It is customary to make resolutions for yourself going into a new year. It is less customary to make resolutions for other people. In fact, it's quite arrogant. I'm doing it anyway! I have New Year's Resolutions for a few members of the Minnesota Twins and rather than sending them to each person individually, I'll just trust that each of these people are frequent readers of this very small, unknown blog. I'm posting at 12:01 am on New Year's Day, to give everyone as much time as possible to meet their goals. ONWARD!
Ron Gardenhire - Accentuate the positives
C'mon man. There's nothing wrong with a little platooning. It's really fun. I promise. There are some really great players on the team and there are some really great half players too. Trevor Plouffe is Sly Stallone against left-handed pitching. He's Frank Stallone against right-handers. Now, Plouffe doesn't really have a platoon partner on roster, and that isn't Gardy's fault. However, sitting Plouffe against right-handed pitching from time to time won't hurt he lineup. In fact, you could plug Eduardo Escobar in at third, get similar offense and a huge boost in defense. It's really quite sublime. Just be open, Gardy.
Trevor Plouffe - Summon your inner Cuddy
Speaking of Mr. Plouffe, I'd like to see him assume that Michael Cuddyer role as the vocal team leader. Plouffe seems to have the personality for it. He's active on Twitter and seems to be at the fore-front of the new Twins welcoming committee. He seems pretty smart and he once had nice hair. Plouffe has some MLB experience under his belt and can play the veteran card without being laughed out of the clubhouse. Cuddyer's OPS+ in his first two full seasons (99) was actually slightly lower than Plouffe's (100). If Gardenhire sits Plouffe versus tough righties too, his overall performance could improve. If his performance, personality and experience can hit that "Cuddy level" he could become a valuable "clubhouse guy" and keep his Twins career afloat.
Joe Mauer - Sacrifice some contact
We've all heard the notion that if Mauer sacrificed some contact he could hit more home runs. I'm not sure I buy it, but why not just try it? Wouldn't it be grand if Mauer transitioned to first base and just started launching bombs out of Target Field? Wouldn't your jaw just drop? What would the nay-sayers say to nay Joe any longer? What would the pleebs think if wimpy Joe stopped looping singles over the shortstop's head and started stroking dingers over the right field fence? It would be especially nice to see him get his bat off his shoulder and stop walking all the time!
Brandon Moss hit 30 home runs last year. He slugged .522 and he's barely on the radar, much less a former MVP. Mauer hit just 11 home runs and slugged only .476. Gutless. Ignore the fact that Mauer's OBP was nearly 70 points higher and therefore he made outs at a much lower rate. Ignore it. Come on, Joe. Become a worse hitter so we can see more home runs hit. It will be outstanding.
Mike Pelfrey - Speed up
This one is quite simple. Pelfrey works as quickly as a turtle covered in Nutella. All of my judgments regarding Pelfrey come down to the fact that it takes him 45 minutes to throw a pitch. I can cook a roast during one of his innings. His games are longer than Gandhi. I've even joined an exaggeration club to try to pass the time between his pitches. Pelfrey is a fine pitcher and I know that the Twins got a good deal because he will throw many innings. I just hope that he can make a slight adjustment and ensure that those innings move a little more quickly.
Hey youngsters. Each of these players had varying success in 2013. Dozier broke out. Arcia made a lot of "O's" with his arms. Pinto had a September to remember. Gibson and Hicks played baseball. These guys help form the core of the Minnesota Twins. I don't want to see any of these guys with giant guts in Spring Training. No odd hair or gauges or anything like that either. Just work hard and play well. Everyone on this list is very talented and should have no issue helping the 2014 Twins. Everyone stick to lean chicken and keep the hair neat. Except Dozier, he can feel free to grow that luscious mane out.
Sam Deduno - Stay healthy
I'm not going to label Deduno "injury prone" because he's really only been around for a season and a half. However, since the beginning of 2012, Deduno has missed time with a non-disclosed injury, a left irritation (?), a groin, a right arm and a right shoulder. This is all according to Baseball Prospectus. I don't buy Deduno at all. I don't think he'll be effective over a full season and I don't believe in magic. That said, he did look pretty striking last season and I would like to see what he could do with a full season's worth of innings. So, stay healthy my man.
Twins Fans - Keep perspective
I'll also add "calm down" to this resolution. The Twins are going to be better in 2014. Then, they are going to be even better in 2015. The MLB team has actual quality starting pitchers now, the farm system is loaded and the holdovers like Mauer, Arcia and Dozier are great. That said, they won't be much better in 2014. They might win just 70 games instead of 66. In 2015, they might just reach .500. That said, the Twins are building for the long-term and there might be some hiccups in the short-term. If they lose 7 games in a row next season, don't cry. If they scuffle in August and September, try not to swear at your TV. Building a winner takes time. The Twins are making moves toward that goal. It's all going to be ok. The lean days are winding down.
Me - Achieve blog balance
I really enjoy writing about the Twins. I want this blog to be fun and I think that I have achieved that goal. I have fun anyway. However, I've been writing a lot more than I had planned to. I'm going to try to keep myself to three posts per week at most. However, the poll on the right indicates that some people and dogs might enjoy a podcast, so I'm going to start working on that. Look for it in March. Unless I get lazy. I typically get lazy. Happy New Year, everyone!