"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

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Media Round-Up

  • Mauer wins AL Player of the Week (multiple sources)
Can we say enough about this guy? He's leading the AL in season batting average, and he hit .625 over the week in question, reaching base four times each in five straight games during that span--and he's the only ML player ever to do that. And yet he's still not in the top 5 vote-getters for AL All-Star catcher. Which just goes to show that having the public pick All-Stars is kind of like asking a teenager to choose the best-made jeans, regardless of brand. The label will win every time.

  • Morneau feeling good: "This was the first series that my swing has felt good for the whole series -- instead of one game or two games," Morneau said [after the weekend series against the Orioles]. (twinsbaseball.com)
Yes, Justin, your swing felt good to all of us here in Twinsland this weekend, believe me. Crash! Bam! Boom! Music to my ears.

  • The struggles of Torii Hunter at the plate were part of the reason for Cuddyer being moved up to the cleanup spot for the Twins on Sunday. Over his past seven games, Hunter has recorded just four hits with one RBI, so Gardenhire made a decision to move the center fielder down to sixth in the order and bumped up Cuddyer and Justin Morneau to the fourth and fifth spots, respectively. (twinsbaseball.com)

Okay, so, you know what? I'm not an ML manager. And there are lots of very good reasons for that. But the fact that Torii "GIDP" Hunter does not, never has and never will belong in the #4 spot? Pretty obvious, even to yours truly. He is truly one of the great defensive players of our time, but, ah...not so much with the cleanup hitting.

  • The good news: Just one day after Guerrier took a screaming line drive from the Mariners' Richie Sexson off his pitching hand in the sixth inning, the diagnosis was a little better than expected. While the Twins doctors still determined that there indeed was a fracture in Guerrier's right thumb, the pitcher will not have to don a hard cast as first thought. Instead, Guerrier was wearing a soft cast that will be on for approximately four weeks, depending on how the injury heals. (twinsbaseball.com)

Four weeks? Witness TBL perk up in much the same way Pooie does when she hears the can opener. They were saying eight, before. Yes!

I've never really understood why so many people roll their eyes and shudder when Guerrier is mentioned. I think they got him confused with Joe Roa or something, back when he (Guerrier) first came up. This guy has been a rock, folks. Starter got shelled? Call Guerrier, he'll settle things down. Need someone in the 7th after you went through the whole bullpen yesterday? Call Guerrier, he'll pitch twice a day if you let him. He gave us a 3.39 ERA in 43 games/71 innings last season, and considering how he'd sit in the bullpen for a week or more and then suddenly be needed for 10 innings over four days, that's damn good. And this team needs him. Desperately.

  • The bad news: The Twins placed Guerrier on the 15-day disabled list Friday and recalled Kyle Lohse from Triple-A Rochester to replace him in the bullpen. (twinsbaseball.com)

We are f***ed.

  • [DH Rondell] White enters tonight's game against the Boston Red Sox batting .190, and Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has been playing him less and less. With Jason Kubel batting .279, and looking more comfortable by the day, the Twins have no intention of sending him back to the minors, which puts White in line to go [when Shannon Stewart or Ruben Sierra return from the DL]. (Star Tribune)

Remember how excited we all were when White was signed? Finally, a proven, professional hitter, we cried. Which just goes to show you, this team can turn even the best hitter into a fair imitation of a spastic chimp. Heck, it's not just possible--it's tradition!

  • Besides White, the team is also losing patience with third baseman Tony Batista (batting .236 with five homers and 21 RBI), and shortstop Juan Castro (.234-1-14). (Star Tribune)

Losing? Once again, the fans are way ahead of the curve.

  • Terry Tiffee, already on the roster, is a candidate to replace Batista at third, though the team has concerns about his defense. (Star Tribune)

Hey, does Luis Rodriguez play for this team anymore? 'Cause he plays a pretty good hot corner. I mean, he's no Corey Koskie, but you can't ask some poor kid to try to be Corey Koskie. Not gonna happen. But he's a switch-hitter, and he can run some, too.

  • And there is talk of an upcoming promotion for shortstop Jason Bartlett, who entered Monday batting .306 with seven errors in 56 games at Rochester. (Star Tribune)




Did you know that it is actually physically possible to expel steam from one's ears? It's true.

So, nearly three months after the Twins decide to send down "the future at shortstop" in favor of a fair-glove, no-bat utility guy whose glove has since gone from fair through middling and is now leaning toward "yikes!" under the strain of playing every day, there is talk? TALK?! How 'bout some action over here?

Okay, listen. I love the Twins. I adore the Twins. They're my boys of summer, and if the Dome isn't Giamatti's "green field in the sun", well, it's what we've got, and the clock is ticking. I'm not harping on the Twins because I don't love them, or because I don't have any faith in them. I do.

But some of the stuff that's been going on lately? When I was growing up Down South, they had a phrase for things like this: "crazy-makin' ". It's a good phrase. It says a lot.

And the Twins, as an organization, from the GM right on down to the last futility infielder, last season and especially this season, are crazy-makin'. Every day it seems like there's something new, something that makes us all go, "what the hell are you thinking??"

If it's not inexplicable personnel moves from on high, it's boneheaded plays in the field, or it's bringing in a pitcher in the eighth inning of a close game to face the very same guys who beat him like a mule the night before, and then wondering to the media why on earth he couldn't get them out. Or (speaking of the media) it's a player getting a new hole ripped in the morning paper for one lone wrong move, while another guy does something abso-bleepin'-lutely stupid every other freakin' day and there's nary a peep from the bench.

It's Jason Bartlett wasting away in Rochester because Juan Castro "looks good out there".

It's shoehorning Carlos Silva back into the rotation before he's even come close to proving that he has his stuff back.

It's Torii Hunter batting 4th.

It's bringing up Kyle Loshe instead of Pat Neshek. Or anyone else with a pulse.

It's trotting out the same underperforming batting order day after day for weeks on end, and being startled when it produces the same result day after day for weeks on end.

It's bemoaning Scott Baker's "slow pace" when his starts average well under three hours total game time.

It's creating a huge hole on the left side of the infield and then blaming the pitchers for all those hits that zip through it.

On that note, it's letting Corey Koskie slip through our fingers three times in a little over a year. Has anyone else noticed that we haven't done much winning since he left? I'm just sayin', is all...

This team, it doesn't have "champion" written all over it. But you look at what we've got between Minnesota and Rochester, and what we could have had the last two trading and free agent seasons, and it could have been so much more than it is. The 2006 Twins could have been a good team, a winning team. A team worthy of the devotion we the fans still heap upon it.

If we didn't love our Twins, we wouldn't be so bloody frustrated about all of this.

It's crazy-makin', I tell ya.

1 rejoinders:

SBG sounded off...

Finally. The PiP is
reporting that Barlett will be called up after tonight's game.