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Monday, July 27, 2015

Twins take page from visiting Pirates, embrace geek squad - TwinCities.com

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 | twinsbaseball.com

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 | MLB.com

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.

Spahn Insane Posted: June 14, 2015 at 03:27 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: byron buxton, francisco lindor, indians, twins

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

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Twins: Ervin Santana not eligible should team make postseason - TwinCities.com

This is new info for me.

Suspended pitcher Ervin Santana would be ineligible for the postseason should the resurgent Twins make it that far for the first time since 2010.

The Joint Drug Agreement added that provision in 2014 after Nelson Cruz and Jhonny Peralta went from 50-game suspensions to postseason appearances the previous October.

According to Section 7-H-2 on page 41 of the 60-page document, any player suspended for performance-enhancing drugs “shall be barred from participating in the postseason (including, without limitation, being in uniform during his club’s postseason games) during the season in which his suspension commenced even after completion of his suspension.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 21, 2015 at 10:12 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: ervin santana, ped suspensions, twins

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The time David Letterman dedicated an entire show to Harmon Killebrew

Dave Letterman had been hosting The Late Show for only four years in 1985 when he came up with “The First Annual Holiday Film Festival”. The idea was that Dave asked a number of notable figures to make short films, and he played them on the show.

Letterman grew up as a baseball fan in Indianapolis. Because Indiana doesn’t have a MLB team, and Indianapolis sounds like “Minneapolis”, Dave adopted Harmon Killebrew as one of his favorite players. So when “The First Annual Holiday Film Festival” idea came about, Dave called Harm and asked him to make one of the videos.

Harmon said no.

David pleaded.

Harmon said, “No, thanks.”

But David insisted, and flew a camera crew out to Idaho along with $10,000 to cover production costs. Harmon gave in, and made a video for the show. The only problem was, Dave’s show went long, and after showing the videos by Bette Midler, Michael Keaton, Catherine O’Hara, Andrea Martin and Harry Shearer, Harmon’s video got cut.

Letterman was mortified.

Dave called up Harmon and apologized, and promised to dedicate an entire show to Killebrew. Harmon was at this point even more reluctant than he had been earlier, but when Dave promised he would get Harmon’s favorite singer, Charley Pride, to sing for him, Harmon agreed.

On February 26, 1986, Dave Letterman had “Harmon Killebrew Night”.

 


Monday, May 11, 2015

Olney: Laying out each team’s Mount Rushmore and ranking the quartets

The Mount Rushmore for BTF: Chris Truby, Mike Piazza, Madeline Albright, and Frank Tanana.

And Mike Crudale.

So I picked my own four for each club, and then ranked the 30 sets of four. Here they are, from the best to the fourth-best (in my opinion) for each franchise:

1. Giants: Willie Mays, Barry Bonds, Christy Mathewson, Willie McCovey

2. Yankees: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mariano Rivera (see below)

3. Cardinals: Stan Musial, Rogers Hornsby, Albert Pujols, Bob Gibson

4. Red Sox: Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski, Cy Young, Pedro Martinez

5. Tigers: Ty Cobb, Charlie Gehringer, Miguel Cabrera, Al Kaline

6. Reds: Johnny Bench, Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, Frank Robinson

7. Twins: Walter Johnson, Rod Carew, Harmon Killebrew, Kirby Puckett

8. Athletics: Rickey Henderson, Lefty Grove, Jimmie Foxx, Reggie Jackson

9. Braves: Hank Aaron, Greg Maddux, Warren Spahn, Chipper Jones

10. Dodgers: Sandy Koufax, Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Clayton Kershaw


Monday, May 04, 2015

Twinsights: Danny Santana is making history with his refusal to walk - Twins Now

He’s just doing his best to shorten games.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 04, 2015 at 02:38 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: danny santana, twins

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Feisty Bert Blyleven Trashes Detroit

Circle the Fox Theater, Bert!

While today’s Twins-Tigers game was in a rain delay, former Twins pitcher and current analyst Bert Blyleven updated his Twitter followers with photos of the field, and took some cracks at Detroit’s expense in the process.

Guess I ruffled some feathers with my last tweet about download Detroit! Guess all you that responded haven’t seen how ugly your downtown is

— Bert Blyleven (@BertBlyleven28) April 9, 2015

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 09, 2015 at 09:41 PM | 75 comment(s)
  Beats: announcing, apologies, bert blyleven, detroit, tigers, twins, twitter

Friday, April 03, 2015

Ervin Santana suspended 80 games

Smell the suspension.

Minnesota Twins pitcher Ervin Santana has been suspended for 80 games, Major League Baseball announced Friday.

Santana was suspended after testing positive for stanozolol, a performance-enhancing substance. The suspension is effective for the first 80 games of the regular season.

He was 14-10 with a 3.95 ERA in 2014 after signing a one-year contract with the Atlanta Braves. Santana parlayed a successful season into a four-year, $55 million deal with the Twins.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 03, 2015 at 04:53 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: ervin santana, peds, stanozol, twins

Monday, March 30, 2015

Twins offering bloody mary garnished with cold slice of pizza

The Minnesota Twins introduced the $19 “College Daze Bloody Mary,” which comes garnished with a cold slice of pepperoni pizza in addition to many of the usual fixings one might be accustomed to.

