Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday Morning Madness: June 30, 2014

Weekend Recap

I wrote about Kyle Gibson's road struggles on Friday and then he totally redeemed himself by breaking the Twins' five-game losing streak with an excellent road effort.  The rest of the series was a real drag, although Jorge Polanco's triple in the ninth on Friday was pretty exciting.  In fact, Jorge Polanco's everything is pretty exciting.

Over the last ten games, Mauer has raised his average about 15 points.  If he maintains that pace, he'll be hitting over .400.  So yeah, pretty good.  That's probably not realistic, but it does seem that Mauer is getting his proverbial stuff together.  His line drive rate has been slowly climbing and it seems that he has been finding more holes on the field.  Maybe he is figuring out the "Mauer shift" or maybe his luck is evening out or maybe nothing is different at all. 

No one is happy that Mauer is having a bad season (even if it seems like some revel in it at times) and a productive Mauer is extremely important to the success of the Twins.  It seems that he could be on the path back to his old self.  I hope so.

So you know when you join a new website and you have to create a password?  If you don't set up a proper password, you get that red "x" next to your choice and you have to enter a new password.  I think baseball lineups should be entered in the same manner.

There are literally 11 better options than Fuld.  Fuld's OPS is better than only Kendrys Morales and Pedro Florimon.  One of those is a fluke and the other is a from a guy who probably shouldn't have a Major League job (more on that shortly!).  Fuld plays center, runs fast and is short.  Those three things alone should not overshadow that Fuld plays poorly, can't run when he isn't on base, and, well...I can't think of something that pairs with his height. 

It's almost as if the Twins are on a runaway bus that is set to explode if anyone thinks outside of the box.  Pop quiz hot shot:  Isn't it bad enough that the lineup options are so limited that Sam Fuld has to simply be in the lineup every day?  It doesn't mean he needs to be put in a position where he could bat upwards of five times in one game. 

How's that for a 20-year-old reference?

Oh my goodness.  I hate when people say "it was better in my day" or "they don't make things like they used to" because there's some serious confirmation bias working there.  However, it's a scientific fact that nicknames were better in the early 1900s.  I found Ol' Pickles up there because I was doing some Pedro Florimon research. 

Florimon is currently hitting under .100.  His OPS is just barely above .300.  If Florimon can somehow get to 100 plate appearances this season (and I think we all hope he doesn't), he'll be the first player since 1931 to hit under .100 and have an OPS under .300 with 100 or more PAs.  Unreal.  It wasn't Pickles, it was Ed Connolly, but Pickles did hit .126/.144/.158 in 104 plate appearances in 1917.  He's also went by "Pickles."  If Florimon starts going by "Pickles" Florimon, he'll become my favorite player, even with a .100 BA.    

Former Twin Update - Ryan Doumit

I think it's safe to say the Twins sold Doumit at the right time.  When they originally signed Doumit, I thought it was a safe, smart signing.  He performed well for the Twins to start the 2012 season and earned an extension.  However, he was always a comedy act in the field and his value as a batter was tied up in his power. 

The Twins unloaded Doumit for Sean Gilmartin this past December and if Gilmartin can simply perform as a sign post, he'll provide more value than Doumit has in 2014.  Doumit isn't playing very often, shocking considering his defense and the lack of a DH in the NL.  He currently has a strikeout-to-walk ratio over ten.  TEN!!!  He wore number 9 in his final season with the Twins, so I'd like to see that ratio dip just a tad in honor of his Twins' career. 

