Wednesday, March 8, 2006
TWINS THOUGHTS AND LINKS
AMERICAN IDOL THOUGHTS
Attempt at "Normal"
Good morning everyone! Today may not be the greatest writing ever, but it is an attempt to try to get back to normal. The last couple of days have been very difficult on all Twins fans, and baseball fans all over. In the last couple of days, I wrote my thoughts on Kirby Puckett and linked to many articles celebrating Kirby. The Twins played yesterday. The cliché being thrown around was that Kirby would want them to. And likely, I am going to continue on, trying to keep you entertained and maybe even inform you of something you didn't know before. I will discuss the Twins games from the last couple of days, try to find some actual baseball articles to link to and update you on the former Twins playing with other teams this spring. Finally, I will post my American Idol Thoughts. The eight remaining women sang, and tonight the men will be back.
As always, thank you very much for reading this site. I do appreciate your input, so if ever you have any questions or comments or ideas for future articles, please feel free to e-mail me. Of course, any further comments you would like to make regarding Kirby Puckett are also just fine anytime here!
As I said on Monday, spring Training games don't mean a whole lot in the first place, but with Kirby Puckett's news on Sunday, they really seem minor. But, in the thinking that the show must go on, I will try to post a few thoughts on the Twins games this weekend, with some notes on some of the players.
MONDAY - Twins 4, Pirates 5
GLEN PERKINS - Does anyone still think that Perkins should still be considered for a spot on the Opening Day roster? Like I said, his local ties make for a very nice story, but reality was that he was not going to make the team. He started in this game and gave up three runs in just one inning. He hit the first batter. Then he threw a wild pitch and walked the second hitter. Then Jose Castillo hit a three-run homer. Jeromy Burnitz hit a double before Perkins walked another. He got a double play and then walked another before getting the third out. Now, as I said before, I we can't make any less of him because of this start. He is still a top prospect and will remain as such. However, when you hear about a guy who is as arrogant as Perkins (allegedly), it is always good to see him get knocked down a little bit.
JD DURBIN - After his horrific first outing on Friday, it was good to see Durbin have a really nice game on Monday. He had a walk and gave up a hit in two shutout innings. Hopefully this is something that he can build upon.
OTHERS - Neshek gave up a hit, but he must have forced a double-play as well because he faced just six batters in two shutout innings. Michael Cuddyer has done a nice job in RF in his attempt to be the Twins every day starter at the position. In this game, he was 2-3. Terry Tiffee has done a nice job in Justin Morneau's absence. He went 2-5 in this game with two doubles and two RBI. Joe Mauer was 0-2, but he walked twice more. From how he is approaching his at bats this spring, that .400 on-base percentage I predicted for Mauer may not be out of line!
TUESDAY - Twins 0, Yankees 5
BRAD RADKE - Another first inning homer... to which I continue to say, who cares!?! He is working on pitches. He threw one to Jorge Posada didn't break as it should have and that was the home run. I am not at all worried about Radke still. Oh, and I have heard a few times that he is now 0-2 on the spring. Does that matter at all? Does it mean a thing?? Of course not!
OTHERS - Matt Garza gave up a run on one hit and two walks in two innings. Errol Simonitsch allowed two unearned runs in two innings. He struck out two. Luis Maza and Terry Tiffee each had a double while Torii Hunter had a second-inning triple.
WEDNESDAY - The Twins will play the Cincinnati Reds.
Any thoughts on the Twins spring games, or any of the comments I posted? E-mail me, or be sure to leave some Comments below.
