Sunday, November 13, 2011

Quick Notes: Nov. 13

A quick recap of the week's Twins news.

More Thoughts on Terry Ryan
A few days have passed since the big shakeup in the Twins front office, and the dust is beginning to settle. At first, I was pretty skeptical that bringing in a new guy who's really the old guy who was always kind of around would make much difference in running this team. After all, this is closer to musical chairs than it is to a new regime. But the more I think about it and the more I read about both Ryan and Bill Smith, I'm becoming more convinced that this is not only a good thing, but the right thing.

The Twins have a reputation around baseball that they do things "the right way," meaning that solid, fundamental baseball is a priority. That reputation was earned under Ryan, and was tarnished greatly under Smith. It may take a little while, but getting back to that sound approach is just what this team needs.

After I read Sunday's Star Tribune, I got the impression that Ryan is fed up with the culture surrounding injuries and recoveries under Smith's tenure. Which is great, because I could never shake the feeling that Smith was letting a lot of things slide, both in regard with the medical/training staff and with the players' efforts. A change in philosophy here is welcomed and necessary.

A New Guy?
The Twins appear to be close to signing former Dodger infielder Jamey Carroll to a two-year deal, pending a physical. If he does indeed join the Twins, this will probably be the most middle-of-the-road, meh-like signing ever. He's not really expensive, but he's not really young (38 before spring training starts). He's an average fielder. He's an average hitter. He seems to stay healthy, but he's never really been a starter. They could've done better; they could've done worse.

He'll likely be a shortstop and bat second. No matter how completely ordinary he may be, he's certainly an upgrade over what the Twins had there last season.

We should know for sure by Monday or Tuesday whether it's a done deal.

Speaking of Upgrading the Shortstop Position
The Twins aren't going to let Trevor Plouffe play there any more. Terry Ryan told ESPN 1500 radio this morning that Plouffe would be better suited in the outfield or as a DH.

More Signings
The Twins signed two guys to minor-league contracts. Brian Dinkelman, who became a minor-league free agent when the Twins removed him from the 40-man roster, and pitcher Jared Burton from the Reds.

It's a good idea to improve the Red Wings too. I hope these guys do.

Oh, and I Forgot to Mention Last Time
The Twins hired radio play-by-play announcer Cory Provus to replace the retired John Gordon. Provus  was previously with the Milwaukee Brewers announcing with Bob Uecker.

I've heard Provus. He's a solid choice; he calls a good game. I think Twins fans will like him.

Now, if he can only give Dan Gladden some personality...

A Serious Note
You've undoubtedly have heard about the kidnapping, and later safe rescue, of Washington Nationals, and former Twins prospect, catcher Wilson Ramos.

What a story. I couldn't stop thinking about him when I heard he'd been taken. I was very relieved when I heard it was over. This picture of Ramos hugging his mama is my favorite moment.

This must've been a terrifying ordeal. I'm so glad he's safe. I'm still praying that he doesn't suffer any lingering emotional or psychological demons because of this.

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