Posted by: twikipedium | November 30, 2010

Pinstripes & Pinheads

Hope your Turkey Stove Top Stuffing Day was excellent.

If you missed it, I created a post earlier regarding my lazy return to your browser’s favorites.

* According to a source at the Wall Street Journal — where every sports rube goes for up-to-the-minute information about their favorite squad — the Twins… “could” have interest in Derek Jeter. (Ed.: Now hold on just a second there, Ms. ‘Jesus Hates The Yankees’ T-Shirt Girl. Let me flesh this out before you start throwing things. And no, I ONLY KISS TWINS FANS Girl, “flesh” doesn’t mean that … or that.) It’s not going to happen. However, my point is this: You can’t hate everything about Jeter in a Twins uni.

There’s a laundry list of cons relating to why he would be an absurd fit in Minnesota, even in this fantastical scenario. His defense is less valuable than our current womanizer solution, at more than twice the price. He’s coming off the worst offensive year of his entire career. He’s old enough to be the father of most of his romantic interests (18 + 18 = 36, Jeter’s age. And in some states, 18 + 16. Uh huh.) The list goes on, and exponentially predisposes me to more and more pocket pool jokes, so we’ll leave it at that.

But here’s what you can’t argue: Jeter would bring iconic status to the Cities — make that everywhere. He’d achieve his 3,000th hit as a Twin. He’d retire as a Twin. And if you believe in clubhouse chemists, he’d bring several pieces of the personality pie.

And not matter what the torture you’ve crafted for your (nonfunctioning) Yankee voodoo doll, you don’t hate Jeter in a Twins uniform as much as you think. Such a transition really wouldn’t be any different than accepting Brett Favre as your own after so many years playing with the enemy. I don’t particularly care how many times you chanted “Yan-kees Su-uck, <clap, clap, clap clap clap>,” either. And I get that you’re clever enough to make “suck” into a two-syllable word, you clever shrew, I get that. But you’d love Jeter, “that one chick from Friday Night Lights,” and all the drama classes he took in high school, in no time.

Better look over your shoulder; it's Tim Riggins.

But let’s be clear: it will never happen (nor should it, from a statistical standpoint). I’m just trying to scare you silly Jeter-haters.

* Playoff shares for the three-and-out Twins were announced today… granting each player and several personnel members $30,883.43 apiece. For those disappointed in the quality of fanliness at each playoff home game, this will further shrivel your already-sour grapes. It appears the consolation prize after all the heartbreak is that the Twins yielded the biggest payout for a team eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, and the credit goes to the fans — fancy that.

As the MLB structures it, the playoff shares are channeled from 60% of the gate receipts (ticket sales) for the first three games of the ALDS (versus the Yankees). So, while they may have seemed under-enthused to most, the Minnesota crowd came out strong and ultimately — and financially — supported the squad. (Though, game three in New York probably brought in a sizable chunk as well.)

That’s beside my point, though. While many of you have been tirelessly scripting your offseason blueprints for the April 1, 2011 Dairy Queen Boys, I’ve been sizing up the “additional 10.71 partial (playoff) shares” dedicated to players who (a) had minuscule impact on the 2010 campaign, (b) were part of the Major League squad in 2010 at one point, but aren’t any longer, or (c) have since deceased — or so I understand it.

Obviously, the 25 guys in clubhouse for the ALDS defeat are getting their own full share — as is the intellectual outcast, Kevin Slowey, and the coaching staff, I think — so they don’t count.

So who is it that’s fighting over the bonus 10.71 shares? Here’s a good list of contenders to consider (or send care packages): Randy Flores, Brendan Harris, Luke Hughes, Trevor Plouffe, Jose Morales, Ben Revere, Clay Condrey(!), Ben Revere, Matt Fox, Anthony Slama, Rob Delaney, Ron Mahay, Manny Ramirez, Wally The Beer Man.

Brendan Harris should spend the money to legally change his first name to a slightly more obnoxious Brindon. Clay Condrey should buy a car for Jay Leno’s stable. Ben Revere should bribe Jason Repko to stop embarrassing him during warmups between innings in the outfield (rainbows, Repko.). Matt Fox should accept my creepy friendship request on Facebook. Randy Flores should find a hair transplant clinic that will take a look at his upper lip. And Wally The Beer Man should save up for a lake home in a neighboring state where underagers can legally sip on Four Loko/Joose under parental/adult supervision.

