Thursday, November 7, 2013

What's up with Collin?

UPDATE: Go to for the latest happenings and writings from Collin. Follow him on Twitter as well.


Where have I been? Where did I go? I will tell you.

About a month ago, I got an offer to write for Puckett's Pond, the Minnesota Twins website of the FanSided network, and I accepted that position. Along with the writer position, the job of editor was also open, I took that and I am immensely happy with that decision.

Over at the Pond I will be producing 30 articles a month based mainly on the Twins, with a little of general baseball as well. So check that out along with a great group of writers, it's a whole lot of fun and great Twins content.

For stuff that isn't Twins related, you can find me in the Fanposts of the SB Nation sites. Which probably won't arise as much as I hope, but you never know. Canis Hoopus mainly because I do love my Wolves.

So thanks for finding this site and thanks for caring about my writing. It means a lot which is about as emotional I'm going to get over the internet.

Thanks, love you and good luck,


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Average Fan: What is their Perception of the Twins?

I like Patrick Reusse and I’m not ashamed of that. Every night before I go to bed I listen to SportsTalk starring him and Joe Soucheray because they do and don’t talk about sports. It’s like me in a nutshell, but a couple decades down the road. I understand that there’s a good portion of the public that don’t always agree with Reusse, but I beg you to stay with me here.

On 1500ESPN’s website, Reusse writes a P.J.R. column with those letters standing for Patrick James Reusse. These columns usually result in a ‘no punches pulled’ take on something which I absolutely adore. The latest edition came out on Tuesday morning with the title “There’s strong perception that the Twins aren’t trying”.

That’s a strong take, which I can’t help but finding myself somewhat agreeing upon. Reusse compares the Pohlads to ever other owner in this state and by comparing them it looks obviously that the Twins, at the very least, are trying the least.

It’s hard to point a finger at a whole organization and say, “Hey, you’re not giving an effort. You’re not trying at all.”

That’s what has happened to the Twins. People have stopped caring. It’s gone from agony to empathy and as much as the former stings, the latter is something that is so very hard to get out of.

I never thought I’d not give a flying leap about the Twins, but it happened. By the end of this past season, I didn’t watch a single game. I’d get alerts on my phone saying the Twins were losing by a remarkable margin and then flip over just to catch a glimpse of the glorious dumpster fire.

I do care about the Twins, though. It was kind of like the Twins and I were taking a break.  I flirted with some other teams, but when the feelings started to get strong I couldn’t get the Twins off of my mind. That’s me though.

What about the fans who aren’t as tied to the Twins as I am? I know they are lost for a while, but what gets those fans back… A winning record? A playoff run? A playoff series win?

We have a good glimpse at what this team could be. A lot of people are excited about Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton, as they should be, but to the general public this team may not appear to be trying. The one’s reading this are the ones who will stick with the Twins through hell and high water.

The Twins have a tough job building this team back up to contention, but will also have to build up a fan base again.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Wanted: Innovation, Desperately Needed

Math stinks. It’s probably a good thing all in all, but I stink at it, so it therefore stinks. The Minnesota Twins and I might just have that sentiment in common.

1500ESPN’s Phil Mackey wrote a column earlier this week about how the Twins lack innovation, which resulted in Twins’ General Manager Terry Ryan saying he thinks Mackey just wants a job with the Twins, but that’s a different story. The thing is that Mackey is so on it’s sad.

The Twins, as it seems on the surface, do not have a big analytics department. The payroll-wise lowly Tampa Bay Rays have nine people in that category. A team that won’t be able to maintain one of the best pitchers in baseball (David Price) has nine guys that crunch baseball numbers. You have to use numbers and, in a broader sense, every single piece of information you can get your hands on.

It’s like Facebook stalking that the younger generation partakes in. The first moment you have any romantic interest or any interest at all in a person: you go to Facebook, look up their profile and study everything they like/dislike. You use every single piece of information you can get your hands on before you put your neck out on the line with that person. You have to do that in baseball, too.

That doesn’t just go for advanced statistics either. If you keep failing, something has to change. If you stub your toe every night, you move the furniture.

This isn’t a call saying that brining back Ron Gardenhire is the end of the world, but something has to change. Some certain way of doing things, some certain way the Twins’ organization looks at things. It has to be shaken up, even if you don’t want to shake it up.

