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Twitter

  1. Simple question. Given the self-interest of the team, should the Twins organization seek to partner with the city/state gov't to offer free vaccine shots to fans that have not yet had one? Probably this would limit the choice to the J&J single-shot vaccine, which also is easier to store than the other two. This would be a positive public relations move, plus it would of course help the state of Minnesota achieve a higher level of overall immunity from the Covid virus.
  2. For those who may be new to this game, I’ll give a detailed breakdown. So when a pitcher faces a batter, three dice are rolled. The white die determines which card will be used; 1 to 3 summons the hitter card, and 4 to 6 summons the pitcher card. The two red dice will determine the outcome of the play. In a standard game, one would switch out the hitter cards for each batter and the pitcher cards during any pitching change. However, for my setup, I will be using the Master Hitting and Master Pitching cards. This prevents the need for a card for each player, which is also great because I’m cheap and hate spending money to buy more stuff! Here’s part of my custom-made hitting card: But how random and how varied can each player be if they’re all using the same card? The answer to that would be in the player’s skill level. At the current moment, here are the skills that are recorded: Hitting 1 to 8 (higher number being the better value) Power 1 to 8 Speed E to AA Fielding 1 to 5 Drawing walks 1 to 5 Strikeout tendency 1 to 5 And for the pitchers: Preventing hits 1 to 8 Preventing HRs 1 to 5 Allowing walks 1 to 5 Getting strikeouts 1 to 5 Here is an example; the current Twins squad: This roster was created with stats from Baseball-Reference with specific cutoffs for each rank for each skill. Now here is a picture of some of the cuttoffs: It can take a little while to come up with the teams since I have to research every single player, but this process helps me becoming more informed about other teams’ players If you’re unfamiliar with Strat-O-Matic baseball, there are also a few supplemental charts. There’s the X-Chart, which either sees a groundball or flyball get hit at a certain position that will be difficult to play. Great defenders will almost always make the play, but the poorer the fielder, the higher chance of an error or a hit (lack of range, I guess). Here’s a screenshot of the X-Chart: And there’s also the Strategy Chart. This determines how groundballs and flyouts will be fielded, and allows for managers to try bunting, hit-and-run, bringing the infield in, and more. Since I’m playing alone (is that weird to you guys?), I get to decide what strategy for each team might be the best. This also applies to pitching changes and offensive substitutions. Here’s part of the chart: With all this put together, let’s test a plate appearance and see how things work: In this scenario, Jorge Polanco faces Ryan Yarbrough. He rolls a 4-5, which goes to the pitching card, with the number 5. With this roll, the batter will groundout (though all runners on base will advance); however, if the pitcher is a #4 or 5 in strikeouts, the batter will strike out. Also, if the pitcher is a #1 or #2 hitting-wise, the batter will hit a single. Since Ryan Yarbrough is a #3 strikeout-wise and #5 hitting-wise, Polanco grounds out. I hope you understand how the Strat-O-System works a little better now, and I’ll be bringing you another game this weekend. Post any questions or suggestions you may have!
  3. What’s the worst that could happen bringing back an iconic baseball classic back for more hijinks and fun 5 years later? When this movie came out back in 1994 and I was 11 years old and I remember this being the movie that got me most excited to watch anything baseball. I saw this in a 2-screen theater in Grand Forks, ND (where I’m from) with my friends with no parents and we enjoyed everything about this movie. But does it hold up today? ​Major League II brings back director David S. Ward along with most of the cast from the original movie. Most noticeably missing is Wesley Snipes who by that time had built up a string of box office hits and was in to high of demand to get in this sequel. Omar Epps steps in as Willie Mays Hayes and does a good job but Snipes would have helped draw a bigger audience at the time. The movie was made for 25 million dollars but only squandered a mere 30 million dollars at the box office. The biggest change the studio made was going from rated R in the original to PG in this sequel. The change clearly did not pay off and left this movie struggling to connect with the adults who loved the first movie. The humor was a little more dried up and the themes were a lot less adult driven. Charlie Sheen does become the movies star and at this time in his career, he was at his peak. ​ The plot brings the team back as World Series contenders who are coming off winning the division title and then were beat by the Chicago White Sox. All the success from last season has changed the players in different ways. Rick Vaughn (Charlie Sheen) cares more about his public image over his pitching, Pedro Cerrano (Dennis Haysbert) than becomes a Buddhist becoming more carefree which hurts in game play, Willie Mays Hayes (Omar Epps) gets into making Hollywood movies to which makes him want to be more of a power hitter, and Jake Taylor (Tom Berenger) returns dealing with knee injuries and is too old to play baseball. Every single player from the first movie is dealing with something and they all have their own hurtles to overcome. Some of these seem very realistic and then there are some that seem forced just to build some internal conflict. How each one over comes their strife’s has their own issues, but they all really seemed very rushed. This movie comes off very much like a sitcom and not as much of a theatrical movie. ​ ​To this movie’s credit, it does introduce some fun characters that help make this a better movie. The films highlight is the bad guy or the new player they bring in as an off-season signing in Jack Parkman (David Keith). Parkman is there to build conflict with the whole team and eventually a final confrontation with Rick Vaughn. He is a power hitting catcher who is arrogant and loves to be more about himself. He than eventually gets traded to the Cleveland’s rival the White Sox building up to a dramatic ALCS series between the two teams. David Keith does a really good job of selling that cocky and charisma that makes this character so unlikable. Another fun new character in this movie is also a catcher in Rube Baker (Eric Bruskotter) and he eventually becomes the heart of the movie. He start’s off the movie being talented and has one issue and that’s getting the ball to the pitcher. It’s played for laughs and is quickly fixed by new coach Jake Taylor who decides to give up his cleats to help the team in a new way. He has him recite articles from Playboy magazines to help him take his mind off the pressure of getting the ball back to the pitcher and it works. Rube also has a lot of good dialogue in this movie and you can tall that the screen writers wanted his character to come off a little dumb but with a big heart. Eric Bruskotter does a good job of pulling it off and deliver’s some of these lines with ease. The last new character they bring in is outfielder Isuro Tankaka (Takaaki Ishibashi) and he comes in with the trade for Jack Parkman. He absolutely is played for laughs and comes in with a temper and eventually helps break Pedro Cerrano of his hitting slump by getting under his skin and get him angry again. It is a fun pairing between the two and their chemistry plays out nicely. ​Although this movie was panned by critics and audiences in 1994. This movie isn’t all that bad. I had some issues with how they wrapped up Rick Vaughn’s love story and his character ark and how they wrapped it way too neat and unearned along with how the wrapped up a lot of other character’s arks and how they put Tom Berenger’s character on the backburner after being the lead character in the first movie. If you put aside all the PG humor this turns out to be an entertaining baseball movie. It has some cheesy dialogue, and it does a good job of building up the stakes. I had the excited feeling today as I did when I was 11 when Ricky Vaughn comes out at the end of the movie with his original hair cut and the stadium is blaring Wild Thing. The buildup for that moment in the movie paid off and watching the matchup between Ricky Vaughn and Jack Parkman is entertaining. This sequel is not a classic by any means, but it does a good job of entertaining baseball fans and having fun for an hour and 40 minutes. Rating: Triple! 3 out of 5 stars.
  4. The Twins head to St. Louis for a doubleheader against the Cardinals. St Louis will be hungry after winning a series in Chicago against the Cubs, seeking revenge from earlier in the season against the Twins. It has become evident that the Cardinals are one of the tougher teams coming out of the NL Central. Having home-field advantage against the Twins is critical, Ballpark Village is no joke. The pitching match-ups are interesting, as Carlos Martinez squares off against Jose Berrios, and Daniel Ponce de Leon looks to prove himself against the once Uber driver, Randy Dobnak. Dobnak holds a 6-2 record this season, defying the odds as a pitcher in the MLB. In conclusion, this is another critical series for the Twins, it is unfortunate St. Louis is not throwing Jack Flaherty, Adam Wainwright, or Kwang-hyun Kim. However, with home field advantage, and a hot lineup led by veteran Yadier Molina, no one is safe against this St. Louis Cardinals team. The Cardinals should split this series, but I do not think that will happen. It is time to separate the boys from the men, the Bomba Squad comes alive tomorrow. Twins take both.
  5. Preface For those who don't know, I am running a SIM on MLB The Show for Twins baseball. I do the color commentary over the games and it's been received very well so far. I hope you enjoy the game! Catch-up Rick Renteria must've had a great talk with his ball-club yesterday. After leaving a ton of runs out in the field Friday the White Sox come back with a vengeance and take game two 9-2. The Twins will turn to La MaKina, Jose Berrios, to try and take the final game of the series in Chicago. Pre-game 12:45pmCT, 1:10pmCT start. Where to watch. https://www.twitch.tv/thuuuuney/ Starting Pitchers Chicago:Reynaldo Lopez 1-0. 4.26 ERA, 12.2IP, 1.58WHIPMinnesota:Jose Berrios 1-1, 6.39 ERA, 12.2IP, 1.50WHIP Minnesota Batting Order RF Max Kepler .204 BA, 3 HR, 6 RBI SS Jorge Polanco .281 BA, 1 HR, 9 RBI 3B Josh Donaldson .339 BA, 2 HR, 5 RBI DH Nelson Cruz .246 BA, 2 HR, 8 RBI LF Eddie Rosario .302 BA, 3 HR, 10 RBI C Mitch Garver .327 BA, 4 HR, 9 RBI 2B Luis Arraez .279 BA, 1 HR, 3 RBI 1B Miguel Sano .213 BA, 3 HR, 6 RBI CF Jake Cave .250 BA, 0 HR, 1 RBIChicago Batting Order SS Tim Anderson .159 BA, 0 HR, 2 RBI 3B Yoan Moncada .286 BA, 3 HR, 14 RBI LF Eloy Jimenez .400 BA, 6 HR, 11 RBI C Yasmani Grandal .319 BA, 1 HR, 6 RBI DH Edwin Encarnacion .220 BA, 2 HR, 7 RBI 1B Jose Abreu .235 BA, 0 HR, 2 RBI RF Nomar Mazara .325 BA, 3 HR, 9 RBI 2B Leury Garcia .321 BA, 3 HR, 8 RBI CF Luis Robert .200 BA, 0 HR, 0 RBIWhite Sox Pitching Staff: 2nd in MLB Hits Allowed, (120). Bomba Tracker - 2020: 23 - 2019 through 15 games: 22 Storylines 1. Twins looking to build some consistency. In their last 9 games they only have one game with 10 hits as a club and are looking to try and light up the scoreboard. White Sox currently allowing the 2nd fewest hits as a club, (120), so something's got to give! 2. Chicago looking to win their second homestand of the year and win the series today led by the scorching hot bat of Yoan Moncada and Eloy Jimenez. 3. Jose Berrios went (2/3IP, 3H, 6ER, 4 BB) in his last start and is looking to come back to form today and hopefully provide a jolt for the Twins before they head north of the border and take on Toronto tomorrow.
  6. Catch-up The Twins are coming off of a bummer of a homestand (2-4) and are looking to bounce back in Chicago. Meanwhile the White Sox are trying to claw back early in April and make a bid for the AL Central title for the first time since 2008. Pre-game 6:45pmCT Where to watch. https://www.twitch.tv/thuuuuney/ Starting Pitchers Chicago Carlos Rodon 1-1. 8.59 ERA, 7.1IP, 2.18 WHIP Minnesota Kenta Maeda 0-0, 2.70 ERA, 10.0IP, 0.80WHIP Minnesota Batting Order RF Max Kepler .224 BA, 3 HR, 6 RBI SS Jorge Polanco .291 BA, 1 HR, 8 RBI 3B Josh Donaldson .313 BA, 2 HR, 5 RBI C Mitch Garver .333 BA, 3 HR, 8 RBI LF Eddie Rosario** .333 BA, 3 HR, 9 RBI DH Nelson Cruz .260 BA, 2 HR, 8 RBI 1B Miguel Sano .179 BA, 2 HR, 5 RBI 2B Ehire Adrianza .182 BA, 0 HR, 2 RBI CF Byron Buxton .250 BA, 3 HR, 4 RBI** = Eddie Rosario: T-1st on team BA, (.333), HR, (3), 1st in RBI, (9). Chicago Batting Order SS Tim Anderson .132 BA, 0 HR, 2 RBI 3B Yoan Moncada .286 BA, 2 HR, 12 RBI 1B Jose Abreu .227 BA, 0 HR, 1 RBI DH Edwin Encarnacion** .209 BA, 2 HR, 6 RBI C Yasmani Grandal .317 BA, 1 HR, 6 RBI LF Eloy Jimenez .375 BA, 5 HR, 7 RBI RF Nomar Mazara .313 BA, 3 HR, 9 RBI CF Luis Robert .286 BA, 0 HR, 0 RBI 2B Leury Garcia .327 BA, 3 HR, 7 RBI**= Edwin Encarnacion: Career splits against Minnesota, (.287BA,27HR, 92 RBI, .954 OPS) Bomba Tracker - 2020: 20 - 2019 through 13 games: 19 Storylines 1. Kenta Maeda seeks his first win of the year after arguably the best start of his career on Saturday (6.0 IP, 2H, 14 K's, 0 ER) which resulted in a no-decision. 2. Tim Anderson is trying to make baseball fun again after a slow start,(.132 BA, 0 HR, 2 RBI), but the White Sox have been led early by the scorching hot bats of Yoan Moncada (12 RBI's in 12 games), and Eloy Jimenez (.375BA). 3. White Sox come into the ballgame 4-2 at home early in April while the Twins are 6-1 on the road thus far, something's got to give today!
  7. Twins Sheet.pdf Preface As some of you may have seen on my profile, I have been running an MLB The Show SIM of the Minnesota Twins 2020 season. If you have not seen it yet, I let the CPU play while I do color commentary, run bumper music, and try my best to make it feel like you've tuned your tv to FSN. I will continue to post everyday with full game-threads of each game, but I wanted to do something cool for today since the Twins are, "off," until Friday's game in Chicago. Below you will find a summary of the game with imbedded highlight cuts directing you to that point in the game so you can get a better immersive experience. Finally, Twitch is the platform I am running on and in order to keep these clips around longer than 14 days I don't need anything more than you Twins fans who want to watch baseball to tune in. The clips expire 14 days after they are created and the more of you that tune in, that shelf life will increase to 60 days. Ok enough of me wasting your time let’s get you caught up. Quick Guide Hi, again. I know I’ll let you go in a second. If you’re a stat-head like me feel free to browse the boxscore and follow along with the full game. If not and you only want the fun stuff, scroll to the bottom where you see Summary. Also if you care for the pre-game show, I have listed when that starts otherwise feel free to tune in to the actual start time with the time-stamp attached below.Ok I’ll let you browse now, thanks for tuning in! (See attachment for full-game breakdown and highlights).
  8. If you’re a Minnesota Twins fan, and especially if you’re a big enough fan to have found this site, you need to find a way to visit spring training in Fort Myers. If you’re not, I expect it is because you’re not sure what there is to do there. This story, which we’ll run annually on Twins Daily is to help you find the best stuff to do at spring training.I don’t remember which year I first attended spring training, but I remember the exact date when I decided I would never miss it again: February 28th, 2014. I remember that date because we all remember the winter of 2013-14, or as Minnesotan’s refer to it: “that really awful winter.” That doesn’t sound especially harsh, but when Minnesotans single out one winter as really awful, that’s high praise. They’re all really awful. But 2013-14 had the coldest average temperature of any winter since 1978, plus a ton of snow. It also saved the worst for last. February, which is when Minnesotans are desperately searching for a little hope, was an all-time crummy month. When I boarded the plane at MSP that day, I looked at my phone and it was -10 degrees Fahrenheit, which is 42 degrees below the average high for that day. And when I landed in Fort Myers it was 80 and sunny and I was thunderstruck by just how dumb I had been for the previous 47 years of my life. I’ve come to feel strongly that we’re all doing it wrong. We should all escape for at least a long weekend to Fort Myers. And since I also get dozens of people asking me for advice for spring training, I hope this story serves as both a guide and inspiration to plan your own escape. I’ve already covered the weather, but it’s worth pointing out that even if there wasn’t baseball, escaping to 80 and sunny isn’t just nice for the time you’re there, it also lessens the rage with which you shovel out the driveway after that DAMN SNOWPLOW guys comes by AGAIN. It’s the length of the Minnesota winter that is the real killer. Knowing your winter has a definitive break, even temporarily, is incredibly therapeutic. That is all true if there wasn’t baseball. But here’s the thing - there IS baseball. It is probably the most concentrated and accessible baseball you’ll ever experience. Visiting the CenturyLink Sports Complex Visiting the Twins complex to see players up close is a morning activity. The accessibility is highest in the morning when players walk to and from their practice fields. You can see the route below, but the best place to stake out is over in the concrete area by those columns on the right. That’s where you’ll see a lot of people hanging around by 10 AM or so. Download attachment: Player Fan Path.png The players go out and come back in shifts, usually starting 9:15 or so though sometimes later. They come back in around 11 or noon, and that’s the best time to shake their hands or get an autograph or picture. You have to be patient and you get what you get - the times vary, the players vary, it’s a loosely organized congenial activity. Sometimes they can’t or won’t stop, but often they do. Here are Stephen Gonsalves, Kyle Gibson and Jose Berrios in 2019 all giving autographs as they came back from their morning workouts Saturday morning. Download attachment: Pitchers signing autographs.png Scrumming up with other fans and rubbing elbows with the players is certainly a draw, but it’s also fun to watch the players practice their craft. Want to watch a practice session, including someone like Tom Kelly or Torii Hunter help instruct minor leaguers? You can do that. They even built stands: Download attachment: Practice Field and Stands.png Or want to watch players take batting practice? The batting cages are right here, and you can watch up close through that chain link fence upon which these banners hang. Download attachment: Batting Cages.png The same is true of throwing in the bullpen. Here we see La Tortuga waiting for some pitchers to report and work on some of their mechanics. Download attachment: Bullpen.png You don’t have to worry about parking on days where there aren’t games. The stadium doesn’t have any concessions, but most of the action is over by lunchtime, so you have your afternoons free to bake on a beach, if you like. Watching Prospects Any Twins prospect who is on the 40-man roster is with the big league team at the beginning of spring training. And may who are not are still invited as non-roster invitees, so check the spring training roster to see which of your favorite players are with the big league club. But if you are really into prospects, you’ll want to attend spring training starting the second week of March. That’s when the minor league camp starts up, so all of the fields are filled with top prospects and hopeful suspects doing drills and playing games. This includes many of the prospects that began spring training with the big club. When they are whittled off the roster, they move to the minor league complex. If you would like to know which prospects are working out at which level, stop by the minor league office. They have sheets that say which players are working out with which teams, (AA, AAA, etc.) and also the minor league game schedule. Watching Games And then the games start. Starting the last weekend of February, you will have real live baseball most days from 1:00 to 4:00 PM. There are games most every day, in more intimate minor league stadiums, with prices that are closer to the minors than the majors. Download attachment: Hammond Seats.png Plus, if the Twins aren’t home, Fort Myers is one of the few cities that hosts two minor league teams: the Red Sox park is just a handful of miles away. Or take a one-hour to three-hour road trip to follow the Twins. All the road games are no further than that. When To Visit Once per day at spring training, you’ll hear a player, Twins employees or media members ask out loud “What the hell day is it today?” The daily routine doesn’t vary much, meaning Tuesdays are the same as Thursdays are the same as Saturdays. That said, you may want to visit at different times during spring training depending on what you want to get out of it. If you want the best access to players, the time to come is before the games start. Pitchers and catchers start their workouts on a Wednesday. The following Monday the batters all need to be there for their workouts, but the truth is most are there several days earlier. Excitement is high, and the players are feeling fresh. The interaction is definitely higher early in spring training. If you want to see games, you have a choice. If you want to see the big names, visit at the end of March when most of the roster cuts have happened. The players who will be making the roster will be getting some extra innings, though they’ll still likely be pulled after two or three at-bats. If you want to see some top prospects, come early in the game schedule, when Twins coaches will go out of their way to make sure top players get a live-action look for their benefit. You can see some of these guys in later games, too, but it will be more hit-and-miss, and usually limited to late innings. Early in the schedule you might see them starting alongside Twins regulars. Quit Thinking About It and Do It For a baseball fan, it’s almost hard to believe a place like this exists. The bad news is that it probably won’t, not in exactly the same manner, even next year. The consensus opinion is that every year, all the amenities get a little nicer, but the access gets a little tighter. If that idea bothers you, I promise you - you won’t care. Find a way to get here. You’ll hear the pop of a mitt and feel the sun on your shoulders and you’ll wonder, like I did, why it took you so long. Download attachment: Gibson and Kid.png Click here to view the article
