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  1. Good morning Twins fans and welcome back to more Game Thread fun! It was so nice seeing the Twins play again yesterday! I hate that we lost but one game in the scheme of things doesn't really matter this time of year. However, I really believe we have a strong foundation and a group of players that will compete well this year. I'm still standing by my prediction that the Twins will win the AL Central this year. By the way, I love this time of year in Minnesota. We have the Masters on TV, the weather is warming, the ice is melting off the lakes, the grass is beginning to green, MLB is starting up and hope "springs" eternal for my favorite team the Minnesota Twins. It will be interesting to see how Sonny Gray stacks up today against this Mariner's offense. Hopefully his first start as a Minnesota Twin will result in a big W! How will the rest of the bullpen do? Will our offense start seeing the ball and make more contact? Will the dynamic duo of Buxton and Correa become the most dangerous one-two punch in MLB? Well, pull up a chair, crack a beer or your favorite beverage and tune in to find out. Today's game is gonna be a good one! Speaking of ice melting...Here are some fast facts on one of Minnesota's most celebrated lakes, Lake Minnetonka. Ice-out on Lake Minnetonka is declared when officials can boat through all channels and bays without being obstructed by ice. The earliest ice-out was March 11, 1878. The latest ice-out was May 5, 1857. The average ice-out date historically has been April 17th, 18th and 19th. The median ice-out date is April 14th (half of ice-outs are before that date and half are after that date). Coincidentally, for many years the latest ice-out date was attributed to May 8th, 1856. The Minnesota Climatology Working Group raised questions about the accuracy of that date based on temperature records showing that April 1856 was very warm. My guess is we will have ice-out on Lake Minnetonka April 15th this year. I can hardly wait to start Crappie fishing in a few weeks! Just like I can hardly wait to see this Minnesota Twins franchise win another World Series. Win Twins! Today's Lineups: MINNESOTA TWINS: 1. Byron Buxton, CF 2. Luis Arraez, 3B 3. C. Correa, SS 4. J. Polanco, 2B 5. Alex Kirilloff, DH 6. Miguel Sano, 1B 7. Max Kepler, RF 8. Ryan Jeffers, C 9. Nick Gordon, LF SP - Sonny Gray (R) SEATTLE MARINERS 1. Adam Frazier, 2B 2. Ty France, 1B 3. Jesse Winker, DH 4. M. Haniger, RF 5. Abraham Toro, 3B 6. J. Kelenic, LF 7. J. Rodriguez, CF 8. J. Crawford, SS 9. Tom Murphy, C SP - Logan Gilbert (R) Weather: Sunny and warming up to a balmy 50 degrees. Wind blowing out today at about 3mph.
  2. The Twins are on a West Coast swing, starting in the North, though still south of the Twin Cities, in Seattle, facing the Mariners. This should be an interesting series because the Mariners have been able to put some runs on the board. Though, their pitching seems to be able to give up quite a few runs also. Which is good for the Twins, not so good for Seattle. It's funny, because I sort of kept an eye on Seattle and noticed they had a good record, but looked at how many runs they were giving up and realized their early season record was smoke and mirrors. And, as of this writing, Seattle shows a -12 run differential while our favorite team, the Twins, show a run differential of +52. Now for some things to think about; 1: 7:10 start time on the West Coast. Blech. 2. 9:10 start time for the Midwest. Double Blech 3. Any sort of "light" beer: Blech and ptui 4. Daylight Savings Time: Blech, ptui and arrggh! Pitching for the Twins: Michael Pineda Pitching for Seattle: Erik Swanson 5. Play Ball!
