"Let us go forth a while, and get better air in our lungs. Let us leave our closed rooms...
The game of ball is glorious."

--Walt Whitman

Monday, December 13, 2004

It's Like a Bad Dream

Corey Koskie is no longer a Twin.

I don't think it's really sunk in yet. I've been a Koskie fan as long as I've been a Twins fan (since 1999, for the curious). I have a signed Koskie jersey, all the Koskie bobbleheads and figurines, and over 100 Koskie baseball cards. My Twins shrine has a separate Koskie wing. I'm sure I'll be heartbroken once the numbness wears off.

From the Star Tribune:

ANAHEIM, CALIF. -- Corey Koskie has agreed to a three-year, $17 million contract with Toronto, joining shortstop Cristian Guzman as free-agent losses to the Twins infield.
The Twins fell out of the running for Koskie after a brief Sunday morning meeting with Koskie's agent, Pat Rooney.
Rooney gave the Twins, who hadn't budged from a two-year, $8.25 million offer made last week, one more shot.
"I appreciate the offer," Ryan said, "but we are where we are. We weren't going to change the years. You could be creative on the contract but not the years."
Ryan would not comment on why he wouldn't give Koskie another year, but Twins officials have pointed to Koskie's health as a reason. He played 118 games last season while being slowed because of a strained sternum and a sprained ankle. Koskie hasn't played more than 140 games in a season since 2001.
The sides kicked around an option for a third year, an option that would kick in if Koskie played in a certain number of games, but they couldn't agree to a deal.
So Koskie, born in Anola, Manitoba, will head to his native country, where the Blue Jays will reap the benefits of a public relations move. Eric Hinske will either be traded or moved to first base to make room for Koskie. The Twins will receive two draft picks as compensation.
Koskie did not return phone calls Sunday.
"We wanted him to stay," Ryan said. "It was just a matter of dollars."

Hinske might be traded? Helloooo...'scuse me, over here? What would it take to get him? How about Jacque Jones? He's been on the trading block for like a year and a half anyway. We could do worse than Hinske at third--read on.
Meanwhile, the Twins will work on remodeling three-fourths of their infield. First baseman Justin Morneau is the only certain starter. Michael Cuddyer, a former first-round pick who has power potential, will start at either second or third, with third base now the best bet.

Oh, don't tell me that. Not on the same day you tell me my favorite player ever will be wearing a different uniform on opening day. First you take away the best-fielding third baseman I've seen, excepting those old tapes of Brooks Robinson, and then you practically hand the job to the Gloveless Wonder?

Hello! Am I the only one who remembers that he stunk so bad at third while Koskie was out injured last season that we actually called someone up to man third when what we really needed was another pitcher??? Remember that? I do. Our season seats have an excellent view of third base, and I still have nightmares as a result.

Batgirl, as always, said it best:
"Cuddy, while a pretty good second baseman, fields third kind of like BatKitty #3 plays with a toy mouse--which is to say he boots the ball around for a while, then pounces on it, then boots it some more, then picks it up in his mouth and carries it over to Morneau, who has to wipe a little drool off the thing."

We don't call him "Cudderror" for nothing, folks. Being the fielding snob that I am, I'd prefer to trade him for a six-pack of Guinness and a rosin bag, but if we must put him on the field (and the bench is, as always, Option B behind the Guinness idea) let's put him at second. He's almost average there, and might improve.

Failing an acquisition of Hinske or free agent veteran Joe Randa (who has much less pop but rather more health than Koskie), there's always Terry Tiffee. Tiffee's the rookie lad who got called up to end the screaming horror of Cudderror-at-Third last season, and he did okay. No telling if he's up to a full major league season, complete with major-league pitching, but I think he's good enough to plug in there with fingers crossed. There are always midseason trades if he can't hack it, right? And Nicky Punto can play third in a pinch, if [insert player here] needs a day off.

Do you suppose there's any chance Gardy reads this blog?

0 rejoinders: