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  1. John Bonnes and Nick Nelson continue their retrospective of the 2000s Minnesota Twins teams by talking about the best performances on the breakout 2002 squad. Corey Koskie continued his underrated run as a Twins, Torii Hunter emerged as a star, and Everyday Eddie Guardado took the reins of the closer job. And let's not forget The Vulture himself, Tony Fiore, winner of ten games as a middle reliever.
  2. John Bonnes and Nick Nelson continue their retrospective of the 2000s Minnesota Twins teams by talking about the best performances on the breakout 2002 squad. Corey Koskie continued his underrated run as a Twins, Torii Hunter emerged as a star, and Everyday Eddie Guardado took the reins of the closer job. And let's not forget The Vulture himself, Tony Fiore, winner of ten games as a middle reliever. View full video
  3. FanGraphs went through this exercise while using players drafted (and signed) in the last decade. For the Twins version, it was a little more critical to go further back throughout the team’s history. Spoiler alert... There haven't been that many good starting pitchers in team history. Players were only eligible if they were drafted by the Twins after the fifth round and they had to sign with the club. As the original article said, “To illustrate how much talent is at stake, let’s build some teams of players drafted in rounds that don’t exist in this year’s draft.” Catcher: Mitch Garver (9th Round) Garver was the back-up catcher on the FanGraphs roster, which seems like a slight towards the reigning AL Silver Slugger winner. Their predicting system says that Garver’s 1.8 WAR is just under the 1.9 WAR projected for Tucker Barnhart. Either way, Garver is an easy pick when it comes to the best late round catcher in Twins history. First Base: Kent Hrbek (17th Round) The Twins got lucky by taking a hometown slugger who turned out to be one of the best hitters in team history. He was a key cog in both the team’s World Series titles and he has been a fixture in the Twin Cities since his retirement. Outside of Harmon Killebrew, Hrbek is arguably the best first baseman to ever suit up for the Twins. Second Base: Brian Dozier (8th Round) Dozier was a late bloomer as he didn’t debut until he was 25-years old. He became a fan favorite on some pretty bad Twins teams. From 2015-2017, he averaged 35 home runs including one season with 42 long balls. He won a Gold Glove and even made an All-Star appearance. Third Base: Corey Koskie (26th Round) Koskie was part of a key group of Twins that helped bring the team back from the brink of contraction. Outside of Gary Gaetti, Koskie is the next best third baseman in team history. He played seven years for the Twins and hit .280/.373/.462 with 101 home runs and 180 doubles. His defense at third was also Gold Glove caliber. Shortstop: Jeff Reboulet (10th Round) In five years with the Twins, Reboulet got on base over 33% of the time. He played decent defense at shortstop but having Koskie on the same side of the infield could take some pressure off him. He played on some bad Twins teams in the early 1990’s and went on to have a 12-year big league career. Outfield: Matt Lawton (13th Round), Steve Braun (10th Round), Lyman Bostock (26th Round) Lawton would become a two-time All Star in his career and one of those seasons was with the Twins. That year, he hit .305/.405/.460 with 13 home runs and 44 doubles, a career high. Braun and Bostock might not be as well known to younger Twins fans. Braun played for the Twins from 1971-1976 and had a .757 OPS. Bostock played four seasons at the big-league level and three of them were in Minnesota. For his career, he hit .311/.365/.427 while averaging over 25 doubles per season. From 1976-1978, only Rod Carew and Dave Parker hit for a higher batting average than Bostock. He was tragically murdered near the end of the 1978 season. DH: Jason Kubel (12th Round) During his minor league career, Kubel looked like he might be on a path to join Mauer and Morneau as a middle of the order bat. Baseball America ranked him as the 17th best prospect on their top-100 list entering the 2005 season. A devastating knee injury slowed his prospect status, but he went on to have a decent 10-year career as a big leaguer. Bench: Steve Lombardozzi (9th Round), Rob Wilfong (13th Round), Danny Valencia (19th Round), Rick Dempsey (15th Round) Lombardozzi was one of the regular contributors on the team’s run to the 1987 World Series, which happened to be his best big-league season. Wilfong’s best season were in a Twins uniform as he hit .262/.322/.360. Valencia finished third in the AL Rookie of the Year voting after posting a .799 OPS back in 2010. Dempsey was a catcher for 24 years at the big-league level and he played until he was 42-years old. He seemed like a natural choice to be the back-up catcher behind Garver. Rotation: Brad Radke (8th), Nick Blackburn (29th), Pat Mahomes (6th), Mark Guthrie (7th), Darrell Jackson (9th) This isn’t exactly a rotation that is destined for greatness. Brad Radke is the lone bright spot and it’s tough to consider that Nick Blackburn might be the second-best pitcher in the rotation. Luckily, the bullpen includes some of the top relief pitchers in team history, so the manager could have the starter go once through the line-up and hand the game over to the bullpen. Bullpen: Pat Neshek (6th), Latroy Hawkins (7th), Taylor Rogers (11th), Eddie Guardado (21st), Mike Trombley (14th), AJ Achter (46th), JC Romero (21st) Since the starters are limited, it’s nice to look at all the options available in the bullpen. Neshek, Hawkins and Romero could be used in the middle innings leading into a late inning tandem of Rogers and Guardado. As Twins fans saw last year, Rogers can be used for multiple innings with plenty of effectiveness. Sign me up for this bullpen. How do you feel like this team would do? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  4. The 2000s Twins were again quite successful, winning six AL Central division titles. As has been the case in other decades, it was largely due to the hitters. But there were some really strong pitching performances as well from some very recognizable names.While the player names from the 1960s have a certain lore about them, the pitchers from the decade of 2000 were really good too. The staff was led by Brad Radke, a Twins Hall of Famer who was part of the Twins 1990s staff. Johan Santana came to the organization and immediately was good. Very soon after, he became the best pitcher in baseball for a dozen years. In addition, the bullpen you will see is very strong, led by a couple of Twins Hall of Famers. What you will see if a lot of strike throwers... which won't surprise you at all. So today, enjoy looking back at the top Twins pitchers from the first decade of the 21st century. SP - Johan Santana (2000-2007) 251 games, 175 starts, 93-44 with 1 save and a 3.22 ERA in 1,308 2/3 innings. 1,381 K. 364 BB. Santana was the left unprotected by the Houston Astros in the December 1999 Rule 5 draft. The Twins had arranged a trade with the Marlins to acquire Santana. They kept him around, working primarily out of the bullpen in 2000. He posted a 2.99 ERA in 108 1/3 innings in 2002. He went 12-3 with a 3.07 ERA in 158 1/3 innings in 2003. He increased his workload and made 18 starts. Finally in 2004 he became a full-time starter. He responded by going 20-6 with a 2.61 ERA and won his first Cy Young Award. He finished third in 2005 despite going 16-7 with a 2.87 ERA. He won his second Cy Young Award in 2006 when he went 19-6 with a 2.77 ERA. He led the league in ERA in 2004 and 2006. He led the league in WHIP, FIP, strikeouts and K/9 each year between 2004 and 2006. He won another 15 games in 2007. He received Cy Young votes each season between 2003 and 2007. He was traded to the Mets before the 2008 season. SP - Brad Radke (2000-2006) 214 games, 214 starts, 82-71 with 0 saves and a 4.16 ERA in 1,366 innings. 803 K. 206 BB. The Twins eighth-round pick in 1991, he was the Twins top pitcher of the previous decade and still was a top starter in this century’s first decade. He fought some shoulder issues, but in five of his seven seasons this decade, he worked at least 200 innings. Even with his shoulder tendons barely hanging on in 2006, he pitched 162 innings. Blessed with impeccable control, Radke was consistent. In all but his injured seasons, he posted better-than-average ERA. SP - Scott Baker (2005-2009) 111 games, 109 starts, 43-33 with 0 saves and a 4.27 ERA in 653 innings. 499 K. 149 BB. Baker was the Twins second-round draft pick in 2003 out of Oklahoma State. He moved quickly and made his debut in May of 2005. He was a slightly better than average pitcher for the Twins through his seven seasons with the team. He went 11-4 with a 3.45 ERA in 172 1/3 innings in 2008. In 2009, he worked a career-high 200 innings and was 15-9 with a 4.37 ERA. After missing the 2012 season due to Tommy John surgery, he pitched for the Cubs, Rangers and Dodgers over the next three seasons. SP - Carlos Silva (2004-2007) 129 games, 124 starts, 47-45 with 0 saves and a 4.42 ERA in 773 2/3 innings. 306 K. 112 BB. In 2001 and 2002, Silva pitched in 130 games out of the bullpen for the Phillies. After that season, he was part of the trade that sent Eric Milton to Philadelphia. The Twins moved him into their starting rotation. He went 14-8 with a 4.21 ERA over 33 starts and a career-high 203 innings in 2004. In 2005, he went 9-8 in 27 starts, with a 3.44 ERA. As impressive, he had the same number of walks as Wins that season, over 188 1/3 innings. He struggled in 2006, but in 2007, he went 13-14 with a solid 4.19 ERA in 202 innings. Over his four seasons with the Twins, he struck out just 3.6 batters per nine innings. He survived by working fast, getting a lot of sink and throwing a ton of strikes. He left after the 2007 season for a four-year, $48 million deal with the Mariners. SP - Eric Milton (2000-2003) 100 games, 99 starts, 42-26 with 0 saves and a 4.60 ERA in 608 2/3 innings. 445 K. 136 BB. Milton came to the Twins from the Yankees before the 1998 season in the Chuck Knoblauch trade. He had been a first-round pick by the pinstripers. He debuted in 1998. In 2000, he won 13 games. In 2001, he made the All-Star team and won 15 games with a 4.32 ERA in 220 innings. He won 13 more games in 2002. He missed most of the 2003 season with injury but returned late in the season for three starts. It was enough to impress the Phillies who acquired him after that season. RP - Joe Nathan (2004-2009) 412 games, 0 starts, 22-12 with 246 saves and a 1.87 ERA in 418 2/3 innings. 518 K. 120 BB. Nathan came up with the Giants in 1999 and remained with them through the 2003 season. That final season, he was a very good set-up man. That offseason, the Twins acquired Nathan and two other pitchers in exchange for AJ Pierzynski. Nathan wasn’t handed the closer job, but he quickly earned it and he absolutely took off. That first year, he posted a 1.62 ERA and 44 saves. Over his first six seasons with the Twins, he posted an ERA over 2.10 just once (2.70). He had at least 36 saves each season and a career-high 47 saves in 2009. He never had a WHIP over 1.02. He pitched in four All-Star Games. The Twins all-time saves leader became a Twins Hall of Famer. RP - LaTroy Hawkins (2000-2003) 267 games, 0 starts, 18-13 with 44 saves and a 3.09 ERA in 296 2/3 innings. 233 K. 101 BB. Hawkins was the Twins seventh-round pick in 1991. He debuted with the Twins in 1995. He was tried as a starting pitcher through the 1999 season. He moved to the bullpen in 2000. He recorded 42 saves between 2000 and 2001 but he struggled in that role. When Eddie Guardado took over as the team’s closer, Hawk moved into the set up role and became a force. He went 6-0 with a 2.13 ERA in 80 1/3 innings in 2002. In 2003, he went 9-3 with a 1.86 ERA in 77 1/3 innings. He had struggled with control to that point, but he walked just 15 batters each season. He left after the season as a free agent… and then he kept pitching through the 2015 season. Pitching very well. RP - Eddie Guardado (2000-2003) 280 games, 0 starts, 19-14 with 107 saves and a 3.42 ERA in 268 1/3 innings. 254 K. 82 BB. Guardado was the Twins 21st-round pick in 1990 and was in the big leagues by 1993. By 1996, he earned the moniker “Everyday Eddie” because the southpaw was used so much. By the turn of the century, he had become very reliable. He saw his ERA drop from near-5, to mid-4s, to high-3s. Between 2000 and 2001, he won 14 games. By the end of the 2001 season, he took over the closer role. In 2002, he went 1-3 with a 2.93 ERA. He led the league with 45 saves and pitched in his first All-Star Game. He returned to the mid-summer classic in 2003. That season, he went 3-5 with a 2.89 ERA and 41 saves. After the season, he left for the Mariners via free agency. He returned to the Twins in September of 2008 and pitched in nine games. RP - Matt Guerrier (2004-2009) 319 games, 3 starts, 14-18 with 4 saves and a 3.41 ERA in 401 innings. 268 K. 125 BB. Following the 2003 season, the Twins claimed Guerrier after he had been DFAd by the White Sox. He pitched in nine games for the Twins in 2004, but he then became a mainstay in the Twins bullpen, eventually moving in to a high-leverage role. He led the AL in appearances in both 2008 and 2009. In 2009, he went 5-1 with a 2.36 ERA, which was 86% better than league average. He posted an ERA well above league average in four of his five full seasons with the Twins in the decade. He left via free agency after the 2010 season. Spent two years there, then one with the Cubs before returning to the Twins for about a half season in 2014. RP - Juan Rincon (2001-2008) 386 games, 3 starts, 30-26 with 3 saves and a 3.69 ERA in 441 innings. 412 K. 182 BB. Rincon signed with the Twins in 1996 out of Venezuela. He made his debut in 2001 and spent most of the next eight seasons in a Twins uniform. He became a regular in 2003, but 2004 was likely his best season. He went 11-6 with a 2.63 ERA. In 82 innings, he struck out 106 batters. The following year, he posted a 2.45 ERA with more than a strikeout per inning. In 2006, he was 3-1 with a 2.91 ERA in 74 games. He wasn’t the same pitcher after his PED suspension in 2007 and was let go midway through the 2008 season. He continued to pitch into the 2010 season. What are your thoughts? Agree with the choices? Previous Installments Twins All-Decade Team, the '60s (The Hitters) Twins All-Decade Team, the '60s (The Pitchers) Episode 15: Get t o Know the 1960s Twins (with Dave Mona) Twins All-Decade Team, the '70s (The Hitters) Twins All-Decade Team, the '70s (The Pitchers) Episode 16: Get to Know the 1970s Twins (with Patrick Reusse) Twins All-Decade Team: the '80s (The Hitters) Twins All-Decade Team: the '80s (The Pitchers) Episode 17: Get to know the 1980s Twins (with Howard Sinker) Twins All-Decade Team: the '90s (The Hitters) Twins All-Decade Team: the '90s (The Pitchers) Twins All-Decade Team: the '00s (The Hitters) Twins All-Decade Team: the '00s (The Pitchers) Click here to view the article