  3. Welcome back to another exciting Twins Daily Game Thread! I have been eagerly anticipating my first game thread introduction of 2018 since last fall. I even had planned out an idea for my first game thread intro since February but because of the unusual circumstances surrounding today's game, I called an audible and decided to save my idea for another day. Todays game is guaranteed to set at least one record. By game time this will be the coldest Twins Game ever played at Target Field. The previous record was recorded April 17, 2014. At game time the temperature back in 2014 was 31 degrees. At game time today we should see a balmy 25 degrees for the first pitch. With the winds gusting to 14mph I'm sure the players will be feeling the sting of the cold air and their eyes will get a little watery. This should make for some interesting baseball though! If you're going to the game make sure to break out your snowmobile suits, warm mittens and heavy boots. If you're watching from home in the Minnesota area, get the fireplace going and crack a cold beer. If you're living in another warm climate state the rest of us here in the northland don't need to hear how warm and sunny it is where you live. Just saying. I did a little research this morning on how cold weather can impact a baseball game. There are some scientific and some analytic data that I found interesting: At 30 degrees the baseball (based on physics) should travel about 3.3 feet less per 100 feet than if it was above 60 degrees.Players and coaches seem to agree that cold weather helps the pitchers more than the hittersPitchers strike out more hitters in cold weather (will this benefit Berrios?)Getting hit by a pitch increases during cold weather games. Probably because the pitcher can't grip the ball as well.Statistically the colder the temperature the fewer runs that cross home plateHitters don't like to get jammed on a fast ball inside. Look for Berrios to throw a lot of fast balls inside todayBats are affected by the cold as much as the ball. The bats have less flex and don't carry a ball off of them as well in cold temperatures. They also break more often Good luck today to Berrios and his quest for another shutout! I actually think his chances could be better than you think. I'm guessing we will see a lot of broken bats and some ugly plays but that's ok. Embrace the cold and enjoy watching the coldest game in Target Field history! Go Twins!! Lineups: Twins: 1. Brian Dozier ® 2B 2. Joe Mauer (L) 1B 3. Miguel Sano ® 3B 4. Eddie Rosario (L) LF 5. Logan Morrison (L) DH 6. Eduardo Escobar (S) SS 7. Max Kepler (L) RF 8. Byron Buxton ® CF 9. Jason Castro (L) C Jose Berrios ® P Mariners: 1. Dee Gordon (L) CF 2. Jean Segura ® SS 3. Robinson Cano (L) 2B 4. Mitch Haniger ® RF 5. Kyle Seager (L) 3B 6. Daniel Vogelbach (L) DH 7. Ryon Healy ® 1B 8. Ichiro Suzuki (L) LF 9. Mike Marjama ® C Mike Leake ® Weather: Cold as hell. 25 degrees. Sunny and wind out of the N/NW 10-14mph. Real feel temp burrrrr.
  4. Beating Vegas: The Seattle Mariners Show us you can beat Vegas and you can win a Harry’s Razor starter kit! After missing the Wild Card by a single game in 2104, the Mariners entered 2015 with high hopes. They ended the season with 76 wins, a new GM and a lame duck manager. The offseason produced some minor strategic signings, but nothing that should clearly launch them back into the high 80s in wins.Vegas’ Line: 82.5 wins What The Line Is Saying "Were you as good as you looked in 2014, or as bad as you looked last year? I don't know and don't care much, so let's split the difference." They’ll Beat Vegas If… They really are more like the 2014 team that had a productive Robinson Cano anchoring the lineup, good defense and a rotation fronted by "King" Felix Hernandez. If you beat Vegas, you can win a free Harry’s Razor starter set. Just leave a comment with your choice of the “Over” or” Under” and your reasoning. At the end of the season, for each team, we’ll randomly pick one of the winning predictions for a free Truman Razor set. They’ll Lose To Vegas If… 33-year-old Cano continues a three-year-trend of hitting worse each year. As a result, the team starts off slow and new GM Jerry Dipoto decides he wants to rebuild this team under his blueprint. I’ll Bet The…. UNDER They're closer to the 2015 Mariners than the 2014 Mariners. It's also always a bad situation when people are worried that the head guy is just waiting to blow everything up. Now it’s your turn. Give us your prediction in the comment section (you’ll need to register first) and you’re automatically entered. We’ll be giving out a free Harry’s Razor Truman Set to one of the winning correct predictions for each team, so we’ll be give away 15 sets of razors! You can also click over to Harry’s Razors and get $5 off on your first order using the promo code ‘gleeman’. Click here to view the article
  5. Vegas’ Line: 82.5 wins What The Line Is Saying "Were you as good as you looked in 2014, or as bad as you looked last year? I don't know and don't care much, so let's split the difference." They’ll Beat Vegas If… They really are more like the 2014 team that had a productive Robinson Cano anchoring the lineup, good defense and a rotation fronted by "King" Felix Hernandez. If you beat Vegas, you can win a free Harry’s Razor starter set. Just leave a comment with your choice of the “Over” or” Under” and your reasoning. At the end of the season, for each team, we’ll randomly pick one of the winning predictions for a free Truman Razor set. They’ll Lose To Vegas If… 33-year-old Cano continues a three-year-trend of hitting worse each year. As a result, the team starts off slow and new GM Jerry Dipoto decides he wants to rebuild this team under his blueprint. I’ll Bet The…. UNDER They're closer to the 2015 Mariners than the 2014 Mariners. It's also always a bad situation when people are worried that the head guy is just waiting to blow everything up. Now it’s your turn. Give us your prediction in the comment section (you’ll need to register first) and you’re automatically entered. We’ll be giving out a free Harry’s Razor Truman Set to one of the winning correct predictions for each team, so we’ll be give away 15 sets of razors! You can also click over to Harry’s Razors and get $5 off on your first order using the promo code ‘gleeman’.