  9. I don’t remember which year I first attended spring training, but I remember the exact date when I decided I would never miss it again: February 28th, 2014. I remember that date because we all remember the winter of 2013-14, or as Minnesotan’s refer to it: “that really awful winter.” That doesn’t sound especially harsh, but when Minnesotans single out one winter as really awful, that’s high praise. They’re all really awful. But 2013-14 had the coldest average temperature of any winter since 1978, plus a ton of snow. It also saved the worst for last. February, which is when Minnesotans are desperately searching for a little hope, was an all-time crummy month. When I boarded the plane at MSP that day, I looked at my phone and it was -10 degrees Fahrenheit, which is 42 degrees below the average high for that day. And when I landed in Fort Myers it was 80 and sunny and I was thunderstruck by just how dumb I had been for the previous 47 years of my life. I’ve come to feel strongly that we’re all doing it wrong. We should all escape for at least a long weekend to Fort Myers. And since I also get dozens of people asking me for advice for spring training, I hope this story serves as both a guide and inspiration to plan your own escape. I’ve already covered the weather, but it’s worth pointing out that even if there wasn’t baseball, escaping to 80 and sunny isn’t just nice for the time you’re there, it also lessens the rage with which you shovel out the driveway after that DAMN SNOWPLOW guys comes by AGAIN. It’s the length of the Minnesota winter that is the real killer. Knowing your winter has a definitive break, even temporarily, is incredibly therapeutic. That is all true if there wasn’t baseball. But here’s the thing - there IS baseball. It is probably the most concentrated and accessible baseball you’ll ever experience. Visiting the CenturyLink Sports Complex Visiting the Twins complex to see players up close is a morning activity. The accessibility is highest in the morning when players walk to and from their practice fields. You can see the route below, but the best place to stake out is over in the concrete area by those columns on the right. That’s where you’ll see a lot of people hanging around by 10 AM or so. The players go out and come back in shifts, usually starting 9:15 or so though sometimes later. They come back in around 11 or noon, and that’s the best time to shake their hands or get an autograph or picture. You have to be patient and you get what you get - the times vary, the players vary, it’s a loosely organized congenial activity. Sometimes they can’t or won’t stop, but often they do. Here are Stephen Gonsalves, Kyle Gibson and Jose Berrios in 2019 all giving autographs as they came back from their morning workouts Saturday morning. Scrumming up with other fans and rubbing elbows with the players is certainly a draw, but it’s also fun to watch the players practice their craft. Want to watch a practice session, including someone like Tom Kelly or Torii Hunter help instruct minor leaguers? You can do that. They even built stands: Or want to watch players take batting practice? The batting cages are right here, and you can watch up close through that chain link fence upon which these banners hang. The same is true of throwing in the bullpen. Here we see La Tortuga waiting for some pitchers to report and work on some of their mechanics. You don’t have to worry about parking on days where there aren’t games. The stadium doesn’t have any concessions, but most of the action is over by lunchtime, so you have your afternoons free to bake on a beach, if you like. Watching Prospects Any Twins prospect who is on the 40-man roster is with the big league team at the beginning of spring training. And may who are not are still invited as non-roster invitees, so check the spring training roster to see which of your favorite players are with the big league club. But if you are really into prospects, you’ll want to attend spring training starting the second week of March. That’s when the minor league camp starts up, so all of the fields are filled with top prospects and hopeful suspects doing drills and playing games. This includes many of the prospects that began spring training with the big club. When they are whittled off the roster, they move to the minor league complex. If you would like to know which prospects are working out at which level, stop by the minor league office. They have sheets that say which players are working out with which teams, (AA, AAA, etc.) and also the minor league game schedule. Watching Games And then the games start. Starting the last weekend of February, you will have real live baseball most days from 1:00 to 4:00 PM. There are games most every day, in more intimate minor league stadiums, with prices that are closer to the minors than the majors. Plus, if the Twins aren’t home, Fort Myers is one of the few cities that hosts two minor league teams: the Red Sox park is just a handful of miles away. Or take a one-hour to three-hour road trip to follow the Twins. All the road games are no further than that. When To Visit Once per day at spring training, you’ll hear a player, Twins employees or media members ask out loud “What the hell day is it today?” The daily routine doesn’t vary much, meaning Tuesdays are the same as Thursdays are the same as Saturdays. That said, you may want to visit at different times during spring training depending on what you want to get out of it. If you want the best access to players, the time to come is before the games start. Pitchers and catchers start their workouts on a Wednesday. The following Monday the batters all need to be there for their workouts, but the truth is most are there several days earlier. Excitement is high, and the players are feeling fresh. The interaction is definitely higher early in spring training. If you want to see games, you have a choice. If you want to see the big names, visit at the end of March when most of the roster cuts have happened. The players who will be making the roster will be getting some extra innings, though they’ll still likely be pulled after two or three at-bats. If you want to see some top prospects, come early in the game schedule, when Twins coaches will go out of their way to make sure top players get a live-action look for their benefit. You can see some of these guys in later games, too, but it will be more hit-and-miss, and usually limited to late innings. Early in the schedule you might see them starting alongside Twins regulars. Quit Thinking About It and Do It For a baseball fan, it’s almost hard to believe a place like this exists. The bad news is that it probably won’t, not in exactly the same manner, even next year. The consensus opinion is that every year, all the amenities get a little nicer, but the access gets a little tighter. If that idea bothers you, I promise you - you won’t care. Find a way to get here. You’ll hear the pop of a mitt and feel the sun on your shoulders and you’ll wonder, like I did, why it took you so long.
  10. I just read this really fun article in True West Magazine https://truewestmagazine.com/article/six-guns-sluggers/?mc_cid=1c6674cead&mc_eid=b66323b9da "Two sesquicentennial anniversaries in 2019 will commemorate landmark events in the history of the American West. When gold and silver spikes were gently tapped into place in a ceremonial laurelwood rail tie at Promontory Summit in Utah Territory to symbolize the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad on May 10, 1869, it opened the West as never before. Earlier in the year, the Red Stockings of Cincinnati became the first all-salaried, professional team in the fledgling sport of baseball. Undefeated as the year progressed, the Red Stockings rode these rails in mid-September to introduce professional ball beyond the Mississippi. The West offered opportunity and adventure, attracting people from around the world who flocked to the California gold rush of ’49 and the Comstock silver lode in ’59. Now, in 1869, these professionals came west to demonstrate their wealth of baseball riches to overmatched but eager ball clubs with a hankering to be part of the Red Stockings’ historic season." This was a fun historic article - you might remember I had an earlier Blog that had Wild Bill Hickok in a baseball game and Tom Custer was a good pitcher. https://twinsdaily.com/blogs/entry/11497-wild-bill-umpires-the-game/ It took a long time before baseball moved west in the professional sense. For a long time the West Coast had a minor league team with players like Joe DiMaggio and his brothers making it almost as good as MLB. St Louis was the team of the West for a century. "In 1859, the first organized team on the Pacific Coast, the San Francisco Eagles, was established. The next February, in San Francisco they played to a 33-33 tie with the Red Rovers of Sacramento. In September, the Eagles traveled to Sacramento in a rematch for the state title, emerging victorious 31-17. In a few years, the Eagles organization had grown such that with the overflow they formed a new club, the Pacifics. Both became premier teams among more than a dozen that organized in the Bay Area. The sport was invigorating to watch and spectators might even shoot their six-guns when excited. With gamblers betting on their favorite team, it’s said it was not uncommon to have enthusiastic supporters fire into the air to shake the concentration of batters taking swings or to rattle fielders preparing to catch the ball." https://www.sfomuseum.org/exhibitions/local-nine-san-francisco-seals-baseball-1903-1957 The San Francisco Seals had a very long and successful life in the bay area. After the 1957 season - another pennant for the Seals, they moved to Phoenix and the Dodgers and the Giants began the westward expansion of baseball in MLB. Now you might think this has nothing to do with the Twins, but if you had been around then you would have seen our local cities trying to get these teams to come to us. But - "Millers were top-level affiliates of the Boston Red Sox (1936–38; 1958–60) and New York Giants (1946–57). The Red Sox actually swapped ownership of their top farm club, the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League, for the Millers in 1957, enabling the Giants to move to San Francisco." The Original St Paul Saints - "The Saints finished first in the American Association nine times, and won the Little World Series in 1924. During this period, the Saints were a farm club of the Chicago White Sox (1936–1942), the Brooklyn Dodgers (1944–1957), and the Los Angeles Dodgers (1958–1960). The Saints played streetcar home and away double headers with their local rivals, the Minneapolis Millers. When the Minnesota Twins came to town in 1961, the Saints became the Omaha Dodgers while the Millers ceased operations." Note both Dodgers and Giants had a connection to the Twin Cities. The Dodgers were going to LA, but the Giants were not sure about SF and played games with the Twin City Press. https://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/17/sports/baseball/the-giants-almost-headed-not-quite-so-far-west.html "MINNEAPOLIS, June 16 - If not for Walter O'Malley, Willie Mays might be remembered for making a leaping catch 100 yards from a grazing cow. If not for a few twists of fate, Mays could have an "M" on the cap in his Hall of Fame plaque, and the scrum for Barry Bonds's 73rd home run ball might have occurred in the upper deck of the Metrodome." "According to newspaper and historical accounts, Stoneham discussed moving here with Minneapolis officials as early as 1955, when concern over declining attendance and the decrepit condition of the Polo Grounds prompted him to consider his options. The Giants owned the Class AAA Minneapolis Millers, giving them territorial rights, and Metropolitan Stadium was under construction on 164 acres of farmland in suburban Bloomington in hopes of luring a big-league team." The west won out, but the conversations were strong enough to interest the Griffith family in moving the Original Senators to that Bloomington field and here we are the Twins! And the story of the DC franchise which has had at least three professional teams includes 108 years without winning a series.
