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  1. Last week, Nate Palmer wrote an article here at Twins Daily about the 1978 event in Waseca in which then owner Calvin Griffith, who brought the team to Minnesota from Washington DC in 1961, spoke to a group of citizens. In his discussion with the Waseca Lions, Griffth was quoted as saying, "“I’ll tell you why we came to Minnesota. It was when I found out you only had 15,000 blacks. Black people don’t go to ball games, but they’ll fill up a rassling ring and put up such a chant it’ll scare you to death. It’s unbelievable. We came here because you’ve got good, hardworking, white people here." In addition, he chose to go after Hall of Famer Rod Carew, calling him a "fool" for taking the contract he did. Carew released a statement, which you can read by clicking Aaron's tweet below. It begins: "I understand and respect the Minnesota Twins decision to remove the Calvin Griffith statue outside Target Field. While I've always supported the Twins decision to honor Calvin with a statue, I also remember how inappropriate and hurtful his comments were on that fateful day in Waseca. The Twins did what they felt they needed to do for the organization and for our community. While we cannot change history, perhaps we can learn from it." https://twitter.com/AaronGleeman/status/1273971609125048321 The decision to remove the statue continues a trend of the Twins doing great things in the organization and in the community including: First team to announce they would not be releasing any minor leaguers and would continue to pay them through August. Pohlad Family Foundation donated $25 million commitment to racial justice. The Twins released the following statement in regard to their decision to remove the statue of Calvin Griffith. “When we opened Target Field in 2010 in conjunction with our 50th season in Minnesota, we were excited and proud to welcome fans to our ‘forever ballpark.’ As such, we wanted to pay permanent tribute to those figures and moments that helped shape the first half-century of Minnesota Twins baseball – including a statue of Calvin Griffith, our former owner and the man responsible for moving the franchise here in 1961. “While we acknowledge the prominent role Calvin Griffith played in our history, we cannot remain silent and continue ignoring the racist comments he made in Waseca in 1978. His disparaging words displayed a blatant intolerance and disregard for the Black community that are the antithesis of what the Minnesota Twins stand for and value. “Our decision to memorialize Calvin Griffith with a statue reflects an ignorance on our part of systemic racism present in 1978, 2010 and today. We apologize for our failure to adequately recognize how the statue was viewed and the pain it caused for many people – both inside the Twins organization and across Twins Territory. We cannot remove Calvin Griffith from the history of the Minnesota Twins, but we believe removal of this statue is an important and necessary step in our ongoing commitment to provide a Target Field experience where every fan and employee feels safe and welcome. “Past, present or future, there is no place for racism, inequality and injustice in Twins Territory.”
  2. On Friday morning, the Minnesota Twins announced that they had removed the bronze statue of Calvin Griffith from outside Target Field.Last week, Nate Palmer wrote an article here at Twins Daily about the 1978 event in Waseca in which then owner Calvin Griffith, who brought the team to Minnesota from Washington DC in 1961, spoke to a group of citizens. In his discussion with the Waseca Lions, Griffth was quoted as saying, "“I’ll tell you why we came to Minnesota. It was when I found out you only had 15,000 blacks. Black people don’t go to ball games, but they’ll fill up a rassling ring and put up such a chant it’ll scare you to death. It’s unbelievable. We came here because you’ve got good, hardworking, white people here." In addition, he chose to go after Hall of Famer Rod Carew, calling him a "fool" for taking the contract he did. Carew released a statement, which you can read by clicking Aaron's tweet below. It begins: "I understand and respect the Minnesota Twins decision to remove the Calvin Griffith statue outside Target Field. While I've always supported the Twins decision to honor Calvin with a statue, I also remember how inappropriate and hurtful his comments were on that fateful day in Waseca. The Twins did what they felt they needed to do for the organization and for our community. While we cannot change history, perhaps we can learn from it." The decision to remove the statue continues a trend of the Twins doing great things in the organization and in the community including: First team to announce they would not be releasing any minor leaguers and would continue to pay them through August.Pohlad Family Foundation donated $25 million commitment to racial justice.The Twins released the following statement in regard to their decision to remove the statue of Calvin Griffith. “When we opened Target Field in 2010 in conjunction with our 50th season in Minnesota, we were excited and proud to welcome fans to our ‘forever ballpark.’ As such, we wanted to pay permanent tribute to those figures and moments that helped shape the first half-century of Minnesota Twins baseball – including a statue of Calvin Griffith, our former owner and the man responsible for moving the franchise here in 1961. “While we acknowledge the prominent role Calvin Griffith played in our history, we cannot remain silent and continue ignoring the racist comments he made in Waseca in 1978. His disparaging words displayed a blatant intolerance and disregard for the Black community that are the antithesis of what the Minnesota Twins stand for and value. “Our decision to memorialize Calvin Griffith with a statue reflects an ignorance on our part of systemic racism present in 1978, 2010 and today. We apologize for our failure to adequately recognize how the statue was viewed and the pain it caused for many people – both inside the Twins organization and across Twins Territory. We cannot remove Calvin Griffith from the history of the Minnesota Twins, but we believe removal of this statue is an important and necessary step in our ongoing commitment to provide a Target Field experience where every fan and employee feels safe and welcome. “Past, present or future, there is no place for racism, inequality and injustice in Twins Territory.” Click here to view the article
  3. If you’re a Minnesota Twins fan, and especially if you’re a big enough fan to have found this site, you need to find a way to visit spring training in Fort Myers. If you’re not, I expect it is because you’re not sure what there is to do there. This story, which we’ll run annually on Twins Daily is to help you find the best stuff to do at spring training.I don’t remember which year I first attended spring training, but I remember the exact date when I decided I would never miss it again: February 28th, 2014. I remember that date because we all remember the winter of 2013-14, or as Minnesotan’s refer to it: “that really awful winter.” That doesn’t sound especially harsh, but when Minnesotans single out one winter as really awful, that’s high praise. They’re all really awful. But 2013-14 had the coldest average temperature of any winter since 1978, plus a ton of snow. It also saved the worst for last. February, which is when Minnesotans are desperately searching for a little hope, was an all-time crummy month. When I boarded the plane at MSP that day, I looked at my phone and it was -10 degrees Fahrenheit, which is 42 degrees below the average high for that day. And when I landed in Fort Myers it was 80 and sunny and I was thunderstruck by just how dumb I had been for the previous 47 years of my life. I’ve come to feel strongly that we’re all doing it wrong. We should all escape for at least a long weekend to Fort Myers. And since I also get dozens of people asking me for advice for spring training, I hope this story serves as both a guide and inspiration to plan your own escape. I’ve already covered the weather, but it’s worth pointing out that even if there wasn’t baseball, escaping to 80 and sunny isn’t just nice for the time you’re there, it also lessens the rage with which you shovel out the driveway after that DAMN SNOWPLOW guys comes by AGAIN. It’s the length of the Minnesota winter that is the real killer. Knowing your winter has a definitive break, even temporarily, is incredibly therapeutic. That is all true if there wasn’t baseball. But here’s the thing - there IS baseball. It is probably the most concentrated and accessible baseball you’ll ever experience. Visiting the CenturyLink Sports Complex Visiting the Twins complex to see players up close is a morning activity. The accessibility is highest in the morning when players walk to and from their practice fields. You can see the route below, but the best place to stake out is over in the concrete area by those columns on the right. That’s where you’ll see a lot of people hanging around by 10 AM or so. Download attachment: Player Fan Path.png The players go out and come back in shifts, usually starting 9:15 or so though sometimes later. They come back in around 11 or noon, and that’s the best time to shake their hands or get an autograph or picture. You have to be patient and you get what you get - the times vary, the players vary, it’s a loosely organized congenial activity. Sometimes they can’t or won’t stop, but often they do. Here are Stephen Gonsalves, Kyle Gibson and Jose Berrios in 2019 all giving autographs as they came back from their morning workouts Saturday morning. Download attachment: Pitchers signing autographs.png Scrumming up with other fans and rubbing elbows with the players is certainly a draw, but it’s also fun to watch the players practice their craft. Want to watch a practice session, including someone like Tom Kelly or Torii Hunter help instruct minor leaguers? You can do that. They even built stands: Download attachment: Practice Field and Stands.png Or want to watch players take batting practice? The batting cages are right here, and you can watch up close through that chain link fence upon which these banners hang. Download attachment: Batting Cages.png The same is true of throwing in the bullpen. Here we see La Tortuga waiting for some pitchers to report and work on some of their mechanics. Download attachment: Bullpen.png You don’t have to worry about parking on days where there aren’t games. The stadium doesn’t have any concessions, but most of the action is over by lunchtime, so you have your afternoons free to bake on a beach, if you like. Watching Prospects Any Twins prospect who is on the 40-man roster is with the big league team at the beginning of spring training. And may who are not are still invited as non-roster invitees, so check the spring training roster to see which of your favorite players are with the big league club. But if you are really into prospects, you’ll want to attend spring training starting the second week of March. That’s when the minor league camp starts up, so all of the fields are filled with top prospects and hopeful suspects doing drills and playing games. This includes many of the prospects that began spring training with the big club. When they are whittled off the roster, they move to the minor league complex. If you would like to know which prospects are working out at which level, stop by the minor league office. They have sheets that say which players are working out with which teams, (AA, AAA, etc.) and also the minor league game schedule. Watching Games And then the games start. Starting the last weekend of February, you will have real live baseball most days from 1:00 to 4:00 PM. There are games most every day, in more intimate minor league stadiums, with prices that are closer to the minors than the majors. Download attachment: Hammond Seats.png Plus, if the Twins aren’t home, Fort Myers is one of the few cities that hosts two minor league teams: the Red Sox park is just a handful of miles away. Or take a one-hour to three-hour road trip to follow the Twins. All the road games are no further than that. When To Visit Once per day at spring training, you’ll hear a player, Twins employees or media members ask out loud “What the hell day is it today?” The daily routine doesn’t vary much, meaning Tuesdays are the same as Thursdays are the same as Saturdays. That said, you may want to visit at different times during spring training depending on what you want to get out of it. If you want the best access to players, the time to come is before the games start. Pitchers and catchers start their workouts on a Wednesday. The following Monday the batters all need to be there for their workouts, but the truth is most are there several days earlier. Excitement is high, and the players are feeling fresh. The interaction is definitely higher early in spring training. If you want to see games, you have a choice. If you want to see the big names, visit at the end of March when most of the roster cuts have happened. The players who will be making the roster will be getting some extra innings, though they’ll still likely be pulled after two or three at-bats. If you want to see some top prospects, come early in the game schedule, when Twins coaches will go out of their way to make sure top players get a live-action look for their benefit. You can see some of these guys in later games, too, but it will be more hit-and-miss, and usually limited to late innings. Early in the schedule you might see them starting alongside Twins regulars. Quit Thinking About It and Do It For a baseball fan, it’s almost hard to believe a place like this exists. The bad news is that it probably won’t, not in exactly the same manner, even next year. The consensus opinion is that every year, all the amenities get a little nicer, but the access gets a little tighter. If that idea bothers you, I promise you - you won’t care. Find a way to get here. You’ll hear the pop of a mitt and feel the sun on your shoulders and you’ll wonder, like I did, why it took you so long. Download attachment: Gibson and Kid.png Click here to view the article
