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Twins Newsbeat

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Twins to add more safety netting at Target Field

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Twins announced Thursday they will make further extensions to safety netting at Target Field next season, the third such enhancement they’ve made in five years.

The new netting along the left-field line will extend an additional 85 feet from the previous endpoint and 8 feet from the previous height, making that side about 275 feet long and 22 feet high.

Along the right-field line, the net will stretch 65 feet longer and 7 feet higher, to about 255 feet long and 21 feet high.

 

QLE Posted: December 05, 2019 at 10:14 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: netting, twins

Report: Twins, Michael Pineda agree to two-year, $20 million contract

Pierre Noujaim of Fox9 Minneapolis reports that the Twins and free agent starter Michael Pineda have agreed on a two-year contract. The Athletic’s Dan Hayes confirms Noujaim’s report and adds that the deal is for $20 million.

Is it just me, or is the hot stove a little hotter than it has been the last couple of years?

 

QLE Posted: December 05, 2019 at 09:55 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: contracts, michael pineda, twins

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Red Sox among five teams under pressure for MLB hot-stove splash

Red Sox: They won it all in 2018, missed the playoffs in 2019, fired Dave Dombrowski (head of their baseball operations), have a manager in Alex Cora who might be tied up in the Astros’ electronic pitch-stealing scandal from when he was their bench coach in 2017, owners calling for major pay reductions, and a great, popular homegrown player in his prime in Betts, who has given no indications he will re-sign in Boston before free agency.

So Chaim Bloom, who replaced Dombrowski, has a full plate at what feels like a pivotal moment for the organization to try not to get so caught up in maximizing this year’s team as to mess up the near future. Can Bloom trade Price or Eovaldi? What can be gotten for Betts, whose value is hurt by having just one year of control and a 2020 salary that will at least approach $30 million?

Jim Furtado Posted: December 01, 2019 at 09:34 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, nationals, phillies, red sox, twins

Monday, November 25, 2019

Twins will sometimes wear baby blue uniforms in 2020

The Twins will wear a baby blue alternate uniform for 2020, replicating the team’s road uniform worn from 1973-86.

The team will also wear a special logo commemorating their 60th season in Minnesota.

The alternate uniforms can be worn in home and road games and will paired with the team’s navy blue cap.

“No uniform in the history of Minnesota Twins baseball drives more fan engagement than the old-school baby blues,” Twins President and CEO Dave St. Peter said in a release.

And the return of retro elements to contemporary uniforms continues.

 

QLE Posted: November 25, 2019 at 02:03 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: twins, uniforms

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Twins give contract extensions to front office brass

The Twins announced today that they have agreed to contract extensions with Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey and General Manager Thad Levine. The new deals lock up Falvey and Levine through 2024. They were already under contract through 2021.

For those wondering who gets contract extensions rapidly in this time…..

 

QLE Posted: November 14, 2019 at 12:27 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: contract extensions, derek falvey, twins

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Braves’ [stuff] doesn’t work in the playoffs, either

The Athletics have been something of a punching bag over the years because executive vice president and president of baseball operations Billy Beane was famously quoted in Moneyball saying, “My [stuff] doesn’t work in the playoffs. My job is to get us to the playoffs. What happens after that is […] luck.”

Since 2000, the A’s have reached the playoffs 10 times. They have advanced into the ALCS just once, in 2006, when they were swept out by the Tigers. They’re 1-6 in the Division Series and 0-3 in the AL Wild Card game, accounting for their last three playoff losses (2014, ’18-19). To call their performance in the playoffs disappointing would be an understatement.

The A’s, however, are not the only team whose [stuff] doesn’t work in the playoffs. The Twins, who were just swept out of the ALDS by the Yankees, haven’t reached the ALCS since 2002. They have failed in their last six appearances in the ALDS — mostly against the Yankees — and lost the AL Wild Card game in 2017 as well (to the Yankees).

A consideration of losing streaks in the playoffs, albeit one that has gone out of date since between when I found it and when I posted it…..

QLE Posted: October 10, 2019 at 12:44 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, braves, nationals, playoff streak, playoffs, the agony of defeat, twins

Twins To Exercise Club Option Over Nelson Cruz

In one of the more predictable items of early offseason business, the Twins have decided to exercise their club option over designated hitter Nelson Cruz, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network (via Twitter). That decision will not need to be made formally until after the conclusion of the World Series, but it seems the Minnesota organization has already chosen a path.