Random Top Ten List - BB/9 in a season since 1961

1 Carlos Silva 0.43 2005 26 MIN 27 9 8 188.1 212 72 9 71 3.44 4.18 130 .290 .300 .441 .741 93
2 Bret Saberhagen 0.66 1994 30 NYM 24 14 4 177.1 169 54 13 143 2.74 2.76 153 .254 .271 .389 .660 75
3 Cliff Lee 0.76 2010 31 TOT 28 12 9 212.1 195 75 18 185 3.18 2.58 133 .240 .255 .363 .618 66
4 Bob Tewksbury 0.77 1992 31 STL 32 16 5 233.0 217 56 20 91 2.16 3.13 158 .248 .265 .353 .618 81
5 Greg Maddux 0.77 1997 31 ATL 33 19 4 232.2 200 57 20 177 2.20 2.43 189 .236 .256 .311 .567 50
6 Bob Tewksbury 0.84 1993 32 STL 32 17 10 213.2 258 91 20 97 3.83 3.36 103 .301 .318 .412 .730 102
7 David Wells 0.85 2003 40 NYY 30 15 7 213.0 242 98 20 101 4.14 3.94 106 .286 .306 .442 .749 96
8 LaMarr Hoyt 0.86 1985 30 SDP 31 16 8 210.1 210 81 20 83 3.47 3.44 102 .261 .280 .386 .666 91
9 Phil Hughes 0.87 2014 28 MIN 16 8 4 103.0 110 41 10 88 3.58 2.60 112 .273 .289 .397 .686 91
10 Jon Lieber 0.92 2004 34 NYY 27 14 8 176.2 216 85 18 102 4.33 3.71 104 .301 .317 .442 .758 97
11 David Wells 0.92 2004 41 SDP 31 12 8 195.2 203 81 20 101 3.73 3.88 104 .266 .285 .410 .694 89
12 Greg Maddux 0.99 1995 29 ATL 28 19 2 209.2 147 38 23 181 1.63 2.26 260 .197 .224 .258 .482 29
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/29/2014.

Phil Hughes is doing something borderline historic this season.  Only eight pitchers have qualified for the ERA title and posted a lower BB/9 in a season (since 1961).  Obviously, this season is only roughly halfway over and Hughes has a lot of innings left to throw, but it's still crazy just how great he has been at limiting walks.  It's still shocking to see Carlos Silva at the top of that list.  Hughes already has more strikeouts this season than Silva had that season.  Wild.  Wait, no, not wild.  In control, but wild.  The other wild. 

Get Excited About a Prospect - Nate Roberts

Roberts is not a household name, like say, Coke or Tide, but he is a very intriguing baseball player.  He returned to action last week after missing roughly 45 seasons due to injury.  Roberts is so interesting because he's an absolute Minor League OBP Machine.  His career OBP is over .440, just a ridiculous number even for an older guy at lower levels.  Baseball karma owes this guy some good fortune, so I'm just going to hop headfirst onto his bandwagon.  Even if he makes his MLB debut at 50, I bet he'll walk in his first plate appearance. 

AIM Chat with 12-Year-Old Brad


    KPuckFan34123456:  Hey Future Brad.
    BSwanson0928:  Oh hey, I don't have a lot of time, I have to
    go to the Twins game.
    KPuckFan34123456:  Oh fun, lucky!  
    BSwanson0928:  Eh, I guess.
    KPuckFan34123456:  You aren't excited?
    BSwanson0928:  Well, it's a work night and traffic is awful
    and I'll have to walk from the ramp or pay a lot.
    KPuckFan34123456:  But you get to go to the game.
    BSwanson0928:  Well, yeah, but it's not that great.
    KPuckFan34123456:  Why not?  I love going to the Dome.  
    BSwanson0928:  Well, the Dome is gone, it was replaced with
    Target Field, an outdoor stadium.
    KPuckFan34123456:  Oh, even better!  Isn't it really nice 
    outside in June?
    BSwanson0928:  Eh, it's a little hot, sometimes buggy.  It
    might be a little too sunny too.
    KPuckFan34123456:  Sounds rough...
    BSwanson0928:  Are you being sarcastic?  Do 12-year-olds
    use sarcasm?  
    KPuckFan34123456:  It's just lame that you're being lame
    about going to a baseball game.  I wish I was going to a game
    BSwanson0928:  You'll learn new adjectives soon.  Well, 
    it's different when you're older.
    KPuckFan34123456:  Why?  Do I start to not like baseball?
    BSwanson0928:  No, I still like baseball a lot.  I write about 
    it like three times a week.
    KPuckFan34123456:  You'd rather write about it than go to 
    a game.  You're weird.  I'm going to be weird.
    BSwanson0928:  I'm probably being a baby.  It will be fun
    once I get there.  It always is.  
    KPuckFan34123456:  Always, how often do you go?
    BSwanson0928:  4-5 games a year, although in college I went 
    to like 15-20 games a year.  
    KPuckFan34123456:  College sounds fun.  We had a math 
    test today.  It was easy.  
    BSwanson0928:  Math is cool.   
    KPuckFan34123456:  No it isn't.  I'm going to go now.  
    Have fun at the game.  
    BSwanson0928:  Thanks, I will.

Random Baseball Card from the Past - David Arias

I think I figured out why David Ortiz didn't become Big Papi with the Twins.

It's one thing to keep the bat on your shoulder, it's another thing to keep the bat near both shoulders.  Plus, that's a great way to break a finger.  This card is either shockingly expensive (like $30!), or I don't know how much cards are worth.  

