If I had a dollar for every person who’s asked me, “What are the Minnesota Twins doing?” I’d have $14.
This much I know for sure: Former General Manager Bill Smith was asleep at the wheel and basically drove this franchise into the ground. And now current General Manager Terry Ryan is trying to resuscitate it for the upcoming year (doubtful) and for the long haul (promising).
One thing Ryan knows is minor league pitching talent. Any decent Twins fan can run through a lengthy list of pitchers Ryan plucked from other organizations as minor leaguers. Ryan’s history of staying at minor league baseball games for the entire nine innings is legendary.
So in Terry Ryan I trust. He will rebuild the pitching staff with one eye to next year and the other to the years beyond. He’s done it before and I suspect he’ll do it again. And keep in mind that I’m really down on this organization right now. But with February looming, hope springs eternal.
*Delmon Young is in the World Series. Repeat that sentence three times. You die a little bit each time you say it.
*Hats off to Jimmy From Accounting. He was the only person I know who correctly predicted that the Giants would beat Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers last night. Keep in mind, that JFA is currently preparing for what promises to be one of the busiest tax seasons ever. The mere thought of him taking the time to think about baseball for even just a minute is impressive.
*Is it just me, or does FOX announcer Tim McCarver get crazier every year?
*I still haven’t seen “Argo,” but I’m being told that it’s award-worthy.
*Reggie Tales shout out to Kevin in Arlington. Virginia, that is.
*Finally had Noodles and Company. Mac and Cheese. With meatballs. Very, very good.
*For those of you keeping track, I have watched every episode of “Boardwalk Empire” and am now willing to discuss specific scenes and characters.
*Why is Derek Jeter a better baseball player than Joe Mauer? Why can’t Mauer hit a three run home run when the Twins are down by two in the 8th?
*I’d also like this explained to me: If Derek Lowe is such a great pitcher, why didn’t the Twins try sign him?
*Brandon Inge was available for next to nothing. But the Twins passed on him too.
*On a positive note, I haven’t watched an entire Twins game this year. I have suddenly discovered more hours in the day. Sometimes during commercial breaks of NHL Playoff games, I will flip over to see if Minnesota is trailing 5-0 or 7-1.
You know I wouldn’t waste your precious time on something stupid, so I give you this video. It’s funny on at least three levels. So, instead of squandering one minute on Facebook checking if anyone has posted inspirational slogans or pictures of cats yawning, please squander it on watching this fan with lots of skills.
As always, you’re welcome.
*I recently saw a Star Tribune article that said Vikings Coach Leslie Frazier’s job was safe for next year. Why? Stop the insanity. Minnesota will go 6-10 next year with him at the helm. Then they will fire him, which means that they will have wasted two more years of Adrian Peterson’s and Jared Allen’s careers.
*If you missed the Minnesota Wild and the Chicago Blackhawks in St. Paul last night you missed a good one. It had playoff intensity.
*I joined the world of satellite radio on Tuesday. My vehicle was equipped for it so all I had to do was give the nice people at XM some of my money, and now I can listen to 80s music on Channel 8 whenever I want. And for a brief moment during my morning commute today, I flipped over to the 90s channel and heard Vanilla Ice with “Ice Ice Baby.” Try and top that.
*Reggie Tales shout out to Chay in Houston.
*”They” say we didn’t have snow on Christmas in 2006 but I don’t remember that.
*I endorse the signing of Josh Willingham by the Minnesota Twins. I hate to see Michael Cuddyer leave, but Willingham provides a little more pop than Cuddy, and if the Twins had waited for him to make up his mind they might have lost out on both.
The Minnesota Twins did something very un-Twins like yesterday. They fired General Manager Billy Smith. And the Minnesota Twins never fire anyone. And while I never like to see anyone lose their job, this was the right move. The list of Smith’s mistakes had grown quite long and embarrassing. Off the top of my head: Trading JJ Hardy, trading Wilson Ramos for Matt Capps, trading Delmon Young for two people I’ve never even heard of before. They might not even play baseball. Back to the list: Letting Matt Gueirrer and Jesse Crain leave via free agency. I think I can stop there because it makes my blood boil.
