Let's talk Twins! If you love the game as a newbie, or a encyclopedic book of knowledge, please share your opinion or a story of interest. (Email me if you are shy!) I am writing to learn more about the game. Come learn with me, or feel free to share your knowledge.

Go Twins!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tolleson - as good as he looks on paper?

A year ago I did not even know there was such a thing as Winter Leagues, now I am busy looking at the stats, trying to gleam an idea of who will be hot who won't be. But if you are a reader, you know I don't believe that stats are everything. Stats can't catch the little webgems that we get out of Punto or Casilla. But given no other info, I am using them.

I am truly excited to see one player in action, Steven Tolleson. Again, going on stats only, his OPS looks impressive at .991. His OBP is .449. He is pretty even on right and and left and has a 1.121 OPS with runners on. Alone the numbers mean little, but he is playing comparable to Casilla at this point. He is on the 40 man, but as a short stop I doubt there will be a place for him on the 25, but you never know what will happen. Have to see how well he does in Spring Training.

Ok, so we aren't a successful team at bringing in or keeping big names, but here is another example of young talent that I cannot wait to see in action.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Punto signed

Miss me??? I have missed being here. Life gets busy and of course, there hasn't been much going on. I was hoping for tons of news coming from the Winter Meetings this week in Las Vegas. Lots of rumors, but unfortunately, not a lot of dealing.

Well, there was movement in the front office today, albeit not the kind that I hoped for.

Punto had been talking to several other teams including the Yankees, Mets and Diamondbacks, and chose to sign with the Twins. His deal includes $4 mil for two years, a $5 mil club option for 2011, and a $500,000 buyout. Gardy has said that Punto will start the year as shortstop.

As you know, I think Punto is a mixed bag. Sometimes making plays that are incredible and then following it up with a misstep that makes you wonder how he ever made it to the majors, he is someone you can't decide whether to love or to hate. Is he worth the $4 mil a year? Dunno, but I hope that the decision frees them up to seriously start looking for a good trade for a 3rd baseman. Love him or hate him, he does some solid things. I love my puppies, but we need to invest a little cash to improve the team. Think of the team we could have with a majority of the players we had last year, but adding some strength on that side of the field. Keep the youth to keep the excitement and drive, and add some talent and experience to complement it.

But I am so excited to get back into reading about and talking about the team. I hope you are too!

Okay - so I will try not to be down on Punto this year when others bad mouth him, and try to stay supportive during his blunders. Of course, I plan to lose 10 pounds in the next few days, too! hee hee

Friday, October 17, 2008

And the award goes to...

...taps mic, clears throat and prepares to present a monumental acceptance speech that will be repeated over and over again because of its warmth and hilarity...

Thank you to my good friend, and coincidentally enough a Twins fan, Kat for giving me this award on her site Oranges and Peaches. I like to think of her site as a brain dump of fascinating facts. As a librarian she chronicles what she learns through various research requests. While I am horrible at describing it, it is a fascinating blog that will often have you saying, how did I not know that, and send you running to google to learn more.

Now for the dilemma - My job as an award winner is to share with you my favorite blogs. This site is about the Twins, so should I share only my favorite Twins blogs, or open myself up and share more of my extremely eclectic interests? I decided to do a little of both. I hope you enjoy these as much as I do.

Cake Wrecks - A double dose for me. I have always wanted to learn how to decorate cakes and love Ace of Cakes on the food network. I also love to laugh. My first thought was how long could something about cakes gone bad last? I hope a long, long time. When I need a good laugh, this site is sure to provide. Even if you have no interest in cakes, check this one out at least once. I guarantee you will be hooked!

365 to 42 - An amazingly beautiful site of photography throughout the photographer's 41st year. I am often moved by his photos. His posts vary from how and why he took the photo to poetry that fits the photo. A must see.

Twins Geek - One of my favorite Twins info sites. He covers anything and everything. And the best part - he didn't stop writing back in August when several other blogs I followed did. Ah... a true fan!

Popbang - Specializing in power pop that just doesn't suck on his internet radio station, this is the place to go if you want to know what is up and coming in the pop world. He highlights what is good in the new music coming out from both new and existing musicians.

Clever Girl Goes Blog - Like sarcastic humor? This is the site for you then. I like to go here whenever I need a little giggle.

Okay - I have bared my soul. Hope you enjoy these!

Here are the rules for the award winners:

  • Place the Logo on your blog
  • Link to the person who awarded you
  • You can nominate up to 5 blogs
  • Add their links to your blog
  • Leave a message in the comment section of their blog to notify the winners.

Counting the days till Spring Training!!!


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What a season

Well Twins fans, so ends a fun drama-filled season! Considering what the Twins were supposed to accomplish this year, we had a fantastic run!

I have had the best time starting up this blog and learning what I could along the way this season. They have made it hard for me to tear myself away from the tv night after night after night.

What I came away with from the season:
  • A goose bump filled memory of game three of the home CWS series that I will never forget, and will make any future games I attend feel quiet and boring for maybe the rest of my life!
  • A new, deeper knowledge of the game that made every play more exciting, and made me hungry to learn something more every chance I could, through reading, watching and talking.
  • An idea of what direction I want to go with this next year, and a notebook stuffed full of ideas.
  • A family that groans at the mere mention of the Twins! A few teen-ager words used to describe me and my blog include - geek, stupid, dumb, waste of time, and the ever popular eye roll and deep overly dramatic sigh (does that count as a foreign word?).
  • Many new friends on both sides of the fence.
  • A realization that mommy CAN take time for herself and a hobby that she loves without the family falling apart. (Of course, if you poll them, the results may vary a little!)
  • And mostly, a much deeper love of something that started as an interest and became an overwhelming passion!

Here is to you Twins for giving us more than we dared to hope for and proving them wrong once again!

Can't wait for Spring Training to start!

See you in the spring!

Thanks Twins!!!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Game 163 for the Twins

The Chicago vs Detroit game just ended, and unfortunately it did not go our way. Ramirez crushed a glimmer of hope after the Tigers had pulled ahead in the top of the 6th, by getting a grand slam in the bottom of the same inning. In case you didn't hear, it was his fourth tying the rookie record.

So the Twins play Chicago at 6:30pm tomorrow.

We control our own destiny!

Go Twins!!!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

And now we wait

The Twins are now 1/2 game ahead of the White Sox, forcing the rained out game to be played tomorrow afternoon in Chicago. I thought since the game was rained out in Detroit, that they would be heading to Detroit to play the game. I guess part of me hoped that they would have to travel a lot before Tuesday's game, if it were necessary. (There was an interesting discussion one day about the importance of gate fees, so my guess is that there was some compensation to the Tigers for the loss of the gate fees.)

