Monday, December 10, 2007
Hey everybody! Happy Monday! After taking Thursday and Friday off to travel to Nebraska for the funeral of my grandma, it is back to work on Monday. I donít have anything official or new, so today will be a series of bullet points and random thoughts:
∑ Although I knew it, I verified that my great-grandmaís maiden name was Duensing. She was from northeast Kansas, in a small town near Marysville, Kansas, the town where Brian Duensing was born and much of him family still lives. What does that mean? Iím not really sure. I think it means there is a chance that Brian Duensing and I are something like 5th cousins. Duensing started the season by going 4-1 wit ha 2.66 ERA in nine starts with New Britain before being called up to Rochester. There, he went 11-5 with a 3.24 ERA in 19 starts. He then was taken off of the Twins Arizona Fall League list because he was invited to pitch for Team USA in the World Cup. He was the starting pitcher against Cuba in the championship game, a game that Team USA won.
∑ Speaking of the Rochester Red Wings and Brian Duensing, if you are looking for a great stocking stuff for a Twins fan, be sure to pick up a copy of the 2007 Rochester Red Wings Season in Review. I got my copy this weekend and sat down and watched it. Having followed all of the teamís box scores all season, it was a lot of fun to see the players and the plays, the home runs and the great plays. Box scores are great, but to actually see the players and the plays was really a lot of fun! Seeing the reaction when Jason Miller got his call up to the Twins was great. Seeing highlights of the likes of Kevin Slowey and Tommy Watkins, Matt Garza and even David Gassner, was really great. Josh Whetzel and Jeff Coltoniak did a great job narrating and writing for the video. Jim Mandelaro, Joe Altobelli and wIng nUT did a great job adding a lot to the video. There are plenty of very interesting and entertaining extras as well including information on the teamís 50th year which was celebrated throughout the year. Two of my personal favorite Twins minor leaguers of the last few years had a couple of highlights. Trent Oeltjen had a couple of big hits and a great diving catch in CF. For Doug Deeds, they only showed his two homer game late in the season. A couple of things that did surprise me were that Matt Tolbertís first half and Jose Moralesís batting title werenít really mentioned much. I have the 2006 version as well, and it was great, but they definitely improved with the 2007 version. So, check it out and pick one up for the baseball fanís in your life!
∑ The Vikings got of to a fast start, as in first play was an interception return for TD by DT Kevin Williams. It was the first of three interceptions by Vikings Defensive Tackles. The amazing story of the day was that Adrian Peterson had 14 carries for three yards. Chester Taylor had eight carries for 104 yards. The amazing thing there was that one of those runs went for 84 yards, an AP-type run. Tavaris Jackson was good again. The Defense was incredible as ever. That was helped by a 49ers offense that is as good as it gets. Did you know that if the season ended today and the playoffs would start, the Vikings would be the #6 seed and playing the Seattle Seahawks, a team that they could definitely beat.
∑ So, the big question now is: Were the Vikings right about Tarvaris Jackson? Was he worth their 2nd round pick last year? Obviously he has the physical gifts necessary to play in the league, but we hadnít seen it until three weeks ago. Is it real?
∑ Former Twins reliever LaTroy Hawkins is about to sign a one year, $3.75 million contract with the New York Yankees. Itíll be interesting to see how he does in the spotlight.
∑ While listening to Sid Hartmannís Sunday morning radio show, a caller who claimed to have been at the Winter Meetings in Nashville. He said that he had spent some time talking to a person associated with the New York Mets and had been told that the Mets are trying to acquire Brandon Inge from the Detroit Tigers. The Mets would, in turn, trade Inge to the Twins for Boof Bonser. I personally am not a big Brandon Inge fan. Defensively he would be good or a little better than good. Offensively, he is clearly a step above Nick Punto, but not a huge step, and is signed for a few more years at a price higher than Puntoís. So, unless the Tigers and Mets would be chipping in big time, I donít see the benefit.
∑ Having spent a couple of days in Nebraska and in a car, I realized that being a Twins fan, even with many of the fanatics, is not so bad. College football fans in Nebraska are absolutely crazy. Since they donít have an NFL team to really cheer for as their own, the Cornhuskers football team takes precedence over all else. So, not making a bowl game this year is a major story! A new head coach with ties to the old Black Shirts (Bo Pellini) will certainly help them get there.
∑ Kevin Slowey is quite the chef!
∑ Remember Joe Mauerís inside the park homer off of the Angelsí Scot Shields?
∑ Former Twin Tim Teufel will remain the manager of the Mets Hi-A Florida State League in Port St. Lucis.
∑ Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling has decided to throw his support toward John McCain in the 2008 Presidential race. I listened to part of a town hall meeting that they appeared at in New Hampshire last week. So, I thought I would check out his blog (38 Pitches) to find out more.
∑ Congratulations to Jake Mauer on his wedding on Saturday!
∑ This Rotoworld report says that the Twins have interest in Aaron Rowand, which doesnít make a lot of sense to me. Even worse, it mentions that the Twins are still in contact with Luis Gonzalez. Now, can someone please explain to me what value Luis Gonzalez would add to the Twins at this point in his career??
∑ Ah, Torii Hunter memoriesÖ courtesy David Ortiz.
∑ The Twins have seven players currently eligible for arbitration. They have until Wednesday to offer them arbitration, or to non-tender them:
o Justin Morneau Ė sign him to a four year deal!
o Juan Rincon Ė NON-TENDER!! Or trade him before then.
o Jason Kubel Ė sign him to a four year deal.
o Michael Cuddyer Ė sign him for three or four years.
o Matt Guerrier Ė sign him for two years.
o Craig Monroe Ė Non-Tender probably. Although he wouldnít be a horrible bench guy.
o Jason Tyner Ė just offer arbitration and he will probably make about $800,000. In a year when his salary would be over $1 million, then Jason Pridie of Denard Span can take over 5th OF duties.
∑ The Mets Geek asks, ďHow Good is Carlos Silva?Ē See what he found out.
∑ How much was Scott Baker worth to the Twins? Viva El Birdos tried to figure out some dollar values because he, like Tony Larussa and many with the Cardinals, wants to get rid of Scott Rolen. He also wants that deal to be with the Twins.
∑ Iím sure many of you want to know that Sidney Ponson threw four scoreless innings down in the Dominican Winter League.
∑ Bobby Mitchell played for the Twins in 1982 and 1983. He was just named the manager of Salt Lake City, the AAA affiliate of the Angels. †
∑ Bleed Cubbies Blue has new lyrics for Adam Sandlerís Hannukah song, and he explains more into the Rod Carew lyrics.
∑ Brent Brede played for the Twins in 1996 and 1997. He is now a teacher and basketball coach at Wesclin High School in Trenton, Illinois.
Is that enough for today? Well, itís all Iíve got time for. Have a great week, and be sure to stop back tomorrow for a Q&A with a Twins minor leaguer. If you have any questions or comments, please e-mail me or leave Comments below.