I hate math, but I still have to deal with it. The Twins have to deal with the changing landscape.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Keys for Vikings to Leave Chicago Victorious

Week One didn’t go exactly how the Vikings wanted it to, but in reality that can be said about literally half of the National Football League. By now, last week’s matchup against the Detroit Lions has been analyzed and overanalyzed by everyone and their brother; it’s time to move on.

The Vikings take on the Chicago Bears at noon (central) on Sunday, you can catch that game on FOX. What do the Vikings need to do to beat the Bears on Sunday?

Soften Forte

That’s a horrible music joke, but it gets the point across. The Vikings got run over last week by the Lions’ new toy, Reggie Bush. If the Vikings want to leave Soldier Field with a victory, they need to make sure that Bears’ running back Matt Forte doesn’t do the same thing.

Ponder Power

Let’s face it; Ponder’s leash is getting short. Christian Ponder has to show something soon for the Vikings or the starting QB job will soon be handed off to backup Matt Cassel. It’s time for Ponder to open it up a little bit.

Everything gets easier if you open up the offense. If Ponder throws deep or at least throws some completions, it doesn’t allow the opposing defense to stack the box so much against league MVP Adrian Peterson.

Open it up, Ponder. There is nothing to lose.

Close in on Cutler; Field Marshal

Jay Cutler is a good quarterback, not great, but better than Christian Ponder. The Vikings need to get into Cutler’s face. Every QB gets a little jittery when they get pressure, Cutler is no different.

While doing that, the Vikings need to cover up Cutler’s favorite target, Brandon Marshall. That’s the QB-WR combo to watch for the Bears, Vikings fans wish they just had one for someone to focus on defending.

Absolutely Adrian

Adrian Peterson had a shot heard round the world with his first touch of the season last week with a 78 yard TD… then he really didn’t do anything else. His stats look good, but it wasn’t that impressive of a game for Adrian Peterson. It wasn’t a MVP-like performance from the MVP.

The Vikings need AD/AP to get going and rolling.

If the Vikings’ season is a car, the quarterback play would be the steering wheel, but Adrian Peterson is the engine of the vehicle. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

U of M's Richard Pitino Buys Big, Spendy House

What would you do with $999,000? Buy a new house in Edina? If you are University of Minnesota head men’s basketball coach Richard Pitino the answer to that question is yes.

According to Twin Cities Starlight, in early August, Pitino bought the house out in the west metro. It being in Edina, we know that it is quite swanky and by looking at the pictures on the website, I can confirm.

The house has 4,920 square feet of spacing featuring 5 bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms. Some add on features would be a porch, patio, deck, a hot tub, sprinkler system and a three-car garage.

Not too bad.

The house and the price tag may be big, but what’s bigger is the message. Richard Pitino is going to be around for a long, long time. You don’t put down almost a million dollars on a house if you don’t plan to be living there for a while.

The house is pretty big, so maybe this could be the Gophers practice facility as well… Just a thought.

(picture from Twin Cities Starlight)

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Vikings Week One Jottings: Bush is a Beast, Pondering about Ponder and Fun with the Box Score

Well, well, well. Week 1 is in the books for the Vikings and it didn’t quite go the way that Vikings fans wanted it to go. When the game came to a close, the scoreboard read 34-24 in favor of the Detroit Lions. Here are some thoughts about what the heck happened:

Reggie Bush is a beast and an excellent pickup for the Lions

-         Reggie Bush had 191 yards overall. 101 via the air and 90 on the ground. Bush only crossed the goal line once for the Lions, but he was the main spoke in the wheel that ran over the Vikings. What’s more impressive is that Bush did all of this after dislocating his thumb early in the contest and right after that pulling a groin.

It could have been uglier, much uglier
      Detroit had some really bone-headed penalties throughout the contest on Sunday; the Lions racked up 11 penalties for 88 yards. Take out those 88 penalty yards and give Detroit a couple touchdowns for about the four times they missed the goal line by inches, the Vikings could have left that game much more scarred than they did.

Umm, Adrian?
      I believe my exact tweet was “Oh my god. Adrian bleepin’ Peterson”, when Peterson busted up the gut for a 78 yard touchdown scamper on the Vikings first touch as an offense this season. It was quite incredible and everyone on Twitter seemed to think the same way. Then he kind of went away. Adrian had three touchdowns on the day, but only rushed for an additional 15 yards after that first touch.

