Minnesota Twins Contractual Obligations

matt capps

Commentators frequently refer to this time of year as a dead period. I couldn’t disagree more because it really gives me the time to pore over the numbers and action of the current WNBA season. Seriously, it does offer a pause to analyze the state of organizations and to ponder what should transpire in the future to maximize success.

[Read more…]

Minnesota Twins Showing Some Signs of Life

There is nothing that a Twins fan dreads more than seeing the New York Yankees on their upcoming schedule. The same can be said of the faithful of the Chicago White Sox regarding the Twins. Some match-ups provide distinct advantages to a certain side even when there doesn’t seem to be a drastic disparity in talent between the two. It demonstrates the importance of the mental aspect of the game.

Heading into play on Saturday, Minnesota had won a half dozen in a row this season and nine in a row total going back to last year against the White Sox.

[Read more…]

Joe Mauer’s Triumphant Return to the Minnesota Twins

Joe Mauer

It was fitting that Joe Mauer knocked in a runner with a single during his first plate appearance on Friday after coming back from bilateral leg weakness. It was a story book beginning for the Minnesota Twin who is head and shoulders above the rest.

Okay, I’ll stop.

The club jumped out to a six to one lead against the Padres on Friday before having to hang on, only winning by one run. Matt Capps picked up his tenth save in the process. Mauer isn’t the only notable player returning to the line-up.

[Read more…]

Baby Steps Forward with the Minnesota Twins

matt capps

It is imperative that individuals refine and rewrite their goals on a consistent basis.

For example, I don’t think that my modeling career is going to take off the way that I had hoped fifteen years ago. One month out from the All Star break, the Minnesota Twins also need to do this. At the beginning of this season, manager Ron Gardenhire and GM Bill Smith undoubtedly had postseason play in the cards and a possible run at the pennant. This is of course is unless they were matched up against the New York Yankees in the playoffs.

Well, now it makes sense for the club to modify their expectations to move forward.

[Read more…]

Minnesota Twins Already Facing a Breaking Point

Joe Mauer

Around opening day I predicted that the Twins would win the American League Central Division because they were healthy and ready to continue their fundamentally solid play backed by quality pitching. It appears that I have some egg on my face at this juncture. However, they have proven over the last decade to be viable foes for all comers in the Midwest region. There are some ways that the ship can be righted to change their future levels of success.

I have called for and will continue to emphasize the need to trade Joe Nathan or Matt Capps.

[Read more…]

Health Reasons: Why the Twins Will Win the AL Central

Justin Morneau is back from his post-concussion symptoms. Joe Nathan is fully recovered from his ailments that he suffered last season. In the UFC, Joe Rogan and other commentators often speak of “ring rust” when describing fighters who are returning to competition after long layoffs. The Twins brass hope this ring rust was remedied with spring training.

The American League Central may be the only division in baseball with three truly viable contenders for the division crown. The Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Royals still remain afterthoughts-much to the chagrin to their respective fan bases. The latter is trying to create a buzz that they will be contenders in a couple of years simply to placate the masses.  The cases of Mark Prior and Todd Van Poppel are proof positive that prospects don’t always come to fruition. Even if they do pan out, the players will inevitably bolt to bigger markets that are willing to open their wallets for long term deals. Their payroll is only slightly higher than Alex Rodriguez’s salary for the upcoming season.

[Read more…]

Minnesota Twins Season Preview

Last season, I know first hand what Target Field did for Minnesota Twins fans. Sure, it gave us one of, if not the league’s best stadium. But it gave us false hope. It made us Twins fans think that without an ace and a lineup filled with major holes, we still had a chance to compete with the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays.

Well, if the AL Divisional Series was any indication, the Twins are nowhere close to where they need to be if they do in fact hope to make a run at the AL pennant this season.

[Read more…]

Ron Gardenhire not at Fault for Minnesota Twins Collapse

Ron Gardenhire Twins Manager

Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was ejected by Hunter Wendelstedt in the seventh inning of Thursday’s game against the Yankees at Target Field. This put the club down 2-0 and in a bind because Phil Hughes is now on the horizon for Saturday night’s game in the Big Apple.

It was obvious that Carl Pavano was getting squeezed when he appeared to have struck out Lance Berkman; before he hit a double to the left field power alley.

