Friday, April 15, 2005
SBG's Contest Thoughts
Twins Minor League Report
American Idol Thoughts
Talkin' Twins and Tigers
Good morning everybody! After a day off yesterday, I think I'll be making up for it with plenty of quantity today! I am excited to say that last night, I was watching the final game of the Twins and Tigers three game series. I was also online chatting with excellent Tigers blogger Bill Ferris who writes The Detroit Tigers Weblog. Today, I am going to post roughly half of our in-game chat. At the end of it, you will find a link to his site where he will be posting the remainder of the chat. We talk a lot about the Twins and Tigers and some other things as well. I think you'll enjoy it. So, here it is:
SethSpeaks: you get to see the Twins "B" Lineup. They keep throwing out other players in these third games of series.
Bill: And yet Jones is playing despite the lefthander?
SethSpeaks: I just don't get it!!!
Bill: It is rare to see Radke this wild
SethSpeaks: yeah, he's normally a little sharper, but he isn't missing by much
Bill: If the Tigers don't get a couple runs this inning, I think they'll be in trouble
Bill: I'm pretty sure he'll settle in as the game moves on
SethSpeaks: I hope so. But yes, he normally does do better.
Bill: What do you think of "not-so-Pudge"
SethSpeaks: he still looks pretty thick, and strong, and can still hit and throw!
SethSpeaks: I have to ask... do you think that Pudge is the best all-around catcher of all-time?
SethSpeaks: Offense. Defense. I think you could argue Johnny Bench, but Pudge adds some speed too.
Bill: Probably not yet, but I think he's at least a part of the discussion
SethSpeaks: Well, just two runs. Twins should feel lucky!
Bill: He does have better speed than Bench, but I still give Bench the nod for now
Bill: (Carlos) Pena did hit that pretty well
Bill: He's seeing the ball well this year, but I don't think his swing is locked in yet
Bill: The 9 walks help to cover that up though
SethSpeaks: If he could even hit .280, he'd be pretty good.
SethSpeaks: I really like Nate Robertson. He's relatively young. He struck out a lot of hitters last year, but it seemed like he was only able to go 5, or maybe 6 innings most starts last year.
Bill: Every hitter was a full count
Bill: He'd get ahead, and then nibble
SethSpeaks: It seemed that way.
SethSpeaks: Inge doesn't seem real comfortable at 3B defensively. Is he decent there?
Bill: He'll make some spectacular plays, but struggle with some of the in between hops
Bill: He's better when he has less time to think, and just react
SethSpeaks: that makes a lot of sense. Obviously as a former catcher, he's got the arm.
Bill: He was actually a ss when he was drafted
Bill: They moved him to catcher right away, and he adapted pretty well. He worked hard on calling games, but he's admitted he isn't too bright. It's possible that the defensive part of catching was distracting him offensively
Bill: His splits last year would certainly support that, but the sample size is relatively small.
SethSpeaks: that makes sense because he was really bad offensively!
Bill: Nice scoop by Al Borland
SethSpeaks: yeah, LeCroy is really not very good over at 1B. After Tiffee did so well last night, I was surprised that he isn't in the lineup tonight.
SethSpeaks: So, what are your thoughts on the Magglio Ordonez contract? Do you think he'll play in enough games for his contract not to be voided?
Bill: The contract is way too long and for too much money
Bill: I'm excited that we have an owner who seems committed to getting the best guys he can
Bill: And I think it was much more an Illitch move than a Dombrowski move
SethSpeaks: only now that he doesn't have to pay the Redwings!
Bill: He stepped up last year actually. I think he was embarrassed by 2003 - as he should be
SethSpeaks: He had to do something because it would have been hard to sell fans on Troy Percival making a big difference.
Bill: He tried to get other guys, nobody would take his money though
SethSpeaks: it certainly seemed that way this offseason. They were mentioned with all the top free agents but none signed
Bill: As for voiding the contract, that only happens if he misses time due to an injury to his bad knee. This intestinal thing doesn't count towards it all
SethSpeaks: good point. I had forgotten about that.