  11. The Minnesota Twins bullpen of 2019 was a roller coaster ride that would rival even the most thrilling attraction at Valley Fair. In this article, we’ll be taking a ride on the 2019 Twins "bullpen coaster" as I go through all the various peaks and valleys that the relief group experienced in 2019. Prior to the start of the season, expectations for the Twins bullpen were certainly a mixed bag following a disappointing 2018 which saw the Twins relievers finish 22nd in the majors with a 4.45 ERA. After Twins fans pleaded with Falvey and Levine all offseason to acquire relief arms, the 33-year old journeyman, Blake Parker, was the only reliever that the front office duo signed. While the Twins knew they had a budding star in Taylor Rogers, it appeared that the Twins would otherwise be leaning heavily on a bunch of unproven question marks the likes of Parker, Trevor Hildenberger, Trevor May, Adalberto Mejia and Fernando Romero. Names like Tyler Duffey and Zack Littell were starting the season in the minor leagues and Cody Stashak was a complete unknown. Fangraphs, however, was more bullish than most on the Twins bullpen, ranking the unit 11th in the majors in their pre-season power rankings. Peak #1: Hot start Just like the rest of the Twins ballclub, the bullpen exceeded any and all expectations to kick off the 2019 season. The bullpen coaster reached its first peak of the year, though, on May 26 when the Twins shut out the Chicago White Sox, 7-0. On this day, the Twins bullpen recorded 3.2 scoreless innings from Magill, May, Rogers and Duffey to push the Twins to 20 games over .500 with a 36-16 record. Through this point in the season the Twins were seventh in the American League in ERA at 4.07 and fifth in the American league in FIP at 3.89. This great performance was thanks in large part to the four relievers who pitched in the May 26 shut out who had to this point posted ERAs of 1.54 (Magill), 3.79/3.79 (May), 1.31 (Rogers) and 2.63 (Duffey). Valley #1: The Yankee Debacle The Bullpen stayed hot through the month of June, but as the calendar flipped from June to July our bullpen coaster began it’s steep decline. In a period of 17 games from July 1 - July 23 the Twins relievers posted an ERA/FIP of 5.32/4.31 with a -1.61 WPA during that time. During this same stretch, three Twins relievers were DFA’d due to poor performance - the previously mentioned Matt Magill, Adalberto Mejia, and Mike Morin. The culmination of poor bullpen performance, and the first valley on our bullpen coaster, was the 14-12 heartbreaking loss to the Yankees on July 23. In a game that featured 16 runs, 35 hits, and 6 bombas, the stats that will stick with Twins fans from this game are the two blown saves and nine earned runs from the bullpen. Blake Parker surrendered four runs to turn a 9-5 lead to a 10-9 deficit. Then, after a heroic Sano bomba, Taylor Rogers surrendered two runs to turn a 11-10 lead to a 12-11 deficit. Finally, after Polanco tied the game to force extra innings, Kohl Stewart surrendered two runs to turn a 12-12 tie game to a demoralizing 14-12 loss. Following the game, the Twins DFA’d their fourth reliever in 11 days by letting Blake Parker go and all of a sudden the Twins bullpen found themselves at rock bottom. Peak #2: The Trade Deadline The silver lining to the July decline and the Yankee debacle was that it forced the front office to realize that acquiring relief arms at the deadline was no longer a luxury, but a necessity. The voices clamoring for bullpen help were getting louder, and lo and behold the front office acted. First by acquiring the 36-year old, right handed reliever, Sergio Romo. In Romo the Twins acquired a proven winner with a nasty slider that killed right handed hitters. The general feeling, though, was that the Romo acquisition wasn’t enough and we needed more arms. Then, in the 11th hour of the trade deadline, news broke that the Twins acquired veteran reliever, Sam Dyson, and things were looking up for this bullpen. Dyson was arguably the best arm that was moved at the deadline and filled the missing setup man role for the Bomba Squad. Falvey and Levine got us the help we needed, we were primed for a resurgent second half of the season, and the bullpen coaster reached its final peak. Or so we thought... Valley #2: Damaged Goods While the Romo acquisition was looking like a slam dunk for the Twins, the Dyson experiment was not quite looking the same. In his first appearance with the Twins on August 3rd, Dyson didn’t record a single out, allowed 3 runs, and posted a -0.46 WPA. The following day, after a second straight shaky performance, Dyson was placed on the injured list with bicep tendonitis in what turned out to be a chronic issue that he had been experiencing since before coming to Minnesota (AND DIDN’T TELL ANYONE?!). At this point Twins fans across Minnesota feared that Dyson was damaged goods, and finally on September 26 their fears were realized when Dyson was shut down for good. What was the final piece to the Twins bullpen turned out to be a net-negative and Minnesota was once again stuck in a valley, needing guys from within the organization to hold on for dear life as they fought for the AL Central crown. Peak #3: Late Season Resurgence The Twins needed the current crop of arms in the organization to step up in Dyson’s absence, and step up they did. The group that got it done for the Twins in August and September was a mix of guys who contributed throughout the year (Duffey, Rogers and May) along with a group of kids who played far above their age and expectations (Littell, Stashak and Graterol). The bullpen coaster peaked, though, on September 14 when the Twins played a bullpen game to complete a double header sweep of the Indians and all but seal up the AL Central. After 3.2 mediocre innings from Lewis Thorpe, the Twins blanked the Indians for the final 5.1 innings thanks to scoreless outings from Stashak, Graterol and May. Overall, in August and September the Twins bullpen posted a 3.51 FIP, best in the American League. The unit that Twins fans thought would cost them the division ended up winning them the division in a bullpen game. Pretty cool. Valley #3: October Disappointment Heading into the Playoffs, the Twins had a plethora of question marks. They had just two viable starting pitchers, Arraez’s ankle was a question mark, Kepler hadn’t played in weeks, the list goes on and on. What Twins fans were confident in, though, was our group of bullpen arms. The same group that carried the team through August and September seemed primed to carry them through October. The narrative flipped quickly, though, when Baldelli brought in Zack Littell to start the fifth inning of game one. Littell clearly was not up to the moment as he faced three batters, while allowing two runs. The next inning, Baldelli brought in Cody Stashak who allowed home runs to LeMahieu and Gardner to seal a game one loss. Game two of the ALDS was even worse for the Twins bullpen thanks mostly in part to Tyler Duffey serving up a grand slam to Gregorius, all but ending the game (and series) before it even started. All in all, the Twins bullpen posted a 7.56 ERA in 25 innings and, unfortunately, the bullpen coaster ended the 2019 campaign in a valley. You can say a lot of different things about the 2019 season for the Minnesota Twins bullpen, but you can’t say that it was boring. As you can see, the season was truly a roller coaster ride unlike any that I can remember. Although we ended 2019 in a valley, I look forward to the 2020 group climbing up the chain and reaching new peaks.