* And some good news about… our ensuing foreign exchange student program. The Minnesota Twins have brought back minor league first baseman, Justin Huber, after spending a full year with the Hiroshima Carp.

Can you find Justin Huber in this photograph?

* On an unrelated note… it sounds as though Japanese phenom, Tsuyoshi Nishioka, is excited about the prospect of the playing for a winning organization like the Twins. It’s likely a lot of PR fluff, but he did specifically mention that he’s willing to play wherever the Twins would like him. This is good news for all of us season ticket-holders in the Hardy’s Heart-Throbs section at the Metrodome.

* I’m kind of music nut… which is super unique, I know. And because I listen to music that you don’t, that means my Volkswagen is more modest than yours. Yadda, yadda, Arcade Fire is God.

Just kidding. On all accounts. Especially the last one.

Either ya love ’em or you hate ’em: Matt & Kim with Cameras.

For my pirates:

Matt & Kim – Cameras

Posted by: twikipedium | November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Resolution

Ok. Well. If this blog’s timeliness was any indication of my Twins fanaticism, you’d think Alexi Casilla was a rising star by now and that I adore abstract sketches of Aaron Gleeman’s mug.

(Half of that is not the case, thankfully. And the other half is false, unfortunately. You figure out which is which, cowboy.)

It’s been a little while, but going forward this will return to being a nerdly cyber outlet to upload valuable front-office wizardry from someone standing firmly inside the bounds of a restraining order from Bill Smith’s Logic. Why me? Why not? An absurdist-humored season ticket holder is just what your blog roll needs.

Let’s call this “a cup of coffee” for now. Maybe an ice cream pail full of Joe (Crede) if I can achieve a lower to middling amount of plate blog discipline.

Posted by: twikipedium | April 9, 2009

Momentous Occasion: Twins 6, Mariners 5

The Twins pulled out another victory last evening… coming back after a mid-inning surge from the Mariners offense.

This is not a rerun, only a repeat score with a different story, an a semi-climactic ending, and some drunken dome debauchery (we’ll get to the latter part later).

Without question, it was still one of the more entertaining games we will see this year. Lest any fair weather fans forget, there will be games decided by more than one run, and won’t include the Twins scoring six runs in a come-from-behind effort. There will be days when Nick Punto will have four RBI, and the MVP will go 0-5, with 7 LOB. While there will be other days when we see the lineup dominated by a AAA wash-up/call-up — (Levale Speigner, anyone?). It’s what keeps the game worth while watching each and every of the 162 attempts at entertainment and success.

Nationals Twins Baseball

It’s also what makes the game worth sticking around for with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, down by two, and nobody on. Shame on those who left early two nights ago. Shame and spite.

Last night’s win also marked… EACHsb’s first visit to the dome of the 2009 season.

This is the first season I have ever played part in a season ticket plan (Home Run Porch). I’m very much looking forward to the experience, especially after getting to actually sit in the seats I had been dreaming of all spring. It’s the dome, yes. But I’ve spent far too many years up in the cheap seats, battling the war of  beachballs, and “being a poor sport” during the wave. Yes, I do love the cheap seats, but I’ve also paid my dues, to be certain. And I’m sure I will have a thesis prepared for you by midsummer, discussing my distaste for the wave and my plot to foil that lonely jackass who smuggles a 12-pack of beachballs into each game.

But let’s leave that for another day and another time.

Wednesday means two things at the dome: 1) Student night ($4 cheap seats) and 2) Dollar Dog Night. These two ingredients mixed together have a tendency, for one reason or another, to bring out the worst in the Upper General Admission seats. The vast majority of those enjoying the value-packed price of $4 — specifically in the range of sections 201-204 — got more than their price of admission last night. Why? Two fights, that’s why. With enough booze in their bloodstreams, most of these fighting folk think they went to a fight and a game of baseball broke out. A good portion of the rest — the geriatric crowd — however, are likely not pleased and have begun writing their letters of complaint to the local paper. All of which is too funny to me. 

Anyway, count EACHsb undefeated at the dome: 1-0. 

Justin Morneau began avoiding any possible early-season slumps… by recording his first hits of the season.

Scratch that, extra-base hits. I recall Morneau beginning the 2008 season miring in the fact that his batting average spun in the mud at a dreadful .000. Indeed it must be difficult to look at your own batting average and accept that it’s a failure-filled .000. But I’m sure Justin is more relaxed this time around knowing that starting a season with an extensive 0-fer doesn’t mean you can’t have an MVP-competetive season. 

Morneau’s home-run was a no-doubter off of Carlos “Chief of the Eden Prairie Party Planning Committee” Silva, and I would have had a hard time not taking extra joy in that one if I were Justin. 

As a former teammate of Silva, a guy who was notorious for quitting when he wanted to, and once left school a crucial game early with a belly-ache, Justin should want his revenge. Sure, Chief was part of some important wins over the years. But there were a hell of a lot of other games that the guy threw out the window. Games where the leads were simply insurmountable for any lineup. 

From a fan’s standpoint over the years, Silva even appeared as though his competitive instincts quit on the mound at times. At some point in the clubhouse, somebody had to have had it out with him. Though, it likely wasn’t Morneau, a guy once guilty of carelessness at an early stage in his Twins career. But somebody had to have. 

Anyway, Morneau continued his mauling of Silva pitching with a double later in the game. Unlike the home-run, this extra-base hit looked rather doubtful in the early goings of the action. Specifically, when his hard rounding of first continued halfway to second. Even more specifically, when you could hear every fan’s inner monologue doomingly concede “Oh my god. What ARE you doing?” Even the guys urinating in the trough, listening to Gordo and Dazzle on the restroom radio were thinking “Oh shit.” Turns out, Justin knew exactly what he was doing. Except for the part where the lumbering Canadian belly-flopped into second for the finale of the crucial double. 

There should be some kind of bill in the Twins kangaroo court outlaws such injury-risking mistakes — mostly for those who have won MVPs, batting titles, Silver Sluggers, etc. Justin is no expert on stabbing at a base with a fragile appendage worth millions of dollars to the Twins franchise. Not at all. Neither are Matt Tolbert, Alexi Casilla, nor Michael Cuddyer for that matter. 

I doubt Morneau put a crisp $100-bill on Gardy’s desk after the game. But you can be certain the Justin heard a word or two from the rosey-cheeked skipper afterward, informing the Most Valuable Twin to review The Manual for Sliding before he goes to sleep tonight. Krista Morneau can help out too, if need be. (I don’t know what that means, either. I think it’s just a good excuse to promote a photo of her.)

justin-morneau-krista-martin-mortons-celebrity-waiter-event

Joe Nathan reached a Twins milestone of his own… recording his 200th save as a Minnesota Twin. 

Mariners Twins Baseball

Good on Joe. That’s his 201st career save “at the major-league level.” One whole save with the Gigantes apparently was enough of an audition for the Twins to acquire the middle reliever who is now easily in the upper echelon of closers of this era. 

Just think, this guy used to be a shortstop. Once quit baseball all together. And then one day, decided to give it the old junior college try again. And now the rest is beginning to sound historical. 

I suppose the next time I hear somebody say they want to quit something important, I’ll say, “Yes. Actually, you really should quit.” Unfortunately, by the time I can explain that they just need a sabbatical from their profession, and that they can always come back even better the second time around, I’ll have five finger prints on my face. But even more importantly, my business lunch at Quizno’s will have lost its luster — reason enough to avoid sharing such advice. 

Congrats, Joe. Your saves make us feel warm. And your inexplicably always-raspy voice continues to charm. 

Note: As this is a blog in its very infancy, and the the Twins season is in its early goings, we’re going to be trying out a few things to keep entertainment and information flow at its finest. Today, we’ll try a little medium called video. 

The Twins chip their way… to victory with a late-inning surge against a pesky Mariners lineup. 

EACHsb is going to try a different spin on things today — as mentioned earlier — with some video analysis of the game. If you don’t see any posts following this one, call the police…I’m probably sitting in a jail cell. We’ll see how long video enhancement can outlast legality here at Twikipedium. 

