Sunday, November 22, 2009


Yesterday, during a conversation with two friends, we realized that collectively, the three of us had attempted something eight times but succeeded only once. I remarked that our rate of success qualifies us to play infield for the Twins. One of the others, who does not follow baseball closely, responded, "You're referring to somebody in particular. Just a second. I'll think of the... PINTO! Is it Pinto?" I had intended for my comment to apply to Buscher, Tolbert, and Casilla as well, but the characterization of the piranha as a sub-compact car with no rear fender and a gas tank prone to explosions struck me.

Meanwhile, rumors and suggestions fly about potential free agent moves during the off season. I expect to see Chone Figgins playing third for the Twins next year. The Twins certainly know that fans lost patience with the instability at the hot corner a few seasons ago. The signing of a big-name player symbolically shows fans the organization's commitment to building a winner, while maintaining the traditional Twins image because "he plays our style of baseball."

He will likely flounder in a Twins uniform; he has hit for respectable average, but his game is primarily speed and defense. Similar players for the Angels- Izturis and Aybar- have had similar numbers. Similar players for the Twins have flirted with the Mendoza line. I doubt there can be much difference between Twins speedy infielders and those for the Angels. That leads me to wonder about quality of coaching for the Twins. It may take the Twins a few months to do the damage, but even at career year he'd be way too expensive- which is exactly why I expect it to happen. The Twins best hope is that the Mets outbid for him like the Lions did with Scott Mitchell. I suppose at the very least, he knows not to try to score from second on a grounder to short.

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