"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, July 03, 2006

Week in Review, and Stuff

Okay, so I didn't get back mid-week. Sorry! I was having so much fun watching the Twins I didn't want to dull the high by thinking about it too much. But then I realized all the dust on the blog was making me sneeze, so here we are.

First things first.

VOTE FOR FRANCISCO LIRIANO! He's up for last man on the AL All-Star team, and, y'know, 'Cisco can pitch a little. You can never have too much pitching, right?

Now, what did the Twins do in the last week? Let's see...looks like they won, and then they kicked some butts, and then they took some folks to school, and then they opened a can of whup-ass, and then they utterly crushed the competition, and then they did some more winning. So, yeah, good week.

I repeat: Who are these people, and what have they done with my Twins?

And I add: Can they stay indefinitely?

But seriously, I love most of the moves they've made in the last month or so, especially with the position players. Jason Bartlett should have been our shortstop since Opening Day...2005. Tony Batista was an experiment, and not a bad idea in theory, but the experiment didn't pan out and that was obvious pretty early on. Castro's a great utility player, but both Punto and Rodriguez are younger, faster and cheaper. And Jason Kubel belongs in the major leagues. He definitely needed that stint in AAA, as spring training simply isn't long enough to come back after a year out injured, but I was thrilled that they brought him back as soon as possible.

I'm somewhat less confident about the pitching moves, but I can see where they came from.

Liriano belongs in the rotation. Bonser's had his ups and downs...the jury's still out on him. Still, we needed someone and he had more than earned his shot. I'd rather see Scott Baker in the bullpen than Kyle Lohse, but Baker's not making $3 million and I just have to think they're running Lohse out there in hopes that some other team will make them a decent offer before the trade deadline. I'm not sure what it would take to turn Lohse's potential into actuality, but the Twins obviously don't have that answer either.

I do wonder how much more slack Jesse Crain and Willie Eyre will be given. Exciting young pitchers, both of them, but going through extended rough patches. Very extended, in Crain's case, although the last couple of weeks he's seemed much more in command. But with Guerrier possibly back in Minnesota in a couple of weeks and five Rochester pitchers sporting ERAs under 3.00 (and the whole staff under 4.50), I can't imagine the leash is very long. Especially for poor Willie, who doesn't have Crain's advantage of a pretty darn good major-league track record prior to this season.

Well, that's about all I've got for now. The Twins open up a series in KC tonight with Johan "K" Santana on the hill. I know Liriano is fabulous and all, but it's still Santana whose changeup makes my knees buckle right along with all those batters'...

And just to keep those good feelings rolling, I'll leave you with a recap of everything that's happened since the last time the Twins lost a series:

vs. Baltimore: won 2, lost 1
vs. Boston: won 3
@ Pittsburgh: won 3
@ Houston: won 2, lost 1
vs. Chicago (NL): won 3
vs. Los Angeles: won 3
vs. Milwaukee: won 3

0 rejoinders: