Friday June 20, 2003
Everybody’s Workin’ for the Weekend
Well, I first need to thank John, the Twins Geek for plugging this website on his website, a couple days ago. I believe that this plug was the major factor in the daily hits almost tripling over night! So, thank you John! By the way, check out his site today for a great article on former Twin and current Brewer, Matt Kinney, who the Twins will face this weekend.
I’m getting closer to 1,000 hits, which will be a little bit of a milestone… But, the site has a long way to go. Check out the counter at Aaron’s Baseball Blog, one of the best blog sites online! He gets two, maybe three times the number of hits each day as I have had in 3 weeks! He just passed the 100,000 hit count, in just over 10 months. Now that’s a milestone! If I’m anywhere near that, I’ll be thrilled! Congratulations, Aaron!
Today, we’ve got thoughts on the Twins 16-2 win, their upcoming series in Milwaukee, a music note, and then three or four reader’s comments. I hope you enjoy it!
Today’s Twins Game -
I don’t know if it’s fair for me to write much about yesterday’s Twins 16-2 win, since I didn’t write much about them during the 5 game losing streak, but… oh well. Cristian Guzman had 4 hits. Torii Hunter had 3, including 2 doubles. Jacque Jones had 3, including his 9th home run. But the hitting star was definitely Corey Koskie. When I started writing for this site, about three weeks ago, I asked “Did you realize that Corey Koskie is hitting .250?”. Well, it’s three weeks later, and my, how things have changed! In his last 10 games, Koskie has gone 20-36 (.556) to increase his average to .305! His 2 home runs yesterday brought him up to 9 as well.
Doug Mientkiewicz, who turned 29 yesterday, had 3 hits and his average is at .308. It was also Dustan Mohr’s 27th birthday yesterday. He went hitless in 5 at bats.
A good, needed offensive outburst for the Twins. Also needed was a strong starting pitching performance, and yesterday, it came from an unexpected source. I’ve been down on Joe Mays lately, saying basically that his 7-4 record was based more on good run-support than any quality pitching! Well, I guess today he got some pretty good offensive support today too, but the bullpen was in serious need of a rest and Mays’ 8 inning performance was great. It seemed like he got a lot of groundballs, which is what made him so successful in 2001. So, maybe this is a start that Mays can build off of, and turn around his season. With 8 wins already, if he starts pitching well, he could be a 20 game winner!
The Weekend in Old Milwaukee -
I think Twins fans are all feeling much better today than they had been going into Thursday afternoon’s game. And, I think a win like that is just what the Twins needed going into the series in Milwaukee. They needed a little momentum. Milwaukee is not a good team, but you don’t want to go in there flat. Richie Sexson is a legitimate All Star. Here are the pitching matchups:
Friday night - Brad Radke (5-6, 6.00) vs. Ben Sheets (6-6, 4.51) - Hopefully Radke can maintain his dominance on the road!
Saturday night - Kyle Lohse (6-4, 3.23) vs. Wayne Franklin (3-5, 5.38) - Franklin is a lefty, so we’ll see how the Twins react to that.
Sunday afternoon - Kenny Rogers (5-3, 5.14) vs. Matt Kinney (5-5, 4.29) - Kinney vs. Kenny. Matt Kinney has really become a solid major league pitcher given the opportunity. Some may not have liked the trade, but he wouldn’t have cracked the Minnesota staff, so they had to get what they could for him!
I just have to mention that the American Idol’s finalists, Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard’s first singles are out! Ruben Studdard may have won the American Idol competition, but at least for this week, Clay Aiken’s “This is the Night” opened at No. 1 this week, while Studdard’s “Flying Without Wings” opened at No. 2!
I have been getting more and more e-mails daily with people offering suggestions, thoughts, or opinions. I think it’s great and is a big reason I wanted to start putting my opinions into words. As I’ve mentioned, I will reply to all e-mails that I receive, so send me some and ask or tell me anything!. Also, from time to time, I will post e-mails (after finding out that it’s OK, of course) from readers and reply to them on the website. So, feel free to e-mail me! So, here we go:
On Thursday, June 12, I asked the questions: What do the Twins need? Which players do you think they should go after? And finally, who should we give up to get those players?
Tyler B sent the following three-team trade proposal he would like to see:
Twins get: Luis Castillo, Michael Tejera, PTBNL from Cubs, maybe cash from Cubs
Marlins get: Michael Restovich, Adam Johnson, Mark Bellhorn, Carlos Zambrano
Cubs get: Mike Lowell, PTBNL from Marlins, Luis Rivas
· Ah, the 3-team trade. Kind of a new phenomenon, as Cash often swaps hands as well as players, with the teams that don’t need to worry about payroll sending cash to the teams that need to find a way to pay for the increased salary.