So now all Twins fans have to hold their breath and wait until 4-5pm tomorrow to know our team's fate. As I detailed yesterday, if the CWS lose tomorrow we will win the division. The Twins are gathering at the dome to watch the game as a team, and will at least be able to celebrate together. If the CWS win, then we will be heading to Chicago to play the tie breaker. I cannot imagine sitting in the dome tomorrow watching a game that could mean either a champagne celebration, or a quick run to the airport to jump on an 8pm flight.

I will be watching the game tomorrow and hoping NOT to have to watch a game on Tuesday!

Go Twins!!! (and Go Tigers!!!)

American League Central showdown - Twins vs White Sox

So here is how it breaks down...

In the ultimate of end of season showdowns, the whole White Sox vs Twins saga will very likely come down to the Twins fans watching box scores very, very closely the next two days. I have been surprised at how many fans leaving comments on other sites are confused as to what happens next, so here is the way it all plays out.

The CWS missed a game due to rain and so their record compared to ours is off by one game. That game will be made up only if after tomorrow's games we are still within half a game either way. Why either way? Because their win or loss in that game could make it a tie between our two teams. So if they are up by half a game after tomorrow, they do NOT win the ALC. They instead play the rained out game Monday, since if they lose that game we would end up with tied records for the season and be forced to play a tie breaker game. And of course, it flip flops if we are up by half a game.

So if you look at the scenarios, they are as follows:
  • Both teams win tomorrow - Twins will remain ahead by 1/2 game and the CWS will play on Monday.
  • Both teams lose tomorrow - Twins will remain ahead by 1/2 game and the CWS will play on Monday.
  • Twins win/CWS lose tomorrow - Twins will be ahead by 1-1/2 games and take the division!!! Yeah!!!!
  • Twins lose/CWS win tomorrow - Twins will be behind CWS by 1/2 game and the CWS will play on Monday.

So in three of the four scenarios, we will not know the outcome until the CWS play their Monday game.

Now - fast forward to Chicago's Monday game.

  • If we end up after tomorrow's games up 1/2 game ahead of the CWS and they play Monday and win, we will be tied with them and play a tie breaker on Tuesday at Chicago (we lost a coin toss a week ago). If they lose Monday's game, we will be ahead of them by 1 game and win the division!
  • If we end up after tomorrow's games behind by 1/2 game and they play on Monday and win, we will be down a game to them and be done for the season. (And joyfully celebrate a fantastic season!) If they lose on Monday we will again be tied and play the tie breaker on Tuesday at Chicago.

The next few days look to cause real issues for my manicure! I will be at tomorrow's game cheering on my team with hopefully 45K of my best friends, so I am guessing the voice could be an issue as well!

Here's to an exciting day tomorrow!

Go Twins!!!

Friday, September 26, 2008

O....M... G!!!

What a game!!!

It was an amazing come from behind win that puts us 1/2 game ahead of Chicago. The team and the fans did not give up despite being down 6-1 due to a bone head play, losing Slowey early, and going to the bullpen so early in the game yet again.

It was a game that felt like the play-offs. I have no voice left (literally), my hands hurt from applauding the entire, and I mean entire, game and I got plenty of exercise by standing probably 75% of the game. The fans were wonderful, no slobbering drunkards, no swearing, just a stadium FULL of screaming cheering baseball lovers! And best of all, no barbies asking if a RBI is a good thing. The poor little girls in front of us was not thrilled about the volume, and was covering her ears and looking a little shell shocked, but the rest of us had an amazing time.

Even after spending an hour trapped in the parking garage and not moving an inch, I still feel high.

Congrats Twins on a delivering a fun game to watch! I am back at the dome on Sunday hoping for another exciting game.

Go Twins!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Blackout? Are you kidding me?

So I have been fanatical about watching the games this year, DVRing any that I could not catch. Here we are at the end of the season, the three most important and exciting games of the season, and I will not be able to watch them! My family has both channels of the DVR booked and despite my efforts to find a way to schedule around them, it doesn't look at this point like I will be able to watch or tape the games. How ironic is that? I am not comfortable enough to go to a bar alone to watch. (If anyone wants to go and keep me company, you would have my undying gratitude, and a few drinks bought by yours truly!)

In my spare time I have been reading about MLB contracts. One fun thing I learned is that MLB players are actually protected by a minimum wage. For next year, a MLB player cannot be paid less than $400K. Now, admittedly that sounds low when you think about how high some of them go. But it is a big jump from the minor league minimum of $65K for next year.

The second big surprise? How many of our players are making just over minimum wage. I guess it shouldn't be too big a surprise given the experience level of our team, and the fact that our opening day 25-man payroll was just under $57 million. Take out the big salaries for the stars like Nathan, Mauer, Morneau, and the few veterans and you see that there is not much in the pot left to give.

Gotta tell you, it is exciting reading. Have a night you can't sleep? Just go read the MLB contracts.

Hope to be joining someone at the bar tonight!

Go Twins!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What is in a name?

Interesting thought today. The rumor is that Target paid somewhere in the ballpark (hee hee) of $100 million for the naming rights to the new Twins stadium for 25 years. Questions abound as to if it is worth it. What do they get for approximately $4 million per yer? Name recognition, invaluable to retailers, especially during difficult financial times. But how do you put $4 million into perspective? How do we determine if it is worth it? To me, that is a huge amount of money. Heck, nowadays, $4 is a lot of money to my budget.

I read today that Target donates $3 million per week to local charities. $3 million per week! So I would guess that $4 million a year, given the potential name recognition increase makes it piddly in the scope of their advertising bucket. Given 81 home games, there name will get exposure at least 81 times. $50K per televised event suddenly doesn't sound so bad. Plus the fact that they get rights for a strong presence inside the stadium. Sounds bargain basement to me. Heck, a 30 second Superbowl commercial is rumored to cost $3 million.

One thing I am very pleased about is that they went with a local business that is likely to be around for a long time. When researching fields it was interesting to see how many have changed names (talk about confusing) and how many have changed multiple times. Minnesotans are not good with change, so let's hope the name lasts as long as the rights do!

One thing non-baseball friends are confused about is that this agreement in no way affects the ownership of the team, or the field. All this does is buy the name, advertising and a presence in the ballpark.

Go Twins!!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Target Field

Today's announcement that the new stadium will be called Target Field, and Target's plans for the area including a plaza connecting the ballpark to the Target Center, has some of my non-baseball friends discussing the new ballpark. Their main point has been that the team should have put out the extra money for the roof. All that discussion, plus my earlier blog today about the weather had me curious about retractable roofs.

