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Some of the other owners gotta love him - How'd that Miguel Cabrera trade work out anyway?
Hicks needs someone to throw him 100 curves a day in BP. And he needs to see a lot of them to know to hold up when they're going in the dirt.
Excellent article. We don't get enough good stories -nostalgic or not- since Goldman's 'You Can Look It Up' series ended here. It was easy to enjoy with a cold beverage. And it's always great when I learn something. Thanks and feel free to write some more here.
If this baseball thing doesn't work out, you could work for Hallmark!
If you step out of the box to readjust your velcro straps (especially after not even swinging at the previous pitch), it's a strike called against the batter.
How much does field/fx or a stringer for BIS adjust fielding vectors for all the 'more than normal' defensive shifts that are taking place? I agree with you on a new 'great fielding play' statistic in the box scores.
When I saw the Sox wearing those unis today, the first thing that came to mind was Dick Allen and Wilbur Wood. I was 12 years old at the time. They've got to commemorate something to get fans excited/into the park, so why not a 40 yr. anniversary team? I don't recall what year it was, but I'll bet the players are hoping that management doesn't decide to honor the club that wore shorts for part of a year.
I invite anyone interested to look at the Twins' early schedule. If they come out of April playing .500 or better, they might actually be able to contend. Might. If Detroit has any injury problems anywhere close to what Minnesota had last year, this division might open up for everyone.
I'd just like to say to any newer visitors on this site that they should check out Steven's 'You Could Look It Up' articles in the archives. I'll miss that great stuff. May you write a large book with that type of material throughout it someday. Best of luck to you.
I'm almost sure that I would vote for most of these guys over the ones we'll eventually see on the form come election day. Honesty, trust, accountability, and the amazing concept of actual representation would be something wonderful to see.
But most of all, even though he's not eligible, I would love to see a rule allowing Ozzie to join the debates and campaign commercials.
Nearly all of Minoso's career took place before I was born and I never really read much about him. Thanks for teaching me a little something in a very good article. Anyone whose personage is compared to Buck O'Neil has to be a great human being in my book.
When Hicks was drafted, the Twins made him happy by telling him they wanted him to play the outfield. If he just doesn't begin to hit with any consistency at all, are you hearing anything yet about them considering trying him all over again as a pitcher? Apparently, he could kick booty and take names as a pitcher in high school also, am I right? Just hoping for some success out of the guy, man.
Any batter leaving the box to adjust his batting gloves gets a called strike in return. Any catcher that runs out to the mound to talk to his pitcher either during an at-bat or after the pitcher shakes off too many signs before throwing the first pitch of the at-bat gets a ball called against them.
Most important, any time a game is delayed by 10 minutes or longer because of a manager arguing a supposedly horrible call with the umpires, a young fan of the crowds' choosing gets to slap Bud Selig at the All-Star Game until we get expanded replay.
Very entertaining. Wish you had enough for parts 3,4,and5.
I,ve enjoyed reading all these arguments with a cold beverage at home on my computer as if I were enjoying them among people in a local bar. They're all reasonable, but maybe it's simply up to each individual what this award really means. I would think that a 'Best Damn Player in Baseball award would go to Pujols (perhaps on a perpetual basis).'Most Outstanding Season' award should go to Votto. The Reds don't win the pennant without him and he really was that team's most valuable. But I'd also like for someone to figure out Team WARP divided by Player WARP (and/or VORP) to come up with the position player with the highest percentage of his team totals. And if his team was at least contending, maybe he deserves that MVP award also.
I'm sure someone has already figured this out or that I could dig it up somewhere, but I think it would make for an interesting article. And I'm just guessing, but could that guy be Adrian Gonzalez? Pujols is probably close, but he has Holliday for a teammate. And if we included pitchers, this would also be pretty interesting.
I don't think I'm able to post this reply directly under singledigit's comment, but I'd have voted for Jackson in a heartbeat. I guarantee you Twins fans (of which I'm one) noticed his outstanding play in the field. He saved a lot of runs in the games I witnessed. I was amazed at some of the balls he caught up to that-at the crack of the bat- I was wondering would go for doubles or triples. Amazing glove, ridiculous catchup speed.
