Wednesday, April 20, 2005
Hating the Twins
Twins Minor League Report
LINKS AND SUCH...
Good morning to everyone!
I am having problems keeping a connection to the internet here at home. I have been able to navigate the web for a few minutes at a time, but it gives me an excuse to keep it brief today. I hope you understand.
Problems were abundant last night. I was unable to hear two of the American Idol performances last night, so I don't think it would be really fair for me to give my thoughts or rankings. Although, I really, really enjoy Carrie Underwood. Seriously, there is perfection, and then there is Carrie!
Today, I want to just link to a couple of stories and ask a couple of questions. I have a few Twins thoughts and did update my Twins Minor League reports.
I hope you understand, and have yourself a great day. Let's get to the links:
QUESTION OF THE DAY- OK, it is completely fair for you to call me an idiot, but there is a question that I have been very curious about. Yesterday, the Catholic church named their new pope, Germany's Joseph Ratzinger. Now, I am not a Catholic and don't know a lot about this situation, so I have a couple of what I feel are legitimate questions. The first is that he is now being named Pope Benedict XVI. How did they decide on naming him that? Also, he was a Cardinal. My assumption is that Cardinals sin, right? I mean, we know priests sin, bishops sin, I assume Cardinals sin. But when a guy becomes the Pope, he becomes known as The Holy Father, right? So, do Catholics actually believe that the man suddenly goes from being a sinner to being holy? Is there some ritual that they go through to make him Holy? I truly don't ask this questions at all to question or mock. I am really just curious about this and want to understand. So if anyone can help me, that would be great! Thanks!
From the Department of Redundancy Department - Some of your may remember former Atlanta Falcons running back William Andrews. He made a couple of Pro Bowls in the early '80s. Anyway, there was a warrant issued for his arrest last week. The charge? Theft by Taking. Now, I may not be smart, but is it really necessary to add the "by taking" part to that?
Brent Hanson of BrentNet has had a couple of really great articles lately. The first I want to mention is one about how intolerant and ignorant a lot of people tend to be. He analyzes the thoughts of a group that reviews movies and music and more. Clearly it appears to be a parental advisory site, but Brent makes a lot of great points. And, for the record, Kanye West's CD might be one of the greatest I have ever heard.
And then the next day, he came back with another great posting in which he discusses the guest stars on Boy Meets World, the Minnesota Senator that recently came out of the closet, and all this Michael Jackson talk!
You really need to check out all of the Twins blogs on the left side of this screen. There is a LOT of great content these days over at Twins Territory. Also, be sure to check out the great stats on Stick and Ball Guy's site.
See, I can actually be brief. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to e-mail me.
The White Sox last night completed the two game sweep of the Twins in Chicago with their 3-1 loss. They have now won four of the first five meetings against the Twins.
Basically, there isn't much to say about this game. Brad Radke did well giving up just three runs in his complete game effort (8 innings). The defense was great with both Jacque Jones and Torii Hunter making web gem-like plays. Hunter's throw home to get Scott Podsednik trying to tag up in the first inning was incredible. Great throw and a great block of the plate by Joe Mauer. Unfortunately, Hunter misplayed a ball that allowed the Sox first run to score. Paul Konerko got a good pitch to hit his league leading 7th home run.
The Twins had the bats going. In 9 innings, they had 14 hits. Twelve of those were singles. They got plenty of runners on, but again hit into three double plays. See, people make a big deal about that, and it certainly is frustrating. But, if you look at the double-play that Michael Cuddyer bounced into to end the 4th inning, it is hard to complain. He got a good pitch to hit and hit a hard, one-hopper right at the shortstop. So, it was an easy double play. But Cuddyer did what any hitter wants to do, hit is hard and low.
What was especially frustrating to me was the 6th inning. The Twins got the bases loaded with just one out and Nick Punto coming up. The Twins could have pinch hit Matthew LeCroy at that point, but I agreed with the decision to let him bat against El Duque. I thought it was a good matchup. But then Punto flailed weakly at the first pitch and popped up to the shortstop. What a terrible at bat!
Shannon Stewart and Jacque Jones each had three hits. Terry Tiffee and Lew Ford each had two hits. Tiffee and Stewart each had a double.
HATING THE TWINS
It is maybe more frustrating to lose to the White Sox than any team though. Thanks to the people at the Dickie Thon Twins fan forum, there is an article by Paul Ladewski of the Daily Southtown titled "Despising Minny to the Max." In it, he talks about all the reasons to hate the Twins. It is actually pretty interesting, and I have to comment on a few of his points.
1.) "Mind you, my feelings have nothing to do with the fact the evil Twins have won three AL Central titles in a row. Big whip-de-doo. That's like being Miss Duluth three years in a row."
