When the Twins signed Jim Thome--who, believe it or not, has passed his physical--TBL was cautiously optimistic. He hasn't been at his best the past couple of seasons, but he's still Jim "Holy Crap, Lookit That Go" Thome. And, best of all, he won't be hitting against our pitchers anymore. (The evidence suggests that Thome will still be able to go yard off Twins pitching from his wheelchair in 2050.) The official line out of the organization at the moment is that Kubel is our DH, and Thome will be our big bat off the bench.
Then, oh joy! oh rapture!, word came down from on high (okay, from WCCO) that Joe Mauer had signed a 10-year contract extension! TBL's ecstasy lasted about 4 hours, when news that there was no contract extension after all penetrated the haze of confetti and champagne here at Casa Liberales. Sigh. Pout.
But now, today, another real signing! Color TBL stunned, because the Twins have gone out and gotten themselves a real, live, honest to goodness second baseman. Yes, dear readers, you read that correctly. And not just any ol' second baseman who knows what that stick thing is for and has some concept of "fielding", but Orlando Hudson. Four Gold Gloves. Two-time All-Star. Career .282/.348/.778 hitter. A mere 32 years old.
Who are these people, and what have they done with the Twins front office?
With the acquisition of shorstop JJ Hardy from Milwaukee, the infield is nearly complete. Unless Gardy's unnatural love of futility infielders leads him to make a tragic staffing decision at third base, we Twins fans may actually be treated to a Twins lineup without the black hole that is Nick Punto's bat on a daily basis. Can you picture it, dear readers? TBL can.
Who are the contenders at third? Most obvious are Punto, Matt Tolbert and Brendan Harris, but TBL hears there are some youngsters just itching to get to the bigs, so spring training may offer some surprises. Players are already trickling into Fort Myers, and soon there will be baseball again!