  4. I don’t remember which year I first attended spring training, but I remember the exact date when I decided I would never miss it again: February 28th, 2014. I remember that date because we all remember the winter of 2013-14, or as Minnesotan’s refer to it: “that really awful winter.” That doesn’t sound especially harsh, but when Minnesotans single out one winter as really awful, that’s high praise. They’re all really awful. But 2013-14 had the coldest average temperature of any winter since 1978, plus a ton of snow. It also saved the worst for last. February, which is when Minnesotans are desperately searching for a little hope, was an all-time crummy month. When I boarded the plane at MSP that day, I looked at my phone and it was -10 degrees Fahrenheit, which is 42 degrees below the average high for that day. And when I landed in Fort Myers it was 80 and sunny and I was thunderstruck by just how dumb I had been for the previous 47 years of my life. I’ve come to feel strongly that we’re all doing it wrong. We should all escape for at least a long weekend to Fort Myers. And since I also get dozens of people asking me for advice for spring training, I hope this story serves as both a guide and inspiration to plan your own escape. I’ve already covered the weather, but it’s worth pointing out that even if there wasn’t baseball, escaping to 80 and sunny isn’t just nice for the time you’re there, it also lessens the rage with which you shovel out the driveway after that DAMN SNOWPLOW guys comes by AGAIN. It’s the length of the Minnesota winter that is the real killer. Knowing your winter has a definitive break, even temporarily, is incredibly therapeutic. That is all true if there wasn’t baseball. But here’s the thing - there IS baseball. It is probably the most concentrated and accessible baseball you’ll ever experience. Visiting the CenturyLink Sports Complex Visiting the Twins complex to see players up close is a morning activity. The accessibility is highest in the morning when players walk to and from their practice fields. You can see the route below, but the best place to stake out is over in the concrete area by those columns on the right. That’s where you’ll see a lot of people hanging around by 10 AM or so. The players go out and come back in shifts, usually starting 9:15 or so though sometimes later. They come back in around 11 or noon, and that’s the best time to shake their hands or get an autograph or picture. You have to be patient and you get what you get - the times vary, the players vary, it’s a loosely organized congenial activity. Sometimes they can’t or won’t stop, but often they do. Here are Stephen Gonsalves, Kyle Gibson and Jose Berrios in 2019 all giving autographs as they came back from their morning workouts Saturday morning. Scrumming up with other fans and rubbing elbows with the players is certainly a draw, but it’s also fun to watch the players practice their craft. Want to watch a practice session, including someone like Tom Kelly or Torii Hunter help instruct minor leaguers? You can do that. They even built stands: Or want to watch players take batting practice? The batting cages are right here, and you can watch up close through that chain link fence upon which these banners hang. The same is true of throwing in the bullpen. Here we see La Tortuga waiting for some pitchers to report and work on some of their mechanics. You don’t have to worry about parking on days where there aren’t games. The stadium doesn’t have any concessions, but most of the action is over by lunchtime, so you have your afternoons free to bake on a beach, if you like. Watching Prospects Any Twins prospect who is on the 40-man roster is with the big league team at the beginning of spring training. And may who are not are still invited as non-roster invitees, so check the spring training roster to see which of your favorite players are with the big league club. But if you are really into prospects, you’ll want to attend spring training starting the second week of March. That’s when the minor league camp starts up, so all of the fields are filled with top prospects and hopeful suspects doing drills and playing games. This includes many of the prospects that began spring training with the big club. When they are whittled off the roster, they move to the minor league complex. If you would like to know which prospects are working out at which level, stop by the minor league office. They have sheets that say which players are working out with which teams, (AA, AAA, etc.) and also the minor league game schedule. Watching Games And then the games start. Starting the last weekend of February, you will have real live baseball most days from 1:00 to 4:00 PM. There are games most every day, in more intimate minor league stadiums, with prices that are closer to the minors than the majors. Plus, if the Twins aren’t home, Fort Myers is one of the few cities that hosts two minor league teams: the Red Sox park is just a handful of miles away. Or take a one-hour to three-hour road trip to follow the Twins. All the road games are no further than that. When To Visit Once per day at spring training, you’ll hear a player, Twins employees or media members ask out loud “What the hell day is it today?” The daily routine doesn’t vary much, meaning Tuesdays are the same as Thursdays are the same as Saturdays. That said, you may want to visit at different times during spring training depending on what you want to get out of it. If you want the best access to players, the time to come is before the games start. Pitchers and catchers start their workouts on a Wednesday. The following Monday the batters all need to be there for their workouts, but the truth is most are there several days earlier. Excitement is high, and the players are feeling fresh. The interaction is definitely higher early in spring training. If you want to see games, you have a choice. If you want to see the big names, visit at the end of March when most of the roster cuts have happened. The players who will be making the roster will be getting some extra innings, though they’ll still likely be pulled after two or three at-bats. If you want to see some top prospects, come early in the game schedule, when Twins coaches will go out of their way to make sure top players get a live-action look for their benefit. You can see some of these guys in later games, too, but it will be more hit-and-miss, and usually limited to late innings. Early in the schedule you might see them starting alongside Twins regulars. Quit Thinking About It and Do It For a baseball fan, it’s almost hard to believe a place like this exists. The bad news is that it probably won’t, not in exactly the same manner, even next year. The consensus opinion is that every year, all the amenities get a little nicer, but the access gets a little tighter. If that idea bothers you, I promise you - you won’t care. Find a way to get here. You’ll hear the pop of a mitt and feel the sun on your shoulders and you’ll wonder, like I did, why it took you so long.