Bill: Beltre was the only one that got away that I was really disappointed about
SethSpeaks: I can see that. I mean, Renterria is overrated. Carlos Guillen is an All-Star, and Renterria isn't as good.
Bill: I would have liked to have seen them go after Clement also, but after they missed on Pavano they didn't go after any other pitchers.
SethSpeaks: Clement would have been an excellent signing for them! And, I think we all knew that Pavano was going to either Boston or New York.
SethSpeaks: And, now we get to see Jacque hit against a lefty! (Ed. Note - Jones singled)
Bill: What did you think about letting Restovich go
SethSpeaks: It's unfortunate. I think Resto can be a very solid Major League outfielder. I think he could hit 30 homers given 450 at bats.
SethSpeaks: That said, he was never going to get a real shot with the Twins to do that.
SethSpeaks: Hopefully he gets a chance in Colorado.
SethSpeaks: On a side note, did you see that Alex Sanchez is hitting third for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays tonight?
Bill: Oh my goodness no. I guess Lou is hoping that Sanchez was still juicing while suspended.
Bill: Releasing him was the best move the Tigers made this off season
Bill: That ball destroyed Rondell, and he has no arm.
SethSpeaks: it's like watching Shannon Stewart!
Bill: Our Detroit color man, Rod Allen is predicting the squeeze play
SethSpeaks: Rivas is a good bunter. Just don't think he's smart enough to do it.
Bill: That didn't take long to come back
SethSpeaks: Twins fans are thrilled with a sacrifice fly from Rivas!
Bill: Gleeman doing jumping jacks?
SethSpeaks: Probably not, because a productive at bat like that gives Gardy more reason to play him.
Bill: Al Newman has to have the best hands of any 3rd base coach
SethSpeaks: I would guess so. He catches the ball well over there, very soft.
SethSpeaks: Juan Castro is terrible. That may be the worst signing in the league this year! 2 guaranteed years!?
Bill: Tied at 2 after 2. Time for a beer - you want one while I'm up?
SethSpeaks: nah, I'm doing good! Thanks!
SethSpeaks: OK, this at bat I noticed. Pudge is much thinner in the face and throughout his whole body.
Bill: His arms are still pretty big, but his legs and midsection are much trimmer
SethSpeaks: what do Detroit fans and media think about the weight loss? Is it assumed that steroids are the reason, or are they giving him the benefit of the doubt?
Bill: There's mixed response. It's rumored he worked with Miami nutrionist Sari Mellman who has produced 20 lb weight losses in other athletes
SethSpeaks: 20 pounds is really possible in 6 months. I guess I don't see why that is such a big deal. Well, aside from the Jose Canseco book reasons.
Bill: Especially since you can see a lot of the weight was in his midsection
Bill: And he does seem ridiculously fast for a guy that's been catching for a dozen years
SethSpeaks: that's why I would separate him from all other great catchers.
Bill: That's a good point. That's something that is unique to him among the greats
SethSpeaks: He also hits for way more average than Bench ever did.
SethSpeaks: Bert Blyleven is calling LeCroy's ground out to 2B a great out, a 'productive out.'
SethSpeaks: I am a huge supporter of productive outs, but a cleanup hitter should not be trying to ground out to 2B on a 2-1 pitch.
Bill: So are the Detroit announcers. "How many times do you see a cleanup hitter just trying to advance the runner?" like it's a good thing
SethSpeaks: Once you get to two strikes, I say advance the runner.
Bill: Robertson doesn't pitch well when he's angry
SethSpeaks: Alan Trammell is looking rather angry himself now!
Bill: Stupid (Ed. note - The play where Omar Infante decided to throw to 2B, instead of just getting an out at 1B)
SethSpeaks: what a play!
SethSpeaks: What was Omar thinking?!
SethSpeaks: OK, I think that Trammell just popped a blood vessel!