Plugging My Way - Brian Dozier is interesting

Last week, I wrote about Brian Dozier and what a handso...I mean interesting man he is.  Statistically, he's having a good, but super weird season.  If you want more details, just click here.  Also, I may have uncovered the fact that Brian Dozier is Mike Schmidt.  This would be a pretty big discovery. 

Parting Thought

The Twins are awful on the road lately.  They return home for this week and I hope they can pick up a lot of wins.  The Royals have cooled off and the Yankees are hardly scary, but it's still two winning teams coming to town.  If the Twins have any ambition of being in the Wild Card race, they need to have a great week.  I hope you have a great week too!

Friday, June 27, 2014

June Minnesota Twins Power Rankings!

This good sweep, bad sweep thing is getting stressful.  The Twins are going to be inconsistent, but do they have to be so rollercoastery-consistent.  I know, that's not a word, but it feels accurate.  Anyway, we have reached the end of the month, so it is officially time for some POWER RANKINGS!  Remember, these are cumulative, so quit it with your recency bias. 

Considering I wanted to throw this guy in a dumpster about a month ago, I'd say the number 10 ranking is pretty darn special.  It's a neat thing, if you will.  Correia owns a 3.21 ERA in his last seven starts and he's only walked six batters in 42 innings over that span.  Last season, when Correia was effective, he limited walks much like he has over these last few weeks.  If he's trending in the right direction, the Twins might actually be able to get something of value if they decide to trade him.  Let's just never bring up the word "extension" around him. 

Santana left Wednesday night's game with a strain or sprain or tweak...a messed up knee.  Hopefully, he doesn't miss significant time as he has been one of the most fun players to watch on the entire team.  I thought Santana would join the Twins in 2014, but I didn't think he'd make it as a part-time center fielder.  Now mostly playing short, Santana hasn't looked lost or anything like that.  He's made just one error in 18 games and range was never really a concern.  His speed appears to be a legit weapon and I think he's going to be a guy who is really fun to track as he matures. 

Plouffe hasn't played since June 14, but appears to be close to returning.  In a way, having a player ranked this high who hasn't played in two weeks says more about the team than the player, but Plouffe has been a solid C this season.  Of concern is his nearly .200 batting average since May 1, but he's also been a relatively stable defensive player for the first time in his career.  Plouffe hasn't been great in 2014, but he's been serviceable.  On a team that still has many holes, serviceable works. 

Willingham is pretty much being Willingham in 2014.  He's hitting for power, walking a lot and making little contact.  This should come as no surprise as people tend to perform like the people that they are, if that makes any sense.  Having a consistent power threat in the middle of the lineup is pretty neat.  Personally, I even enjoy his defense.  It never seems like he's going to make the play, but sometimes he does.  It's an adventure!  Plus, he never changes his facial expression. 

After Perkins had back-to-back tough outings against Chicago last weekend, I saw a few folks who were expressing some concern regarding the performance of the Twins' closer.  As far as things Twins fans should worry about, here's where Perkins would rank:
  • 4,978.  Robot Bees
  • 4,979.  Glen Perkins
  • 4,980.  Denny Hocking's hand coming back to haunt the Twins a la the movie Idle Hands, which no one has seen
  • 4,981.  Does one italicize a movie title or put quotes around it?
Please do not be worried about the elite closer.  He's great. 
I tentatively had Gibson ranked third earlier this week, but his awful start on Tuesday dropped him two slots.  It wasn't that one game, it's the bigger issue of Gibson's home/road splits.  Home/road splits make no sense to me.  Sure, Target Field tends to favor the pitcher (not true, 101 park factor, actually benefits hitters), but Gibson's an extreme ground ball pitcher who does not benefit from Target Field (which actually does not favor the pitcher at all, with the exception of home runs allowed). 

His ERA is nearly five runs greater on the road, but his peripherals are actually slightly better on the road.  GUUUUUUH?!?   Well, his BABIP is lower at home and his strand rate is comically low on the road.  The reality is that it probably isn't the too hard mattress (or too soft if that's his bugaboo) in his hotel room, but just some odd luck and a small sample.  I imagine his road stats will improve over time.  His home stats will likely get worse as well.  He's not a 6.00 ERA pitcher or a 1.50 ERA pitcher, he's somewhere in the middle, just like every non-Scott Aldred pitcher. 

