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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Minnesota Twins sign Kurt Suzuki to two-year contract extension

Apparently hoping no one will notice…

On a busy non-waiver Trade Deadline day around Major League Baseball, the Twins took care of some in-house business.

The team announced Thursday afternoon that it signed catcher Kurt Suzuki to a contract extension through the 2016 season with a vesting option for ‘17.

Suzuki will earn $6 million in 2015 and ‘16.

The District Attorney Posted: July 31, 2014 at 07:38 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: kurt suzuki, twins

Athletics, Twins Swap Tommy Milone, Sam Fuld

Is “guys who read Moneyball” the new market inefficiency?

The Twins have acquired lefty Tommy Milone from the A’s in exchange for outfielder Sam Fuld, the teams have announced.

Milone… lost his rotation spot with the Athletics earlier this month when the team acquired Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel… Milone had pitched to a solid 3.55 ERA with 5.7 K/9, 2.4 BB/9 and a 38.4 percent fly-ball rate in 96 1/3 innings this season. He owns a 3.84 ERA with 6.5 K/9, 2.0 BB/9 and 36.8 percent ground-ball rate in 468 2/3 innings for the Nationals and Athletics. He is eligible for arbitration for the first time this offseason and can be controlled through the 2017 campaign…

The 32-year-old Fuld has been excellent for the Twins in 2014, slashing .274/.370/.354 with a homer, a dozen steals (in 15 attempts) and standout defense in both left and center field. In addition to platooning with [Jonny] Gomes, he can serve as a center field option for the A’s with Craig Gentry on the disabled list and Coco Crisp currently ailing. Fuld is a career .240/.323/.337 hitter and can be controlled via arbitration through the 2016 campaign.

The District Attorney Posted: July 31, 2014 at 11:45 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, sam fuld, tommy milone, trades, transactions, twins

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Ex-MLB star Chuck Knoblauch accused of assaulting ex-wife

And yet, still no justice for him hitting Keith Olberman’s mom.

Former Major League Baseball star Chuck Knoblauch was arrested Wednesday night and accused of assaulting his ex-wife.

Knoblauch, 46, is charged with assault of a family member after allegedly hitting Cheri Knoblauch.
They divorced in 2012.

Memorial Village police officers arrested Knoblauch and he was released after posting a $10,000 bond.

This isn’t the Knoblauch’s first brush with the law. He was convicted of hitting Stacey Stelmach, who he was married to at the time, in 2010. He was sentenced to one year of probation in that case.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 24, 2014 at 03:43 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: chuck knoblauch, domestic violence, royals, twins, yankees


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

2015 Competitive Balance Lottery Results

The Competitive Balance Lottery for the 2015 MLB Draft took place this afternoon. Twelve competitive balance picks are awarded, with the first six taking place after the first round’s conclusion and the next six taking place following conclusion of the second round. Here are the results, per MLB.com (Twitter links)...

Competitive Balance Round A

  Marlins
  Rockies
  Cardinals
  Brewers
  Padres
  Indians

Competitive Balance Round B

  Reds
  Athletics
  Mariners
  Twins
  Orioles
  Diamondbacks

As MLB.com’s Jim Callis explained earlier in the week, teams that have one of the 10 smallest markets or one of the 10 smallest revenue pools are eligible to receive a compensatory pick between the first and second rounds (Round A) or between the second and third rounds (Round B).

Its about time the Cardinals got some help to become more competitive.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Tony Oliva turns 76; Gardenhire: ‘He should be in hall of fame’

Went to a Gardenhire to reminisce…(drive/truck)

Twins special assistant Tony Oliva celebrated his 76th birthday on Sunday.

The eight-time all-star remains a beloved figure inside the Twins clubhouse and throughout the team’s fan base.

“He’s huge,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “Look what he’s done. He has a track record. He should be in the hall of fame. That’s probably one of the great injustices in this game as far as Minnesota goes: Tony Oliva not being in the hall of fame. This guy was a great baseball player and a great ambassador for our game.”

