Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback



All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


Jim Furtado
Founder & Publisher
Editor - Baseball Primer


Twins Newsbeat

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Rod Carew opens up about his private life and his near-death experience

“We were coming through security at [Los Angeles International Airport],” Devon says, “and the guy there asked Dad if he knew what a ‘Rod Carew’ was on Urban Dictionary.” (It’s a vulgarism that involves going from first base to third base without touching second.) Rod shakes his head in mock dismay upon hearing this, like a put-upon dad in a sitcom, which he often appears to be.

“When he’s getting ornery,” Rhonda says, “we know he’s getting back to normal.”

Wins Above Paul Westerberg Posted: November 24, 2015 at 10:22 AM | 68 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, hall of fame, twins

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Gleeman: Twins trade Aaron Hicks to Yankees for John Ryan Murphy

Does this mean Gardner’s on his way out?

Hicks turned his career around this year, hitting .256 with 11 homers and a .721 OPS in 97 games for the Twins to show some of the promise that made him a top-100 prospect before back-to-back rough seasons in 2013 and 2014. He’s a speedy center fielder with a very good arm and the potential to be an above-average hitter, although so far the switch-hitting Hicks has struggled against right-handed pitching enough to question if he should be playing every day. He could fill Chris Young’s old platoon role or make Brett Gardner expendable.

Murphy has served in a backup role for the Yankees, hitting .267 with four homers and a .685 OPS in 115 total games from 2013-2015.  His numbers in the minors are similar, including a .259 batting average and .736 OPS at Triple-A, so the 24-year-old Murphy is unlikely to be a standout hitter. He’ll split playing time with veteran Kurt Suzuki, whose struggles this year convinced the Twins they needed to find outside help at catcher.

JE (Jason) Posted: November 11, 2015 at 03:20 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: aaron hicks, hot stove, twins, yankees

Monday, November 09, 2015

Twins win $12.85 million bidding for Korean slugger Byung-ho Park

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the Twins submitted the high bid at $12.85 million, which is amusing because the Twins were one of the few teams not linked to Park in various reports. No one saw this coming.

Minnesota now has a 30-day exclusive negotiating window with Park, who hit .343 with 53 homers, 146 RBIs, and a 1.150 OPS in 140 games for Nexen this season and has topped a 1.000 OPS in each of the past three years. Pirates shortstop Jung Ho Kang had similarly amazing numbers in the same league two years ago and went on to hit .287 with an .816 OPS in 126 games as an MLB rookie.

As a first baseman Park would be a bit of an odd fit in Minnesota given the presence of Joe Mauer at first base and Miguel Sano at designated hitter, but Sano played third base in the minors and the Twins have talked recently about getting him some reps in the outfield too.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Torii Hunter announces retirement |

Hunter, taken by the Twins with the No. 20 overall pick in the 1993 Draft, finishes his career a .277/.331/.461 hitter with 353 homers, 195 stolen bases and 1,391 RBIs in 2,372 games.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 26, 2015 at 10:26 PM | 58 comment(s)
  Beats: torii hunter, twins

CATCH Center Field Area - Infographic | Minnesota Twins

OK, is this really an improvement?

Jim Furtado Posted: October 26, 2015 at 09:53 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: stadium renovations, twins

Friday, October 02, 2015

Twins beat Indians with 9th-inning rally |

The Twins got their revenge with a unique twist. They didn’t hit Ramirez; they won the game.

A day after the Twins took exception to Ramirez’s eighth-inning home run celebration, Ramirez was batting leadoff for the Tribe. While Minnesota pitcher Ricky Nolasco warned Wednesday that Ramirez would “get his,” all the Indians infielder got was an 0-for-4 showing. Ramirez also made a throwing error that helped pave the way for the Twins’ rally in the ninth inning.