There are currently five fields that have retractable roofs as far as I could find.

Safeco Field (Seattle Mariners) - Has a three panel system that is meant to be more of an umbrella, rather than an airtight climate controlled covering. This means there are some areas that can be very chilly. It takes 10 minutes for the roof to close.

Minute Maid Park (Houston Astros) - The first of the retractable roofs, it cost $65 million to build. Most of the roofs do not open to provide a 100% viewing area, but this one does. It takes 20 minutes to close but only costs $5 of electricity to open or close.

Rogers Centre (Toronto Blue Jays) - The four section roof cost $100 million and takes 20 minutes to close. Unlike most parks, Rogers closes the roof very seldom, around four times per year.

Chase Field (Arizona Diamondbacks) - The two halves do not close 100% but take only five minutes to close. The stadium can be cooled 30 degrees in three hours when needed, which given Arizona's weather, is most of the season. The halves are so light that it only takes $2 in electricity to open or close them.

Miller Park (Milwaukee Brewers) - The fan shaped, seven panel system cost $50 million, closes in 10 minutes and has been plagued by issues. When opened the fan still shades the first base side most of the day making it hard to grow natural grass. It also leaks (which designers say it was never meant to be 100% waterproof) and has had several expensive mechanical repairs needed.

While I agree that it would have been nice to have a retractable roof on Target Field during some games, I still think the impact of postponed games will be minimal. Listening to my friends, the rain delays might have a larger impact. Make some of the less fanatical fans wait for a game to start for a few hours, and they might not come back.

Now for my bigger question - Target gets extensive brand presence as a part of the 25 year deal. Wonder what we can expect under that umbrella?

More on that to come...

Go Twins!!!


I am very excited for outdoor baseball to begin. I am old enough to remember games in the Met, and some friends drove to Milwaukee for a game when we were in college**. Outdoor baseball IS baseball.

But the recent wash outs have posed an interesting question as teams clamoured to find an indoor arena to complete postponed series games. Given another end of season pennant race, would we move washed out games to the Metrodome? The White Sox even approached the dome but were turned away because of scheduled football games.

I heard someone say a few weeks ago that this would have been the perfect year to start outdoor baseball because the weather had been ideal. Huh? We hearty Minnesotans have selective memories apparently. (After giving birth, many moms also forget the pain that made them swear at their husbands and can be heard to say it really wasn't that bad.) Now, I am not saying it was horrible weather, but I remember game after game of my daughters' lacrosse team being cancelled due to the late departure of winter and then as storm after storm rolled through.

We will need to expect games to be postponed due to weather in Minnesota. At the beginning of the season, not a big deal. But as we have seen in the last few days, end of season delays can cause big issues.

I would be curious to see if any games are ever moved to the dome...

My first gut reaction is to wish they had pursued the retractable roof harder. But then the baseball lover kicks in and except for a few weeks at the end of the year, a few postponed games will cause no issues. I love the design of the stadium, which would have had to have been altered to accommodate the retractable roof. Besides, we Minnesotans will forget the hassles of rescheduled games and only remember enjoying a cool beer and hotdog out in the sun as our Twins headed full steam for the World Series!

**(I have always loved Paul Molitor since one of the guys that we went with to that Brewers game had the same name. So of course, every time the Brewer's Paul Molitor had a good play, we congratulated our version. Did I mention there was drinking involved?)

Go Twins!!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Game 16

Game 16 done... fun game what I saw of it. FSN did not carry the entire game. Denard Span got two homeruns, and Carlos Gomez four RBIs in the 12-2 win. Plus, it was nice to see Michael Cuddyer back after missing so much of the season. He didn't do much, but it was a baby step back. Most fun? Seeing Carlos coming back to life and starting to smile again. Keep smiling Carlos!

25 minute break till the next game. Time enough to fill and empty one of the aforementioned bar glasses!

Go Twins!!!

Nothin says lovin...

...like new Twins barware!!!
Thanks to the hubby for some awesome glasses.
Better than a dozen roses
  • cheaper
  • last longer
  • won't make you bleed if you grab them wrong (well... it is harder to do anyway)
  • can't drink cranberry vodka out of a rose!

Go Twins!!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

16 and counting - Sudden realization

Okay, so today I realize there are 16 regular season games over the next 17 days. (Like the clarification?)

By the time the season is over I will have over 500 hours into watching the Twins games on tv. I will have almost as many hours in listening to them on the radio, listening to talk radio, reading sports pages and Twins blogs, and writing my blog. I probably have almost as many in sleepless nights thinking over stats and possibilities, and of course what the heck I should research or write about next. (Yes, that much of a loser...) If you add up all that time it totals roughly two months of my life.

My point? This has been a hobby that has consumed me for many months now. What am I going to do till negotiations heat up or Spring Training gets underway? How will I reintegrate back into the household?

Pure panic! Anyone care to talk Vikes? Luckily I have hockey and football to keep me occupied.

So I plan to make the best of this late penant race and allow myself to jump into it completely. With such a long season, there is a tendency to hold back a little (unless you ask my kids). Right now I am re-researching contracts. I looked at them a long time ago, but have to admit I find the process confusing. Lots of terms, and just when I think I get it, I realize I don't. Thanks to fellow fan Dave who gave me a great site about contracts. I will post what I find for anyone else who doesn't quite have them down early next week.

Next up - Baltimore. In order for me to get even close to my prediction, we need to take the series and I am hoping for a sweep. Taking 10 of the next sixteen, might be possible, but it won't be easy.

Let's go Twins!!!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Now I feel dumb

Did you know Breslow has a degree from Yale in molecular biophysics and biochemistry?

So is pitching in the majors for molecular biophysicists like waitressing for actors?

Go Twins!!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

predicting the unpredictable

I have been busy trying to do some of my own analysis. Wow!

As I started, it seemed a fairly mundane and number crunching exercise. The plan... take the remaining series and assume a similar outcome from the previous match ups, compare our newly calculated expected final record and the White Sox, and bingo bango boom... easy schmeesy prediction. How hard could it be, asked the CPA in me?

Ok - fast forward hours later after realizing that the previous series for the Twins had lots of switches for fields (first series was away, while the remaining one is home, or visa versa). (Note - this was my big DUH moment, so go ahead, I said it so you are more than welcome to say it too.) So, should I adjust for home field advantage? If so, by how much? And what about outcomes that were so odd they shouldn't ended the way they did? Should I go back and fix those and THEN extrapolate? Or leave them in to cover the oddities that are yet to come?

