Friday, March 2, 2007
Good Friday Morning everyone! Well, it was a crazy day, but it ended with me back at home. But, today I will be rather brief because of all this. I watched a LOT of snow and blowing snow and wet, sticky slushy snow that was starting to freeze. The Twin Cities is just getting leveled by snow. From 9:00 on Wednesday night until about 5:00 on Thursday afternoon, they got from 12-14 inches... and lots more still to come! I sat at the airport for a few hours just watching the snow. Most of the time I couldn't see the main terminal. There were so many snow plows and de-icer was being used all over the place. Honestly, I don't know why we flew out of town because it was that bad, but it is nice to be home... where we are also under a Blizzard Warning. You have to love Minnesota!
That's why, we should talk baseball, baseball in Florida and Arizona. I did watch a couple of innings of the Twins-Yankees game yesterday on mlb.tv. I saw Jose Morales single. I saw Denard Span hit a line drive. I saw Gil Velazquez look bad on two straight plays defensively, but he did start two nice double plays later from his SS position. In the at bat that I saw, he struck out looking. I didn't realize that Randy Choate and Mike Venafro are so similar.
Carlos Silva gave up a home run to Johnny Damon on the second pitch. Seeing highlights later though, the pitch was below the knees, Damon just went down and got it. the two-run homer that Jason Giambi hit in the second inning, however, was a pitch right down the middle, about thigh high. As frustrating as Silva was last year for this very reason, don't make too much of this outing.
The Yankees started their big lineup. Names like Damon, Jeter, Giambi, Rodriguez, Cano, Posada, Matsui... and at the end of their lineup... Mientkiewicz. Now, I have bashed Dougie Baseball on this site before. However, I think that this was a great signing by the Yankees' Brian Cashman. First and foremost, he solidifies a very questionable defensive infield. It will be interesting to see how many errors he saves over there. Secondly, he is a perfect fit in that powerful Yankees lineup. Hitting 9th, he doesn't have to hit much. However, in his career, he has always been a good on-base guy, someone who takes a lot of pitches, puts the ball in play, is willing to bunt, move guys over. I think he could hit .280, and if he does that a .350 on-base percentage is well within reach. Not bad for a #9 guy. And finally, let's not forget his relationship with Alex Rodriguez. They have been friends since long ago in Miami. I think that Doug could be a calming influence on A-Rod. It's not that Rodriguez needs to perform better. He's amazing already, but maybe Doug can calm him in October. If nothing else, Doug's mouth will be flapping enough and maybe keep some media away from A-Rod. OK, that's asking a bit much.
Friend of SethSpeaks, Kevin Slowey got into the game. he pitched the third and fourth innings. He did not allow a run. However, he did give up two hits and walked two batters. He used his defense, that's for sure!
From La Velle's reports during the game, Jason Kubel made a diving catch to help out Slowey. He also threw out a runner trying to take an extra base. He also drove in the Twins lone run. Ideally, Kubel becomes the team's everyday leftfielder. However, a couple of things make that impractical. First, his two surgically repaired knees likely could not stand every day on the Metrodome's turf, at least not early in the season. Secondly, remember when Rondell White was brought in to be a 'veteran' hitter? Wouldn't you think that a 'veteran' hitter would be able to hit whether he was playing the field or the DH? White basically used the DH excuse for his struggles last year, and Ron Gardenhire seemed to perpetuate that. Jason Kubel is going to have a monster 2007 season IF the Twins are smart with him.
I said I would be brief today, so here are just a few more thoughts:
Alaina Alexander and Leslie Hunt were the two women voted off of American Idol last night. If you look below, I had them as the two worst performances of the week for the women.
Nick Pedro and AJ Tabaldo were the two guys eliminated. This was a little more surprising. I had AJ ranked 5th for the week and Nick 7th. That said, this competition is about popularity, not talent, and that is what keeps Sanjaya Malakar in the competition.
Baseball America posted its Top 100 Prospects list on its website. Four Twins show up on the list. Which ones, and where did they rank? Well, you'll just have to go to the link to find out! (although, I don't think it will surprise many of you!)
Pat Neshek wrote a nice posting on how he is ready to get his first spring training outing in tonight against the Reds. He also has been made aware of his image being on a couple of new video games. It's a fun read.
John Sickels has a Prospect Retro on Shannon Stewart.
Here's a fun little sports story regarding my old high school and its wrestling program.
Later tonight (Friday), you should be able to listen to Jeff Straub's new podcast on the Minnesota Twins Fan Network. I will be one of the guests on the show.
Corky Miller is with the Braves this spring. Yesterday, he went 1-3 with an RBI.
Chad Moeller is with the Reds this year. He went 0-1 and caught.
Eric Milton left off where he ended (like Carlos Silva). He gave up two runs on six hits adn a walk in just two innings. He gave up two home runs.
Michael Ryan played some LF for the Pirates yesterday and went 2-2 with a double and two runs scored.
Terry Tiffee went 0-1 as a replacement at 3B for the O's. The team's SS on this day was former Twin Chris Gomez. He went 2-2 with a double, a homer (off of Yusmiero Petit), two runs and 3 RBI.
Ruben Sierra DH'd for the Mets and went 0-3.
Doug Mientkiewicz was 0-2 for the Yankees against the Twins.
Augie Ojeda is trying to catch on with the Diamondbacks. He played some SS and went 1-1 with a run.
Jacque Jones went 0-2 with the Cubs.
Shannon Stewart led off and played LF for the A's. He went 1-2 with a run.
Former Twins 3B Corey Koskie is still recovering from post-concussion syndrome and symptoms. 2005 top pick Ryan Braun has a chance to be the Brewers opening day starter at 3B. Yesterday, he made a case! He went 4-5 with a double, two homers, a stolen base, four runs scored and four runs driven in.
Cameron Maybin of the Tigers is one of my favorite prospects. He was the 10th pick in 2005 out of high school. I have heard a few interviews with him and he does very well. However, the Pirates drafted a couple of picks later that year and took another high school OF that is doing well as well. That is Andrew McCutcheon. He's just 19 years old and he was moved up to AA last year!
Anyway, I must get some sleep. Don't be surprised if there are updates to the site throughout the weekend! So, please stop by anytime! Thanks!
Thursday, March 1, 2007
I'm currently sitting in another large snow storm, this time from the
Twin Cities! I thought I should at least send you my rankings of the
American Idol contestants from last night's show.
1.) Melinda Doolittle
2.) Sabrina Sloan
3.) Lakisha Jones
4.) Jordin Sparks
5.) Staphanee Edwards
6.) Gina Glacksen
7.) Haley Scarnato
8.) Antonella Barba
9.) Leslie Hunt
10.) Alaina Alexander
SUMMARY - As much as I like Blake, he is probably the 5th or 6th best singer in the competition behind the top five women mentioned above. Now, he is a better performer than probably any of them, but vocally, there are five amazing in this group. Alaina was horrible and must go. Leslie Hunt's song was just strange. Antonella was actually decent last night, in moments. Melinda is incredible. Sabrina may be the favorite to win the whole thing because she is the total package. Lakisha is great, but I'm not quite as high on her as many are. Jordin Sparks. Previously, they would talk about teenagers in this competition and say things like "You have a lot of potential." Well, Sparks has a lot of potential, but that is scary because she is amazing already. Any thoughts?
While in the Twin Cities yesterday, I was fortunate to be able to have lunch at a nice cafe with none other than Stick & Ball Guy. I have met him on another occasion and when we talk, it is as if we talk all the time. It was really nice. Please check out his site today to see what he is up to. He let me know that he has some pretty exciting things brewing on his site!
While there, you can also check out the game thoughts of SBG and his blogging crew. Remember, it was the Twins first spring training game! In the end, the Twins and Red Sox fought to a 4-4 tie in 10 innings. You have to love spring training games! Joe Mauer homered. Matt Garza threw two perfect innings. Scott Baker got shelled in his inning-and-a-third, but then Jason Miller, Julio DePaula, Brad Voyles, Ricky Barrett and Errol Simonitsch combined for 6 2/3 scoreless innings. Rondell White also went 2-3. JC Romero threw a perfect inning for the Red Sox. In anther game, Florida's Scott Tyler (former Twins farmhand) struck out the only batter he faced against the Cardinals. AJ Pierzynski went 0-3 while LaTroy Hawkins threw a scoreless inning for the Rockies.
That is it for now. There may be an update during the day tomorrow, if I'm able. Feel free to e-mail me anytime. Have a great day!
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