Catching up with the week's events and news:
Welcome Gray and Maloney
The Twins did not take long at all to keep with their long-standing tradition and signed, not one but two, pitchers I've never heard of. RHP Jeff Gray from the Seattle Mariners and LHP Matt Maloney from the Cincinnati Reds join the Twins 40-man roster. I expect both these guys will have to compete in Spring Training for bull pen spots on the 25-man roster.
You're Staying Put, Mr. Radcliff
The Baltimore Orioles requested permission from the Twins to interview Vice President of Player Personnel Mike Radcliff for their open General Manager position. The Twins declined, which kind of goes against what they usually do. They don't typically deny permission for people to interview for promotions. I joked on Twitter that Radcliff didn't want to go to Balitmore and begged Dave St. Peter to get him out of it. I don't really believe that. I suspect the reality is that after a 99-loss season, the Twins can ill afford to lose key personnel when they have so much work to do. Bill Smith really needs to keep all the help he can.
Welcome Back, Krivsky?
Speaking of surrounding Bill Smith with help, the Twins are trying to bring back former assistant GM Wayne Krivsky. Krivsky was the GM for the Reds, and worked in the Orioles and Mets front offices.
Our Old Friend Jim
Former Twin Jim Thome signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. I'm happy for him that he was able to sign on with someone so quickly. I suspect that he'll be used mostly as a bench pinch-hitter (just like Matt Stairs -- able to randomly come off the bench and hit a go-ahead home run), but I did read somewhere that he's going to work on fielding first base this off-season so he can fill in from time to time.
So, hmm. Thome played for Cleveland at the end of 2011, and will play for the Phillies in 2012. Those are the first two teams he played with. Do you think he's doing a reunion tour of his former teams? White Sox next, the Dodgers for like 15 minutes, then back to the Twins. I could live with that, but I think I'd prefer it if he just skipped the White Sox part.
And the Phillies May Not Be Done
The latest rumor is, now that the Phillies locked up Thome, they're going hot and heavy after Michael Cuddyer. I don't want that to happen. Nope, not at all. So I'm not going to stress about it too much until he actually signs his name on someone's dotted line (be forewarned: there will be a tirade in this space if he signs with anyone other than the Twins).
However, I can certainly understand the Phillies' interest in Cuddyer. Their first baseman, Ryan Howard, blew his Achilles tendon on the last plate appearance of the NLDS and will likely be out a huge portion of the 2012 season. So the Phillies need a right-handed bat who can play first base but isn't really exclusively a first baseman (so he can play somewhere else when Howard comes back). And the Phillies may make sense for Cuddyer too. For one, I expect Jim Thome to be somewhat relentless texting him begging him to come. And Cuddy is apt to sign any early offer as long as it's fair since he wants to have it all figured out before his wife delivers the twins they're expecting (due in December). Plus, he kind of hinted that he wants to play for a winner (and really, who doesn't?).
Quick Movie Review -- Moneyball
I finally got around to seeing Moneyball. I went in with pretty low expectations because many baseball writers kind of panned it. I liked it, but I didn't love it. I thought Brad Pitt was very good; I wasn't so impressed with Jonah Hill (he takes looking star-struck, nerdy, and nervous to new levels). It had good parts, but it also slow parts (gotta expect slow parts; it is a movie about baseball stats after all).
If you haven't seen it yet, don't pay full price, or, better yet, wait for the DVD (there's nothing really big-screen-worthy about it anyway).