate, and also on the field. Injury or not, JD’s fielding has been something that needs serious improvement and has cost the Twins some serious defensive woes resulting in other teams getting runs. That doesn’t mean that he lost us the games, our offense needs to get better at the plate, but of his 112 chances, he had 36 put-outs. Comparatively, that’s not a terrible number considering other third basemen like Manny Machado have 34 and Jose Ramirez only has 4 more at 40. Third base is one of the harder positions to play in the MLB, but both Machado and Ramirez have more assists (84 and 86) to their team pushing them to being second in their leagues. With the Twins riding fifth place, Donaldson’s errors and lack of what would seem to me to be - a lack of full effort - is affecting the overall defensive performance of the team. 
     
    Offensively, he is showing signs of improvement. That’s not saying much given the status of the team, however, it is saying something for the 6’1, 210-pound third baseman who has been encountering more strikeouts and walks this season than actual runs. April may have been an off month to him given his injury agitation in the first game, making his follow through not as solid as it could have been. I am not giving him a pass for his performance, just a little empathy. As one of the power hitters coming from the Braves, his batting performance has been disappointing since making the transition to the Twins. Donaldson sure hasn’t been worth the money that the organization has been paying into him, making trading him (hypothetically) nearly impossible, but not totally. 
     
    Over the past two weeks, Donaldson has almost done a 180 from where he was not only at the beginning of this season, but last season. Even if he is getting an out, his swing is more consistent and he is making contact with the ball more than he did in April. He has managed to get on base more last month and into the first few games of June and get the Twins a few more runs bringing his average up to .256. In a time when the Twins are unable to secure wins against some of the worst teams in baseball, Donaldson seems to at least care about his offensive performance to bring in some runs. He is hitting in almost every game and leaving with no less than a single, double, RBI and lately homeruns, two alone in the June 3rd game against KC. It appears that Donaldson is finally comfortable with - or learning how to use - his swing. I no longer cringe when he comes up to bat. I understand that he may strike out, but I also have been impressed with the progress he has made while a lot of the team continues to digress. If he continues on this path, I would definitely like to see a little more “Rain” during the games. 






     

  3. Like
    bighat reacted to Mill1634 for a blog entry, Ranking Twins Top Trade Pieces - Part 3   
    Today I wrap up the final piece in my mini-blog series where I ranked the Minnesota Twins roster by trade value, as this season has gone downhill quickly. Things haven't gotten any better, as they've just been swept by the division leading White Sox, and now find themselves down 10 games of ChiSox just 35 games into the 2021 campaign. If things continue to travel down this road, which it seems like they will, the Twins may have the most talent of any seller come July. In part 1, I took a look at players who have regressed or have massive contracts. Part 2 featured some names that carried the Twins in 2019, as well as a few players who will see their contract expire after this season. Today, we take a look at the final 6 players in the ranking.

    6. RH DH Nelson Cruz 
    If I was simply ranking the talent on the Minnesota Twins, there is no doubt that Nelson Cruz would be in the top 3, but that isn't what these rankings are. Nelson Cruz is without a doubt one of the top hitters in the MLB, despite being nearly 40 years old. However, he plays at a non-premium position, and there aren't many teams that are in need of a DH. Going through the list of the contenders, you have the Houston Astros who have Yordan Alverez. Cross them off. The White Sox have rookie of the year contender Yermin Mercedes. I don't see it. The New York Yankees have Stanton, the Red Sox have JD Martinez, and the Blue Jays have Rowdy Tellez and a handful of outfielders who can fill in at DH when George Springer is healthy. That leaves me with two teams: Oakland and Tampa Bay. Neither of these teams are known to be big spenders, and I'm not real confident that they'd have DH as their top need come July.  I think the most likely scenario sees Nelson Cruz staying put in Minnesota, and reevaluating his options in the off-season, when the NL is likely to add the DH
    Prediction: Not Moved
     
    5. LH RP Taylor Rogers
    Taylor Rogers has been one of the best relievers over the past 4 seasons, despite his struggles in 2020, the advanced metrics still love Taylor Rogers. I agree with these numbers. Like any reliever, Rogers is violate and certainly prone to going through a rough stretch, but there aren't many who are prone to this. If the Twins decided to move Rogers, I think he would be the best reliever moved mid-season. Rogers is due for his 4th and final year of arbitration in 2022, and then becomes a free agent in 2023. If the Twins decide that they are simply retooling, I think Rogers sticks around. However, if they decide to commit to a rebuild, I think Rogers is certainly moved. However, I'm hesitant to saying the front office will, or should, commit to a rebuild. This is especially true on May 14th. With an already bad bullpen, trading Rogers would make 2022s bullpen abysmal. 
    Prediction: Not Moved
     
    4. RH SS Andrelton Simmons
    Andrelton Simmons was brought in on a one year contract to improve the Minnesota Twins infield defense, and he has certainly succeed at that. Simmons has been credited with saving 2 runs in 200 innings at SS, which puts him on pace to finish the year with between 10-12. We know Simmons isn't a great hitter, but he doesn't need to be to have a positive impact on a game. Much like Byron Buxton of the past, who won games despite struggling mightily at the plate, Simmons is the best of the best at his position, and teams know that. Simmons contract is set to expire at the end of the season, and that makes him attractive to a potential buyer. The Twins could negotiate an extension, but I'm not sure I see that, especially with a loaded free agent class at the position. I'm almost certain that Simba will be moved before the July 30th trade deadline. 
    Prediction: Milwaukee Brewers
    Potential Prospects: RH OF Tristen Lutz (3, AA), LHP Aaron Ashby (5, AAA), RH SS Eduardo Garcia (8, R)
     
    3. RH SP Kenta Maeda
    Kenta Maeda was one of the best starting pitchers in all of the MVP in the 60 game season, and looked like an absolute steal after being brought over for Brusadar Graterol in the 3-team trade which sent Mookie Betts to LA. However, Maeda has been roughed up in his first few starts in 2021, and doesn't look like the same pitcher we saw last season. The most notable difference between his great year last year, and the struggles this year is his control and command. We saw Maeda dissect lineups by throwing pitches exactly where the catcher was set up, and rarely leaving a hittable pitch over the plate. That has all turned on its head this year, and Kenta looks like the same version LA saw. Everyone knew regression was likely, but I don't think Kenta is this bad. Kenta is a top 3 arm on a playoff rotation, with potential to be higher. Kenta is signed for the next 2 years, but at only 3M per. This is a steal of a deal, and I see no reason for the Twins to sell low on King Kenta.
    Prediction: Not Moved
     
    2. RH SP Jose Berrios
    Jose Berrios has been near the top of the Twins rotation for the past 3 years, and has been a top 50 starter every season. He hasn't taken the step from being TOR to an ace that many Twins fans hoped he would, but he's still very, very valuable. Berrios is set for his final year in arbitration following this season, which will likely see him making between 8-10 million. Again, this is a steal for the quality of pitcher Berrios is. We know the Twins have made an offer to extend Berrios contract in the past, but clearly that hasn't come to fruition. I suspect a Berrios extension to be somewhere in the ballpark of 100-110 million dollars over 4 years, which I would offer if I was the Twins. If an extension can't be worked out this offseason, and the Twins are in this same boat next year, it's likely Berrios would be moved at the deadline. However, I see no reason to sell on him now.
    Prediction: Not Moved
     
    1. RH CF Byron Buxton
    The list rounds out with one of the most exciting players in baseball with Byron Buxton. We saw Byron take the MVP-level step forward through a month this season, but like years past, Buxton found himself on the injured list. I don't think you can fault Byron for being an often injured player, nor can you blame the Twins. It's simply part of the game. Some are prone, and some aren't. In a similar boat to Berrios, we know a contract extension has been offered to Buxton, but he felt it was too low. Sitting on top of baseball references leaderboard for WAR 35 games into the season, despite only playing in 24 games, certainly isn't going to make him any cheaper. I hesistate to speculate on what an extension for Buxton would look like, as he's likely a player who won't age well as he relies on both speed, and bat speed to be effective. He doesn't draw walks (nor should he, crushing pitches he can hit is better than trying to draw a walk), and he gets hurt a lot. I think the Twins would want an extension with multiple team options thrown in, and I'm not sure Buck would want that. However, it's a season too early to consider trading Byron.
    Prediction: Not Moved
     
    Recap
    Below I have listed the players that I expect to be traded, as well as who the logical replacement is the rest of the way in what appears to be a "figure out what we have for the future" type of year, rather than a contend for the World Series year. All in all, I expect 7 trades to be made, at least based on these rankings. However, I would be fairly shocked if the Twins traded 7 MLB players off their roster. If I was setting the over/under on such a thing, I would set it at 4.5. 
    Andrelton Simmons - Brewers (Nick Gordon)
    Michael Pineda - Yankees (Randy Dobnak)
    Tyler Duffey - Phillies (Edwar Colina)
    Mitch Garver - Braves (Ryan Jeffers)
    J.A. Happ - Brewers (Lewis Thorpe)
    Hansel Robles - A's (Dakota Chalmers)
    Alex Colome - Giants (Yennier Cano)
    Note: All prospect rankings come from Fangraphs.
     
