Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My Thoughts on the WBC

I was thrilled to read that Corey Koskie will be playing for Team Canada in the up coming World Baseball Classic. I sincerely hope he kicks ass and proves to everyone he can still play. And then, I sincerely hope he hooks on with a major league team. You go, Corey!

Regarding the tournament itself, I'm finding it hard to actually formulate a clear opinion on it. It seems a lot of other people, including the so-called baseball experts, are kind of wishy-washy as well. And nothing demonstrates wishy-washiness better than bullet points:
  • I like the idea of the WBC as an international tournament. Baseball is an important pass-time in many countries, and it's an honor to represent your country (especially now since baseball has been dropped from Olympic competition).

  • While I like the idea of the tournament, I really don't like the the timing of it. Clubs conduct spring training for a reason, and the WBC is a real distraction. Players are creatures of habit and their off-season regimens must be altered to accommodate WBC play. Also, many players plan off-season surgeries or rehabilitations based on a regular schedule and this gets in the way. However, in its defense, I really can't think of a better time to have it.

  • Because of the timing, many players are opting out of the competition. And I have no problem with that. If they feel their teams or careers would be put in peril by competing, then they shouldn't. This is especially true for pitchers. It would be a shame for a pitcher, and for his team, if he becomes injured in the WBC. But I am glad several good baseball players have chosen to participate.

  • Since the WBC is the brain-child of Bud Selig, one can't help but to believe that this is strictly a for-profit endeavor. And, as such, it will never hold the reverence and pride that the Olympics do. Now, I don't know much about the feelings from fans from nations other than the U.S. and Canada, but I'm just not hearing much enthusiasm here.

  • Will I watch? Sure! It's baseball, and I'm willing to watch any baseball. I'm looking forward to it. It may not be the Olympics, but it's still going to be fun. And I'll definitely root for my favorite players' teams (go U.S.A, Canada, and Italy!).

Important events are coming. Mark your calendars:

  • Wednesday, February 25, 6 pm Central: The Twins first Spring Training Game vs. the Red Sox. And it'll be on MLB Network.
  • Wednesday, March 4: National Grammar Day.
  • Saturday, March 7, Noon Central: Twins single-game tickets go on sale. And the Twins are hosting a party at the Dome for the occasion.
  • Monday, April 6, 7:10 pm Central: Twins Opening Day vs. the Seattle Mariners!

Big Get Well wishes for Boof Bonser. Sounds like he'll be out a few weeks to have exploratory surgery to peek around in that sore shoulder and figure out what's going on. Good luck, Boof. Hope it's nothing serious and you're pitching again in no time.

However, the folks over at MLB on XM need to chillax (yes, I just said "chillax" as a testament to how stupid they're being). The guy who does the half-hourly (or is it "semi-hourly"?) updates, while delivering the Boof news, said, "he could be out for the season." Calm down, dude. Sure, if they find something major while they're digging around in there, then there is a possibility that he could maybe be out a long time. But, sheesh, let's just do the exploratory part first, shall we?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Welcome Crede, and Enjoying Classic Scotty

So Bill Smith really is alive. It must have been the warm Florida sun that woke him up. Perhaps he's like those iguanas that go into mini-comas when it's cold, and then are just fine when it warms up again (although you'd think we would've heard something if he had actually fallen out of a tree).

And not only is he awake, but he's apparently ruthless. He got Joe Crede for a really, really good deal. He did not cave when Crede's agent, Scott Boras (who has been compared to Beelzebub himself), reportedly requested $7 million base salary plus incentives. In fact, Smith said, "No! And just for thinking that, you'll accept $2.5 million base plus incentives that total no more than $7 million. And you'll like it!" And Crede and Boras said, "Sir! Yes sir!"

All this might be an indication that Crede really wanted to come to the Twins (it might also mean that he didn't really have any other options, but I prefer to believe the former). Well, I, for one, am glad to have him.

Welcome to the Minnesota Twins, Joe Crede.

Photo from mlb.com/credit Getty Images

Could you do me a favor though? I know it's been a long off-season and all, but just in case you happen to have any White Sox stench still on you, would you mind terribly if I asked you to take one of those decontamination haz-mat showers? We can't be too careful; you're one of the good guys now.

Photo from Getty Images

Oh, and another thing...could you please stay healthy? I mean, if you can't, it'll probably be ok because we still have Brian Buscher. But I think it'd just be best for everyone if you went ahead and earned that $7 million. If it'll help, I'd be happy to send you a case of Doan's Pills.