Adrian was getting bunched up behind the line and that could be for various reasons, one could be that every other team in the league knows the Vikings are going to run it and they might as well put a million people in the box. It helps when Christian Ponder is able to stretch the field, but we all know that doesn’t happen too often. Bottom line is if the Vikings want to be successful this season, Adrian needs to get more going.

Pondering about Ponder
      In all honesty, Ponder didn’t look terrible, but he didn’t look good either. I know that doesn’t make a lot of sense, but it does if you think about it. You have to look somewhat decent. I’m not a Ponder basher, but I understand why some people are. He has a leash and he’s not quite to the end of it. Other than the three interceptions, which I know isn’t a thing we can just ignore but alas, Ponder’s stats didn’t look all too bad. He went 18-for-28, 236 yards, 8.4 yards a toss and one TD toss to Peterson.
      Ponder looks good… okay decent… on paper, but when you watch him live, it’s not pretty. The Vikings have a very early Bye Week this season, scheduled for Week 5 after the Week 4 London trip against the Steelers. This could be a good thing for the Vikings and Vikings fans, but a very bad thing for Christain Ponder’s job security.

Come back, Kevin Williams
      It may have just been that Reggie Bush went beast mode in his Detroit debut, but it may have been a slightly different story with Kevin Williams fronting that defensive line. Football teams are well oiled machines and it really don’t matter how much oil you got if you take out one of the major cogs to the machine.

Jared Allen looked good
      I think we can all admit that Jared Allen never looked real great last season, but today against Detroit he was one of the few bright spots for the Vikings. Allen had four tackles, including a sack, and he lead the team with two pass deflections.

Hello, Jerome Simpson
      Maybe it’s because Tom Pelissero left the Vikings beat, maybe it’s because he wasn’t suspended at the beginning of this season, but Simpson looked good today. Simpson had seven catches for 140 yards on eight targets. Solid, solid day for Mr. Simpson.

Fun with the box score

      Adrian Peterson had more tackles than Ndamukong Suh today. Adrian Peterson registered a solo tackle while Suh only registered a pass deflection and QB hit on the day.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Key for Vikings to Leave Detroit Victorious

There are keys to the season for the Vikings and then there are keys for single games. Usually those go hand-in-hand. The keys to the season are basically this: Adrian runs like a mad man, Christian Ponder/Matt Cassel doesn’t totally screw things up and the secondary needs to step up and not be a collect group of Swiss cheese.

So, what is the main key for the Vikings against Detroit? The Vikings can have no dairy products playing in the secondary on Sunday.

Matthew Stafford has a big arm and can tear up a defense, especially one with a mediocre staff of backs like the Vikings. Throw on top of Stafford’s arm the fact that the best receiver in the game, Calvin Johnson, also plays for the Lions, it’s crucial to lock that portion of the game down.

It’s not just Calvin Johnson to be worried about. Former-Vike Nate Burleson is on the opposite side, the Lions had respectable tight end Brandon Pettigrew and a great receiving threat out of the backfield now with Reggie Bush. Detroit’s offense is pretty dynamic.

Who is dynamic on the Vikings’ DB squad? Harrison Smith? Possibly. It’s an okay group, but not really a lot more than that.

The Vikings need to get a lot of pressure on Stafford right away and try to make him make bad passes or the Vikings could end up leaving Detroit with a one in the right hand column.  You want one in the left hand column.

Obviously, for the Vikings to win Adrian needs to have an Adrian type day with Ponder not throwing the ball to the Detroit defense too often either. It’s a winnable game for the Vikings, but it’s also a losable game.

If you have any lucky charms, send their good charms toward Chris Cook, Jamarca Sanford, Harrison Smith and Josh Robinson, Vikings fans.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Collin's NFL Preview: Gusty Predictions

The NFL season is about to kick off and everybody and their cousin has their NFL predictions out on the interwebs. I am also going to throw my hat into that ring.

The process that goes into these predictions is quite simple. You go to ESPN’s website, click on the NFL page, click on schedule and then you see every game for all 17 weeks of the NFL season. This way assures me that I don’t give both the Cowboys and the Giants a win in a Cowboys vs. Giants matchup.