  4. Like
    bighat reacted to Sherry Cerny for a blog entry, These are the Droids We are Looking For.   
    The month of April for the Twins felt like the entire 2020 year as we watched the Twins battle injury, Covid-19 protocols, and sluggish bats. It felt like the remaining six months of baseball were going to be long and painful, but nevertheless, we showed up. Whether it’s to cling to that last bit of hope, or to complain and feel validated in our complaint, we show up. Eventually the Twins also showed up, giving us the feeling that things are starting to finally come together.
    April 28th, the Twins or the management decided enough was enough and the team awoke. Since April 28th, we have been hitting .272 and have one four out of the five games. What’s been the change? Is it Simmon’s coming back to us? Donaldson finally hitting the ball and finding the zone, or Kepler getting back into his groove? A combination of all of it and finding chemistry behind the plate, young team members showing up, and defense makes a huge difference.
     
    Kenta Maeda, who last night (May 3, 2020) showed us that he is stronger than the demons that kept him from having a winning April. Last night, Kenta laid his demons to rest and gave us the fire we have been waiting for, 7 scoreless innings and a little more variety in his pitches. Kenta has been struggling and most of his pitches have been right over the plate giving the batter’s the perfect chance to hit dingers off the all-star. Maeda was the perfect puzzle piece to fit into the offense's game last night to bolster back.
     
    With Nelly, Buck, and Kepler in a slump, it left us to wonder if the Bomba Squad was dead, but like everything else this week, we have seen a complete 180 turn to the life of this team. The bats have been on fire, bombas are flying and the newest member of the team, Kiriloff is showing this team what he is capable of. Kiriloff seemed to have paved the way for the Bomba squad to find their mo-jo as he continued to rake in the homeruns and the others followed suit giving the Twins some of the best leads of the season.
     
    It’s early, I get it, it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon, but if you can’t even get off the starting block, what are you doing? With the central division being as messy as it is, the talent the Twins have, we should not be second to last. I truly believe with the chemistry we have seen the past five games, we are fully equipped and capable to handle the sixteen day stretch of games. They will need all the strength, rest and power to get through this month. May the Force be with them….and May the Fourth be with you.
  5. Like
    bighat reacted to Sherry Cerny for a blog entry, Hit Hard, Run Fast, and Start Bunting! (Tonight's Game and Why it's a Must Win)   
    The Twins have had a tough go since leaving Detroit. With only two wins in the past eleven games, going into tonight this is a MUST WIN GAME. Yes, it’s the National league, YES, they are not playing in our division, but we are needing a win right now. The central league play and teams are messy at best and we can put ourselves in a spot where we can begin to come back and fight for the number one spot. Tonight we need to pull things together to get that W and be prepared for the Indians early next week, but we have a few things we need to fix if we are going to do that.
     
    JA Happ is going to be pitching tonight and over his past two games, he certainly hasn’t sucked, but he hasn’t been stupendous. He came out in the fourth against Detroit and against Boston, showing that once again the arms that are starting the games are built for longevity to get us through at least the 6th. The bullpen seems to be getting more of a workout again than necessary and the starters need to have a more solid performance or we will continue to exhaust our bullpen.
     
    We need to be more pragmatic about our hitting. Not every single hit needs to be a Bomba...it’s fun, don’t get me wrong. I am not a Bomba hater, that being said, our defense is saving us at times and our offense is lagging. We need to be hitting into the shifts and the gaps to get on base. One of our biggest downfalls is getting guys on base, and the big hitters coming in and trying for homers and leaving us stranded. We aren’t going to win games by striking out because we want to be heroes, just put the ball in play. {oh, and BUNT IN EXTRA INNINGS!}
    The defense is one of the better treasures of this team, even with the management making stupid decisions like pulling Donaldson who was doing just fine at third against the A’s. As much as I love having good utility players, it pains me to see such horrible decisions made by management in critical situations. That’s what spring training is for, not middle of the tenth, up by two with big hitters from the other team coming up. Buxton, while healthy, has made some incredible plays that would be great to be backed up with hits and runs. Simmons should be coming off the IL soon, but with Kep and Sano going onto the IL, we circle back to our training site and the need for calling up kids like Nick Gordon for the first time.
     
    I am curious to see what tonight brings for the guys. It’s pivotal in this early part of the season that we dig in, find our swing and make better managerial decisions if we intend to pull out of this slump and start contending for our place in the Division and American League standings.
  6. Like
    bighat reacted to Ted Schwerzler for a blog entry, Where Is MLB’s Planned Taxi Squad?   
    This morning Major League Baseball was hit with another blow. The St. Louis Cardinals had two players test positive for COVID-19 with an immediate fallout of postponement of action against the Milwaukee Brewers. We’re playing through a pandemic here however, so what really was the plan?
     
    When Rob Manfred and the owners finally came to agreement on economics it appeared, they also had sorted out safety protocols. What it seems they didn’t have ironed out was the logistics surrounding continuation of play. It’s one thing to suggest that a season be decided on winning percentage if not all teams get 60 games in. That can’t happen if some only play 30 or 40 games.
     
    These teams are tested every other day, or potentially daily in some instances. Rapid tests are taken at will, and in the case of the Nationals Juan Soto, relatively indicative of what the saliva tests may show. What has to be determined, and seems like it remains up in the air, is what constitutes an outbreak and what doesn’t.
     
    Last week the Miami Marlins decided via group text to play through a game despite four players testing positive. They allowed the virus to run rampant within their clubhouse and now have over 60% of their 30-man active roster dealing with positive results. Something like that isn’t going to be overcome by a 3-man taxi squad, and very clearly isn’t as easy as calling on players from the alternate site either.
     
    On the other hand, the St. Louis Cardinals had just two players test positive following their departure from Minnesota on Wednesday night. To postpone action against the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday seems to negate the planning MLB put in place. The 3-man taxi squad was not designed to account for injury, that’s why there’s an additional 30 players at the alternate site. What the taxi squad was talked about doing was providing an immediate replacement should someone need to go on the COVID-related IL.
     
    Each team has up to three players traveling with them to all away games. If they aren’t going to be immediately substituted onto the active roster when a positive tests appears, then there’s little reason for them to be subjected to travel and increase virus contraction at all.
     
    Since the beginning Major League Baseball’s goal has been to play an unprecedented season amidst a global pandemic. That’s going up against some significantly substantial odds, but if you’re going to operate like that there has to be a level of “next man up.” Postponing each game in which a test or two come back positive on any given day will certainly fail to give this season a chance.
     
    Maybe this was always going to be the probable outcome. We still don’t have this under control across the country, so the feasibility of baseball being doable remained a longshot anyways. However, as unfortunate, and competitively unjust as it is, the show must go on. Either Rob Manfred has to decide that taxi squads have a purpose to fill in rosters (and maybe even expand that group), or even a limited number of positives will bring the sport to its knees.
     
    It has been a tenuous start to this whole thing, and there won’t be much more opportunity to get it right. Step back and get it together now, or we’ll continue to go through the motions on something that fizzles out shortly anyways.
     
    Side note: Young Bat Co. is giving away a Nelson Cruz bat mug!
     
    For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
  7. Like
    bighat reacted to mikelink45 for a blog entry, Covid's coming   
    Here are a couple quotes from ESPN -
    "The Minnesota Vikings announced Monday that head trainer Eric Sugarman and members of his family have tested positive for the coronavirus.
     
    "Sugarman also is the Vikings' infection control officer.
    He said in a statement that he and his family immediately quarantined and "are all doing fine and experiencing only mild symptoms."
     
    "The Vikings said they are sanitizing their facility and contacted anyone who was in close contact with Sugarman. The team said those team personnel have been tested "and are returning under the established guidelines."
     
    Yes, the infection control officer!
     
    "Two Monday night MLB games were postponed because of an outbreak of the coronavirus among the Miami Marlins.
     
    "The Marlins' home opener against the Baltimore Orioles is off, as well as the Philadelphia Phillies' home game against the New York Yankees.
     
    "Miami just completed a series in Philadelphia, and seven more players and two coaches with the Marlins tested positive for the coronavirus. An outbreak has spread throughout their clubhouse and brought the total cases in recent days to at least 13, sources familiar with the situation told ESPN's Jeff Passan and Jesse Rogers."
     
    Half the team!
     
    CNN reports:
    "Eleven Marlins players and two coaches tested positive for the virus, ESPN reports. Marlins CEO Derek Jeter said the team is staying in Philadelphia, where it just played a three-game series, pending the results of a new round of testing.
     
    "Postponing tonight's home opener was the correct decision to ensure we take a collective pause and try to properly grasp the totality of this situation," Jeter said in a statement.
    "The positive tests come just days after MLB began its abbreviated 60-game season -- which had been delayed from its usual April opening because of the pandemic -- and already threaten to upend the young season."
     
    "In recent weeks, Miami has been one of the epicenters of the coronavirus, pushing hospitals to capacity. Miami-Dade County recently surpassed 100,000 confirmed coronavirus cases." Florida has over 424,000 cases.
     
    So now what? What if the Phillies test positive?
     
    What if the umps test positive?
     
    What about the teams that they had contact with before this series? They played the Braves in an Exhibition.
     
    Think about what would happen if this was the week before the newly minted 60 day World Series. This is the Marlins so their 30 man taxi squad might be as good as the MLB roster. But are they on the 40 man?
     
    Do they bump players from the current 40 man?
     
    What about teams that didn't take the extra 30 man seriously? If I was a GM I would be reexamining the players I have on that team.
     
    For a contending team to lose 10 players for two weeks would be devastating.
     
    And what if the Marlins find that they have even more infected on their taxi and extra squad? Can they cancel the season for one team? I would.
     
    And if the Marlins infected the stars in Philadelphia, do the Phillies have any recourse?
     
    USA TODAY SAID
    "In hindsight, MLB never should have permitted the Marlins to take the field Sunday against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park after three players tested positive for COVID-19, just two days after another player tested positive.
    Marlins manager Don Mattingly said the team never considered not playing, but it is now clear that was a mistake and has put the entire season in jeopardy."
     
