The Minnesota Twins stepped up to ink the American Association’s new home run record holder, C. J. Ziegler, who also was named that league’s Player of the Year, then was tabbed by Baseball America as Independent Player of the Year. The Washington Nationals signed free agent Brock Peterson, who hit 25 homers and drove in 86 runs in less than a full season for St. Louis’s top farm club in Memphis, TN.Follow paulmbanks
Last night the Chicago White Sox welcomed back Mark Buerhle with a tribute video in the first inning of game one in their series versus the Toronto Blue Jays. You can watch it later in this post. As well as the White Sox 2013 opening introduction video. But first we re-publish a magnificent post from former Sport Bank contributor Peter Christian:
Just as there are certainties in life (death, taxes, et al) there are certainties in sports. Some of the more notable certainties are the die hard fans, heartbreak and the euphoric high of winning a championship. Additionally, with every sports franchise comes the list of current and former players who are irrationally overrated.Follow paulmbanks
For the first time since 1996, no one has been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Craig Biggio was 39 votes short of selection. He “killer Bs” longtime teammate Jeff Bagwell obviously fell well short too. So did Tim Raines, Mike Piazza and Don Mattingly. Ok, it was a weak class for the first ballot.Follow paulmbanks
Carlos Gutierrez, 26, was claimed off waivers by the Cubs from the Minnesota Twins on October 24. He was originally selected by the Twins in the first round of the 2008 Draft and has gone 15-20 with a 4.11 ERA (154 ER/337.0 IP) in 136 appearances (32 starts) covering the last five seasons in the Twins minor league system.Follow paulmbanks
For the first time in almost a month, the White Sox share first place in the American League Central with the Detroit Tigers. Now with the most optimism a White Sox fan with ulcers from the stresses of watching his team can muster, believes: The Chicago White Sox will win the AL Central.Follow paulmbanks
Chris Colabello’s run from being last season’s Independent Player of the Year (Baseball America) to setting a new team record for runs batted in during his first affiliated season to earning runner-up honors as the Eastern League’s Most Valuable Player is little short of miraculous. It also has given the 28-year-old first baseman a full plate of baseball for this fall and winter and very likely into the spring.
In 24 hours after Minnesota’s Class AA New Britain (CT) Rock Cats had been eliminated (by one game) for an Eastern League playoff spot, the Massachusetts native and onetime magna cum laude student at Assumption College, who had spent seven years in the Can-Am League before the Twins finally came calling last offseason, was on an airplane headed to Rotterdam, Holland, to play for defending champion Italy in the European Championships.
When that event is over, Colabello will have a short break before starting winter baseball in Mexico, and that seems likely to be followed by joining Italy for the World Baseball Classic unless the Twins, his No. 1 priority, step up with something like a 40-man roster spot or a non-roster invitation to major league training camp in Fort Myers, FL.
So Colabello, who exudes modesty, can take his all-Eastern League honors, his .284-19-98 season which earned MVP recognition in New Britain, and the knowledge he was MVP runner-up to 38-home run all-star first baseman Darin Ruf of Reading, PA (Philadelphia) as he continues trying to climb into a major league opportunity.
Colabello’s Dad Has a Souvenir Reminder From Will Clark
The opportunity to play for Italy has to have a great feel, too, because Colabello’s teacher father Lou was a longtime pitcher for the same team (1977-85), including World Championship triumphs in ’77, ’79, ’83 and the first Olympic year for baseball in 1984.
Former San Francisco slugger Will Clark took a lefty delivery from Lou Colabello out of Dodger Stadium, and Clark and Chris Colabello somehow got into a discussion about the home run this spring when the Rock Cats were visiting the Giants’ Double-A team in Richmond, VA.
Never one to be shy about his hitting ability, Clark, now a roving instructor for San Francisco, eagerly signed a baseball for the elder Collabello which says “you hang ‘em, I bang ‘em.”Follow paulmbanks
Remember former Minnesota Twins ace starting pitcher Frank Viola? He had some decent years with the New York Mets too. It turns out he’s passed his athletic bloodlines on to his daughter. Brittany Viola will be competing for the United States as an Olympic diver in the 2012 London Games.Follow paulmbanks
NATO Summit weekend has come and gone from Chicago, and the pervasive police presence kept protest disturbances and incidents to a minimum. There was a lot of talk beforehand about how much the event would impact the lives of Chicagoans, about how much everything would be inconvienced, about all the security threats.
However, there were no major incidents, and just a bunch of arrests. No real civic unrest. And the Chicago White Sox are going to honor the CPD before their game versus the Twins.
From 670 The Score:Follow paulmbanks
I know that the baseball season is a marathon, not a sprint. But already in the early stages of the season there is cause for concern if you are a Minnesota Twins fan, like me.
Coming off a 99-loss season in 2011, Twins management did almost nothing to improve an offense that was near the bottom in runs scored or a bullpen that was absolutely God-awful.
They added Jason Marquis to the starting rotation when pitchers like Mark Buehrle and C.J. Wilson were on the market. But we (fans and management) thought we would be OK. Having contended for the division title every year since 2002, we became arrogant, as every pro Minnesota sports team does when it experiences a bit of success. Here’s my opinion. [Read more...]Follow paulmbanks
While spring training can be devastating for those who have to face the reality of not making a team, it also brings out a great deal of happiness for some, especially for those players who have labored a long time to reach a certain level.
Down in Fort Myers, FL where the Minnesota Twins train there seems to be one really happy, perhaps giddy player.Follow paulmbanks
As the ultimate reward for their loyalty, today the White Sox gave season ticket holders an unprecedented opportunity to chat with pitcher John Danks, pitching coach Don Cooper and new hitting coach Jeff Manto. The event was facilitated by long-time White Sox and Chicago Blackhawks public address announcer Gene Honda.Follow paulmbanks