That’s about all there is to it.

I didn’t do extensive amounts of research, this is more of a gut feeling kind of thing. So, I suppose, these are really ‘gutty’ predictions, if I say so myself.

Here’s how you read the chart: a ‘1’ equals a win for the week, a ‘0’ equals a loss and a ‘BYE’ means it is that team’s bye week. The AFC teams are the first half of the chart; the NFC is featured in the bottom half. The different colors are meant to separate the divisions for easier reading. The ‘WINNER’ featured at the end of some records equals the winner of that division; ‘WC’ stands for a Wild Card winner. The teams listed after are the playoff seeds. Enjoy:

Speaking of the playoffs, here’s how I predict they will go down.

In the AFC:

The Patriots and Broncos will get the byes. Third seeded Indianapolis will beat the sixth seeded Cleveland Browns. Fourth seeded Cincinnati will be victorious over the fifth seeded Houston Texans.

In the second round, the Patriots will face the Bengals and come out on top against the Stripes. Peyton Manning will beat his former Colts squad and Andrew Luck leading the Broncos to the AFC Championship game.

That AFC Championship game will be a battle of great quarterbacks and looks to be a great one on paper. Tom Brady, the greatest-living American, will not be able to topple Mt. Manning in a snowy Foxboro. Broncos head to the Super Bowl.

In the NFC:

The 49ers and the Falcons will grab the byes for NFC dominance. Green Bay will grab the third seed, but will be upset by a sixth seeded Cowboys team led by Tony Romo, who will finally win a big one. The Giants and Eli Manning will go to Seattle to face the Seahawks and the 12th Man. The 12th Man will leave the stadium happy, toppling the Giants.

Second round pits the Niners and the ‘Boys against each other and will trigger many, many great playoff memories. The ride will continue for the Niners, whom will beat the ‘Boys pretty handedly. The Seahawks will once again go into the Georgia Dome to face the Falcons in the Divisional Round, this time the Seahawks will fly victorious.

Of course, it’s not a real shock; the NFC Championship Game will feature an NFC West divisional matchup with the 49ers hosting the Seahawks. A whole lot of mobility and a whole lot of familiarity will result in a fabulous game, that results in the 49ers being the ones heading to a (according to the Farmer’s Alemannic) a snowy New York/New Jersey for the Super Bowl.

That means the Super Bowl comes down between the Denver Broncos and the San Francisco 49ers. I would really like to make this dramatic, but… the Denver Broncos will be winners. Peyton Manning will win his second Super Bowl ring and will further cement his place in Canton.

Only time will tell how good wrong I am.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Time to Say Goodbye to Josh Willingham

The local Twins beat writers just can’t catch a break. Peter Gammons, the man behind the news of Justin Morneau being put on waivers, reported on his Twitter account this morning that 2012 AL Silver Slugger winner Josh Willingham has also been placed on waivers by the Minnesota Twins.

“With Josh Willingham on waivers, AL teams see an interesting stretch run bat” -@pgammo

It’s time to say goodbye, folks.

Willingham would be a great DH for any American League team looking for a push during this pennant chase, much better than Justin Morneau, in my opinion.

Of course, Willingham can also play the outfield, but is just a step above the statue of Delmon Young in left field. Throw in the bum knee that Willingham has had this season, it makes him a little tougher to deal.

There is one major difference between Morneau and Willingham in the trading game. Morneau is a free agent at the end of this current season, Willingham is a free agent at the end of the 2014 season. That essentially one-year, $7 million contract could be an attraction for some teams.

The fact of the matter is the Twins outfield is getting very tight, very quickly or at least Twins fans hope that it is.

By the end of next season, fans should be seeing a starting outfield of Oswaldo Arcia, Byron Buxton and Aaron Hicks. Sure, Willingham could be the Twins’ DH, but if you can get a good deal for Willingham you must pull the trigger.

The DH spot can filled by a lot of others already. If Morneau is resigned, Trevor Plouffe if he is still around with the imminent arrival of Miguel Sano, Chris Colabello, or really a million other possibilities.

I’m not saying trade Willingham just to trade him. If you are only getting an offer of a bucket of balls and a family pass to the Water Park of America, pass on it, but if you get an offer of a couple prospects and those prospects hopefully being a pitcher or two, you must pull the trigger.

