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!!!

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.