Bill: I couldn't tell you
Bill: And for the third time in this series, Jones has turned a weak grounder to second into something worthwhile
SethSpeaks: it's funny how that just works sometimes!
SethSpeaks: I'm going to make a call... Cuddyer double to the RCF gap.
SethSpeaks: ok, he walked.
SethSpeaks: By the way, Mike Redmond is SO much better than Henry Blanco!!!
Bill: Robertson can't get a breaking ball over
SethSpeaks: So, Craig Monroe kills Twins pitching... why wasn't he given a job? Will Nook Logan ever get a shot? And, how long until Curtis Granderson be the starter?
Bill: I really like Monroe, and think he'll have a pretty productive season. Defensively, he's been working hard in center. What he lacks in speed, he's compensating for in jumps. Monroe will get 500 at bats this year.
Bill: Logan won't get a shot. He has not bat. PInch runner/defensive replacement only
Bill: As for Granderson, I don't know when they'll get him up. It seems to take him a couple months to adjust to a new level.
SethSpeaks: OK, I have to give Juan Castro some credit on that play up the middle.
Bill: I like Granderson, but I'm not as high on him as some others are
Bill: I think he'll be productive, but not great.
Bill: At least the Twins brought their gloves tonight
SethSpeaks: yeah they did. it's fun to watch!
SethSpeaks: (from my perspective, sorry!)
Bill: I think one of the reasons Tiger fans are so high on Granderson, is that we don't really no what good prospects look like. The system has been pretty barren.
Bill: Although I do like Infante
SethSpeaks: I guess I hadn't thought of that, when is the last time Detroit had a "star-like" prospect come up?
SethSpeaks: Well, I think Bonderman is going to be a star, but when he came up, he was nowhere near that.
Bill: It's been a long time
Bill: Higginson and Tony Clark were both pretty good in the late 90's
SethSpeaks: Higginson was great! And Clark had a couple of really good years.
Bill: Encarnacion was supposed to be great, but it never happened
Bill: Francisco Cordero looked real good before we traded him and Kapler, and Cattalanotto for Juan Gonzalez
SethSpeaks: Cordero did turn out pretty good! And that whole Gonzalez debacle was just bad.
Bill: Ah, the Randy Smith era...bad times
SethSpeaks: Maybe Justin Verlander will be ready for 2006
Bill: We can only hope. Tony Giarrtano is really impressing as well
SethSpeaks: if he's ready, I suppose they would move Guillen to 3B?
Bill: Cleveland and Chicago are tied at 5
Bill: I really think that while the Central might not be the best division, it will be the most interesting
SethSpeaks: I think there are four good teams in the division. Kansas City will be awful, but the other four teams will all be very competitive.
Bill: That's some protection by Radke
Bill: He doesn't miss that bad does he?
SethSpeaks: Blyleven is saying that there was no reason for it. HOWEVER, it is obvious what was meant by it.
SethSpeaks: Gardy's going to get tossed.
SethSpeaks: and there it happened.
SethSpeaks: He does that all the time. He completely backs his players.
SethSpeaks: The Twins announcers are being pretty naive here.
Bill: Gardy has a right to complain, but he stayed out too long. Ump gave him a chance to say his peace
SethSpeaks: Gardy went out there with the intention of being tossed.
Bill: For the love of God, don't sacrifice
SethSpeaks: ah yes, the old 1-4-6-3 double play!
Bill: This series just hasn't been any fun
SethSpeaks: it is fun for Twins fans who read Dmitri Young's comments on how the AL Central would be a two team race between the Tigers and Indians!
There is part 1 of my chat with Bill Ferris of The Detroit Tigers Weblog. Click here to read the rest of our in-game chat. (Likely won't be available until Friday morning)
STICK AND BALL GUY'S CONTEST
You may remember that I have been plugging Stick and Ball's Guy's site, particularly this week. He put up a new contest for readers to predict where the Twins and some of their players will be at the All-Star break. It is always fun to do predictions, and secondly, SBG is offereing two Twins tickets to the winner. His deadline was last night at midnight, and yes, I did enter the contest. I figured I would briefly post my answers along with some thoughts on them.
