The Twins dropped two of three from the Tigers this weekend, falling to 7.5 games out of a division that they were never going to win. While the Twins have played better in 2013, they still do not have the talent to match the Tigers over a full season. Yet, there were some positives from the weekend and I have some apologies to make as well.
I apologize to Clete Thomas. Just one week ago, I accused a wild turkey of creating a lineup that featured Clete Thomas batting second. While I still feel that Thomas in the top half of an order is a move made out of desperation, it hasn't been a disaster because Thomas isn't as terrible as I made him out to be. He strikes out a lot and he doesn't walk, but he can hit the ball and he plays a solid center field. Clete, I don't despise you. Unless he takes at bats from Aaron Hicks when Hicks is healthy. Then, I lose it.
I apologize to Sam Deduno. I expected nothing but chaos from Deduno, and while I have been partially right, he has been more effective than I thought he would be. Two things: he doesn't throw hard and he doesn't get strikeouts. So, he might be more effective than I thought he would be, but it's because he has gotten ground balls at a ridiculous 61.8% rate. He has also limited home runs and stranded runners very well. If all of these skills are real, then he can be effective long-term. If he's been lucky (and watching him, he has been lucky), then this could all fall apart quickly.
I apologize to Trevor Plouffe. I think he wears too much eye black, but perhaps I am wrong. Since his return from the DL, he has hit the ball very well. I thought the lack of eye black over his rehab would make for a tough adjustment upon his return. I was wrong. Perhaps he wore the eye black while injured.
Saturday's game was the best of the weekend, not only because the Twins won, but because I was able to watch Glen Perkins pitch. I love to watch Glen Perkins pitch. He struck out Torii Hunter, which I always enjoy. It's more than that though. Perkins comes in and challenges hitters. He knows he has good stuff and he forces hitters to deal with it. He pumps that fastball until he needs to go to his secondary stuff and he commands his pitches extremely well. It's a shame his role only allows for him to pitch in very specific game situations.
Enough with apologies and admiration, here is some madness:
Former Twin Update:
Danny Valencia has somehow become a fairly regular contributor to the Baltimore Orioles. I honestly thought his MLB career was over when the Twins shipped him out for bubble gum last season. Instead, he crushed AAA this season and earned a call-up to Baltimore. He doesn't need his glove anymore, as Baltimore isn't going to let him see any time in the field unless they get desperate. At the plate, he has slugged over .650 in limited DH duty this season. Baltimore is using him more against lefties, and he is crushing them as he always has. Perhaps Valencia has found his role. Cool, good for him.
Random Paint Image
For those who have read anything I have written this season, it is clear that I am the biggest Aaron Hicks defender/bobo in the fan base. As such, this was how I reacted when I heard that Hicks was injured and needed time on the DL:
I did get a haircut since this was drawn. It looks worse.
The One Save Club
Since 1961, there are 176 MLB players who have recorded exactly one save and have not started a single game. Odd combo, I agree, but taking starters out removes guys like Johan Santana, who started their careers in long relief. Your task is to name as many of the 12 Twins who have accomplished this feat. Not all 12 earned their save with the Twins. Please leave names in the comments. One player is currently playing for the Twins. I'll post the 12 names at some point, if I remember.
Fun Baseball Card From the Past
- First, I wrote about baseball cards on Friday. If you missed it, you can read it here. You should seriously consider buying the Joe Mauer card.
- Second, these Studio cards were awesome. I believe the idea was that they were shot in a studio.
- Third, Shane Mack, if you read my blog for some reason, please let me know. I'd love to set up an interview. Not for an article or anything like that, just for me.
- Fourth, Mack was underrated. He did not get enough credit for his mustache.
Links to some funny baseball stuff:
I am not ashamed to admit that I love Grant Brisbee. I think he is funny and that is all it takes for me. This week, he chronicled the Dodgers-Diamondbacks brawl and then later graded the suspensions that were handed out as a result (of the brawl, not his article). If you like to laugh, you should read them. If you hate to laugh, you should not read them.
Link to something stupid I wrote:
The Twins released Anthony Slama last week, which was only notable to me because I knew it would allow me to display my vast knowledge of school-yard jerkery. I created a (fake) time line of events that shows a pattern of poor behavior toward Slama. You can read it here. It's complete stupidity.
The Twins play the hated White Sox this week. There have been only 8 players in MLB history who have played exclusively for the White Sox and Twins: Glenn Borgmann, Jesse Crain, Joe Crede, Jerry Crider, Eduardo Escobar, Pedro Hernandez, Randy Johnson (not the right one though), and Cotton Nash.
You're probably thinking, "hey dippy, what about Earl Battey?" Well, Battey played one year for the Washington Senators, and that makes him a fat cat bureaucrat.
Have a nice week, everyone!