Plus, what about the momentum factor? We now are filling the stadium with a consistent number of screaming fans who may have been nay sayers four months ago, but if asked, would never admit to it now. The bandwagon is full (I believe it is 17 straight home games with more than 30K fans) and the wagon is barrelling full speed. Will the full fan support help them through some of their issues, and make them give even more? Frankly, the issues we are facing are the same ones we started with and some of our rookies are starting to perform and look like veterans, (of course, the opposite also holds true for some) so I decided to ignore the current issues in comparing outcomes. For example, our relievers are not doing very well, Carlos is no longer hitting homers, BUT our relievers really haven't performed exceptionally all year, and where Carlos is slumping there are others (my man Kubel for example) who seem to be hitting more consistently. Evens out in my mind.

Of our remaining series 7 are away and 5 are home. Given our road record, there goes another factor.

End result - a pure, unadulterated, attempt-at-mathematical-calculation-gone-awry guess. A guess I spent several hours and a couple sleepless nights pondering, but ended with a guess none the less.

Drum roll please... my highly sophisticated guess is 90-72 and unfortunately, you guessed it, I came up with exactly the same number for the Sox. I have hopes of seeing 100, but it seems like with as many road games as we have remaining and with some of the teams we need to face, that will be a difficult (but not impossible) number to reach.

Me and my humbled spreadsheets retire as odds makers, and leave it to the pros!

Go Twins!!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Twins take first

With 46 games to go in the season, Liriano helped the Twins win in Kansas City to retake the AL central lead! Making 100 pitches, he looked strong in his second outing since being brought back up. I was pleasantly surprised. The way we rushed to bring him back last time, made me wonder if he truly was ready this time, or if we were just looking for someone to fill the void from Livan, or at least cause a distraction (plus, of course, avoiding all the contract issues). Like Gardy said today (forgive me if I paraphrase to the max), even if he is not 100% the pitcher he was before surgery he is still better than a lot of pitchers out there.

Another pleasant surprise - Boof. I think he looked better than he has for a while. (I still won't be a card carrying member of the Boof fan club any time in the near future, but maybe I will hide my Boot Boof signs for a little while longer.) But have you seriously looked at his ERA lately? Can he make it back to the 4s in the next two months? Ok - how about the 5s? (Sorry Boof... don't mean to come down on ya.)

And a final note - I felt so bad for Punto after his botched attempt at counting. He looked like the puppy who knows he did something wrong and wants to make it right at every at-bat. I wanted him to get a home run just to get it out of his system. So thank goodness for that final game ending grab. I am thinking that the bruises he gets from the landing are so much better than the ones to his ego. If anyone finds out what went wrong, I would love to know. Thanks!

I thought it was a fun game and Kudos to Young and Gardy for keeping their cool in an antagonistic situation. Well done Gardy!

Go Twins!!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Endurance factor

I was probably the only one sad in Minneapolis to see Livan go. Despite his abysmal ERA, I thought that he brought a few things to the club. My take is that he taught by example that grace under pressure can make a difference. They knew when they acquired him that the guy gave up a lot of hits, and he sure lived up to that end! But he was often able through his slow, calm style to get out of difficult situations, and despite all the hits he had the best record of the starting rotation at 10-8. Don't get me wrong - I take a healthy Liriano over his sage wisdom anyday, but lets not berate the guy for doing exactly what they said he would do.

But where I think they will miss Livan is in the endurance factor. Our young rotation seems to go the six innings for the win, and then they are done. I didn't have a lot of time, but I took a quick look at how many games the pitchers went into the 7th and the results were fairly interesting. Livan went into the 7th or further 11 of his 23 starts for 48%. Blackburn does well on this as well going 10 of his 22 starts for 45%. The rest are: Baker (33%) Perkins (18%) Slowey (24%) and Liriano (0% for obvious reasons). When I get time I want to redo it for going into the 8th inning.

My point? Considering how our bullpen is struggling and how they are being used heavily (Guerrier has played in 55 games), we should be looking for ways to strengthen and reorganize there. And quickly...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Collateral damage from Thursday's White Sox game.
I guess someone figured since they didn't have a hat to throw on the field that chocolate shake would work just as well. It got all over our clothes, hair and even in Allie's eyelashes! Eewwww....

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Chat Room - Part Deux

I said I would give it another try, and I actually gave it four or five.

So one evening I sit quietly observing the chat room, not participating, but just trying to keep up with all the different conversations. The room is moving incredible quickly with conversations all over the place and about several topics.

Then the unthinkable happens.

An IM window pops up on my screen saying a simple, yet so complex, "hello"!

Pure, unadulterated panic! What do I do? Have I been busted as a voyeur? Is that wrong? Is this person gonna scold me? Or worse... is this some cyber bot thingee that will take over my PC and infect it with some horrible virus? Is someone gonna start to cyber stalk me? What to do... what to do? Heart pounding, sweaty palms, I do the only thing I can think of. I type back the truly thought provoking response, "hello."

And then I wait for an eternity. What will happen next? Twiddle my thumbs, wipe the sweat dripping from my forehead, say a prayer or two. Hours go by... okay, I guess it was a few seconds. Another window!!! Oh no!!! Dare I open it?

"What is your favorite team?"

Whew! My PC unscathed, I start up what turns out to be a good friendship with (I cringe as I admit this) a White Sox fan.

But what has this friendship taught me? I realized that while I had started looking into the game of baseball more, there was one avenue that I did not go down. I have always thought of our team in a vacuum. We were the team in second place, but I never really cared who we were behind or thought beyond the upcoming game. Now as we went into the White Sox series I was paying attention to the other team, their strengths, weaknesses, players and what all of those factors meant to our team. We talked baseball for hours. I have to tell you the series took on a whole new character. I learned a ton about the other team and I started to think more about the long term. Who do they face next vs. who do we. Of course the best part was that I could poke fun at the new friend when his team lost 3 of the 4. We hoped for each other successful games (although I am guessing we both held some of our good wishes in reserve.) We congratulated each other for good games and lamented bad plays. It was so much fun to talk about! I was at the game on Thursday (the hat kicking day) and will blog about that later (I can't post a picture from the PC I am on.) No drug could have made me higher than being at that game. And part of the thrill was getting to really rub it in! Yes, I do have an evil side!

I have done the same research now for the Indian series and it has the same effect - minus the hours of chats. How fun would it be to have a friend from every team? (But I guess I would have even less of a life due to always chatting with someone!) Yes, it takes more time to look into the other team, but knowing how batters do against the expected pitcher, and visa versa, and what to look for makes the game so much more enjoyable.

Well, even if the friend it brought me was from the enemy, my chat room experiment was actually a success and I will go back.