When Cruz was asked recently about his contract situation, he responded in a manner that almost suggested he would be waiting with baited breath: “I don’t have that call,” he said, “but hopefully they can pick up the option.” But it didn’t take an act of benevolence, or even require much deliberation, for the Minnesota organization to settle upon a return.

 

 

QLE Posted: October 10, 2019 at 12:19 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: nelson cruz, options, twins

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Driven out: Twins rookie _ and ex-Uber guy _ tagged by Yanks

NEW YORK (AP) — Just too much traffic for Twins rookie Randy Dobnak.

The feel-good story of the Uber driver-turned-big league pitcher came to a screeching halt Saturday when the New York Yankees tagged him from the get-go in an 8-2 rout, putting Minnesota in a serious jam in the AL Division Series.

“Nerves were fine,” Dobnak said. “I don’t know what it was.”

A week removed from his in-season wedding in Maryland, and with new bride Aerial in the stands, Dobnak soaked in the mocking, taunting cheers of “Uber, Uber” from the bleacher crowd at Yankee Stadium when he limbered up in the outfield before Game 2.

Yankees fans, showing (as they have so often this season) the sort of class and dignity that explains why so many people root for anyone else…..

QLE Posted: October 06, 2019 at 12:36 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: playoffs, randy dobnak, twins, yankees-no-fun-as-usual

Saturday, October 05, 2019

Yanks, Twins epitome of baseball’s 3 True Outcomes

NEW YORK (AP) — Not until the 42nd pitch of the night was a ball was put in play to a fielder.

There were five home runs, 25 strikeouts, 14 walks, 13 pitchers and just 15 hits.

The New York Yankees’ 10-4 win over the Minnesota Twins in their AL Division Series opener on Friday was the epitome of what Major League Baseball has evolved into in 2019.

A 4-hour, 15-minute meeting between power-packed offenses was dominated by the Three True Outcomes — homers, walks, strikeouts — when the defense is superfluous other than the pitcher and catcher.

And yet this was still faster than when the Yankees play the Red Sox…..

 

QLE Posted: October 05, 2019 at 12:18 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: three true outcomes, twins, yankees

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Mold-breaking Twins pitching coach makes positive impression

“If we’re doing it the same as everyone else, by definition that’s league average,” Falvey said. “If we do things in a league-average way, we shouldn’t expect to be better than league average as a team, so in my mind, we have to be open to new ideas.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 03, 2019 at 03:29 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: twins

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Twins make history as 4th 100-win team, beat Royals 6-2

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A short game left a lasting memory for the Minnesota Twins.

The Twins became the record fourth team in the major leagues to win 100 games this season, beating the Kansas City Royals 6-2 Friday night behind two-run homers from Miguel Sanó and Ryan LaMarre in a game shortened to 6½ innings because of rain.

Minnesota, which plays the New York Yankees in the Division Series starting next Thursday, reached the century mark in wins for just the second time in franchise history. The 1965 Twins went 102-60, then lost the World Series to the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games.

“It was really cool,” said Rocco Baldelli, the Twins’ first-year manager. “We just had a moment as a group here in the clubhouse — it was really nice in a season full of really cool, exciting times and accomplishments.”

Red Sanders would be very delighted.

 

QLE Posted: September 28, 2019 at 01:12 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: twins, winning

Friday, September 27, 2019

Twins become first team to hit 300 home runs in a season

The 2019 season has set all kinds of home run records, thanks in large part to the juiced baseball. With the regular season just about finished, one more record was set. The Twins became the first team in baseball history to hit 300 home runs. The milestone homer was slugged by Jonathan Schoop, a two-run blast in the seventh inning off of José Cisnero. Willians Astudillo added a solo shot in the eighth for No. 301 in the Twins’ 10-4 win over the Tigers.

Before 2019, the team record for home runs was 267 set in 2018 by the Yankees. And before that, it was the 264 homers hit by the 1997 Mariners. This year’s, Yankees, by the way, will also cross the 300-homer threshold as they’re currently at 299. The Yankees are off today so we’ll likely see them join the club on Friday when they open up their season-ending series in Texas against the Rangers.

So, what chance do we have of the Twins and Yankees engaging in all sorts of shenanigans to end the season on top with home runs?

 

QLE Posted: September 27, 2019 at 12:21 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: home runs, milestones, twins

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Twins win AL Central crown for first time since 2010

The Twins went into Wednesday night with a magic number of two and a four-game lead over the Indians in the AL Central. They weren’t in real danger of losing the thing, but it’s always better to clinch early and get a few days of rest for the regulars while being able to set the rotation for the divisional round.