Oliva’s .304 lifetime batting average is the second-highest for any Cuban-born player with more than 26 career at-bats. Only Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig (.308) ranks higher.

...“For Tony to stay around here and talk with some of our young Latin kids and everybody else out here, he’s been pretty special,” Gardenhire said. “For me just to have him around is pretty cool. I’ve been out on caravan with him. I don’t always understand what he’s saying, but I love him.”

Repoz Posted: July 21, 2014 at 11:13 PM | 54 comment(s)
  Beats: hof, twins

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Journal News: Recap of Derek Jeter Retirement Gifts

The big 2nd half issue at BBTF is likely to be the retirement gifts The Captain receives as he completes his Final Journey. To provide perspective, the LoHud Yankee Blog reviews the 1st half:

May 25 — White Sox
Once a powerful hitter for both the Yankees and White Sox, retired slugger Ron Kittle built Jeter’s U.S. Cellular Field retirement gift. Kittle created a bench made of baseball equipment with bases as the seat, bats as the back and arm rests, and baseballs used for decoration and spacing. Long time White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko also presented Jeter with clay removed from the shortstop position at U.S. Cellular, plus a $5,000 donation to Jeter’s Turn 2 Foundation.

Looks like it wouldn’t be difficult for Furtdao to top the Cubs effort on behalf of BBTF.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The forgotten brilliance and influence of ‘Little Big League’

Ron Gardenhire should not have made this movie.

From the beginning, “Little Big League” looked destined to fail — and that’s not just because Pincus wanted to make a movie about the Royals. Pincus was an aspiring screenwriter with zero credits to his name. He had grown up on the East Coast, and relocated to Los Angeles to chase a career in Hollywood. But by the early 1990s, not much had materialized.

But there was one idea in his head, something that sounded fun. What if a kid managed a big-league baseball team? What if a kid ran a baseball team. So in late 1990, more than three years before the movie would arrive in theaters, Pincus went to work on a script. But first, he needed a team. As a child in the mid 1970s, he had been a fan of Royals infielders Freddy Patek and Cookie Rojas, the forefathers of the Royals glory years.

“Some of my favorite baseball cards,” Pincus says.

So it was settled. It couldn’t be a big-market club like New York or Los Angeles. It had to be small.

Billy Heywood would manage the Kansas City Royals…

So if you don’t mind a spoiler from a 20-year-old baseball movie, you might want to know about the final scene. You might want to know that the Twins lose. In the bottom of the ninth, Lou Collins hits a deep drive to center, and then Griffey robs the would-be home run, and the Twins lose.

Twenty years later, Pincus can’t remember all the details about the movie he wrote. But he can tell you this: The Twins always lost.

“It always ended that way,” Pincus says, “and it’s okay to lose. Only one team wins.”

Yes, it should have been the Royals.

 


Monday, July 14, 2014

Rod Carew: Former Twins Oliva, Kaat, Morris deserve place in Hall of Fame

I haven’t seen twins neglected like this since Poto and Cabengo!

Rod Carew, the hall of famer and former Twin who was named to 18 All-Star Games and will make the ceremonial first pitch at Tuesday night’s All-Star Game at Target Field, served on the Expansion-Era Hall of Fame committee that in two weeks will induct ex-managers Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa and Joe Torre in Cooperstown, N.Y.

But with a proviso.

“I told the president of the Hall of Fame that the only way I would be on that committee is if I could be on the next committee when (former Twins teammates) Tony (Oliva) and Jim (Kaat) come up (for election),” Carew said.

That will be the Golden Era Committee. Carew, a seven-time batting champion, wasn’t a member of that committee that in 2011 elected just one candidate, Ron Santo, to the Hall of Fame, but left Kaat as a runner-up for election. Oliva finished fourth in that voting.

The next Golden Era Committee voting will be in December. Oliva turns 76 next Sunday. Kaat turns 76 in November.