  5. Felix Hernandez RP 34 - Doesn't want to share crown with Aquatennial Queen of the Lakes Josh Donaldson 3B 34 - Loons kinda freak him out Jacoby Ellsbury CF 36 - No longer very good at baseball Dallas Keuchel SP 32 - Concerned that North Stars fans still aren't over it Edwin Encarnacion DH 37 - Weather too cold for imaginary parrot Alex Gordon CF 36 - Retro baby blue uniforms clash just a little with all his Royal blue gear Hyun-Jin Ryu SP 33 - Airport not close enough to the west coast Ryan Zimmerman 1B - Feels like anyone who has been through Zimmerman, MN might not like him right off the bat Russell Martin C 37 - Has heard a catcher is more likely to be concussed here Wei-Yin Chen RP 35 - 6.59 ERA in 2019 Rich Hill SP 40 - He's 40 Ben Zobrist 2B 39 - He's 39 Martin Prado 3B 36 - Keeps alpacas in Texas Mark Trumbo DH 34 - Isn't Nelson Cruz Marcell Ozuna LF 29 - Sees how Rosario is treated Nick Castellanos RF - Unbalanced schedule - doesn't want to have to go back to Detroit that much Yasiel Puig RF 29 - Keeps fainting goats in 49 other states Alex Wood SP 29 - Insufficient quantities of chiropractors Trevor Cahill RP 32 - We've got a shot here Brian Dozier 2B 33 - Never heard of him Tommy Hunter RP 34 - Insists on being called Tommy, Lord of the North, and that just doesn't fly Jason Kipnis 2B 33 - Doesn't like state fairs Kole Calhoun RF 32 - Doesn't want to change his name to Kole Bde Maka Ska Ivan Nova SP 33 - Longs to reunite with Pittsburgh Starlin Castro 2B 30 - Likely to sign him and cash in when in gets to 2000 hits Juan Nicasio RP 33 - Doesn't realize how many good restaurants we have Todd Frazier 3B 34 - Would prefer not to be around so many lakes Corey Dickerson LF 31 - Would prefer many more lakes Jason Castro C 33 - Number of lakes is fine, but would like less fish Pat Neshek RP 39 - Homecoming is possible Andrew Cashner RP 33 - Friend of a friend has heard Minnesota "smells a little" Jason Vargas SP 37 - Too many Jasons already here C.C. Sabathia SP 39 - Too many C.C.s already here Cesar Hernandez 2B 30 - Would never live up to Cesar Tovar's precedent Jonathan Schoop 2B 28 - Never heard of him Welington Castillo C 33 - Minnesotans would latch on to the "Beef" nickname too much Dellin Betances RP 32 - Keeps ostriches in New York Anthony Swarzak RP 34 - Homecoming is possible Drew Smyly SP 31 - Look at all these free agents left Derek Holland RP 33 - I honestly didn't think this bit would be this long Mitch Moreland 1B 34 - Mitch Moreland? More like Mitch Lessland, huh? Julio Teheran SP 29 - If he's not good enough for Atlanta Fernando Rodney RP 43 - If he's still throwing, homecoming is possible Jordy Mercer SS 33 - Is he related to Bobby Mercer? Billy Hamilton CF 29 - Is he still fast? Taijuan Walker SP 27 - Let's give it a try, Taijuan. Sam Dyson RP 32 - I think this bit is over Brandon Kintzler RP 35 - Yeah, it's over C.J. Cron 1B 30 - Definitely over Eric Thames RF 33 - Steve Cishek RP 34 - Steven Pearce 1B 37 Jedd Gyorko 3B 31 Pedro Strop RP 35 Kevin Pillar CF 31 Collin McHugh RP 33 Tyson Ross SP 33 Robinson Chirinos C 36 Arodys Vizcaino RP 29 Juan Lagares CF 31 Travis Shaw 3B 30 Yolmer Sanchez 3B 28 Danny Salazar SP 30 Justin Smoak 1B 33 Hector Rondon RP 32 Wilmer Flores 2B 28 Will Harris RP 35 Steven Souza RF 31 Jon Jay RF 35 Matt Adams 1B 31 Jarrod Dyson CF 35 Jimmy Nelson RP 31 Brock Holt 2B 32 Brian Duensing RP 37 Asdrubal Cabrera 2B 34 Addison Russell SS 26 Chad Bettis SP 31 Yoshihisa Hirano RP 36 Clay Buchholz SP 35 Wade LeBlanc RP 35 Lonnie Chisenhall RF 31 Shawn Kelley RP 36 Matt Duffy 3B 29 Nate Jones RP 34 Tony Cingrani RP 30 Hernan Perez 2B 29 David Phelps RP 33 Matt Albers RP 37 Justin Bour 1B 32 Matt Moore SP 31 Jose Iglesias SS 30 Martin Maldonado C 33 Jonny Venters RP 35 Craig Stammen RP 36 Jared Hughes RP 34 Edinson Volquez RP 36 Logan Forsythe 2B 33 Derek Dietrich 2B 30 Brian McCann C 36 Hunter Pence RF 37 Neil Walker 2B 34 Gio Gonzalez SP 34 Domingo Santana RF 27 Devon Travis 2B 29 J.C. Ramirez SP 31 Kazuhisa Makita RP Francisco Liriano RP 36 Devin Mesoraco C 32 Tim Beckham 3B 30 Curtis Granderson LF 39 Kyle Barraclough RP 30 Chris Rusin RP 33 Luis Garcia RP 33 John Axford RP 37 Luis Avilan RP 30 Brandon Guyer LF 34 Ryan Tepera RP 32 Daniel Hudson RP 33 Matt Wieters C 34 Tyler Clippard RP 35 Brandon Maurer RP 29 Jerry Blevins RP 36 Robbie Erlin RP 29 Cory Gearrin RP 34 Ryan Buchter RP 33 Aaron Loup RP 32 Steven Wright RP 35 Jeremy Hellickson RP 33 Dominic Leone RP 28 Dan Otero RP 35 Bryan Hoay C 32 Cory Spangenberg 2B 29 Greg Bird 1B 27 Melky Cabrera LF 35 Kevin Plawecki C 29 Caleb Joseph C 34 Josh Phegley C 32 Nicholas Tropeano SP 29 Jose Lobaton C 35 Gorkys Hernandez LF 32 Adam Rosales 2B 37 Ervin Santana SP 37 Logan Morrison DH 32 Erasmo Ramirez SP 30 Matt Joyce LF 35 Adeiny Hechavarria SS 31 Josh Tomlin RP 35 Ryan Goins 2B 32 Jerad Eickhoff SP 29 Bryan Mitchell RP 29 John Ryan Murphy C 29 Xavier Cedeno RP 33 Tyler Saino SS 30 Cheslor Cuthbert 3B 27 Jesus Sucre C 32 Kelby Tomlinson 2B 30 Andres Blanco 