I also appreciated the fact that the few times I e-mailed you with a question, you would send a prompt reply.
Best of luck to you, I'm sure you'll excel at whatever it is, and we'll gladly follow along.
Kinda late on this because it's Thursday and I just now got a chance to read this, but I watched the whole game Hellickson pitched against the Twins and thought to myself: That kid's curveball reminds me of..., and then Bert Blyleven starts talking on the telecast.
Oh, and the best of luck to Cooper, his family, and his dreams!
Great job, Steph. You're a real writer.
I just wish somebody could make batting gloves that didn't loosen up and need to be re-tightened even if you only stood there and watched 'ball one' go by. I might be totally full of beans, but I grew up watching the Twins and in my mind Chuck Knoblauch was the first one that I can remember absolutely needing to do this after every single pitch. Therefore it should probably be called the 'chuckie snap' or something thereabouts. Anyone beg to differ on who else may have been the biggest instigator of something that's been as silly as the 'Jordan shoe slap' before you can shoot a free throw? - only more in use?
Joe, here's hoping your next job is replacing Bud Selig!
Seriously, I'm bummed, but good luck,man!
You know what scares me? When a team thinks it has 'too many' starting pitchers and decides it can afford to trade one or more away, it just opens up the possibility of at least two of the remaining arms to break down and miss half the season or worse. Disabled lists get used. A lot. There's nothing wrong with stockpiling pitchers.
It reminds me of the Santana deal from two years ago. I didn't like the trade at all back then. (Could some of these GMs accept just two better prospects in a trade than the four or so they think they need in total number of nobody-yets to justify these things). My argument at the time was that if you couldn't make a good and worthwhile trade, keep Santana for the last year and just take the draft picks. The Twins lost a tie-breaker in the 163rd game to the White Sox during the following season. We all just might know what sort of difference Johan may have made in that pennant race, don't we?
But the only very large difference in this year's conundrum concerning Halladay is the fact that if the Jays kept him for another season, they themselves speak as if they see no chance to contend whatsoever.
Sorry to get off the baseball track here for this public service announcement, but after the last paragraph in italics, I just couldn't resist.
For most if not all states, I do believe, on the back of your driver's licenses there is a box you can check yes or no if you wish to be a donor after death. There's a lot of lucky, highly appreciative folks who are alive due to this. If you're one of those idiots who think you'll have a hard time traipsing around in the afterlife without your dead and buried body intact when you go, you should try a little harder and remember someone who made the ultimate sacrifice so that you might get that chance in the first place.
I gave my sister a kidney about 11 years ago. A few years later, she also received a pancreas from a kid not long out of high school that died in an accident. I still build homes for a living. Age, not a missing kidney, is the only thing that slows me down. Sis is doing fine, even laughs about the fact that she now craves hot peppers, and around 5:00 every day she craves a beer. The doc says, yeah, that's a normal thing for a recipient to crave something the donor does. Visit a clinic or hospital that does a lot of these transplant surgeries and you'll understand how wonderful and blessed that they feel about this chance for a better life.
Oh, and Steven Goldman always writes great stuff for this column. Thanks for letting me put in my two very important cents.
Something I forgot to attach to my above statement- It's the same reason that so many people hate the Dallas Cowboys. They're sick and tired of them taking up their time slot all the time year after year. America's Team? Really?
My opinion on why there are so many Yankee haters out there (besides the payroll): They're always on the national TV games (Red Sox are equally guilty) seemingly exclusive to everyone else. If Boston vs. New York played 162 times a year, the national TV game would always stay the same. A lot of people throughout the rest of the nation get sick and tired of it, I've heard the bitching about it, even though they understand the significance of this rivalry.
I agee with AndrewP above. (Clicking on 'post reply' isn't working). Nobody's bitched about their famously bad trades or some of their personnel decisions any more than I have. But they might think that with an unbalanced schedule and playing in this division that they really don't have to spend any more of that money that they love to hang on to.