  12. Part of what makes baseball such a special sport is that it, more than any other sport, is almost completely driven by numbers. Numbers will teach us who are the superstars of our sport and will expose players who are not. Because of this, it only seems fitting for my second blog post on Twins Daily to take a look back on the 2019 season and choose one number for each Minnesota Twins hitter that I think best encapsulates the season for that player. The players discussed in this post were the top 10 team leaders in plate appearances this season. 1. Jorge Polanco Number: 153 GAMES PLAYED. In a Minnesota Twins season ravaged with injuries where the Twins saw 5 of their top 6 batters in fWAR spend time on the injured list, Polanco was the one constant in the Twins lineup. Polanco played in 94% of Twins games this season which actually undersells his availability as 2 of his 9 games on the bench came in the final week of the season when the Central had already been wrapped up. In a season where Polanco was an AL All-Star starter and a team leader in many batting statistics (R, H, 2B, 3B) it was difficult to not assign a hitting statistic as Polanco’s number, but as the old adage goes, “the best ability is availability” and Polanco’s availability was the most significant contribution to the Twins this season. 2. Max Kepler Number: .880 OPS VS. LEFT HANDED PITCHING. Prior to this season, Max Kepler struggled mightily against left-handed pitchers. From his MLB debut through the end of last season, Max had posted a career .605 OPS versus left handed pitchers, well below league average. He performed so poorly versus southpaws that there was much talk through his early development that he might be limited to a platoon-type role with the Twins. This year, though, Kepler turned it all around and posted a well-above average .880 OPS versus lefties, even better than his excellent .845 OPS versus righties. Last offseason, Kepler signed an extremely team-friendly 5-year, $35M contract. If he continues to mash lefties the way he did in 2019 that contract will only continue to look better and better. 3. Eddie Rosario Number: 3.51 PITCHES PER PLATE APPEARANCE. This is the first number on this list that should be taken negatively. While Eddie Rosario posted a career high in R, HR and RBI this season, what I will remember most from Rosario’s 2019 season is his impatience at the plate. A huge gripe among Twins’ faithful this season was Baldelli’s stubbornness with keeping Rosario in the cleanup spot all season. It was maddening to have Kepler, Polanco and Cruz work the opposing pitcher into 7 or 8 pitch ABs and mount a rally only to have Rosie bail the pitcher out with a pop out on the first pitch of the at bat. The 3.51 P/PA illustrates this feeling perfectly as he finished dead last on the club in this statistic. 4. Nelson Cruz Number: 1.031 OPS. This was by far the easiest number for me to choose in this exercise. Anytime a player finishes with an OPS greater than 1, you know they had a special season. Not only did Cruz finish with the 2nd highest OPS in the American league this season, he finished with the 4th highest OPS EVER for a 38-year-old baseball player (behind Barry Bonds, Ted Williams and Ty Cobb). Cruz was an unbelievable addition to this Minnesota Twins ball club. Most times when a team signs a 38 year old, they bring him in to be a veteran presence and a mentor in a young clubhouse. While Cruz was a great mentor and a fan-favorite, he was brought in to mash and he indeed mashed in 2019. 5. C.J. Cron Number: .700 OPS AFTER JULY 6 THUMB INJURY. C.J. Cron, more than any other Twins player this season, had a Jekyll and Hyde season. Unfortunately for Cron, the Hyde to his Jekyll was completely injury related. Prior to July 6, C.J. was having a very solid season for the Twins as evidenced by his .821 OPS in 331 plate appearances. After management’s bungling of his thumb injury, though, Cron’s play suffered significantly as he saw his OPS dip 121 points and his K% increase from 19.3% to 25.6%. Hindsight is always 20/20, as they say, but I would love to see how Cron’s 2019 season would have played out if Baldelli & Crew would have allowed Cron’s thumb to heal completely instead of rushing him back into the lineup as they did. 6. Jonathan Schoop Number: .000/.000/.000 BATTING WITH BASES LOADED. There was a lot of talk this season about how poorly the Twins performed in bases loaded situations, and rightly so. While the Twins were second in baseball this season with a .832 overall OPS, they managed to wind up 28th in baseball with a .568 OPS with the bases loaded. Nobody embodied this struggle with bases loaded better than Jonathan Schoop who ended the season with a goose egg in AVG, OBP and SLG% this season with the bases loaded in 8 trips to the plate. Of all the wild things that happened this Twins season, their complete ineptitude with the bases loaded tops the list for me, and Jonathan Schoop is the poster boy for it. 7. Marwin Gonzalez Number: 6 NUMBER OF FIELDING POSITIONS PLAYED. When Marwin Gonzalez signed with the Twins on February 22, Twins fans were excited to bring in a good player who has played in pressure games on the biggest stage. What excited Twins fans most, though, was the versatility that Gonzalez would bring to the club, and we saw that play out all season. With so many injuries popping up throughout the year, Gonzalez’ ability to play anywhere on the diamond allowed the team to continue to fill in a potent lineup even without its biggest stars for much of the year. Gonzalez was able to fill in for Sano at third base for a month to start the season, fill in for Cron when he was hampered with his thumb injury, and ended the season playing in the corner outfield when Buxton’s shoulder injury forced Kepler into CF. Marwin certainly didn’t have his strongest hitting season and suffered his fair share of injuries throughout the year, but his ability to fill in across the diamond and in the outfield covered up a lot of holes and made Rocco Baldelli’s job a heck of a lot easier filling out his lineup card. 8. Miguel Sano Number: .994 OPS AFTER JUNE 27. On June 26, the Twins suffered a 5-2 loss at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays in 18 innings. The bigger story that day, though, was Miguel Sano going 0-for-7 with 3 strikeouts. It was his second 0-for-7 performance in the last 10 days and brought his season batting totals down to .195/.278/.761. At this point, much of Twins twitter was clamoring for the Twins to send Sano down or even outright cut him. What Twins fans didn’t know, though, was that Sano was going through a complete swing transformation with hitting coach, James Rowson, and literally learning a completely new swing on the fly. Well, Rowson’s coaching and Sano’s hard work paid off in a big, big way as Sano posted a .271/.376/.618 line with a .994 OPS beginning the day after his 0-for-7 Tampa Bay performance through the end of the season. Needless to say, there’s not much clamoring from Twins Twitter for Sano to be cut anymore. 9. Luis Arraez Number: 22 AGE. There are so many numbers that you could come up with for Arraez’s 2019 season and I wouldn’t blame for you picking any of them. The .334 average, the .399 OBP, the 29 (!!!) strikeouts, Arraez had a truly special season. The number that I settled on for “La Regadera”, though, was his age of 22. The Twins were able to generate an everyday second baseman and leadoff hitter from a rookie and with the way he has put up excellent numbers at every level of baseball in which he has played, there is no reason to believe that his 2019 season was any sort of mirage. Arraez’s 2019 season would have been considered incredible from a 32 year old, the fact that he put up the numbers he did at 22 years old should excite Twins everywhere. 10. Mitch Garver Number: .995 OPS. It’s nice when you get to end an article like this with a player who had one of the greatest seasons of all time by a catcher and posted numbers that will blow away even the casual baseball fan. The number that encapsulates Garver’s 2019 season the most for me is his .995 OPS. This not only led all catchers this season (min. 350 PAs), but placed him 17th all-time in OPS for a catcher in a season (min. 350 PAs). Health certainly slowed down the end of Garver’s 2019 season, and unfortunately Garver wasn’t able to showcase his skills in front of a national audience in the postseason, but if Garver continues to hit the way he did this season he will become a household name in no time. Not bad for a guy who just finished his second full season in the majors. What makes this list fun is that there are many different numbers that could be chosen for each hitter. I would love to hear in the comments what numbers you would have selected for the players I highlighted.
  13. This is a short Blog - kind of a reaction blog set off by the St Louis Cardinals (my favorite NL team). Did you see the headline - 10 runs in the first inning. The Braves were in never never land! What happened. A really good team beat another really good team and did it with fire! The articles say that the pre-game talk by the Cardinal Manager (who the hell is Schildts?) was angry, it pushed the limits and for a while was available on video. ESPN had this article - "In a video that surfaced online Wednesday night, St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Shildt can be seen giving a fiery, expletive-filled speech to his team in the locker room following a win over the Atlanta Braves in Game 5 of the National League Division Series. "The [braves] started some s---. We finished the s---," Shildt says in the video, which outfielder Randy Arozarena later acknowledged he streamed live on Instagram. "And that's how we roll. No one f---s with us ever. Now, I don't give a f--- who we play. We're gonna f--- them up. We're gonna take it right to them the whole f---ing way. We're gonna kick their f---ing ass."" https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/27809815/locker-room-video-shows-cardinals-manager-expletive-filled-speech In contrast our manager felt fine just like Dave Roberts after his Dodgers bombed again. The bombs are not as fun as Bombas, by the way. It reminds me of the Vikings Superbowl bombs. I was so keyed up for them, but as I watched the players they were not. Just going through business as usual. There unflappable coach was stoic and the players were run over by the emotion, if not the talent, of Kansas City, Oakland, Miami, and Pittsburgh. Emotions count. Next year Rocco, I hope the players love you, I hope that they enjoy playing for the Twins, but when you get to the place where the season hinges on the game - get mad, get emotional, play like it is more than a game.
  14. 
The Minnesota Twins signed Jonathan Schoop to a one year $7.5 million contract this offseason in a bridge deal to prepare for Royce Lewis among others. It seems like fans and people around the game have already written off seeing Schoop anywhere with the Twins past 2019, but the question has to be asked, what if Jonathan Schoop returns to his 2017 form? 
In 2017 Jonathan Schoop was one of the best second basemen in baseball. He ranked like this among them (min of 120 PA):
 2nd in home runs (32)
 1st in RBI (105)
 10th in AVG (.293)
 6th in SLG (.503)
 8th in wOBA (.355)
 8th in wRC+ (122)
 5th in WAR (3.6)
 Fielding wasn't as good but it was good enough to pass as long as you are hitting like he was.
 14th in UZR (-3.2)
 8th in DRS (0)
 12th In FLD% (.981)
 5th in 10-40% chance to make play (27.3)
 Overall the hitting alone puts him in the top 5-10 second basemen in baseball. He is on the Twins and is a great player to have a potential bounce back campaign.

The Twins were able to grab him as an under the radar pick up because he struggled so much in 2018. Obviously there is something with his swing that the front office was confident can be fixed. He was also dealing with a leg injury throughout all of 2018 that limited his abilities.
So hypothetically if Schoop were to repeat 2017 or even be better, what would his outlook be for remaining on the Twins in 2020 and beyond? I think there are three options.
 1.) Jonathan Schoop resigns on a multi-year contract and a middle infield prospect is traded.
 2.)The Twins let him walk in order to make room for Lewis, Javier, Gordon etc.
 3.)The Twins have a bad year and trade him at the deadline. 4.) 
Schoop resigns and moves to third, Polanco to 2B, Lewis/Gordon/Javier to SS and Sano to 1B 
I think al of these options except number three could really work in the Twins favor. Recent contracts for second basemen have been looking like this:
 D.J. LeMahieu 2 years $24 million
 Jed Lowrie 2 years $20 million 
Brian Dozier 1 year $9 million
 Jean Segura 5 years $70 million 
Dee Gordon 5 year $50 million 
Andrelton Simmons 7 years $58 million
 I would imagine that if Schoop can repeat 2017 or get even better that he would get somewhere around the Jean Segura deal of 5 years $70 million. Schoop will only be 26 or 27 so signing an impact second basemen into his early 30's couldn't hurt. I would imagine if he is resigned he will have to eventually have to move over to third base in order to make room for Royce Lewis and Jorge Polanco.
The second option the Twins have will be to let him just go to free agency so the Twins keep their money and can spend it elsewhere. This wouldn't be a crazy move even if Schoop has a great year, just based on the fact that Royce Lewis, Wander Javier, Nick Gordon and others are in the minors.
 Another possibility is one that would hurt the most but is still possible. The Twins could have another down year and swap Schoop for a few prospects. I would much rather see the Twins trading prospects for impact players at the deadline but we will just have to wait and see. 
If Schoop is resigned it's likely he would play one more year at second base while waiting for someone like Royce Lewis to emerge. The infield would eventually be shifted all around and look something like Schoop at third, Lewis at shortstop, Polanco at second and Sano at first. . Four offensive weapons with slight defensive liability at 3 positions, but with great outfielders it balances out, right? 
Overall I've never been so hyped or just excited about a one year contract for a player coming off a really bad year but Schoop could just be really good. If the Twins are right and they are able to pinpoint something he was messing up with his swing and get him back to his strengths, this $7.5 million contract could be a great deal.
 Thank you for reading my Jonathan Schoop post. Go check out my seperate blog @EverydayTwinsTalk.com I would love to do more interactive articles with fans, so go visit my Twitter. (@EverydayTwins). If you enjoyed please leave a like and share with your friends.