“It wasn’t an easy play, but the game can be humbling,” Francona said of Ramirez’s error. “I’m sure [the Twins] took a little extra satisfaction out of that.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 02, 2015 at 05:27 AM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: playoffs, twins

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Website MLB Couldn’t Buy

Since 2000, Major League Baseball Advanced Media has conducted a stealth campaign to take over every team domain, undoing any damage caused by its slow start in registration. MLB and other leagues have tried to snap up team sites not only to attract more traffic and ad revenue, but to avoid the unwanted attention that can come from a site like, which became an “online dating community for men who enjoy the same country living lifestyle,” after the NFL’s Dallas franchise passed on it at auction.1 Both to streamline the process and to avoid hurting its leverage by letting potential sellers know there was big money behind its overtures, MLBAM has worked mainly through intermediaries like Monte Cahn, the founder of URL registrar and the president/director of RightofTheDot, LLC.2

According to Cahn, some of the URL squatters that MLB hoped to dislodge were “taking advantage of misspells and mistypes of famous brands,” like latter-day Twitter trolls who tweak prominent writers’ handles to break fake trades before the deadline. By placing ads on those sites, owners could profit from the traffic that flowed their way from baseball fans who hit the wrong keys. Most, Cahn says, “were unaware of the actual online domain registration laws vs. traditional trademark laws, so some registered names because they were fans of the teams or felt another fan would come and buy it from them, not knowing it could violate the trademark of the owner.” Still others owned sites with words that weren’t subject to trademark. “If you owned a domain like ‘Cardinals,’ your choice would be to just hold it, build a bird website — not that exciting or lucrative, probably — or sell it to MLB through us or other brokers,” Cahn says.

The decades-long scavenger hunt is close to complete. This February, MLB bought for $375,000. That triumph followed the 2013 purchase of (for an undisclosed price), the 2012 acquisition of, the 2010 addition of (which went for $200,000 at auction), and the 2009 addition of Between 2004 and 2007, MLBAM acquired 12 team addresses, and had already brought 10 into the fold before that. That brings the total of MLB-owned team sites to 27, leaving three holdouts:,, and

Clown Penis Dot Fart clown penis dot fart from Galen Kennedy on Vimeo.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 27, 2015 at 12:53 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: internet, mlbam, twins

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Twins’ catcher Kurt Suzuki still wary of advanced defensive metrics -

Mention his improved standing in the controversial area of pitch framing, and Kurt Suzuki all but rolls his eyes.

It’s not just because the Twins’ beleaguered pitching staff has spent the past two weeks reversing the gains of the season’s first four months.

“I still think that thing is false,” said Suzuki, the Twins’ all-star catcher.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 11, 2015 at 02:09 PM | 66 comment(s)
  Beats: defense, kurt suzuki, pitch framing, twins

Monday, July 27, 2015

Twins take page from visiting Pirates, embrace geek squad -

OK, what’s the next big thing?

The ultimate lesson from “Big Data Baseball” seems to be one the Twins have already learned.

“The biggest thing for me was (the Pirates) getting players to buy in and how they did it,” Perkins said, “and not saying, ‘These guys are nerds that have never played the game.’ I think that’s the worst thing you can say about those guys. There’s always a benefit to outside influence. They see the game in a different way than we see the game.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 27, 2015 at 07:11 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, twins

Thursday, July 09, 2015

What to Do When a Rival Gets Injured

Recently, Miguel Cabrera hit the 15-day DL for the first time in his HOF-worthy career, and I felt bad. The Tigers (the favorite team of all my Michigan-bred blood relatives) have been the team I rooted for in every October since the 2011 season. I don’t want, at any point, one of the best players in the game to have to take unwanted time off and sit on the bench, recovering, while his teammates are forced to pick up the slack around him.

But I had a different reaction when I heard the Alex Gordon news.

My gut reaction was, “Oh, damn. Wow, that really sucks for the Royals fans.” My immediate response to that was, “This could really help the Twins. The Royals might be without one of their best players and we need to capitalize on that. This could be really good for the standings.”

My reaction to that thought was, “Wait, what am I saying?”....

So while simultaneously feeling bad for one of the game’s most talented, and feeling good about the prospects the Twins have in light of this news, I find myself very largely conflicted about just how I SHOULD be reacting. How much, as a rival fan, am I entitled to the “silver lining” for the Twins? How much, as a fan of baseball as a whole, should I putting any and all “positive” reaction out of my mind?

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 09, 2015 at 09:02 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: alex gordon, fans, injuries, miguel cabrera, royals, tigers, twins

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Al Newman gets fine, suspension from Northwoods League for violating pitch count rule

Dusty Baker would have been banned from this league forever.

Alexandria Blue Anchors manager Al Newman wanted to give his pitcher an opportunity to throw a complete game on Monday afternoon against the Willmar Stingers.