  5. While the player names from the 1960s have a certain lore about them, the pitchers from the decade of 2000 were really good too. The staff was led by Brad Radke, a Twins Hall of Famer who was part of the Twins 1990s staff. Johan Santana came to the organization and immediately was good. Very soon after, he became the best pitcher in baseball for a dozen years. In addition, the bullpen you will see is very strong, led by a couple of Twins Hall of Famers. What you will see if a lot of strike throwers... which won't surprise you at all. So today, enjoy looking back at the top Twins pitchers from the first decade of the 21st century. SP - Johan Santana (2000-2007) 251 games, 175 starts, 93-44 with 1 save and a 3.22 ERA in 1,308 2/3 innings. 1,381 K. 364 BB. Santana was the left unprotected by the Houston Astros in the December 1999 Rule 5 draft. The Twins had arranged a trade with the Marlins to acquire Santana. They kept him around, working primarily out of the bullpen in 2000. He posted a 2.99 ERA in 108 1/3 innings in 2002. He went 12-3 with a 3.07 ERA in 158 1/3 innings in 2003. He increased his workload and made 18 starts. Finally in 2004 he became a full-time starter. He responded by going 20-6 with a 2.61 ERA and won his first Cy Young Award. He finished third in 2005 despite going 16-7 with a 2.87 ERA. He won his second Cy Young Award in 2006 when he went 19-6 with a 2.77 ERA. He led the league in ERA in 2004 and 2006. He led the league in WHIP, FIP, strikeouts and K/9 each year between 2004 and 2006. He won another 15 games in 2007. He received Cy Young votes each season between 2003 and 2007. He was traded to the Mets before the 2008 season. SP - Brad Radke (2000-2006) 214 games, 214 starts, 82-71 with 0 saves and a 4.16 ERA in 1,366 innings. 803 K. 206 BB. The Twins eighth-round pick in 1991, he was the Twins top pitcher of the previous decade and still was a top starter in this century’s first decade. He fought some shoulder issues, but in five of his seven seasons this decade, he worked at least 200 innings. Even with his shoulder tendons barely hanging on in 2006, he pitched 162 innings. Blessed with impeccable control, Radke was consistent. In all but his injured seasons, he posted better-than-average ERA. SP - Scott Baker (2005-2009) 111 games, 109 starts, 43-33 with 0 saves and a 4.27 ERA in 653 innings. 499 K. 149 BB. Baker was the Twins second-round draft pick in 2003 out of Oklahoma State. He moved quickly and made his debut in May of 2005. He was a slightly better than average pitcher for the Twins through his seven seasons with the team. He went 11-4 with a 3.45 ERA in 172 1/3 innings in 2008. In 2009, he worked a career-high 200 innings and was 15-9 with a 4.37 ERA. After missing the 2012 season due to Tommy John surgery, he pitched for the Cubs, Rangers and Dodgers over the next three seasons. SP - Carlos Silva (2004-2007) 129 games, 124 starts, 47-45 with 0 saves and a 4.42 ERA in 773 2/3 innings. 306 K. 112 BB. In 2001 and 2002, Silva pitched in 130 games out of the bullpen for the Phillies. After that season, he was part of the trade that sent Eric Milton to Philadelphia. The Twins moved him into their starting rotation. He went 14-8 with a 4.21 ERA over 33 starts and a career-high 203 innings in 2004. In 2005, he went 9-8 in 27 starts, with a 3.44 ERA. As impressive, he had the same number of walks as Wins that season, over 188 1/3 innings. He struggled in 2006, but in 2007, he went 13-14 with a solid 4.19 ERA in 202 innings. Over his four seasons with the Twins, he struck out just 3.6 batters per nine innings. He survived by working fast, getting a lot of sink and throwing a ton of strikes. He left after the 2007 season for a four-year, $48 million deal with the Mariners. SP - Eric Milton (2000-2003) 100 games, 99 starts, 42-26 with 0 saves and a 4.60 ERA in 608 2/3 innings. 445 K. 136 BB. Milton came to the Twins from the Yankees before the 1998 season in the Chuck Knoblauch trade. He had been a first-round pick by the pinstripers. He debuted in 1998. In 2000, he won 13 games. In 2001, he made the All-Star team and won 15 games with a 4.32 ERA in 220 innings. He won 13 more games in 2002. He missed most of the 2003 season with injury but returned late in the season for three starts. It was enough to impress the Phillies who acquired him after that season. RP - Joe Nathan (2004-2009) 412 games, 0 starts, 22-12 with 246 saves and a 1.87 ERA in 418 2/3 innings. 518 K. 120 BB. Nathan came up with the Giants in 1999 and remained with them through the 2003 season. That final season, he was a very good set-up man. That offseason, the Twins acquired Nathan and two other pitchers in exchange for AJ Pierzynski. Nathan wasn’t handed the closer job, but he quickly earned it and he absolutely took off. That first year, he posted a 1.62 ERA and 44 saves. Over his first six seasons with the Twins, he posted an ERA over 2.10 just once (2.70). He had at least 36 saves each season and a career-high 47 saves in 2009. He never had a WHIP over 1.02. He pitched in four All-Star Games. The Twins all-time saves leader became a Twins Hall of Famer. RP - LaTroy Hawkins (2000-2003) 267 games, 0 starts, 18-13 with 44 saves and a 3.09 ERA in 296 2/3 innings. 233 K. 101 BB. Hawkins was the Twins seventh-round pick in 1991. He debuted with the Twins in 1995. He was tried as a starting pitcher through the 1999 season. He moved to the bullpen in 2000. He recorded 42 saves between 2000 and 2001 but he struggled in that role. When Eddie Guardado took over as the team’s closer, Hawk moved into the set up role and became a force. He went 6-0 with a 2.13 ERA in 80 1/3 innings in 2002. In 2003, he went 9-3 with a 1.86 ERA in 77 1/3 innings. He had struggled with control to that point, but he walked just 15 batters each season. He left after the season as a free agent… and then he kept pitching through the 2015 season. Pitching very well. RP - Eddie Guardado (2000-2003) 280 games, 0 starts, 19-14 with 107 saves and a 3.42 ERA in 268 1/3 innings. 254 K. 82 BB. Guardado was the Twins 21st-round pick in 1990 and was in the big leagues by 1993. By 1996, he earned the moniker “Everyday Eddie” because the southpaw was used so much. By the turn of the century, he had become very reliable. He saw his ERA drop from near-5, to mid-4s, to high-3s. Between 2000 and 2001, he won 14 games. By the end of the 2001 season, he took over the closer role. In 2002, he went 1-3 with a 2.93 ERA. He led the league with 45 saves and pitched in his first All-Star Game. He returned to the mid-summer classic in 2003. That season, he went 3-5 with a 2.89 ERA and 41 saves. After the season, he left for the Mariners via free agency. He returned to the Twins in September of 2008 and pitched in nine games. RP - Matt Guerrier (2004-2009) 319 games, 3 starts, 14-18 with 4 saves and a 3.41 ERA in 401 innings. 268 K. 125 BB. Following the 2003 season, the Twins claimed Guerrier after he had been DFAd by the White Sox. He pitched in nine games for the Twins in 2004, but he then became a mainstay in the Twins bullpen, eventually moving in to a high-leverage role. He led the AL in appearances in both 2008 and 2009. In 2009, he went 5-1 with a 2.36 ERA, which was 86% better than league average. He posted an ERA well above league average in four of his five full seasons with the Twins in the decade. He left via free agency after the 2010 season. Spent two years there, then one with the Cubs before returning to the Twins for about a half season in 2014. RP - Juan Rincon (2001-2008) 386 games, 3 starts, 30-26 with 3 saves and a 3.69 ERA in 441 innings. 412 K. 182 BB. Rincon signed with the Twins in 1996 out of Venezuela. He made his debut in 2001 and spent most of the next eight seasons in a Twins uniform. He became a regular in 2003, but 2004 was likely his best season. He went 11-6 with a 2.63 ERA. In 82 innings, he struck out 106 batters. The following year, he posted a 2.45 ERA with more than a strikeout per inning. In 2006, he was 3-1 with a 2.91 ERA in 74 games. He wasn’t the same pitcher after his PED suspension in 2007 and was let go midway through the 2008 season. He continued to pitch into the 2010 season. What are your thoughts? Agree with the choices? Previous Installments Twins All-Decade Team, the '60s (The Hitters) Twins All-Decade Team, the '60s (The Pitchers) Episode 15: Get t o Know the 1960s Twins (with Dave Mona) Twins All-Decade Team, the '70s (The Hitters) Twins All-Decade Team, the '70s (The Pitchers) Episode 16: Get to Know the 1970s Twins (with Patrick Reusse) Twins All-Decade Team: the '80s (The Hitters) Twins All-Decade Team: the '80s (The Pitchers) Episode 17: Get to know the 1980s Twins (with Howard Sinker) Twins All-Decade Team: the '90s (The Hitters) Twins All-Decade Team: the '90s (The Pitchers) Twins All-Decade Team: the '00s (The Hitters) Twins All-Decade Team: the '00s (The Pitchers)
  6. As I’m writing this, it's a Wednesday night which means I am watching an all-new episode of the Party of Five reboot on Freeform. At Twins Fest last month, I had a chance to sit down and chat with Twins Hall of Famer Eddie Guardado on a couple of occasions and talk about a number of topics including his family, Party of Five, and also The Eddie Guardado Foundation.Eddie Guardado was the Minnesota Twins 21st-round draft pick in 1990 out of San Joaquin Delta College. He moved up the Twins minor league system as a starting pitcher and debuted in June of 1993. He played for the Twins from 1993 through the 2003 season and then returned in an August 2008 trade from the Rangers. "Everyday Eddie" got his nickname in 1996 when he pitched in 83 games for the Twins. He became a reliable bullpen arm, and late in 2001, he became the team’s closer. In 2002 and 2003, he combined to record 86 saves and was an All-Star both years. He played six more major-league seasons, spending time with the Mariners, Reds, Rangers and a short stint with the Twins. In total, he pitched in 908 MLB games (24th all-time, a spot he won’t fall from for at least a few years). In 2013, Guardado became a member of the Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame. When Rod Carew and Dave St. Peter called to give him the news, he was shocked. It was completely unexpected. “Rod, is this a joke? I was so ecstatic. I called my wife and told her. It’s a privilege, just look at the names that have come through here. I’m honored just to sit next to them.” Guardado was the Twins bullpen coach from 2015 through 2018. That’s the stuff that Twins fans already know about Eddie Guardado. As we sat there talking, I found myself chuckling, thinking to myself, I’m talking parenting and parental pride with Twins Hall of Famer Eddie Guardado. And wow, Eddie’s pride in his family was easy to see and hear. ------------------------------------------------------------------ Last spring, the first episode of the Get to Know ‘Em podcast was an interview with Guardado’s eldest son, Niko Guardado, who had just been cast into one of the lead roles on the new Party of Five television show. One of Niko’s first stories in that podcast was about how before he could go out on the field (before games at the Metrodome) and play and shag fly balls, he had to do some work in the clubhouse. Eddie said, “That’s just being a parent. It’s trying to teach the right things. It’s not always this glorious in life. You come to the ballpark. Your dad puts on a big-league uniform. He plays baseball for a living. It’s not like that for everybody. It’s life lessons.” So Niko and his siblings had to clean shoes, fold towels and other jobs in the clubhouse. Eddie noted, “Niko could come in (the clubhouse today) and be hired. He’d know what he was doing.” Patrick Mahomes did the same. Torii Hunter’s sons did some jobs in the clubhouse. And those kids are finding success as well in their fields and their lives. Niko’s field happens to be in front of a camera. “Niko’s done a great job. He has been doing this for a long time.” His first job was in the Twin Cities doing a Target billboard at age two. ------------------------------------------------------- It was late in 2001 when the Guardado family moved to Anaheim. After the Twins playoff series ended at the hands of Adam Kennedy and the eventual World Series champion Angels, Guardado drove his car back to Anaheim. “I get home. I took Niko to school, which I loved. All of a sudden, on every corner, there’s a rally monkey. Really! Really!” ------------------------------------------------- In the Get to Know ‘Em podcast with Niko Guardado, he told us that he remembers the day that he and Eddie had a chat, and Niko said he wanted to be an actor instead of a baseball player. Eddie remembers it too. “I will never forget it. Those were life lessons for me too as a parent. I remember it clearly.” Guardado recalls a story of going to one of his son’s fall ball games and watching Niko pitch at age 10 or 11. He was walking guys left and right. “Walking the bases like a merry-go-round has to stop.” Eddie came out to the mound to take his son out of the game. “I looked back, and he had tears in his eyes.” After the game, they got in the car, Eddie said, “Hey mijo, let me ask you a question. Do you like baseball or do you love baseball?” Niko responded, “I like baseball.” Eddie said, “But you don’t love it.” “No, but I like it.” “See, the difference is, I love baseball. But you’re not dad. You’re you. You have to find your own path. Don’t play because dad’s playing, to make me proud. I’m proud of you no matter what. You’re my son. I’m proud of you.” He continued, “Do you really want to play this game? You don’t have to. You do what you want to do. He told me ‘No’. Alright then, but you’re going to do something.” And then the tears flowed for both Guardados. Eddie admitted, “Made me tear up. I had to pull the car over. I’ll never forget that.” Niko found something to do. “Then he took on acting, and he did