In the early goings… Twins starting pitcher, Nick Blackburn, seemed to struggle with his command, allowing six runners to reach base, and plating two runs for the visiting Mariners club. 

I spent much of Spring Training complaining about Ron Gardenhire’s decision to announce the Twins starting rotation so early in camp. Even more aggravating was Gardy’s placement of Blackburn in the fifth spot of that rotation. After Nicky’s gutsy performance in game 163 last year, I thought he would garner at least the number four spot in the rotation. 

With Scott Baker hitting the DL with some variety of pain in his throwing shoulder, none of that mattered, and Gardy shuffled Blackburn up to the second spot in the rotation. Blackie didn’t pitch much like a number two starter last night, nor did he have any of the bite on his two-seam fastball he featured so brilliantly against the White Sox. Of course, though, it’s early on, and rust must be given its time to crumble away. 

In the 4th inning Blackburn seemed to have settled into a rhythm… after retiring the first two batters.

Even after a two-out single by Wladimir Balentien, it felt almost like a foregone conclusion that Blackburn would retire the next hitter, continuing his recovery from the early innings. He looked simply settled.

Not the case.

Yuniesky Betancourt followed with a looping liner to  Delmon Young in left field. Aggressively, and annoyingly, Balentien broke for third. Now, whether the next decision was on behalf of intelligence or ego, I’m not certain. But Delmon attempted to throw across his body and put out the speedy Balentien at third in a situation where a near-perfect throw was needed to make that out. As expected, the runner reached. Within the next decimal of a second, two heads-up plays came to fruition: 1) Betancourt made his break for second; 2) Crede unfurled a laser to Casilla to make things right in an inning that seemed to be going so well. Unfortunately, even Crede’s perfect throw couldn’t make the evasive third out of the most frustrating inning of the game. 

Looking at the replays, the call from the umpire appeared that it could have easily gone in favor of the Twins, however. Take a look for yourself, sports fan. 

It’s a pretty bang-bang play, but I think both the umpire and the camera man had a pretty good view of it. Betacourt’s right foot looks like it never makes contact with the base; rather it collides with Casilla’s left foot (but maybe it was the corner of the base…). 

I’m not one to play the “What If” game. Inevitably, one must realize that the Twins will not only get hosed on numerous calls throughout the season, but also will gain advantage through such calls. Still, I wouldn’t put this one in the category of being “hosed.” 

But for those of you who are playing the “What If” game at home, the Mariners proceeded to drive those two runs in, extending their lead to 4-0. Now, run along. Go hide under the covers, and wonder what would have come of your life if you would have gotten up the stones to ask that chick out last week. I bet she’s seeing some other dude tomorrow night for drinks. Move on to the next inning of your life…

Blackburn’s struggles continued… into the beginning of the fifth inning, issuing an out-of-character third (leadoff) walk of the game.

With the Twin-killing and Twin-trade-resistant Adrian Beltre coming to the plate, the focus of the common fan quickly shifted to Philip Humber’s presence warming in the bullpen. Beltre popped out, but was followed by free-swinging Russell Branyan who lined a single to put runners on the corners. Nevertheless, Gardy held strong and let Blackburn pitch to Jose Lopez.

And then, well, this happened:

If you were wondering where those $8M are going, there’s your answer. And for that one play, for now, it’s deservedly so. 

For the first time in the game, the Twins had gained enough momentum to believe they just might put up a threat in the bottom of the inning. 

The overpopulated Twins outfield took charge in the bottom of the fifth… and got things started with a Carlos Gomez triple. 

This just looks too effortless. 

Span continued the momentum… and finally put the Twins on the board with an RBI-single.

This Twins run is brought to you by the previous 13 innings against Mariners pitching: one run strong, and frowning. 

And Cuddyer… who has been all or nothing at the plate until the point with either singles or strikeouts on the season, racks up a two-RBI single. .

It was a run producing even that vaccinated the crowd of a severely contagious yawn.

Cuddyer has looked silly in several of his at-bats thus far, swinging at what look like imaginary pitches. Cuddy even had the nerve to show animated disgust with a check swing call later in the game. He’s likely pressing to show that he’s worth his contract this year, and maybe last year’s contract too — all in one game. This is a new side of Cuddyer. Good to see he’s not taking his perma-spot in this lineup lightly.

