Monday, September 2, 2013

Monday Morning Madness: Labor Day Edition!

I'm just going to admit that it is getting harder and harder to watch Twins baseball.  First, the lineup and rotation are drab to say the least.  With Mauer hurt and now Morneau traded, there isn't a lot of star power.  Second, the season is so long and we don't even have the mirage of a possibly competitive team at this point.  That being said, I do watch the games and I do enjoy them.  There is plenty to look forward to in September, even if the team won't play a single meaningful game.
Trading Justin Morneau was sad, but probably necessary.  I wrote all about how sad I was on Saturday already, so I won't get emotional here.  Opening up a spot for Chris Colabello softens the blow for me.  Colabello might be nothing.  He could just be a AAAA guy who feasted on poor AAA pitching.  Or, he could be a late bloomer with power who can hold down first base for the next few years.  The only way to find out is to give him at bats.  He should get those at bats now that the Twins have no other real first base options.  I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do with consistent MLB playing time; I just hope he gets it. 

I'm extremely excited to watch Pinto over the next few weeks.  You'll see why we shouldn't get too excited about Septembers a little later, but it will be very fun to see if Pinto can handle MLB pitching during this audition.  While Pinto is not a top prospect, he has been an excellent Minor League hitter over the past two seasons.  I'd love to see Pinto get some big hits, show some power and put himself in position to become the long-term answer at catcher/co-catcher with Joe Mauer.  He had a nice debut on Sunday; hopefully he hits higher than 8th in the order.

Mastro totally blew it on Friday when he forced Trevor Plouffe to not slide into home, costing the Twins an insurance run.  Sarcasm.  Actually, I'm happy to see Mastro back in the lineup.  He was a real pleasant surprise last year and I think he can be a good 4th outfielder on a good team.  I hope he eventually takes over in center, but I'm not going to go into the real reason why I feel that way (abject, mean, unnecessary Clete Thomas hate).  With Alex Presley now in the fold, Mastro might lose some playing time.  I hope not.  Mastro's hair is spectacular. 

AH, time for the Madness

Former Twin Update - Jason Kubel

Wow, Kubel really fell fast.  I thought the Twins should have kept him, but I was clearly wrong.  Last year, he was pretty great offensively.  He posted a SLG higher than .500 and hit 30 home runs.  He's been awful this year and he was DFAed by Arizona and then traded to Cleveland.  He's still just 31 and could thrive in the AL where he can DH and give all the grass in the outfield a break.  I always liked Kubel a lot and I hope he bounces back.

Baseball Card from the Past - Mauer/Morneau

Aw, look at those young lads!  Prospects was an understatement!  The M&M boys, as they would be called, became a powerful duo for the Twins and helped lead them to multiple playoff appearances.  They were humble, understated and talented.  They fit in really well here in the Midwest, where we like humble and understated, and tolerate talented so long as they are humble and understated.  They eventually roomed together, bought a lot of Jimmy Johns and each won an MVP.  Now, they have been split apart at the seams.  Sad.  We can always remember these days. 

Just so sad.

Random Photoshop/Twins Villain - Gary GaeYeti

That makes me feel a bit better/scared.

Random Top 5 - Best September OPS in Twins' history (min 40 PA)
  1. Jim Thome - 2010 - 1.338
  2. Gary Ward - 1980 - 1.269
  3. Mike Ryan - 2003 - 1.245
  4. Chip Hale - 1993 - 1.209
  5. Matt LeCroy - 2001 - 1.204
Holy Tho-moly!  That list rocks.  For what it's worth, Harmon Killebrew doesn't make the list, but does have 5 of the 16 best Septembers in Twins' history.  Shane Mack has the 18th best and he did this:

So, he's the real number one.

Poll Results, New Poll

I haven't had an active poll in weeks.  It just hasn't felt right.  Here are the results from my most recent poll about broadcasters:

Which Broadcaster Adage Annoys You Most? -
  • He plays the game the right way - 13 votes - the winner!
  • Pitch Quickly; Pitch to Contact - 6 votes
  • Keep the fielders engaged, no strikeouts! - 8 votes
  • Anything related to showing up Umpires - 5 votes
  • Bunt Constantly!  Bunts for all! - 1 vote
  • These don't annoy me, you annoy me - 3 votes
For the record, I hate all the bunting, but I think the "plays the game the right way" adage is really annoying too.  I don't like it because it can't be quantified and I am a nerd.  Only about 10% of people find me annoying, which is far less than the percentage in real life.  I must be less obnoxious in print.  I posted a new poll, please take some time to vote. 

Link to Something I wrote - Morneau Trade, 20 Trades archive

I wrote about the Morneau trade, and you can read it here.  In fact, I've been writing about Twins trades for the past couple months.  I'm all done now.  If you missed any, I made a little archive here.  How nice!

Parting Thought - Favorite Morneau Memory

I have a terrible memory.  I remember certain things very well - names, dates, etc.  Basically, if it's easy, I can remember it.  Actual events are fuzzier.  So, when I think of my favorite Justin Morneau memory, you will have to excuse the lack of specifics. 

During the 2006 season, the Twins were playing the Tigers (I believe).  They were losing, runners were on base and Morneau was up.  Morneau was an MVP candidate at that point, but I wasn't sold just yet.  I said to myself, "ok Justin, if you really are the MVP, hit a home run right here."  On the very next pitch, Morneau hit a ball about as high as you can hit a ball.  It held in the air for what seemed like forever and eventually it dropped right in the opposing bullpen for a home run.  The Twins took the lead, they won the game and Morneau won me over. 

My second favorite memory was the time he broke the light in the scoreboard at Miller Park.  I remember that one clearly because I was there and I didn't stop talking about it for the next few days.  

Have a nice week, everyone!

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