It’s all just a waiting game now and, or as Freddie Mercury would say, we're just waiting for the hammer to fall.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Iowa Hawkeyes Meet Sick, Sick Buzzer-Beater Irony

No one loves sick, sick irony more than me and for that reason and that reason alone, I am currently in love with the Iowa Hawkeyes basketball team.

The ‘Eyes are currently on a European tour and along the way they are scrimmaging some European squads in Britain and France. One of those teams happened to be  Hyères-Toulon Var Basket.

So what’s so bad with Hyères-Toulon Var Basket? Specifically, Pierre Pierce. Yup.

Pierre Pierce played for the Hawkeyes from 2001-2005 and for Iowa standards was a pretty darn good ballplayer. The problem is Pierce had a lot of legal trouble including sexual assaults and burglary which lead to jail time.

Pierce was kicked off of the Iowa team and the Hawkeyes were content never seeing his face again, but they ran into him over in France.

To top it all off for the Hawkeyes; they lost on a buzzer-beater. Who nailed that shot? Yup, Pierre Pierce.

The school wasn’t aware of Pierre Pierce being on the other team until arriving at the arena. Iowa did not schedule any of their European exhibitions, leaving that up to an outside firm. The school was just looking for competitive games and apparently they got just that.

Sometimes, you just have to sit back and bask in the great irony that this world provides us. 

Click here for more.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Two Goals for the Twins Final 40

A lot of things are dropping right now. Eminem just droppeda new track, FOX Sports 1 just dropped on our TVs, the Phillies dropped Charlie Manuel, the Los Angeles Dodgers are dropping it like it’s hot and the Twins are still dropping ball games. There has to be some dents on the floor with all of this dropping.

As a Twinkie Town member, I just hope that those dents in the floor do not lead to a whole in the floor and drops the Twins into the basement, again. I just cannot handle it. I’m sick of this team losing; I assume I am not alone.

I have two goals for the Twins for the rest of the 2013 campaign/struggle fest.

Numeral Uno: In the sacred name of Juan Berenguer’s suitcase, do not lose 90 games again this season.

It’s not much to ask really. As of Sunday morning, the Twins are currently sitting at a record of 54-67 with 40 games to go. To avoid 90 losses by just one game all that the Twins need to do over the last 40 is go 18-22. Don’t even have to play .500 ball to keep me satisfied for the rest of the season.

Looking at the schedule, it looks like the Twins will be favored in only about six games: three games in Houston and three games at the Chicago White Sox.

Speaking of White Sox…

The Deuce: Do not finish last. Beat the White Sox. Please.

This should be very easy. As of Sunday morning, the Twins hold a six and a half game lead over the Sox for the fourth place spot in the AL Central. Just don’t screw it up.

The White Sox schedule is pretty rigid, too. The Sox only breath is against the ‘Stros as well.

So these two things are all I ask. I’m not asking for a run of epic proportions to put a scare into the heart of the Wild Card leader Rays and A’s, but just a little bit of improvement from the past two years of horrid, horrid baseball.

Let’s start the countdown, the magic number, the checklist of the Twins meeting these two goals. The current number is 18 and I’m ready to see that number drop. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Reviewing Twins Position Players on the Mound

Experts claims that getting out of your comfort zone is a good thing. I really wouldn’t know, I don’t take many chances. I mean there’s a girl on Twitter and I could just say ‘Hey, you’re cute.’, but do I? No, of course not. It’s out of my comfort zone. So, I keep sitting at home every night without anyone to cuddle.

Twins resident old man, utility infielder proved on Monday night that he is comfortable outside of his comfort zone.  The 39-year-old came into the blowout loss and was the best pitcher the Twins sent out to the mound all night, throwing a perfect nine pitch inning.

Carroll is not the first Twins position to take the hill and probably won’t be the last. In fact the Twins have had seven position players total pitch for the squad, including once each of the last three seasons.
2012 marked the pitching debut of Drew Butera who pitched a 17 pitch inning against the Milwaukee Brewers in a 16-4 loss on May 20. Butera notched a strikeout in the appearance while giving up no hits and one walk.

