It’s Monday morning after Twins Fest. I am exhausted. What a weekend! It was a great time at the Hot Stove Banquest and also spending two great days at Twins Fest. Yes, it got a little (OK, a lot) crowded on Saturday, but overall, it was still a lot of fun! It was great spending time there with Fanatic Jack, The North Dakota Twins Fan, Marty Andrade, Betsy Bissen, Karlee Kanz, Topper Anton, Emily Jipp and Andrew Bryz-Gornia, and on Friday night, it was great hanging out with John Bonnes and Howard Sinker, and meeting a few new people. I talked to a lot of people and a lot of players. But now I must embark upon my 7 hour trek north, back home and back to reality. Oh well. It was a great weekend and I will definitely share stories here tomorrow.
But for today, I need you to fill up the comments section with your thoughts and your stories from Twins Fest. Some of the better stories may be posted here as well. If you’ve blogged about the weekend, be sure to leave your links here as well so others will read them.
Again, tonight I will be at the Hot Stove League Banquet. I’m excited to see Jim Kaat speak, and of course to hang out with John, TVOR, Howard and his wife and hopefully several others. Here is directly stealing something LaVelle blogged the other day, an e-mail from Julian, about the event:
Juan Berenguer has been added to the line-up for Ballpark Tours 3rd Annual Last Hot Stove League Banquet & Charity Auction scheduled for this Friday Jan 28th – Carpenter’s Hall 710 Olive Street in St. Paul. Senor Smoke will join Jim Kaat at the podium as our keynoters. In addition, local author Pete Schilling will chat about the art of heckling & a couple of media usual suspects (not sure who yet) will take part in our Q & A. The focus of the event is to raise money for the Dunning Little League baseball program & this anti-dome crowd will be able to bid on an auction item sure to ‘bring down the roof’!!!! The Ballpark Tours gang has raised over $50,000 for the fields at Dunning over the years.
Rob Delaney has been claimed by the Tampa Bay Rays. I liked Delaney and what he did from the time he signed with the Twins as a non-drafted free agent following the 2006 draft through AA was remarkable. He had two option years left, and yet, I got the sense from many that he wasn’t going to make it with the Twins. He struggled at AAA. I liked the K-rate and the lack of walks, but most believed that he just did not have the ‘stuff’ to succeed in the big leagues. The Rays, who like the Twins lost a lot of their bullpen, can probably use Delaney more than that Twins would. Everything I’ve ever heard about Delaney is that he is a great guy, a great teammate, and I’m sure there are a lot of players in the Twins organization who will be saddened by this news.
As for Dusty Hughes, the left-handed reliever that the Twins signed after the Royals let him go, my general thoughts are… Meh. That he was let go by the Royals doesn’t bother me at all. It’s funny, especially with left-handers but with any reliever, you just don’t know what you’ll get from day to day, much less year to year. I have no problem with the transaction, and maybe it’ll be a good thing. Maybe he can be the next Craig Breslow. I doubt it, but who knows?
You can pre-order a copy of the Maple Street Press Twins Annual 2011 that John Bonnes and the TwinsCentric guys are finishing up. Seriously, it is going to be even better than last years, so get your copy today so you don’t have to compete with all the traffic caused by people trying to get their copy at the newsstand.
The Twins announced last night that Bert Blyleven’s #28 will be retired. That’s great! But why wait? I never did understand that. It’s unfortunate that it didn’t happen a long time ago. Based on the class demonstrated by Jesse Crain at the Diamond Awards last night, I am certain he would have happily turned over his number.
If you will be at Twins Fest this weekend, and you see guys in the autograph lines that have been on my podcasts or done Q&As on my site, etc., please thank them, and if you want, thank them for me. I obviously appreciate it and judging from your comments, you really appreciate them too.
Finally, as I’ve mentioned other times, I plan to update this site and will probably have some pictures here throughout the weekend. But I will most likely be frequently Tweeting throughout the weekend, so if you don’t already, you may want to follow my tweets, at least for the weekend.
Those of you who pre-ordered a Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook, I will be placing the order tonight. I was up too late last night and up way too early this morning, but I have now read through the entire 170 page book and made all of the edits. Just a couple of final steps and the book will be ready. So, hopefully those that pre-ordered will get a copy of the book within the next 10 days or so. Those that didn’t pre-order (could sneak an order in this afternoon) will be able to order a paperback book and/or an electronic version of the book by the end of next week.
There is the book update. Now for the weekend update (apologies to SNL). I am leaving my house in Northern Minnesota right now and heading down to the Twin Cities. On Friday night, I will be at the Hot Stove League Banquet in St. Paul (see Twins Geek’s blog today for details) where Brad Zellar will host and Jim Kaat and Juan Berenguer will be among the other guests. Should be a great time. I will then be at Twins Fest in Blaine on both Saturday and Sunday. So, if you’re there, be sure to say hi. I do plan to update the site periodically. However, if you are looking for more frequent updates, maybe some pictures, etc, you’ll want to follow me on Twitter. You can do so by clicking here.