And how many AL Central Titles have the White Sox won in that time frame?
2.) "The Twins play dirty."
And this is entirely based on the Torii Hunter hit on Jamie Burke last year. That, and other examples that he uses, are all examples of playing hard. Even White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said he wished his White Sox would play like that!
3.) "The Metrodome." "No. 12 on my lifetime to-do list: Stick a pitchfork into the roof of the Metrodome and watch the place go pffffffffff!"
I remember coaching a 13 year old Babe Ruth team back in my home town about ten years ago. This was a very good team, one game from going to the state tournament. Our uniforms were really old and ugly. There were puke yellow color. I actually wore those uniforms when I played in the Babe Ruth state tournament fifteen years ago. You ask why I mention this? Well, we were playing a game and the other team was laughing and making fun of our uniforms. So, the 13 year old boys being, well, 13 year old boys, got all upset about it and were ready to go. I just got the team all together and said, "OK guys, WE make fun of our uniforms, so who cares if they do?"
And, let's be honest... is Mr. Ladewski wrong here? The MetroDome is horrible! It's fine for the Vikings, sure, but it is a terrible place to watch baseball. So many seats don't even fact the infield. And more than the Dome itself is the fact that the Twins don't even receive anything for concessions, box seats or parking. The Twins need a new stadium. So, I have to agree with him on this one. Now, whether it is a legitimate reason to hate the team or its players, I don't know.
4.) "Zero name recognition"
He mentions Torii Hunter and Johan Santana and then Harmon Killebrew and Joe Nossek. How about Hall of Famers like Kirby Puckett, Rod Carew and Paul Molitor? What about Tony Oliva, Chuck Knoblauch, Bert Blyleven, Frank Viola, Jim Perry, Mudcat Grant, Camilo Pascual. And believe me, anyone who knows anything about baseball knows about Jacque Jones, Shannon Stewart and Brad Radke? How many teams, including the White Sox, would love to have a bullpen consisting of Juan Rincon and Joe Nathan? How many teams in baseball would love to have youngsters like Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau in the middle of their lineup? And, how many teams have the minor league system that continues to product major league ready talent, and has as much talent throughout their system still? So, there are a few names that you can use.
Also, sure, the White Sox may now have had more big names in Frank Thomas, Magglio Ordonez and others, but again, how many AL Central titles did they win in the past three years? How many of the last three years have them been perceived to have the most talent in the division yet found a way to choke?
5.) Attendance "In 44 seasons of existence, the Twins have drawn two million fans exactly six times. They're zippo for that goal in the last 11 seasons. If the Twins went away, would anybody miss them?"
From Twinsfan04 on the Dickie Thon site: "He should do some research before he spits out his facts. He says that we have only drawn 2 million fans 6 times in 44 seasons. The White Sox have only gotten 2 million fans 6 times in 103 years!"
I don't want to look that up, but if that is true, it is a hard argument to fight.
6.) THIS TIDBIT:
According to my unscientific poll, the Twins don't even rank among the favorite teams in their own town!
Here's the list:
1. The Minnesota Vikings.
2. The Minnesota Golden Gophers.
3. The Minnesota Wild.
4. The Minnesota Timberwolves.
5. Any Minnesota high school.
6. The Green Bay Packers.
7. The Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs.
8. The Minnesota North Stars (defunct).
9. The Minneapolis Lakers (very defunct).
10. (tie) The Minnesota Twins and the Manitoba Moose (formerly the Minnesota Moose).
Now, this is one that I have struggled with, and I have to be honest, I don't know if I disagree with him. The Twins have won the last three years and been an exciting team to watch. But I certainly don't disagree with this list. It would be hard to argue that the Twins would fall anywhere higher than #5 on this list, and he may not be far off to think that they're less popular than the Packers.
My thoughts are unscientific too. I know that the people who read this probably will disagree with me. Why? Because, like me, you are probably a big time Twins fan and don't like to think like this. But this is a Vikings town/state. There is really no questioning that. I mean, have you gone to KFAN in the last month? It is Vikings talk almost 80% of the time, and I'm not exaggerating. They spent almost a day talking about the 2005-06 Vikings schedule.
So, again, I don't know if this is a reason to hate the team. It is actually a statement against Twins fans, and it may not be wrong.
7.) "They're illegitimate Twins in big games."
He says that the Twins can't win in the playoffs. Well, I will continue to contend and will never be convinced that the Twins could have done anything differently last year against the Yankees. The key is to win the division and get to the playoffs. From there, anything can happen. Brad Radke and Johan Santana give the Twins a chance every game. How did the White Sox do the last time they went to the playoffs? (who knows, and who cares, it was so long ago!)