As I was writing this, FSN aired a classic Twins game from August '07 -- Scott Baker's near-perfect game against the Royals. It made me smile. In fact, I was sitting here cheering as I was watching it for the first time. I'm such a dork.

So, to celebrate his awesome pitching performance, I'll upload his picture.

Nice work, Scotty.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Start of Something Great

Do you know what today is?
Do you know what's going on today?
Of course you do.

Today is the day when boys,
and men with boys' hearts,
gather by the hundreds
in places like Clearwater,
and Mesa, and Surprise,
and Fort Myers,
to participate in baseball activities.

They're perfecting their changeups,
and bunts,
and double-plays.
They're practicing covering first,
and running down flies,
and knocking the ball out of the park.

They're breaking in new gloves,
and new shoes,
and new routines.
They're greeting old friends,
and making new ones.
They're preparing their bodies
and minds for the new season.

And they're bringing their dreams.
Dreams as fresh as the grass beneath their feet
and as optimistic as the sun on their faces.
And their dreams may vary in the details
-- some dream of winning it all,
while some dream of making the big team --
their dreams are essentially the same.
They dream of besting the competition:
the other teams,
the other players on their teams,

And their fans are dreaming too.
On this day, we all have a small voice
that says "this is the year."

So our boys practice,
and play,
and prepare.
They'll bat,
and throw,
and catch.
And they'll make their fans very happy to see them.

Good luck boys.
Work hard and have fun.
The best is yet to come.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Hello and Ha Ha

In keeping with recent tradition, the Twins have signed an aging, possibly washed-up pitcher I know nothing about. I looked at his numbers briefly, and it seems to my untrained eye that he's no better than the relief pitchers we already have. But, if he can help keep the bullpen effective and healthy, then I'm all for it.

Welcome to Minnesota Luis Ayala. Let's take a look at the most important thing...his looks:

Photo by User Chrisjnelson on en.wikipedia

Hmm...not bad; not bad at all. Ok, I guess I'll cautiously approve.


This cartoon made me laugh my head off...however it might be a tad risque for some. So, to my niece, nephew, and mom, just keep reading. The rest of you, however, enjoy.


A big hat tip to my Twitter friend cmroy for the laugh.


When Bad Grammar (or Spelling) and Baseball Collide...Part II

My daily web surfing stops includes Ben Mahler's Rumor Page through FOXSports.com. They compile rumors and other newsy things from around the country, and it's kind of fun to see what other papers are saying. But they had kind of a rough week. And it made me snicker.

A selection from Tuesday:

[When I first saw this, I thought they were saying something like "them there chances" or something similarly stupid.]

And from Wednesday:

[Big League's what?]

And from Thursday:

[Comerback? Is that like a come-backer?]

Now I realize that Mr. Mahler and FOXSports just hire some intern to write the HTML and post the links. But, since this is supposed to be a professional website, I think they can do better.

That's all for now. I'm going to proofread this now to make sure I don't have any mistakes. ;-)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Wondering Where They Are ... 2009 Edition

I saw report yesterday that Everyday Eddie signed a minor-league deal with the Rangers. Good for him. Even though I was happy to see him again last year, it became clear that it wasn't going work between us. So I'm happy he found a new home in a familiar place.

Of course, that got me to thinking about other former Twins. We all know that there was very little movement for the team this off-season. Let's look at the Free Agent Tracker and see what's up...

PlayerStatusOld TeamNew Team
Adam Everett, SSSignedMinnesotaDetroit
Eddie Guardado, RPSignedMinnesotaTexas
Nick Punto, SSSignedMinnesotaMinnesota
Dennys Reyes, RPFree Agent (B)Minnesota--

Ok. Well here's hoping our pal Dennys hooks on somewhere.

Let's look up some other former Twins.

PlayerStatusOld Team
New Team
Livan Hernandez, SPFree Agent
Jacque Jones, LFSignedFlorida
Mike Lamb, 3BSignedMilwaukee
Doug Mientkiewicz, 1BFree Agent (B)Pittsburgh
Sidney Ponson, SPFree Agent
NY Yankees

Juan Rincon, RPSigned

Kenny Rogers, SP *
Free Agent


*I read on the FOX transaction page that Kenny Rogers retired. That was awhile ago, and it's not there anymore. And all the other info I can find is rumor or speculation.


Yay! The Twins and Matt Guerrier avoided arbitration and settled on a 1-year deal. Avoiding arbitration is good. Congrats.