Gardenhire’s early exit to the showers is a culmination of pent up anger and frustration at his club’s inability to hold leads throughout the playoffs. Because the organization have done all that they can do to address the situation.

The additions of Matt Capps and Brian Fuentes were supposed to have remedied this enigma. Yet Minnesota has lost eleven straight playoff games and are on the verge of another elimination game in the ALDS. Eight of these losses have come to the Yankees and the Twins have had the lead in each one of these games.

By Patrick Herbert

[Read more…]

Who is the Minnesota Twins Postseason Closer?

The Minnesota Twins starting rotation has had a very successful season. They’re the primary reason the team has qualified for the playoffs and hope to solidify home field advantage during this final week of the season.  Francisco Liriano, Scott Baker, Brian Duensing, Kevin Slowey, Carl Pavano, and Nick Blackburn have all achieved at least ten wins this season. This demonstrates incredible balance and consistency that is rarely seen around the big leagues.

Pavano is the clear leader in innings pitched and in the win column, but he is not an ace in the same sphere as a C.C. Sabathia or David Price. This could prove to be a concern in a short first round playoff series. Fans may recall the impact that Sabathia had when the Brewers used him continuously in their postseason run a few years ago.

By Patrick Herbert

[Read more…]

Efficiency or Lack of Freedom in the Twins Rotation?

nick blackburn

Kevin Slowey, Nick Blackburn, and Scott Baker are all products of the Minnesota Twins’ farm system. The trio of mid-to-late 20 year old right-handed hurlers all have an efficiency of motion. This isn’t the first time the team’s fans have seen a similar style. Brad Radke was the organization’s molding of Greg Maddux-a poor man’s version mind you. Rick Anderson has been a stalwart pitching coach during the Gardenhire era. It has undoubtedly been a successful tenure during the regular season, but there have been many disappointments in the playoffs.

[Read more…]

After Minnesota Takes Two of Three, What’s Next for White Sox, Twins?

White Sox Minnesota

The Minnesota Twins stretched their lead in the AL Central to five games Wednesday, before the Chicago White Sox struck back Thursday with an 11-0 mauling of Minnesota.   [Read more…]

What’s Brewing in ’09: Plate Patience, Pirate Tantrums & Rickie vs. Rourke

By: Melissa S. Wollering

 
Doth my ears hear correctly?  Exsqueeze me?  Bacon powder? On Wednesday, the Brewers broke .500 for the first time this season. After a horrible start to April, that’s like beating the same odds Ben Linus has of becoming Chief of Staff to Jimmy Carter after getting off the island post-
Dharma Initiative.

 
Your Milwaukee Brewers have won seven out of their last eight to achieve that monumental task. Note 15 wins in a row against Pittsburgh and 18 in a row at Miller Park. Playing the Pirates every other series wouldn’t be so terrible, eh?  Strange enough, many of them have been close games and the Brewers always pull it out. Why can we only win close games against the Pirates?


AAAARRRRRRR, matey. The fans of those losing scoundrels are angry that the Brewers untuck their jerseys after a win. If you haven’t heard by now, the tradition is in honor of Mike Cameron’s father who used to untuck his shirt after a tough day’s work. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette blogs are chock full of dissenters. Really? One guy wrote that he wanted the Brewers’ Gatorade cooler tainted with swine flu because he’s so mad. Really?


Meantime, Yovani Gallardo went to bed Tuesday and woke up an ace pitcher 12 hours later. Put this into your TI-84’s and crunch it: 8 innings, 2 hits, 1 BB, 0 runs, 11 K’s. Perfect game through two outs into the 5th inning. Then he got ‘er done at the plate by going yard in the 7th on a 0-2 count for the only run of the game.


Did you know that’s two homers in only 12 at bats so far this season for Gallardo? TI-84 says at that pace, collecting 550 at bats this season could hypothetically produce 92 home runs while Gallardo maintains a .333 average. Yeah, and if frogs could fly they wouldn’t bump their ass when they hopped. Oh, Cassandra…


Baseball Musings says it is the first 1-0 game won by a starting pitcher’s home run since August of 2002, when Odalis Perez homered off Rick Helling a Dodgers win over the Diamondbacks. It is only the seventh time that has happened in the last 50 years, with Early Winn, Milt Pappas, Jim Bunning, Juan Pizarro and Bob Welch also completing the feat.

