Monday, September 28, 2009

A Chilly Wind

A strong wind from the north has lowered the temperature in Minnesota. The cool air and bright colors are probably supposed to make me think of football. To me, this weather means that after a hot (or not so hot in 2009) summer, it's finally time for real baseball. I'm looking forward to watching October baseball, and despite the Twins best efforts the Twins may not have that chance. It's anybody's guess what they'll do in Detroit, but I'd be surprised if the two teams combine for more than 1 win during the final weekend.

While I contemplate the outfield and first baseman for my All Metrodome team, I will name the designated hitter. This one is even easier than Gaetti. Nobody is the All Metrodome DH. There have been a few isolated successes, but throughout their stay at the Dome, the Twins have not had a designated hitter. Chili Davis had a strong year in '91, Paul Molitor received a few MVP votes in '96, lately Kubel has settled into the role, and David Ortiz had an outstanding month in July 2002. That covers about 6 of the Twins nearly 30 seasons under the teflon bubble. The rest of the time, platoon outfielders and mediocre free agents attempted to fill the void. Heck, even Denny Hocking started at DH now and then. For as crazy as it sounds to put a light-hitting utility infielder at DH, at least he was a career .250 hitter and rarely flirted with the Mendoza line for most of a season.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Eighty Two

It's over. The Tigers won their 82 game clinching a winning record for the American League Central Division champion. The Indians ruined it by completely collapsing instead of starting to play great baseball long after it stopped mattering. Speaking of that, now that attention in Minnesota has turned to #4 the Twins have played pretty well lately. The players' comments following the 2-1 series win over the Tigers sounded generally disappointed. What a contrast from all the times they'd pat themselves on the back for winning 1 of 6. Meanwhile, as I predicted, Punto continues to tear it up in all of the meaningless games assuring Twins fans another 500 at bats in the 2010 campaign.

I suppose I ought to name my All Metrodome third baseman. Much to my surprise, I am not bestowing the honor collectively to Tony Batista, Jeff Cirillo, Mike Lamb and anybody else to man the hot-corner since Koskie. The surly Canadian tempts me, I'll never forget Ron Coomer representing the Twins in the all-star game, Dave Hollins had a nice visit, and the Twins won a World Series platooning Scott Leius and Mike Pagliarulo. I'm not even old enough to remember Gary Gaetti, but I know he's the only choice. Now that I've made all of the easy picks, I'll have to settle on three outfielders. (The pitcher takes even less thought). I hope to post those before I talk myself into Pedro Munoz. (Make sure you pronounce that "Moo-Nose" like T.K. did back in the day.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Happy Birthday

I could not let the day go by without wishing Delmon Young a happy 24th birthday. Honestly, I'm not really sure what the Twins did this weekend. But I'm fairly certain they still think they have a chance at the playoffs.

Before I talk myself back into Todd Walker, I'm naming Chuck Knoblauch as my All Metrodome second baseman. He was a big part of the world championship and the players received in the trade (Milton, Guzman, and Buchanan) helped to rebuild the franchise a decade later. He took forever to adjust his batting gloves in several campaigns that earned him MVP consideration. I always liked his shaggy appearance as well. I'm still disappointed that the Twins didn't give him another shot after the Royals disappointing attempt to revive his career.

Monday, September 7, 2009

All Metrodome Catcher

The middle of the lineup is mired in a slump resembling a typical week for the middle of the infield, but otherwise the Twins have not done anything blog-worthy in a while. I take that back. Cuddyer and Morneau's "slump" would qualify as a hot streak for Casilla or Punto. In light of that, I continue naming players to my All Metrodome team. A month of two ago, I selected Pat Meares as the shortstop.

The catcher lead the club to several division championships while facing plenty of 0-2 counts as a left-handed hitter. He's one of the best catchers to wear a Twins uniform in the Metrodome era, and I will never understand the boos with which the Metrodome crowd greets A.J. Pierzynski. He has always been a solid backstop and tough out. He called a good game and seemed to handle the pitching staff pretty well. For as long as he wore a Twins uniform, he did everything he could to win each ballgame. Joe Mauer is a great player, too. I have nothing against him, but I still miss Pierzynski.