Go Twins!
(Watch out Sox!)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Chat room "info"

Ok - so I decided a great way to pick up more info and to speed the learning process was to sit in on a chat room discussion. Yahoo has an MLB room that always seems to have a lot of people on it, so I figured I would give it a go. I spent several hours listening in, the room has both regular chat and voice chat.

Drum roll please... here is what I learned:
  • A girl named Melissa (I believe that was the name) used to invited 4-5 guys for a chat and strip on her webcam.
  • If you strip on a webcam someone will take a screen shot.
  • Said screen shot will then be posted as a link on the chat room at a later date.
  • Said screen shot will then be discussed ad nausium and rated in not so complimentary ways.
  • Despite having to enter the character recognition password, 1/10 of the people in the room at any time only seemed to be able to type, "Are there any men in here who would like to see me take off my shirt?" I think over the course of the experiment I blocked 20-30 of them. (Are those bots?)
  • The main purpose of the chat room is to listen to someone make crank phone calls and give him suggestions as to who to call and provide their numbers. It is also a game to see if you can trick him into crank calling the police station.
  • You need to be at a minimum tipsy to participate and it is sooo much better if you are plastered.
  • When someone dares to ask a baseball question, the only acceptable response is, "I dunno, I only follow football." There is, however, one exception to the rule. When asked who will start for the Red Sox in game 1, about 8 people in the room will quickly reply with the same answer.
  • If you have several hours to waste... find a chat room!

In all seriousness, I might have picked a bad time (it was from 10pm - 2am), but I was on for about four hours and literally saw only a momentary glimmer of baseball discussion. I will try it again sometime. So if anyone has a good recommendation on where to go, I would love to hear it!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

drum roll please...

With a week to go before the trade deadline, rumors abound about what moves, if any, the Twins will make. Personally, the way I see it, we are in a fantastic spot to be in this year. Our talent is still raw and undisciplined, but it is showing improvement. We have an abundance of players who are batting ok and have speed and flexibility. Once players return, I think there will actually be some difficult decisions to be made as to who to send down or platoon. I see one weak area and agree with those who are pitching (pun intended) for any deals to center around 8th inning pitching. Blyleven made a comment today about LaTroy as a possibility. Now how fun would that be to have him return? But I think that the current team has a chemistry and I know that they have been reluctant to mess too much with a chemistry that is working. It is going to be a fun week of speculation!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Whoa - where did Punto come from?

Gotta admit, I never completely jumped on the negativity bandwagon when it came to Punto when he faced the most derision. This is a game of hot and cold, and sure he was luke-warm to cold a lot at the end of last season, but I never thought he was done for like lots of my friends. But I never expected to see him play like he has lately. Seems like when he gets played he makes at least one really nice play, and sometimes comes up with a huge surprise. For example that little barely above ground shove pass to Cassilla the other day that continues to be replayed over and over. (Moment of negativity - had Cassilla missed the catch or not been able to keep his foot on the bag stretching out that far, or had it been someone else who was involved in that play, would the press have been so hot?) Personally, while he will never be one of my favs, I like the guy, think he can do some good, and with the competition he is facing for positions think he is stepping up his game. We can overlook the daily errors in judgement by Go-Go, why not give Punto a break and see what the guy can do?

Update: 7:40pm 7/5
Case in point - Punto just made a fantastic catch in the 5th robbing Carroll of a nice hit. WTG Punto!!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Sticky Situations

Ok - a few weeks ago after watching a game where three bats went flying into the dugouts, and seeing Go-Go kissing and talking to what appeared to be a pure white virgin bat I started wondering what was the scoop about pine tar. Out of curiosity I googled it and found more than I expected. I assumed that there wouldn't be much about it. I was more curious on why some batters seem to have bats black with the stuff and matching helmets, while others don't. What are the pros and cons? How much do they "need" and are the results consistent. Instead I found debates on which pitchers are using it illegally, and a story of George Brett and a controversial home run.

The Pine Tar Incident - The rule is that batters can use tar but it can only go up 18" from the tip of the handle. Back in 1983 George Brett hit a winning home run against the Yankees, that had the Yankees question the amount of tar on his bat, that it went too far up the bat. It was a little known rule and the officials were unsure how to handle the infraction. The run was deemed an out. The ruling was appealed and over turned with the game finishing at a later date and the score holding. It is an interesting story to read.

The other side of the debate is about pitchers, who are obviously not allowed to use it. One blogger said to look at Nathan's hat. I will out of curiosity now, but I would assume that any official at the stadium would be able to also see it and that we would have heard more about it. My question is how do they handle that in the NL? Does a pitcher have to wash his hands following an at bat to be sure no tar remains on his hands?

I was hoping to find out what players expect to get out of the tar, since even the well tarred bats go flying into the dug outs every once in a while. I didn't get the answers I was looking for, but it is an interesting read anyway...

Friday, June 27, 2008

Welcome to the Bandwagon

omg... that game was so exciting I think I peed a little. (Sorry - an inside joke from our hockey team.) I could not sit still during the last out and was told by everyone in my house to keep it down during the last two innings. But hey - if they had been watching that game, I bet even they would have had trouble not getting caught up in the excitement. I did notice one thing while watching... the full dome. Now maybe it was due to the camo cap (which I really wanted), but I think it is more to the fair weather fans jumping on the bandwagon in droves. I am backed up by the fact that I have been there during good giveaways during losing streaks (not so impressive to go double digits the other way - is it?) and people have gotten the giveaway and then left. Hate that btw - since you know they are only getting it to sell on ebay, since a true fan would stay to watch the game.

According to Bert during the game today, this would be only the 7th double digit winning streak since inception. The last one was during June of what year people? 1991!!! Is it an omen? Ok - coming down from the high, and no, I don't believe we are WS bound. But the ride sure is fun ain't it!

(And yes - I realized I jinxed him... feeling horrible! But I still love the guy!)

On the mound tonight...

Nick Blackburn (6-4 ~ which just happens to also be his height).

Of the newbies, he is on his way to replacing Baker as my fav pitcher. This kid is putting up some good consistent numbers, especially for a team that has had inconsistent pitching this season. (Yes, I know we are in the midst of an incredible streak that has shown much more consistency. I am hoping, along with all fans, that it will continue.) His current 3.68 ERA has ranged only between 3.32 and 3.94 during his last 10 games. Of his 15 starts, 9 of them have been quality starts.

I have to admit I started watching him more closely after the Yankees game that looked as though he might be out for a while. Lucky for us, he hasn't skipped a beat.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I was bored and drew this on my nail. (It was hard to take a picture one handed with my left hand, so this is the best pic I could get, sorry. It is the Twins TC logo if you can't tell.)