The Eddie 400 movement is a juggernaut, but Escobar himself is not a .320 hitter.  He isn't going to slug .500.  He's probably going to hit 30 doubles, which is pretty cool.  The main reason I wanted to see more from Escobar in 2014 was that I felt he could do more with his playing time than Pedro Florimon.  I like Escobar's defensive versatility and I think the Twins appreciate it as well.  I think it's fair to say that he has a role on the Twins for the next few years.  He might not always start, but I think he's the type of player who can start if needed and the team won't lose a lot wherever they put him. 

Suzuki has never had an OPS+ greater than 98 and that career-best figure came way back in 2007.  Suzuki is on pace to wallop that number and post his finest offensive season of his career, somehow at the age of 30.  The Twins signed Suzuki for peanuts and are getting great return on that investment.  I still find it hard to believe that Suzuki, at age 30, is suddenly a better hitter than he's ever been, but it's hard to argue with three solid months of good production.  I'm not sure how I feel about a long-term extension or anything like that, but I could easily be talked into re-signing Suzuki for another year.  Of course, I would have to borrow a lot of money to pay his salary.

Hughes is now the Twins' ace and the two biggest reasons cited are his improved control and a decrease in home runs allowed.  His walk rate is microscopic and he's only given up seven home runs all season.  However, another reason for his success is a significant increase in his ground ball rate, from just under 31% in 2013 to just over 36% in 2014.  While he is still significantly below the league average of 45.3%, six points of ground balls is a great way to keep even more balls in the park.  Will these gains last?  If they do, he might continue to perform as an Ace.

His batting average doesn't really move, but he just keeps racking up value.  His fWAR is now comfortably above 3 and he appears to be a pretty solid All-Star candidate.  I wrote all about Dozier's odd statistical output on Wednesday, if you want to read it.  Dozier and Hughes are clearly the two standout players in 2014.  If just two or three more players could join them in this category, the Twins would be a lot less rollercoastery.  Regardless, watching Dozier grow into a star player has been really fun. 

That's all I have as there is no number lower than one.  Well, zero, but that's lunacy.  Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Brian Dozier is an Interesting Player

Over the weekend, I got a text from an acquaintance that simply stated, "Why is everyone so excited about a guy who can't hit .250?"  I just assumed this was an anti-Joe Mauer text, but thinking more closely, I realized that he was referring to Brian Dozier

Wait, of all the players on the Twins this year, is there a guy less rip-worthy than Dozier?  Phil Hughes and Eduardo Escobar are in his neighborhood, but Dozier has been one of the best players in the entire league.  He came into this week fifth in AL fWAR among position players.  He's been a good hitter, a good fielder and a good baserunner.  Why would this former friend of mine question his performance like that?  In a text no less!

If I had to explain for him, I guess the batting average is a little hard to reconcile.  Dozier owns a career .241 batting average with over 1300 plate appearances under his belt.  It appears that while Dozier is a valuable hitter, he's likely to average about one hit per four at-bats.  Of course, many of his plate appearances end with him not making an out and he has solid power, so does the batting average really matter that much? 

He was in the top 25 in on-base percentage and slugging percentage at the beginning of this week; he clearly knows what he's doing with a bat.  The odd thing is that he has greatly increased his power and on-base skills in 2014, but his contact has not improved.  Maybe it will come later? 

Dozier's career BABIP (batting average on balls in play, basically his batting average if you take out home runs, strikeouts and sacrifice flies) is .269.  Among active players, that ranks 13th from last.  Among the 12 players with lower BABIPs, none combine Dozier's power and speed. 

It's odd that Dozier's BABIP is so low, but it doesn't seem reasonable to use that as a data point to explain a future spike in batting average.  While the league does generally have a BABIP around .300, research shows that players establish their own baselines.  Dozier may always be a low BABIP player. 

Dozier's BABIP helps to explain his low batting average, but explaining his low BABIP is challenging.  Watching him play, he does hit the ball hard.  He has power.  He's not slow.  He sees the ball well, as evidenced by his 14% walk rate. 

His batted ball rates aren't crazy either.  His line drive rate is right about league-average.  While his fly ball rate is somewhat higher than average, that doesn't fully explain why his BABIP and BA are so low.  He does pop up a lot, about 14% of the times he makes contact, about four points higher than league-average.  While that might explain some of his BABIP issues, it doesn't seem like enough to get the entire picture. 

The real question is:  who cares?  Using FanGraphs' wRC+, Dozier ranks in the top 35 in all of baseball.  wRC+ basically measures a player's total offensive value and then weighs it to compare with the league average while also adjusting for the league, era and different parks.  It's a great stat and Dozier is among the best in baseball by that measure.  If Dozier is a great hitter, is it worth nitpicking?  Shouldn't we focus on more fun things? 

