Friday, May 2, 2014


There comes a time every month where a blogger has to write a fake mailbag.  I like to do mine on the first Friday of the month.  It's tradition and it's the way I've always done things and that's good enough for me.  This month, I have some really fun questions that I asked myself.  Most of them came around 3am.  I must be lonely.  That song is awful.  Let's start!

Why is calling up an extra position player for a doubleheader ever a good decision, except in retrospect?

Eric Pleiss, Talk to Contact Podcast co-host, general good guy.

It's not a good decision.  The Twins did this in their first doubleheader of 2014, calling up Eduardo Nunez for the twin bill.  On one hand, they doubled their Eduardos.  On the other hand, they added a position player that wasn't as valuable as a pitcher considering the situation.  For a doubleheader, it only makes sense to add a pitcher.  A spot starter makes the most sense, much like the Twins did yesterday with Kris Johnson.  They learned from their earlier mistake although they now have fewer Eduardos than I am comfortable with.  It's a real conundrum.  

Which April performance was most surprising?

Brad S., St. Paul, MN

For most, it was Chris Colabello.  NOT FOR ME!  I predicted that Colabello would hit more home runs than Josh Willingham in 2014 and that prediction is looking pretty swell right now.  I'm so proud of myself.  I bought some Lemonheads to celebrate. 

To answer the question, Kurt Suzuki has been most surprising to me.  I thought he was cooked.  I thought that he was basically a backup catcher miscast as a starting catcher.  I have no delusions that Suzuki will maintain a 126 OPS+, but if he can just hover around league-average offensively, his signing will have been a great success.  Perhaps I should buy everyone in the Twins' front office some Lemonheads. 

Who is your favorite Twins player from the 90s?  And I'm not talking about anyone who played in the 90s.  It had to be someone who played the most significant portion of their career in the 90s.  No cheating!

Brad S., St. Paul, MN

The easy answer is Chuck Knoblauch.  Or maybe Brad Radke.  The cheating answer is Kirby Puckett.  I was specifically told "no cheating" though.   I really liked Pat Meares for some reason.  My memory is fuzzy, but I feel like he was built up by broadcasters or something because I really liked him and I can't figure out why.  I look at his career stats and he didn't hit home runs and he didn't drive in runs, so it wasn't a baseball card thing.  He didn't have any big moments that I am aware of.  He was never the best player on the team. 

So I guess my question to all of you is:  did you like Pat Meares?  Please respond in the comments or chalk my driveway.

In your opinion, which Twins player wears his cap the best?

Brad S., St. Paul, MN

Oh man, it's so funny that you ask that question right now.  I literally just posted my analysis of how some prominent Twins players wear their caps.  Weird!  Random!  Here's the link.  Spoiler alert:  Glen Perkins' cap game is impressive. 

Why won't you get on board and rip Mauer?

Mom, St. Paul, MN

My mom didn't actually ask this question, but she does dislike Joe Mauer for no good reason.  Ripping Mauer is tedious, that's why.  Every criticism of Mauer is a relative criticism based on his salary or his lack of RBIs or his sideburns.  It gets old.  Defending Mauer actually seems to put me in the minority which is so odd because he's basically the Twins' best position player since Kirby Puckett. 

The anti-Mauer argument usually hinges on Mauer showing more "fire" or changing his approach.  I don't see how those are fair requests, but I guess his salary kind of makes him an easy target.  That said, he's been disappointing this season.  I thought that with regular at-bats, he'd get into grooves and put together some fun hitting streaks.  That hasn't happened yet, but I'd bet my Lemonheads that it will happen at some point this season.  He's too talented and he's not that old.  I'm going to be patient. 

With Trevor May and Alex Meyer pitching well for Rochester and with Sam Deduno pitching well in the bullpen and with Mike Pelfrey and Kevin Correia pitching slow pitch softball, what would your current Twins' rotation look like right now?

