"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

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Spring Training Flailing

11:35 a.m.

And this week on Adding Insult to Injury, today's spring training game is televised and I, of course, work on weekdays. Sigh.

Not that spring training has been a barrel of laughs for our boys thus far, mind you. Early in spring training you expect the pitchers to be rustier than the hitters, and our pitching staff is certainly following tradition there. But the hitting's not so great either, though in all fairness we here in Twins Territory have come to expect that at any time of the year.

After seven games, the Twins are hitting .223 as a team and pitching 6.39. Have you been wondering why they're 1-5-1? There's your answer.

It's just spring training. It doesn't count.
It's just spring training. It doesn't count.
It's just spring training. It doesn't count.

I repeat this to myself often. But while it's true that the win-loss records and even the stats don't matter much, there's a very real season starting in a very few weeks, and right now is when we build our team for and try to get a sense of our team's prospects in that season.

Not looking good so far, folks.

On the "pleasant surprise" front, however, we have Ramon Ortiz. Yes, it's early days, but who expected this reliable but rarely inspiring workhorse-type to come out and give up two measly hits and one earned run with no walks in his first five innings of work? Raise your hand. Anyone? I didn't think so. I expect he'll revert to form sooner rather than later, but at the moment he's a treat.

(You Can't Handle The) Boof takes the mound in half an hour. I have to miss the visuals, but this one's on the radio, too.

1:00 p.m.

I guess they couldn't handle the Boof. Bonser goes 3 innings with 2 hits, no runs or walks, and three strikeouts. If anyone out there saw it, do post a comment with details! Was he sharp? Did he fool the hitters, or get some lucky breaks? Do tell!

For some reason, the radio commentators are talking about trading Juan Rincón. This would NOT make me happy. Here's an idea: let's trade the wildly expensive centerfielder who insists upon making at least one rookie baserunning mistake every game (assuming he gets on base at all) instead, and keep baseball's best bullpen intact?

1:35 p.m.

I had just heard "Juan Rincón coming in to pitch" when Gameday Audio lost its feed. Stupid technology. (Feel free to leave me a comment on his performance if you were lucky enough to see or hear it...)

1:55 p.m.

Gameday Audio roars back to life just in time for "and that puts the go-ahead runner on third for the Pirates". And mere seconds later, the runner scores.


Bring me the head of JD Durbin.

2:27 p.m.

Speaking of tradition, in the top of the ninth Michael Ryan gives a two-RBI nod to the time-honored custom which dictates that former Twins must stomp the crap out of current Twins pitching at every available opportunity.

Let's hear it for the immutability of baseball.

1 rejoinders:

twayn sounded off...

Now that the starting pitching seems to be sorting itself out, it's time for the boys to stop leaning on the bats and start swinging them. But the low team average is being skewed somewhat by all the at-bats that minor leaguers are getting. Still, the lack of offense is unsettling and I'll be happy when the hits start coming in bunches again.