My primary goal is to put the "fun" in FUNBaseball.   Dozier's odd contact ability leads to some interesting factoids that can be easily found if you have Baseball Reference's Play Index and a disproportionate amount of free time to spend on such an endeavor.  With that said, here are a few interesting Dozier-related items I scrounged up. 

Dozier is currently hitting below .250 and is on pace for a roughly 6 WAR season.  If he can maintain those numbers, he'll become just the 12th player in MLB history to post a 6 WAR, sub-.250 BA season.  He'd join Hall of Famers Cal Ripken Jr., Ron Santo, Mike Schmidt and Barry Bonds (oops, just kidding). 

Andrelton Simmons accomplished this feat in 2013, but did so with one of the finest defensive seasons in MLB history.  In fact, if Dozier maintains his current WAR pace, he'd post a 6 WAR season with a sub-1 defensive WAR ranking.  None of the 11 players on this list had a defensive WAR lower than 1.5. 

Dozier is also on pace for a 30 home run and 30 stolen base season.  If he can do that with a sub-.250 batting average, he'd be the first player to ever put up that combination of numbers.  Oh, you hate round numbers and arbitrary starting points?  Fine. 

I lowered the threshold to 20/20, a feat Dozier should reach easily.  Only 22 players have hit below .250 and posted a 20/20 season.  Chris Young, B.J. Upton, Howard Johnson, Jimmy Rollins and Mike Cameron all did it twice.  Bo Jackson and Eric Davis, two of my favorite players, are on the list.  That same Mike Schmidt season from the last paragraph is there again.  Dozier would be the only one to go 30/30 though.  I'm trying to tell you that Brian Dozier is better than Mike Schmidt.

Dozier is also on pace for 100 walks and 100 strikeouts.  Only 30 players in MLB history have hit below .250 with 100 strikeouts and 100 walks.  Adam Dunn has done it five times.  Mickey Tettleton did it four times AND he was in Little Big League.  Harmon Killebrew and Bob Allison each accomplished this feat.  And, well I'll be, there's that Mike Schmidt season again.  Do you think Dozier can grow a mustache?

Not every Dozier factoid is batting average-reliant.  Dozier is currently slugging .450 but on pace for 30 home runs.  Only 12 players have ever hit 30 home runs with a sub-.450 slugging percentage.  Sadly, Mike Schmidt did not make this list.  Dave Kingman did three times though!  Adam Dunn's back for this one too!  Hawk Harrelson's there too, somehow making the list a lot more annoying and antagonistic.  Dozier is on pace for 25 doubles, which would be more than any of the 12 on this list. 

Due to his spot in the lineup, Dozier could finish the season with 30 home runs and only 75 RBI.  Only 17 players have done this in MLB history.  Alfonso Soriano and Hanley Ramirez lead this list with 33 bombs.  Somehow, Rob Deer and Felix Mantilla drove in just 64 runs in seasons when they hit over 30 home runs.  I think Dozier avoids this list.  If you jump to 80 RBI, the list jumps to 37 players.  Which is still pretty low...I guess. 

I think I've done a pretty decent job explaining why everyone is excited about a guy with a .250 batting average.  First, he's a great hitter even with that low batting average.  Second, he's a walking statistical anomaly.  Third, he's Mike Schmidt.  If those three things aren't enough for you, then I'm not sure you can be convinced.    

Monday, June 23, 2014

Monday Morning Madness: June 23, 2014

Weekend Recap


On June 4, I declared my desire to legally adopt Arcia.  Since that day, he is 4 for 46 with 18 strikeouts.  I withdraw my application.  Not because I don't want to adopt him, but because it seems to be affecting him adversely.  He has been hit by three pitches since that day, likely from jealous pitchers.  A 4:3 hit to HBP ratio either means a batter is struggling or has been breaking a ton of unwritten rules.  Arcia has been struggling mightily.  He was recently benched for Chris Parmelee and that didn't help things whatsoever. 

The Twins could certainly send Arcia back to Rochester.  That's how they handled his slumps last year.  However, I'd recommend keeping him in the lineup to give him the chance to work though his struggles.  Arcia appears to be a pretty streaky hitter, but he's been consistently excellent in AAA.  Knowing that, the Twins need to figure out if Arcia can adjust in-season against MLB pitching.  I feel pretty confident that he'll be able to get it together if he's allowed to keep swinging through his slump. 