Brad S., St. Paul, MN

What an insightful question!  My five would be Ricky Nolasco, Phil Hughes, Kyle Gibson, Correia and Deduno.  I've basically reached a boiling point with Mike Pelfrey.  He'd be in my bullpen, or with my AAA team or not on my team at all if it weren't for that ridiculous contract that pays him for next season.  Why did I sign him for two years!  I'm willing to be a bit more patient with Correia because he was decent last year.  Pelfrey had a good month.  Cool.  Don't forget how excited the other team's fans were when Pelfrey signed with Minnesota.

I'm not ready to call for the kids just yet.  I think Deduno can fill in just fine for a few more weeks.  In June, I'd probably replace Correia with whoever is pitching better between May and Meyer (likely Meyer).  Deduno isn't a long-term piece, so he can be replaced at some point as well.  I don't really care when it happens, but I hope that by the end of the season the Twins' rotation is Nolasco, Hughes, Gibson, Meyer and May. 

If that happens, this season will be a huge success IMO.  IMO stands for in my office.  I like to write successes on the walls in my office.  IN BLOOOOOOOD.  Just kidding, pencil. 

With the rousing success of your #Eddie400 movement, what will be your next campaign?

Brad S., St. Paul, MN

As I write this sentence, Eduardo Escobar is hitting .324/.351/.412.  Pedro Florimon would need five bats to reach those figures.  Escobar is only on pace for 233 plate appearances, but I expect that number to start to rise because Pedro Florimon can't hit his weight and he's pretty skinny.  I'm about as smug as I can get right now.  My head is swollen.  I did step into a beehive though.

Thus, I need something new to harp on.  As you may recall, one of the Twins' AAA catchers follows me on Twitter.  Dan Rohlfing became my favorite player when he clicked that fateful button.  I'm willing to bet that he's really appreciated the dance video analysis, the fake mailbags, cap-wearing shenanigans and all the other weird stuff that I think of at 3am. 

My new campaign is simple.  I call it, "Rohlfing's September in Minnesota."  I want Mr. Rohlfing to be a part of the 2014 September callups.  I'm going to flesh this out in more detail in the future, but for now, I just want to see a guy with 8 years of experience in the Twins' organization rewarded with the realization of what I assume is his professional dream.  He seems like a good guy (based on Twitter, we've never talked) and you can never have too many catchers.  Let's all get on board with this one. 

That's it!  I'm out of questions to ask myself.  If you happen to have a question for a future mailbag, please send me an email at  I will be so excited that I probably won't wait a month to answer it.  Have a great weekend, everyone!


  1. Re: Pat Meares...I had no problem with Meares nor, like you, any stand-out memories of his play. My favorite player of the '90s is a 25-way tie between everyone on the 1991 active roster. My favorite player of all-time was, is and always will be Puckett. However, those are, as up you it, cheat answers.

    My submission for favorite player of the 1990's not named Kirby is Shane Mack. Liked his bat, loved his 'stache.

    1. Oh man, I loved Shane Mack. I waffled on whether or not he was a 90s guy, but since I'm an idiot, I forgot that 1990-1994 all falls within the 90s. I would like to change my vote, please.

      And really, if we're being honest with each other, Kirby Puckett was an 80s guy and a 90s guy, so he's the clear winner. I just wanted to discuss Pat Meares. It was blatant.

      I ask my own questions too. I could have simply asked "what did you think of Pat Meares?" So many regrets.

  2. I divide the 1990's into two eras for the Twins - pre-strike and post strike. Pre-strike, they were still riding fairly high after the 1991 World Series, and had Puckett and Knoblauch and Hrbek and the like. Picking a favorite player from that era isn't too difficult. Post strike, those guys went away one by one, and the team became kind of sad. The only thing that was kind of exciting was that they brought in some very successful players originally from Minnesota to finish out their careers with the Twins - Terry Steinbach, and Dave Winfield and Paul Molitor to get their 3,000th hits in a Twins uniform. The only cool thing is that you can see the cores of the successful teams of the early 2000's come up - Ortiz, Radke, Koskie, Hunter, Jones, etc.

    So, anyway, long answer (from me) to a short question. My favorite Twins player of the 1990s? Denny Hocking.

    1. That's a great way to look at it. Pre-strike, my favorite is clearly Kirby Puckett. Post-strike, I'd probably go Brad Radke (same name).

      Denny Hocking is an interesting and controversial choice, but I like it!