“(Kaat and Oliva) definitely deserve to be there,” Carew said. “Not only those guys, but it hurts me that (St. Paul native Jack Morris) is not there. Here’s a guy that was so dominant for so many years and deserves to be there, and they keep (inexplicably) bypassing him.”

Repoz Posted: July 14, 2014 at 06:01 PM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: history, hof, twins

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Kendrys Morales agrees with Twins

They agree that the draft compensation rules are annoying.

Morales’ deal is less than “but in the ballpark” of the $10 million contract that Stephen Drew signed with the Boston Red Sox in May, the source said.

Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: June 07, 2014 at 07:49 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: twins

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Corcoran: Top studs and duds: The best and worst No. 1 picks in MLB draft history

1. Chipper Jones, SS, Braves, 1990

By career wins above replacement, Alex Rodriguez has been by far the most valuable first-round pick in draft history, but no team ever got more out of the No. 1 overall choice than the Braves got from Chipper Jones. Rodriguez, who went 1/1 in 1993, chased big free agent money at the first opportunity, leaving Seattle after compiling 38 WAR in his team-controlled years. Ken Griffey Jr. (1987) forced a trade to his home city of Cincinnati after 11 years with the Mariners, but Jones, a regional high school shortstop who settled in at third base in the major leagues, spent his entire 19-year, soon-to-be Hall of Fame career with team that drafted him.

“He looks just like you, poindexter!”

Eddo Posted: June 03, 2014 at 05:03 PM | 130 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, draft, mariners, mets, padres, twins, white sox, yankees

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Yahoo sports: Yasiel Puig called out for phantom ‘lean’ toward second base

Umpires do a great job in Major League Baseball, usually in a thankless way. They’re expected to be perfect, and when they’re not, we complain. Bad calls happen — not very often, actually — but they happen. And every once in a while, an ump will make a call that just makes us go “huh?”

One such call happened to everybody’s favorite controversy magnet, Yasiel Puig of the Los Angeles Dodgers, on Thursday night. In the first inning of the second game of a doubleheader against the Minnesota Twins, umpire Tim Welke called Puig out after he made a phantom “lean” toward second base after an infield single. Puig’s reputation for reckless baserunning had preceded him — though it was Welke’s mistake, not Puig’s, in this case.

With one out, Puig beat out a chopper up the middle that second baseman Brian Dozier threw in the dirt to first base. Chris Colabello couldn’t pick it and the ball hopped past him, with catcher Yosmil Pinto backing up the play. After he ran through the bag, Puig sharply turned his head to the right to check for the ball’s location. It was evident from Puig’s body language that Puig wanted to take an extra base, but when saw Pinto with the ball, he applied the brakes. If Puig’s left shoulder began to dip toward second, the rest of his body actually leaned right. He never left the baseline, never crossed the foul line. He stopped, turned around clockwise (that’s away from second base), and started walking back to the bag like an innocent man who just had hit an infield single.

Alertly — as Twins announcer Dick Bremer noted — Pinto went to tag Puig just in case he had made a break for second base, which would have made him vulnerable. Had he broke for second. Incredibly, or perhaps not because it’s Puig, Welke called him out. It had to be one of the worst calls of a career that spans 29 seasons in the majors. Puig looked around incredulously, as though someone had picked his pocket. Coach Davey Lopes asked Welke what the deal was, and he pointed with his thumb toward second, as if to say Puig had turned that way. Lopes told Puig to go back to the dugout. Thanks a bunch, coach.

Bremer, for his part, made it seem like a mass hallucination was happening by saying that Puig had “squared his shoulders toward second.” Not true, Bremer, not close to true. Had everyone gone crazy?

Puig being sent off didn’t ruin the day for the Dodgers. They swept the doubleheader and Puig went 6 for 10 over both games. No matter about that; Puig was done wronged.