    CBS Sports had these quotes from Manfred
    "Manfred, who indicated that the Marlins could return to the field as early as Wednesday -- as a home team in Baltimore -- with "acceptable" testing results, responded that "[a] team losing a number of players that rendered it completely non-competitive" would be standard for considering a pause at the team level. That would of course require subjective judgment to determine whether a team had been reduced to "non-competitive" status, but it's at least a standard of some kind.
     
    "He was asked a similar question earlier this month as part of an appearance on Dan Patrick's radio show. Here's what Manfred said:
     
    "I don't have a firm number of days in mind (to pause the season). I think the way that I think about it, Dan, is in the vein of competitive integrity, in a 60-game season," Manfred said. "If we have a team or two that's really decimated with a number of people who had the virus and can't play for any significant period of time, it could have a real impact on the competition and we'd have to think very, very hard about what we're doing."
     
    "Despite having a call with the 30 team owners at 12:30 p.m. ET, the word is that MLB has no plans to cancel or pause the season at the present moment." https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/heres-what-rob-manfred-said-it-would-take-to-pause-2020-mlb-season-over-covid-19-concerns/
     
    Chicago Tribune added this frightening note - "The news got worse for the White Sox hours later when it was revealed manager Rick Renteria awoke with coronavirus symptoms and was taken to a Cleveland hospital to get tested. The Sox announced Renteria would not manage Monday’s game, which was later postponed. The Sox had two players test positive before camp, including third baseman Yoan Moncada, and right fielder Nomar Mazara was placed on the injured list with no designated injury."
     
    https://twitter.com/MLBNetwork/status/1287893850833457152?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1287893850833457152%7Ctwgr%5E&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mlb.com%2F
  8. Like
    bighat reacted to Twinternationals for a blog entry, [ES] How does a Venezuelan girl become a Twins fan? (Part 1)   
    Welcome to Twinternationals! This is a space for Twins fans from different countries to read about their team in their native language. This section is run by Venezuelan Mariana Guzmán (@TwinsLatinos) and Brazilian Thiéres Rabelo (@TwinsBrasil).
     
    Por Mariana Guzmán
     
    ¡Venezolana y fanática de los Twins!
     
    Sí, esa es parte de mi historia. Nací y crecí en Venezuela y aunque cuando era una niña no tenia mucha noción del béisbol de Grandes Ligas, siempre supe que el béisbol era el amor de mi vida.
     
    En mi país el béisbol es un estilo de vida pero muy pocas veces los Twins eran un tema de conversación. Los Yankees de Nueva York, Medias Blancas de Chicago, Medias Rojas de Boston, Rockies de Colorado e Indios de Cleveland fueron, quizás, los equipos mas populares durante mi niñez en Venezuela.
     
     
     

    Todo comenzó en el 2003


     
    La primera vez que escuche hablar de los Minnesota Twins fue en el 2003, cuando un joven venezolano de 23 años se perfilaba como una futura súper estrella del equipo de las Ciudades Gemelas. Para esa época, yo vivía enamorada de nuestro béisbol invernal y por mi cabeza pasaban los nombres de varios equipos de Grandes Ligas pero jamás el de los Twins, no hasta que Johan comenzó a brillar con ellos.
     
    Transcurría la temporada 2003 y los diferentes medios de comunicación de mi país tenían muy presente a Johan, quien ese año fungía como relevista y en algunas ocasiones como abridor. Esa temporada, la tercera de Johan con los Twins, concluyó con record de ocho victorias y seis derrotas, y el buen sabor de boca de dejar una buena impresión con el equipo que le abrió las puertas vía Draft de Regla 5.
     
    La temporada 2004 comenzaba y yo por primera vez escuchaba hablar de los Entrenamientos Primaverales, inmediatamente comprendí cuan importante era para Johan hacer un buen papel durante ese tiempo en Florida. Con la conclusión de los Campos Primaverales llegaba la noticia de que el nativo de Tovar, al Oeste de Venezuela, se convertiría en uno de los abridores de la rotación de Ron Gardenhire; y comenzaría así su transición de relevista a abridor. La emoción con esta noticia se regó como pólvora por toda Venezuela, el muchachito que sorprendió a muchos en el 2003, se convertiría en abridor de un equipo que podía claramente pelear por un puesto a la postemporada.
     
    Con Johan como abridor, los dos canales de la televisión local que transmitían juegos de MLB una o dos veces por semana, hacían todo lo posible por siempre transmitir las aperturas del venezolano, y eso era para mi un alivio y disfrute. Sin embargo, mientras mas crecía mi amor por Johan y los Twins, más era la necesidad por conseguir información sobre el equipo, información en español; es ahí donde comenzaba mi sufrimiento. Si bien es cierto que Johan fue el detonante de mi fanatismo por Minnesota, también era cierto que en esos años también había un grupo de venezolanos y latinos sobresaliendo con los Twins; y eso, por supuesto, reforzó mi amor por este equipo. Y como es obvio, yo quería saber más sobre el grupo de jugadores y más sobre la historia del equipo que se estaba robado mi corazón.
     
    Los venezolanos, Juan Rincón, Henry Blanco, Carlos Silva, Luis Rivas y Luis Rodríguez también eran parte de nuestro roster, a ellos se sumaban los talentosos Eddie Guardado, Christian Guzmán, JC Romero, por solo mencionar a algunos de los talentos latinos que vistieron la camiseta de los Twins entre el 2003-2005.
     
    Ese año 2004 comencé a vivirme el béisbol de MLB con mucha pasión, solo hablaba de los Twins y de las maravillas que hacia Johan. Ese año, los Twins me “regalaron” un pase a la postemporada, nada mas y nada menos que ante los Yankees de Nueva York. Pasé el 2004 pegada a la TV, fue la primera vez en mi vida que no esperaba con tantas ansias el béisbol invernal.
     
    Por primera vez en mi vida sentía la emoción y presión del béisbol de octubre. Con la clasificación de los Twins llegó la Serie Divisional ante los Yankees. Vivir esa serie estando en Venezuela, era básicamente vivirla sola, muy pocos ligaban a los muchachos de Gardenhire. Era yo contra el mundo; y sí, suena dramático pero así lo sentí en su momento.
     
    El sueño de mi primer “October Baseball” se esfumó rápidamente. La única victoria que Minnesota conquisto en esa serie ante Nueva York lo hizo con Johan en la lomita en el primer juego. Santana lanzó siete solidas entradas en blanco, Juan Rincón y Joe Nathan se encargaron de preservar el triunfo. Una carrera impulsada por Jacques Jones en el tercer tramo y un jonrón solitario de Shannon Stewart, dieron el aporte ofensivo que necesitó Johan para ganar su primer y único juego en octubre. Pero aunque Minnesota sucumbió ante los Yankees, lo mejor para Johan estaba esperando por él durante el off-season del 2004.
     

    11 de Noviembre de 2004



    La fecha que le regalo una nueva hazaña al béisbol venezolano


     
    Jamás voy a olvidar la tarde del jueves, 11 de noviembre de 2004. Había salido del colegio y me fui a un Cybercafe a esperar los resultados del Cy Young 2004. No se cuantas horas pasé sentada frente a la computadora esa tarde, no se cuantas llamadas recibí de mi mama pidiéndome que me fuera a casa. Era como que todo en mi se había paralizado y solo esperaba que las Grandes Ligas emitieran el resultado. Caía la tarde en Venezuela y con ella llegaba la noticia, “Johan Santana es el ganador unánime del Premio Cy Young 2004”.
     
     
    El 2004 catapultó a Johan como una figura histórica del béisbol venezolano y me catapultó a mi como fanática de los Twins. Una histórica actuación de Johan ese año (record de 20-6 y 2.61 de EFE), lo hizo merecedor del Premio Cy Young al Mejor Lanzador de la Liga Americana, convirtiéndose así en el primer venezolano en recibir dicho galardón y en apenas el séptimo lanzador en ganar el premio de manera unánime.
     
    Todos en Venezuela estábamos seguros de que Johan ganaría; pero cuando la noticia ya era oficial, la explosión de emociones se disparo por todo el país. Mientras la nación celebraba la histórica hazaña, yo, aún perpleja, lloraba de emoción y felicidad. Me tomo unos minutos calmarme y salir de ahí a celebrar como todos lo estaban haciendo. Esa tarde se escucharon las cornetas de los autos como medio de celebración, desde esa noche y por muchos otros días, nadie paraba de hablar de Johan Santana.
     
    Ese día recibí llamadas y mensajes de texto de mis amigos, todos sabían cuanto admiraba a Johan y a los Twins, ese día hasta el menos experto en béisbol se enteró de la proeza del zurdo. Y con el reconocimiento individual de Santana, también, de alguna manera u otra, los Minnesota Twins comenzaban a ganar un poco de fama, ya no eran un equipo “fantasma” y eso me hacia muy feliz…
     
    En una próxima entrega continuaré contándoles como se siguió alimentando mi amor por este equipo y como nació Twins Latinos. Y por supuesto, que además de mi historia, en este espacio también nos dedicaremos a realizar entrevistas y a contar la historia de cómo los Twins Latinos han conquistado el Territorio Twins.
  9. Like
    bighat reacted to Daniel Venn for a blog entry, Baseball Is Staying In Beloit   
    The history of baseball in Beloit will not end after the 2020 season, but that’s nothing new.
     
    For the past four years, Quint and Rishy Studer, both from just up highway 51 in Janesville, have worked diligently to ensure that baseball remains in Beloit.
     
    It is of great credit that the Snappers Community Board has kept baseball in place in Beloit, and their hard work is now being rewarded. A new ballpark is coming to Beloit, with the Studers and Riverbend Stadium Group joining with community leader Diane Hendricks to make it happen.
     
    To the Studers and many local citizens, this isn’t a business deal. This isn’t about revenue or return on investment.
     
    This is about a community, a hometown, and the impact the game of baseball can have to improve lives. This is about ensuring that Quint and Rishy’s children and grandchildren, who still reside twenty minutes away in Janesville, can join families across southern Wisconsin in enjoying sunny afternoons at the ballpark. This is about revitalizing a downtown and bringing a newfound vibrancy to a city.
     
    Twenty years ago, the Studers encountered a similar situation in Pensacola, Florida, a city Quint’s career in healthcare had brought the couple to. Just days after they’d attended a Pensacola Pelicans game, a first-year, upstart independent league team in the Southeastern League, they noticed an ad in the local newspaper: the team was for sale.
     
    Not even half-way through the team’s inaugural season, the owner was already pulling out. If a new owner didn’t step up, professional baseball would be gone in Pensacola quicker than it had started.
     
    Unwilling to let that happen, the Studers bought the team. They spent their weekends at the ballpark, setting up folding chairs in the stands themselves before each game and carrying them away after.
     
    Two years later, the league itself folded, and baseball in Pensacola could have easily gone with it. Instead, the Studers purchased a failing franchise in the Central Baseball League and inserted the Pelicans in their place.
     
    Throughout their first season in the CBL, it was clear the league was struggling. To keep baseball in Pensacola, the Studers took extraordinary steps, at times paying the salaries and travel expenses of other teams in the league to ensure games would continue being played in Pensacola.
     
    The league folded at the end of the year. Again, an opportunity to walk away. Again, the Studers refused.
    The Pelicans joined the American Association, traveling as far as Saint Paul, Minnesota to play the Saints.
     
    Simply having a baseball team wasn’t enough. Pensacola needed a downtown community gathering place to return business to a stagnant local economy. The Pelicans, playing at a small local college, drew a lot of fans, but not to Pensacola’s downtown area in need of revitalization.
     
    So, the Studers set off on a multi-year quest to build a downtown ballpark, facing outspoken critics, insults, and red tape.
     
    It took six years of referendums and tens of millions of dollars of their own money, but in 2012, the ballpark opened, transforming a parcel of waste-covered ocean-side property that the local newspaper referred to as a ‘contaminated eyesore’ into one of America’s premier minor league facilities. With it came an affiliated franchise.
     
    Less than a decade later, Pensacola’s economy has been kickstarted. Property values surrounding the stadium have jumped more than 35%. Millions of dollars returned downtown as new businesses opened around the ballpark, bringing thousands of jobs to the sector. Tourism has reached historic levels. The city was named the Strongest Town in America by Strong Towns in 2019.
     
    Even as the team has established itself as one of the most successful businesses in minor league sports, the Studers have refused to take a paycheck from the business they invested tens of millions of their money into. Instead, all profits of the team are re-invested in the community, helping fund a children’s hospital, scholarships, early-childhood education, and other philanthropic efforts across the city.
     
    That’s the kind of impact they hope keeping baseball in Beloit will have on the town.
     
    Beloit currently sits in the same place that Pensacola sat throughout the 2000s, unsure if its hometown baseball team will remain. The Snappers’ place on the recently released list of minor league teams facing elimination and questions about the economic viability of baseball in the area have made it seem unlikely that an investment group like the one formed by the Studers, Diane Hendricks, and Riverbend Stadium Group would step up.
     
    But, when the goal isn’t to profit, but to create a beautiful community gathering place, to spur economic development downtown, and to offer affordable, family-friendly entertainment to a city, the dollars and cents don’t have to make sense.
     
    A new stadium is coming to Beloit and baseball is staying.
  10. Like
    bighat reacted to JeromeTyleski for a blog entry, Bye Bye Beloit?   
    How much would you pay for a team that may not be around next year? If you’re Quint Studer, apparently $9 million is a good market value.
     
    In September, that’s what Studer reportedly paid for the Beloit Snappers of the low-A Midwest League. According to Ballpark Digest, much of that sale price will be put back into efforts to build a new stadium, which the Beloit Snappers may need to survive.
     
    The stadium situation could be of actual urgency and not just a ploy to create leverage because of the impending negotiations surrounding the Professional Baseball Agreement between Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball. Currently, MLB wants to reduce the amount of MiLB teams by 42 and according to one version of the list, the Beloit Snappers would be on the chopping block.
     
    On paper, choosing the Snappers as part of the “Forsaken 42” makes sense. Their attendance was second-worst in the Midwest League at 1,181/game (the Burlington Bees were dead last at 1,053/game). But MLB wouldn’t care about the attendance (and thus, revenue) of teams they don’t own. What most likely defines MLB’s desire to get rid of teams (besides the cynical view of just not wanting to pay as many minor-league salaries), is the quality of the stadiums their cherished prospects play in. It is here that the Snappers suffer.
     
    Harry C. Pohlman Field is 38 years old and one of the worst stadiums in the Midwest League. While not every stadium can be the Quad Cities River Bandits’ Moodern Woodman Park, the Snappers may now need to upgrade their stadium situation to remain viable. All parties appear optimistic about the potential of building a new stadium, so potentially the Snappers will be around to see the 2021 season.
     
    In the end, Quint Studer will be fine. He already owns the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, who are not on the potential elimination list, and must be having enough success with the Blue Wahoos to try and add another team to his collection.
     
    There’s a strong possibility MLB will try to compensate the owners of any MiLB teams that get contracted and if the payout is anywhere close to what Studer paid for the team, he’ll be fine. But let’s be honest, anyone who can pay $9 million for a team that may not exist in 2021 is going to be fine no matter what. In fact, he may be playing with house money at this point.
  11. Like
    bighat reacted to mikelink45 for a blog entry, We blew that   
    We talk about all the stats and analytics like we are working with computers and not human beings. But that is not the case and thus we can look at players who have been mishandled by the team and wonder what would have happened if the club had been a little more intelligent in the personal needs department.
     
    Oswaldo Arcia is one person who really jumps out at me his minor league slash was 296/368/530 then he came to the Twins and his world and his potential fell flat. What happened. I know he failed with others, but once the slide starts it seldom rights itself.
     
    Miguel Sano was 269/385/530 as a rookie 3B and the major league brains said - put him in RF. He hit 236/319/462. Thankfully he has recovered from this wise decision.
     
    Now I look at Fernando Romero who was 3 - 3 with a 4.69 ERA as a major league starter. 45/19 k/BB as a starter. So lets make him a reliever. 0 - 1 7.07 ERA, 18/11 K/BB. WHIP went from 1.41 to 2.14. Sometimes changing a players role is good - other times it stinks. I remember the great notes about Romero coming up - nothing like that is written now.
     
    Did we out smart ourselves?
  12. Like
    bighat reacted to Ted Schwerzler for a blog entry, Twins Set Up for a Big Splash   
    So far, the Minnesota Twins have committed something like $30 million in 2020 contracts to three players this offseason. Two pitchers and a backup catch mean the 26-man roster is quickly closing in on finality. At this point, there’s nothing left but the big bang.
     
    Jake Odorizzi returning to the Twins was a great development. A longer-term deal is probably better than the qualifying offer situation, but it’s negligible nonetheless. Michael Pineda is a guy that made sense to QO, and instead Minnesota’s front office gets him on a two-year deal for less than the one-year tag. Alex Avila replaces Jason Castro as the backup catcher, and he provides a logical platoon partner for star starter Mitch Garver.
     
    Although Odorizzi and Pineda are returning talents, their abilities represent some of the best on the market. Disappointment in the lack of a new name doesn’t hold much weight when the accomplishment of high-quality assets is the goal. Avila isn’t flashy, but it’s a pretty lofty expectation for catcher number two being able to accomplish that. In the moves they've made this front office has gotten the job done and nailed each and every acquisition.
     
    Now comes the big wave.
     
    At this point the Twins have something just shy of $100 million committed to 2019. Needing to push the payroll to no less than $135 million, there’s a significant chunk of change yet to be doled out. A reliever and corner infielder seem to still be on the docket, but it’s that key starter still twisting in the wind that has everyone wondering. Maybe it’s Madison Bumgarner or maybe it’s Hyun Jin Ryu, but no matter who it is, a fat check is getting cut.
     
    I still think that the Twins are best served by both paying and trading for starters. The latter isn’t going to jump the bottom line much given the goal should be a level of youth and team control, which generally has a muted price tag. No one has ever gotten more in a free agent deal from Minnesota than Ervin Santana’s 4/$54 million in 2014, but both the total and AAV should be blitzed by in the immediate future.
     
    There has been somewhat of a back to front way about attacking this offseason cycle from Derek Falvey and Thad Levine. They’ve shored up the holes with some of the lesser coveted assets, and now they can focus solely on positioning of the big guns. It seems to be only a matter of time before it happens, but the reality of when and not if has started to sink in.
     
    Expect the Twins to land a player with an AAV of $15-20 million yet, and another $15-20 million split on the final assets to follow. It’s been fun seeing clubs cut checks before Christmas, and just maybe we’ll get back to the days of the Winter Meetings being some sort of exciting frenzy.
     
    We’ll have to wait a bit longer to see how and what all transpires, but the monumental move looks to be on the horizon.
     