· Twins get Luis Castillo (2B), Michael Tejera (LHP), the old Player to be named later and some cash from the Cubs (to pay Castillo for the rest of the year). The Twins lose Michael Restovich, Adam Johnson and Luis Rivas. From the Twins perspective, I like the deal. We get our second baseman and new leadoff hitter that would drop Jacque Jones into an RBI position. We get a left handed reliever so we can move Johan Santana into the starting rotation. There aren’t a lot of players to be names later, but maybe the Twins can get some middle infield minor league depth with that. We lose Restovich, who, despite his power, hasn’t figured out how not to strike out, so the Twins should probably trade him now while he’s still worth something. Adam Johnson is a bust, no doubt about that! And, Luis Rivas would go to the Cubs.
· Cubs get the third baseman they’ve been looking for all year (or the past few years) and a second baseman that they don’t need because they’ve got Mark Grudzalenek and Bobby Hill has been recalled.
· The Marlins get a starting outfielder, a pitcher who is either a starter or a bullpen guy, an infielder who can play three positions and hit 27 home runs last year. He could be their 2B. And, Carlos Zambrano is a very good starting pitcher.
· Analysis - From the Twins perspective, I think it makes sense, although, as I’ve said before, I’d prefer Jose Vidro, but Castillo is the next best alternative at 2B. From the Marlins perspective, they’ve already turned down a Lowell for Guillermo Mota and Adrian Beltre deal from the Dodgers, so I don’t think this would be enough for them. But, it would unload two of their four big money guys (Brad Penny and Derrek Lee would be next). From the Cubs perspective, they get Lowell, but I don’t know they’d want to give up Zambrano in that deal.
· This is certainly a trade where the three teams would all be moving toward what they’d want/need. I just don’t know how feasible it is from the Cubs perspective.
UPDATE – Just saw this this morning on espn.com –
DENVER -- The Colorado Rockies traded All-Star shortstop Jose Hernandez to the Chicago Cubs on Thursday night for infielder Mark Bellhorn and minor league pitcher Travis Anderson.
So, this makes the above trade offer even more unlikely (sorry Tyler). With Alex Gonzalez already at SS for the Cubs, I assume they will play Hernandez at 3B. It is, of course, possible that the Cubs will still go after Lowell, but Hernandez is an upgrade over what they were getting from Bellhorn and Lenny Harris, even if he is having a very disappointing season! Bellhorn could thrive in Colorado. I would think he should play a lot more!
Thanks for the proposal.
WEEKEND ASSIGNMENT!!! Please Read!!
I got the below e-mail from someone who preferred to be called Zeus (Actually, he gave me about 6 options, and I went with the one that was the shortest to type!). It’s in regard to my posting 2 weeks ago on The Greatest Hitters of All-Time. It takes it to the next logical step:
Yeah, I'd agree with you that Mays was awesome, but I still believe that Williams had the purest swing ever. Man, I wish I could have seen some of those ballplayers with my own eyes. How do you feel they'd fare in today's game? Do you think Mays would have been better for the weight training he could have done? For the personal trainers, personal doctors, personal diet people (dietitions?)? Interesting concept...maybe your next debate on your site? Would Mantle have been persecuted by the media in todays society for his womanizing and boozing? Would the Babe have just been a Cecil Fielder - some fat guy who can hit, or would he still dominate the game like never before? (Including his early years as a dominating picther) Would he be hitting 100 homers today, instead of 30 and 40 in the dead ball era? Are these interesting questions, or am I just talking out of my a%$???
I guess I don’t know how you’d pull a Jim Carrey and still be able to type it too. BUT, I definitely think that this is a VERY interesting question, one that I’m sure could be debated over and over and there still wouldn’t be a definite answer, and I don’t think there really ever could be.
Here’s your assignment for the weekend and through next Wednesday: Think about the above questions. PLEASE, send me an e-mail with your thoughts on the subject. I will have an “interactive” article next Wednesday where I will include the best thoughts on the question - Would the greats of the game be as great now, in today’s game, as they were then? If so, why? If not, why not? I know that I have my opinion already, one that I will document for next Thursday’s post. But, before I give that, I want your thoughts. It can be a sentence, a paragraph, a couple paragraphs.
In regard to Wednesday’s The Best I Ever Played Ball With article, From Dan M.:
“Hi, I got a chance to check out the site... lookin good. But do you really think your brother is the best utility infielder or are you biased:) “
I absolutely think that my brother is the best utility player I could have picked (not just infielder) because, as I mentioned, he’s played 3B, 1B, C, LF, RF, starting pitcher and reliever. Plus, I probably understated his hitting ability. And, I absolutely am biased!! I can admit it!
Speaking of family, I got an e-mail message from my mom saying:
“I actually read this one. Nice article.”
I’m not sure what to say to that… First, Thanks! But, when starting the website, I figured I’d get my family and some friends to read the site daily. But, it’s nice to see that I’m over 800 hits, and she’s just ‘actually read’ing it once in a while! Maybe the site’s got a chance!!
Everyone, have a good and safe weekend! I’ll be back on Monday!
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