3B 36 Tom Koehler RP 34 Josh Fields RP 34 Javy Guerra RP 34 Fernando Abad RP 34 Ronald Torreyes 2B 27 Guillermo Heredia CF 29 Tony Barnette RP 36 Gordon Beckham 2B 33 J.B. Shuck LF 33 Allen Webster SP 30 Michael Blazek RP 31 Cody Anderson SP 29 Josh Thole C 33 Pat Venditte RP 35 Ryon Healy 1B 28 Elias Diaz C 29 Matt Grace RP 31 Jose Pirela 2B 30 Dan Straily SP 31 Jesse Biddle RP 28 Edubray Ramos RP 27 Kevan Smith C 32 Trevor Hildenberger RP 29 Joey Rickard LF 29 Jacob Barnes RP 30 John Hicks C 30 Daniel Stumpf RP 29 Tyler Olson RP 30 J.T. Riddle SS 28 Aaron Brooks SP 30 D.J. Johnson RP 30 Jacob Nix SP 24 Ryan Burr RP 26 Rajai Davis CF 39 Carlos Gomez RF 34 Tyler Austin 1B 28 EDIT: I'm removing Tyler Austin from the list because dex8425 said he signed with a team in Japan, that it was a pretty good deal for Tyler Austin actually, and that dex8425 is taking any and all wagers that Tyler Austin will rake. Also, I read on mlbtraderumors or on a Doogie tweet that Tyler Austin's girlfriend preferred being near an airport in Japan, so we never had a shot anyway. Kohl Stewart RP 25 Tim Peterson RP 29 Felipe Paulino SP 36 Hector Santiago RP 32 Eric Sogard 2B 34 Mike Morin RP 29 Homer Bailey SP 34 Blake Parker RP 35 Brian Schlitter RP 34 Brooks Pounders RP 29 Danny Hultzen RP 30 Caleb Frare RP 26 Thyago Vieira RP 27 Ryan Feierabend SP 34 Derek Law RP 29 Jim Adduci CF 35 Jason Adam RP 28 Rob Brantly C 30 Wilkin Castillo C 36 Rico Garcia P 26 Isaac Galloway RF 30 Humberto Arteaga SS 26 Oscar Hernandez C 26 Erick Mejia 2B 25 Deven Marrero SS 29 Ian Gibaut RP 26 Peter O'Brien RF 29 Jace Peterson 3B 30 Yadiel Rivera 2B 28 David Hale RP 32 Tom Milone SP 33 Josh Smith RP 32 Drew Gagnon RP 30 Fernando Salas RP 35 Joe Hudson C 29 Francisco Cervelli C 34 Austin Adams P 33 Joe Panik 2B 29 Ross Detwiler RP 34 Aaron Slegers SP 27 Zac Rosscup RP 32 Chris Owings 2B 28 Robby Scott RP 30 Juan Minaya RP 29 Brad Miller 2B 30 Charlie Tilson CF 27 Mike Gerber OF 27 Kris Negron RF 34 Edwin Jackson SP 36 Tyler Lyons RP 32 Buddy hers RP 32 Jonathan Lucroy C 34 Tim Federowicz C 33 Sean Gilmartin RP 30 Cameron Maybin RF 33 Rookie Davis SP 27 Donnie Hart RP 29 Sean Rodriguez 2B 35 Ricardo Pinto RP 26 Gabriel Ynoa SP 27 Yonder Alonso 1B 33 David Carpenter RP 34 Tayler Scott SP 28 Ryan Eades P 28 Matt Kemp LF 35 Pablo Sandoval 3B 33 Bobby Wilson C 37 Rene Rivera C 36 Nick Vincent RP 33 Juan Centeno C 30 Ryan LaMarre LF 31 Gregor Blanco RF 36 Chris Stewart C 38 Marcos Mateo RP 36 Erik Kratz C 40 Tim Collins RP 30 Jeff Bianchi 2B 33 Rubby De La Rosa SP 31 Josh Edgin RP 33 Jemile Weeks 2B 33 Travis Snider RF 32 Kila Ka'aihue 1B 36 Mike Zagurski RP 37 Shane Robinson CF 35 Cliff Pennington SS 36 Alex Wilson RP 33 Danny Espinosa SS 33 Ricky Nolasco SP 37 Logan Kensing RP 37 Dylan Axelrod RP 34 Johnny Giavotella 2B 32 Duane Below RP 34 J.C. can C 40 Chris Withrow RP 31 Nick Franklin LF 29 Rafael Lopez C 32 George Kontos RP 35 Seth Maness RP 31 Alcides Escobar SS 33 Grant Green LF 32 Neftali Feliz RP 32 J.J. Hoover RP 32 Wilin Rosario 1B 31 Chris Hatcher RP 35 Dan Runzler RP 35 Collin Balester RP 34 Brandon Beachy SP 33 Brandon Hicks 2B 34 Henderson Alvarez SP 30 Juan Jaime RP 32 Alex Torres RP 32 Robbie Ross RP 31 Drew Hutchison SP 29 Zach McAllister RP 32 Cole Gillespie LF 36 Stolmy Pimentel RP 30 Michael Martinez 2B 37 Dioner Navarro C 36 Logan Ondrusek RP 35 Stephen Pryor RP 30 Fernando Rodriguez RP 36 Ezequiel Carrera LF 33 Wilkin Ramirez LF 34 Emilio Bonifacio CF 35 Mark Rogers RP 34 B.J. Rosenberg RP 34 Justin Sellers SS 34 Moises Sierra RF 31 Scott Van Slyke LF 33 Josh Zeid RP 33 Zach Putnam RP 32 Shelby Miller SP 29 David Lough RF 34 Brad Boxberger RP 32 Hector Sanchez C 30
  6. I hit the way-back machine in order to find some inspiration for the game thread today. However, I don't think it worked quite as it should have: * *Frostbite Falls, MN? Boris and Natasha? Moose and Squirrel? Any of this ring a bell? Bueller? Sigh. Youth. Somehow, I wound up in a weird place with flying squirrels and mooses that pull rabbits out of hats: * *Yes, we are substituting video for content. Why do you ask? I finally made it back to the current game thread and decided to look at the last game thread I wrote. In reading that previous thread, I realize now the Twins are 3-0 when I write game threads. (write, video, it's all content, right?) I'm hoping my streaks remains alive as the Twins try to make it two in a row in KC. (making me 4-0 if anyone is counting. Not that I'm counting, mind you. Just trying to maintain accurate records) Some random thoughts: Some observations from last night: 1. Lynn wasn't great, but, managed to survive 6 innings and his ERA is now below 6, which is quite the drop, considering where it was a few starts ago. 2. Mr. Dozier had a two out RBI. I didn't know that was allowed. In fact, I'm not sure the Twins knew it was allowed. 3. Seriously, there's both an Escobar and a Dozier on both teams? 4. In fact, the Twins picked up RBI's with two outs twice. 5. Nice to see Garver pick up an RBI at a critical juncture. Play ball! Lineups: Twins Pitching for the Twins: Kyle Gibson ® 1. Brian Dozier ® 2B 2. Eddie Rosario (L) LF 3. Miguel Sano ® 1B 4. Eduardo Escobar (S) 3B 5. Max Kepler (L) RF 6. Robbie Grossman (S) DH 7. Mitch Garver ® C 8. Ehire Adrianza (S) SS 9. Ryan LaMarre ® CF Royals Pitching for the Royals: Danny Duffy (L) 1. Jon Jay (L) CF 2. Whit Merrifield ® 2B 3. Mike Moustakas (L) 3B 4. Salvador Perez ® DH 5. Jorge Soler ® RF 6. Hunter Dozier ® 1B 7. Alex Gordon (L) LF 8. Alcides Escobar ® SS 9. Drew Butera ® C