it.” ----------------------------------------------------------- Another lesson Niko said that he learned from his father was that you’re not going to have your best stuff every day. You’re going to have bad games, and you have to bounce back from them. Likewise, Niko learned that there can be a lot of tough days in the audition process, a lot of rejections. Eddie said, “It’s worse than baseball.” So when Niko started getting jobs and being on TV, it was another source of pride for Eddie and his whole family. “We watch every episode. We record every episode. It’s a proud moment, no matter what role it was. When he first started it was a little bit, and then it started picking up a tad. It’s like starting in rookie ball and then moving up to Elizabethton, Tennessee. You made a step forward.” Some of those appearances don’t even show up on the Internet Movie Database. Eddie recalls,“His first one... he was on Santa Clause 2, in the background. Oh, there he is, and we were so excited. Two seconds.” But Niko kept working, kept going to auditions, and kept getting opportunities. “(He) kept going forward. Pushing. Pushing. Started getting more parts. The Goldbergs. He started getting a bunch of commercials.” Niko continued to mature. He understood when he didn’t get the roles he hoped for. It was still frustrating, but there were also successes. And when he found those successes, Eddie was there to provide him with some words that Twins fans remember hearing often from Tom Kelly. “He’s older. He’s got more confidence. He’s learning. There are aspects of failure, or the good in it. No matter what, stay even keel. Don’t get too high. Don’t get too low. And NEVER forget who you are.” Eddie continued, “I think as a parent, you see him on TV, it’s like wow! You have a major role. I’m so proud. My wife is so proud. His brother, and his sister are so proud.” ------------------------------------------------------------------ The pilot for Party of Five and Episode 2 aired on Freeform on January 8th. A few days earlier, Niko and the rest of the Party of Five cast went to New York City for an . While there, Niko walked through Time Square. He recalled (on his instagram story) walking through Time Square a decade earlier after a Twins playoff loss to the Yankees and thinking, “Someday, I’ll be up on one of those billboards.” He looked up, and there it was. courtesy Niko Guardado's Instagram Eddie shook his head as he recalled the story, clearly emotional and clearly filled with pride. When they talked on the phone after that moment, Eddie told him what you would expect a father to tell his son… “Keep that mentality. As a parent, you always have to stress to keep it right here (even-keeled). Good for you. When I hung up, I was just like ‘Oh my.” ------------------------------------------------ In the original Party of Five, five children were left parent-less after a car accident took their parents’ lives. In the new Party of Five, the five Acosta children see their parents deported to Mexico. It is a subject that hits close to home for Eddie Guardado. “That’s what really is going on in life. I’m Mexican. My parents are from Mexico. My dad came over, worked in the fields. One of the first scenes of the show, when they get deported, it reminded me of my dad. My dad didn’t get deported, but I can imagine. We didn’t go through that. But that really hit home because it’s happening. Imagine your kids are taken away from you. I’d go crazy. That’s just the way it is.” The families of the cast and crew were able to come to the studio and watch the premiere episode in a theater weeks before it aired on television. “I was bawling. I’m not going to lie. We were all in a theater in the studio. We got a peak of it. I needed tissues. All you heard was whimpering. Mijo, you did good. It was good.” Party of Five is on at 8:00 central time Wednesday nights on Freeform. “Wednesday is a special day. Everybody gets home. I cook dinner, and we watch.” “The show is a good hit. It’s life, and it’s good.” ------------------------------------------------- Speaking of pride, Eddie is very proud of his wife, Lisa. “We don’t talk about them (wives/moms). We talk about me. We talk about Niko. Nobody talks about wives, which we should do more. I’ve been married 25 years. Same high school. Same neighborhood. Same upbringing. Couldn't have picked a better lady. There’s no better lady. She has done a fabulous job.” -------------------------------------------------- Eddie is also very proud of his son Jakob, who is a high school senior. “He loves baseball.” “Dad, can we go hit? Let’s do it! Couple guys, can you throw to them? I enjoy that! It’s like a little mini-spring training. Four or five guys I work out, and I love it.” ------------------------------------------------------- Eight years ago, Eddie and Lisa Guardado kicked off the Eddie Guardado Foundation. It is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping children with autism and their families. The Guardado’s youngest child, Ava, was diagnosed with autism in 2008. “We try to help families that can’t afford therapy for their kids. Just put a little into their life because it’s not easy. My wife came up with the idea. We raise good money. That might be the best part of what I’ve done in my life. Obviously my kids first. I love them. But beside them, making a phone call to give a person an iPad, or build a fence around their yard so that their kid can go out and play. To hear these people cry on the other end. I’m tearing up. Probably the best feeling in the world.” He continued, “It’s not a cure. It’s not for research. These families need help right now.” After spending Friday and Saturday of Twins Fest signing autographs and thanking fans, Guardado attended the 5th Annual Stars & Strikes bowling event. Eddie and Niko, as well as Niko’s Party of Five co-star Emily Tosta, hosted the event. Torii Hunter, Jacque Jones, Adrian Beltre, Michael Young and many more former big league stars were in attendance. Just as many Hollywood stars also participated in the event including Party of Five's Elle Paris Legaspi, Brandon Larracuente, and Sol Rodriguez. According to Guardado, the event was “Sold out. We raised money and everybody is there for a good reason.” ------------------------------------------------------ CHALLENGE - I donated $100 to the Eddie Guardado Foundation tonight. It was quick and easy. Please consider donating as well, in any amount you feel comfortable with. Donate here. Follow Niko Guardado on Instagram and Twitter. Click here to view the article
  7. Eddie Guardado was the Minnesota Twins 21st-round draft pick in 1990 out of San Joaquin Delta College. He moved up the Twins minor league system as a starting pitcher and debuted in June of 1993. He played for the Twins from 1993 through the 2003 season and then returned in an August 2008 trade from the Rangers. "Everyday Eddie" got his nickname in 1996 when he pitched in 83 games for the Twins. He became a reliable bullpen arm, and late in 2001, he became the team’s closer. In 2002 and 2003, he combined to record 86 saves and was an All-Star both years. He played six more major-league seasons, spending time with the Mariners, Reds, Rangers and a short stint with the Twins. In total, he pitched in 908 MLB games (24th all-time, a spot he won’t fall from for at least a few years). In 2013, Guardado became a member of the Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame. When Rod Carew and Dave St. Peter called to give him the news, he was shocked. It was completely unexpected. “Rod, is this a joke? I was so ecstatic. I called my wife and told her. It’s a privilege, just look at the names that have come through here. I’m honored just to sit next to them.” Guardado was the Twins bullpen coach from 2015 through 2018. That’s the stuff that Twins fans already know about Eddie Guardado. As we sat there talking, I found myself chuckling, thinking to myself, I’m talking parenting and parental pride with Twins Hall of Famer Eddie Guardado. And wow, Eddie’s pride in his family was easy to see and hear. ------------------------------------------------------------------ Last spring, the first episode of the Get to Know ‘Em podcast was an interview with Guardado’s eldest son, Niko Guardado, who had just been cast into one of the lead roles on the new Party of Five television show. One of Niko’s first stories in that podcast was about how before he could go out on the field (before games at the Metrodome) and play and shag fly balls, he had to do some work in the clubhouse. Eddie said, “That’s just being a parent. It’s trying to teach the right things. It’s not always this glorious in life. You come to the ballpark. Your dad puts on a big-league uniform. He plays baseball for a living. It’s not like that for everybody. It’s life lessons.” So Niko and his siblings had to clean shoes, fold towels and other jobs in the clubhouse. Eddie noted, “Niko could come in (the clubhouse today) and be hired. He’d know what he was doing.” Patrick Mahomes did the same. Torii Hunter’s sons did some jobs in the clubhouse. And those kids are finding success as well in their fields and their lives. Niko’s field happens to be in front of a camera. “Niko’s done a great job. He has been doing this for a long time.” His first job was in the Twin Cities doing a Target billboard at age two. ------------------------------------------------------- It was late in 2001 when the Guardado family moved to Anaheim. After the Twins playoff series ended at the hands of Adam Kennedy and the eventual World Series champion Angels, Guardado drove his car back to Anaheim. “I get home. I took Niko to school, which I loved. All of a sudden, on every corner, there’s a rally monkey. Really! Really!” ------------------------------------------------- In the Get to Know ‘Em podcast with Niko Guardado, he told us that he remembers the day that he and Eddie had a chat, and Niko said he wanted to be an actor instead of a baseball player. Eddie remembers it too. “I will never forget it. Those were life lessons for me too as a parent. I remember it clearly.” Guardado recalls a story of going to one of his son’s fall ball games and watching Niko pitch at age 10 or 11. He was walking guys left and right. “Walking the bases like a merry-go-round has to stop.” Eddie came out to the mound to take his son out of the game. “I looked back, and he had tears in his eyes.” After the game, they got in the car, Eddie said, “Hey mijo, let me ask you a question. Do you like baseball or do you love baseball?” Niko responded, “I like baseball.” Eddie said, “But you don’t love it.” “No, but I like it.” “See, the difference is, I love baseball. But you’re not dad. You’re you. You have to find your own path. Don’t play because dad’s playing, to make me proud. I’m proud of you no matter what. You’re my son. I’m proud of you.” He continued, “Do you really want to play this game? You don’t have to. You do what you want to do. He told me ‘No’. Alright then, but you’re going to do something.” And then the tears flowed for both Guardados. Eddie admitted, “Made me tear up. I had to pull the car over. I’ll never forget that.” Niko found something to do. “Then he took on acting, and he did it.” ----------------------------------------------------------- Another lesson Niko said that he learned from his father was that you’re not going to have your best stuff every day. You’re going to have bad games, and you have to bounce back from them. Likewise, Niko learned that there can be a lot of tough days in the audition process, a lot of rejections. Eddie said, “It’s worse than baseball.” So when Niko started getting jobs and being on TV, it was another source of pride for Eddie and his whole family. “We watch every episode. We record every episode. It’s a proud moment, no matter what role it was. When he first started it was a little bit, and then it started picking up a tad. It’s like starting in rookie ball and then moving up to Elizabethton, Tennessee. You made a step forward.” Some of those appearances don’t even show up on the Internet Movie Database. Eddie recalls,“His first one... he was on Santa Clause 2, in the background. Oh, there he is, and we were so excited. Two seconds.” But Niko kept working, kept going to auditions, and kept getting opportunities. “(He) kept going forward. Pushing. Pushing. Started getting more parts. The Goldbergs. He started getting a bunch of commercials.” Niko continued to mature. He understood when he didn’t get the roles he hoped for. It was still frustrating, but there were also successes. And when he found those successes, Eddie was there to provide him with some words that Twins fans remember hearing often from Tom Kelly. “He’s older. He’s got more confidence. He’s learning. There are aspects of failure, or the good in it. No matter what, stay even keel. Don’t get too high. Don’t get too low. And NEVER forget who you are.” Eddie continued, “I think as a parent, you see him on TV, it’s like wow! You have a major role. I’m so proud. My wife is so proud. His brother, and his sister are so proud.” ------------------------------------------------------------------ The pilot for Party of Five and Episode 2 aired on Freeform on January 8th. A few days earlier, Niko and the rest of the Party of Five cast went to New York City for an .While there, Niko walked through Time Square. He recalled (on his instagram story) walking through Time Square a decade earlier after a Twins playoff loss to the Yankees and thinking, “Someday, I’ll be up on one of those billboards.” He looked up, and there it was. courtesy Niko Guardado's Instagram Eddie shook his head as he recalled the story, clearly emotional and clearly filled with pride. When they talked on the phone after that moment, Eddie told him what you would expect a father to tell his son… “Keep that mentality. As a parent, you always have to stress to keep it right here (even-keeled). Good for you. When I hung up, I was just like ‘Oh my.” ------------------------------------------------ In the original Party of Five, five children were left parent-less after a car accident took their parents’ lives. In the new Party of Five, the five Acosta children see their parents deported to Mexico. It is a subject that hits close to home for Eddie Guardado. “That’s what really is going on in life. I’m Mexican. My parents are from Mexico. My dad came over, worked in the fields. One of the first scenes of the show, when they get deported, it reminded me of my dad. My dad didn’t get deported, but I can imagine. We didn’t go