Thanks to a Twins 5-1 (box score) win in Detroit and Indians 8-3 (box score) loss to the White Sox, the clinch has happened. The Twins are the American League Central champions for the first time since 2010. The Indians were heavy favorites to win the division when the season started, but the Twins nearly went wire to wire in the lead here. Starting April 20, the Twins were either tied or in first place the rest of the way, building a lead as big as 11 1/2 games.

It was certainly worrisome when the Indians erased said 11 1/2 game deficit by tying things up both on Aug. 9 and Aug. 11, but the Twins steadied and stayed mentally tough, going 27-13 down the stretch since then.

The win Wednesday was the Twins’ 98th of the season. They were 78-84 last season, so it’s been quite the turnaround here under the watch of first-year manager Rocco Baldelli.

Congratulations, and best wishes against the Yankees.

 

QLE Posted: September 26, 2019 at 12:03 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: al central, pennant race, twins

Saturday, September 21, 2019

The Curse of Bunned Meat and Breadsticks: Why the Twins Can’t Beat the Yankees

On April 11, 1961, the Twins played their first game, beating the American League champion Yankees 6-0 in front of Marilyn Monroe, Joe DiMaggio and Toots Shor, who sat beneath that white scalloped frieze at Yankee Stadium, its famous arches suggesting grandeur, antiquity and empire. The new home of the Twins, meanwhile, was a minor league ballyard in a former Bloomington, Minn., cornfield, providing the first of many comparisons between the two teams and the communities they represent in which Minnesota always comes off as a lesser New York—Big Apple vs. Minneapple, Yankees vs. Twinkies, Mickey Mantle vs. Mickey Hatcher.

Even the franchise’s inaugural victory was largely forgotten by the next morning, when Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space. But the ballgame remains historic, for it began the Twins’ own long-standing Cold War with the Yanks. As those two teams await the 2019 playoffs and another possible matchup, Minnesotans are keenly aware (as New Yorkers are not) that the Twins have lost a record 13 consecutive postseason games, an ignominious distinction they share with the Yankees’ more famous rivals, the Red Sox. Minnesota’s last playoff win was at the old Yankee Stadium on Oct. 5, 2004, in Game 1 of the AL Division Series. Of the 13 losses that have followed, all but three—a sweep by the A’s in the ‘06 ALDS—were to the Yankees, most recently in the ‘17 wild-card game. For almost the entire 21st century the Bronx Bombers have had Minnesota’s number, and that number is still stored in a Nokia flip phone.

The Yankees’ inexplicable domination in this century began very differently in the last one. In 1964, a recent graduate of George Washington High in Washington Heights—a Panamanian national then playing for a sandlot team in the Bronx called the N.Y. Cavaliers—traveled a couple of miles across the Harlem River to work out for the Twins at Yankee Stadium. After just a few swings Minnesota officials bundled the 19-year-old out of sight, lest he be seen by a Yankees executive with a fat book of blank checks. They spirited Rodney Cline Carew to an Italian restaurant in the Bronx, the Stella D’Oro, across from the breadstick factory of the same name, and signed the second baseman on the spot. It was a bank heist in broad daylight, and one for which there would be disproportionate karmic payback.

Carew would be named the AL Rookie of the Year in 1967, then win seven batting titles (while the scouts who signed him—Herb Stein and Monroe Katz—were given, for all we know, Bronze Breadsticks). But in ‘78, with the frugal Twins intent on dealing him, Carew expressed his desire to play for the Yankees, in the stadium where it all began. “I’d rather hit there than in any of the other teams’ parks,” said Carew, who also admired New York’s skipper, Billy Martin, his former manager in Minnesota and the godfather to the second of his three daughters. Alas, Carew also had the temerity to entertain other offers, upsetting Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, who thought the future Hall of Famer didn’t sufficiently appreciate “the privilege of playing for the Yankees.” So Carew signed with the Angels and the Yankees maintained their imperious and often disdainful view of the Twins as backwater tightwads who didn’t sufficiently appreciate the privilege of playing against the Yankees, much less for them.

With Babe Ruth and the Black Sox and the billygoat and Eddie Grant no longer relevant as curses (and with Rocky Colavito coming within one overused relief pitcher of the same), it seems time for people to be creating new baseball curses, doesn’t it?

QLE Posted: September 21, 2019 at 12:32 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: breadsticks, curse, rod carew, twins, yankees

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Twins set MLB record as 5th player reaches 30-home run mark

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Twins have set another major league home run record, becoming the first team in history to have five players go deep 30 or more times in one season.

