Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Catching Up

This time, my excuse is actually that I've been so busy following the Twins, I haven't had a chance to post. I was in Milwaukee last week for the last two games of the series. First of all, Miller Park is terrible. The Metrodome was a better place for a ballgame. Punto is still terrible. Gardy seems to be getting dumber by the day. I still cling to the hope that Gardy is actually a maniacal genius who foresaw the late season collapse and brilliant orchestrated a preemptive meltdown to prevent it.

Of course, Nick Blackburn is terrible too. I'm almost starting to hate him more than Punto. Somebody should tell him that he still has quite a ways to go on the terrible scale. In 14 starts, Sean Bergman threw 68 innings and allowed 73 runs for an ERA over 9. Over part of two season, Mike Lincoln compiled a 7.70 ERA in nearly 100 innings. Kyle Lohse may actually prove to be the most fair comparison. The numbers are similar. Both are capable of pitching quite well, but generally don't. I guess we can only hope Blackburn gets his act together.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Rules

So Nicky admits he doesn't know the rules. It's an obscure rule, so I'm almost willing to excuse his ignorance. But we're always told about how he's a valuable player because he does the little things- the intangibles. He always gives you a great effort out there. He hustles. He sure didn't look like he was in any hurry to cross the plate. Manny Ramirez may be able to get away with whimsical baserunning, but when you've spent most of your career around the Mendoza Line, you should hustle on any play. Anybody who has watched or played baseball for any amount of time should know that odd things happen. I challenge anybody to find me a circumstance in which the run is less likely to count if you sprint home instead of lazily trotting.

If you paid me however many millions of dollars they are paying him to throw the ball into the outfield, I would study the rule book every single night- in the season and the offseason. Again, this is doubly true for an "intangible" player like Punto. Without fundamentals like knowledge of the rules, what value is he? Perhaps somebody should explain to him that if a fielder catches a batted ball before it hits the ground, then the batter is out. A lot of guys in the dugout don't know that rule. If the batter hits a ball to the pitcher, he throws to the first baseman who tags the base before the runner reaches the base, then the batter is out- even if he slides headfirst into the base.

As I'm writing, I proved myself wrong. If a runner is on second base and the ball is hit to an infielder, if you sprint home you will probably be tagged out.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Twins vs. Royals

The Twins finished a disappointing road trip. (Yes, it was disappointing. Sure, they took 2 of 3 from Oakland, but they lost 3 of 4 in Seattle). Now they "get" to play the Royals. The Royals have actually had the best record in the division over the past few weeks. Anything less than a sweep would be a pleasant surprise.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Mendoza Alert

Presently, Nick Putno (that's a typographical error. He's not worthy of correcting it) is hitting .206. He's 22/107. That means he's just an 0-3 away from the Mendoza line. He'll probably get three or four at-bats today. I can't imagine he'll get a hit in any of those, so he should be below .200 by sunset tonight. If not, he can go 1-8 over the next two games to be squarely at .200. How low can he go? They don't seem to have much of a viable alternative, so this winter, we'll find out just how much they value a .060 hitting aging utility player who is not particularly impressive at any position in the field. (For the math wizards out there, try to figure out how I arrived at the .060 number).

This infield is just depressing. I wanted to suggest trying Thome at first. Then I realized that it would be completely pointless. They have no other options on the bench, so we'd be stuck with Danny Valencia or Brendan Harris at DH. I suppose in a day game after a night game, they could DH Mauer and put Thome at first. Could he really do more damage in the field than one of those crappy infielders can do at the plate? I realize the starters are hurt, but is it too much to ask to have one respectable reserve?