through that. But that really hit home because it’s happening. Imagine your kids are taken away from you. I’d go crazy. That’s just the way it is.” The families of the cast and crew were able to come to the studio and watch the premiere episode in a theater weeks before it aired on television. “I was bawling. I’m not going to lie. We were all in a theater in the studio. We got a peak of it. I needed tissues. All you heard was whimpering. Mijo, you did good. It was good.” Party of Five is on at 8:00 central time Wednesday nights on Freeform. “Wednesday is a special day. Everybody gets home. I cook dinner, and we watch.” “The show is a good hit. It’s life, and it’s good.” ------------------------------------------------- Speaking of pride, Eddie is very proud of his wife, Lisa. “We don’t talk about them (wives/moms). We talk about me. We talk about Niko. Nobody talks about wives, which we should do more. I’ve been married 25 years. Same high school. Same neighborhood. Same upbringing. Couldn't have picked a better lady. There’s no better lady. She has done a fabulous job.” -------------------------------------------------- Eddie is also very proud of his son Jakob, who is a high school senior. “He loves baseball.” “Dad, can we go hit? Let’s do it! Couple guys, can you throw to them? I enjoy that! It’s like a little mini-spring training. Four or five guys I work out, and I love it.” ------------------------------------------------------- Eight years ago, Eddie and Lisa Guardado kicked off the Eddie Guardado Foundation. It is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping children with autism and their families. The Guardado’s youngest child, Ava, was diagnosed with autism in 2008. “We try to help families that can’t afford therapy for their kids. Just put a little into their life because it’s not easy. My wife came up with the idea. We raise good money. That might be the best part of what I’ve done in my life. Obviously my kids first. I love them. But beside them, making a phone call to give a person an iPad, or build a fence around their yard so that their kid can go out and play. To hear these people cry on the other end. I’m tearing up. Probably the best feeling in the world.” He continued, “It’s not a cure. It’s not for research. These families need help right now.” After spending Friday and Saturday of Twins Fest signing autographs and thanking fans, Guardado attended the 5th Annual Stars & Strikes bowling event. Eddie and Niko, as well as Niko’s Party of Five co-star Emily Tosta, hosted the event. Torii Hunter, Jacque Jones, Adrian Beltre, Michael Young and many more former big league stars were in attendance. Just as many Hollywood stars also participated in the event including Party of Five's Elle Paris Legaspi, Brandon Larracuente, and Sol Rodriguez. According to Guardado, the event was “Sold out. We raised money and everybody is there for a good reason.” ------------------------------------------------------ CHALLENGE - I donated $100 to the Eddie Guardado Foundation tonight. It was quick and easy. Please consider donating as well, in any amount you feel comfortable with. Donate here. Follow Niko Guardado on Instagram and Twitter.
  8. Many of Niko Guardado’s earliest memories were following his dad throughout his baseball career. While many Twins fans are thrilled that the Twins have moved from Metrodome to Target Field, Guardado can’t help but maintain a soft spot in his heart for the Homer Dome. He recalls, “I miss the Dome. The Dome was amazing in my opinion. I loved it. It was my second home. I was constantly there, almost 24/7.” The Guardado family lived in northern California, and that’s where Niko was born on Christmas Eve in 1996. But Minneapolis, the Metrodome and the Twins were such an important part of his childhood. “I have really early memories. I can remember back to when I was about three or four. Me and my siblings were very blessed to go to the ballpark with my dad almost every day.” But it wasn’t all glamorous for the Guardado kids. Eddie made sure they earned the right to go into the clubhouse and on the field. “My dad taught me at a very young age that if you are going to want to come into the clubhouse, you’re going to have to work for it. We had to polish shoes. We had to do the laundry, vacuum the floor. We had to clean up the kitchen, wash the dishes. And then after the work we would play and go shag BP and play catch on the field in the Dome.” When Niko was about six, the family moved to southern California. That’s where he went to school, but his summers were spent in Minnesota. “As soon as school got out, the day after, we would fly to Minneapolis and spend the whole summer there until a week before school started.” Twins fans loved (and still love) those Twins teams from the late '90s and through the early aughts. You likely remember the ESPN Magazine cover featuring several Twins players with the title “The Team That Saved Baseball.” Those were the teams that endured a lot of losses in the late '90s, endured the threat of contraction, and brought winning back to Minnesota. Eddie Guardado was a big part of that turnaround, and he was a leader and a prankster on the roster. Niko Guardado got to know the stars from those teams. He says he has a good friendship with Torii Hunter and Jacque Jones and keeps in touch with David Ortiz at times. He has great memories of playing with Hunter’s sons, as well as Casey Radke and “Little” Joey Mays. LaTroy Hawkins has always been a fixture in the life of Niko Guardado. “I talk to LaTroy almost every day. I call LaTroy my Uncle Hawk. He’s the one guy, besides my dad, that we really became close. He’s really become a mentor to me in all aspects of life.” Eddie Guardado pitched in the 2002 and 2003 All Star games. Niko remembers attending the 2002 All Star game in Milwaukee. He was excited to meet Barry Zito (“That was the one guy I wanted to meet. I met him and my life was made.”). But as a five year old at the time, it was the mascots that really stood out to him. Following the 2003 season, Guardado signed with the Seattle Mariners. He spent time with the Reds and the Mariners, but in August of 2009, he was traded back to the Twins from the Rangers. Niko says he vividly remembers hearing the news. His mom was driving him and his siblings to dinner when she told them, “Dad’s going back to the Twins.” Niko, then 11, recalls, “We were super excited! Obviously going back to a place that was dear in our hearts, but I think the people too. The friendships that we made there and we were going back to. The kids room where all the babysitters that practically raised us, we would get to see again. The workers around the field. The fans. I think Minnesota is just really special when it comes to the fan base.” Now that he is older, Niko admits he has a bigger appreciation for the opportunities he had. “Going to the field every day, I am more and more grateful to have experienced it.” While Niko loved baseball and played sports throughout his youth, it wasn’t his passion. He chose his own path. While he found his true calling in the acting world, baseball remains a big part of his life.”I was about 10 or 11 when I stopped playing baseball and started getting into acting, but I still enjoyed it. I still loved going to the field and hanging out with the equipment managers, the clubbies and helping out. It’s still one of my favorite things to do to this day.” Click here to download the podcast/interview or set up alerts for future podcasts. http://traffic.libsyn.com/sethstohs/Episode_One_Final_Draft_v1.1.mp3 ------------------------------ Niko Guardado will appear on an episode of Schooled on ABC at 7:30 Central Time on Wednesday, February 27. ------------------------------ At a very young age, Niko said he was always standing in front of the TV, rewinding the VCR. He was studying actors and characters, and his love of performing only grew from there. However, it wasn’t easy for Niko to tell his dad that he wanted to be done with baseball and focus his attention on baseball. No kid wants to disappoint their dad. “I sat down with my dad and I was just bawling when I told him I didn’t want to play baseball anymore. I was so afraid of what he might say. But he was very, very supportive and said to do what you want to do. I’m just very glad I have parents that support me in all my decisions.” Niko Guardado entered the entertainment industry at an early age. His mom got him a print agent when he was about two years old and he was in several Target ads in Minnesota. In southern California, he did some commercials. However, when his younger sister was diagnosed with autism, Niko stepped away from acting for a little bit. But when his dad retired from baseball, Niko was able to get back into it. What we have learned is that there are are a lot of similarities between Eddie Guardado and Niko Guardado. It is a good reminder that there are some similarities between the world of athletics and the entertainment industry. He had guest roles on several Nickelodeon shows. He was on an episode of Sam & Cat (the Ariana Grande vehicle). “I grew up watching Zoey 101, Drake & Josh, Victorious. When I booked it, I think my initial reaction was I get to work with Dan Schneider, which is the guy who built my childhood. He made all the Nickelodeon shows back to All That. He was in my favorite movie growing up, which was Good Burger, if you remember that one.” I do remember that one. But I also remember Dan Schneider in the excellent, late '80s sitcom Head of the Class. Getting to work with Schneider was exciting and nerve-racking, but again, he was able to lean on his dad’s playing career. “Being able to work with him was so amazing. I was definitely so nervous walking into the set that day. But I think once the cameras roll, it’s like when my dad pitches. When he warms up he gets anxious, nervous. But when he gets on the mound, as soon as the camera starts rolling, it’s automatic, I know what I’m doing, it’s like I’ve been here before. It’s almost instinct and those concerns go away. ” However, for every role that Niko got, he lost out on several roles. That can be tough, but he was able to lean on his dad and his baseball career again. “I’ve been doing this for nine, ten years now. The amount of jobs I haven’t got is ridiculous. But it all comes back to… my dad. (He’d say) ‘Failure is failure. It’s going to get you sometimes. Just wave at it. Say goodbye. Go on to the next one until success comes your way and be grateful for the ones you get.’” Niko was able to learn so much from his dad and his playing career. “From my dad, it’s just never give up. I know it’s cliche, and I wish I could give you a better answer. It’s huge. Focusing on what you want, your dreams, and sticking with it no matter what. Especially because the entertainment industry and sports kind of coincide with how competitive it is. Being able to hold your head up high when you fail and just get back up and go get them the next time. That’s probably the #1 thing I’ve been able to learn, and I’m glad I learned at a young age, to treat failure as a best friend, and be OK with it, and not let it affect you as much because your time will come if you keep at it. ” While he learned from his dad, it’s important for him to point out how important his mom was in his growth and development as well. “(She is) 100% the backbone. Growing up, with my dad in-season, my mom raised us. We didn’t have the same circumstances, of course, but it was almost like being a single mom eight months out of the year. We had to go to school. My sister was diagnosed with autism during my dad’s career, so a lot of stuff was put onto my mom. She had the courage. She was being a mom. I could not have been blessed with a better mom. The sacrifices she made, not only for us but for my dad. She truly is the backbone of the family.” Over time, Niko began getting more guest roles, but in 2016, he was cast as one of the leads in the Nickelodeon mini-series Lost in the West. In 2018, he played the role of Scroggins in the feature film A-X-L. Starting in 2016, he was case in the ABC sitcom The Goldbergs. His recurring role as Ruben Amaro, Jr. has appeared in 17 episodes. In the role, he has been fortunate to play a jock, something he is very comfortable with. Niko Guardado said, "“I’m blessed to play a jock on The Goldbergs. I mean, I know it so well. You’d be surprised how many actors can’t throw a ball. It’s fun. I’ve always wanted to do my own stunts. I want to do this, and I want to do that. Whenever stunt work comes into play, I enjoy it so much.” He also had the opportunity to meet former big league outfielder, former Phillies GM and Red Sox coach Ruben Amaro at a Red Sox game a couple of years ago. Amaro even talked about how much fun it would be to get to play Niko’s father on the show. That opportunity came in an episode last year. *ASIDE: A search of Baseball-Reference tells us that Ruben Amaro, Jr. faced Eddie Guardado one time in the big leagues. Amaro singled.