Speaking of slumps.  Morales had just two hits last week.  He scored and drove in one run apiece.  I'm sure that if I betray myself and look at the Twins' Facebook page, there will be many calling him names and loathing that he was ever signed.  Ah, but it's just a slump.  In fact, Morales had just four hits from June 16, 2013 to June 22, 2013, proving that he just really hates that week.  Morales didn't have a Spring Training and he's only played a handful of games.  He posted a 123 OPS+ last year, despite that one-week stretch in mid-June.  He's a good hitter, he'll hit. 

Perkins blew the save on Friday, but managed to find the will to win.  He was a little shaky on Saturday, but got the job done.  I saw a few individuals questioning whether or not we should be worried about Perkins.  Emphatically:  no.  Perkins currently has the highest strikeout rate and lowest walk rate of his career.  His BABIP is thirty points higher than his career figure and his strand rate is nearly ten points lower.  Perkins is dominant and there's simply no reason to worry about his performance in the least. 


Former Twin Update - Kevin Slowey

The end of an era!  The Miami Marlins DFA'd Kevin Slowey to make room for some super prospect or something.  I hate that we live in a world where talent trumps Slowey, but I guess I'll have to learn to live with it.  Slowey did that cool thing he does where he put up a much better FIP than ERA.  That's so Slowey.  His 5.30 ERA wasn't cutting it for a surprisingly good Marlins team.  Normally, this is where I'd advocate the Twins taking a look at him, but I don't have the strength for a fake fight right now. 

Random Top Five List

2014 AL Ground Ball Rate Leaders

  1. Dallas Keuchel - 63.7%
  2. Justin Masterson - 59.8%
  3. Jarred Cosart - 56.7%
  4. Kyle Gibson - 55.8%
  5. Sonny Gray - 55.0%
Clearly, Gibson owns one elite skill.  He has always had the ground ball reputation and it's manifesting in 2014.  I'd love to see his strikeout rate jump a tad, but elite ground ball pitchers are able to have some level of success without a ton of strikeouts.  However, Gibson's strikeout rate is significantly lower than those on this list and the guys who are in the 6th through 10th positions.  Something to keep an eye on.  

Random Photoshop - Chris Palmetree

I'll just show myself out.

Half-Hearted Mini-Rant - West Coast Baseball

So the Twins are in Anaheim for some baseball this week and I am not pleased!  What's with these 9pm start times?  Doesn't baseball know that I have a job?  Doesn't baseball know that I can't stay up past 11pm or I'll be somewhat tired and irritable?  Hey baseball, can we try to start these games at a reasonable hour?  Hey lawmakers, why not get off your lazy keisters and do something about this problem? 

My solution?  Eliminate time zones.  If it's 7pm here, it should be 7pm everywhere.  No one wants to do math to figure out when games start.  No one likes to count.  The sun won't cooperate?  Forget the sun, let's blow it up!  We'll be just fine without your heat and light, sun.  Look, this is America, we can do anything!  I refuse to believe that we can't engineer a better sun right here on our soil.  And, we can work on it from 8-5 and it will be super easy to call our friends in Estonia after work because the times will be the same and we can all watch the Twins game together as a culture.  This needs to happen.

New Poll!

Last month, I put up a poll and asked who would win the Twins' Cy Young Award in 2014.  The results are striking, but not shocking:

I appreciate the irreverence of those voting for Dozier.  Hughes appears to be the runaway choice and he also appears to actually be running away with this fake award.  Making fun of Correia seems to have inspired him and I'll gladly take full credit for that. 

I have added a new poll and if you respect the democratic process, you will vote.  If you don't respect that process, you can still vote.  The process respects you. 

Plugging My Way

Last Friday, I pondered how things would be different if the Twins had drafted Mark Prior instead of Joe Mauer.  It's interesting, to say the least.  Here's the full text.  If you just want the chain of events, here you go:

  1. Twins draft Prior
  2. Twins win 2003 World Series
  3. George Steinbrenner develops cyborg player technology
  4. MLB expands to 90,000 teams
  5. Prior retires
It's all pretty logical. 

Parting Thoughts

Watching the Twins beat the White Sox all weekend was very satisfying.  Before the season started, I questioned how anyone could think that ratty White Sox team would be better than the Twins in 2014.  They're closer than I thought (the Sox are a bit better than "ratty," I guess) but I still think the Twins are better.  Oh, and that Adam Eaton is going to annoy the daylights out of me for about a decade.  He's scrappy.  Have a great week, everyone!