  7. They Played for the Love of the Game Untold stories of black baseball in Minnesota By Frank White This is the third book written about black baseball in Minnesota which might be an indication of how important this was to the history of Minnesota and the history of Baseball. Frank White, a St Paul native, is a perfect writer for this topic. His father, Louis Pud White, was an outstanding, if little remembered catcher in the baseball leagues as evidenced by Buck O’Neil, and he was a friend of Dave and Steve Winfield. This is a thoroughly researched and well written book that really uncovers some special experiences and beyond black baseball, shows how important baseball was in all the towns of the Midwest, if not the entire country with semi-pro teams gathering both press and audiences all over. These teams were lucky in one season because Major League baseball created one of the great injustices of all time by excluding blacks from all their leagues which meant that not only are the records suspect before Jackie Robinson joined the Dodgers but gave the local semi-pros and eventually the Negro Leagues some real stars. And if you want a villain in this it would be Cap Anson, who deserves to be taken out of the Hall of Fame. If we question the veracity of Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Roger Clemens, Shoeless Joe, Pete Rose, than this is the individual who committed the most grievous offense when he refused to let his White Stocking team play against the Newark Giants of the International League if their two black players played in the game – he set the town for the exclusion of black players in the majors. In the first decade the St Paul Colored Gophers were dominate, even winning the fictitious, but still accepted championship of Black Baseball in 1909 when they defeated the Giants of Chicago. Minneapolis had a top team too with the Keystones and great players who would not be recognized without this book entertained the ticket holders. In the 1920’s the Negro National League formed and even though the St Paul Colored Gophers were an established power Minnesota was deemed too far and too expensive and thus was left out. A second injustice, this one much more serious and reflective of the racism that still exists was The Association of Minnesota Amateur Baseball Leagues decision to ban colored players. African Americans had been part of many teams, but from 1927 – 1947 no African American was allowed to play. The idiocy of racism was such that catcher Lee Davis was a Ho-Chunk Indian and Indians were playing MLB, but his skin was too dark, so he had to play in the black leagues. While Billy Williams, who was black, was invited by the Baltimore Orioles to play on their Montreal team as an Indian. The more I read, the madder I become with the stupidity of racism. It is fun for me to look at players who came from my Alma Mater – Minneapolis Central, but it is also crazy to see teams in places like Pipestone, Des Moines, Bertha fielding excellent teams because racism forced these players to the outposts of baseball. After all the struggles of Jim Crow and blatant racism it is sad to see the switch to track, basketball, and football by many top black athletes, but it makes sense. Those sports offered scholarships and new opportunities. Baseball did not exactly open the major league floodgates after signing a few top players. The book captures that demise and baseball would to well to reflect on its missed opportunities. The story of black baseball in the 1950s shifted to three minor league teams – St Paul Saints, Minneapolis Millers, and the St Cloud Rox. With players like Willie Mays, Roy Campanella, Orlando Cepeda, Ozzie Virgil, and Lou Brock among the many great stars that graced the Minnesota diamonds. But since Dave Winfield we have seen very few African Americans from Minnesota get a chance. Thanks to the author who works for the Twins in the RBI program – reviving baseball in the Inner City – maybe the future will take us a step towards the years of great African American baseball players. In the end, we find this most American sport is also a window into our own history and mores. This book is truly a history of African American people in Minnesota through the lens of Baseball just as baseball reflects our racial tensions, our addictions to drugs, temptations to gambling, the challenging aspects of war, and now our need for speed and quickness because of diminished attention spans.