But now to the good news. Terry Ryan is back in the picture and you can ignore the “interim” tag that they gave him for the GM job. You can bet your bottom dollar that he will have the job for as long as he wants. And I think he’s going to stay and be successful for the next 5 to 10 years. I also fully expect the no nonsense Ryan to remind the Manager that the players are paid to play. Apparently that was forgotten in Minneapolis.
Those of you who know me well know that I’m not a fan of Fox announcer Joe Buck. It’s nothing personal, but I just don’t care for his work and it’s always somewhat bothered me that he seemingly slid right into his father’s footsteps. His father, the late Jack Buck, is one of my all-time favorites.
But last night Joe Buck said something that made me respect him a little more. And it actually came from borrowing a line that his father used 20 years and one day earlier when Kirby Puckett hit a game ending home run to beat the Atlanta Braves in Game 6 of the 1991 World Series at the Metrodome.
“And we’ll see you tomorrow night!” Twins fans and fans of baseball will never forget it.
So when Joe Buck had that phrase at his ready last night as the Cardinals ended the game with a home run, I got the chills. Right down my spine and my arms. It was equal parts classy and classic. An appropriate end to an unforgettable game. And a tip of the hat to one of the greats.
*Nick Punto will be in the Major League Playoffs this year.
*Carlos Gomez will be in the Major League Playoffs this year.
*JJ Hardy won’t be in the playoffs this year with Baltimore but he did hit 30 home runs. And the Twins traded him because he was injured too often. Because he was injured too often. That, my friends, you can’t make up. A guy that the Twins deemed injury prone had more home runs than Justin Morneau, Joe Mauer and Michael Cuddyer combined.
*Touch ‘em all, John Gordon!
*Sioux Men’s Hockey gets started this Saturday!
*Reggie Tales shout out to Dan in Stephen.
*Next up on my movie docket: 50/50. Seth Rogen and that other guy that looks like a kid.
*Bonus shout out to Ashley M. who’s leaving us and heading back to capital city. She will be missed.
*Finally…to Red Sox Daughter…sorry about the Red Sox, but Happy Birthday!!
The Minnesota Twins 2011 season could be summed up by one simple play in last night’s 3-0 loss to the White Sox. With a runner on second the Sox hit a slow roller towards Twins third baseman Danny Valencia. He lazily jogged to cut the grounder off near the middle of the diamond but was unable to come up with it. Most players in the Major Leagues would go back and pick up the ball to insure that the runner wouldn’t try score from second. But not Valencia. Or any other Twins player on the field. As the ball came to a rest about 70 feet from home plate, the White Sox player scored rather easily. From second base.
I could go on and on. And on. But I’ve wasted too much time and thought and money on this current team. Talent is one thing. Baseball knowledge and heart are another. The Twins are severely lacking in all three areas.
If you have to watch the Twins lose, I suggest doing it from really good seats.
I’ve been to five Twins games this year at Target Field and I have yet to see them win. You can’t make those odds up. I’m starting to think that maybe it’s not my fault and that it’s possible that they just aren’t very good. Anyway, these photos are from last Thursday night. And if you’re going to be subjected to a Twins loss it’s more fun to be up close and personal.
Joe Mauer heads out to right field at the start of the game Thursday night. It is the first time he's ever played that position in his major league career. I think this photo also shows that I am still a pretty decent photographer.
One of my favorite non-Twins, Derek Jeter, greets Justin Morneau during one of his many visits to first base.
I found this interesting. It's Denard Span seeming to be disinterested in pregame festivities. I guess that's what you're supposed to do when your on the disabled list for the second time for the same concussion. In the background is Ben Revere applauding wildly.