    For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
  13. Like
    bighat reacted to Tom Froemming for a blog entry, Twins Talk: Buxton's Jumps, Rosario Trades and More   
    Fellow Twins Daily contributor Matthew Lenz and I discussed a few topics related to the Twins outfield. He recently wrote a piece for the site on Byron Buxton's defensive impact. We discussed some of the interesting things he discovered, the potential of an Eddie Rosario trade and more.
     

  14. Like
    bighat reacted to jorgenswest for a blog entry, Baldelli and Line Ups: Which Twin has faced the best pitching?   
    I became interested in the Astudillo discussion in the resting players topic and wondered about Astudillo's use. I have been thinking about this since his critical hit against Matt Barnes in the Red Sox series.
     
    Matt Barnes is a right handed pitcher with the highest k/9 rate in the AL and nearly the highest AL k-rate at 38%. The Twins are tied with the Red Sox 1-1 in the 7th inning. Miguel Sano is in scoring position with two outs. The Twins have 1 hit through 6 2/3. Jonathan Schoop is coming to the plate and in comes Matt Barnes. It is time to pinch hit with a left handed batter or so I thought. They have Polanco and Wade on the bench. They also have Astudillo. Astudillo? Why Astudillo? Kepler is up next. Let's get someone on base. Polanco or Wade must be a better choice. I was certain.
     
    Astudillo slaps a single to right field for the Twins second and last hit of the game. The Twins hold on to win 2-1. Lucky decision on Baldelli's part I muttered. The moment stuck with me though. I wondered... "When does Baldelli choose to use Astudillo?"
     
    With the help of Baseball Prospectus I looked to the quality of opposing pitcher for each Twin hitter with over 100 PAs. We have heard that the line ups are well thought out and planned. Maybe some hitters have faced a more difficult set of pitchers by design.
     
    Not surprisingly the typical pitcher faced profile for a Twin hitter is Polanco. He plays the most. The opposing pitchers he has faced have allowed a .770 OPS resulting in a 105 oppRPA+. More than half of the Twin hitters bunch in the interquartile range of 104-106. Only one Twin batter has faced better than league average opposing pitching this year with a 99 oppRPA+. Willians Astudillo. Astudillo's 746 oppOPS is two standard deviations away from the typical opposing pitcher faced. I don't think this happens by accident or randomly. Baldelli must either be choosing to play Astudillo against more difficult pitching or at least choosing to rest players against a more difficult pitcher.
     
    If you are still reading and curious the Twin closest to Astudillo is Arraez at .751 and the only other Twin more than a standard deviation away in this direction. There are two Twins on the opposite end though not near as far from center as Astudillo. Marwin Gonzalez (.779) and Byron Buxton (.781) have seen the pitchers who have given up the highest OPS to the hitters they have faced.
     
    Does this or should this give us a different impression on Astudillo's performance at the plate this year?
  15. Like
    bighat reacted to Squirrel for a blog entry, Posting styles discussing our frustrations about the Twins   
    In light of some posting styles we have been seeing lately on TD, I thought I'd do some venting of my own ... in a blog. The thread that broke this camel's back was this thread, 'It is time to end the insanity.' I've been meaning to address this for a while now, and have here and there in threads when posts become nothing more than venting general frustrations rather than addressing the topic at hand; and redundant threads get started on this same topic of frustration that seem more like rants than opening a new thread to discuss the latest news. Okay, okay ... the general topic of 'This is what's wrong with the Twins' is a topic of discussion ... but we've seen this in several threads already. Obviously there are new salient points that must be addressed, but it is this 'venting' and 'ranting' that becomes a detriment to my and others' enjoyment and participation in the forums.
     
    I've always thought the purpose of the forums on TD is for discussion, critical discussion. Yes, with disagreements and passion, but, nonetheless, critical discussion, with maybe a little humor and/or snark mixed in from time to time, no matter what side you fall on with any given issue. Posters have always been encouraged to start threads to discuss a particular topic, or general topic, or a news item you saw, or a blog you read, or a question you have, or a move that was made/not made, management issues, player issues etc. And yes, those discussions will get emotional and passionate as we all have a vested interest in the outcome of the Twins, and have our own opinions on what should/should not be, and often disagree on the best way forward. And sometimes threads do get a bit meandering and off topic despite our best efforts to try and keep them within loose boundaries. But this recent posting style, such as the OP, in my opinion, really needs to be directed towards the Blogs area on this site. These threads, such as the one I made example of, serve no purpose other than to regurgitate a list of generalized complaints and are not focussed points of discussion and only invite generalized regurgitating of someone else's complaints. The title of this thread 'End the insanity' in and of itself just opens the floor to everyone's complaints and soon we have a morass of unpleasant vomiting to wade through. Yes, we're frustrated and I'm not trying to take that away from anyone, not in the least, because well, it IS frustrating, to no end, at least for me. And I guess we each have our own way of dealing, but the Blogs are there for you to let it all out. You want to vent? Start a blog and vent away. You want to have a legitimate, critical discussion, stick to the forums and structure a thread that leads to that; a post or a thread that has been thought out and isn't some generalized rant that has no real basis in reality other than it's some emotional response, not a genuine reading of facts, to what you think should have happened. Don't just vomit up all your frustration for the rest of us to wade through; that's just lazy. Those are the types of threads and posts that keep me from the forums, not the stances people may take on the Twins in general or specifically. If you don't like a topic, you are free to not read it. If you don't like a particular poster, put them on ignore or skip over their posts. So I find myself more and more throwing my hands up and 'walking away' because threads just become unreadable the more this style continues.
     
    (Edit: I want to add that the thread I used as an example has generated a pretty fair and decent discussion. Many threads and posts of this 'listing of wrongs venting' have not. I'm in no way suggesting we can't be critical of the team and its management ... I mean, come on, look at the team ... I'm suggesting that don't just start a thread or make a post listing all that bothers you. Try to frame things so we can have legitimate discussions without being critical of fellow posters who might have a differing point of view, otherwise, try starting a blog. If you have to end a post or a thread start with '/end rant,' which this one did not, it probably would be better suited for a blog. They are very useful for 'getting it out' of your system. But given the OP of that thread, it was very easy for all of us to think to ourselves, 'Oy, this again?' and either walk away or get defensive or pile on. The following paragraph stands ... for all and everything. Stop the divisive language!)
     
    Another issue I want to address: this generalized characterization of posters some of you think necessary to throw into their posts. This 'The Twins can do no wrong crowd' or the 'Twins can do no right crowd' is hugely disrespectful and dismissive, and from this moderator, will not be tolerated. If you want to divide and pick sides, fine, go play a game of dodge ball, your posts will be removed. Lumping posters into such 'all or nothing' categories because they choose to disagree with a point here and there needs to stop. I try to stay fairly objective, as objective as I can in my own like/dislike of certain topics, in my reading here, despite my own frustrations with the team, but there really are only two or three posters that fall into those mentioned categories on each end of this spectrum. The large majority of posters fall everywhere in between. Yes, some have definite leanings, but I have seen very, very few posters who have blindly taken these all or nothing stances on everything Twins. If all you want to do is read posts only in agreement with you, then you are in the wrong place. It is nothing but smug self-righteousness to declare yourself so right and others wrong and then to label others in such a dismissive way. It's the same with the negative/positive crowd. This is nothing but from your perspective, and your perspective is NOT the end all to defining anyone else. Say your piece. Have at it. And if others disagree, so be it. Have a debate, be open-minded to another's views and why they take them, give them the benefit of the doubt, ask for explanations, and disagree if you just disagree, but don't be dismissive about it by saying 'You're just part of that crowd.' If one poster likes a move and another doesn't, they are not in any of the above-mentioned crowds, they just differ in opinions. And if a poster wants to point out a silver lining or a black cloud, so what? It's their opinion and no one is right or wrong here. I'm not sure why that is so difficult to understand. Does it bruise egos when someone doesn't like your point, or picks it apart with their own interpretation of the facts, or their own use (right or wrong) of various metrics, stats, other numbers? Get over it. Don't double down and hunker down so hard you develop tunnel vision, and resort to the "Oh, you just hate so and so" or "Oh, you just love so and so" as an argument. It's unproductive, lazy and weak. And it gets old, and frankly, loses credibility for the poster who uses that as an argument. And maybe, just maybe, we don't need to fight to the end. When it gets to the point of labeling posters, I think it's time to agree to disagree and just let it go.
     
    Okay ... I've run out of steam. Whew! That was so cathartic!!! You should give it a try.
     
    See what I did there? Here's how I got started and so can you. There are all sorts of things to click on to help you find your way through the blogs. There's even a tutorial ... which I didn't click, because I didn't need to. So ... have at it.
     
    1. On the red menu strip across the top, click on the word “Blogs”
    2. Click on the black rectangle that says ‘Create a Blog’
    3. Read the terms and rules, then check the box that says you have read and understood the terms, then click ‘Continue—>’
    4. Fill in the blanks with the Blog name, Blog description, choose blog type, then click continue.
    Example: Blog Name: ChiTown’s Fun Takes
    Blog Description: All that frustrates me about the Twins
    Blog Type: Local Blog
    5. Choose your settings
    6. Save
     
    At that point you can choose ‘Options’ and then ‘Add new entry’ and go to town. Or leave, collect your thoughts, come back and choose ‘Blogs’ from the red menu strip across the top, click ‘Add Entry’ and go to town.
  16. Like
    bighat reacted to Sarah for a blog entry, SABR 19th Century Baseball Symposium Comes to Minneapolis   
    When did baseball take hold in counties across Minnesota? What ballpark was located near the present day site of Target Field in 1800’s Minneapolis? If you’re a fan of baseball history, the Halsey Hall Chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research invites you to join us for the 19th Century Baseball Interdisciplinary Symposium, held this year on Saturday, November 16 from 9 am to 4:30 pm at the Minneapolis Central Library.
     
