Saturday, July 18, 2009

Cooler Heads Prevail

I pride myself on trying to come up with cheesy headlines I feel could be used by sports columnists the morning after a ballgame. Although I struck out on this mornings local Sports sections, the headline will remain here.

In the Twins first game back from the All-Star break they went down to Texas and beat the Rangers 5-3. It was good to see Alexi Casilla pick up where he left off before his heading to the minor leagues a few months ago (0-4 on Friday night). I'm not going to say that the Twins necessarily need Casilla to have a solid second half of the season in order to win the division, but it's more about the amount of guys they can afford to have in the lineup hitting below .240. It's obvious they need a guy that can hit for average and play second base or shortstop. Ideally, the Twins would like to have Punto return to his form of 2006 where he essentially played every day and hit .290. That's not going to happen this year, so unless Casilla picks it up, we're looking at middle infield combo of Punto/Tolbert/Harris.

I've already convinced myself that the Twins won't make any worthwhile trades before the July 31st trading deadline. The Twins are a "professional sports organization" version of me. They only do what is necessary when they have to. Much like when my bathtub was leaking into the woman's condo below me. If it was up to me, I would have let that bad boy leak until my bathtub was laying on her couch.

In the four years I've been living in my condo I've only had one leaky pipe, and as much as it burned me to spend money on something I didn't have control over, I fixed it the correct way by having new piping put in, followed by replacing the ceiling. In other words, the right way to fix a problem. The Twins on the other hand seem to have a few leaking pipes every year and their solution year after year is to put a slab of Big League Chew over the leak in hopes that it holds. Every now and again that piece of gum will keep the leak in check for the rest of the year, but let's be honest, the Twins have been on the good side of the bursting pipe gods too many times. Doing things on the cheap will get them burned and if things aren't going to change by the time the new stadium opens next year I have a feeling there will be a lot of rain delays. Only that won't be rain coming from the sky. That will be the leaking bathtub of the late Carl Pohlad as he sits over Target Field.

Record: 46-44

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Flu Like Symptoms and One Special Weekend

Joe Mauer reportedly has been ill for more than 1 week and yet he continues to be as unstoppable as ever. I'm contemplating starting the .400 tracker, but I feel it must off until at least mid-July. Last night Mauer went 4-4 and raised his average to .429 on the season. He still is a few at-bats short of qualifying for the batting title, but once that day arrives he'll most likely be at least 40 points ahead of the second place guy.

So I spent last Saturday at Wrigley with my Dad on what I would call a great father-son bonding every father and son should share together at some point in life. There truly is nothing like going to a ballgame with your Dad and talking about in-game scenarios, how the Twins should kick Delmon Young to the curb, or even how a cement pillar in my sight line couldn't upset me at that moment. To top off the great experience the Twins won the ballgame 2-0 which prompted us to find the local bars and celebrate.

I'll always remember that weekend as one of my favorite times together with my Dad before I get married this August. Some day I'll hopefully be able to share a weekend like that with my son.

Record: 33-33

Friday, May 22, 2009


That's right, the Twins account for half the cycles hit in the majors this year. Kubel got one back in April and now tonight Cuddyer hit his. Kubel got his off a dramatic grand slam. Cuddyer's was off an equally exciting triple.

After tonight the Twins have scored 31 runs in their past two games. Now that's what I'm talking about. As much as I would love to see a pitcher's duel over a home run barrage, I was in the need for a little action, baseball action that is.

Twins win 11-3

Record: 20-23

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Opposite field

So the Twins have outscored their opponents 42-36 over the past 7 games, and oh by the way, they had lost 6 of those before finally winning today. Confusing stat? Well not after seeing today's final score of 20-1 against the White Sox. Baseball can be a confusing game, and to think the Twins scored more runs today than they have the past 6 games, just confirms the fact that anything can happen any day. And by anything, I mean Matt Tolbert going yard for his first career home run.

Joe Mauer hit his 8th home run of the year, which happened to be a grand slam. I promise I have not seen the highlights from today, but I'm going to predict that Mauer's home run was not hit to the right side of the center field wall. (I'm going to go watch the highlights real quick...)

Weird, a home run to left-center field. How predictable is that guy with his power? Quite honestly it really impressive how often he goes oppo. I need a stat junkie to find me the answer to highest percentage of opposite field home runs (minimum 100) in baseball history. I know some rube has that useless info somewhere.

The Twins have the Brewers in town this weekend for a quick preview of inter league play. Sports cliche upcoming.....After today, let's hope they have some runs left in their bats!

Count on Mauer for 2 home runs this weekend, oppo style

Record: 19-23

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Treading Water

7:40pm CST

The Twinsies are treading water the past week or so. Mauer plays his first game last Friday and hits a home run with his first swing. The team, which is always bigger than the player went 1-2 over the weekend to the Royals and have gone 2-4 since Mauer's return.

Alexi Casilla was sent down to the JV team yesterday. This is move that needed to be made more for Casilla than anyone else. The Twins replaced Casilla on the active roster with Matt Tolbert, who is younger version of Nick Punto. Tolbert is all fundamental, all the time. He won't win nor lose any game for the Twins. Tolbert, much like Punto are guys where you can fill out their stat line before the game starts: 1-3 with a walk, infield single, pop up w/runner in scoring position and a groundout to short where the throw barely beats the head first slide by Tolbert/Punto.

7:56 CST

Mauer singles to tie the game 4-4.

8:53 CST

Twins lose 5-4 and are 2-5 since Mauer's return. I enjoy pointing that out even though I know it doesn't carry any weight.

Record: 13-16

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Hot Tips

A couple hot tips off the bat...

-Get Joe Mauer in your fantasy baseball starting lineup now!
-Jose Morales is making a strong case for having the largest differential between offensive and defensive ability in MLB history
-Learned lessons: Never leave a baseball game early, even if you got the tickets for free

An example of that final hot tip:

I know a guy (we'll call him Slick Noffman) who was at the game where Kubel not only hit for the cycle, but hit a grand slam to complete the cycle. To top it off the Twins came from down 9-4 in 8th to win it. What a great game for "Slick to be at, huh? Maybe so, if only he wasn't getting a phone call from his buddy telling him of the unpredictable ending.

Two weeks later, Mr. Noffman returned to where he had left the scene of the horrific accident. Only this time, he would see it through to the end where Justin Morneau hit a walk-off (no, not home run) fielders choice.

The Twins have gone .500 without Mauer and you can bet there aren't any complaints from inside the organization. On a side note, the over/under on Joe Mauer non-baseball related injuries the remainder of the season has been set at 1.5.

Record: 11-11

Friday, April 24, 2009

Start to Finish

For the first time in 17 games, which happens to be every game this season, the Twins did not trail at all tonight. They are very fortunate that their record (8-9) is as good as it is considering how often they have dug themselves a hole.

Looking forward...

Joe Mauer is continuing his dominance of the pimple faced pitchers in minor league "A" ball. Word on the street is that he will be back by the end of the month. Only a couple more weeks before we get to hear Joe Mauer's entrance music again by local artist A&R. I've heard the song, and I'm really questioning the decision making behind this selection. Did Mauer have an agreement with A&R to throw a game last year and when he didn't come through, A&R said "Joe, you know what this means, right? It means you must have the theme song I wrote for you played every time you come to the plate for the rest of your career, and it's going to embarrass the hell out of you."

Here it is!

Back to the team, the Twins are in a good spot...1.5 games out of first place and 2 games out of the wild card lead. It's never too early to start thinking about postseason play.

Record: 7-8