Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday Morning Madness: July 29, 2013

So, are the Twins not terrible or is this just another mirage?  I've got to say, I've been going back and forth between "this team sucks" and "this team doesn't really suck" far too many times.  I'm growing tired of it.  It would be nice to just know, you know?  Every time I see a lineup posted, I giggle and then make a sad, pathetic joke about Rochester.  The starting pitching is underwhelming.  However, the Twins have exited the All-Star break with more wins than losses.  It is all very confusing.  It's a sort of baseball vertigo and it nabbed Ron Gardenhire who was a "DNP-tummy" earlier this week.  Whatever.  They aren't great, but they don't suck.  Fine.  I guess I don't really need to know any more than that.

Mauer's Twins

I've read a few anti-Joe Mauer sentiments related to his TOTAL ABANDONMENT of the Twins for the past few days.  I read these on Facebok/Twitter, so that's my fault.  I use those capital letters for effect.  I don't feel that way at all.  In fact, I applaud him for taking a few extra days to spend with his new daughters.  Not to get all "big wiener" on everyone, but my daughter was born about a month ago.  I took two weeks of leave and I wish I was still on leave right now.  I could have taken unpaid leave, but it wasn't in the cards.  Mauer can, so good for him. 

I know that many people would love to spend extra time with their children.  Mauer isn't special just because he hits a lot of doubles to left-center and has great sideburns, but I do think that if he wants to take a couple extra days and forfeit some cash then that's fine and dandy.  His salary is moot, as far as I am concerned.  Money isn't a substitute for family, special moments and life.  Baseball and work certainly aren't either.  I actually like him more as a result of that decision; he's not a baseball robot. 

Sano's pimpin'

This Miguel Sano saga is getting out of control.  He showed up a pitcher/ex-teammate, allegedly disrespected his manager and general manager and was basically suspended for four games as a result.  If he was disrespectful and needs to apologize his way back into the lineup, then that's fine with me.  If he's sitting for the bat flip/slow home run trot, then he needs to be back on the field ASAP.  Those are all internal issues, and I won't get too wrapped up in them.

The fans, on the other hand, have got to chill out a bit.  Both sides of the fence too.  Sano telling off his bosses and pimpin' a home run doesn't mean that he is a locker room-cancer who absolutely needs to be traded.  The Twins disciplining a young player for showing poor professionalism and letting his emotions get the best of him is not a big deal.  It's not a Twins Way or the Highway situation.  He deserved a suspension, if he did everything that is reported. 

The Twins retain control of Sano for at least 8 more years, assuming a 2014 debut.  That means they have 8 years and until Sano is 28 years old to mend any fences that were broken during this 4-day odyssey.  Everything is going to be fine. 

Deduno's dealin'

Apparently Sam Deduno is good.  I'll probably be the last person to ever come around to his side, but I'm getting a lot closer with every start.  As I mentioned in a thread on Twins Daily, all of his pitches break downward.  That kind of downward break is going to continually lead to ground balls.  If he doesn't hang pitches, he's going to continue to be effective.  Although, his walks are creeping up a bit and that is a concern. 

So, I'd trade him this week.  If anyone offered much of anything, I'd take it.  I don't think Deduno can keep this up, I don't think he is part of the future and I don't think we should assume that this two month stretch is more important than last years' two month stretch.  If another team wants to give the Twins a decent prospect for a 30-year-old journeyman with two months worth of good starts, then cool, fine with me.   

Then again, here's a list of all the players who I would trade, if the right deal came along:

I went a little heavy on actual Twins stuff, so here's some truncated Madness:

Random Link - Ceremonial First Pitches

If you read me (and if you do, I'm sorry), you know of my internet crush on Grant Brisbee.  He's funny.  A little over a week ago, he posted this piece about ceremonial first pitches.  It's mostly just pictures, but make sure to read the text as well.  The picture of Bud Selig will both haunt my dreams and always make me laugh.  Double bonus!

Fun Chart - Bases Empty

Here is a chart I made which shows who hits most frequently with the bases empty:

Total PA
PA w/ Bases Empty
% of Empty PA
Jamey Carroll
Eduardo Escobar
Joe Mauer

Those last few guys come up with runners on base at a higher frequency because they get to hit behind Joe Mauer.  Otherwise, the percentages are pretty even.  Interesting. 

Thought from Liz - Orange Safety Base?

If you didn't see the Tim Hudson injury, save yourself some queasiness and just take my word that it was nasty.  My wife has often wondered why baseball doesn't use the orange safety base that we all use in slow-pitch softball.  I've never really had a good answer for her.  It's just not macho, I guess.  The baseline and umpiring probably play a role too.  However, after seeing an injury like Hudson's it's a little hard not to overreact.  I wouldn't be against a second first base for close plays like those.  Fewer injuries might be worth figuring out the logistics and rules of it all.  Also, it doesn't have to be orange.  We could have it be sponsored too.  "The Safety Base, sponsored by Geico."  Pete knows that Geico doesn't advertise enough.

KWL - Drew Butera

Remember K = what I know, W = what I want to know, L = what I've learned.  These are great learning tools too, if you have kids.  They can be used for more than blogging.

Link to Something I wrote - Alf

So.  I can't really decide if this is funny satire or just stupid as it looks on the surface.  Regardless, I spent a solid 20 minutes putting different Alf heads on different Dodger baseball cards from the past.  I even made sure that he was playing the proper position.  If nothing else, the cards are somewhat comical.  So, here's the link and I hope you have the same exact sense of humor as I do.  If so, you'll love it.  If not, you'll be so perplexed that your head will explode.  Warning.

Parting Thought

The Trade Deadline is this week and that is both happy and sad.  If the Twins trade away any of my favorite players, I will be sad.  However, within a week, I will have long forgotten about those players because I am TWINS FOR LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!  So, I will be happy with the new players we receive and immediately buy their action figures.  I hope the Twins are active this week.  This team is getting better, but still needs a lot of work.  If guys like Justin Morneau, Ryan Doumit and Mike Pelfrey can be transformed into younger, more exciting players, I hope the Twins pull the trigger.  In summary, trades are fun.

Have a nice week, everyone!

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