    The symposium, hosted in partnership with Hennepin County Library, will feature numerous experts on Minnesota baseball history and sports architecture. Major League Baseball official historian John Thorn will give the opening address and Minnesota Twins official scorer and award-winning author Stew Thornley will deliver the keynote address. Other featured speakers will include longtime Pioneer Press architecture critic Larry Millett, award-winning baseball authors Dan Levitt and Mike Haupert, Brian Madigan of the Minneapolis Central Library, award-winning art and architecture professor Kristin Anderson and Frank White, author of “They Played for the Love of the Game: Untold Stories of Black Baseball in Minnesota.”
     
     
    Attendees will also be able to view exhibits on local baseball history and participate in book signings between sessions. A continental breakfast and lunch will be available at the symposium. The registration fee is $40 – for more information and to sign up, please visit https://sabr.org/latest/save-date-2019-sabr-minneapolis-19th-century-baseball-interdisciplinary-symposium
  17. Like
    bighat reacted to mikelink45 for a blog entry, Blown leads   
    11 1/2 game lead is huge, losing it by August 10 is terrifying. True, we have time left and Cruz will come back and maybe Buxton too. Jack Cave might be replaced by someone who can do better in MLB from our minor leagues and maybe we will strike gold with one or two pitchers as we allow the entire minor league system to audition for us this year, but still 11.5 games! That is a lead worthy of 7 percent of the season.
     
    So come on Twins. Beat the bad teams. I think most have given up on beat the good teams and get into the playoffs where, I am sorry to say, you will only be playing good teams.
    Do you remember the 1969 Cubs 4.5 games up going into September and then winning just 1/3rd of their games to finish 8 behind the miracle Mets? I know NY had a great year, but poor Chicago. By the way they had 4 players on that team go to the HOF.
    Or our old manager Gene Mauch and his 1964 team? They led by 6 1/2 games with 12 to play. They had Dick Allen and HOF Jim Bunning. They lost 10 Straight and St Louis went to the series! That hurts.
    Tied for the lead on the last day of the season the 2007 Mets blew the pennant and the Phillies won. The Mets had Pedro and Glavine in their rotation but went 1 - 6 to finish the season. Then in 2008 they fired their manager part way through the year and had a 3 1/2 game lead with 17 games to go. But losing 10 of 17 is not the way to the World Series.
    The 1951 Dodgers had one of the saddest losses - the NY Giants steam rolled right over them with a 37 - 7 ending to the season to tie and a playoff with the home run heard around the world and still being played every year. The Dodgers had been up 13.5 on August 11! Yes that is tomorrow. And then they went to the playoff game - one game to decide and lead 4 - 1 going into the ninth. Ralph Branca - not a bad pitcher - against Dale Long - not a great hitter - and a three run home run destroyed the Dodger's year.
    Lets enjoy 2009, the year the Tigers led by 7 games on September 6 over the MINNESOTA TWINS. We won 10 of 11 and Alexi Casilla put us in the playoffs!
    In 1978 the Red Sox led by 9 over the Brewers and 14 over the Yankees on July 19th. The Yankees went 52 - 21 and into a playoff. Anyone heard of Bucky Dent? Well the Red Sox fans will never forget him as he ripped the hearts out the Boston team.
    2011 the Red Sox again were leading by 9 games over the Rays on September 1 and then played a 7 - 20 final month and lost the pennant to Tampa Bay.
    1995 the Angels, who have been a playoff deprived team, led by a familiar 11.5 on August 9 and then the wheels fell off. going 12 - 27 and were put out of the misery by Randy Johnson in a one-game playoff. 1998 they had a 3 1/2-game lead in the division with 19 to play and lost 13 of their last 19.
    In 1987 the Blue Jays held a 3.5 game lead with 7 to go and could not win another game. The Tigers went to the playoffs. Where they would face the Twins.
    2003 the Mariners had the best record in baseball, but (does this sound familiar?) they played just under 500 ball for the rest of the season and took the off season off.
    The 2010 Padres had a last half season collapse and after having just one three-game losing streak all season, the Padres proceeded to drop 10 straight. (Sounds too close to home). With a 6 1/2 game lead on August 25 they came the closest that the poor team could come to Post Season and watched Arizona go to the series.

    There are more where these came from. Painful I know but that is baseball. Let's go Twins - this is a list I do not want you to be on.
  18. Like
    bighat reacted to Mike Sixel for a blog entry, Why Didn't the Twins Make a Trade Already?   
    Edit to note: the tables are now fixed, I believe.
     
    Fans, we are a demanding bunch! We want fixes now, and we want them cheap, so our favorite teams can do more fixing. I maybe spend too much time on Twins Daily, and I post a lot. That makes me wrong a lot……or maybe I’m just not all that good at this baseball thing, who knows. One of the main things being discussed right now is that the Twins should add some pitching, and I’ve been wondering just how realistic that is.
     
    What does it cost to get pitching? What kind of pitchers are actually traded before the deadline? When are they traded?
     
    Basically, in this series of blogs, I want to know what seems realistic in terms of trades, because I’d rather be informed when posting than not. Because baseball seems to have changed, I’ll be using data from 2013 on.
    First up in the analysis? So, how soon can we realistically expect trades in MLB?
     
    We’ll be looking at trades in June and July to see when players change hands, and the kinds of players that change teams. Given that the August deadline has gone away, we will be ignoring those trades, which admittedly may or may not change how one views the analysis…….
     
    June 1-15
     
    There isn’t much action in the first two weeks of June involving major league players.
     
    [table]


    Year
    Number of Trades
    MLB Pitchers
    MLB HItters
    Impact Trades


    2013
    2
    1
    1
    0


    2014
    1
    0
    1
    1*


    2015
    3
    3
    2
    1


    2016
    2
    0
    3
    1


    2017
    2
    1
    1
    1


    2018
    1
    0
    1
    1


    2019
    2
    1
    2
    1


    Total[td15][/td]

    6
    11
    6
    [/table]
     
    The MLB hitter and pitcher columns show the number of major league players involved. Impact trades could be either the major league player was good the year of the deal and/or after the deal, or one or more the minor league players is/was. Good is subjective, but I’m going for more than 1 fWAR in any given year as the litmus test.
     
    Not surprisingly, there just aren’t that many trades in the first half of June. Teams aren’t sure if they are in or out of the race, and those that are sure aren’t certain what they really need yet. More importantly, most articles and analyses on the internet indicate that teams wait until later to deal, in hopes of having more leverage (and getting a better deal). This aligns well with options theory, but we’ll have to do more analysis to see if waiting works or not.
     
    *In 2014, Manny Pina was traded. He was not a major league player at the time, so he doesn’t appear in the table above. But, he was pretty good for Milwaukee in 2017 and 2018.
     
    Mark Trumbo was part of a deal in 2015. He put up decent numbers after the trade, then a good season in the next year. Now? Not so much. But, he put up half a fWAR after the deal, and 2.2 in 2016. The other side of that deal? Welington Castillo went to Arizona. He was good that year, and in 2016 and 2017. Luckily for Twins fans, he’s not been as good in Chicago! Dominic Leone also went to AZ. He had one good year, but it wasn’t for them…..
     
    Chris Coghlan was traded in 2016, back to the Cubs. He put up .9 fWAR after the deal, but was hitless in 9 post season at bats. He fell off a cliff after that year. The player traded for him played parts of two seasons, and has bounced around the minors.
     
    2017 saw a name that might be in trade talks again in 2019 move in early June….Sam Dyson. He and cash were dealt for a player that is currently 26 and in AAA. Dyson has been good, but not great, though this year he has put up .5 fWAR in half a season. His traditional numbers are more impressive, probably, than his WAR would show…..Why was he so cheap? He was awful in Texas. Did his current team fix something, or is it the park/league?
     
    Last year? One reason C. J. Cron was available this off season is that Tampa traded for Ji-Man Choi in early June of 2018. They got him for cash and Brad Miller. I bet Milwaukee would like to have that trade back…….
     
    Edwin Encarcion was recently traded for a minor leaguer, but mostly because the Yankees absorbed a good chunk of EE’s salary. The Mariners are all in on the all-important financial flexibility thing right now….
     
    I’m actually surprised that six years in a row there were some impactful major league players traded. Now, not one of those had been consistently good, but it does show that some good players move in early June. Not many of those were pitchers, btw.
     
     
    June 16-30
     
    [table]


    Year
    Number of Trades
    MLB Pitchers
    MLB HItters
    Impact Trades


    2013
    5
    0
    5
    3


    2014
    2
    2
    1
    1


    2015
    3
    1*
    2
    0


    2016
    3
    1
    2
    1


    2017
    3
    0
    4
    0


    2018
    2
    0
    2
    1


    2019
    0
    0
    0
    0


    Total
    18
    [4
    16
    6
    [/table]
     
    In 2013, Colin McHugh was traded (not to the Astros) and he became quite good with the Astros. But, it was not an impactful deal for either team involved in the deal. He is an impactful player in the deal, so it counts. Eric Thames was also dealt that year, and put up a couple decent years after that. No one else in those five deals has done much, though Colin Cowgil managed to barely clear the 1 fWAR line in 2014…..so three impactful players were dealt that year!
     