* On The Goldbergs, Niko got to work with Minnesota native and the star of classics such as the Back to the Future Trilogy and Howard the Duck, Lea Thompson. She is one of the show’s directors. “Lea Thompson is amazing. She’s an actor, so she really knows how to step into the actor’s show and describe what the director and producers want from an Actor’s point of view. That helps speed things up and helps us perform at our best.” Thompson has also been involved in the sitcom Schooled. In fact, on Wednesday night (February 27 at 7:30 CT on ABC), Guardado will be on an episode of Schooled opposite the talented Tim Meadows. “They’re doing such a good job with it. It’s a spin-off of The Goldbergs. They have the same writers, same producers. It’s funny. The episode I’m in is basically a 10-year reunion episode.” Just recently, Freeform announced that they had placed an order for episodes of a reboot of Party of Five and that Niko would be one of the lead characters. As you recall, the late-90s drama was about five kids whose parents passed away unexpectedly and they were left to fend for themselves. In the upcoming Party of Five, Niko plays one of five children whose parents get deported to Mexico. Like the original, the kids are left to struggle to make it without them. “Super excited to be a part of it. It’s very timely.” Guardado continued, “Since getting the job, I started watching (the original show). While the shows are different and the characters are not identical, Niko said his character likely compares most similarly to Scott Wolf’s Bailey character. The cast filmed the show’s pilot in November and December. The show was picked up by Freeform in January. Now Guardado awaits word of when filming for the first season will begin. In the meantime, he is continuing to go to auditions. He is also working on more episodes of The Goldbergs and excited to get started on Party of Five. He also gets to several Angels games, though he does so with a grudge. “I go to a lot of Angels games whenever my friends want to go. But I never cheer for the Angels. Not even when Torii was on the team. I still have that ‘02 grudge. I’ll never get over it. It sucks. That was the year that we moved here. (The Twins) lost, and my dad came to his new house and all he saw was Rally Monkeys and Angels fans.” He also enjoys going to his younger brother’s baseball games. He is a junior on his high school team. “My little brother is the athlete. He wants to be like dad. His dream is to be a pro.” Niko also tries to bring awareness to autism whenever he gets the chance in honor of his sister who was diagnosed at age 2. “She’s just a little genius. She loves learning. She’s just a bookworm, super smart, super intelligent. She’s such a hard worker. She’s taught me work ethic more than anybody. ” Niko Guardado is happy. Clearly the decision to go into acting has worked out well for him. “The best thing is getting to go and do something I love. I’ve found something that I really enjoy. I really haven’t worked a day in my life, doing this. It’s a passion that I have being able to finally... Getting a TV show has always been a dream of mine. It’s just all so surreal. In terms of days on the set. It can vary. They can go long. They can be 13-14 hour days sometimes. You’re not complaining. You just kind of look at the clock and see we’ve been here for 12 hours.” Niko Guardado has a ton of talent. Despite his relative youth, he has already had a lot of success in his career, particularly over the last five or six years. It’s clear that his career is on an upward trajectory. It will be fun for Twins fans to follow Niko and see where his career will take him. Be sure to follow Niko on social media: @Niko_Guardado (Twitter) @nikoguardado (Instagram) Be sure to listen to the full interview with Niko Guardado on the audio player below. In it, we discuss many more topics. He tells several more stories about his dad's time in the big leagues and their relationship. We also got into much more detail on the process of auditioning for guest roles and for lead roles. We talk more about The Goldbergs and Party of Five, but also about an upcoming short field called Gigi Boy that he stars in. We talk about his favorite actors to watch and emulate. And, much more. Thank you very much to Niko Guardado for taking the time to chat with me in this 48 minute interview. Thanks to John Bonnes for his help editing the podcast, and to Riggs Bonnes for the music in it. Click here to download the podcast/interview or set up alerts for future podcasts. http://traffic.libsyn.com/sethstohs/Episode_One_Final_Draft_v1.1.mp3 Thank you for your feedback and questions.
  9. To listen to the full interview with Niko Guardado, click here. In 1996, “Everyday” Eddie Guardado pitched in an American League-leading 83 games. Following that season, Guardado and his wife, Lisa, welcomed their first child, a son named Niko. While Eddie Guardado had struggles early in his career, he became a two-time All Star and a member of the Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame. Niko, now 22, recently learned that he will have one of the lead roles in the upcoming reboot of Party of Five. Recently, I caught up with the talented young actor to discuss his memories from his dad’s career, and his transition into acting. Oh, and he frequents Twins Daily because he remains a huge Twins fan. (Full audio podcast available at the end.)Many of Niko Guardado’s earliest memories were following his dad throughout his baseball career. While many Twins fans are thrilled that the Twins have moved from Metrodome to Target Field, Guardado can’t help but maintain a soft spot in his heart for the Homer Dome. He recalls, “I miss the Dome. The Dome was amazing in my opinion. I loved it. It was my second home. I was constantly there, almost 24/7.” The Guardado family lived in northern California, and that’s where Niko was born on Christmas Eve in 1996. But Minneapolis, the Metrodome and the Twins were such an important part of his childhood. “I have really early memories. I can remember back to when I was about three or four. Me and my siblings were very blessed to go to the ballpark with my dad almost every day.” But it wasn’t all glamorous for the Guardado kids. Eddie made sure they earned the right to go into the clubhouse and on the field. “My dad taught me at a very young age that if you are going to want to come into the clubhouse, you’re going to have to work for it. We had to polish shoes. We had to do the laundry, vacuum the floor. We had to clean up the kitchen, wash the dishes. And then after the work we would play and go shag BP and play catch on the field in the Dome.” When Niko was about six, the family moved to southern California. That’s where he went to school, but his summers were spent in Minnesota. “As soon as school got out, the day after, we would fly to Minneapolis and spend the whole summer there until a week before school started.” Twins fans loved (and still love) those Twins teams from the late '90s and through the early aughts. You likely remember the ESPN Magazine cover featuring several Twins players with the title “The Team That Saved Baseball.” Those were the teams that endured a lot of losses in the late '90s, endured the threat of contraction, and brought winning back to Minnesota. Eddie Guardado was a big part of that turnaround, and he was a leader and a prankster on the roster. Niko Guardado got to know the stars from those teams. He says he has a good friendship with Torii Hunter and Jacque Jones and keeps in touch with David Ortiz at times. He has great memories of playing with Hunter’s sons, as well as Casey Radke and “Little” Joey Mays. LaTroy Hawkins has always been a fixture in the life of Niko Guardado. “I talk to LaTroy almost every day. I call LaTroy my Uncle Hawk. He’s the one guy, besides my dad, that we really became close. He’s really become a mentor to me in all aspects of life.” Eddie Guardado pitched in the 2002 and 2003 All Star games. Niko remembers attending the 2002 All Star game in Milwaukee. He was excited to meet Barry Zito (“That was the one guy I wanted to meet. I met him and my life was made.”). But as a five year old at the time, it was the mascots that really stood out to him. Following the 2003 season, Guardado signed with the Seattle Mariners. He spent time with the Reds and the Mariners, but in August of 2009, he was traded back to the Twins from the Rangers. Niko says he vividly remembers hearing the news. His mom was driving him and his siblings to dinner when she told them, “Dad’s going back to the Twins.” Niko, then 11, recalls, “We were super excited! Obviously going back to a place that was dear in our hearts, but I think the people too. The friendships that we made there and we were going back to. The kids room where all the babysitters that practically raised us, we would get to see again. The workers around the field. The fans. I think Minnesota is just really special when it comes to the fan base.” Now that he is older, Niko admits he has a bigger appreciation for the opportunities he had. “Going to the field every day, I am more and more grateful to have experienced it.” While Niko loved baseball and played sports throughout his youth, it wasn’t his passion. He chose his own path. While he found his true calling in the acting world, baseball remains a big part of his life.”I was about 10 or 11 when I stopped playing baseball and started getting into acting, but I still enjoyed it. I still loved going to the field and hanging out with the equipment managers, the clubbies and helping out. It’s still one of my favorite things to do to this day.” Click here to download the podcast/interview or set up alerts for future podcasts. ------------------------------ Niko Guardado will appear on an episode of Schooled on ABC at 7:30 Central Time on Wednesday, February 27. ------------------------------ At a very young age, Niko said he was always standing in front of the TV, rewinding the VCR. He was studying actors and characters, and his love of performing only grew from there. However, it wasn’t easy for Niko to tell his dad that he wanted to be done with baseball and focus his attention on baseball. No kid wants to disappoint their dad. “I sat down with my dad and I was just bawling when I told him I didn’t want to play baseball anymore. I was so afraid of what he might say. But he was very, very supportive and said to do what you want to do. I’m just very glad I have parents that support me in all my decisions.” Niko Guardado entered the entertainment industry at an early age. His mom got him a print agent when he was about two years old and he was in several Target ads in Minnesota. In southern California, he did some commercials. However, when his younger sister was diagnosed with autism, Niko stepped away from acting for a little bit. But when his dad retired from baseball, Niko was able to get back into it. What we have learned is that there are are a lot of similarities between Eddie Guardado and Niko Guardado. It is a good reminder that there are some similarities between the world of athletics and the entertainment industry. He had guest roles on several Nickelodeon shows. He was on an episode of Sam & Cat (the Ariana Grande vehicle). “I grew up watching Zoey 101, Drake & Josh, Victorious. When I booked it, I think my initial reaction was I get to work with Dan Schneider, which is the guy who built my childhood. He made all the Nickelodeon shows back to All That. He was in my favorite movie growing up, which was Good Burger, if you remember that one.” I do remember that one. But I also remember Dan Schneider in the excellent, late '80s sitcom Head of the Class. Getting to work with Schneider was exciting and nerve-racking, but again, he was able to lean on his dad’s playing career. “Being able to work with him was so amazing. I was definitely so nervous walking into the set that day. But I think once the cameras roll, it’s like when my dad pitches. When he warms up he gets anxious, nervous. But when he gets on the mound, as soon as the camera starts rolling, it’s automatic, I know what I’m doing, it’s like I’ve been here before. It’s almost instinct and those concerns go away. ” However, for every role that Niko got, he lost out on several roles. That can be tough, but he was able to lean on his dad and his baseball career again. “I’ve been doing this for nine, ten years now. The amount of jobs I haven’t got is ridiculous. But it all comes back to… my dad. (He’d say) ‘Failure is failure. It’s going to get you sometimes. Just wave at it. Say goodbye. Go on to the next one until success comes your way and be grateful for the ones you get.’” Niko was able to learn so much from his dad and his playing career. “From my dad, it’s just never give up. I know it’s cliche, and I wish I could give you a better answer. It’s huge. Focusing on what you want, your dreams, and sticking with it no matter what. Especially because the entertainment industry and sports kind of coincide with how competitive it is. Being able to hold your head up high when you fail and just get back up and go get them the next time. That’s probably the #1 thing I’ve been able to learn, and I’m glad I learned at a young age, to treat failure as a best friend, and be OK with it, and not let it affect you as much because your time will come if you keep at it. ” While he learned from his dad, it’s important for him to point out how important his mom was in his growth and development as well. “(She is) 100% the backbone. Growing up, with my dad in-season, my mom raised us. We didn’t have the same circumstances, of course, but it was almost like being a single mom eight months out of the year. We had to go to school. My sister was diagnosed with autism during my dad’s career, so a lot of stuff was put onto my mom. She had the courage. She was being a mom. I could not have been blessed with a better mom. The sacrifices she made, not only for us but for my dad. She truly is the backbone of the family.” Over time, Niko began getting more guest roles, but in 2016, he was cast as one of the leads in the Nickelodeon mini-series Lost in the West. In 2018, he played the role of Scroggins in the feature film A-X-L. Starting in 2016, he was case in the ABC sitcom The Goldbergs. His recurring role as Ruben Amaro, Jr. has appeared in 17 episodes. In the role, he has been fortunate to play a jock, something he is very comfortable with. Niko Guardado said, "“I’m blessed to play a jock on The Goldbergs. I mean, I know it so well. You’d be surprised how many actors can’t throw a ball. It’s fun. I’ve always wanted to do my own stunts. I want to do this, and I want to do that. Whenever stunt work comes into play, I enjoy it so much.” He also had the opportunity to meet former big league outfielder, former Phillies GM and Red Sox coach Ruben Amaro at a Red Sox game a couple of years ago. Amaro even talked about how much fun it would be to get to play Niko’s father on the show. That opportunity came in an episode last year. *ASIDE: A search of Baseball-Reference tells us that Ruben Amaro, Jr. faced Eddie Guardado one time in the big leagues. Amaro singled.