And here’s the full description, courtesy of Hrbeks’.

This Bloody Mary will bring back the memories (or not)! This cool Bloody Mary gets a cold slice of Pepperoni Pizza which is just what you need with a Bloody Mary! If that wasn’t enough you also get all the other fixings! Beef Stick, Pepper Jack and Cheddar Cheese Cubes, Pepperoncini, Olive, Celery, & a Pickle Spear. Served with a Bud Light Beer Back.

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: March 30, 2015 at 11:29 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: bloody mary, miguel cabrera, twins

Friday, March 27, 2015

Grantland (Keri): 2015 AL Central Preview

3. Chicago White Sox

...

Worst Offseason Move: None. Seriously, the Pale Hose didn’t put a foot wrong this winter. Although, when we spoke a few weeks ago, Hahn getting fired up about a minor league deal for 36-year-old Brad Penny might’ve been a bit much.

I think it would have been fair to place the David Robertson deal here.

Eddo Posted: March 27, 2015 at 11:30 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: al central, indians, royals, tigers, twins, white sox

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Twins parody Star Wars trailer to promote Phil Hughes bobblehead

the Twins are giving away possibly the best bobblehead introduced thus far this season. The bobblehead will feature pitcher Phil Hughes dressed in jedi robes and holding a green lightsaber. The best part of the whole thing is that the team is using the hashtag #HughesTheForce to promote the event.

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: March 26, 2015 at 05:57 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: phil hughes, star wars, twins

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Twinsights: Josmil Pinto diagnosed with concussion - Twins Now

How do you get hit three times?

Pinto left Saturday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles after Adam Jones hit him three times on the follow-through of his swing. All three swings came during the Orioles’ four-run second inning, with the last one striking Pinto on the top of his helmet.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 22, 2015 at 12:20 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: josmil pinto, twins

Gibson hoping to ramp up pitch velocity this year | twinsbaseball.com

If his sinker was hitting 94, what was his four-seamer hitting?

Gibson, making his second start of the spring, saw his sinker reach as high as 94 mph on the stadium radar gun and he believes he can pitch with increased velocity this season.

Gibson, who posted a 4.47 ERA in 179 1/3 innings in his first full year in the Majors last season, saw his fastball average 91.3 mph last year, according to Fangraphs.com.

“I think [throughout] the year I’d like to stay right around there,” Gibson said of reaching 94 mph. “I think I can if I just maintain my body and keep a good workout regimen in between. There’s no reason why I shouldn’t be able to hold that strength throughout the year.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 22, 2015 at 07:42 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: kyle gibson, twins

Monday, March 16, 2015

Twins tell Miguel Sano he’ll open the year in Double-A - TwinCities.com

“(Twins manager Paul Molitor) told me I’m going to start in Double-A,” Sano said. “I’m fine. I’m OK. I’ll go to the other side for work. I’ll have the same plan I had over here. I’m feeling normal and happy. I want to have a good season. I’m really excited to go to the other side. Everything is good.”

How long would Sano, who turns 22 on May 11, expect to be at Double-A, which is where he finished the year in 2013?

“Probably one month,” Sano said.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 16, 2015 at 07:20 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: miguel sano, twins

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Twinsights: ‘Little man’ Jose Berrios making things difficult - Twins Now

Long relief?

“Conversely,” Molitor said, “if he’s not going to be here to start — IF he’s not going to be here to start — then he needs to prepare himself to go down and be extended when his season begins, wherever that might be.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 14, 2015 at 09:01 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: jose berrios, paul molitor, twins

Friday, February 20, 2015

Twinsights: Miguel Sano ‘able to do everything’ as spring camp nears - Twins Now

More than 11 months removed from Tommy John surgery that wiped out his 2014 season, Twins third-base prospect Miguel Sano remains on track to enjoy a normal big-league spring training.

“He’s doing pretty much everything,” said Brad Steil, Twins director of minor league operations. “I don’t know if (Twins trainers) are going to watch how much activity he has in the first few days. Sometimes guys get in there and air it out and overdo it.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 20, 2015 at 10:32 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: miguel sano, twins

Monday, February 09, 2015

Schoenfield: Ranking the teams: 30 through 25

Due for a better year: Domonic Brown gets what is maybe his final chance to prove himself as a big league regular. An All-Star in 2013 when he hit 27 home runs, he fell apart in 2014 with a .235/.285/.349 line. There’s still some talent here, but how much?

Due for a worse year: Ruben Amaro Jr.

I’m just the messenger: Everyone has been predicting the decline of the Phillies for a few years and Amaro finally admitted that a rebuilding was in order. He’s been asking for a ransom for Hamels, understandably so because he’s really the only valuable commodity he has, unless Chase Utley agrees to a trade or Cliff Lee comes back and proves he’s healthy. The past two seasons were painful for Phillies fans, but 2015 could be their worst season since losing 97 games in 2000.

The final word: Hey, on the bright side the Phillies outperformed my prediction last year by seven wins .. and still won just 73 games. If there’s a bright spot, it’s the bullpen, led by closer-in-waiting Ken Giles (1.18 ERA as a rookie), which should be solid even if Papelbon is traded.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 09, 2015 at 11:57 AM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, diamondbacks, phillies, rangers, rankings, rockies, twins

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