Friday, April 11, 2014

Retro Slowey: April 11, 2001

Although you may not be aware, Kevin Slowey was Framed! has been around as long as the Twins have, since 1961.  The pre-2011 archives were lost to the "Great Melted Cheetos Bag Fire of 2011," (the bag shrinks!) but a few records remain from the first 50 years of Slow.  Here's an archived post from early April of 2001.  Enjoy.

You'll have to excuse me if I don't get too excited about a 6-2 start and a three-game sweep of a Tigers team using a decrepit Dean Palmer as their DH.  Much like I am not sold on the staying power of this Eminem character (a rapper from Detroit?  C'mon!), I don't think the Twins can stick around atop the AL Central all season. 

Even so, it's fun to watch the Twins play well.  It's been nearly a decade since we've had anything to get excited about and I'm not sure what the future holds for this franchise.  The Twins finished their three-game sweep of a pretty ratty-looking Tigers team with a 12-1 shellacking.  The Twins drew 8 walks against starter Dave Mlicki who is not only clearly missing a vowel in his name but also complete command of the strike zone.  Of course, who cares about walks, right?

Sitting on top of the AL Central, the Twins have had far more positives than negatives in this young season.  Let's look at the good performances, the bad performances and the outlook for the rest of the season.

The Good

Ortiz drove in nine runs in the Tigers series!  What a start he is off to, hitting .393 after these first eight games.  With 11 RBI so far, we're seeing Ortiz forming into a run-producer in the middle of the order.  Ortiz appears to be on the upswing.  Now 24, this could be his breakout season.  His size and smile are just begging for a clever nickname.  If he continues to develop, I could honestly see him winning three World Series Championships in his career.  The Twins should seriously consider locking him up. 

The Twins have found their double play combo!  These two have such promise, I could see both as fixtures on the Twins until roughly 2014 (if we're still playing baseball in 13 years, what with hover bats and hover balls likely around the corner).  After today's bloodbath, Rivas is hitting .303.  He collected 7 hits in the series and seems to be cementing himself in the two-hole.  Guzman has been even better, as he's hitting .353 and has already collected 4 triples! 

Hitting, speed, defense.  These guys are both under 24.  Wowzers, what a future! 

All of the Twins' young starters are flying, but Mays stands out above the rest.  He's made just two starts this year, but I think it's about time to start thinking about a four-year extension that eats up all of Mays' arbitration years.  He's unstoppable!  Mays went eight innings against the Tigers on Wednesday, giving up just four hits and one earned run.  He collected four strikeouts but mostly let his defense do the work, as a smart pitcher does.  He's like a young Kevin Slowey except I don't know who that is or why I wrote that.  Extend this man! 

The Bad

Can we be done with this guy?  Guardado pitched fine in the Detroit series (2/3rds of an inning, oh boy!) but he was pathetic against the Royals on the 8th.  He gave up five runs on five hits with the deathblow being a three-run home run by the immortal Mark Quinn.  He was able to get Dave McCarty to end the inning.  One former Twin retired by a future former Twin! 

Guardado isn't good enough to pitch regularly, or every day if you will. 

I just don't think he's got what it takes.  He's only pitched in two games so far this season, but he's walked a guy in each inning.  Walks will haunt.  He's also struck out a batter in each inning and that is very worrisome.  If the Twins don't get to Santana quickly, he could develop into one of those wild strikeout-throwers who doesn't keep his defense busy and makes them rusty.  Hey Santana, don't forget about your defense or they won't be back there when you need them!

He had a 6.49 ERA last season, so I'm not even sure why he's allowed to be back on the team.  Plus, he's short. 

The Outlook

While I don't think the Twins are for real, their prospects for the future clearly are.  The young talent I discussed above will soon have a blue-chip prospect to join them.  The Twins have the first-overall selection in the upcoming June draft.  There are two consensus top prospects and the Twins will have their pick of the two.  They'll choose between gangly, awkward, hometown catcher Joe Mauer and studly, durable, sexy pitcher Mark Prior

Prior is the correct choice.  He's going to be an Ace and likely will lead a team to the 2003 League Championship Series.  Mauer is nice, but he's also too nice.  Plus, he might go play football at Florida State, although I'm not sure if the State of Florida will be able to handle his charisma.  Mauer is the safe pick as he's the hometown kid and he'll be polite and drink his milk.  Prior is the home run pick.  All he'll need to do is stay healthy and I have an inkling that he'll do just that. 

If the Twins do choose Mauer, they'll open themselves up for diatribes of what pathetic cowards they are.  Pitching wins titles and I want titles.  Plus, the Twins already have young catcher A.J. Pierzynski and I don't trust the front office to make a good trade for such a valuable chip.  A.J. is just so personable, you know?  One thing I do know, Tom Kelly should finally be rewarded with a slew of winning seasons.  He's earned it!
I'll be back on Monday with a new post.  I clipped some magazine pictures of some animals and I'm going to paste some Twins' player heads on top of them to create funny pictures.  I'll describe each of them in detail for you, as I don't have a scanner.  Doug Mink-kiewicz.  That one's for free!  See you next week!


  1. Ahhh, if only Ortiz hadn't been hurt every year he was with the Twins. Then again, he started doing some (ahem) "supplements" in Boston, so perhaps that's why he's been able to remain healthy.

    1. Ironically, that 2001 season was kind of a dud for Ortiz. He was hurt and he didn't play well when healthy. Boston is known for their supplements, especially baked beans.