Monday, September 26, 2011
Happy Monday, and welcome back to the work week. First things first, I have to send out a huge Thank You to Jamie Ogden and the fine folks at Manitou Station in White Bear Lake. We had a nice turnout at the TwinsCentric event on Saturday afternoon, and it was a lot of fun. It was nice to finally meet Jamie and hear his stories from his playing days through the minor league system, former teammates and coaches, and his thoughts on the current Twins. It was great to see John Bonnes (Twins Geek), Parker Hageman (Over The Baggy), Aaron Gleeman (AaronGleeman.com), Cody Christie (NoDak), Roger Dehring (Twinkie Town), Brandon Warne (brandonwarne.com, fan graphs), Scott Povolny (Twins Train) and Howard Sinker (A Fan’s View) were all there as well. It was a lot of fun to sit/stand around and talk about the Twins and much more. Thank you to all who were able to be there and for all of your support for TwinsCentric and for me over these 8 ½ years of Twins blogging. Yikes, that’s a long time!
Last night on the SethSpeaks.net Sunday Night Twins Podcast, Cody Christie and I discussed what we are seeing from the young players who are up with the Twins, and then we gave our “Percent Chances” that the Twins looming free agents and several others will be back with the organization next year.
For those wondering what my ‘regular’ (as in, “paying”) job is, here is an interesting article in the New York Times called Housing Slump Forces Cuts at a Company Town.
I got to listen to Paul Allen call yesterday’s Twins game on my drive back from the Cities. After having lunch at the greatest dining establishment (Chipotle) with Josh Johnson, I tuned in to hear the Lions cut the Vikings lead to 20-7. It was enjoyable listening to the inevitable happening as the Vikings fell 26-23 in Overtime. Donovan McNabb appears to be getting the brunt of the criticism, and deservedly so because in the 2nd halves of these games, he has missed some throws that could have sustained drives. I get that. However, if he’s going to be criticized, don’t we also have to be able to say that he provided the Vikings with some pretty big second half leads too? He’s given his team 17 and 20 point leads in the 2nd half these last two weeks. It’s a team sport and they all win and lose together, but if a defense is given a 20-point lead, they have to do their part too. It all works hand in hand. Yes, McNabb has missed a bunch of passes, but in that second half, Adrian Peterson had a 29 yard run and another 15+ yard run negated by holding penalties. That’s not McNabb’s fault, and if those plays go, they’re more first downs, and who knows what happens. So sure, blame McNabb. It’s the cool thing to do and much of it is deserved, but it’s far bigger than that. It’s kind of like “injuries” or “Joe Mauer” or “Bill Smith” being the biggest culprit behind the Twins disappointing 2011 season.
On Saturday, with the Game 1 loss to Cleveland, the Twins clinched the #2 pick in next year’s draft. A lot of people are asking about who the Twins should draft next year. Yes, right now, there is the pitcher from Stanford, the catcher from Florida and the Shortstop from Arizona State. There is Lance McCullers, the high school kid who touches 100 on the radar gun. It’s fun to speculate and start thinking about it, but in reality, so much is going to change over the next 8 months before the draft, that it probably isn’t worth putting too much thought into at this point. We’ll get more into that in May.
Twins Florida Instructional League players are playing games now and will do so for the next couple of weeks. The Arizona Fall League games start on October 4th, but players are starting to report to Phoenix now. Also, several Twins minor leaguers are playing in the World Cup Tournament in Panama which starts soon too. Tom Stuifbergen (whose birthday it is today) is on the Netherlands team. James Beresford, Allan de San Miguel and Todd Van Steensel (be sure to follow his Clubhouse Chronicles) are on the Australia team. Max Kepler and former Twins farmhand Tim Henkenjohann are on the German team. I’ll have to look and see if there are more on the rosters.
Here are some quick links to get you through your day:
· Aaron Gleeman asked Why Can’t the Twins find any infielders who can hit?
· Twinkie Town’s Jon Marthaler writes up Eleven Ways to Make this Season-Ending Series Fun!
· Roger posted his thoughts and a ballot for Twins Minor League Pitcher of the Year.
· Nick Nelson posts his thoughts on Free Agent Shortstops.
· K-Bro posted Part VI of her 2012 Wish List, to Take the Bullpen Seriously.
· The Baseball Outsider wrote about Jim Thome’s Time at 3B on Sunday. I thought it was a very cool gesture by Manny Acta.
· Last week, Betsy from For the Love of the Game, got to throw out the first pitch at the Twins game at Target Field. She recounts the moment here.
· NoDak Twins Fan notes that the Twins are Searching for a 10-game winner.
· Granny Baseball Ranks the Twins Rookie Pitchers.
· Fire Bill Smith discusses The Top Three Questions The Twins Must Answer.
· Anyone want to do a Word Search? Twins on Twins posted a Word Search full of Twins names!
· Twins Fan From Afar updates us on the HR Watch between Baby Jesus and Jesus.
· MILB Prospects is beginning to look at his top prospects in the various leagues.
· Last week, my thoughts were mentioned on CRTSIDE’s Blog titled Why Does SportsCenter Suck? It’s a very well done article.
I do want to encourage those of you at all interested in signing up for Twitter to Follow me. As life is getting more and more busy, Twitter makes it so easy to post quick notes on Twins notes of interest. I am a notorious ReTweeter, choosing to give some attention to other bloggers or articles that are very good. When I get newsworthy information on the Twins, I post it first on Twitter. Even if you don’t want to sign up for Twitter, I would encourage you to bookmark my Twitter Feed and check it out to see my thoughts throughout the day. Then check out who I am following and see if you want to follow any of them too.
Again, Happy Monday to everyone!! If you have any questions or comments or observations on the Twins or anything, please feel free to discuss in the Comments section.