It’s a move that ended up costing him a 14-game suspension and a $1,000 fine from the Northwoods League (NWL). Newman says he thought he was within the legal pitch-count guidelines set forth by the NWL when he sent Angelo State’s Graylon Brown out for the ninth inning on June 29.

“I never even gave it consideration,” Newman said on Thursday morning. “I thought the rule was that he can’t start an inning after 100 pitches. So when he didn’t have 100 pitches, in speaking with the pitching coach [Travis Lawler], we decided kids need to learn how to finish. He was pitching an outstanding game, had not had a stressful inning the whole game. In essence, yes, I broke the rule. I’m not going to say I would do it again because it’s a league rule, but I’m being punished for going past the 110 pitch limit with Graylon Brown.”

Northwoods League pitching guidelines state that a pitcher cannot begin a new inning after throwing 100 pitches and also can’t face a new batter after throwing 110 pitches or more.

Phenom Sano headed to Twins, Vargas optioned |

It’s Miguel Sano is getting called up by the Twins day!

In a surprising move, the Twins optioned first baseman/designated hitter Kennys Vargas to Double-A Chattanooga after Wednesday’s 2-1 loss to the Reds. The Twins will make a corresponding move before Thursday’s game, and they are expected to call up top prospect Miguel Sano, according to a source familiar with the team’s decision.

The Twins have not announced the move.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 02, 2015 at 08:34 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: miguel sano, twins

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Q&A with Twins general manager Terry Ryan

FSN: As far as the decision to bring Buxton up from Double-A, plenty goes into that move. Was that a tough call to make?

TR: “Yeah, it is a tough call because you always want to make sure a guy can handle this situation and this level. I don’t think there’s any question just in the short amount of time he’s been up here that he’s shown he can field it, he can throw it and he can run. Now it’s just a matter of piecing the rest of his game together. The bat’s always going to usually be the question. Rosario, for instance, the biggest question with his promotion wasn’t the bat. It’s just whether or not he was ready to handle the other parts of the game. And Buxton has historically been a bit of a slow starter, and he’s always caught up. I would think that there’s going to be a curve here. Hopefully we’ll see some increments of being able to make that transition. . . . I take it at-bat to at-bat. Every at-bat for me is important with any young player and how they’re going to make the adjustments. He’s capable.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 27, 2015 at 07:33 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: terry ryan, twins

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

How far would you go to improve your favorite team?

Would you kill for a Bryce Harper?

Oliveros’s actions bring up an important question: How far would you, as a fan, be comfortable with your team going to improve itself? To stay them in contention? At the risk of being melodramatic, how much of your soul is a couple of extra wins worth?

Me? I don’t demand that ballplayers be good people. I’ve long ago had the hero-worship beaten out of me by Kirby Puckett and Chuck Knoblauch. But there are lines in the sand that I will not cross. One of those, obviously, is violence against women or kids. Ballplayers are almost exclusively (aside from Bartolo Colon) elite athletes. Big and strong, they could bully and dominate someone smaller than them with ease. I can’t abide that.

Another line for me is the casual enforcement of baseball’s code. The one that nods approvingly at pitchers risking the health and lives of hitters to satisfy their pride. As though giving a man a concussion somehow makes up for allowing a couple home runs. Baseballs, when thrown at that speed, are weapons, as much as a bullet. The fact that the person who was shot was wearing a Kevlar vest doesn’t mitigate the actions of the person who pulled the trigger. And given what we know about the long-term effects of traumatic brain injury, these pitchers are putting another man’s career and quality of life at risk when they go headhunting. It’s unconscionable.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 16, 2015 at 09:41 AM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: ethics, head-hunting, twins

Byron Buxton’s first MLB hit was a triple because of course it was |

According to Statcast, his speed topped out at 21.39 mph, which is A) fast enough to get you pulled over in a Massachusetts school zone and B) .41 miles faster than Billy Hamilton’s last triple, hit on May 13 against the Braves and maxing out at 20.98 mph. It’s even faster than Jarrod Dyson’s triple on May 10, which clocked in at 21.03 mph.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 16, 2015 at 08:22 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: byron buxton, statcast, twins

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Twins, Indians promoting Buxton, Lindor

The wave of uber-prospect debuts continues.  Cool.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Torii, Molitor ejected for arguing balls, strikes

Watching Hunter made me miss Earl Weaver and Lou Piniella.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 11, 2015 at 06:45 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: torii hunter, twins

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Granny Baseball: Twins No Fluke

Welcome back to a blogger with pre-registration Primate notoriety.