  8. The Twins might be done for 2017, but the Supershow will never die! With Stubbs out of town, the boys invade New Thompson South. Dantez and Panda break down the 2017 post-season, reminisce about Glen Perkins’ major league career, machinate on what might happen with the 2018 Twins, and what games they’d love to see on a N64 Classic! You can find this show and all previous shows on Spreaker, iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, and Pocket Casts. Don’t forget to leave a like, comment, and share this with your friends and family! https://www.spreaker.com/user/the4dpodcastnetwork/twins-and-losses-supershow-episode-47-we
  9. Yes the title is a wrestling joke. Yes I hate Apple IS 1984. Yes the Twins are on the cusp of a trip to the post-season for the first time since 2010. Regardless, a few weeks ago we had Sean Thornton (Bleeding Royal Blue) on the podcast to fill in while Dan was out of town. Sean and I have never met as he lives in Kansas and I’m in Minnesota (Shout out to Barry for introducing us online!). One of the topics Sean brought up was the Royals’ winning the World Series, and all of the bandwagon fans that started to fill Kauffman Stadium after their World Series appearance, and subsequent win the following season. As a Minnesotan, one of our favorite past times is ripping the Chicago Blackhawk’s fan base for being a bunch of bandwagon fans. It also doesn’t help that they can claim multiple Stanley Cup trophies to Minnesota’s collective zero. The Wild’s slogan of “The State of Hockey” isn’t just because we have another NHL franchise in the state (Norm Green STILL sucks), but because most of us have played hockey at some point in our life. Outdoor rinks pop up every winter in neighborhood parks, and possibly a neighbor’s backyard. Whether you own a pair of hockey skates, figure skates, or even shoes and boots; you can always find a sheet of ice to play on. The same can’t be said for baseball, where the Twins got their start in 1961. It’s not that baseball was new to Minnesota when the former Senators arrived, it’s that baseball isn’t a sport you can easily play throughout the year when 5-7 months are below freezing and the fields have been turned into ice rinks. I can remember playing baseball and softball in cooler weather and having pain shoot up my arms as the aluminum bat connected with the colder than usual ball. That’s not ideal, nor does it feel too good. Luckily winter doesn’t last the entire year and we get around 5 months of warm weather to play baseball. For guys like Dan and I, the start of spring training is our groundhog seeing it’s shadow. Spring is officially on the way, and so is baseball. For as beautiful as Target Field is, there have been some terrible home owners where snow boots and winter coats have trumped wearing a jersey and jeans. But that’s okay because God invented alcohol to keep us warm!… Wait, that’s not true. I’m an Eagle Scout, so allow me to tell you all about “false heat…” Alright, I’ll spare that topic for a different day. What I’m trying to say is Dan and I love baseball. Baseball isn’t just something we talk about when we’re bored. Baseball is something we talk about all year round. We are the guys that will sift through the Twins’ Reddit page for any morsel of news. Some days I’ll send Dan a text at 4:30 in the morning when I see something noteworthy I’ve scrolled past on Twitter. Other times Dan will text me after 8PM (bedtime for a morning show radio host) to let me know about a Brian Dozier in-the-park home run off a bunt. For as taxing as running and producing your own podcast can be, we still enjoy doing it throughout the year because it allows us to talk about baseball, and enjoy it together. We’ve talked about being a gatekeeper on previous podcasts. How it’s uncool to prevent someone from liking what you enjoy just because they haven’t been into it, or know as much as you. I’m not saying that all bandwagon fans will be honest about it. Trust me, you all know one of your friends or family members “that’s totally loved the Twins since *enter their birth-date here*,” even though they’ve never been to the Metrodome or Target Field, and hates Joe Mauer because “this guy at the bar said he got hurt once.” Those kinds of “fans” will always exist (stares longingly at the cities of Chicago and New England and Dallas and New York and Los Angeles and their fans spread throughout the country), but that doesn’t mean all bandwagon fans are like that. You can help a bandwagon fan become a casual Twins fan (this potential post-season run would be a great starting point), and you can turn your casual fans into a hardcore fan. If the Twins win the World Series this year, I know who it’s going to mean more to, and it’s probably not the person who just bought a shirsey to wear to the ticker tape parade. - Panda Pete (Originally posted on TwinsAndLosses.com)
  10. Now that the World Series is over, teams in Major League Baseball are able to announces changes on the coaching staff and roster. The most recent big announcement came from the Minnesota Twins when they stated their plans to hire Thad Levine as their new general manager. While Levine gets one of the most prestigious titles in baseball, he will still have to work with executive vice president/chief baseball officer Derek Falvey to make any changes in the Twins organization. Thad Levine may not be recognized by casual baseball fans, but he has a long history in the sport. Levine play college baseball for four years at Haverford College in Pennslvania before working in business development for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He joined the Colorado Rockies organization in 1999 and quickly became senior director of baseball operations. Levine has been the assistant general manager for the Texas Rangers since 2005 before getting hired by the Minnesota Twins today. It is hard to know the exact changes that Thad Levine will bring to the Minnesota Twins organization, but he specialized in player development and statistical analysis during his time with Cubs baseball. Analytics have been a huge part of baseball in recent years, and the Minnesota Twins are one of the last teams to embrace the change in the game. It is hard to ignore the power of analytics after the Chicago Cubs used it to help them build a World Series winning roster in only a few years. A study by ESPN in 2015 found that only two teams in the MLB trusted analytics less than the Minnesota Twins. The hiring of Thad Levine proves that they are ready to trying something else in the organization. The Twins roster is loaded with a lot of hitters that have high strikeout and low walk rates. Only five teams in the league struck out more than the Twins this season. If Thad Levine is able to construct a roster the way he wants, then the high strikeout totals should be coming to an end soon. You can handle the strikeouts from a player when they produce like Brian Dozier did this year, but it is hard to take from someone that is not hitting on a regular basis. Miguel Sano and Brian Buxton simply did not produce enough at the plate to excuse the high number of strikeouts. It would not be surprising to see either of these players in a different uniform in the next few seasons. The player development and analytic mind of Thad Levine should also keep the Twins from making horrible signings on the free agent market. The Twins play in a small market, so they have to be as smart as possible when it comes to signing free agents. They can't afford to overspend on someone that does not help the team. Ricky Nolasco is a great example of a recent failing by the front office of the Twins. A $49 million contract to an aging pitcher is never a good idea, and it came back to haunt the Twins. It may take a few years, but the Twins finally appear like they are on the right track to make the playoffs again.
