Minnesota Twins: Pass the Anti-depressants

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By David Palmer

This must be what it feels like to be bi-polar.  We’re not even fifty games into the season and the roller coaster ride is killing me.  I’ve never experienced so many mixed emotions so early in a season before.  I hate to make light of depression, but as Frank the Tank so eloquently put it in the movie “Old School,” we’re streeeaaking!

The Twins might be the streakiest team in baseball right now, we lost six games in a row at the mausoleum know as New Yankee Stadium and “The Cell” on the south side of Chicago, before breaking out of the coma Uma Thurman style for 20 runs in the final game of the road trip.  Since then we’ve coasted to three more easy victories at home against the suddenly sucky Brewers.  Interleague play could not have come at a better time.

This most recent hot streak coincided with a tweak to the lineup, Joe “Baby Jesus” Mauer sliding up into the number 2 hole.  This gives Him and Morneau extra at-bats, and when Span gets on base there is nobody to  hit into a rally killing double play ahead of them.

Speaking of Joe Mauer, is there a better hitter in baseball right now?  I’m thinking…no.  I don’t know where this sudden burst of power came from, but I can tell you that the last two years all those fly balls that are now going over the fence in left center field, were falling at the warning track.  He has already surpassed His homerun output from all of last season (9) in 22 games!  He couldn’t do much extra weight lifting this offseason because of his surgery and subsequent SI inflammation.  We won’t mention the S word, but I highly doubt that anybody ever accused Joe of juicing.  Could it be that he is only now peaking as a hitter, even after two batting titles?

Everyone knows He only struck out once in all of high school, and raced through the minors like Tony Montana through a pile of blow.  But He just turned 25 last month and that is usually when a hitter’s mental approach starts catching up to his physical ability.  Did I mention he’s hitting .438 basically without a Spring Training.  Ray Allen was born to shoot a basketball, Michael Phelps was born to smoke bongs, I mean swim, Peter Christian was born to call people out, and Joe Mauer was born to hit.  Scary stuff for pitchers in the AL.

Nick Punto update: Punto continues to get everyday playing time, mostly at shortstop where he is hitting a scorching .187 (thru Sunday).  This includes a cool 4 for his last 31 at-bats, all of which were singles.  Mario Mendoza has nothing on Punto.  Did I mention his OBP in May is .249!  How is that even possible?  His numbers are insulting enough; I don’t even need to further comment.

I am officially starting the “Get Jesse Crain the f*** out of here” petition.  He was supposed to be a 7th or 8th inning setup guy for us this year.  Although I’ve never had much faith in him, Gardy and the rest of the coaches seemed to think he deserved a spot in the ‘pen as a late inning guy.  He has an ERA of 7.62 and a WHIP of 1.46 so far this year in 16 appearances.  Not exactly what you want out of your setup man.  He is no longer the type of pitcher who is going to blow 96-98 mph fastballs past hitters like he could pre-arm surgery.  Apparently he thinks he can still do that with low 90’s stuff and very average breaking pitches.  Even the nicknames for Crain are sad (but amusing): “Crain Wreck,” Jesse “That doesn’t look like LaTroy Hawkins” Crain, and my personal favorite “The Wrecking Crain.”  I guess Canada giveth (Morneau) and they taketh away.

I hope we can hold on to this euphoric feeling for an extended period of time before the inevitable valley.  The true test comes very quickly with AL East powers Boston and Tampa Bay coming up.  Hopefully, like the Brewers, they decide to send their AAA affiliate to play us.  With that said, I’m getting hungry, do you think KFC is still open?

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Comments

  1. paulmbanks says

    Mauer on the juice? I don’t think so, but in this era it’s guilty until proven guilty

  2. David K. says

    Cubs are on the verge of losing their 8th in a row… I’m threatening to quit them for the 298,917th time in my life…

  3. Melissa W. says

    How about Gardy on that foul vs. HBP call this weekend?? He comes out, chews out the ump, gets the call reversed and manages to piss Macha off to no end. I thought it was actually kind of amusing…if Gardy holds any weight (which I didn’t think he did) he was able to use it on that one. Nice…nice…

    Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau ate the Brewers for breakfast, lunch and dinner this weekend…I guess I tip my hat, dunno what else to do. Oh wait. I’m going to go make fun of the Cubs and rip the Cards to shreds…ok. Status = busy.

  4. djpalmer13 says

    That was some great work by Gardy, he always has his players backs. Mauer hit another homer pinch hitting yesterday. He is a deity.

  5. Mauer is God or least proof that there is a God. Which is why I’m changing my son’s middle name from Lewis (named for Lew Ford) to Mauer. Joe just didn’t seem to work for my wife.

    The funny thing about that Twins philosophy of signing retreads to a 1-yr deal hoping to catch lighting in a bottle (i.e. Rondell White, Craig Monroe, Tony Batista, Livan Hernandez etc) is that it hasn’t worked for them since Jakc Morris in 1991. It’s not that it s a bad idea (see Frank Thomas-Oakland A’s 2006) it’s just that the Twins aren’t very good at picking which guys to sign.

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