Michael Ryan, ATL, RF, 1-4, BB, 2 RBI
Dustan Mohr, BOS, CF, 2-3, HR (off Chad Harville), 2 R, 2 RBI
Quinton McCracken, CIN, LF, 2-3
Travis Bowyer, FLA, RP, 1 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 R
Chris Gomez, BAL, SS, 2-4, 2 R, RBI
James Baldwin, TOR, SP, 1 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 ER, WP
Scott Erickson, NYY, P, 1.2 IP, 2 H, 0 BB, 0 R, 2 K
Todd Walker, CHC, 2B, 1-3, HR (off Dan Haren), R, 2 RBI
Augie Ojeda, CHC, 2B, 1-2, R
Michael Restovich, CHC, 1B, 0-3, R, K
Jacque Jones, CHC, RF, 1-2, 2B, RBI
Bobby Kielty, OAK, LF, 0-2, BB
AJ Pierzynski, CHW, C, 2-3
Danny Ardoin, COL, C, 1-2
Doug Mientkiewicz, KCR, 1B, 1-3, 2B
Cristian Guzman, WASH, SS, 0-2, S
Pat Borders, LAD, C, 1-2
Corey Koskie, MIL, 3B, 0-2, BB, K
Damien Miller, MIL, C, 0-2, K
Brent Abernathy, MIL, DH, 1-3, R, BB, 2 RBI
Corky Miller, SEA, C, 1-2, R, 2B
Brandon Marsters, BAL, C, 0-3
Dustan Mohr, BOS, LF, 1-2, BB, K
Matthew LeCroy, WASH, C, 0-2, K, E
Quinton McCracken, CIN, CF, 0-1, BB
Eric Milton, CIN, SP, 0.2 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 4 ER, 0 K
Jack Cressand, TB, RP, 0.2 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 3 ER, 0 K
Casey Blake, CLE, RF, 0-3, BB, K
Michael Ryan, ATL, PH, 0-1, K
Corky Miller, SEA, C, 0-3, K
Todd Sears, SEA, PH, 0-0, R, BB, SB
Chad Moeller, MIL, C, 0-3, K, E
Bobby Kielty, OAK, RF, 0-4, 2 K
Chad Allen, KCR, LF, 1-1, BB, HR, R, 2 RBI
Jacque Jones, CHC, RF, 0-2, K
Michael Restovich, CHC, RF, 1-3, HR, R, RBI
Todd Walker, CHC, 2B, 1-1, BB, R
Augie Ojeda, CHC, SS, 0-2
There are several Twins players playing in the WBC. I was able to see Johan Santana, Juan Castro and Joe Nathan (as well as former Twins DH David Ortiz) play yesterday. Team USA beat Mexico 2-0 on the power of solo home runs by Derrek Lee and Chipper Jones. Jake Peavy threw just 23 pitches in three shutout innings. Joe Nathan pitched the eighth inning and struck out the side. Juan Castro made all the plays at SS for Mexico, but I believe he was 0-3 as the team's ninth hitter. In the same pool, Canada scored four runs in the top of the ninth to reclaim the lead from underdog South Africa. Jesse Crain came in to pitch for Canada in the bottom of the 9th and got two strikeouts in a shutout inning. Justin Morneau had a double and a walk in six plate appearances. Former Twin Corey Koskie was 1-3 with a home run and three walks. The Dominican Republic showed a lot of power in an 11-5 win over Venezuela. Johan Santana started for Venezuela and allowed two runs in 3+ innings. David Ortiz drilled two home runs including a big one in the 9th inning to increase the DR lead. He went 2-3 with the homers and two walks. In another pool, Italy beat Australia 10-0 in seven innings. For the Aussie team, Trent Oeltjen led off and went 0-3 as the team's CF. Glenn Williams played 3B and batted fifth. He was 0-2 with two strikeouts.
Twins Thoughts & Articles
Aaron Gleeman was able to post his thoughts on Kirby Puckett.
Again, Happy News! Twins Geek is back... Kinda!
Jim Souhan writes that Kirby Puckett was happy in his last days and months. Through the words of his fiance Judi Olson and his ex-wife Tonya Puckett, Kirby was happy and loving his kids and his family.
For those in the Twins Cities Metro Area, there will be a Tribute to Puckett on Sunday night at the Metrodome at 7:00. Gates open at 6.
Do you have any thoughts on the Twins, former Twins, spring training, Kirby Puckett or anything else? If so, send me an e-mail, or post some Comments below.