The ultimate utility man, Michael Cuddyer, pitched an inning for the Twins on July 25, 2011 in a 20-6 loss against the Texas Rangers. Cuddyer threw 16 pitches while giving up two hits in a walk, but nobody touched the plate.

The last position player to take the mound for the Twins before Cuddyer was outfielder John Moses in 1990. Moses actually had three pitching appearances for the Twins between 1989. In Moses’ only appearance in 1989 he allowed no runs in a 11-2 loss against the Boston Red Sox. 1990 was not so kind, Moses’ first appearance was again against the Red Sox and this time he let a run score in a 13-1 loss. Later that summer, Moses gave up two runs to the Angels in a 13-2 loss. Moses finished his career with a 9.00 ERA.

1989 was the year of the position player pitching, being the only year the Twins had two position players take the mound. Danny Gladden also took the mound that year in the second game of a doubleheader at Cleveland, the Dan Man gave up a run in the 12-1 loss. Gladden also pitched the year before in a 16-7 loss against the Angels, Gladden threw a perfect nine pitch inning in his major league pitching debut.

Back to 1968 for the Twins before Danny Gladden and that honor goes to César Tovar. This was a game that César Tovar started at pitcher and proceeded to play every position on the field. Tovar walked one and struck out one. His strikeout victim? Reggie Jackson.

The first ever Twins position player to take the mound was in the franchise’s first year of existence as the Minnesota Twins. On September 10, 1961, Julio Becquer took the mound and gave up four hits and three runs in one and a third innings. Those runs really didn’t matter at the Twins had already given up 10 runs en route to a 13-1 loss to the Kansas City Athletics.

It’s really been a mixed bag of position players getting out of their comfort zones and onto the mounds. In the 10 occurrences, the Twins only managed to win once, but if you are having your <insert the other eight positions here> pitching you are probably not in a good spot to win any way.

I commend these men for stepping out of their comfort zone and opening themselves up to failure. Maybe one of them can talk to that cute girl on Twitter for me. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Looking ahead to the Twins' August

It’s August! I know it’s not, but for the sake of argument the next two days are going to be the adopted step-children of the month of August. Meet your new mommy, July 30 and July 31.

With the addition of these two days to the month of August, the Twins play every game in the month (except for this upcoming weekend series against the Houston Astros and the final series of the month against the Texas Rangers) against the American League Central.

That’s right. Tigers, Indians and Royals… Oh my! Oh.. the White Sox too, but not much about the South Siders is making anyone go ‘Oh my!’ at the moment.

25 of the next 28 games are against division foes. That’s a lot of familiar faces in a short time. It’s pretty much the holiday season for the Twins. The month of August has turned into what November-December is for us commoners. We see our relatives like three times in that month span between Thanksgiving and Christmas and then never see them again until the next Thanksgiving rolls around. That’s what the Twins get to face this month with the AL Central cousins.

Now while it is quite unlikely the Twins will make a run at a playoff spot (only 11 games out of the second Wild Card spot, guys!!!!), this month will tell us a lot about what this Twins team is made of.

No one knows you better than your family and playing your family for a month strait will expose what is working for the Twins and what’s not exactly working.
So grab your popcorn and an ice cold beverage, because we have reached the dogs days of summer. Kick back and enjoy the Twins play the rest of the Central family. Trust me, it will be a welcome distraction from Vikings’ training camp and State Fair fever.

Friday, July 26, 2013

The good side of Miguel Sano's pimping

The Twins need a lot of things. We can all agree on that. One thing they defiantly need is a lot more dingers or home runs for you old folk.

If you follow me on Twitter, looking at my followers number it doesn’t look like you do, I stumbled across a rare interesting thought about Miguel Sano.

As you may or may not have stumbled across by now, Miguel Sano slammed a home run a long ways on Tuesday and ‘pimped’ it. Stood in the box for a loooong time and it also took a looooong time for him to trot around the base path. For that pimping Sano has been benched ever since.

(Mr. Patrick Reusse wrote a nice blog post about this.)

The thought tha hit me was this: Lost in all of this Sano pimping a home run business is the fact that the #MNTwins finally have a guy who can hit #dingers on command.

Who on the this current Twins team do we really trust to smack a slam-a-jamma anytime he steps up to the plate? Willingham? Plouffe? Arcia? Jamey Carroll?