Tripon Posted: May 03, 2014 at 09:28 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, dugout, twins

Monday, April 28, 2014

Gammons: Chris Colabello took road less travelled to chase major league dream

And another man named Colabello, moving around mysteriously…

The journey of Chris Colabello stretches all the way back to 1969, when his father Lou pitched for a University of Massachusetts team that made it to the College World Series in Omaha. Lou was hurt much of his junior and senior seasons, and after graduating played for the Milford Town Team and in 1977 went to play for the Rimini club in the Italian League, which he led in wins three times. There Lou met his wife Silvana, and in 1983 Chris was born. Lou Colabello pitched for the Italian team in the 1984 Olympics against the United States, a brief, ineffective stint beginning with Shane Mack; the one out he recorded was Mark McGwire.

...Colabello’s Worcester Tornadoes career began in 2005. His second home run was off Oil Can. “I loved those bus trips to Quebec or Ottawa or the desolate area of New Jersey because it was baseball,” he says. “My teammates there were some of the best friends I’ve ever had. We shared so much.” From 2005 through 2010, he rode those buses, but before the 2011 season, at the age of 27, he told himself he had to “make a splash to get a chance.” He batted .348 with a .410 on base percentage and .600 slugging percentage and after the season was told by J.J. Cooper of Baseball America that he’d been chosen as the magazine’s Independent League Player of the Year, like, years before, Daniel Nava had been so honored and signed by the Red Sox by a dollar, the Daniel Nava Colabello says “has been my inspiration.”

He heard from the Diamondbacks, but nothing came about. Red Sox scout Ray Fagnant told him he had an opportunity for him overseas. In January, a scout and former teammate named John Birtwell, a former Harvard pitcher who now is scouting, contacted 29 of the 30 teams on Colabello’s behalf, the one team he didn’t contact being the Twins. But eventually he got hooked up with a Twins scout named John Wilson, who worked him out in Milford and signed him to a minor league contract and a spring training gig in Fort Myers, Florida.

...Which, on a minor league deal, Chris Colabello accomplished. He’s playing with Joe Mauer and Trevor Plouffe, staying in four star hotels and riding buses to airports, avoiding security lines, and as of Monday morning has helped the Twins to a 12-11 record, good enough to be within a game of the Detroit Tigers. “I try not to think about all that’s happened because I don’t want to get caught up in it,” he says. “I just try to think about helping the Twins win each day. That’s what baseball is. That’s what I love.”

Be it the Mill City All-Americans facing Joe Smith in North Adams or the Worcester Tornadoes on the bus ride to play the Ottawa Rapides, it’s just baseball. Tuesday night, it’s Zack Greinke and the Dodgers in Minneapolis, at the intersection of dream and reality.

Repoz Posted: April 28, 2014 at 06:01 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: history, twins

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Chris Colabello Finds Comfort at the Plate

From the Worcester Tornadoes to the AL Player of the Week.

DL from MN Posted: April 09, 2014 at 12:40 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: twins

Friday, April 04, 2014

NYT: Kepner: Era of Squiggles

“In the ‘80s, we started to have people basically say, ‘Oh, handwriting’s not important, because in five or 10 years everything in the world will be computerized,’ ” [handwriting instructor Kate] Gladstone said. “But I don’t think we’re yet at the stage of typing our names onto baseballs.”

Kepner adduces Harmon Killebrew as a model signer of baseballs, and I happen to have one signed by him on my desk – a very legible autograph, for sure, but suspiciously similar to a dozen other 1970 Twins on the same ball.  Perhaps it was only the clubhouse boys of yore who were well-trained in cursive? :)

BDC Posted: April 04, 2014 at 09:26 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: collecting, memorabilia, twins, yankees

Thursday, March 27, 2014

During A Bender, David Wells Took A Break To Throw A Perfect Game, Immediately Returned To The Party

Boomer rumor

David Wells is one of the few people who excels at working while hungover. Case in point: He’d spent the night before a day game partying at an SNL cast party. In 1998. Ya, probably a bit more than just drinking going on, but that didn’t stop Boomer from retiring 27 straight Minnesota Twins the following morning.