Impressive if you remember that I had to draw it with my left hand (think about it...) Lindsey thought it was a decal, so I done did alright! She, despite being duly impressed by my previously unknown artistic ability, has determined that I have crossed the official sanity line and have a very slim chance of recovering from my geek-dom.

Go Twins!!!!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Bye-bye Juan

I have to admit that I am not sad to see Juan Rincon go after he was assigned yesterday. Today he declined assignment so the Twins have 10 days to trade him or release him. I know that he was a good pitcher for us in the past, but I am admittedly an emotional supporter of players, and he just never cut it as far as I am concerned. If I don't feel good about them, they will never rate with me no matter how good they are for the team. I am, however, easy to turn. Just show motivation, dedication and an absolute love of what you are doing, and I can forgive a lot. For some reason that I cannot put my finger (no jokes people) on, I have never been a huge Rincon fan. Maybe because every game (literally) that I went to that Juan pitched in, we ended up losing because of his pitching. Hard to watch time after time... Pitchers struggle from time to time, I am not naive enough to believe otherwise. It just seemed to be more than that for him last year. Then I started to notice a drop in excitement from him with each passing failure. Sort of a downward spiral, I think. Could he have turned it around eventually? My hope for him is that he can, even if it is for another team.

So the assignment made me curious on how the whole contract part works. (Newbie - remember?) So, for those like me who don't know - here is the scoop.

Juan's twelve years on the teams earns him the designation as a veteran. Only five years are required to be deemed a veteran. Being a veteran gives you a few extra rights. So, when he was assigned to the Rochester AAA he had the right as a veteran to reject the assignment, which he did today. Had he been with the team less than 5 years, he could have been sent down once during his career without his permission. Since Juan chose not to go to Rochester, the Twins have 10 days to try to trade him to limit the financial burden. If they trade him to a team for a smaller contract, they will have to make up the difference. However, if they cannot trade him, they will pay the full remainder of the contract. So I guess we hope he gets traded.

There has been a lot of discussion about carrying 13 vs 12 pitchers. I am in a way worried by the fact that our pitching has been inconsistent at best and having one more pitcher available could help during one of the horribly out of control games. However, I like Buscher, so we will have to see if this is the spark that ignites the team.

Good luck to you Juan!

It's back...

The Twins are adding more of the all you can eat nights. For about an additional $12 per ticket in certain sections holders get all the dome dogs, nachos and other assorted goodies they can scarf down during the game. Ok, now does anyone honestly believe that they are doing this out of the goodness of their hearts? They obviously plan to come out ahead, and if the first all you can eat game is an indicator of how it will go, I believe they will make a fortune! (Why do you think they added SIX more games after the initial trial!) First game they had one section and one concessions stand for that section. The line at times stretched back several sections. For the next games they generously added a section, but I noticed that they did not add a concession stand. Each person is limited to two items per visit, and to make up your $12 you would need to hit the stand 1-2 times just to break even. A person hoping to come out ahead will plan on making several visits.

Now here is my question - those who are so concerned about getting as much value out of the wristband as possible, why are they not so concerned about getting the value out of the other portion of their ticket? You know, the portion they paid for a seat in the stadium to watch - hello - a ballgame that is sitting unused for most of the game so they can stand in line for the free food. Those who actually care about seeing the game will probably quit after 1 trip meaning that they will actually most likely come out behind, making a nice donation to the dome. I plead ignorance as to who benefits the most from these nights, but my guess is that it isn't most ticket holders.

My suggestion - if you are that desperate for stadium food, head to your local arena and load up on hotdogs, popcorn and nachos there. You can do a lot of damage and still be way under the $30. Then, go home and watch the game on tv.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Curse avoided?

So the David Ortiz Red Sox jersey buried in the concrete of the Yankees stadium during construction sold on ebay for a cool $175,100, with the proceeds going to charity. So had the jersey remained, who believes that the Yankees would have actually been cursed?

I find the whole thing both humerous and disturbing. It is slightly amusing that the worker believed it would curse the team, and maybe more amusing that the Yankees believed in it enough to spend the time and money to dig it out of the two feet of concrete. What if they started digging and couldn't find it, or if there really had never been a jersey buried there, and the whole thing was just an urban legend? I would be curious to know how they knew where to dig. How much time and money were they willing to spend to try to find it?

Then I have to pause and think - how would I have felt had it been at the dome? Hard to answer - part of me would want it gone... just in case. The other part would be disturbed that we would pay for the removal when we don't put enough into salaries.

Maybe that was the problem at the dome... a worked dropped a quarter in the cement, and we were forever cursed to pinch pennies? Just kidding.

Make it a fantastic day!

Glad I missed it!

Missed the game today, and I guess that may have been a good thing. I love Liriano, but have thought that his return seemed rushed. Just a feeling, since I am too new to know the ins and outs of a return from Tommy John. I was just surprised that his stint in AAA was so short lived. I want him back, don't get me wrong. I loved to watch the guy. And I think he will be productive again soon, but should he have stayed down for a few more games? Only time will tell. Today's 35 pitches in 29 minutes for six runs, five hits and three walks. Not a great 2/3 inning. Everyone has their bad days. Here's to hoping that this was just a bad day!

Full Star Trib article

Friday, April 11, 2008

I'm back...

With tax season coming to a close, my women's team practicing more to get ready to play in a cancer tourney next weekend, being sick, and now watching the Wild, and kids activities going crazy, there hasn't been enough time to spend on reading and writing as I would like. Tax season is done Tuesday, hockey will be done for the season after the tourney, etc. so my time will open up.

While I haven't been writing, I have been watching and listening to the games and reading about questions as they come up.

I have to admit, I am more excited about potential than I thought I would be. I am the person who will find something positive to focus on no matter how much the team actually sucks. But this time, it is an honest belief that they can do some fun stuff.

So has anyone noticed my two players are doing some fun things? Both are on the leader boards. Patting myself on the back just a tiny bit.

Gonna go and watch the Wild for a while since the Twins aren't on tonight. But I will also be on the PC and watching the game on Gameday. Then off to hockey practice...

Be talking to you more after the 15th.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Good for a laugh?