    2014 saw a rare pitcher for pitcher trade. One of them just cleared 1 fWAR the following year, but neither did anything much. Neither did the hitter traded that year. Really, calling 1 year of fWAR impactful seems like maybe too low a bar…….I’d call it almost useful for 1 year, but barely.
     
    In 2015 AZ sent the injured *Bronson Arroyo and Touki Toussaint to Atlanta for a guy. Touki could be a real piece for Atlanta. This was clearly a salary dump situation, where Atlanta basically bought Toussaint for Arroyo’s contract. So far, though, he’s not produced even one half WAR, so maybe not.
     
    Chris Paddack and Fernando Rodney were traded for each other (so maybe pitcher for pitcher trades aren't rare?) in 2016. This looks like a great trade for the Padres for sure. Rodney, of course, has been ok to effective after that but was terrible in Miami. I’m still trying to figure out what Miami was doing…..No other trade that year mattered, unless you still pine for Oswaldo Arcia….
     
    There were no interesting trades in 2017 in the second half of June.
     
    Steve Pearce was quite good last year for Boston. He was traded for an ok AA player. The other trade last year was not all that interesting.
     
    This year? Well….there were zero trades in the second half of June.
     
    So, the second half of June saw one really good player change hands, plus Steve Pearce who was quite good last year for Boston. Other than that, not many players/trades mattered all that much. It’s an odd coincidence that there were six trades that cleared the approximately 1 fWAR barrier in both parts of June, but it’s just a coincidence.
     
    What did we learn?
     
    That depends on what you already knew, I guess……But here’s a summary of what I learned!
     
    Some good players have been traded in June. Most of those involved salary dumps, or odd decisions by poorly run teams (Miami, for example). There just are not many trades in June at all, and most of them amount to nothing much. It’s hard to criticize any team for not making deals before July, given this data. The best players were either picked up in salary dumps, or were near MLB ready minor league players (admittedly, those in the lower minors have not had a chance to do much yet. That said, in a quick glance, none look like big time prospects either).
     
    In other words, I'm not surprised nothing has happened much this year, given what has happened in recent history.
     
    In the next post, we’ll look at the first three weeks of July…..
  19. Like
    bighat reacted to Hosken Bombo Disco for a blog entry, Players Make Plays   
    It’s April 16, 2018. The Twins own a 7-4 record. The front office has added free agents at several key positions to complement an 85-win team from the previous year that earned its first post-season berth in seven years.
     
    It's April 16, and despite a string of postponements due to an early spring snowstorm, the team is playing well, and flying to Puerto Rico for an unusual two-game series against their division rivals.
     


    Minnesota Twins and Puerto Rico, April 2018 (copyright Brace Hemmelgarn, for Twins/MLB) 
    After dropping the first game of the series, native Puerto Rican Jose Berrios pitches 7 shutout innings in the second game, and the Twins win in the 16th inning on a Ryan LaMarre base hit. LaMarre was a minor league signing prior to the season who won a spot on the team with a good spring.
     
    With the win, the Twins reclaim first place with an 8-5 record and prepare to fly to Tampa to play a series against the Rays.
     
    Then it fell apart.
     
    In the first game of that series, free agent relief pitcher Zach Duke failed to touch first base on a toss from Joe Mauer that would have ended the 10th inning; instead, the winning run scored all the way from second base. The Twins lost to Blake Snell in the second game of the series, and in the final game, free agent addition Addison Reed surrendered a 9th inning, walk-off home run to Carlos Gomez.
     
    Then the Twins flew to New York for a four game series in Yankee Stadium.
     
    After losing the first three games in their typically inept Yankee Stadium way, the Twins had a chance to salvage the series finale. Starter Kyle Gibson held the Yankees to just one hit over 6 shutout innings, and the Twins entered the bottom of the 9th with a 3-1 lead. The first Yankees batter reached when first baseman Logan Morrison, yet another offseason free agent addition, failed to scoop a not-too-difficult short hop throw from Miguel Sano. That baserunner gave the Yankees life. Two batters later, free agent closer Fernando Rodney surrendered another game winning, walk-off home run, a three-run shot by Gary Sanchez.
     
    The Twins flew home from New York on a seven game losing streak. They tacked on another dismal loss to the Reds, extending their losing streak to eight. Their record sank to 8-13 and they would not climb back to .500 for the rest of the 2018 season.
     
    The free agent acquisitions prior to 2018 were meant to complement the young corps of players that had been developed internally in the organization, but instead, the free agents seemed to torpedo the season.
     
    This season, so far, is different. Much different. Those players from 2018 are elsewhere, and the players brought in by the front office for 2019 are making the plays.
     
    First baseman C. J. Cron, coming from Tampa Bay, has proven just as adept at first base as Joe Mauer, making all the scoops and showing more pop at the plate. Many fans (I was one of those) thought that the front office should encourage Mauer to sign an extension for 2019, but Cron appears to be performing just as well.
     
    Second base pickup Jonathan Schoop gives the middle infield youth and arm strength that Brian Dozier did not have. Here is his throw from shallow left in Houston April 22 to nab Josh Reddick at the plate:
     
    https://twitter.com/Twins/status/1120513457491795975
     
    And, “super utility” player Marwin Gonzalez, despite his slow start at the plate, is making the plays in the field, while filling in at third base, at first base, and in left. His sliding catch in the first inning against the Astros on April 29 saved perhaps two runs, in a game the Twins won with only a single run, 1-0.
     
    All of this, while free agent designated hitter Nelson Cruz is hitting even better than advertised.
     
    The additions to the pitching staff for 2019 did not seem impactful; however, Ryne Harper and Blake Parker have been assets in the bullpen, and Martin Perez has now strung together four good starts. It’s a group of pitchers who are far outperforming last season’s acquisitions Zach Duke, Fernando Rodney, and Lance Lynn. After 30 games in 2018, the Twins had already suffered five walk-off losses. Here in 2019, none as of yet.
     
    While it’s yet to be seen whether the pitchers will continue to protect leads, the new additions to the every day lineup are providing enough offense and defense to keep the team in the win column more often than not.
     
    As Jonah Keri, writing for The Athletic, summarized it: The combination of up-and-comers in their 20s, big-hitting veteran imports and managerial guidance [from Rocco Baldelli] has borne fruit. A lot can be said of Baldelli as well, the new Twins manager and perhaps biggest offseason acquisition of all. But that's another article for another day.
     
    Prior to the 2018 season, the front office might have thought they were acquiring the final complementary parts to a team that won 85 games the previous season. It did not work out that way. The acquisitions for the 2019 season, however, are working out incredibly well so far.
     
    And I haven’t even mentioned Willians Astudillo yet.
  20. Like
    bighat reacted to AJ Condon for a blog entry, Series Recap: Twins Win One; Pitching Continues to Struggle   
    The Minnesota Twins were able to respond well after a series loss to the Blue Jays with a 3-game sweep against the Orioles, but were only able to grab one game against one of the league's top teams, the Houston Astros.
     
    Going into this series, all I wanted from the Twins was to win one out of the three games this series, and I knew it wasn't going to be the third game when I saw the pitching matchups: TBD vs Justin Verlander. That meant they needed to take one of the first two, and they did exactly that.
     
    Jake Odorizzi was able to pick up his second win of the season, and second straight, in a 9-5 win on Monday. Odorizzi dealt 5.2 innings, giving up only two runs on eight hits and no walks. He moved to 2-2 with a 4.37 ERA in five appearances on the season.
     
    Unfortunately, the bullpen wasn't too clean in their relief. Ryne Harper came in for the seventh inning, but gave up a 3-run bomb to Carlos Correa. Adalberto Mejia and Blake Parker were both able to come in and throw shutout innings to close the game off.
     
    Polanco was able to have himself a night going 4-5 with four RBIs, including one home run. The Twins racked up 12 hits plus two runs late to help seal the win and take the first game of the series, which was also the first game the Astros have lost at home this year.
     
    The next two games of the series got out of hand, lacked offensive, and included struggles from both the starting pitchers and the bullpen. They allowed 17 runs total while only scoring five.
     
    The Twins got up 3-0 early in the first game thanks to another Eddie Rosario 3-run home run in the top of the first, but could only manage to score one more run the entire game. Michael Pineda was the starter for this game and went 5.1 innings but gave up four runs on eight hits and two walks. He, luckily, didn't pick up a loss because the Twins were able to tie the game seventh.
     
    The tie didn't last long as the bullpen wasn't able to keep the game close. Again in the seventh, the Twins bullpen gave up runs, this time only being two but coming from Trevor Hildenberger and thanks to a couple errors, four runs were scored in the eighth against Tyler Duffey. The twins ultimately lost game two 10-4.
     
    We saw two of our relievers surrender their first runs of the year. Harper gave up three runs in game one and Hildenberger give up two runs in game two. The bullpen was again pretty unreliable in these first two games, but probably wasn't the only reason for the loss in game two.
     
    The series finale was tonight and Verlander continued to hurt the Twins, pitching eight innings, striking out eight and only giving up four hits and one run. The one run was a home run off the hot hand of Polanco, but was the sole run for the Twins tonight.
     
    Before the game, the Twins made some roster moves to get a starter for tonight and another reliever. The two guys brought up, Kohl Stewart and Fernando Romero were the only two pitchers the Twins had to send out tonight. Stewart dealt six innings, but gave up five runs on eight hits and three walks, and Romero finished the game with two innings and two runs. With this transaction, they sent down Tyler Duffey and Jake Cave.
     