  6. Another managerial opening. http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/eye-on-baseball/25332957/mariners-fire-lloyd-mcclendon-as-manager-after-two-seasons
  7. For the first time in 5 years the Twins are buyers at the deadline, and with the Mariners in town and the Twitter fanbase on fire, I thought it would be fun to to look back at the last big Twins trade that never happened and imagine what it would be like if the Twins had acquired Cliff Lee from the Mariners 5 years ago. Note: this is a work of fiction, not a genuine attempt at analyzing impacts...I'm not that smart, I'm just a weird guy who likes Alternate History 7/9/2010 When the Rangers refuse to part with Justin Smoak, the Twins acquire Cliff Lee for Wilson Ramos, Aaron Hicks, Kyle Gibson and Anthony Slama. Minnesota fans rejoice so much that no one notices that Justin Morneau remains sidelined after a collision in Toronto 7/31/2010 Without any more trade chips, the Twins go without a proven closer, despite tempting overtures about emerging Nats closer Matt Capps, trusting John Rauch to save the day, or failing that...Cliff Lee on his off days 9/21/2010 The Twins clinch the AL Central with 12 games to spare, allowing manager Ron Gardenhire to set up his rotation for a matchup with either the Yankees or Rays in the first round. "Cliffy has done real good up here...so he might just be our game 1 starter" says Gardy. "Doi!!!" say Twins fans. 10/12/2010 The Twins finally break their Yankee he'd after Cliff Lee wins Game 5 at Target Field with a 1 run shutout. Says Lee, "it was a bit rough (with the bullpen nearly blowing Liriano's game 2 lead) but we got there in the end, good thing Glen (Perkins) came in in the 8th, you know...he could make a good set up man." 10/20/2010 Backed by the home run power of Jim Thome, Delmon Young and Danny Valencia, the Twins need only 5 games to beat the Rangers in Arlington and advance to the World Series against the Giants. Asked if he's worried about Cliff Lee's workload, manager Rob Gardenhire replies, "work what now?" 11/1/2010 Twins lose the World Series to the Giants in 5 games, but remain upbeat. "Obviously we would rather have the trophy, but we'll back and loaded next year, that's for sure" pledges Lee. http://www.milb.com/images/2010/11/02/rT6JCk7F.jpg Still stings, doesn't it Twins fans? 12/14/10 Cliff Lee jilts Minnesota to re-sign with the Philadelphia Phillies. "I never wanted to leave in the first place," says Lee, "obviously it was nice to help Minnesota, but Philadelphia is where my heart lies." Undeterred, General Manager Bill Smith seeks to lock down the squad that brought Minnesota their first AL Pennant in nearly 20 years giving extensions to JJ Hardy (through 2014), Delmon Young (through 2015), and Francisco Liriano (through 2014) and re-signs Jim Thome. 2/15/11 Spring training for the AL champs starts with high hopes as Justin Morneau and Joe Nathan return as do new Twins Carl Pavano (who had a fine second half with the Texas Rangers) and intriguing Japanese infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka who Bill Smith hopes could push Alexi Casilla at second base ("he might even be able to spell JJ at short stop" gushes Smith who is eager to offset the loss of fan favorite Nick Punto ) 4/7/11 http://si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/PJ-BA334_SP_COU_D_20110412174226.jpg Shame we lost Hardy on this take out slide Disaster strikes as Nick Swisher slides into second base breaking JJ Hardy's fibula. Manager Ron Gardenhire quickly installs Tsuyoshi Nishioka as the new starting shortstop. A quick RBI triple and lunging grab to his left causes the fan base to erupt with joy as the Twins take a series in Yankee stadium. One fan goes so far as to get a "Nishioka Forever" tattoo. 