Sano is only 20. He’s literally (but not literally)  a college kid.

If I could hit a ball a mile, I know I’d do the same exact thing. Hell, I’d skip around the bases backwards, but I’m weird.

Maybe the Twins just need a little pimping as well.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

I'm scared, guys... really, really scared

“Load up on guns, bring your friends. It’s fun to lose and to pretend.”

Yes, I’ll do anything for a musical reference and since the Twins are headed to Seattle for four games this weekend there is no better time than now for a Nirvana reference… Now why did I pick that line?

In my mind, it could be a lot of things, but I’m going to be frank with you all… I’m scared. Very scared.
I happened to look at the pitching matchups for the series and I don’t know what I’m going to do on Friday. The Twins send Scott Diamond <insert sad trombone here> to the mound while the Mariners will send King Felix Hernandez. <insert screams of horror here>

Hernandez is really, really good, just in case you weren’t aware. He is 11-4 on the year with a 2.43 ERA and a WHIP of1.09. That’s nasty stuff.

So what can we do on Friday night to distract ourselves from the Twins?

Gun range? Go see a Nirvana tribute band? Drink heavily? An awesome combination of the three?!

I know I’m not the most positive guy in the world, but I really hate to see the Twins struggle mightily and is there any sign that they won’t on Friday?

Someone show me a sign. Someone tell me a reason I should watch. Somebody give me a reason to live.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


As I sit here at work, staring at the wall, waiting for the Twitter updates for today’s Twins contest to start rolling in, I start to daydream about all the beautiful things in the world. The big beautiful thing that I can’t get out of my mind right now is, of course, how the Twins now have three catchers.

That’s right. With Joe Mauer’s wife giving  birth to twin girls on Wednesday morning, Joe went to the paternity list so the Twins have the opportunity to call someone up for those three games. The Twins could have taken Chris Parmelee or Oswaldo Arcia, but now they brought up a third catcher in Drew Butera.

The Twins now have more pure catchers than pure outfielders on their roster. Please read that last sentence again. Did it sink in? Did it?

This is just absurd.

I love Ryan Doumit and I have the inkling of a mancrush coming on from Chris Herrmann, but Drew Butera is just pushing it. Drew Butera is a nice catcher and cute, apparently too, (you learn these things when your best friend is a girl). But why?!

Give me someone that can knock the ball over the fence for three games and then send them back to Rochester. I don’t ask for much in life. Like, I’ve maybe asked for a pony once or twice in life, but that’s it.

Let’s not shoot ourselves in our own foot by having more catchers than outfielders. This current edition of the Twins have enough issues the way it is.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Twins simply do not have enough juicers

We have all heard about the “Twins Way”. The team from top to bottom is supposed to play solid defense, have some solid pitching and win the game by manufacturing runs. We can all see how great that is currently working.

On Monday, the news of the Ryan Braun suspension came down the line and made me realize what the Twins have been missing... a whole lot of PED use. That’s performance enhancing drugs for all you kids out there.

While alleged PEDs and positive PED tests have tainted MVP seasons and Hall of Fame careers for players all around baseball, the Twins have barely been touched by the dirty stuff.

On May 2, 2005 it was announced that Juan Rincón had been suspended for ten days for a failed drug test. Aaaaaannnndddddd that it…. the Twins biggest name to ever be connected to PEDs is Juan Rincon.
You know what Juan Rincon is doing right now?

He’s currently pitching for the York Revolution, an Independent League baseball team founded in 2007.
Fun fact: Anthony Slama also just signed with the Revolution earlier this month (#freeAnthonySlama).

The Twins have so many problems that we could spend a whole fort week listing them all and trying to solve it, but we never bring up the fact that the Twins just don’t have enough guys that are juicing. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A look at Joe Nathan's Hall of Fame chances

Last night we saw the obvious future Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera be the set-up man for former Twins closer and current Texas Ranger Joe Nathan. Now Rivera was in the game in the eighth inning to secure him appearing in the game, but is it possible that we saw a one-two punch of future Hall of Famers?

It's tough to break into the Hall being a relief pitcher, but Nathan might just have right amount of saves at the end of his career to punch a ticket to Cooperstown. Nathan currently sits at 328 career saves which is the 13th most saves in the history of baseball. Nathan has 30 saves so far in 2013 and once he reaches 44 he will pass Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers for 10th all-time.