Okay - So Billy Crystal paid his fees and got a chance to play in a major league exhibition game. Wow, are there mixed opinions about this, and I have to admit I can easily argue both sides. But one point keeps coming to my mind. How many young AAA players would give everything they have for the same opportunity? I bet quite a few would love the chance to play in even one exhibition game. They are legitimate players with at least the chance of having the skills necessary. And they work hard every day hoping to earn the chance. One game to them is a chance to be seen, to prove that they have what it takes or something special to offer. It could be just one game, or the beginning of a dream major league career.
Hawkey said today that Crystal actually went to college on a baseball scholarship. I did not verify that. But even if true, he had no legit chance of doing well. He is 60 years old and over weight, and I am assuming that he hasn't played for years.
So what is our message? That if you have enough money and power you too can play on a major league team? This isn't the first time that a star has been allowed to play, nor will it be the last.
My personal thought? I think it is disrespectful in a way to the other team (especially the pitcher), sends a wrong message to those players who are working hard to get there the real way, but in the long run, as long as it only happens once or twice per preseason (imagine the chaos if it happened every game) it isn't really a huge deal.

If we have to watch stars play, can we at least choose someone young and sexy?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad!!!

Today is my Dad's birthday... so taking a second to wish him a happy one!

This week has been crazy (tax season ya know), but I will be back in a couple days.

So while I am gone... wanna weigh in on Livan? What are your thoughts/hopes/concerns about what we have seen so far?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Quote of the week

Thank you Carlos Gomez for what has to be the best quote of the week, possibly the entire season!

Tom Powers of the Pioneer Press quoted him when asked about becoming an impact player as saying, "They don't have no speed like me. I know I can help this team. Especially when I hit ahead of Morneau and the catcher and the other guy." Mike Morris and the guys at KFAN were having a great time playing with the "get to know em" campaign. Maybe he missed the team introductions... Hi, my name is ________ and my favorite color is _______. Ok - I have a hard time believing that he honestly does not know Mauer or Cuddyer's names.

While I love this quote and got a hearty laugh from it, I have to give the guy an out. He is only 22 and has become the focus of a lot of attention only because of being a part of the Santana trade. Had he not been a part of that trade, we would hear of the guy, but he would not be the focus of so much media attention. I will write it off to being nervous of having every word you speak and every move you make being analyzed to determine whether or not you should have been included as a part of the trade, if you are worth it. That is a ton of pressure for a young man.

Everything I hear about this guy is that he is very likable, confident to the extreme, but still maintaining his appeal. The other quote from the article was when asked if he thought it would be difficult to play center field in the dome he said, "If Torii Hunter can catch the ball there, why can't I catch it there?"

The reviews are that at 6'4" this guy is FAST! They also all seem to agree that he is a little overly aggressive at bat and if he can't back off a little he will strike out a lot. Probably a factor of his self-confidence. My thought is that if they can tone him down a notch without losing his enthusiasm, this kid could be a great asset!

Let's just hope that he can live up to his own expectations...

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Not quite enough...

This is my first year of actually following Spring Training. Past years I have only known what is going on thanks to whatever sound bites actually made the 10pm news, and that was only if I took the time to watch the news. The amount of reporting always depends so much on what the expectations are for the team, or more accurately, the expectations according to the particular sports reporter. And to be honest, in past years the sound bites were enough. I did not know that I could listen to the games, only that they were not televised. So there was no desire for more, or feeling like I was missing anything.

This is such a different experience. I am listening to KFAN (except game times of course) all the time (which spends more time on football than baseball during my listening hours - so next year maybe it will be a new Vikes blog!), reading the blogs, reading the sports pages, and listening to games that I can barely hear and understand since it is almost impossible to get AM stations in the building I work at. The one frustration I have is not being able to actually WATCH the players and games. This year I know all the names, the possibilities and yet can't put a face to the name, or a style to the position. I would also love to watch some of the nonroster invitees (a term I never heard till this year - which are all the players that are invited to camp, but are not a part of the 40 man roster.) There are I think 21 nonrostered players and a few of them have made great plays in the games I have been able to hear. Again - something that never would have been a concern to me in past years, until they moved up someone from AAA.

Last game I watched on gameday's f/x (is that what you call the gameday screen where it shows all the pitches and tracks where they go and the results?), and while it is interesting during the season once I know the pitchers and players, it felt a little dry for the pitchers I don't know. But all the Spring games on gameday are offered live, and I of course need to earn a living and can't watch them.

So this year I join the ranks of the devotees who rely only on stats, the news, and other peoples points of view for an entire month. My imagination is in full gear, and I can't wait to compare it to reality. This year I know what I am missing and it is just making the craving for being able to watch a game so much more intense. I am hooked and loving it!

I am curious... what do you do to feel more in touch with the team during the preseason?

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Brain Freeze...

No other way to describe the feeling of being completely overwhelmed by information today. I spent most of the day recovering from being sick this week, and then being dumb enough to go and play hockey last night (yes, that's right... I play on a women's hockey team). Exhausted, I took the recovery time to read blog after blog after blog... I feel dizzy!

There is so much out there! I would look at one blog and then there would be links to other blogs, and so on, and so on... I read blogs rating the AQ (Adorable Quotient)of the players, technical blogs that spoke of stats that I had never ever heard of, blogs that theorized about where players will be placed and how they will do, and blogs that created humorous poems. I even read a blog that posted a hilarious youtube video of Ellen doing an interview in a Hawaiian chair (the seat moves like you are doing a hula) even though at this point I have no clue how I ended up on that site!

I will be adding many of them to the links later, but I have to go back through them again and figure out which ones are the best.

Here is what I learned more about... The grapefruit and cactus leagues and the history behind them, the farm system and that we have SIX teams (and what all the levels are), who the fans are expecting to play at each position and why, and more about the strategy behind the lineup and how they choose the players for each role.

Many discussed the first three games. I was actually able to listen to the first game at work (even though it sounded as if there were a B52 hovering in the headphone, I could make out most of the game) and today's game (in perfect AM sound). Here is my take from the blogs and the two games I heard...

  • The pitchers that were expected to do well are.
  • Skinny Boof looks pretty good.
  • We are still short on offense, but hopes are high for a better offense than last year's.
  • Lamb might just be my favorite newbie this year. He has a really sarcastic, self deprecating sense of humor that is right up my alley! Sooo many newbies to learn about that I haven't solidified him as this year's choice, but so far, he is in the lead!

Pardon today's blog for lacking in substance, but I just had to share that I am too overwhelmed to choose a topic to write about. But I am looking and learning and will write something once the brain has thawed a tiny bit!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Sandlot

I love this commercial!

#16 - Jason Kubel

Here is the first of the player bios. My hope was to actually find more about the player than the stats. Unfortunately, that proved harder than I thought. All I could find in a Saturday's worth of research were the stats and a few opinions in blogs. Nothing substantial or worthy enough of including. So I will keep hunting for sources and see what I can dig up. Whatever I find I will add as I find it. Jason is my favorite player at the moment. I feel that this could be his year to shine (does being in your fourth year with an organization make you a senior player in any team but our Twins?) As my favorite and one of a handful of names on the 40 man that I actually recognize, Jason gets the dubious distinction of going first.