  11. Zach Granite was just named the winner of the Sherry Robertson Award, sharing the title with Double-A teammate Stephen Gonsalves. The award is given annually to the Minnesota Twins minor league player of the year. This is a major step forward for the Twins prospect. It points towards a bright future and a possible call-up to the big leagues in the not-too-distant future. With the 2016 season that the Twins had, Zach might just be at the right place at the right time. Here is a closer look at what makes Granite such a special player to watch. Seton Hall Product Granite was drafted by the Twins in 2013 after playing his college ball at Seton Hall. The Twins selected him in the 14th round of the draft. It has taken a while for Granite to adjust to the professional game. It is a big transition to handle pitching at this level when you are using a wooden bat for the first time in your life. Every player is different when it comes to making the transition, but it appears like something clicked for Granite this year. Growing up in New York City, Granite was exposed to many different leagues around the area, which has certainly helped with this adjustment. His hard work growing up has certainly paid off, as he is as fundamentally sound as any prospect in the Twins organization. Doing Damage at Double-A In his three previous seasons in the minor leagues, Granite was never able to get above Class A. However, the Twins thought he did enough last year to warrant some time with the big league club this spring. Granite was able to do enough during his time with the Twins in spring training to be promoted to the Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts. Granite was surprised that he got to start the year with Chattanooga. He had thought he would be back in Single-A with the Ft. Myers squad. He let the promotion inspire him, and he had a great season with Chattanooga. He batted .295, scored 86 runs and stole 56 bases. He also showed the same great defense in centerfield that he has displayed since he was drafted. Granite is a freak of an athlete who was also a standout hockey player in high school, demanding looks from Pittsburgh Penguins scouts. The speed of Granite is his most valuable asset. It allows him to make stellar plays in the outfield and steal bases with great success. It was his bat that had kept him from progressing through the minor league ranks in his first three seasons. Zach was drafted as a skinny speed-demon from Staten Island, but has since bulked up to improve his hitting. After demonstrating a solid bat over an entire Double-A season, it seems likely that Granite will start next season at the Twins’ Triple-A affiliate, the Rochester Red Wings, as long as he does well in spring training. The Twins had high expectations going into 2016, but times have changed and it might be a promising immediate future for Zach. With the terrible defense that the Twins played in the outfield in 2016, they can only hope that Granite will handle the leap from Double-A to Triple-A well. If he does, you can expect him to get a call-up to the Twins sometime next year.
  12. It's been a hard fall for me to write in these spaces. Every evening I try to sit down to write, I find a dozen other things to do. There are papers to grade and recommendations to submit and people to actually be married to. So while I love to write, and even though I want to write, it slips through my fingers more often than I like. This past week, I had the time, I had the energy, but every time I opened up this page, I stopped and stared. And as the feeds from North Minneapolis streamed into my phone, as people I love and trust engaged in louder and louder protests for more pressing matters than quality sports analysis, I couldn't find it in myself to write. So as I sat in front of the screen, I could think of nothing to say that wasn't horribly, dreadfully irrelevant. And when I went in to work, to discuss issues of the day with young people who lived blocks from the fourth precinct, who spent all night raising their voices for justice, all I could think was how insignificant it would be to write down potential snarky nicknames for Byung-Ho Park or warmed over jokes about how I liked St. Vincent and the Grenadines better when it was Bill Murray and a light syrup. What reason could I have for publishing my millions of minor notions about these silly little games, while a senior boy--a young man I've worked with for four years, an academic on track for college and a major in architecture, a person I would trust to rule justly and fairly as Grand Poobah of the Universe-- while this friend of mine confessed his intense fear that the last thing he would ever see would be the somebody's boots on the curb, and the last thing he would hear would be the cocking of a gun, as he lay on the street with his hands behind his back? The truth is, I (and many people like me) have the privilege of turning off the news, of tuning out the rhetoric, of tending to our hobbies and interests, because we don't live near the fourth precinct or worry that our lives will end with a bang and a brief, perfunctory, utterly unsurprised comment on the local news. It's particularly easy for those of us who love sports to see successful people of color in our community, to cheer for their successes, wish them the best and forget that people like them in our community are struggling. We can bleed purple with Adrian and Teddy and dream on the futures of Byron, Miguel and Byung-Ho. We can debate the upside of Towns and Wiggins and marvel at the cross-cultural partnerships of Ibson and Alhassan and remind everybody that we loved Maya Moore and Simone Augustus before it was cool to do so. We can, and do, hold our local heroes close whatever their background, even though--as fans in the stands--we have always looked more like Killebrew and Mikan than Hunter and Garnett. http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/NTE2WDcxMg==/$(KGrHqRHJCgE8fjuOpMTBPNG5TYvCg~~60_35.JPG But what's dangerous is if we start to feel that, because we know the men (and women) who wear jerseys emblazoned with Minnesota, we don't need to know the men and women, the fathers and mothers, the sons and daughters who walk the same streets, work in the same buildings, and attend the same institutions that we do. If we confine ourselves to watching the games from the comfort of our couches and our big screens, we miss the joy of watching together. If we insulate our passions to the podcasts on our headphones or isolate our opinions to small talk with family members and friends, we turn our very public institutions into extremely private pleasures. But, if we insist on sharing our loves, if we make a point of socializing around the colors and emblems and players that we adopt as "one of us," then these silly little games can unite us in a way that few other things can. Right now, with the ways we consume sports changing rapidly, it's easy to isolate ourselves in our fandoms. And for those who attend games on a regular basis, it's even easier to forget that what you see on the field or the court or the ice isn't reflected in the stands (even adjusted for our metropolitan demographics). As mere fans, there's little we can do. No championship trophy is going to unite us all or solve the systemic problems that have left so many so desperate for change. We can't have one good conversation at a sports bar, or over the water cooler and end injustice. What we can do is be open. What we can do is to talk about what we love and learn what others think. What we can do is use sports as the icebreaker, as the gateway, as the conversation starter, to come together and build a better community. We might have to go out of our way to find new opinions. We may need to visit a bar on Lake Street rather than in Northeast to watch a Champions' League match. We may need to share more than a nod with a neighbor or coworker who wears team gear after a big win. We can invite them to watch the game on Sunday (or Saturday, or whatever day). We can take an extra ticket that a friend flaked on and try to pass it on to someone different rather than just resell it. We can donate to the team funds that make attending a game easier for others. These things won't bring justice or peace, but they will bring us a little closer together. I talk about sports, even at times like these, not because I want a distraction from work or the worries of the day. I talk about sports because it reminds me of how great it is to be part of something bigger than myself: bigger than my job, bigger than my worries. Sports reminds me of what it is to be part of a community of fans, and how much better we are together than we are alone. I'm not sure when I'll have time to write again, or if it'll be about sports when I do, but I know I'll ask the boy from over North--the one who still wears a Mauer jersey through every snorting laugh from his friends--what he thinks of the bullpen for next year; I'll ask the girl from Lake Street who moons over Ronaldo if she's seen Christian Ramirez up close yet. And after we talk about that, we'll talk about the next thing, and the next, and the next, until we stop being two individuals talking and start being a pair of fans in community.
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