8/15/11 The Twins have the highlight of their year when Jim Thome hits his 500th Home Run. It's Thome's last before he returns to Cleveland for one final playoff run with his first team. Meanwhile the double play combination of Hardy and Nishioka (or Thunder and Lightning as fans have taken to calling them) offer a ray of hope to compensate for the regression of Danny Valencia and Delmon Young (despite peripheral stats that suggest Nishioka isn't quite as good as his rookie year attests). The team finishes with a 69-93 record, which will give them the fourth pick in the 2012 draft, their highest in a decade. 12/14/11 With a lot of money tied up in other extensions the Twins face a difficult decision between keeping beloved reliever Joe Nathan, former top prospect Jason Kubel, or right fielder Michael Cuddyer who had paced the offense while Morneau and Mauer worked to make a come back. Citing the need for a "proven closer" the Twins resign Nathan (for 3 years), and Kubel (for 2 years). "This year was an anomaly," says Smith who was given a full vote of confidence by ownership, "I don't expect us to have a year like that again, and I'm sure the players don't either." 4/16/12 Hours after a drunken Delmon Young's anti-semitic tirade in New York and subsequent suspension ("We won't tolerate that" says Jim Pohlad), call-up Ben Revere stuns the crowd with a great leaping catch in left field. Fans who hope a return to the Bronx will remind a struggling Nishioka of his strong April are disappointed when he airmails two throws into the Yankees dugout. Rochester infielder Brian Dozier packs his bags. 8/5/12 http://www.gatorzone.com/gallery/photos/1488/Zunino-MikeTh1.jpg With the #4 Pick in the MLB Draft the Twins select Mike Zunino thereby solving all catching problems ever... The Twins end their connection with ALCS hero Danny Valencia by trading him through waivers to the Red Sox. "It's part of the game," explained Manager Ron Gardenhire, "Danny gave us a lot over two years ago, I'm sure he'll give his best in Boston." Some fans, frustrated with the inconsistency of Francisco Liriano, had hoped that the former ace in the making and the big third baseman could bring in significant pitching prospects are left wanting. But many have now turned their attention to the Twins top draft choice: Florida Catcher Mike Zunino ("hey, look at what happened the last time they took a catcher in the top 5...maybe this one won't even get bilateral leg weakness!") 10/1/2012 The Twins finish their season of struggle sliding to 67-95 11/29/2012 Citing their "complete confidence" in Ben Revere the Twins trade Denard Span to the Nationals for Vance Worley and Trevor May. Revere's diving catches and ear-to-ear smile become the face of the Twins. 12/6/2012 The Twins shockingly trade their second outfielder in a week, when the Tigers offer the Twins a random relief prospect to take Delmon Young off our hands, who they think is just the veteran bat they need to finally win the World Series. "THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU" shout Twins fans. A small group of fans chant the same words at Tsyuoshi Nishioka's Air Japan flight back home at the completion of his contract. 2/1/2013 GM Bill Smith gushes about the team's newly revamped pitching staff: "We know that Perkins, Burton and Nathan can do what we need at the end of the game, but we needed pitchers who could get the leads there. I think we have a very deep rotation, Scott [Diamond] took a big step forward, we know what Francisco [Liriano] is capable of, and now with veteran arms like Kevin Correia and Mike Pelfry we have what we need to compete." http://www.gannett-cdn.com/-mm-/2aad3909bb83cd54eafb1059d6d86e03c9075a67/c=218-0-3553-2507&r=x404&c=534x401/local/-/media/KARE/KARE/2013/12/13//1386987753001-USATSI-7414621.jpg Still hurts to see a Twins legend in rival colors. 7/31/2013 For the first time in over a decade the Twins are never close to contention, due in large part to complete implosions in the starting rotation. The team decides to sell off many of their veteran assets at the trade deadline: Morneau and Liriano head to the Pirates, JJ Hardy goes to the Diamondbacks, Jason Kubel goes to the Cleveland Indians on a short rental. "I guess we're really rebuilding," writes one Twins Daily blogger, "good thing Mauer's locked in at Catcher." 