Nathan is currently 38 years old and probably doesn't have more than two or three years left in his arm, at least as a shut-the-door closer. So father time is sure ticking fast for Nathan to bolster his career saves total. Let's say Nathan reaches the 345 career saves mark this year (47 saves on the year) and do some math from there.

In years that Nathan has been healthy (and a closer), he has never saved less than 36 games in a season. Let's say Nathan notches 35 saves these next two seasons after hitting the 345 mark this year. That means Nathan will end the 2015 season with 415 saves with would be good for sixth all-time and be one of only six men to save over 400 ballgames.

Not even Dennis Eckersley saved over 400 games. The problem is that, at the moment, no one else with 400 saves is also in the Hall. Granted, Mariano and Trevor Hoffman will be in the Hall but that's after a career that saw them chalk up 600-plus saves. This puts Nathan in a group with Lee Smith, John Franco and Billy Wagner. Franco is already off of the Hall of Fame ballot, Smith is probably not going to get in after his highest voting percentage was 50.6% in 2012 after dropping to 47.8% this year and Billy Wagner is not yet eligible for the Hall.

For the sake of Nathan, Wagner better get enshrined. The two are very comparable: Wagner had seven All-Star appearance and Nathan has six, Wagner pitched 16 seasons and if Nathan pitches two more he will have pitched 15 seasons. If Nathan can have a big couple years, he could easily pass Wagner in all of these categories.

This debate will obviously clear-up in a couple years when Wagner become Hall of Fame eligible and Nathan probably hangs it up, but until then it's a fun debate to have. Joe Nathan is clearly a great closer, now the question is will he be enshrined where the greats go for eternity.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Let's Not Forget... Mauer Is A Projected HOFer

At work today I was clicking around Baseball Reference’s website and I stumbled across an interesting section of the website that I have never explored before. If you scroll to the bottom of a player’s profile page you will see a section titled Hall Of Fame Statistics, which is a bunch of sabermetrics designed to project if a player is a Hall of Fame candidate.

Amongst the multiple equations there is one that is entitled JAWS which stands for Jaffe WAR Scoresystem, the system was designed by sabermetrician Jay Jaffe as a means to measure a player's Hall of Fame worthiness and easily compares the players. The main components to the equation are a player’s WAR (wins above replacement) and his 7-year peak WAR.

Not a whole lot of Twins are high up on any of the position lists. Take Justin Morneau for example, he is currently ranked 105 on the list for first basemen. This puts Morneau just six spots above Aubrey Huff, five behind Mike Sweeney or 10 behind John Kruk. That’s pretty tough for a guy who won an American League MVP award just a handful of years ago.

What really caught my eye was where hometown boy Joe Mauer was ranked. Mauer, a 10-year MLB veteran, is currently ranked 14th all-time amongst catchers. Mauer is in great company trailing seven current Hall of Famers and already ahead of six other members of the Hall.

The catchers that Mauer is behind are the following from first to 13th: Johnny Bench, Gary Carter, Ivan Rodriguez, Carlton Piazza, Mike Piazza, Yogi Berra, Joe Torre, Bill Dickey, Mickey Cochrane, Ted Simmons, Gabby Harnett, Thurman Munson and Gene Tenance.

All of those players are retired and have no chance of moving up or down the list. The closet active player is the Detroit Tiger’s Victor Martinez who is ranked 33rd. Granted, Joe Mauer could move himself down the list since the JAWS system is based a lot on a player’s WAR, but we have no reason to believe that Mauer will turn sour anytime soon.

The scary thing is that Mauer has a good amount of years left in his major league career; at least the Twins hope so since he is signed thru the 2018 season. It’s more than likely that Joe Mauer will move into the top 10 if not the top five before he hangs it up someday.

What really hit me is that while the Twins wallow in dismay and are on pace for their third straight ninety-plus loss season, the Twins have a catcher to that looks to be a Hall of Famer and when it’s all over there shouldn’t be much question about it.

So while you are laughing at what the MLB All-Star game festivities have become and pondering what really is Ron Gardenhire’s job status, just sit back and remember that we are watching a future Hall of Famer every night behind the plate… unless it’s a day game after a night game.