 
Corey Hart is inducing coronary failure ‘round the world as he forms a good habit – TAKING WALKS, THREE IN ONE GAME. I’m going to have the big one. Call an ambulance. On Tuesday, Hart reached base safely in all five of his plate appearances; 3 BB’s contributed to that.

 
Hart’s three were among a season-high NINE for Crew hitters on Tuesday.  BrewerFan.net has Ryan Braun on pace to take more than 100 walks this season. Jeromy Burnitz holds the Crew’s record for walks in a season with 99, so Braun and even Fielder could break that with this type of start.

Last year at this time, the Brewers had worked a mere 60 walks.  They’ve already marked 87 through 21 games this season. Their patience at the plate is so good that the Dalai Lama is channeling it during deep contemplation sessions, where it may silence tribal wars in Africa and achieve world peace.

Ben Sheets was spotted picking his nose in the dugout more times than any other Brewer in history.  Funny – Todd Coffey must have been passed some sort of torch because he was caught searching for an illegal substance to smuggle with him to the mound here. 

watch?v=_Bj45VNrM5w&feature=player_embedded

Carlos Corporan has been called up from the minors to replace Mike Rivera, who was placed on the DL. Corporan’s defensive skills are better than Angel Salome’s (if you’re wondering why Corporan).  He’s also batting well right now and Angel needs work at .182 or something pitiful like that.

M’boy minor-leaguer Lorenzo Cain almost had me in tears this week. However, the good news is he did not tear his ACL.  4-6 weeks off. Also, Mark Rogers is not injured.  He missed the last few starts.  Turns out he just ran into a wall while shagging fly balls.  Whew!  Although, which brain response is failing to communicate to your lower limbs that they should stop before running into walls?

No, the Brewers are not interested in signing Pedro Martinez.  Poor Doug Melvin. He despises rumors as much as Peter Christian despises Al Davis’ ignorance in drafts. By the way, Peter, Paul and Mary… No, kidding.  Peter Christian, Paul M. Banks and Rikki Greenberg all get shout outs for understanding my Jackson Pollack – Jorge Julio strike zone reference last week.  Outstanding. We have such a diverse palate of writers, all of whom appreciate the fine arts on thesportsbank.net. 


Trevor Hoffman recorded his 1st-ever save as a Brewer this week, complete with Hells Bells.  Apparently, Hoffman wants it not just playing—but blasting.  In a post-game interview, he told a reporter that it wasn’t loud enough and that he had looked into noise ordinances in the city of Milwaukee and was fairly certain the volume could be increased safely.  Trevor wasn’t afraid to express to Attanasio that he should invest in extra speakers and sub-woofers at Miller Park before the closer’s next appearance. Fiesty, feisty.

Ryan Braun extended the Pirates & Brewers history of scuffling by taking a clearly intentional hit from Jeff Karstens. Both benches were warned and nothing ensued the rest of the game. Still, do you remember Prince Fielder and Matt Capps’ Yosemite Sam episode from the ’07 season? Fire in the hole…


“Friendly Fire with the Cubs,” is short and sweet this week.  Milton Bradley is a head case.  His condemnation to a psych ward would not surprise me in the slightest.  Why, why, why does he open his mouth?

 
The Beer Pen knows how to satisfy Rickie-haters who can’t keep their mouth shut either.  Usually I scowl, but this week, they compare Rickie Weeks to Mickey Rourke.  And that IS funny.

Rourke’s acting career of flops, bombs, straight-to-TV-movies and gonorrhea mirrors “Dick Weeks’ ” career of strikeouts, errors, braided hair and gonorrhea. That’s pretty straightforward, actually. Rourke astonished the world with his performance as Marv in Sin City and then of course, The Wrestler. Rickie magically comes out this year and astonishes Brewer fans with his exceptional play.  Coincidence?  I don’t know, but credit is given Beer Pen.


In “Just a Bit Outside,” Bob Uecker shared dialogue during the bottom of the 1st Wednesday that I must share with you.  He told Cory Provus that he follows blogs, email and facebook but he doesn’t Twitter. Here’s why:

 

And finally in “Chart Magnificence,” I’m allowing empirical data and statistical graphs to sit the bench while The Beer Pen illustrates the greatest comic strip of the month. Can we play?