8/19/13 Joe Mauer sustains a concussion during a make up game against the New York Mets that spells the end of his catching career, and top prospect Mike Zunino struggles a bit when called up to split time with Drew Butera as his replacement. The only shocking silver linings in another disappointing season (66 - 96) are the sudden burst of power from second baseman Brian Dozier, says team closer Joe Nathan, "he's the real deal." 11/11/13 Bill Smith steps down as General Manager admitting, "yeah...I can't believe I lasted this long either," the Twins take the unusual step of inviting back former GM Terry Ryan to replace him. "It's time to turn the page and build from within," says Ryan before looking at a farm system that boasts Miguel Sano, Mike Zunino, Second Baseman Eddie Rosario, and not much else. "Well, crap..." says Ryan afterwards. 12/6/13 The Twins welcome new starting pitchers, Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes at a press conference. On the emerging slew of podcasts, one Twins follower says: "Obviously we'd like to have our own pitchers come up through the minors, but besides [Trevor] May at Double A, our best options are the kid we got for not resigning Cuddyer [berrios], and Kohl Stewart. So they're all a ways away." http://www2.pictures.zimbio.com/gi/Kansas+City+Royals+v+Minnesota+Twins+W-XTGrdhlb1l.jpg 3/22/14 With uncertainty around the aging familiar stars and the unknown new signings, The Twins turn to young talent to highlight their ad campaign, "Bringing Smiles back to Twins Territory". The ads mostly consist of Ben Revere and Brian Dozier smiling brightly at the camera saying, "please come back...please...? You're a very attractive person...I'd like to see you at the ballpark...Please?" 7/15/14 While some stat heads argue that Twins Closer Joe Nathan had been outperformed by set up man Glen Perkins, Nathan is the one player chosen to represent the Twins at their home town all star game. Though he loads the bases, he does deliver a final strike out to lone Rangers representative Kurt Suzuki. "God, he'd be better than Butera and Zunino" carps one Twins fan. 9/25/14 The Twins near the end of their 4th straight 90 loss season despite an all-time record Strike out to walk ratio for new starter Phil Hughes. In their final home game the team stages a moving tribute to Joe Nathan, who, after giving up the closer spot in September to Glen Perkins, gets one last 9th inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks. After the game Nathan says "wait...why didn't I get the Mariano Rivera farewell tour?...screw it! I'm coming back next year!" 12/3/14 Torii Hunter joins the Twins for one final season despite the offer to complete a new soul patrol in Seattle with Aaron Hicks and top prospect Byron Buxton. 4/3/15 New signee Ervin Santana is suspended for 80 games for testing positive for a performance enhancing drug. Rookie Trevor May is added to the rotation behind Mike Pelfry. "Would have been nice to see a little competition for that spot," says Terry Ryan, "but we like the guys we have." http://isportsweb.com/wp-content/uploads//2015/07/Kevin-Jepsen-Texas-Rangers-v-Tampa-Bay-Rays-nJIc-NJABQNl.jpg The Newest Twin... 7/31/15 At the trade deadline the surprisingly contending Twins seem in desperate need of a shortstop (as no one has compared to Hardy and Nishioka), catcher (to replace Butera as the struggling Zunino goes back to AAA) and in the bullpen. Terry Ryan delivers only Tampa Bay Reliever Kevin Jepsen to complement Glen Perkins setting up for Joe Nathan, at the cost of starter prospect Chih Wei Hui. Fans demand a more meaningful move, like the one that got them Cliff Lee 5 years ago.
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