American Idol Thoughts
We are now to the third week of American Idol competition. It is a big week for the contestants as two more men and two more women will be eliminated. That will bring us down to the final twelve at which time, it is everyone on their own, regardless of gender. Last night, the eight remaining girls/women each sang one song in the one hour episode. Tonight, eight boys/men will take their turns in front of the judges. Let's get to the analysis:
Paris Bennett - Conga
I was a Gloria Estefan fan, or at least of the Miami Sound Machine, and Conga was one of my favorite songs... when I was 11. I don't know that it is a good song for this competition though. Also, I did not think that Paris sang it well at all. She just seemed to be a little flat, her voice just a little too low throughout the song. It almost sounded a little nasally. She was told last week to sing a more upbeat, younger song. I think that this performance showed that she is a better singer in a more classic sense.
Lisa Tucker - Where I Stand
Lisa is definitely my favorite, and she certainly did not disappoint last night at all. She picked a song that I really can't even claim to know. However, she makes it look so easy on stage. She has a definite cuteness factor, like a young Beyonce. She has a strong voice, great range and hits every note. She also just looks like she is having a great time, and as one of the judges said, like she has been on stage for years.
Melissa McGhee - What About Love?
Vocally, she wasn't horrible. She certainly missed a few notes. It was a good song choice, and without sounding too strange, I thought her choice of attire was very appropriate for the song. It was a good performance, but like all but two last night, there was just nothing special about it at all.
Kinnik Sky - If I Ain't Got You
I have actually enjoyed Kinnik in previous weeks, but last night, she was really bad. I want to be positive and nice, but it just does not work after this performance. She was sharp much of the second half of the song. Just everything about it was bad.
Katharine McPhee - Think
I thought this was a strange song choice, but it actually worked very well for her voice. Vocally, she was very good. My only problem with her is her stage presence. She almost looks confused up there. She just does not look at all comfortable with moving on stage.
Ayla Brown - Unwritten
A current popular song (meaning I haven't ever heard of it), I just thought it was a bad song choice. I agree that she didn't have to show much range and even within the proper range, she was not very strong at all. She has been great in previous weeks, but this performance makes her very susceptible in the voting this week!
Mandisa - I'm Every Woman
Lisa is my favorite, and it would take a lot for anyone to take the #1 spot from her. But Mandisa did just that. I had always thought she was good and had a strong voice, but last night she was even better. I don't think that she could have sung the song any better. It was a great song choice. Vocally, she was perfect. Just a wonderful performance.
Kellie Pickler - I'm the Only One
It was a good song choice for Kellie, but it just had a real creepy feel to it. Vocally, she was decent, at best. Stage presence? Well, let's just say that I think she knew exactly what she was doing, and if that is what she wanted, then she did it very well! When Simon called her a naught Minx, I still don't know what he was saying. I think nymph may have been the word he was looking for. Now, don't get me wrong. Kellie has the certain ability that The Baseball Savant is making popular. No question about it. But when you're trying to impress a bigger populous, I just don't know if that is the way to go.
SethSpeaks Ranking of the Top 8 Performances (from last night)
2.) Lisa Tucker
3.) Katharine McPhee
4.) Melissa McGhee
5.) Kellie Pickler
6.) Ayla Brown
7.) Paris Bennett
8.) Kinnik Sky
Who I think will be the two eliminated contestants on Thursday night?
1.) Kinnik Sky - I thought she had a great voice, and she certainly has displayed it in previous weeks. However, the judges have been consistently tough on her. Also, last night, she was horrible. It was a nice run.
2.) Melissa McPhee - Paris Bennett would appear to be untouchable at this point. Ayla should be safe still. Kellie is way too cute to go at this point. Melissa is the lowest ranked person that I think could actually not get votes from America. It is easy to cut our list down to seven, but to cut it to six was really tough!
Remember, tonight the guys will sing. Then on Thursday night, two guys and two girls will be eliminated from further competition. Will I be even close to right in my predictions? We'll find out, I guess. If you've made it this far, be sure to check out the thoughts on last night's episode over at Curlio.com. But first, check out The Baseball Savants thoughts on the show and the performances!
That is it for today. I hope you have a great day! Thanks!
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