The Mariners secured an insurance run… in the top of the ninth off of newcomer Luis Ayala.

This was a big run in a tight game where there had been no threat of scoring for the three inning prior. The run, however, came courtesy of some rather unorthodox craftsmanship. 

Endy Chavez, in what may have been intended to be bunt-for-a-hit, wound up sacrificing a Wladimir Balentien to second — with one out. That didn’t dash the chances of the run scoring, as Gutierrez followed with a revengeful single well out of Nick Punto’s reach. 

Mariners closer, Brandon Morrow… took what looked like a routine ninth inning and paved a path to victory for the underwhelming Twins offense.

The Twins shouldn’t take all the credit for this meltdown. Morrow got exceptionally excited after he retired the first to batters and started overthrowing, for one reason or another. I don’t know if there was a girl waiting for him at a bar in downtown Minny, but Morrow’s effectiveness evaded his body for the next three batters, walking each with pitches nowhere near the strike zone. Exit left, Brandon Morrow. Enter, the soft-spoken Miguel Batista. 

Batista’s first opponent was a chippy Span who victimized the Mariners early in the game, teaming up with the Metrodome for a sky-high chopper. For the sake of nostalgia in this opening series on the finale of the stadium that everybody loved and hated that originally opened against the Mariners… yeah, there I go again. Well, let’s just say the dome had a thing or two to say, and Span chopped another infield single, this time with an RBI tacked on top of it. 

Next batter: Alexi Casilla. In this situation, it’ll take more than any ordinary single to score the cumbersome Brian Buscher from second. It’ll take an evasive, slow, gapper, to plate that big fella.

Hmm, this feels like that one time we swept the, uhh, White Sox. Let’s see how this unravels.

A sweet sight indeed.

Cue up September by Earth Wind & Fire. That’s a Twins victory. 

Posted by: twikipedium | April 7, 2009

The Morning-After Spill: Mariners 6, 1982 Twins 1

Well, what an underwhelming way to open the season. But then again… Twins Territory has been fairly spoiled, with three consecutive home opener victories in the last three years. Like the proud Dutchman said this evening, sometimes you’re just due for such things. Hmm, well whatever that means, Happy Birthday, Bert.

blylevenfarting

For the sake of nostalgia, the Twins chose to open the final season in the inflatable toilet… sporting the style of uniform that was worn when the dump first opened. As old-timey and fun as those threads looked, it seems the Mariners got the best of the old school fun. The Mariners may not have donned any uniforms form three decades ago, but Ken Griffey Jr. certainly brought fans back about a decade, making his return debut with his first love. Oh, and he added a solo home run, his 612th, to the Mariners’ 6-1 effort.

At least Griffey didn’t hit the home run to a populated area of seats. Rather, he belted it off of the Viking folding chairs in right field (above the newly non-Chrysler-advertised right field baggy). Some of you may recall the Yankees making a trip to the dome last summer, and the at-the-time unblemished A-Rod hitting a tater deep into the HR Porch in left field, the 526th of his career. As a reflex — one that many Home Run Porch ticket holders have acquired over the years — the lucky fan who caught the ball threw the Hall-of-Fame material back on to the field.

The fool may have found a little solace in A-Rod’s public demise since then. But thus far Griffey has yet to do anything that will keep him from reaching the Hall-of-Fame. Count yourselves lucky Section 212. It could have been you last night throwing away the most meaningful souvenir you’ll ever find.

To better prepare yourself for such situations, bring a ball with you to the stadium. When you catch the home run ball, carefully swap the real ball for the fake you brought. Then heave the piece of crap onto the field, much to glee of the 200 fans (drunks) sitting proximal to your greatness. Even those who are the wiser will think you’re sexy. In fact, I’ve witnessed it. Yay, me. 

Mike Redmond done hurt himself out there again… and because of that mustached Civil War hero, Jose Morales is no longer batting 1.000.

Dear Mike Redmond,

Where do you get off!? Part of a reliable catching duo and heroic?? Who do you think you are? By now you may have guessed, I am speaking ironically, and have nothing but good things to say about what you do. Mike Redmond, do not change a thing. 

–Everything a Chip Hale Should Be (dictated, but not read)

*****************

Yes, you win trivia night, that was a Family Guy reference. And I will likely instate more of these reference as we move along on our dramatic 162-game journey. And yes, Future Me, I am already regretting the lack of timelessness that these references harbor.

On with the show. Redmond really is hurt. And apparently it wasn’t when he took the barrel of a Russell Branyan broken bat to his head. Rather, it was the old lug, legging out the lone extra-base hit of the evening for the Twins last evening, injuring his groin in some fashion. Give the guy credit, he hung around to sport his team-worst speed and score the, again, lone run of the game. I can’t criticize. 

This led to a pinch hitting opportunity for backup backstop, Jose Morales, in the ninth inning. Throughout the game, several dugout camera shots showed Morales, giddily awaiting his turn, and his lower lip wedged with a Carlos-Guillen-sized dip. The ground out to first in the ninth inning cost the newcomer his major-league-perfect 1.000 batting average (3-3 lifetime, coming into the game). But, hey, he showed us a lot tonight: he has the ability to run the bases without sustaining major ligament damage in his left ankle. That’s a plus when the first two strings are pretty banged up.

Joe certainly didn’t dazzle us up in the booth tonight… he ended the night with a 1-4 line, and a couple oh-shit throws to first that Justin dug out quite cleanly.

What do you mean “Joe who?” … You mean a play-by-play team can’t just call former White Sox players by their first name on the TV broadcast? … Oh yeah, that’s right, because Crede’s new organization holds a slight edge over his former team in terms of media professionalism. 

pmryjtmh

Speaking of painful White Sox memories… the Fox Sports Twins crew couldn’t seem to get enough replay of game 163. 

I was hoping that we would be done revisiting these highlights after last night. But then I realized that we’ll have to sit through it this upcoming weekend when the Twins visit the South Side. And then we’ll have to see the home run highlight when Jim Thome comes to bat his first time. And then we’ll have to watch the Cuddyer/AJ collision the first time Cuddyer tags up on a White Sox outfielder. And then when Nick Blackburn starts a game. And then when Alexi Casilla hits a blooper in shallow right-center… Am I missing any? There has to be more. Nevertheless, even with a Twins sweep, this weekend’s telecasts will fatigue fans faint of heart. 

The Franchise pitched with a sense of… mediocrity last night.

His 7ip/4er line inspires little thought, other than “he was outpitched,” “he didn’t get much breathing room from his offense,” and/or “meh, it’s early in the season.” Even more worrisome was the minimal strikeout total (three, although he didn’t donate any walks). One could argue, however, that a departure from strikeout dependence will better suit the health of his arm for years to come.

But pitching to contact isn’t so goose-eggy-delicious when the contact exceeds the boundaries of fair territory, or the superhuman vertical leap of Carlos Gomez.

Mariners Twins Baseball

The reports trickling down from front office to front office around the majors seem to have substance to them: his slider still doesn’t have close to the same amount of bite that it once had. The pitch was expected to have less effect, yes. But this evening, it looked like it would have offended former Twin, and mentor to Liriano, Johan Santana.

One of two things must happen for him to achieve the 2009 Cy Young that so many bold “experts” have prophesized: 1) throw less sliders, and improve/rely upon the change up more; or 2) ask R.A. Dickey how to go about removing those unnecessary ligaments in his pitching elbow.

Posted by: twikipedium | March 26, 2009

Linkery: Sbarro’s

We forgot to mention this yesterday… but it’s truly an honor to be part of the Twikipedium network. The writers at Everything a Chip Hale Should Be (EACHsb) are sincerely ecstatic about the opportunity and shoot to exceed any and all expectation held by Twikipedium executives. Many of those expectations involve us entertaining you, so I’ll go ahead and end this paragraph right here and right now. 

On to the link show, here we go…

In no way would I ever approve of an opening day roster that includes Drew Butera… but Seth Stohs seems to mildly humor the idea at his blog today, as he does his best Ron Gardenhire/Billy Smith impression and breaks down the remaining players at the major league camp and comes out with his opening day 25. 

It’s amazing how many people had Mijares plugged into the 2009 opening day roster at the end of last season. I can’t criticize, though. I was very much part of that assumptive audience. I knew he had an attitude problem, but that never seemed to hold a guy like J.C. Romero from making a roster. I just thought if we let Mijares take his pissy attitude and overpower major league hitters, we would get along just fine. That was all great and everything until Mijares took it upon himself to fill in for Dennys Reyes after his departure. Unfortunately, he didn’t assume the position quite as anticipated. Instead of a reliable lefty out of the pen, we got a size-Aaron Gleeman waste band, and a lackadaisical attitude. Avoid the New York slice when you get sent down, pal. 

aaron_gleeman

Aaron Gleeman is seeking help for a name for a new blog he will publish for the NBCSports.com page. 

I’m no good at that sort of thing. But I was surprised with just how appropriate the Glee-base kept their recommendations. As a frequent of his live blog chats, I would have expected a few more jabs at the surly fellow. I know this post already has. *Hey, big fella, I still luv ya.*

As many of you heard… the Miami-Dade county commissioners voted and passed on a bill granting the Florida Marlins a new stadium. Among other changes the team will undergo include the team’s longstanding historic name. They will be no longer be the Florida Marlins, rather the Miami Marlins. Here are some other fun facts about the changes in store for the organization. 

Well, there goes the “F” on the hat’s logo. Does this mean that generation of hat will be cool and “old school” by the time the new stadium is open in 2012? Time will tell I suppose. But we highly suggest, especially for those strongly opposed to this approval, that the team instates a similar program to that of the Tampa Bay Rays name change. How about, for every time Bert Blyleven calls them the “Florida” Marlins after 2012, he owes the team $2. Then pool that money and make a stimulus package for residents of Miami. I think you could buy something nice for your wife with that kinda money. 

One troubling factoid about the new stadium is that the retractable roof will be closed for an announced average of 60 games each season. Now, we are well aware that Miami is quite prone to both storm-like and isolated rainfall. But we still don’t get why it would be such a pain to close a roof that’s start-to-end time is 11-16 minutes, the minute it starts ACTUALLY raining. The way the piece reads is that they will inevitably have to close the stadium that often. How about some optimism and actually give people outdoor baseball if it’s actually dry out? Instead, you will see three clouds in the sky and close the stadium “to be safe.” 

miami61

This is why we are endlessly happy at EACHsb about Target Field not featuring a retractable roof. Sigh all you want out-of-state fans, but when the stadium was approved it was supposed to be a big relief getting us out from under a roof. A retractable roof is really just a domed stadium that occasionally opens the roof about as often as your birthday. Stadium operators everywhere (namely Milwaukee in my experiences) are quick to close roofs on a days where it’s 55 degrees and sunny, or 72 degrees, but a couple of white clouds in the sky.

One might argue that a optional roof will insure Florida Miami fans that they will get to see a game every day out of the year, hence increasing their god-awful attendance records of late. But a team that will have an increased payroll and can rid itself of the “top-farm-prospect–>established major leaguer–>All-star–>lost-to-free-agency turn-style” the Marlins have suffered through over the years.

Yes, the club should have the roof, it’s the Everglades. But don’t close the roof before you get your weekend outlook from The Weather Channel. Thank you. 

The Texas Rangers have offered Josh Hamilton… a contract predicted to be somewhere in the four to six year range (terms not disclosed). Hamilton and his agent, however, are “disappointed” with the offer.

Somehow, I’m not surprised. I recall listening to the radio an offseason or two ago when then-free agent Torii Hunter was having dinners and meeting up with front office representatives for a number of organizations. Reading between the lines, the Rangers insider said that Ron Washington escorted Torii to his vehicle shortly after their meeting was done. Washington, with whom Hunter has close ties, told the center fielder something along the lines of “you don’t want to play here, you don’t want to spend the rest of your career here.”

Rangers Twins Baseball

Hooray for honesty. Maybe Washington told Hamilton something similar. Maybe the front office doesn’t care much for Hamilton’s presence on the team (citing that the Reds were fairly critical of Hamilton’s time with the Reds, albeit his “heroic” times with the Reds before they traded him away). Either way, you know the Yanks wouldn’t mind getting a hold of that one guy who made old Yankee Stadium look like Fenway Park a little league field during Home Run Derby. 