* On The Goldbergs, Niko got to work with Minnesota native and the star of classics such as the Back to the Future Trilogy and Howard the Duck, Lea Thompson. She is one of the show’s directors. “Lea Thompson is amazing. She’s an actor, so she really knows how to step into the actor’s show and describe what the director and producers want from an Actor’s point of view. That helps speed things up and helps us perform at our best.” Thompson has also been involved in the sitcom Schooled. In fact, on Wednesday night (February 27 at 7:30 CT on ABC), Guardado will be on an episode of Schooled opposite the talented Tim Meadows. “They’re doing such a good job with it. It’s a spin-off of The Goldbergs. They have the same writers, same producers. It’s funny. The episode I’m in is basically a 10-year reunion episode.” Just recently, Freeform announced that they had placed an order for episodes of a reboot of Party of Five and that Niko would be one of the lead characters. As you recall, the late-90s drama was about five kids whose parents passed away unexpectedly and they were left to fend for themselves. In the upcoming Party of Five, Niko plays one of five children whose parents get deported to Mexico. Like the original, the kids are left to struggle to make it without them. “Super excited to be a part of it. It’s very timely.” Guardado continued, “Since getting the job, I started watching (the original show). While the shows are different and the characters are not identical, Niko said his character likely compares most similarly to Scott Wolf’s Bailey character. The cast filmed the show’s pilot in November and December. The show was picked up by Freeform in January. Now Guardado awaits word of when filming for the first season will begin. In the meantime, he is continuing to go to auditions. He is also working on more episodes of The Goldbergs and excited to get started on Party of Five. He also gets to several Angels games, though he does so with a grudge. “I go to a lot of Angels games whenever my friends want to go. But I never cheer for the Angels. Not even when Torii was on the team. I still have that ‘02 grudge. I’ll never get over it. It sucks. That was the year that we moved here. (The Twins) lost, and my dad came to his new house and all he saw was Rally Monkeys and Angels fans.” He also enjoys going to his younger brother’s baseball games. He is a junior on his high school team. “My little brother is the athlete. He wants to be like dad. His dream is to be a pro.” Niko also tries to bring awareness to autism whenever he gets the chance in honor of his sister who was diagnosed at age 2. “She’s just a little genius. She loves learning. She’s just a bookworm, super smart, super intelligent. She’s such a hard worker. She’s taught me work ethic more than anybody. ” Niko Guardado is happy. Clearly the decision to go into acting has worked out well for him. “The best thing is getting to go and do something I love. I’ve found something that I really enjoy. I really haven’t worked a day in my life, doing this. It’s a passion that I have being able to finally... Getting a TV show has always been a dream of mine. It’s just all so surreal. In terms of days on the set. It can vary. They can go long. They can be 13-14 hour days sometimes. You’re not complaining. You just kind of look at the clock and see we’ve been here for 12 hours.” Niko Guardado has a ton of talent. Despite his relative youth, he has already had a lot of success in his career, particularly over the last five or six years. It’s clear that his career is on an upward trajectory. It will be fun for Twins fans to follow Niko and see where his career will take him. Be sure to follow Niko on social media: @Niko_Guardado (Twitter) @nikoguardado (Instagram) Be sure to listen to the full interview with Niko Guardado on the audio player below. In it, we discuss many more topics. He tells several more stories about his dad's time in the big leagues and their relationship. We also got into much more detail on the process of auditioning for guest roles and for lead roles. We talk more about The Goldbergs and Party of Five, but also about an upcoming short field called Gigi Boy that he stars in. We talk about his favorite actors to watch and emulate. And, much more. Thank you very much to Niko Guardado for taking the time to chat with me in this 48 minute interview. Thanks to John Bonnes for his help editing the podcast, and to Riggs Bonnes for the music in it. Click here to download the podcast/interview or set up alerts for future podcasts. Thank you for your feedback and questions. Click here to view the article
  10. Everyday Eddie Guardado has spent a lot of days in the Twins bullpen. Twelve of Guardado's 17 major-league seasons were spent playing for the Twins, and he added an extra four years as their bullpen coach under Paul Molitor's regime until he was let go this past fall. At some point during his first 11 season with the Twins, he picked up the nickname "Everyday Eddie". A quick search shows that the oldest online reference to "Everyday Eddie" is from a March 2001 Peter Gammons article in which he says, mockingly: At the time, the Twins were coming off of four straight 90-loss seasons, so it's hard to fault Gammons for thinking an above-.500 season was laughable. The Twins finished 85-77 that year, proving Gammons wrong, however—despite a very good year from Guardado—the Twins bullpen finished the year with the 5th-worst bullpen ERA. We know that at some point before 2001, "Everday Eddie" took hold as a nickname, and now, nearly a decade removed from his final major-league pitch, we can look back and decide: was that really a fitting nickname? Obviously Guardado didn't literally pitch everyday, it was hyperbole, but the nickname implies a couple of things: 1) he pitched in a lot of games, to the point where it might seem like he has pitched in every game, and 2) he pitched on zero days rest regularly, giving the impression that he was available everyday. But were either of those things true? Let's start with games played. In 1996, Guardado's first full season as a reliever, he appeared in 83 games which was tied for the league-lead with Tigers' reliever and international man of mystery Mike Myers. From 1996 through 2000 (remember, this nickname was established sometime before March of 2001), Guardado appeared in a total of 364 games, the 4th most among pitchers in that span behind Robb Nen, Buddy Groom, and Mike "Voice of Shrek" Myers. That's a lot of appearances. Not the most, but a lot. Considering he played for the same team during during that span, unlike the players ahead of him, and that his "Everyday Eddie" is alliterative, it's reasonable that he'd get this nickname by playing in a bunch of games. And keep in mind, the Twins were abysmal during this stretch, so the fans were likely desperate to latch on to anything. Now let's look at the second possibility: did Everyday Eddie pitch a lot with zero days rest? A quick play index shows that in all of baseball history, Guardado had the 11th most games played on zero days rest among all pitchers. He sits behind three Hall of Famers (Mariano Rivera, Lee Smith, and Trevor Hoffman), some memorable good relievers with long careers (Jesse Orosco, Jose Mesa, and Francisco Rodriguez), and of course Mike "He Keeps Showing Up Like That Killer in the Halloween Movies" Myers. Both are true: Guardado pitched in a lot of games and frequently pitch on zero days rest—he truly earned his "Everyday" nickname (and of course the alliteration really helps). However, I think that it is only fair that he henceforth shall share the nickname with Mike Myers. "Everyday Mike" may not have the same ring to it as "Everyday Eddie", but if anyone complains, they can just zip it.
  11. Miami left Kinley unprotected this offseason following an up and down minor league season. He posted a 1.98 ERA at High-A but struggled to a 5.19 ERA after being bumped up to Double-A. There were some control issues as he averaged 3.7 walks per nine innings but his 12.7 strikeouts per nine was tough to ignore. Over the winter, Kinley pitched in the Dominican Winter League. In 14 appearances, he posted a 0.47 ERA with a 0.84 WHIP and a 32 to 11 strikeout to walk ratio. During one stretch, he had an 18-inning scoreless streak. It’s hard not to be impressed with those numbers even if it is a limited sample size. Kinley knows his time with Minnesota could be fleeting. “I really try not to think about it. I try to just think about preparing myself the best I can and trying to go out and execute the plan,” he told the Associated Press. “Just to establish myself as a reliable bullpen arm, not only to the coaching staff and front office’s eyes, but to the players as well.” Twins bullpen coach Eddie Guardado likens Kinley to a former Rule 5 pick. “Johan [santana] was willing to work and get better. Kinley reminds me of that. I’m not saying starting-wise, but he wants to learn, works hard, [a] very good person.” Control issues have continued to follow Kinley this spring. In the 10 innings pitched, he has six walks and a hit-by-pitch. According to the Star Tribune, Kinley’s fastball was clocked at 99 miles per hour earlier in the spring. Pair that with his 91 mile per hour slider and he could provide a power arm the Twins need in the bullpen. Minnesota’s addition of Lance Lynn added another wrinkle to fitting Kinley on the roster. The Twins were expected to start the season with a four-man rotation because of additional off-days worked into the schedule. This could allow for an eight man bullpen. Phil Hughes might be pushed to the bullpen to make way for Lynn in the rotation. As far as starters go, the Twins are looking at Jake Odorizzi, Kyle Gibson, Jose Berrios and Lance Lynn. Hughes could serve as a fifth starter or a long-man out of the bullpen. Some of the locks in the bullpen are Fernando Rodney, Addison Reed, Tayler Rogers, Zach Duke and Ryan Pressly. Trevor Hildenberger has struggled this spring so he could be sent down to start the year. He was critical to the Twins in the second half of last season so this might be enough to keep him on the roster. Players like Alan Busenitz, John Curtiss, Tyler Duffey and Gabriel Moya all have at least one option remaining. Things might have been made clear on Thursday with multiple bullpen pieces being optioned to Rochester. This could make Kinley the last player to fit into the bullpen. For the Twins and Kinley, the clock is ticking. One way or another a decision needs to be made. Do you think Kinley stays with the Twins? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  12. Tom Brunansky came back to the Twins organization in 2010 and coached in the GCL, AA and AAA before being named the Twins hitting coach before the 2013 season. Brian Dozier often gave Brunansky a ton of credit for his successes. They worked together in the minors, both the AA and AAA levels. Reports indicate that Rudy Hernandez will not be promoted to the hitting coach. He was named the Twins assistant hitting coach two seasons ago. One name to watch is Chad Allen. He has been back in the organization the last couple of years. He has had success with several of the young Twins players the last couple of years. Kennys Vargas, Miguel Sano, Max Kepler and Byron Buxton have all thrived under his leadership. It is, of course, also possible that the new regime will go outside the organization. Butch Davis came to the Twins organization from the Orioles system when Paul Molitor was named manager. He also worked with the outfielders. Besides Hernandez, those remaining on the coaching staff are pitching coach Neil Allen, third base coach Gene Glynn, bullpen coach Eddie Guardado and bench coach Joe Vavra,
  13. The Minnesota Twins announced tonight that hitting coach Tom Brunansky and first base coach Butch Davis will not be offered contracts to return to the staff in 2017. The remainder of the 2016 Twins coaching staff were offered contracts to return. Derek Falvey and Thad Levine were quickly at work in determining the futures for the coaching staff who have been in limbo since the season's end.Tom Brunansky came back to the Twins organization in 2010 and coached in the GCL, AA and AAA before being named the Twins hitting coach before the 2013 season. Brian Dozier often gave Brunansky a ton of credit for his successes. They worked together in the minors, both the AA and AAA levels. Reports indicate that Rudy Hernandez will not be promoted to the hitting coach. He was named the Twins assistant hitting coach two seasons ago. One name to watch is Chad Allen. He has been back in the organization the last couple of years. He has had success with several of the young Twins players the last couple of years. Kennys Vargas, Miguel Sano, Max Kepler and Byron Buxton have all thrived under his leadership. It is, of course, also possible that the new regime will go outside the organization. Butch Davis came to the Twins organization from the Orioles system when Paul Molitor was named manager. He also worked with the outfielders. Besides Hernandez, those remaining on the coaching staff are pitching coach Neil Allen, third base coach Gene Glynn, bullpen coach Eddie Guardado and bench coach Joe Vavra, Click here to view the article
