Monday, August 26, 2013

Monday Morning Madness: August 26, 2013

Since I am filled with useless snark, I stated back on August 12 that if the Twins could win 30-35 of their next 17 games, they could get back in the Central race.  See, the joke is...  Anyway, with three games remaining in that 17 game stretch, the Twins will win no more than seven games.  Whatever.  Perhaps the team isn't good enough to win two games every game.  However, the Twins are still on a 72 win pace (actually 71.5 but I'm rounding up to get the fan vote).  It's a small improvement, but improvement is always good.  Unless it's Home Improvement.  The show.

What if the Twins had signed Pelfrey to Kevin Correia's contract and Correia to Pelfrey's?  I think that having Pelfrey around for a second year wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.  He's certainly better than Correia and he is younger too.  However, there is simply no way that both guys can be in the rotation next year.  The options outside of these two won't make you dance in your underpants, but they are worth giving starts to.  Thus, Correia stays due to his contract and Pelfrey will almost certainly be gone. 

One guy who was nowhere near my starting pitching radar is Anthony Swarzak.  Starting pitching radar is a conspiracy theory; Swarzak would know.  However, it's hard to look at Swarzak's performance this season and not have a slight inclination to see if he could put together some solid starts.  I hesitate to move people from roles where they have found success, but long-man isn't exactly a hot commodity.  If Swarzak got a few starts in September, I'd be cool with it. 

As Twins Daily member stringer bell stated over the weekend, Brian Dozier is likely the biggest positive development from this season.  Dozier looks great at second base and has started to produce surprising power at the plate.  You'll see just how good Dozier is below, but needless to say, the Twins have found a solid second baseman.  You should read stringer bell's recap, as it's much better and much more detailed. 

Time for Madness

Fun stat - Twins 20/20 Guys

No, not eyesight.  20 home runs and 20 steals.  Now, we don't really talk about 20/20 guys because some dudes have hit 30/30 and 40/40.  However, the Twins need to be graded on a curve. Small market, greedy owner, Metrodome, stuff like that.  So, here are the guys in Twins history who have achieved this outstanding feat:

  • Larry Hisle - 1977:  28 HR, 21 SB
  • Kirby Puckett - 1986:  31 HR, 20 SB
  • Marty Cordova - 1995:  24 HR, 20 SB
  • Corey Koskie - 2001:  26 HR, 27 SB
  • Torii Hunter - 2002:  29 HR, 23 SB
  • Torii Hunter - 2004:  23 HR, 21 SB
Could Brian Dozier join this group one day? 

Half-hearted Rant

The Ryan Dempster/Alex Rodriguez situation worked up a rant in my brain.  I'm more offended by someone throwing a baseball at someone than by someone taking illegal substances.  If we are genuinely concerned with player safety when it comes to steroids, why aren't we worried when it comes to chucking baseballs at people. 

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm against both actions.  I just find it odd that steroids = 50 game suspension, throwing a baseball at another human = one delayed start.  For many, the issue comes down to "how do I explain this to my child(ren)?"  Well, I find one of these instances to be a lot easier to explain than the other. 
Join me as I walk through two scenarios where I explain these issues to my daughter:

  • Daughter:  Why isn't Nelson Cruz playing tonight.  After all, he is my favorite player.
  • Me:  Well, he took steroids, so he was suspended. 
  • Daughter:  Why was he suspended for that?
  • Me:  Because steroids are against the rules and he took them anyway.  He deserves to be punished.
  • Daughter:  Why are they against the rules?
  • Me:  Steroids make you better at baseball.
  • Daughter:  Isn't that a good thing?
  • Me:  Well, they also do bad things to your body and they hurt the competitive balance of the game. 
  • Daughter:  I suppose that makes sense. 
Now, unless my small child is a tiny libertarian, she is probably fine with this exchange.  Here's how I would explain the Dempster issue:

  • Daughter:  Why is Ryan Dempster, my second favorite player after Nelson Cruz, allowed to throw a baseball at Alex Rodriguez?
  • Me:  Well, A-Rod cheated so Dempster is getting back at him for ruining the integrity of baseball.
  • Daughter:  How does throwing a baseball at him accomplish that goal?
  • Me:  It's just how things have always been done.
  • Daughter:  Didn't we used to ride horses everywhere?  Before that, we just walked around.  Why don't you walk to work?
  • Me:  Well, I have a car.
  • Daughter:  But people haven't always had cars.  Things change.  Things evolve.  To me, throwing a baseball at someone is vigilante justice.  Shouldn't the police do the policing?
  • Me:  Go to bed. 
My daughter is two months old, so you have to take a bit of a leap here.  I simply feel that one action is easier to explain but both actions have no place in baseball. 

To summarize, I am anti-steroids and anti-beanings. 

Random Photoshops

I wrote about birds playing baseball a couple months ago.  I'm not going to link to it because I've linked to it many times before and it's starting to look desperate.  That being said, these two should have made the cut

Rich Woodpecker

Drew Bupterodactyl

The last one doesn't really count because everyone knows that Drew Butera is extinct. 

Random Top 10

Here are the top 10 second-year players in Twins history, sorted by rWAR:

  1. Tom Brunansky - 5.6 WAR
  2. Chuck Knoblauch - 5.3 WAR
  3. Lew Ford - 4.4 WAR
  4. John Castino - 4.4 WAR
  5. Jimmie Hall - 4.0 WAR
  6. Rich Rollins - 4.0 WAR
  7. Tim Teufel - 3.8 WAR
  8. Butch Wynegar - 3.8 WAR
  9. Denard Span - 3.7 WAR
  10. Kent Hrbek/Lyman Bostock - 3.6 WAR
Brian Dozier is currently at 3.2 WAR.  If he finishes the season as well as he has played in June-August, he'll reach 4.0 WAR at least.  That puts him in the top five.  He's having a great season. 

What's ahead?

I have a few things in the works.  It's the first week of school this week, so no promises.  I am currently G-Chatting with my 9-year-old self.  I think I might write about that.  I'm also investigating a forgotten Twin named John Moses.  Finally, I am looking at how I can tie Lawrence Kohlberg's theory of moral development to the above scenarios involving Ryan Dempster and Alex Rodriguez.  Crazy stuff; keep your eyes peeled.

Parting Thought

Are the Twins going to make any tradez?  I am bored with this lack of trading.  In my fantasy football league, we put in a mandate that every team has to make at least one trade.  Everyone hates it.  Maybe Major League Baseball should consider something like this.  Every team needs to make one trade in July and one in August.  That way, all fans get to talk trades.  Win win. 

Have a nice week, everyone!


  1. I think you should write about Kohlberg's stages of moral development and baseball beanings/retaliation. It's a fascinating psychological study.

    1. I think it is a fantastic idea. It's pretty hard to justify at any stage. I'll work on it for September.

  2. You're wrong. Home Improvement was awesome.


    1. JTT's hair was pretty awesome, I'll say that.