  15. The team that would become the Twins – the Washington Senators set the pace that the Twins would follow, with lots of mediocrity and last place teams with occasional flourishes of quality. “First in War, Last in the American League.” Since it is a new year, I thought it would be fun to look back at our legacy and see what happened in 1919 and each decade after: 1919 The team was 56 – 84 and seventh place out of eight teams. Walter Johnson had a 10.8 WAR for this collection and a record of 20 – 14. Clark Griffith was the manager. They had three outstanding players on their roster – Bucky Harris (his rookie year, only a few appearances), Sam Rice (10th in batting average – 321) and Joe Judge (288/386/406). It was not enough. They were last in Batting and last in Pitching, but still managed to finish ahead of the Philadelphia As. 1929 The year that the Great Depression hit the nation the team was 71 -81 and up to fifth place! Firpo Marberry (19 – 12 and 9 saves) had 7.1 WAR and Walter Johnson was the manager. They were 34 games behind and there were no playoffs or other options to hope for in those years. Marberry was one of the first really great relief pitchers with four years of double figure saves when that was not a stat nor did anyone care much about it. Yet he was by far the most valuable player on the team. Sam Rice was now 39 but had a line that read 323/382/424. Goose Goslin was .288/366/.461, Joe Judge was .315/.397/.442, Buddy Myers at 2B was .300/.373/.403 and Joe Cronin was .281/.388/.421 which proves again that pitching is what wins games! 1939 World War II begins, but not much changes for the Senators. There record is 65 – 87 and they are in 6th place 41 ½ games out. Bucky Harris is now the manager and will be for 8 seasons. Buddy Lewis is their WAR leader with 5.7. A third baseman and outfielder his line was 319/.402/.478. The attendance for the year was just over 329,000. Amazingly Dutch Leonard was 20 – 8 – winning 31% of the team total! Their only other star was right fielder Taffy Wright .309/.359/.435. Of note was September call up Early Wynn who was 0 – 2 in his debut but would go on to win 300 games. In 1949 when I was 3 ½ the Senators really stunk. 50 – 104 and 47 games out of contention. Of course they were in 8th place. J Kuhel was in second and last year as manager and Eddie Robinson lead the team with 2.5 WAR as a first baseman with .294/.381/.459. and the attendance for the year was up to 774,000! A familiar name for Twins history was on this roster – Sam Mele 242/.288/.337. He started out the year in RF for the Red Sox and then came to the Senators in the season and played RF/CF/1B. Another familiar name is Eddie Yost who became famous for fouling off pitches, his line was .253/.383/.391. Member of the Twins front office Sherry Robertson was on the team and played 2B/3B/RF/LF. 1959. Two years from coming to Minnesota the team was 63 – 91 and in 8th place again. Cookie Lavagetto was manager and would be for the Twins in 1961 before giving way to Sam Mele. Camilo Pascual had 8.6 WAR. Always my favorite pitcher in the early Twins years Pascual was 17 – 10 that year giving him 27% of the team wins. In September Jim Kaat came to the team – 21 years old, 0 – 2 record! Jack Kralick and Pedro Ramos were also in the rotation and would becomes Twins staples! Both underrated in Twins history. At 23 Harmon Killebrew was finally given a full time position after rotting on the bench due to the bonus baby rule (another stupid rule from baseball’s hierarchy). With 42 HRs the Killer had a line of 242/.354/.516. Familiar names on the roster included Bob Allison, Jim Lemon, Lenny Green, Zoilo Versalles, Roy Seivers, and Reno Bertoia. Bad team with some great players. 1969 In the playoff era, one of our greatest teams finished first – 97 – 65 and then lost 3 – 0 in the ALCS. What a shame. Jim Perry with 6.5 was tops in WAR and 20 – 6! He was amazing that year. Dave Boswell was 20 – 12, Jim Kaat was 14 – 13, Tom Hall (who physically resembles Jose Berrios) was 8 – 7 and Dean Chance was 5 – 4. What a rotation! Ron Perranoski and Al Worthington were the top relief tandem. Then there were the bats – 36 year old John Roseboro at Catcher, Reese at 1B, Carew 2B - .332/.386/.467, Cardenas SS, Killebrew (49 HRs) at 3B, Allison (24 HR), Uhlander, and Oliva (.309/.355/.496) in the OF. The manager was a story in himself – Billy Martin! 1979 82 – 80 and fourth in the West. Gene Mauch was the manager (Roy Smalley’s uncle) and Jerry Koosman led in WAR (7.2). The Twins drew just over one million fans. In 1974 when Blyleven led the way they drew only 660,000. Koosman was 20 – 13, Dave Goltz was 14 – 13, and Geoff Zahn, Roger Erickson and Paul Hartzell rounded out a ½ good rotation. Mike Marshall was the pen – 90 appearances, 32 saves, 142 innings pitched. The Batting order did not match the sixties. Roy Smalley was probably the best, Kenny Landreaux was good and Butch Wynegar was Calvin Griffith favorite. We also had the great name – Bombo Rivera! 1989 80 – 82. Two years from our world series in – we only won five more regular season games that year and the year before we were 91 – 71 and better than any of the other teams in this time frame, but we finished second. This year had a similar record to ten years earlier, but we were below 500 and finished 5th. Kirby Puckett led in WAR (4.9) 339/.379/.465 and it was Tom Kelly’s third season as manager. We drew 2,200,000 fans! The rotation was led by Allen Anderson 17 – 10, Frank Viola 8 – 12, and Roy Smith 10 – 6 and Jeff Reardon was in the pen with Juan Berenguer. The big bats were Puckett, Harper, Hrbek, Gagne, Gaetti, and Gladden. It was also the year of Wally Backman at second base and that was some mistake. 1999 63 – 97 and in fifth place out of 5. Kelly was still the manager and Brad Radtke led in WAR – 6.5 and was 12 – 14. Terry Steinbeck was the catcher – nice to have the Minnesotan come home. He had a line of .242/.310/.410. A guy by the name of David Ortiz played 1B .277/.371/.446, but of course we did not like the way he swung the bat! Ron Coomer and Matt Lawton were regulars and a guy named Molitor was DH .281/.335/.382 – we liked that, we didn’t like Ortiz. In the rotation Radtke was joined by LaTroy Hawkins 7 – 14, Eric Milton 8 – 14 and Bob Tewksbury 7 – 13. Rick Aguilera and Eddie Guardado held the pen. 2009 – Current history. 87 – 67 and first place in the Central, then a 3 – 0 loss in the LDS. Joe Mauer led in WAR with 7.8 (28 HRs, .365/.444/.587 and Ron Gardenhire managed. Blackburn and Baker each won 12, Slowey and Perkins each won 11, and Livan Hernandez won 10. Joe Nathan was joined by Boof Bonser – another of the best names in Twins history – Matt Guerrier, Jesse Crain, and Dennys Reyes. Mauer, Morneau, Span and Kubel led the lineup with Carlos Gomez in CF and Nick Punto all over the field. 3B Buscher, 2b Casilla, and the famous Delmon Young in LF! 2019????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? That’s the decade review. When we were senators we finished 7/5/6/8/8 – very consistent. The Twins in the years that ended with 9 were 1/4/5/5/1 – somewhat erratic but some fun teams. What can we expect this year? There are so many questions – Happy New Year.
  16. Yesterday the old man and Moderator to Twins Daily "USAChief" posted a thread about Patrick Reusse's article in the Star Tribune about the new suggested Twins slogan for 2019..."Wish us Luck". That post by Chief got me thinking....Since the season is almost over and all of our expectations are shattered, I thought it might be a good idea to blow off a little steam and ask our readers to come up with their own 2019 Minnesota Twins slogan. Points are awarded for creativity. I will award the winning slogan by Sunday (chosen and picked by me.) There is a HUGE prize by the way. Twins Daily note: If the Minnesota Twins or any of it affiliates, marketing agencies or creative types take any of these ideas published on said web site (Twinsdaily.com) a copy write payment must be made to Twinssporto in the amount greater to or equal to the amount the Minnesota Twins organization pays for that type of creative output to an outside agency. Couple of quick points. The slogans can be positive or negative. No nasty comments. The funnier the better. I'll start with a positive 2019 slogan for the Minnesota Twins season: If you're a glass half empty type here's a negative slogan for the Twins in 2019:
  17. Okay it is August and the Twins have kept us around and speculating since Spring Training. Who will be cut, what FA will be brought in, will the minor leaguers get a chance, will Dozier's 1/2 year of brilliance begin soon? Are we buyers or sellers, who will be our all-star, will anyone take our deadwood at Trade Deadline. Now what? The Twins are 9 games back in the Central and perhaps even more telling they are 13.5 back in the wild card. At 49 - 57 the Twins now have 56 games left. Being just an 8 fame winning streak from 500 what are the chances of strong finish? Yawn - does it matter. The new acquisitions are ready to contribute to the big club in about 5 years, the best players in the minors in 2 years. The Twins still have Belisle taking innings. Why? They still have slugger Morrison and his 193 BA taking regular ABs - Why? I believe DFA was created for these two. Any reason that Romero and Gonsalves are not in the rotation for the rest of this waste year? Is there some logic that it is better to go with Belisle, Rodney, and Reed than some of our minor league arms? Is there any reason Rooker should not get a preview rather than Morrison? Is there no one in the minors who could benefit from removing Wilson at Catcher? Other than seeing new talent and getting a preview of better times what does the rest of the season mean? I know the Vikings are about to start playing exhibitions that are even more pathetic than our chances to catch Cleveland, but at least there are individual goals for the players on the Twins. Or we can watch Thibodeau in daily debates with his best player as we wait the highly anticipated (cough-cough) Timberwolves, or switch over to the 8th place United. Maybe a trip to the lake, a walk in the woods (my choices) are the best choices. Meditation about what it means to be a Twins fan. Our all-time record puts us 101 games below 500 - maybe that is our destiny. The state parks await. Or the state fair with everything on a stick can take away our baseball blues. A concert or two, or a trip to the minor leagues to see what the young Twins look like (and please do not repeat that we have built up our minors so we can use them for trades). Look for hope before the leaves turn, the wind shifts and the flakes fall. We know that there are a lot of fans with the same doldrums. Most of them entered the season without hope and that is the hardest part. Baseball is such a tease. And, of course, there are the teams like the Cubs, Red Sox, Dodgers, Yankees that should be put in one division so that they can beat each other up and give the rest of us a real chance. Enjoy the sunshine, harvest your garden, check Twins Daily for new stories and let the radio put the Twins in the background while you sit on the deck and remember what a gorgeous place we live in.
