Friday, February 22, 2008
Googling the Twins
Good morning everyone! It is Friday, and that is a good thing. For today, I will be posting a bunch of notes, some will be just random thoughts and several will be links found by googling the Twins. Hopefully you enjoy the format and find plenty of quality reading!
I saw the title of this article from the Mankato Free Press and had to read it! The Myth of Veteran Leadership. I think it's a vastly overrated concept on so many levels!
"If part of the rationale for importing Hernandez was to have an established starter for the 26-and-under crowd to model their behavior on, it's off to a rocky start.The earrings are a minor thing. The running isn't. That's an issue that gets to the core of spring training. If Livan can loaf through his wind sprints, why can't Scott Baker or Glen Perkins or Mulvey?"
When I talked with Kevin Slowey and Scott Baker at their Winter Caravan stop in South St. Paul last month, I asked Scott Baker if he was ready to start opening night against the Angels. He got all shy and it was pretty funny. He wasn't sure how to answer it. Since then, Johan Santana has been traded and Baker and Boof Bonser became the veterans on the staff. Even with Livan Hernandez added, I can't help but think that there is still a chance that Scott Baker gets the opening night nod. It could happen!
Boof Bonser has lost about 30 pounds and says he is at about 235 now. I guess my question is; do you think that the weight loss will have a significant affect on his ability to pitch and specifically his ability to last longer in a game? He's obviously worked very hard and you like to see that kind of dedication rewarded, but if he doesn't find a way to throw less pitches in the first five innings, he's still not going to go past six innings.
I've had a couple of people ask me if I thought that the Twins should consider signing Barry Bonds IF his asking price would come into their range. My response is no, but probably not for the reasons you think. I have no problem with his legal battles as that likely won't take him away too much. I have no problem with the baggage and rumors and such. Geez, the guy got on base 48% of the time last year! There is one primary reasons that I don't think they should get him. The first is because the Twins need to let Jason Kubel play every day. Signing Bonds would not allow that. Taking away another year of development from Kubel makes no sense. There was a fear that signing Bonds would also cost the team a first round draft choice because he is a Type A free agent. But remember that the Giants did not take the chance that Bonds would accept arbitration, so they did not offer it to him.
Jesse Crain told The Canadian Press that he will be very happy if Joe Nathan stays, but if not, he would love the opportunity to close. I just hope he is healthy soon!
I think that the way that baseball interacts with the rest of life and society is so interesting, and Dave Campbell's AP article on Livan Hernandez's reaction to the resignation of Fidel Castro is really interesting. Obviously Hernandez fled Cuba on a boat to gain his freedom, but to realize that in doing that, he left a lot of family and friends and is unable to simply visit because he could not come back. I also thought it was interesting that Tony Oliva did not comment.
Along the same lines, I can't help but wonder if somehow baseball could be a means by which the USA could have a better relationship with Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. Chavez absolutely hates everything that the US stands for and isn't afraid to say so. That may be a lost cause, but knowing what is going on down there certainly makes a baseball fan wonder what the next several years of relations between the two countries will bring. Can baseball help the countries come together in some way?
Kelly Thesier wrote a nice article on Drew Butera who spent time catching each of the three pitchers the Twins got in the Johan Santana trade during his time in the Mets system. It certainly helps you understand why the Twins are so happy to get all three of them!
One current Twins pitcher and one former Twins pitcher make a list of fantasy baseball sleepers for 2008!
Jason Pridie was taken by the Twins in the December 2005 Rule V draft but was sent back to the Devil Rays during spring training. Did you remember that his brother Jon was a pitcher in the Twins system for several years? Jon Pridie is now an agent in San Francisco.
Have you noticed the comments made to the press by Bill Smith and Ron Gardenhire regarding Dennys Reyes not getting his visa issues figured out? They have been blunt and not real positive. Makes me wonder a couple of things. First, if they're that blunt with the media, how blunt have they been with Reyes himself. Secondly, although he is guaranteed a million dollars for 2008, do you think his roster spot could be at risk? I do.
Every analysis of the 2008 Twins seems to tell us that they will be a very average team (would have been with Santana too). Check out where the team ranks in the CBSSports.com rankings.
Check out what Joe Mauer and the rest of the Detroit Free Press top high school Football players in the Midwest Region from 1989-2002 were up to in 2007. Interesting list! Additionally, when Mauer was named the Star-Tribune high school football player of the year in 2001, the NFL's Marion Barber III and Larry Fitzgerald, Jr. were also on the team.
Fans of Gophers Men's Basketball over the last couple of decades might be interested in the following Charley Walters note, but I don't know if it is a compliment or not: "Based on performance evaluation, former Gophers basketball captain Michael Bauer, playing for the Nancy team in France, is rated the 16th-best player in the Ligue Nationale de Basket."
Interesting 3B stats from 2007 from Beyond the Boxscore... "The worst of the worst included Brandon Inge, Ramon Vazquez, and the incredibly horrible Nick Punto. Consider this amazing statistic: Punto's OPS was .505 points lower than A-Rod's. Yes, wow."
RotoTimes.com giving me even more hope that Jason Kubel can reach the status that only a handful of us believe he can.
I was driving to work one morning this week and Brad Lidge was on the morning show with Buck Martinez and Mark Patrick. I found out that his high school baseball team included Josh Bard and Darnell McDonald.
How do you Project Carlos Gomez?
Juan Rincon says he found a mechanical flaw in his delivery which involved his front foot landing in the wrong spot. I hope it works! Also, Casey Daigle not only is married to Jennie Finch, but he is a decent golfer too! (Kudos to Kelly)
By the way, do you think Casey Daigle ever gets annoyed by always having his wife mentioned in sentences with his name? I would think that could get a bit frustrating. Of course, the other option is that every time he hears or reads it he just gets a big grin and says, "That's right! I'm married to Jennie Finch!"
Along with Yovani Gallardo and Rickie Weeks, Brian Duensing will be featured on a Beloit Snappers bobblehead this summer.
Today, Josh gives his Thoughts on the Twins starting pitchers.
Nick Nelson grades out the Twins Offseason in Review.
Patrick Sullivan of The Baseball Analysts takes a look at a few positional battles including one of the Twins.
That's it for today. Could be quick updates over the weekend, if anything exciting happens. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to put them in the comments below, or e-mail me and I will try to get a response. Have a great weekend!