Wednesday, August 3, 2005
Good morning! Welp, I apologize, but I'm lacking motivation to write about the Twins. I even watched the game again last night against Oakland. And yes, Dan Haren is a very good pitcher who is on an incredible role, but to watch the Twins score just two runs again? Ridiculous. It was the same old story. A couple of SOLO home runs. Few baserunners, and an inability to move runners up, much less actually knock them in. Great starting pitching (yes, even from Joe Mays), and then another meltdown by JC Romero. Did you see him disagree with a call by the home plate ump and walk off the back of the mound before getting the ball back from Mauer? Like an ump will give him a call after that! And then the head case just lost it, giving up a couple more hits and runs.
We got to see two more examples of Jacque Jones' arm. One was a throw from shallow right field that was about 20 feet up the third base line. That should have been an easy out at the plate. Then there was his three bounce relay throw in to Nick Punto.
I am happy that Jason Bartlett is going to be (called) the every day shortstop. I still don't understand why Punto is an every day player, but he's certainly a better option than Bret Boone or Luis Rivas. However, is he a better option at 2B than Luis Rodriguez, Michael Cuddyer or even Juan Castro. Cuddyer's best position is 2B, that is fairly clear. Rodriguez, Punto and Tiffee are all fine options at 3B as well.
Can you tell I'm frustrated. When is the last time the Twins put together a five run inning? How about a four run inning. OK, who am I kidding... how about a nice two run inning? I feel horrible for Brad Radke. There is such a huge group of uneducated baseball fans who see him as nothing more than a .500 pitcher. Thoe people have likely added to their dislike for Radke just because he has continued to accumulate losses, even though it is through no fault of his own! I feel bad for Carlos Silva. I feel bad for Johan Santana. I can't feel sorry for Joe Mays or Kyle Lohse. If they had simply pitched decently in their last couple of outings, they could have been traded, thereby helping the team! The bullpen is great, with the exception of the two lefties. Terry Mulholland needs to be released. I have a ton of respect for him and what he can provide a team through eating innings, etc. But this team is done and needs some life, maybe some more new blood. Maybe Travis Bowyer, or even Willie Eyre. And JC Romero is terrible! Want more proof, here it is!
I am curious which players will be put on waivers. Since this season's playoff hopes are essentially done, they should try to deal any veteran that they could lose for nothing in the offseason. Lohse. Mays. Romero. Those are the easy choices. Let them go for ANYTHING! Jacque Jones. You can try to trade him, but you might be able to get more for him in the offseason. But then again, the market is week on outfielders, making Jones a possible trade option now. Trade Shannon Stewart. Fact is, he has not been good, and he's going to make $6.5 million next year. In other words, no veterans should be considered off limits, well, except Santana, Radke and Silva.
And finally... how is it possible that Scott Baker is not in the big leagues? He was great again for Rochester last night. He gave up a run over six innings and walked none. His previous start, he gave up no runs on two hits. And Francisco Liriano could be up. He's clearly ready for the next challenge, although I can understand keeping him down. But then Boof Bonser warrants consideration. No, he's no where near the level of prospect that Baker or Liriano is, but he's had a good year, and the team needs to figure out what his status is within the organization. He should make four or five starts for the Twins. That is all the more reason to get rid of Mays and Lohse now!
It is tough to write about the Twins for obvious reasons. This is the first time in three or even four years that they have not really been in any contention. This is the worst that the team has played, and in all honesty, this is the worst the team has been in that time. But real fans won't quit watching and following every game, hanging to some hope. Even if that hope has now turned to Francisco Liriano and Scott Baker and 2006!
It will be interesting being a fan for the remainder of the season. What will happen? Can they make some trades? Who will get called up? That is what we have to look forward to, and let's just enjoy it!
So looking to the future... I already told you about Baker's night. Travis Bowyer threw another shutout inning. Garrett Jones hit his 19th and 20th home runs. Nick Blackburn fell to 1-3, but he took a complete game loss for New Britain.
Anthony Swarzak and especially Kyle Waldrop appear to be hitting a wall of some sorts. Swarzak, with Ft. Myers, gave up three runs on nine hits over just five innings last night. Waldrop, at Beloit, gave up 11 hits and six earned runs in just 3.1 innings.
Johnny Woodard seems to have his bat going again after missing so much of the early season. Last night, he went 4-5 with two home runs.
There is a lot to look forward to, and one bad year should not deter us from remaining fans, even fanatics. This type of poor stretch can really weed out the true Twins fans from the bandwagon followers. Which one are you? Which one am I?
What do you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts! E-mail me.
On a positive note, be sure to check out the Baseball Hall of Fame site for the induction speeches. Yesterday, I read Peter Gammons's and it was some of the most incredible reading I have done in long time.
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