8.) "The child play of Hunter and Jacque Jones"
He talks about the way they flip their bats when they hit home runs. You know what, this is another one where he is absolutely right. Jacque is the worst with his swing, head down, walk a couple steps and then go. Torii just flips the bat a long way (much like Puckett used to do). Now, all that said, did you not notice the way Carl Everett acted on his two home runs against Kyle Lohse. Hey Carl, you've hit a lot of big league home runs. Hey Carl, you just hit two home runs against Kyle Lohse. Is that really something worth showing off about. So again, he is right, but that bat flipping issue is not a Twins-only issue.
Seriously, that is a great opinion article, and that is partially why I am posting it. Sure, I disagree with a lot of it, but that doesn't make it a less entertaining article. I would encourage you all to read it and see what you think for yourself. Now, before the Twins and Sox played last time, I made a blanket comment about how I disliked the White Sox. I didn't dive into the reasons and that isn't exactly right. I don't like Frank Thomas. I think he is a whiner (a whiner who can certainly hit!). I didn't like how Magglio went after Gardy verbally last year (and Maggs is gone.) Carl Everett is, well, Carl Everett. Willie Harris talks a lot for a guy who doesn't really play much any more. And yes, they added AJ, a guy who opponents and teammates around baseball have had issues with. I liked him as a Twins player and now we hear all these other stories. But what has he done negatively to a Twins player in the five games they've played? Nothing. To be completely fair, I have always like Paul Konerko and thought he was very classy. I have heard Aaron Rowand interviewed on a few occasions and really think that he has a lot of respect for the Twins and says all the right things.
Overall, this is just a very good rivalry. The teams shouldn't like each other. In a way, maybe the Twins bloggers and writers shouldn't like the Sox bloggers and writers. It just makes it fun.
Do you have any thoughts? E-mail me.
Anyway, after getting swept by the White Sox, the Twins get exactly what they need, a series against the Kansas City Royals. Even more importantly, it will be nice to get a Johan Santana start with the team on a three game losing streak right now. It's just a two game series, and neither game will be televised. Here are the pitching matchup:
Tonight - 7:10 - Johan Santana (3-0, 4.00, 1.11, .261) vs Jose Lima (0-2, 8.56, 1.83, .333)
Thursday - 12:10 - David Gassner (1-0, 1.50, 0.67, .143) vs Brian Anderson (1-1, 3.95, 0.95, .226)
TWINS MINOR LEAGUE REPORTS
Tuesday - REDWINGS 3, Buffalo 2 - Down 2-1 going into the ninth, Michael Ryan came up with one out and one on. He decided to come through. The lefty drilled a two run homer to give the Redwings what became a 3-2 win. Ryan went 2-4 with all three RBI. Garrett Jones went 3-4 with a double, and Todd Dunwoody was 2-4. Jimmy Anderson (or as JD Arney would call "Orka") got the start for the team and went 5 2/3 innings. He gave up two unearned runs on six hits and two walks, while he struck out four. Travis Bowyer came in and got the next four batters out. Willie Eyre got the win by pitching two perfect innings with two strikeouts.
NEW BRITAIN ROCKCATS
Tuesday - ROCKCATS 3, Reading 0 - Three Rockcats pitchers combined for a five hit shutout last night. Justin Olson pitched the first seven innings to record the win. He gave up three hits and a walk, and got four strikeouts. JT Thomas got two outs, and then Pat Neshek got the last four outs to record the save. On offense, Luis Maza and Doug Deeds each hit their second homer of the season. Deeds was 2-4. Danny Matienzo went 2-4 as well.
FT MYERS MIRACLE
Tuesday - MIRACLE 14, Clearwater 5 - The bats were alive again for the Miracle last night. Scott Tyler was the benificiery of the run support. The righty got the Win by going six innings and giving up 3 runs (2 earned). Julio Depaula and Josh Hill each pitched a scoreless inning in relief. Hill struck out the side. Matt Moses and Ron Perodin each had three hits. Chris Tolbert, Scott Whitrock and Felix Molina each had two hits. Whitrock had three RBI.
Tuesday - SNAPPERS 0, Clinton 10 - A day after Anthony Swarzak proved to be human, so did fellow 2004 draftee Kyle Waldrop. In five innings, he gave up five earned runs on eight hits. Of course, he didn't walk any and struck out three. Kyle Aselton gave up two runs in two innings and Jonathon Martinez gave up three runs in one inning. Offensively, the Snappers were only able to get a single from Tarrence Patterson.
On that note, I am going to call it a day. Thanks again for stopping by this site. If you have any questions, comments or ideas for future postings, please e-mail me.
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