That doesn't mean Twins fans can't enjoy the ride though. Especially when we didn't expect much to begin with. Sure, we'd love to see them increase payroll by adding some real talent. But we've got to look at it as: You suppose Pirates, Reds, or Royals fans and their like would like to be in this situation this often?
Pavano vs. Tigers this season: 4-0, 1.69 ERA in 5 starts; 3-0, 1.61 at Comerica. And if Bonine comes close to replicating his last outing vs. the White Sox, where a 2-run homer by Gordon Beckham was the only blemish, this could actually be a short night in Detroit.
You'll have to see the replay before you comment, man. You'd have made it to second base standing up yourself. He watched the ball's flight, then jogged to first thinking it was going over the fence. When it landed at the base of the wall, it was too late.
It works both ways. Joe's argument is correct, but the teams involved are taking a major risk at the same time if they're paying out large signing bonuses to unproven (at least at the top level)players. Both sides have to take into context a potential injury in this situation. One side will need to worry about performance in their initial investment. If the player in question becomes a bust or disappointment - a team like the Yankees can brush it off fairly easy where a small-market, low-payroll type would get crushed.
There seems to be a lot of bitching going on here in these comment sections about what BP is and where they are going. Not that there's anything really wrong with that, that's part of the reason websites have comment sections. Some of you seem to want a site based solely on statistical study. That stuff's great. It's interesting, innovative, and we all can learn from it. I enjoy it because it gives me a different perspective on the game as a somewhat hardcore fan. I say 'somewhat' because the best thing sometimes after a hard day of work where I've sweated off a few pounds is to kick back in the recliner with a few cold ones and enjoy the games as they happen. Some people want their analysis simply for their fantasy league management. They seem to live for that as much as anything else. That's fine. Nothing wrong with that and to each their own. Hell, I wish I had time for some of that stuff. I'm sure I'd enjoy it too. When I take the time to read everything on the site or post a comment such as this, it could be enough to blow off an errand I should do 'til tomorrow.
I love this damn game though, and to not have writers such as Perotto and Sheehan on this site to help make it more of a 'complete' baseball site for the fan that literally enjoys to just B.S. about baseball wouldn't be right at all. I think BP's on the right track. They want the hardcore baseball fans. Period.
Did I like the radio/interview format for this week's idol contest? Not at all. Sorry, I didn't have time over the weekend to download the radio segment and simply read the transcripts as quickly as I could. But that's just my personal problem, no big deal. But instead of voting for all but one or two of the contestants, like I had done in the past, I decided not to vote for anyone this time. I could have picked my favorites from the past trials, but I had voted for all of them anyway.
Keep Cartwright, Kniker, and let Swartz have a little time too for your statistical analysis, and please, I mean please, keep Funck in there for the thoroughly enjoyable stuff. Everyone at BP has their special talents. So do these guys, no question.
The style reminds me somewhat of this guy named Posnanski. Anyone that doesn't like a little easy-going ride injected with humor is... simply a doldrum. Great job on a task that couldn't have been easy.
I was surprised not to see a mention of Puckett's leaping catch against the wall in game six. I don't know what it did for WE or CE, but it rated quite high in FE (fan excitement). And it was a great lead to his winning homer that capped off a day that all Twins fans remember with a pretty large smile.
Good timing for your interview to be posted. He works hard for his pitchers indeed. I wonder how I'd feel today if I were crouched behind the plate for 25 innings like Mr. Sanchez was last night.
I've had a hard time understanding the flak That Matt Cain has received through the waves of the baseball analysts. His peripherals are sometimes bashed as if he is nothing more than a #3 or #4 starter. The mainstream media would've already showered him with praise if he received decent run support over the last several years.
I must be biased. He's one of these guys where I'll ignore the analysts that are naysayers - because nearly every time I've seen him pitch, he's on. Good movement, yeah, the bulldog mentality too. The movement's the thing. I never realized that his velocity may have decresed, though. I don't live in the bay area and I don't watch the Giants on a consistent basis. And maybe that's why I'm biased and just haven't seen Mr. Cain throw but one bad game. I'll take him.
The above was supposed to follow up either eighteen or Dave Koonce's comment- no matter.
The Twins announcers like to bring up that trade quite a bit, possibly to brag up how they WON such a smart transaction. Funny, I never hear them mention nearly as much the trades involving Santana or the duo of Garza and Bartlett. Bartlett's no historical great shakes, but I think most people would rather have him playing short than Punto.(Yeah, that's an understatement, I guess).
But either Omar Minaya knows a secret or the Mets are run by the mob, and Bill Smith didn't like that gun pointed at his head very much. There's a difference between the talents of Pierzynsky and Santana. Neither GM could figure that out on a given day. Blaming the mistake on hindsight is ridiculous, perhaps in both cases, when most fans that pay just slightly more attention to the game than normal considered both trades a joke. I'm sorry, I'm still not quite over the ridiculousness of the Santana trade. And it didn't help when I seen what the A's got for Dan Haren in the same offseason.
You're right on both counts. I grew up with the Twins , who had a good player development system to replenish the roster somewhat. Then when a star player became eligible to earn a significant increase, he was gone, usually for more prospects. Hit or miss, every time. I couldn't possibly be a season ticket holder in this never-ending scenario. My rants would be heard in that case, most certainly.
But maybe I've had it good compared to you, Mr. Pirates fan. So far,anyway. There's been a lot of teams that have opened new stadiums over the last decade that haven't spent the money needed to upgrade their talent, whether it be through free agency, the draft, or more dollars for signing and development purposes. Considering the fact that nearly all of these new play palaces have been paid for primarily with taxpayer dollars and ticket prices are at least doubled in most or many cases, it's a travesty to just keep the status quo in terms of the near totally inept management decisions that are made within the so-called higher-ups of these teams. They promise the fans that all they need is the new ballpark and they'll be able to afford to keep their stars and build a winning team around them. Sound familiar?
The perfect owner from a fan's perspective is one that needs a big, bad ego-boost from some championship trophies on his mantle and enough brains to have the guys running the operation that have the same mindset and know how to get it done. If all they want is a profit, well, they're probably pretty sharp businessmen, but not the guys you want to keep you being brainwashed into unquestioningly forking out that ever-increasing season ticket payment to.
Your team might be making headway now. My team might be on the road to the same. Hell, the Reds, the Brewers, the Rangers, on and on, might be on the right track. But year after year striving to the fullest to be in contention as hard as possible? It's up to the agenda of the ownership in the end. That's my nickel's worth anyway.
If you can't post the articles until Sunday, any chance you could throw them out there on Sunday morning instead of the evening? It might make a heck of a difference as far as the time people have to check them all out. Easier to spread around. And sorry, no, I won't ever take the time to watch American Idol. If you guys were only on network TV, your product wouldn't be near as good as it is either.
Bert Blyleven stated at the beginning of this game that the 'snakebit' Twins had been 3-23(and growing) during Gardenhire's tenure in games played at Yankee Stadium. And some guy named Santana won 2 of those. Joe, that may not be momentum, but it sounds like an awfully large gorilla on the Twins' collective backs. It was definitely a fun game, though.
Byron, you got shoulder problems? This year, try swimming for your physical therapy. Swim until you think you're gonna die, then swim that same amount again. Once a week with this type of regimen. If you live by a lake, it's better than a pool. Best damn rehabilitating exercise you'll find. If you can't swim, learn how.
Humor and sarcasm are natural traits that are acquired by those of us that that have had to endure many long winters here in the upper midwest. But I think you might actually be on to something here. I watched Ryan Braun hit that home run - what - a week ago? after the at-bat where the pitcher tried to remove his head, and it reminded me of Mike Singletary at his linebacker spot for the Bears before the snap. Eyes bulging out of their sockets.
And I think Mr. Campanis would only need one look at Manny and see the 'whatever' in him that would make him a legend.
Between Blyleven last week and Palmer this time, that's some pretty enjoyable stuff, David.
Excellent,enjoyable article. Only I wonder how many beer league softball players might instead try whiskey after reading it.
Brock, I'm sorry, and I was born a Twins fan and grew up with Calvin Griffith getting rid of every guy that could earn an income worthy of redemption once the free agency period had barely started to grow it's wings.