Miguel Sanó gave the Twins the all-time mark with his 30th homer, a three-run shot to the third deck in left field off Chicago White Sox left-hander Ross Detwiler on Tuesday night. Nelson Cruz (37), Max Kepler (36), Eddie Rosario (31) and Mitch Garver (30) all made it before Sanó.

Something to add to our collection of notes on the effects of the rabbit ball this season.

QLE Posted: September 18, 2019 at 12:48 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: home run derby, twins

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

MLB Power Rankings: Just how good are the Twins?

We know a few things for sure. The Houston Astros, New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers are the three best teams in baseball this season. The Atlanta Braves are a rung below, but still very much a challenger to L.A. in the National League.

What we didn’t completely know, but do now, is just what the Minnesota Twins were made of. The Twins, the most surprising of this season’s division leaders, were in a position over the weekend to almost let go of an AL Central lead they’d held since April.

The Cleveland Indians, the team most people figured would win the AL Central, were hosting the Twins for three games and trying to make a 3.5 game lead disappear. If the Indians got hot and swept the Twins? Yikes. It was lining up like one of those moments where Cinderella loses her shoe.

Only it wasn’t. The Twins won two of three, including a doubleheader sweep on Saturday that virtually put the race to bed. The Twins have a 4.5 game lead with an easy schedule ahead. And now the question becomes: How good are the Twins?

So, what do we think of these rankings?

QLE Posted: September 17, 2019 at 12:22 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: power rankings, twins

Friday, September 06, 2019

LEADING OFF: A’s winning streak on line in suspended game

SO, WHERE WERE WE?

Before their regularly scheduled matchup in Oakland, the Tigers and Athletics will resume a game that was suspended May 19 at Detroit with the A’s leading 5-3 in the bottom of the seventh inning. Back then, the A’s were in the middle of putting together their first 10-game winning streak since 2006. But that could get wiped away if Oakland can’t close out the May 19 game against Detroit. If the A’s hang on, the winning streak will go to 11 games. If the Tigers rally to win, Oakland’s streak from that stretch will only be considered a seven-gamer. Center fielder Ramon Laureano is expected to come off the injured list for the A’s and play in the second game.

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS

Minnesota has a chance to widen its 6½-game lead in the AL Central over Cleveland and perhaps all but salt away the division title when the Indians come to town for a three-game series. Michael Pineda (11-5, 4.11 ERA) pitches the opener for the Twins, back home from an 8-2 road trip. Adam Plutko (6-4, 4.53) goes for Cleveland.

Presumably, this suspended game won’t be over in a few minutes, unlike the last one.


MLB Postseason Picture: Twins extend AL Central lead with dramatic win

It’s September, so the baseball games matter a little more. That’s why every day between now and the start of the postseason we’ll keep you updated on baseball’s postseason picture.

The Minnesota Twins briefly lost their grip on the AL Central lead last month.

They’re determined to not let that happen again.

Minnesota extended its rebuilt lead to 6.5 games over the Cleveland Indians with a dramatic 2-1 win against the Boston Red Sox on Thursday night.

An update, for those curious about how the playoff hunt is going.

QLE Posted: September 06, 2019 at 03:46 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: al central, playoff implications, twins

Friday, August 30, 2019

Twins break MLB record for home runs on road

CHICAGO—The Minnesota Twins set a major league record for home runs on the road in a season, hitting three in Thursday’s 10-5 victory over the Chicago White Sox to lift their total to 141 away from home.

Jake Cave went deep twice, including a leadoff shot in the third against Dylan Cease that gave Minnesota 139 homers on the road, eclipsing the previous mark of 138 set by San Francisco in 2001.

C.J. Cron, the Twins’ next batter, followed with a drive to center to give Minnesota back-to-back homers in the third.

Cave added a shot in the seventh for his second career multihomer game, increasing the Twins’ overall total to 261, which leads the majors and already is the third most in a season in MLB history. The record for homers in a season (267) was set last year by the New York Yankees. The 1997 Seattle Mariners hit 264.

Exhibit #413 involving the excesses of the home run spike this season, ladies and gentlemen.

 

QLE Posted: August 30, 2019 at 05:04 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: home run derby, home runs, twins

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Even-keeled Twins trying to stay that way in tight race

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The home clubhouse in Minnesota was silent after the final game of the series was lost to Cleveland in distressing fashion, a fifth defeat in the last seven contests for the Twins that let the surging Indians create another tie for the division lead.