That’s right — after getting sloppy with Jim Breuer, Will Ferrell, Ana Gasteyer, Darrell Hammond, Chris Kattan, Norm Macdonald, Tim Meadows, Tracy Morgan, Cheri Oteri, Colin Quinn, and Molly Shannon — David Wells spent 2 hours 40 minutes sweating bullets and striking out eleven batters en route to the first perfect game ever thrown by a Yankee.

eddieot Posted: March 27, 2014 at 01:50 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: burp, david wells, saturday night live, twins, yankees

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Great Expectations, Great Variations «

Jonah Keri checks in from spring training.

Every team wants to develop its own Mike Trout or Clayton Kershaw. Not every team tries to do that in the same way, however. To better understand baseball’s competing prospect philosophies, we hit the spring training circuit.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:01 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: marlins, rays, red sox, spring training, twins

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Miguel Sano to have Tommy John surgery

Miguel Sano’s worst fears came true on Saturday morning.

The highly-touted third base prospects has a tear in his ulnar collateral ligament and will need Tommy John surgery. Sano will fly to Minnesota next week to have the surgery.

Sano was injured during Thursday’s intrasquad game when he rushed a throw to retire Kurt Suzuki.

The ordeal goes back to the minor league season, when the elbow bothered him while he played for Class AA New Britain. It continued to bother him while he played for Estrellas of the Dominican Winter League, and the decision was made for him to rest for two weeks. He tired to throw after that and still in problems so, during the first week of November, the decision was made to shut him down for the remainder of the winter ball season because of the strained UCL.

...The Twins were careful with Sano in some throwing drills. But he passed all the tests and was given the green light to play. He could go through all the drills he wanted but the real test would come during game action when he would have to make throws from different angels.

It didn’t take long for him to be tested, as he had to hurry to make the play on Suzuki.

Tommy John rehab for position players isn’t as extensive as pitchers, but indications are that Sano’s season could be over.

Thanks to Los.

Repoz Posted: March 01, 2014 at 11:06 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: twins

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Carl Pavano is retiring

Damn! Pavano is 557 on the Starting Pitcher JAWS Leader Board and not 550 (DL in Roman Numerals).

As of a couple months ago Carl Pavano was trying to make a comeback after missing all of last season following a gruesome home accident in which he suffered a ruptured spleen, but now he’s ready to call it a career.

Pavano’s agent told Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors that the 38-year-old right-hander is retiring after 14 seasons in the majors, issuing the following statement:

  Despite my strong desire to compete and hard work in preparing for the upcoming season I feel that the amount of time lost from my spleen injury, coupled with the recovery from my complications from that injury, preclude me from continuing to compete at my highest level, which is necessary to perform in the major leagues.

Repoz Posted: February 26, 2014 at 06:22 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: twins

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

2014 Baseball America Top 100 Prospects

The definitive list of baseball’s up and coming talent celebrates its 25th edition this year.

1. Byron Buxton
2. Xander Bogaerts
3. Oscar Taveras
4. Masahiro Tanaka
5. Javier Baez

JJ1986 Posted: February 19, 2014 at 11:09 PM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: byron buxton, cubs, minors, prospects, twins

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Orlando Cabrera To Retire From Baseball

OH NO, EXPO!

Last season, Orlando Cabrera batted .238 with the Indians and Giants, posting a 61 OPS+. The season before that, he posted a 76 OPS+. The season before that, he posted an 85 OPS+. Orlando Cabrera has been declining, and just turned 37 years old. As a free agent, Cabrera didn’t drum up much interest, which I’m guessing is why he’s intending to hang ‘em up. Enrique Rojas:

  “Orlando Cabrera to retire from baseball, he said in Colombia radio station. Thanks for memories!”

Cabrera had a long career that’ll be difficult to forget. He debuted with the Expos in 1997, and remained there until the giant Nomar Garciaparra three-way trade in 2004. That year, with the Red Sox, Cabrera won a World Series. He wound up with the Angels, earning the unfortunate nickname “The Wizard of O.C.”, and then he wound up with the White Sox, and the A’s, and the Twins, and the Reds, and the Indians, and the Giants ... He remained a shortstop to the end, and collected 2,055 hits. He will always be remembered as a pest. An absolute pest.