But when the rumors started about who the players were and who the prospects might be that the Twins would receive in trade for Santana, the one scenario that I thought was by far and away the most deplorable was the one that they actually went and did. The Mets. My God. NO!!! I couldn't believe it. I hope the very best for Carlos Gomez and (cough) the rest of this group of trash bags more than you can know, but was it worth the best damn f---ing pitcher in baseball? Don't want to pay him? What's the new stadium gonna be worth? How many other big contracts would they ever agree to mix with Johan's? How bad do they want to WIN? Fine, don't trade him. Let him go free agent route. That means they won the division last year. And playoffs, who knows what could happen? Hell, their rotation was doing great at the end the way it was. One more Santana and who knows what they could have done?
You remember '87? Viola was the ace. When he cost more than they wanted to pay, they said goodbye. It worked out. In '91, Morris was their man. Ditto. I'm certainly not saying they would've won it all last year if they'd have kept the best damn ------- pitcher in baseball, but they'd have certainly given themselves an excellent chance. The sad part of this scenario that I'm giving is the fact that if the Twins would have kept Santana, let him go the free agent route, and received the two draft picks in return (which may have been a much better deal than the one they bargained for, thank you very much), they're generally just too damn cheap to draft someone that they'll actually have to pay close to market dollars for in the case of a player that's a very solid prospect that would have a shorter timetable to be a big impact (like a stud college player) in the majors.
On the other hand, if I sound like someone who's just still ticked off over the fact that they actually traded the favorite pitcher of everyone that lives in or around Minnesota, well, I'm sure I'll get over it. It's part of being a Twins fan. Yankee fans don't have a clue what that's all about.
Chalk this up as another vote of gratitude for your daily digging! I'm sure that I'll religiously eat it up. Thanks!
It might make Gardenhire look good, but Ben, it looks like you agree with my selection of below RP-level killer GM: Bill Smith.
Scrolling down the list, I was surprised you didn't have Carlos Gomez at CF. I suppose he actually could get sent down or sit more and he's pretty good at getting to balls. He reminds me of a helicopter. He can really fly, and if you watch him swing, well?
Joe, every year I think an AL team or 9 should offer the Brewers pitching for their seemingly annual supply of great bat/lousy glove prospects to help fill their DH roles.
It's maybe too bad Selig volunteered the Brew Crew to move to the NL 'cause they have a lot of good potential DH's every year.
It's not just who you play, but when you play them. Would you rather face the Royals when Meche/Greinke/Davies are on the mound or when you can face Ponson/Ramirez?
Would you rather get the Angels right now while the rotation is in limbo and Vladdy is on the DL or perhaps in August when things may be better for them?
How about a team that's on a roll with their bats all cranking up at the same time such as the Red Sox are doing right now? It's a long season with a lot of ebb and flow.
They always schedule this way. Seattle is at Minnesota, but shouldn't they both be hosting games right now? And if next year's weather patterns are similar to this year's, the Twins, along with several more northern or northeastern teams, should play the first ten on the road.
Don't know if it's bad luck, tough job reading MRI's, or probably the fact that everybody's just different, but I felt the same way when Neshek and Liriano lost an extra half-season or more due to delayed surgery or less than optimal diagnosis and sorry outcome.
Torii's a green? I don't think the system has kept count of how many times he crashes into the outfield walls.
Been with you guys since the first day I heard about the site and checked it out. (I've only had a computer for 4 years now). I've bought all your books, read every single article on the web, and enjoy your site more than any other out there. Part of the reason for this is how you combine your offerings to appeal to all of us, not just statheads, fantasy nuts, and just plain baseball lovers. Football's actually been my favorite game since I could walk, but they don't have a site that can hold a candle to you guys. I build homes for a living and refuse to find time for fantasy baseball leagues. Too bad, but I enjoy the heck out of the games anyway, maybe more so, being I'm not worried about who's gaining points rather than the outcome of the game. I just want to say what I'e always said when I've e-mailed you guys in the past. Keep up the great work that you all do. It's always been enjoyable and is very much appreciated. I've always felt that you guys put out the effort to be top-notch. If sh** happens in your personal lives to slow down or reduce content, yeah, it sucks, but that's life. And it should be understandable. You guys are well worth my spare time.