As players packed for a road trip, minus the usual upbeat music blaring in the background, the mood in the room was hardly somber or tense. Even having the would-be winning run get thrown out at the plate in the ninth inning and the team’s top relief pitcher give up a grand slam in the 10th did not qualify as a devastating development amid the 162-game grind of baseball.

Particularly not under the supervision of rookie manager Rocco Baldelli, whose perpetually relaxed and upbeat demeanor has had more of an influence on these Twins in his first year than any strategic decision or lineup change.

“We’re in a pretty good frame of mind,” Baldelli said following a 7-3 loss Sunday to the Indians. “You’re going to go through runs where you’re playing good teams. You’re going to go through runs where you’re playing well, winning some games but losing some games that you think you should win. We play so many games here and our guys give a tremendous effort every single night when we’re out there that there’s really nothing more you can ask for. We have a very stable clubhouse, which we’re very fortunate for. We have a lot of guys who show up every day the same way, regardless of whether we win or lose.”

A consideration of a team in the midst of a divisional race.

QLE Posted: August 13, 2019 at 05:00 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: al central, rocco baldelli, twins

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Twins reach new single-season record with 226th home run

It’s been quite the year for the Twins, who are currently positioned to upstage the 2018 Yankees for most home runs hit in a single MLB season. In the sixth inning of Friday’s 6-2 loss to the Indians, they reached a collective 226 home runs with Eddie Rosario‘s leadoff home run off of right-hander Shane Bieber, shattering the standing franchise record set for single-season homers in 1963.

What was that about the baseballs not being juiced, Manfred?

 

QLE Posted: August 10, 2019 at 08:18 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: home runs, twins

Yasiel Puig shows he’s still Yasiel Puig with a wave and a kiss on the basepaths

Yasiel Puig might be on his third team in the last calendar year, but he’s still Yasiel Puig. That identity was in full view as the Cleveland Indians outfielder ran the bases on Friday in an American League Central showdown.

After singling to lead off the ninth inning against the Minnesota Twins, Puig ran all the way to third on a throwing error from Twins pitcher Randy Dobnak. For those not paying close attention, it was a standard advancement off an error.

Those focusing on the runner, however, got a pair of those quintessential Puig moments. As he ran past second, the Wild Horse waved goodbye to the Twins defenders in right field.

After he slid safely into third, Puig only got up after blowing a kiss to the home crowd.

Do you suppose he regrets not making Marty Brennaman’s head explode while he still had the chance?

 

QLE Posted: August 10, 2019 at 08:18 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, twins, yasiel puig

Thursday, August 08, 2019

LEADING OFF: Indians take aim at Target, Hamels rolling

A look at what’s happening around the majors Thursday:

TARGET TIME

A couple months ago, Cleveland trailed the Twins by 11 1/2 games in the AL Central and was being written off as too old and too banged-up. But by going a baseball-best 38-16 since June 4, the Indians have closed within two games of Minnesota heading into this four-game series at Target Field.

Mike Clevinger (6-2, 3.07 ERA) starts the opener for the Indians against Kyle Gibson (11-4, 4.02). Clevinger is 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA in his last three road starts.

It does seem that the story of the last couple of months has been surges and slumps- with any luck, it will make some races stay interesting until the end of the year….

QLE Posted: August 08, 2019 at 04:47 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, twins

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Twins set new MLB record after reaching 200-home run threshold

Max Kepler helped the Twins to a new MLB record on Friday after swatting a second-inning, three-run home run off of the White Sox’ Dylan Cease. With the homer, the Twins reached the 200-HR threshold — not only becoming the first team to do so in 2019, but the fastest in any Major League season to date.

According to MLB.com’s Russell Dorsey and Elias Sports, the last team to hold that record was the 2005 Rangers, who collected their first 200 dingers in 122 games. The 2019 Twins, on the other hand, needed just 103 games to reach that mark.

Well, at least this offers an explanation as for why they’re leading the AL Central other than “the Indians’ management is cheap and incompetent”....

 

QLE Posted: July 27, 2019 at 11:06 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: home run spike, twins

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Keep calm and mash: How the relaxed Twins are rewriting HR-hitting history

On Sunday, Nelson Cruz homered again. It was his fourth straight game in which he went yard, in his first five games back from the injured list. No big deal for a guy who came into this season with 203 home runs over the previous five seasons, right? Back in December, the Minnesota Twins signed the 38-year-old designated hitter to provide this kind of power. But what they didn’t necessarily anticipate was that Cruz would be just one slugger among many, because today’s Twins are putting on an unprecedented display of power at the plate, virtually a season-long Home Run Derby.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 13, 2019 at 09:57 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: home runs, twins

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