Repoz Posted: January 18, 2012 at 10:06 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, athletics, expos, giants, indians, red sox, reds, twins, white sox

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Zumaya agrees to deal with Twins

Game on!

The Tigers could end up seeing a lot of Joel Zumaya this year after all. It’ll just be in a different uniform, albeit an awfully familiar one.

After throwing for teams in December and holding out for a roster spot and the right situation, Zumaya has agreed to terms with the Minnesota Twins, the reliever told MLB.com. The two sides spent Saturday putting together a deal that could pay him anywhere from $800,000 to $1.7 million if he reaches incentives.

A Twins official would neither confirm nor deny the deal to MLB.com, but said they’ve been in negotiations since December.

Zumaya weighed what he called “good offers” from three other clubs,  but the Twins included guaranteed money rather than a minor-league deal with a Spring Training invite. If he’s healthy, they’ll bring him to the same mound at Target Field where he last threw a Major League pitch. He fractured his elbow throwing for the Tigers against the Twins on June 28, 2010.

Repoz Posted: January 15, 2012 at 04:00 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: tigers, twins

MLB Trade Rumors: Bartolo Colon Agrees to Sign With Unknown Team

Bartolo Colon has agreed to a deal with an unknown club reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today (on Twitter). The right-hander wouldn’t divulge the team because he has not yet passed his physical.

Pretty sure it’s either the All-Stars or the Champs.


Friday, January 13, 2012

BBPro:  Heartburn Hardball - Jack Morris in Motion

Morris, who was the face of the Detroit Tigers’ pitching staff for the entirety of the eighties before spending the early nineties hopping between the Twins, Blue Jays, and Indians, has every right to be thrilled at the news. And the rest of us, especially those who were too young to see him pitch, have every right to ask…why Jack Morris? Why now?

To answer that question, I decide to watch the most famous performance of his career, the game that proved once and for all that he was a true ace and a true winner.

....

The Twins will win 1-0 in the bottom of the 10th, winning the second World Series title in franchise history and solidifying Jack Morris’s place in baseball history.

And when it’s over, I will be more convinced than ever that Jack Morris is not a Hall of Fame pitcher.

 

 

Completely Unbiased 3rd Party Lurker Posted: January 13, 2012 at 02:39 PM | 83 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, hall of fame, tigers, twins

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Goldman: Bernie Williams vs. Kirby Puckett

Let’s ask Erardi!...okay, maybe not.

I was watching the Hall of Fame announcement show on the MLB Network on Monday–congratulations to a very deserving Barry Larkin–and something Peter Gammons said as an aside in a discussion of Bernie Williams’ suitability for the Hall of Fame stuck with me: “He wasn’t as good as Kirby Puckett,” the Great Gammo almost muttered, as they cut to a commercial break.

I haven’t been able to put that comment out of my mind, because I’m not certain why Gammons is so sure. Both were excellent hitters with very different skills who nonetheless arrived at similar results. Puckett was short and stout, Williams long and lithe. Puckett reaped a huge benefit from his Metrodome home park, hitting .344/.388/.521 at home, .291/.331/.430 on the road. Williams was about the same hitter everywhere. Both were Gold Glove center fielders who won several of the defensive awards with their bats. Both won a single batting title. Puckett led the AL in hits four times; Williams walked too much to compete in that department.

Career-wise, Williams looks a little worse overall, but that’s because his peak isn’t quite so high and his career is a little longer. Due to glaucoma, Puckett’s career came to an abrupt end, depriving him of a decline phase, whereas Williams got to play until he was no longer useful. If you consider both through their age-35 seasons, it’s a virtual tie: Williams had hit .301/.388/.488 in 1804 games, while Puckett hit .318/.360/.477 in 1783 games.

Repoz Posted: January 12, 2012 at 06:52 AM | 68 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, sabermetrics, twins, yankees

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