One note about the WBC: There should be no doubt by anyone that the best two teams met in the final. They played as if they had an extra month to prepare. Watching the U.S. team Sunday night made me think that nearly any individual MLB team would've fared a lot better. They were pretty shabby defensively and probably either made some bad choices on who was playing where, or they just didn't have enough choices on their selections. And it showed that it really is(or should be) spring training.
Looking forward to more great stuff from all of you!
Now you guys are on to something - unless the fielders can\'t deal with popups and weak grounders, that is.
Great job, Ben!
It\'s a shame. I think I\'ve seen Cabrera pitch at least 3 or 4 \'terrific\' games in the past and I would say that about 3 or 4 years ago, I thought that he and Bedard would make one heck of a duo for the O\'s. He just never improved, never gained the consistency needed. He stayed wild. It happens, but teams will and should perhaps keep trying to harness what they think they can gain from these talents. I certainly don\'t mean to make such a radical comparison, but what would have happened to a career such as Nolan Ryan\'s if every team looked at him as being too wild control-wise to take a chance on in his youth? If the talent isn\'t there any more, it certainly was somewhere at one time and somebody just might take the chance at the right price to attempt to bring it out. Of course, if he\'s hurt, he\'s hurt and oh,well. But when pitching\'s a hot commodity and you\'re the Nationals, well... Any of you guys pissed away a few bucks on the powerball trying to get lucky before? Same thing.
If Ruth and Gehrig are both eligible, do you only vote for one?
Remember who Clemens pitched for - he\'s in. Easy. There won\'t be much steroid arguments in his case. And you know what? There shouldn\'t be.
I also would like to see Prospectus Triple Play again. I realize Bryan Smith left you guys after the college baseball season ended, but the twice-weekly aticles on the subject were good to help keep track of a game that doesn\'t get enough pub. It\'s really too important for prospect hounds and overall enjoyment of the game (especially since it begins about six weeks before the MLB regular season). Whatever you guys pick, I\'m sure it\'ll be good and thanks for such a great site. Happy New Year!
There\'s a lot of people that believe the draft should be abolished - it\'s a free market, right? The very large-market teams (guess who) could then use this system to spend the same massive dollars to lock up many more players and dominate the player market, similar to how it used to be. Only moreso in these current times. A guy like Carl Pohlad might have more money than a Steinbrenner, but he has a different mindset and isn\'t going to burn it for less profit than a large-market owner would recieve. Those of us that grew up and remain fans of small-market teams usually laugh at and are disgusted with the gripes of those that follow large-market teams. Period. And we wish our owners would still have the ego to say \"to hell with it\" and spend the same amount of capital.
I\'ve always felt that had Blyleven spent the # of years that he\'d pitched with the Twins as a Yankee instead - he\'d have been watched that much more often by that many more people and been a first ballot shoo-in. All you youngsters out there that think of him as an announcer and have never seen him pitch should see get some video of that jaw-dropping curveball that could always be counted on and never ceased to amaze.
Twins (Smith, this means you)- Quit making signings like this an annual event and spend the saved money on the draft for a change - include a few near-ready college players.
Hockey Prospectus? Awwwwrrrright!!!
A guy who blows off Tommy John surgery so that he can help his team while mashing as good or better than anybody else and playing his position in the field as well as anyone seems pretty damn valuable to me! Postseason or not,
I enjoyed watching Guerrero and I enjoy watching Ramirez. (Am I supposed to refer to him as Manny?) This is a perfect example of someone who should only be offered an incentive-laden contract in the future. Large dollars for high incentives. If he doesn\'t like it, don\'t consider signing him. As great a hitter as he is, there needs to be trust on both sides that he won\'t willingly take time off or play at less than 100% effort.
I saw the at-bat against Rivera that has been referred to, and I couldn\'t believe what I was seeing. That alone made me think the (biased Boston-based and respected) writers were probably right.
He\'s similar to a Terrell Owens in football. All the talent in the world. Some may idolize him. A lot would like to see him fail.