    I am actually content with how the Twins played this series finale. They've had to play 12 games in just as many days and were playing against the Astros ace. The Twins were able to give some guys the night off in the field and in the bullpen. Byron Buxton, Mitch Garver, and Jonathan Schoop were all given the night off as well as the whole bullpen, besides Romero who we just called up.
     
    Like I said at the beginning, going into the series, I wanted one win out of this series and I got that. However, I would've liked to see a better performance from the pitchers. The Twins face the Orioles again, but this time at home in what hopefully is another bounce back series both for the offense and pitchers.
     
    After this series the Twins moved to 13-9 but still have a half game lead on the Cleveland Indians for the lead in the A.L. Central.
     
    The Twins busy schedule isn't even close to over after they get one off day tomorrow, they play 13 straight days with seven being home and six being on the road.
  21. Like
    bighat reacted to Ted Schwerzler for a blog entry, Feeling Out the Front Office   
    Over the course of the past two seasons I have seen plenty of comments directed towards the Minnesota Twins front office. With Derek Falvey and Thad Levine replacing the Terry Ryan regime, much has been made of their age and new-fangled way of doing things. When looking at it objectively however, are there really any egregious missteps, and isn't this the way baseball is run around the league?
     
    From many around the media landscape, nicknames have been given to the duo sitting at the top of 1 Twins Way. Whether calling Falvey and Levine the "Boy Wonders" or "Baseball Nerds," there continues to be monikers that poke at the age and data driven ideology disseminated from the Twins organization. From my vantage point, this either speaks to a lack of knowledge regarding the current game, or a level of malice intended towards individuals deemed unfit for the role.
     
    At any rate, using analytics as a buzzword remains out of touch in today's game. Baseball, and front offices in general, have long since incorporated data driven practices to set forth at least a portion of what they do on a daily basis. This isn't specific to the Twins, and it's certainly not new to the game. When attempting to carve out competitive advantages, continuing to do the things you have always done will quickly get you left in the dust.
    In an effort to attack some of the misconceptions head on, I posed this question last night on Twitter:
     

     
    The responses were aplenty, but genuinely surprised me. Maybe it's because of my follower base being of the more informed variety, but there simply weren't the frustrated and shortsighted responses I expected to get. Sourcing through a few of the comments, I did want to do my best to rebut a few things that I thought lacked context.
     

     
    A couple of comments surrounded the handling of Byron Buxton, which has been a horse I've severely beaten. The FO looks silly for how they handled that, and regardless of the business aspect, you'd have to be looking through a very narrow vacuum to argue in favor of it.
     
    The other point that's touched on regards Matt Belisle and the 25 man roster. If there's criticism I believe is fair, it's how the 25 man roster was handled at times this season. It's hard to know what level of impact Paul Molitor needed or wanted over who he managed, but aging veterans were often preferred over potentially more impactful youth. Should that be a reality we move away from in 2019, one can assume Molitor's hand may have been in that process as well.
     
    From there, we get into a few complete fallacies.
     

     
    I don't know how you could realistically look back at the offseason and come to the above conclusion. Logan Morrison was added for nearly nothing after hitting over 30 longballs in 2017. Lance Lynn was a big rotation boost, and was brought in late in the game. Although not a free agent, acquiring multiple years of Jake Odorizzi for a low-level prospect was another shrewd move. The winter as a whole was hit out the park by the front office. We know how the talent performed on the field, but there's zero argument to be made against the moves being sensible at the time.
     

     
    Looking across the organization, I'm not sure how there could be a conclusion that the Minnesota Twins aren't in a significantly better position than they were two years ago. The developmental staff of coaches and scouts has been beefed up significantly, and the influx of talent has followed suit. Drafting first overall in 2017, Falvey and Levine put together a very strong class. They then followed up that group with another good set of youth this past season. Supplementing amateurs with prospects acquired through trades this season, identifying talent genuinely seems like something they've excelled at.
     
    At this point in the game, you need to come to the table with something better than stathead or moniker driven detractions for the Twins front office. It's not as though computers run the game of baseball, but data driven analysis has turned into an exploitable competitive advantage. Marrying that notion with the human element and squeezing the most out of the on-field product remains the optimal goal.
     
    We're embarking on year three for this front office, and the offseason is an incredibly critical one. 2019 remains a season that Minnesota should compete at a high level, and expecting a full tear down or rebuild is nowhere in the blueprint of what is currently taking place. Although being left out of the postseason isn't fun, an objective view of the current landscape should be viewed with a level of positivity.
     
    For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
  22. Like
    bighat reacted to Ted Schwerzler for a blog entry, Thank you, Brian!   
    The year was 2012, and a 25 year old Brian Dozier had finally burst onto the scene. No, this wasn't the big leagues, but it was close enough. Spring Training had commenced down in Fort Myers, and the scrappy Southern Mississippi kid had taken the narratives by storm. He was getting hits on a daily basis, and fans were looking for a long term answer at short. The 8th round senior sign from 2009 had put his name in the hat and wasn't going away quietly.
     
    Although he didn't go north with the club that year, it didn't take long for them to come calling either. On May 7, 2012 Brian Dozier would make his Major League debut. He tallied his first hit in that game, and his first home run came five games later. Largely however, 2012 was a season to forget. It became quickly apparent that Dozier wasn't suited to play shortstop at the big league level and the reset button was pushed.
     
    Fast forward to 2013 and a positional move to second base. Marking his first full season with the Twins, Dozier would play in 147 games. It has since become customary over the course of his seven year career, but Minnesotans were put on notice that season; this man would simply not be held out of the game.
     
    In 2014 Brian began to establish himself as a power threat. His 23 longballs followed up a solid 18 in the year prior. While not being the hulking corner infield type, this man helped to wear out the left field bleachers at Target Field. Despite being a snub for the game itself, Brian was able to participate in the hometown 2014 Home Run Derby. Although his efforts fell short, it was a great moment for the entirety of Twins Territory.
     
    Not to be denied in 2015, Brian captured his first All Star game nod. A season that saw him come up just shy of 30 homers (28 in total), he received MVP votes for the first time in his career. By this point, it was apparent that the Minnesota Twins had one of the best second basemen in all of baseball. Then, 2016 happened...
    Harmon Killebrew is still, and will forever be, revered as the best Twins home run hitter of all time. In 2016, Dozier put himself among that rare company. With 42 homers to his credit, he again received MVP votes and further cementer his ability in comparison with the Jose Altuve's and Robinson Cano's of his position. At just 5'11" this was a relatively short man that had an ability at the plate to wear out Minnie and Paulie's hands.
     
    Having now become known as a player that gets hot down the stretch, Dozier simply followed status quo in 2017. Although he didn't repeat and eclipse the 40 mark, his 34 homers were the second highest total of his career. Thanks to his offensive accolades, he vaulted himself into Gold Glove consideration and ended up taking home the award. At this point, the self-made slugger had turned a late blooming career into one for the storybooks.
     
    Although Brian would've liked it to go differently this season, Minnesota simply couldn't keep up with all of the roadblocks in their way. Another trip to the postseason wasn't going to happen in Twins Territory, but that doesn't mean it won't for Brian. Now on his way to Los Angeles to join the Dodgers, a team he had been tied to in the past, Dozier gets to join a front-runner. He'll make a great up the middle partner for Manny Machado, and many Twins fans will only have to change their shade of blue come October.
     
    As the sun sets on this chapter, Dozier leaves the Twins with 167 home runs, 202 doubles, and 491 RBI to his credit. He's a testament to the player that never stops working, and more importantly, the man that always wants more. Both he and his wife Renee have made an impact far greater than what's seen on the diamond, and they'll be sorely missed around Target Field. It's the nature of the business that players come and go, but this is one that left his mark here forever. Thank you Brian, and go Dodgers.
     
    For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
  23. Like
    bighat reacted to Axel Kohagen for a blog entry, Ode to Scoring Just One Run   
    Instead of writing an original piece of HIGH STRANGENESS to satisfy your curiosity, I am sharing a most EDIFYING piece in praise of the one solitary run the Twins are allowed to score in most games. 4 out of 6 since last we talked.
     
    Gather, ye ball fans
    As I make all clear
    The most mirthful joy
    Of our ONE run cheer!
     
    To score runs PLURAL
    Cannot be much fun
    Compared to sheer glee
    From scoring just one!
     
    Teams - not the Twins, no
    They love the long ball
    They hammer and drive
    They score, one and all!
     
    Bless’d fans of TC
    How lucky are we?
    To score just a run
    And not two or three?
     
    That one run, and how!
    When we see it plate,
    To bed we can go
    Needn’t stay up late.
     
    Our run! It’s our run!
    It’s the only we get!
    You must love the run!
    When your teams plays not so very good.
     
    ⁃ The Bard Axel Kohagen
  24. Like
    bighat reacted to jimbo92107 for a blog entry, Twins lose first game, cancel season   
    The Minnesota Twins abruptly canceled the remainder of the 2018 season today after losing their opening game to the Baltimore Orioles, 3 to 2.
     
    "Crushing defeat," said Derek Falvey, who took the rap like a man. "I apologize to the Pohlad family for putting a losing squad on the field. I hereby submit my resignation."
     
    Falvey was quickly joined by the rest of the Front Office, plus all the Twins coaches and Paul Molitor, the team's Hall of Fame manager.
     
    Various players either simply left town or announced their retirement. Joe Mauer plans to start a trout fishing club, possibly hiring Kent Hrbek as coach and manager. "Fishing and golf are all baseball players know," said Mauer. "I'm too old to become a pro golfer, but I think I can still catch a fish."
     
    Fans concerned about refunds for season tickets are out of luck. The Pohlads are keeping the money.
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