#16 - Jason Kubel

Name: Jason Kubel
Number: 16
Position: LF, but highly expected to play DH in 2008
Height: 6’0”
Weight: 210
Bats: left
Throws: right
Born: May 25, 1982
Major league debut: 8/31/04 (vs Texas)
Batting average through 2007: .265
RBI’s through 2007: 98
Home runs through 2007: 23
Awards: 2004 Minnesota Twins Minor League Player of the Year, 2004 AAA Player of the Year

Friday, February 22, 2008

Stats All Folks!!!

"They both (statistics and bikinis) show a lot, but not everything." infielder Toby Harrah

Baseball fans LOVE stats. It helps us compare players and determine their relative values. But they do not tell the whole story. I cannot look back at any of the players I have watched and quote for you an exact stat. Sure I can ballpark them, but even that is a stretch for some of the players I loved. Only a select few have a memory good enough to keep all of the numbers in their heads. In the long run, the numbers do not matter (except the obvious record breakers). For example I don't remember Herbie and Kirby's numbers but I do remember their constant smiles and laughter. I remember the pranks and teasing. And I remember that they both gave everything when they played, and cared enough to stop and sign autographs when others wouldn't. They loved the game, the highs and lows, and it showed. And their love was contagious to the rest of the club. Tell me that either one was the consummate athlete... I don't think so. Both packed a few extra pounds during their most productive years. Sure there was talent, but on top of the talent was playing for the love of the game.

That being said, I am as much of a numbers geek as the next baseball fan. (Of course, my being an accountant might explain that too!) So today I went to see what I could find for info on stats. Here are a couple of the sites I found...

http://www.mlb-teams.com/stats/stats_index.php general stats info

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players.shtml ugly site, but lots of links

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baseball_statistics comprehensive list of stats and how to calc them for those who want to go beyond just looking at the stats

http://www.baseball-statistics.com/ Awards listing

http://content.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/salaries/default.aspx salary info for players and teams 1988 thru 2007. Fun to look and compare the salary histories.

So here is to the most important stat of all, W-L!!!

6 more days till I get a game fix!

Go Twins!!!!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Am I missing something?

Okay - someone tell me - I am not forgetting something, like a Visa? Does anyone else remember Visas ever being this much of an issue? I have to say that I am amazed that with all the people involved in putting together a team, someone didn't catch all these issues.

Ok - a law change screwed up Liriano. Nobody caught the fact that the law changed? Front office, agents, anyone who is responsible for all the paperwork that must be involved to get and keep a player on the team with a Visa? That amazes me. Let's not forget that if your livelihood (and a very lucrative livelihood at that) counted on getting to the park on time, you would stay on top of any laws regarding Visas. Oh well... he should be at the park by Thursday or Friday they say.

Then you now add Casilla. His reason might or might not be more understandable. He had an appointment scheduled for the week of 2/11 but a family emergency prevented him from going. Haven't heard what the emergency was, but you can easily see how that could happen. I know nothing about Visas but again my question would be, is it wise to push it so close to when you are required to leave. Seems like you are tempting fate to throw... ummm say a family emergency in your path. His new appointment is March 11th. Let's hope someone can find him a way to get in sooner.

Reyes should be here (haven't heard if he is yet) but again... why so close to the wire?

These guys know when they are supposed to be here, and should know what they need to do to make it happen. And if they don't, there are certainly plenty of people within the organization that should. Not a big deal, but I hate the unneeded stress to the club. I would have preferred to have started Spring Training with no issues. Hopefully everyone is in Florida soon and we can focus on the game.

One more week people!!!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Wow, this is hard!

Forgive me for how slowly this is getting up. I am finding it hard to get the formatting done the way I want (trying to add pictures, stuff like that) plus trying to find resources is challenging. I have found a few great blogs, and the obvious sports sites. If you know of a great blog, or site, please let me know.

I am having fun looking at the 40 man and trying to figure out how we will do this year. I know it is not anything that can be backed by numbers, but I honestly believe that so much of how they will do will depend on the morale in the clubhouse. When the team gets along and laughs, it seems like they do so much better. Think of it, the years we were supposed to not accomplish anything and did, were years where there were lots of smiles and lots of laughing on the team, whether they were winning or losing. They got along and acted like a team, not a gathering of individuals. This year could be a rough one, after losing some key players, but mostly because of how the team felt it was handled, morale could be hurt. And yet, one advantage of such a young team, lots of fresh faces with no sour history. Remember the pre-contract negotiation years where Torii had a smile and a laugh that was contagious to the whole team? It will take just one character like that to begin to rebuild this team. Talent can be bought... heart has to be nurtured!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Welcome Livan!

With a 1 year $5 million dollar contract the Twins hope to add some experience to their pitching staff with Cuban right hander Livan Hernandez. He has spent 12 years in the National League (some say that will be a disadvantage for him) and comes to us with a lifetime 4.25 ERA (134-128) and 350 starts. Last year with the Diamondbacks he went 11-11 with a 4.93 ERA. What I like is that he leads the majors in innings pitched since 2003, and has gone 200 innings every season since 2000. We need some consistant pitching. This guy seems to have a durable arm. He has many appearances on the leader board with complete games, ERA, hits allowed, and several others. At the ripe old age of 33 (well, he turns 33 on the 20th of this month) this old timer can offer some experience to a bullpen full of young talent. I have actually in whole been okay with the way some of the acquisitions are shaping up, and this one especially could be helpful in getting through a difficult transition year of losing two of the top pitchers. Welcome Livan, and good luck for a fantastic season in the AL!

I found out the basics. Your turn... tell me all you know about this guy!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Here we go!!!

All you baseball fans out there - I need your help! This year I plan to take my casual knowledge of the game and make it serious. So I would love to find people willing to teach me, and who have a thirst to learn about our national pasttime. Let's pose the hard questions, the weird ones, and the incredibly fun ones. I want to learn more about the players, the stats, the teams, the fields and what makes a team actually tick. If I say something dumb (which should be almost every blog) help me out!

What I never want to be is the cute little thing that is at the game with a guy, who has no clue what is going on, and only perks up when she talks about the merits of Mauer's butt. (And yes - I have sat behind her... and others like her.)

I am a die hard Minnesota Twins fan, and despite the constantly changing faces, always feel hope for our club. Each year I pick one of the newbies and make him my fav. Last year it was Kubel. No idea who it will be last year, but I gotta tell ya, I have a good feeling about Jason and what he will be able to accomplish this year.

So I am hoping there are people out there willing to help me become someone who can talk the game and actually even know what she is talking about.