  14. It seems bold for a closer -- the guy asked to preserve the win -- to try out new methods without at least giving it some time on the side first. “I’m more of a ‘throw a pitch and see what happens’ and then react off a foul ball or a check swing or how he goes at it,” Perkins explains about his development process on the mound. “That gives me more of an idea then a pre-at bat plan of how I’m going to get this guy out. I want to throw a pitch and make a determination of what I’m going to do after that pitch.” In the third at-bat of that outing, Perkins faced the Reds’ Joey Votto, a notoriously difficult out and one of the stingiest swingers in all of baseball. Perkins said the new slider passed his litmus test when he was able to get Votto to move his hands on a ball that dove down into the dirt. Votto did not commit to a swing but getting him to flinch was the baseball equivalent of convincing Donald Trump to admit he was wrong. Later that inning, Perkins put third baseman Todd Frazier away on a slider with strong downward action. http://i.imgur.com/EHt0sim.gif It may be hard to detect with the naked eye but his slider was moving differently. After the game Perkins tracked down Jack Goin, the Twins’ Manager of Major League Administration and Baseball Research, and had him confirm with Statcast data what Votto and Frazier’s reaction had told him -- the slider had a higher spin rate than before. The combination of what he saw and what the numbers told him was enough for him to ditch his previous grip. **** Perkins stresses that all he did was make a simple adjustment. “The concept of the pitch is the same,” Perkins emphasized. “It’s not like I’m went out there and said ‘alright, now I’m going to throw a splitty’. I’ve thrown a slider for seven years and now I’m going to throw a split-finger. It’s just like how guys throw a changeup and they start to alter their changeup grip. I’ve moved the two-seamer around in my hand, I’ve tilted the four-seamer. It’s still the same pitch just holding it differently and hoping that a different grip on the ball gave it better results.” That “different grip” came from what he saw from watching Francisco Liriano and Ervin Santana throw their sliders. For most of his career, Perkins says he used a grip resembling that of a standard curveball, placing his pointer and middle finger along the horseshoe of the seams. More recently however he felt that he wasn’t getting the necessary spin rate to fool hitters as consistently as he did in the past. “It was the lack of swings-and-misses, the chases, [the slider] just didn’t look as sharp as I wanted it to be,” he said. So Perkins turned to the grip that Liriano and Santana used -- throwing his two fingers across the seams and giving the digits a little daylight. At 35.8 percent of his mix, no other starting pitcher has thrown their slider more frequently than Ervin Santana has over the last four years. And with good reason: Opponents struggled to barrel up the pitch that Perkins described as having “cutter-ish” movement with a very late, sharp break. When asked what he felt made his slider special -- one that hitters have struggled against for multiple seasons -- Santana demurred. “It’s just a normal grip,” Santana said with a shrug. “I just try to snap it at the end, that’s it. No special move.” Santana’s slider was actually a gift from his brother, who had taught him how to throw the pitch at a fairly young age. “I lost my curveball because of velocity so my brother taught me that grip for the slider and then after that…” Santana then gave a gesture that suggested everything after that was sunshine and lollipops from there on out. While his end of the season results were stifled because of his back injury, Perkins felt like when he was healthy, his new slider moved similarly to Liriano’s -- or at least eliciting similar reactions from hitters. “I would say they were pretty dang similar,” Perkins said of his new slider’s action. “Just judging on the swings that I’ve seen him get and the swings that I was getting I think they were pretty close.” To claim that your pitch gets the same response as one of the game’s most dominating pitchers could be met with some skepticism but based on results Perkins was truly on to something. What’s more is that unlike the previous iteration, opponents were swinging and missing at a higher percentage of sliders inside the strike zone. The pitch, Perkins acknowledged, was far from the perfect weapon. The new grip gave the slider more vertical drop but there were times when he was unable to get the ball to stay down. Like the one he threw to future teammate John Ryan Murphy, which stayed up in the whomp ‘em zone and was promptly launched over the right field wall at Target Field. http://i.imgur.com/IujNwyD.gif After the switch, Perkins allowed another three home runs on the new slider. Some of that was due to issues with his neck and back but at other times his inability to properly locate the pitch. **** Eddie Guardado, the current Twins bullpen coach and a former closer himself, understands exactly what Perkins is going through. “I think you always got to make adjustments, right? This game is about adjustments,” Guardado said. “I’ve done it before. I’m sure a lot of guys have done it, just to see if we get a different angle, a different feel. [Perkins] worked on that last year. I noticed that the ball was going down a little bit more, which is good. Always down, always good, right? It’s coming along pretty good this year.” As a survivor of 17 years in the big leagues, Guardado is no stranger to adjustments. In 2001, after a failed foray as a starter, Guardado was coming off several years of success as a late-innings reliever with the Twins. In 1999 Dick Such, the Twins pitching coach at the time, introduced him to the split-finger fastball grip in efforts to retire more right-handed hitters. From that point forward he threw a splitter in side sessions but lacked the necessary confidence to bring the pitch to the mound with him in a game situation. When the Twins fell out of the race that year, Guardado saw an opportunity to introduce his new pitch. He would go on to save 98 games for the Twins and strikeout 197 in 199.1 innings of relief before signing a three-year, $13 million contract with the Seattle Mariners heading into the 2004 season. “Obviously you can’t be afraid, there’s no question,” Guardado said about the mindset a pitcher needs in order to bring a new pitch out to the mound. “Different grip, not knowing what’s gonna happen when I throw this pitch...but that’s why you work on it before you go out there. But still, when you go out there, you’re still not sure.” Perkins says his experience differs from Guardado’s. First, Perkins says he wasn’t seeking out a new pitch, just to improve on an existing one.“I’m past trying to developed something for sustaining,” he said when discussing the possibility of adding a completely new pitch to his repertoire. Second, his “new” slider did not get the same incubation process as Guardado’s splitter received. Perkins points out that once the season starts, those side sessions become a luxury for a closer. When he decided to flip the pitch, he was coming off a 15 appearances in the month of May, rarely getting the opportunity to work on things in between outings. Therefore the majority of his slider development came after long toss during pre-game warm-ups with former teammate Brian Duensing. Perkins fiddled with the pitch and, ultimately, he figured if it failed miserably he could always go back to his previous slider grip. **** “I don’t like to go in there and fix a damn engine when you only need to change a spark plug,” Guardado said about his bullpen coaching philosophy. In many ways, that applies to what Perkins is going through at this stage in his career. Yes, he has added more preventative maintenance, opting to spend the winter in Fort Myers and mixing in more strength training to his conditioning program (something he admitted was never a part of his offseason workouts before). This, he believes, will keep the engine running throughout the duration of the 2016 season. In terms of on-field performance, Perkins is hoping that the on-the-fly tinkering with the slider will help him improve without a complete rebuild. He acknowledges his velocity is down from several years ago and does not expect to throw over 95 again in his career. Similar to the slider grip, he has played with a two-seam fastball all spring training to give hitters another look. He’s not fixing the damn engine, simply making a few tweaks.
  15. In late June of last year, Minnesota Twins closer Glen Perkins decided to make a switch. His strikeout rate had been falling since his peak in 2013 when he whiffed over 32 percent of the hitters he faced. Suddenly, he noticed hitters were not responding the same to his slider -- his go-to when he wants to miss a bat -- like they once did. From Perkins’ perspective, there was a “perceived lack of bite or spin” that prompted an evaluation of his premier pitch. At that point in the season, Perkins was on-track for one of the best of his career and was a few weeks away from representing the Twins in his third straight All Star Game. He had converted 24 saves in as many opportunities. He held hitters to a tidy .217 average against. He had struck out 28 in 31.1 innings of work. For all intents and purposes, there was nothing wrong with his performance. Nevertheless, Perkins was not satisfied with his slider’s performance and decided to make an adjustment. So on the night of June 30th, in a game at Cincinnati’s Great American Ballpark, Perkins introduced a new version of his slider.It seems bold for a closer -- the guy asked to preserve the win -- to try out new methods without at least giving it some time on the side first. “I’m more of a ‘throw a pitch and see what happens’ and then react off a foul ball or a check swing or how he goes at it,” Perkins explains about his development process on the mound. “That gives me more of an idea then a pre-at bat plan of how I’m going to get this guy out. I want to throw a pitch and make a determination of what I’m going to do after that pitch.” In the third at-bat of that outing, Perkins faced the Reds’ Joey Votto, a notoriously difficult out and one of the stingiest swingers in all of baseball. Perkins said the new slider passed his litmus test when he was able to get Votto to move his hands on a ball that dove down into the dirt. Votto did not commit to a swing but getting him to flinch was the baseball equivalent of convincing Donald Trump to admit he was wrong. Later that inning, Perkins put third baseman Todd Frazier away on a slider with strong downward action. http://i.imgur.com/EHt0sim.gif It may be hard to detect with the naked eye but his slider was moving differently. After the game Perkins tracked down Jack Goin, the Twins’ Manager of Major League Administration and Baseball Research, and had him confirm with Statcast data what Votto and Frazier’s reaction had told him -- the slider had a higher spin rate than before. The combination of what he saw and what the numbers told him was enough for him to ditch his previous grip. **** Perkins stresses that all he did was make a simple adjustment. “The concept of the pitch is the same,” Perkins emphasized. “It’s not like I’m went out there and said ‘alright, now I’m going to throw a splitty’. I’ve thrown a slider for seven years and now I’m going to throw a split-finger. It’s just like how guys throw a changeup and they start to alter their changeup grip. I’ve moved the two-seamer around in my hand, I’ve tilted the four-seamer. It’s still the same pitch just holding it differently and hoping that a different grip on the ball gave it better results.” That “different grip” came from what he saw from watching Francisco Liriano and Ervin Santana throw their sliders. For most of his career, Perkins says he used a grip resembling that of a standard curveball, placing his pointer and middle finger along the horseshoe of the seams. More recently however he felt that he wasn’t getting the necessary spin rate to fool hitters as consistently as he did in the past. “It was the lack of swings-and-misses, the chases, [the slider] just didn’t look as sharp as I wanted it to be,” he said. So Perkins turned to the grip that Liriano and Santana used -- throwing his two fingers across the seams and giving the digits a little daylight. At 35.8 percent of his mix, no other starting pitcher has thrown their slider more frequently than Ervin Santana has over the last four years. And with good reason: Opponents struggled to barrel up the pitch that Perkins described as having “cutter-ish” movement with a very late, sharp break. When asked what he felt made his slider special -- one that hitters have struggled against for multiple seasons -- Santana demurred. “It’s just a normal grip,” Santana said with a shrug. “I just try to snap it at the end, that’s it. No special move.” Santana’s slider was actually a gift from his brother, who had taught him how to throw the pitch at a fairly young age. “I lost my curveball because of velocity so my brother taught me that grip for the slider and then after that…” Santana then gave a gesture that suggested everything after that was sunshine and lollipops from there on out. While his end of the season results were stifled because of his back injury, Perkins felt like when he was healthy, his new slider moved similarly to Liriano’s -- or at least eliciting similar reactions from hitters. “I would say they were pretty dang similar,” Perkins said of his new slider’s action. “Just judging on the swings that I’ve seen him get and the swings that I was getting I think they were pretty close.” To claim that your pitch gets the same response as one of the game’s most dominating pitchers could be met with some skepticism but based on results Perkins was truly on to something. Download attachment: Perkins_Slider.png What’s more is that unlike the previous iteration, opponents were swinging and missing at a higher percentage of sliders inside the strike zone. Download attachment: Perkins.png The pitch, Perkins acknowledged, was far from the perfect weapon. The new grip gave the slider more vertical drop but there were times when he was unable to get the ball to stay down. Like the one he threw to future teammate John Ryan Murphy, which stayed up in the whomp ‘em zone and was promptly launched over the right field wall at Target Field. http://i.imgur.com/IujNwyD.gif After the switch, Perkins allowed another three home runs on the new slider. Some of that was due to issues with his neck and back but at other times his inability to properly locate the pitch. **** Eddie Guardado, the current Twins bullpen coach and a former closer himself, understands exactly what Perkins is going through. “I think you always got to make adjustments, right? This game is about adjustments,” Guardado said. “I’ve done it before. I’m sure a lot of guys have done it, just to see if we get a different angle, a different feel. [Perkins] worked on that last year. I noticed that the ball was going down a little bit more, which is good. Always down, always good, right? It’s coming along pretty good this year.” As a survivor of 17 years in the big leagues, Guardado is no stranger to adjustments. In 2001, after a failed foray as a starter, Guardado was coming off several years of success as a late-innings reliever with the Twins. In 1999 Dick Such, the Twins pitching coach at the time, introduced him to the split-finger fastball grip in efforts to retire more right-handed hitters. From that point forward he threw a splitter in side sessions but lacked the necessary confidence to bring the pitch to the mound with him in a game situation. When the Twins fell out of the race that year, Guardado saw an opportunity to introduce his new pitch. He would go on to save 98 games for the Twins and strikeout 197 in 199.1 innings of relief before signing a three-year, $13 million contract with the Seattle Mariners heading into the 2004 season. “Obviously you can’t be afraid, there’s no question,” Guardado said about the mindset a pitcher needs in order to bring a new pitch out to the mound. “Different grip, not knowing what’s gonna happen when I throw this pitch...but that’s why you work on it before you go out there. But still, when you go out there, you’re still not sure.” Perkins says his experience differs from Guardado’s. First, Perkins says he wasn’t seeking out a new pitch, just to improve on an existing one.“I’m past trying to developed something for sustaining,” he said when discussing the possibility of adding a completely new pitch to his repertoire. Second, his “new” slider did not get the same incubation process as Guardado’s splitter received. Perkins points out that once the season starts, those side sessions become a luxury for a closer. When he decided to flip the pitch, he was coming off a 15 appearances in the month of May, rarely getting the opportunity to work on things in between outings. Therefore the majority of his slider development came after long toss during pre-game warm-ups with former teammate Brian Duensing. Perkins fiddled with the pitch and, ultimately, he figured if it failed miserably he could always go back to his previous slider grip. **** “I don’t like to go in there and fix a damn engine when you only need to change a spark plug,” Guardado said about his bullpen coaching philosophy. In many ways, that applies to what Perkins is going through at this stage in his career. Yes, he has added more preventative maintenance, opting to spend the winter in Fort Myers and mixing in more strength training to his conditioning program (something he admitted was never a part of his offseason workouts before). This, he believes, will keep the engine running throughout the duration of the 2016 season. In terms of on-field performance, Perkins is hoping that the on-the-fly tinkering with the slider will help him improve without a complete rebuild. He acknowledges his velocity is down from several years ago and does not expect to throw over 95 again in his career. Similar to the slider grip, he has played with a two-seam fastball all spring training to give hitters another look. He’s not fixing the damn engine, simply making a few tweaks. Click here to view the article