Posted by: twikipedium | March 25, 2009

Mauer Sours

In recent inkable editions, seamheads began interrogating Gardy who will act as substitute for the toolsy hole left in the lineup, who also happens to call a pretty good game.

In recent blogging times, Twins whizzery began projecting just how much we will miss Joe Mauer during his absence.

I’d like to take the baton and run your MSP-metropolitan area-sized imaginations a little further into the future. Some of you may recall reading rumblings of various bloggery suggesting this offseason to be the one where the Twins sign Joey up for a long-term contract–“BEFORE IT’S TOO, LATE, FOR GODSAKES!” 

True. After Mark Teixeira and the ol’ ball-and-chain made the life decision to commit to the Hankees for $180M, Mauer’s value was abstractly recognized. 

Yankees Baseball Teixeira

Er, well, recognized well enough for Twins bloggery to start predicting his monetary value. On paper most could rule the jolly good fellow could command $20M/year as a Minnesota Twin, if negotiations began today. 

But one must think that talks have come to dead silence with Mauer’s back flaring up (inflammation of the sacroiliac joint) routinely for the last couple of months since his kidney operation.

Could it be that this offseason, prior to Mauer’s flare-up, is as competitive as the Twins will ever be in extending Joe Mauer’s contract as a Minnesota Twin?

What kind of market will be available for Mauer once he is a free agent after 2010? You can bet with the aging backstop heroes in New York and Boston (Posada and Varitek) that the market could blow any Twins offers out of the water. Sure, the Sawx and Hanks will take into account Mauer’s fragility. That doesn’t mean they won’t throw the bank at him if he manages to be even mildly healthy between now and the end of 2010. Even one injury-free season would win them over–i.e. the 2010 season in a pretty, new ballpark. 

Barring the slip-up in his back, this was likely the best offseason for the Twins to negotiate a contract extension for the hometown hero. But at this point, it would seem disadvantageous for either side to pursue anything futuristic. For Billy Smith and the Twins, the next window of time to discuss would be the 2009-2010 offseason. And even then, it’s questionable if either side will be interested at that point. 

Nobody knows when Mauer will return as an everydayer in 2009, but for the sake of argument, let’s say he makes his return in May, and remains healthy for the remainder of the season. Extrapolating rough statistics from recent years, Mauer plays in the range of 80-90% of the 162-game schedule when healthy. At the beginning of May, there will be roughly 140 games remaining in the season, projecting Mauer to play around 120 games this season. One-hundred-and-twenty games isn’t exactly a career landmark with which a client or a front office would like to build a new contract–especially if it takes Joe a little time to sync up and weighs his numbers down come end of the season.

It’s not and ideal situation either to have with 37-year-old (soon to be 38) cheerleader, Mike Redmond, as a backup taking the brunt of the activity behind the plate every blazing Sunday afternoon either. Redmond bats the ball around, yes, but how many healthy days are left in that war hero before something snaps in two?

The Twins and Mauer could very well wait until the season is well in swing in 2010 before the two sides start communicating again. And if the Twins are nowhere near contention, so begins the Mauer trade bait talks from May-July 31 clouding up your MLBTradeRumors.com RSS feed. We all know the percentage of these rumors actually precipitate.

Mauer’s last contract was structured such that he would be an icon for the inaugural first season at Target Field. But could the golden boy actually be making his exit before the end of that first season outdoors?

Ishy.

Posted by: twikipedium | March 25, 2009

Welcome

Well, I’m not one for ice breakers, so I’ll keep this brief. 

This blog aims to grasp the latest news regarding the Minnesota Twins and other general sports happenings that tickle my fancy. The hope is that I will actually enjoy what I write, and maybe in a far-off distant universe you will all find something entertaining to take away from my scribblings, too. 

Until then, the content of my prose will likely confuse, ruffle feathers, offend, defend, and maybe even amuse. 

All comments are more than welcome (at least to begin with). 

Have a read, a beverage, and with any luck you’ll forget you were ever even here.

Bombay Sapphire is 94-proof, not 80-proof. 

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