  18. In the comments there were some discussions that I replied to with the statement that baseball is an individual game played as a team sport. I thought it might be worth exploring. Start with the Pitcher and Batter. It is true that the catcher is a third wheel in this conversation. While the batter is concentrating and the Pitcher is dealing the other players must wait, watch and react. They are not part of the play until the ball is hit. If it is a homerun, they are no factor, if the result is a walk there is no team involvement, if it is a strikeout, only the catcher participates. This Washington Post story indicates that batters strike out 22.6 percent of the time this year https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fancy-stats/wp/2018/05/04/mlb-batters-are-recording-more-strikeouts-than-hits-thats-a-big-problem-thats-unlikely-to-soon-change/?utm_term=.217f7a6331e3 That means that the team gets involved 78% of the time. In one 2013 study they said that 68% of pitches are hit (I think that has changed a lot) but even is it is true, that means 32% of the time no one has anything to do except for the catcher to toss the ball back to the pitcher. http://www.highheatstats.com/2013/05/fraction-of-balls-put-in-play-is-at-an-all-time-low/ If it is a fly out - one non pitcher is involved, if it is a Home Run we cannot credit team work to those who watch it go over the fence. With increased launch angle and increased use of infield shifts the flyball has been increasing. Typically it is just one outfielder, unless there is a lack of communications. A ground ball out is high on teamwork - usually two or more players are involved and with runners on base the intensity increases. Ground ball pitchers definitely require a higher teamwork percent. And double and triple plays ratchet up the teamwork. Fangraphs says that balls hit are on average 21% line drive (one fielder) 44% ground balls, multiple players, 35% Fly balls (one fielder) and 11% infield flies (one player). https://www.fangraphs.com/library/pitching/batted-ball/ If I assume that 22% are strikeouts and 78% are put in play and 44% of them are ground balls (34% of the total) the remainder are individual flyball experiences. My team work formula would put the majority of the plays into 2 player situations (taking strikeouts as a catcher/pitcher combo). So flip the player to offense. Batting is about as individual as you can get unless the previous player set you up for an intentional walk. Sure we can have those smart at bats that take a lot of pitches and wear down the opposition and bring in the heat throwing relievers, we can have a sacrifice to put the runner in scoring position or a stolen base, but most of the time it is just throw and hit. I give offensive baseball an even lower team work quotient. This reflects on the overall importance of the manager too. Put the right players in at the right position and quess who will be the most effective batters and relief pitchers and the job is done. This quote captures some of the essence of the individual experience of the game - Baseball is a team game but, at the same time, it's a very lonely game: unlike in soccer or basketball, where players roam around, in baseball everyone has their little plot of the field to tend. When the action comes to you, the spotlight is on you but no one can help you. Chad Harbach Read more at: The Author of Group Genius - Dr R. Keith Sawyer says - "A baseball team doesn’t look like an improvising group, and frankly, doesn’t look much like a business team either. The reason is that in baseball, each team member’s contributions are relatively independent. As Pete Rose once said, “Baseball is a team game, but nine men who reach their individual goals make a nice team.” It’s rare that more than one player is involved in a play. More than just about any other team sport, the overall performance of the team is additive." https://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-r-keith-sawyer/is-baseball-really-a-team_b_50071.html Peter Gammons in an excellent essay says "Unfortunately, the sad reality is that once a player starts his Minor League career, the game really changes. Minor league rosters change daily, with players being called up, sent down, as well as released. It is highly unlikely to play with a teammate for 3-4 years like in college, which only adds to the lack of the team game. "Players become far more interested in their personal performance, than the performance of the team. While it is always more fun when the team wins, winning takes a back door to personal statistics as players are working towards individual promotions and making their way up the Minor League ranks, with the hopes of one day cracking a Major League roster. "Front Office and Player Development personnel also take valuing personal performance over team performance in Minor League Baseball. They are far more concerned with the development of a young prospect who could one day make a big impact with the Major League Club, than whether their Single-A or Double-A affiliate is going to compete for the playoffs." http://www.gammonsdaily.com/baseball-is-it-a-team-game/ In 2017 Mookie Betts had the most put outs by a right fielder - 366. For a 162 game season if all games go 9 innings each team records 4374 outs. He recorded .08% of the teams outs. For most of the other 92 he was backing up or watching. And CFs on average handle 15 - 30 more outs per year. https://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/MLB/2017-fielding-leaders.shtml A final thought - how many players negotiate on the basis of their teamwork?
  19. In honor of the royal wedding, I thought I would provide baseball fans with their own version of royalty and like all royal families some are not so great. But they are interesting. I welcome other suggestions! I do not have owners or umps. Do you know any that would fit here? I did consider Chief Bender for the rotation, but decided that the American Indian would still not make the official royalty list – I am sorry to say. There are some Hall of Famers and some that are hanging on by name only. Team – Kansas City Royals Starters Pitcher – King Felix Hernandez – Seattle, 165 – 117, 52.1 WAR Pitcher – Clyde King, Brooklyn – 32 – 25, 1.6 WAR Pitcher – Eric King, Det, WS, Cleve 52 – 40, 9.5 WAR Pitcher – Duke Maas, Yankees, 45 – 44, -0.7 WAR Pitcher – Duke Esper, 7 teams, 101 - 100, 18 WAR Bullpen Pitcher – Curtis King, St Louis – 6-2, 0.8 WAR Pitcher - Mel Queen, Cincinnati Reds 20 – 17, 6 WAR Catcher – Duke Farrell, 9 teams, .277 BA, 23.1 WAR 1B Prince Fielder Mil, Det, Tex – 319 HR, 23.6 WAR 2B Duke Kenworthy, 3 teams, 304 BA, 6.7 WAR SS – The Wizard of Oz – Ozzie Smith (sounds royal) 3B Jeff King, Pitt, KC, 425 Slg, 16.8 WAR CF Duke Snider, Dodgers. 407 HR, 66.3 WAR OF – Duke Reilly, .210 BA, 0.1 WAR OF King Kelly, 8 teams, 307 AV, 43.2 WAR DH Dave Kingman, 10 teams, 442HR, 17.2 WAR Manager – Clyde King, SF, NY, Atlanta 464 – 234 Radio/play by play announcer – Bob Prince 3 decades with the Pirates
  20. https://www.loc.gov/item/prn-18-036/?loclr=eanotw The library of Congress has given us a historical gift - the scouting reports of Branch Rickey. He was a vital part of baseball history, even beyond signing Jackie Robinson and this is where you can check it out. Here are some notes from the introduction and entries that struck me: Rickey’s 1963 scouting report on Hank Aaron, who broke Babe Ruth’s long-standing home run record of 714 in 1974. Rickey wrote "Surely one of the greatest hitters in baseball today. Can hit late with power, - good wrists. But in spite of his hitting record and admitted power ability, one cannot help think that Aaron is frequently a guess hitter." A 1955 scouting report on Roberto Clemente, who amassed 3,000 hits in his Hall of Fame career for the Pittsburgh Pirates A report dated March 30-31, 1964, on future National Basketball Association great Dave DeBusschere, where Rickey predicted that DeBusschere “should become a corking good major league pitcher.” For Hall of Famer Bob Gibson, Rickey noted on March 14, 1964, “when trying out young players… scouts and coaches would keep in mind Bob Gibson as a model for comparison and rate the prospect’s stuff accordingly.” About Richie Allen - “Rollie Hemsley at Indianapolis, Bill Adair at Toronto, Larry Shepard at Columbus, Kerby Farrell at Buffalo and Harry Walker at Atlanta all believe that outfielder Allen is the best major league prospect in the International League. A colored boy, very young, and belongs to Philadelphia. He has extraordinary power to all fields. Arm not great, but adequate. Highly desirable in any deal with Philadelphia. I am sorry not to have been able to see this boy in action, but rating give to the player by baseball men generally put him immediately as a regular in any major league outfield. I would risk a heavy deal to have the Cardinals Get this player.” Minnesotan Twins 2B Bernie Allen – “Tall boy from Purdue. Left hand hitter, has power and I believe he can outrun Rollins. I doubt if he is a .300 hitter. Hit .269 in 1962, Not hitting a lick this year…” Bob Allison – “A 275 hitter with exceptional power. Looks the part of a great athlete. Right hander all the way. He has everything it takes to be a long time major league regular.” Earl Battey – “A big colored catcher. Looks overweight, but has a remarkable action. Quick and has power at the plate, plenty of it. Looks like he likes to play. I can imagine him in a World Series.” Minnesota born, Yankee – John Blanchard – “If Blanchard’s habits were good and his team relationship satisfactory, St Louis could use him. I would not take him unless I were permitted to have a conversation with the player with results satisfactory to myself.” Harmon Killebrew – “A big right hand hitter with as much distance power as any man in the game. Strikes out a great deal. I would not be interested in obtaining his contract in any kind of possible trade. I don’t want him at the price.” It will take a lot of time to sort out everything, but this is a very personal glimpse into the game in the early 60's.