  16. It all began in 1994, when Koskie found himself selected in the 26th round of the amateur draft, despite being projected to go earlier. He recalled the process: “Based on some pre-draft reports and a couple of other things, I thought I would end up going as a higher-round pick. But I got a phone call from the Twins the second day [asking if I would] still sign if I got drafted the second day […] they selected me the second day, and I was excited.” Koskie made his major league debut on Sept. 9, 1998. As a rookie he stood out immediately, hitting .310 and tallying 58 runs, but he notched his most notable offensive season in his third year. In 2001, Koskie hit 26 home runs, added 103 RBI and scored 100 runs. “The biggest thing [Koskie] typified was how much better you can become with hard work even after you've arrived,” said Fangraphs baseball writer Brandon Warne. “When he debuted he wasn’t a great defensive third baseman, but through hard work and dedication he turned himself into a gold-glove caliber player.” Having several successful seasons in Minnesota, Koskie experienced plenty of great games, big plays and memorable moments. Looking back, he identified three Twins memories that stand out in his mind: Eric Milton’s against the Angels on Sept. 11, 1999. Defeating Oakland in Game 5 to move on to the American League Championship Series in 2002. Game 2 of the 2004 American League Division Series against the New York Yankees. Koskie recalled the excitement—and subsequent frustrations—of the 2004 Game 2, in which he got a hit off Mariano Rivera. “The ball bounced, getting a ground-rule double. If that ball stays in, we would have scored [Guzman off first], Joe Nathan would come in to shut them down, and we go into the Metrodome 2-0 over the Yankees. I really thought that year we were going to the World Series. And then when that ball kind of bounced over [the wall]…” Minnesota lost that game and series to the Yankees, and the memory hangs with Koskie as a significant game of his career, and he never did make a World Series appearance. Following that season, he went on to play a year each with Toronto and Milwaukee, but his time with the Brewers ended abruptly after suffering a severe concussion. Koskie wrestled with post-concussion symptoms for three years before deciding to retire in 2009. Following retirement, he and his family remained in Minnesota, and Koskie stays busy with running two Planet Fitness locations and coaching his children—four boys!—in both hockey and baseball. “Those two things basically take up 28 hours of my day,” he said, laughing. Despite finishing out his MLB career in other cities, and although a native of Canada, Koskie still considers the Twin Cities a second home and the team a second family. The third baseman built many friendships during his seasons with the Twins, and he keeps in regular contact with Eddie Guardado, Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and Torii Hunter—whom he could not be more thrilled to see return to Minnesota 2015. According to Koskie, bringing Hunter back is the No. 1 offseason move that will significantly impact the team moving forward. “[Torii]’s going to teach these guys what it’s like to win,” Koskie expressed. “He’s a competitor; he likes to win. There’s a certain way of playing that he learned coming up from the beginning with the Twins […] to bring him back and re-emphasize that part of the game will have a great influence on the players.” Koskie also feels positively about the addition of two more familiar faces: Guardado as a bullpen coach and Paul Molitor as the newest Twins manager. Koskie described Guardado as a “true professional” and someone who will bring another level of mentorship to the clubhouse. The former pitcher understands the importance of combining hard work with natural talent, and he was the perfect example of that during his playing years. Koskie explained: “[Eddie] maybe couldn’t throw the ball 98 mph, but he would beat you with heart. He would throw the ball 88-92 mph, and he was a closer. He got a lot of saves for the Twins just on heart.” While Guardado brings with him a certain leadership style, Molitor carries a different—but equally vital—dynamic. Koskie said that hiring Molitor was an incredible move by the Twins, and he will be a great asset to the team and its future. “ ‘Moli’ is a great leader,” Koskie said. “He’s stoic, he’s quiet, but the players respect him and he respects the players. He gives people the benefit of the doubt.” Koskie’s anticipation for the upcoming season is as high as anyone else’s, and it carries even more weight to see his former teammates blended, in key positions, back into the team. While Koskie himself may not play anymore, the baseball headlines continue to feature him. On Feb. 4, the former Twin was elected into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. The Canadian Hall selected Koskie along with players Carlos Delgado and Matt Stairs, longtime Montreal manager Felipe Alou and sportswriter Bob Elliott. “To be inducted with these guys is an honor,” Koskie said. “It’s humbling. These guys have all had phenomenal careers.” The official induction ceremony will take place on June 13, and the tribute seems like the perfect reflection of Koskie’s career, character, and love of the game. “The fact that I was able to play a game that I loved and was able to bring joy to other people’s lives through that, being a part of something bigger than myself—and then being recognized for that—is just really cool. It’s very special.” Lindsey Young is a graduate of University of Northwestern – St. Paul and is an avid Minnesota sports fan[atic]. It’s been argued females don’t know much about sports, but she begs to differ. Her work has been featured on Bleacher Report, KSTP.com, and the official Vikings website. Currently, Lindsey runs a bi-monthly fan feature for Timberwolves.com and is a contributing writer for Vikings Territory and Canis Hoopus. You can read her blog at Making the Call and follow her on Twitter, @LindseyMNSports.
  17. Ask a Minnesota Twins fan to list players who have made a significant impact on the team, and one name that promises to come up is Corey Koskie. Koskie played for three teams over a nine-year MLB career, but the third baseman is best known for his seven seasons in Minnesota.It all began in 1994, when Koskie found himself selected in the 26th round of the amateur draft, despite being projected to go earlier. He recalled the process: “Based on some pre-draft reports and a couple of other things, I thought I would end up going as a higher-round pick. But I got a phone call from the Twins the second day [asking if I would] still sign if I got drafted the second day […] they selected me the second day, and I was excited.” Koskie made his major league debut on Sept. 9, 1998. As a rookie he stood out immediately, hitting .310 and tallying 58 runs, but he notched his most notable offensive season in his third year. In 2001, Koskie hit 26 home runs, added 103 RBI and scored 100 runs. “The biggest thing [Koskie] typified was how much better you can become with hard work even after you've arrived,” said Fangraphs baseball writer Brandon Warne. “When he debuted he wasn’t a great defensive third baseman, but through hard work and dedication he turned himself into a gold-glove caliber player.” Having several successful seasons in Minnesota, Koskie experienced plenty of great games, big plays and memorable moments. Looking back, he identified three Twins memories that stand out in his mind: Eric Milton’s against the Angels on Sept. 11, 1999.Defeating Oakland in Game 5 to move on to the American League Championship Series in 2002.Game 2 of the 2004 American League Division Series against the New York Yankees.Koskie recalled the excitement—and subsequent frustrations—of the 2004 Game 2, in which he got a hit off Mariano Rivera. “The ball bounced, getting a ground-rule double. If that ball stays in, we would have scored [Guzman off first], Joe Nathan would come in to shut them down, and we go into the Metrodome 2-0 over the Yankees. I really thought that year we were going to the World Series. And then when that ball kind of bounced over [the wall]…” Minnesota lost that game and series to the Yankees, and the memory hangs with Koskie as a significant game of his career, and he never did make a World Series appearance. Following that season, he went on to play a year each with Toronto and Milwaukee, but his time with the Brewers ended abruptly after suffering a severe concussion. Koskie wrestled with post-concussion symptoms for three years before deciding to retire in 2009. Following retirement, he and his family remained in Minnesota, and Koskie stays busy with running two Planet Fitness locations and coaching his children—four boys!—in both hockey and baseball. “Those two things basically take up 28 hours of my day,” he said, laughing. Despite finishing out his MLB career in other cities, and although a native of Canada, Koskie still considers the Twin Cities a second home and the team a second family. The third baseman built many friendships during his seasons with the Twins, and he keeps in regular contact with Eddie Guardado, Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and Torii Hunter—whom he could not be more thrilled to see return to Minnesota 2015. According to Koskie, bringing Hunter back is the No. 1 offseason move that will significantly impact the team moving forward. “[Torii]’s going to teach these guys what it’s like to win,” Koskie expressed. “He’s a competitor; he likes to win. There’s a certain way of playing that he learned coming up from the beginning with the Twins […] to bring him back and re-emphasize that part of the game will have a great influence on the players.” Koskie also feels positively about the addition of two more familiar faces: Guardado as a bullpen coach and Paul Molitor as the newest Twins manager. Koskie described Guardado as a “true professional” and someone who will bring another level of mentorship to the clubhouse. The former pitcher understands the importance of combining hard work with natural talent, and he was the perfect example of that during his playing years. Koskie explained: “[Eddie] maybe couldn’t throw the ball 98 mph, but he would beat you with heart. He would throw the ball 88-92 mph, and he was a closer. He got a lot of saves for the Twins just on heart.” While Guardado brings with him a certain leadership style, Molitor carries a different—but equally vital—dynamic. Koskie said that hiring Molitor was an incredible move by the Twins, and he will be a great asset to the team and its future. “ ‘Moli’ is a great leader,” Koskie said. “He’s stoic, he’s quiet, but the players respect him and he respects the players. He gives people the benefit of the doubt.” Koskie’s anticipation for the upcoming season is as high as anyone else’s, and it carries even more weight to see his former teammates blended, in key positions, back into the team. While Koskie himself may not play anymore, the baseball headlines continue to feature him. On Feb. 4, the former Twin was elected into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. The Canadian Hall selected Koskie along with players Carlos Delgado and Matt Stairs, longtime Montreal manager Felipe Alou and sportswriter Bob Elliott. “To be inducted with these guys is an honor,” Koskie said. “It’s humbling. These guys have all had phenomenal careers.” The official induction ceremony will take place on June 13, and the tribute seems like the perfect reflection of Koskie’s career, character, and love of the game. “The fact that I was able to play a game that I loved and was able to bring joy to other people’s lives through that, being a part of something bigger than myself—and then being recognized for that—is just really cool. It’s very special.” Lindsey Young is a graduate of University of Northwestern – St. Paul and is an avid Minnesota sports fan[atic]. It’s been argued females don’t know much about sports, but she begs to differ. Her work has been featured on Bleacher Report, KSTP.com, and the official Vikings website. Currently, Lindsey runs a bi-monthly fan feature for Timberwolves.com and is a contributing writer for Vikings Territory and Canis Hoopus. You can read her blog at Making the Call and follow her on Twitter, @LindseyMNSports. Click here to view the article
  18. Aaron and John welcome special guest Steve "Randball's Stu" Neuman for beers atSummit Brew Hall and talk about filling out the Twins' coaching staff, having Torii Hunter feelings, Miguel Sano and 40-man roster additions, good charities and $100,000, The Sportive podcast, and trying out for The Voice. Don't forget, you can subscribe to GATG using iTunes or Stitcher. Or listen by clicking on "Play" below. . Click here to view the article
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