In 2015, by contrast to 2014, the Twins have held their opponents to 2 or fewer runs 4 more times than their opponents have and allowed 6 or more runs 7 fewer times. That would put them about 9 games over .500. Very close to where they actually are.

fra paolo Posted: May 31, 2015 at 03:45 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: twins

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Orlando Cabrera To Retire From Baseball


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 09:06 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 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, 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 03:00 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 01:39 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 05:52 AM | 68 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, sabermetrics, twins, yankees

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

The Greatest Animated Sports .GIFs of 2011

32. Cliff Lee declines to run out his own grounder

I’m a firm opponent of the designated hitter rule, because just as I love to watch a punter try to scoop up a bad snap and try to throw it, or see a 7’1” center with no range try to chuck up a last-second three, I love watching pitchers hit.

Never will I come closer to seeing what it would be like if someone with my skill set tried to perform on a professional level. I mean, how nuts is this: in the National League, five to 10 percent of all at-bats are taken by men who, by everyone’s admission, are profoundly bad at it! It’s Dada performance art, and the ubiquity of such comical nonsense—over the course of a game, a season, and the history of baseball—is unrivaled by anything in any other sport.

This GIF features a delightful bonus: the catcher starts jogging to the dugout well before the play ends. It’s beautiful.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 09:33 PM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, dodgers, online, phillies, twins

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Jason Marquis, Twins agree on deal

Marquis de Target Field?

Gamingboy Posted: December 22, 2011 at 08:46 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: twins

Page {e2c518d61874f2d4a14bbfb9087a7c2dcurrent_page} of {e2c518d61874f2d4a14bbfb9087a7c2dtotal_pages} pages {e2c518d61874f2d4a14bbfb9087a7c2dpagination_links} | Site Archive



BBTF Partner

Support BBTF


Thanks to
The Ghost of Sox Fans Past
for his generous support.


You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogWhy did Braves trade Andrelton Simmons? | Atlanta Braves blog
(12 - 5:42pm, Nov 27)
Last: snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster)

(3 - 5:40pm, Nov 27)
Last: ReggieThomasLives

NewsblogOT - November* 2015 College Football thread
(910 - 5:40pm, Nov 27)
Last: Lance Reddick! Lance him!

NewsblogWhat awaits in negotiations for Major League Baseball's next labor deal?
(14 - 5:40pm, Nov 27)
Last: Harveys Wallbangers

NewsblogAlex Gordon a Value Buy in Free Agency | FanGraphs Baseball
(18 - 5:38pm, Nov 27)
Last: snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster)

(860 - 5:32pm, Nov 27)
Last: ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick

NewsblogThe 3-man rotation? It's coming ... sometime, says Bill James
(42 - 5:20pm, Nov 27)
Last: PreservedFish

NewsblogComcast takes shot at Yankees in dispute as cable operator says not many folks watching the games on YES
(15 - 5:18pm, Nov 27)
Last: Bote Man sez $/yr not yr/$$

NewsblogRoyals: Making Contact and Winning Championships
(12 - 4:57pm, Nov 27)
Last: Fancy Pants with a clinging marmoset on his Handle

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - November 2015
(1272 - 4:27pm, Nov 27)
Last: being STEAGLES isn't the same as having a STEAGLES

NewsblogAlex Avila lands with Chicago White Sox
(9 - 3:51pm, Nov 27)
Last: RMc is organizationalwide!

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-27-2015
(15 - 2:45pm, Nov 27)
Last: Super Creepy Derek Lowe (GGC)

NewsblogDisney's 'Bad Dinosaur': ESPN Loses 7 Mil Subscribers
(3 - 12:40pm, Nov 27)
Last: Gold Star - just Gold Star

NewsblogHow Colby Rasmus' big contract played a role in trading Jed Lowrie - Houston Chronicle
(27 - 12:20pm, Nov 27)
Last: Jesse Barfield's Right Arm

NewsblogFree-agent starters Red Sox may try to sign |
(32 - 9:03am, Nov 27)
Last: Brian

Page rendered in 0.9400 seconds
165 querie(s) executed