  21. As we carefully analyze each game of the new season and try to read the tea leaves on each swing of the bat I thought I would provide just a little change of pace and look at another story from baseball history. While Civil War general Abner Doubleday is mythologically given the title of the founder of the game of baseball, a myth that has been refuted by nearly every scholar, we should look at baseball and an even more famous General – William Tecumseh Sherman. In his biography by James Lee McDonough we learn the following: “…a number of friends with whom Cump (Sherman) played a primitive form of baseball, using yarn balls. From time to time the balls were hit into a garden adjoining the playing field, whose owner became irate at his garden being trampled by young me retrieving valls. When the man began confiscating the balls and throwing them into his stove, Sherman and his buddies sought revenge. They filled a ball with gunpowder. Soon the unsuspecting garden owner seized the devilishly prepared thing and cast it into his stove; a fiery explosion rocked the house, leaving the man suffering with burns and damage o his home. The boys, naturally, had waited close by to observe the result of their scheme. Suddenly the angry man burst forth from his house, intent upon chasing down the culprits. He managed to catch the slowest of the boys as they ran.” Sherman being fleet of foot escaped unscathed! The Smithsonian takes the relationship to baseball and the Civil War another step forward with this statement, “The evolving Knickerbocker Code or rules had its origins in metropolitan New York in 1845. Union soldiers, more familiar with the game, introduced others, including Southerners and Westerners to baseball throughout the Civil War, resulting in thousands of soldiers learning the game. Upon returning home, the game spread to friends and neighbors and soon the sport was played in every region of the country, solidifying its title as “The National Pastime." http://americanhistory.si.edu/blog/2012/08/civil-war-baseball.html
  22. Decades ago I worked as a tax accountant for Honeywell and National Car Rental Corporation. Taxes are complicated and state and federal laws impacted the businesses and decisions. Baseball is an interstate commerce and has had many laws passed to protect the teams. Now the new tax law creates another obstacle with unexpected consequences that could play into the teams ability to trade and move players. As we look at the Twins and their prospects we often think of assets that can be acquired. Read the following quote from the New York Times and you will see that things have gotten more complicated for everyone. "WASHINGTON — As President Trump congratulated the World Series champion Houston Astros at a White House ceremony last week, he also heaped praise on himself and congressional Republicans for passing a sweeping tax cut last year. He hailed Representative Kevin Brady of Texas, the House’s chief tax writer and an Astros superfan, as “the king of those tax cuts.” What he did not mention is that the new tax law Mr. Brady helped draft, and which Mr. Trump signed, levies a large new tax on the Astros, and similar franchises across professional sports. The law changed a corner of the tax code that mostly applies to farmers, manufacturers and other businesses that until recently could swap certain assets like trucks and machinery tax-free. But by adding a single word to the newly written tax code — “real” — the law now allows only real estate swaps to qualify for that special treatment. That change is meant to capture more federal revenue, in order to partly offset reductions in business and personal income tax rates. It forces manufacturers, farmers and others to pay more in capital gains taxes, if they trade an asset for something more valuable. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates the change will raise $31 billion over the next decade. It also means that the Astros and other sports franchises could now face capital gains taxes every time they exchange or trade their highly paid players." There is more to this, but this gives you an idea of what could happen and how confused GMS must be at this time. http://mlb.nbcsports.com/2018/03/19/new-tax-law-could-affect-mlb-trades/ http://www.businessinsider.com/gop-tax-law-make-mlb-nba-trades-harder-2018-3
  23. This was my view this afternoon on this beautiful mid-seventies day here in sunny CA: Was it a great game? No. Was it two college powerhouses going at it? No. Was it outdoor baseball on a gorgeous afternoon? You bet. (left top of the seventh, with CSUB down 12-1. Wasn't looking good for the home team.)
  24. They Played for the Love of the Game Untold stories of black baseball in Minnesota By Frank White This is the third book written about black baseball in Minnesota which might be an indication of how important this was to the history of Minnesota and the history of Baseball. Frank White, a St Paul native, is a perfect writer for this topic. His father, Louis Pud White, was an outstanding, if little remembered catcher in the baseball leagues as evidenced by Buck O’Neil, and he was a friend of Dave and Steve Winfield. This is a thoroughly researched and well written book that really uncovers some special experiences and beyond black baseball, shows how important baseball was in all the towns of the Midwest, if not the entire country with semi-pro teams gathering both press and audiences all over. These teams were lucky in one season because Major League baseball created one of the great injustices of all time by excluding blacks from all their leagues which meant that not only are the records suspect before Jackie Robinson joined the Dodgers but gave the local semi-pros and eventually the Negro Leagues some real stars. And if you want a villain in this it would be Cap Anson, who deserves to be taken out of the Hall of Fame. If we question the veracity of Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Roger Clemens, Shoeless Joe, Pete Rose, than this is the individual who committed the most grievous offense when he refused to let his White Stocking team play against the Newark Giants of the International League if their two black players played in the game – he set the town for the exclusion of black players in the majors. In the first decade the St Paul Colored Gophers were dominate, even winning the fictitious, but still accepted championship of Black Baseball in 1909 when they defeated the Giants of Chicago. Minneapolis had a top team too with the Keystones and great players who would not be recognized without this book entertained the ticket holders. In the 1920’s the Negro National League formed and even though the St Paul Colored Gophers were an established power Minnesota was deemed too far and too expensive and thus was left out. A second injustice, this one much more serious and reflective of the racism that still exists was The Association of Minnesota Amateur Baseball Leagues decision to ban colored players. African Americans had been part of many teams, but from 1927 – 1947 no African American was allowed to play. The idiocy of racism was such that catcher Lee Davis was a Ho-Chunk Indian and Indians were playing MLB, but his skin was too dark, so he had to play in the black leagues. While Billy Williams, who was black, was invited by the Baltimore Orioles to play on their Montreal team as an Indian. The more I read, the madder I become with the stupidity of racism. It is fun for me to look at players who came from my Alma Mater – Minneapolis Central, but it is also crazy to see teams in places like Pipestone, Des Moines, Bertha fielding excellent teams because racism forced these players to the outposts of baseball. After all the struggles of Jim Crow and blatant racism it is sad to see the switch to track, basketball, and football by many top black athletes, but it makes sense. Those sports offered scholarships and new opportunities. Baseball did not exactly open the major league floodgates after signing a few top players. The book captures that demise and baseball would to well to reflect on its missed opportunities. The story of black baseball in the 1950s shifted to three minor league teams – St Paul Saints, Minneapolis Millers, and the St Cloud Rox. With players like Willie Mays, Roy Campanella, Orlando Cepeda, Ozzie Virgil, and Lou Brock among the many great stars that graced the Minnesota diamonds. But since Dave Winfield we have seen very few African Americans from Minnesota get a chance. Thanks to the author who works for the Twins in the RBI program – reviving baseball in the Inner City – maybe the future will take us a step towards the years of great African American baseball players. In the end, we find this most American sport is also a window into our own history and mores. This book is truly a history of African American people in Minnesota through the lens of Baseball just as baseball reflects our racial tensions, our addictions to drugs, temptations to gambling, the challenging aspects of war, and now our need for speed and quickness because of diminished attention spans.
  25. In the past baseball was a path out of the ghettos for Irish, Italians, Jewish, Germans...Today immigrants still need to learn baseball. In an era when we are wasting money on walls and deportations, one of the best ways to get into our nation is to be able to hit a baseball over the wall. In 2013 Fox News ran this story http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2013/04/03/over-28-percent-players-were-foreign-born-in-mlb-opening-day.html that 28% of the players in MLB were immigrants. The Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Canada, Cuba, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Japan, Columbia and Panama were the suppliers of those players – in that order. Forbes tells us about 2016 – “During the 2016 season, Americans have watched a real World Series, with players born in at least 13 different countries. According to data made public by major league baseball, the leading country of origin for players on 2016 Opening Day rosters (and disabled lists) was the Dominican Republic (82 players), followed by Venezuela (63) Cuba (28), Mexico (12), Japan (8), South Korea (8), Canada (6), Panama (4), Colombia (3), Curacao (3), Brazil (2) and Taiwan (2). (Note: Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens by birth.) Today, approximately 26% of major league baseball players are foreign-born, a more than five-fold increase from the 1940s.” In that year the most popular immigrants were Jose Altuve (Venezuela) and David Ortiz (Dominican Republic). The year that Blyleven went in to the HOF he was joined by Robbie Alomar Alomar was from Puerto Rico – Blyleven, as we know, was born in the Netherlands. In the HOF, Clemente, Marichal, Aparicio, Jenkins, Cepeda, Perez, and our Rod Carew were all foreign born. http://www.thepostgame.com/blog/throwback/201102/foreign-born-players-baseballs-hall-fame I love this list – the first foreign born player from each country – not the only one and not necessarily the best one. and Bleacher report tries to name the 50 best foreign born - http://www.bleacherreport.com/articles/1006505-50-greatest-foreign-born-players-in-baseball-history But this is not new. I remember stories from my Grandfather’s and father’s generations when immigrants were told that if they wanted to fit in they needed to learn baseball. Baseball was the American Sport and if you knew baseball you would fit in. The following article captures the Italian efforts in the early 1900’s to learn baseball – some like the DiMaggio’s learned quite well - “Lawrence Baldassaro explores the role Italian-Americans have played in America’s pastime. He offers a straightforward “chronological history of the evolution of Italian Americans in professional baseball” from Ed Abbaticchio, who made his debut in 1897, to such recent players as Mike Piazza and Craig Biggio.” From the start the Minnesota Twins had an international connection. In the 1960’s before the recent surge in Foreign born players, the Twins had a Cuban connection that brought us Camilo Pascual, Tony Oliva, Zoilo Versalles, Sandy Valdespino, and Luis Tiant. And from Venezuela – Cesar Tovar who took us to the 1965 World Series. In their first years, when I was an usher, I always tried to get near the first base bag as the game moved on and the seats were full so I could watch my favorite player – Vic Power from Puerto Rico. I loved Pedro Ramos who complimented Pascual on the mound and does anyone remember Elmer Valo from Slovakia? Or Reno Bertoia from Italy who lived in Canada and is in the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame? There were 9 foreign born players on our first Minnesota Twins team. So what about the current team? 1. Ehire Adrianza – Venezuela 2. Miguel Sano – Dominican Republic 3. Jose Berrios – Puerto Rico 4. Adalberto Mejia – Dominican Republic 5. Fernando Rodney – Dominican Republic 6. Ervin Santana – Dominican Republic 7. Michael Pineda – Dominican Republic 8. Gabriel Moya – Venezuela 9. Lewis Thorpe – Australia 10. Eduardo Escobar – Venezuela 11. Jorge Polanco – Dominican Republic 12. Max Kepler – Germany 13. Eddie Rosario – Puerto Rico 14. Kennys Vargas – Puerto Rico Maybe this is what make’s baseball the real American Game. It goes back to our roots and our roots spread around the world. Earlier I wrote a blog about American Indians that starred in baseball, beyond them everyone is an immigrant and our game is better because they are here.
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