Question one: How many wins will the Twins have (87 games)?
I think that the Twins will be go into the All-Star break with a record of 49-38. That is a winning percentage of just over 56%.
Question two: What will be the pitching staff's ERA?
4.31, best in the American League again!
Question thee: How many quality starts will the Twins have?
I think that the Twins will have 39 quality starts.
Question four: What will be Johan Santana's ERA?
Question five: How many saves will Joe Nathan have?
I think that Joe Nathan will have 26 saves, although he isn't getting many opportunities yet!
Queston six: How many games will Joe Mauer play catcher in?
Call me an optimist, but I will say that he will catch in 58.
Question seven: How many home runs will Justin Morneau have?
I will now say that he will have 12 homers at the All-Star break, only because of all of these missed games.
Question eight: How many games will Luis Rivas have played in?
I will stick with the number 58.
Question nine: How many games will Lew Ford have played in the outfield?
unfortunately, I think he will only play out there about 24 times.
Question ten: How many RBIs will Torii Hunter have?
I am going to say 44.
By the way, SBG is posting this week's game of Pepper! today! I'm sure it will be interesting as always!
Following their three game sweep of the Detroit Tigers last night, the Twins travel to Cleveland to take on the Indians. The Indians have developed much of their team from within, or with young guys acquired in trades. They signed Aaron Boone mid-way through last season, and he plays 3B. Casey Blake moves to the OF. Kevin Millwood was added to make an already quality staff that includes Jake Westbrook and CC Sabathia. They are a young, talented team .They will certainly be around much of the season and arguably the Twins closest competitors in the Central.
I am excited to see the big league debut of David Gassner. I hope he does well. If not, Scott Baker and JD Durbin are in the future, and don't forget about Boof Bonser who had a nice start at Rochester the other day.
Here are the pitching matchups for the series at Jacobs Field:
Friday - 6:05 - Johan Santana (2-0, 4.50, 1.17) vs Jake Westbrook (0-2, 7.20, 1.40) - NO TV! (Johan's pitching, there is no excuse for this)
Saturday - 12:05 - David Gassner (MLB Debut) vs Kevin Millwood (0-1, 1.38, 1.00)
Sunday - 12:05 - Joe Mays (0-0, 5.14, 1.57) vs CC Sabathia (1st start of season)
Twins Minor League Report
Rochester lost to Norfolk 5-1 yesterday. The team had just three hits. Brent Schoenig threw well for five innings. He allowed a run on two hits and a walk. Brian Wolfe is back after missing all of last year to have Tommy John surgery. He went 2 innings and gave up just one hit and struck out two.
New Britain also was unable to hit. They had just four hits in a 4-0 loss to Harrisburg. Gabby Torres and Doug Deeds each had a double. Justin Olson started and went 4 1/3 innings. He gave up four runs on three hits and three walks. He did strike out seven. Ricky Barrett came in and pitched 3 2/3 innings of one hit ball. Our friend Pat Neshek pitched a scoreless ninth inning and struck out two.
Ft. Myers also didn't do well. They were held to just one hit in a shutout 6-0 to Dunedin. Ron Perodin had the lone hit. Denard Span was 0-2, but he did walk twice. Scott Tyler started and went five innings. He allowed two runs on six hits and a walk.
Beloit actually scored a few runs and even won a game. They topped Kane County 3-2. Jeremy Pickrel went 2-4 with a walk. Tarrance Patterson went 2-4 with a walk and an RBI. Jay Rainville was called up to Beloit as an injury replacement. He went 3 1/3 innings and gave up a run on two hits and two walks, striking out two.
American Idol Thoughts
Well, Scott Savol is still around for another week. Too bad! He should have been gone. Instead, Nadia Turner is the one heading home. I really don't have a lot to say about that. I think she was very good vocally. I thought she had great stage presence. But she's been in the bottom a few times already, so it was just a matter of time. Anthony was good this week, but hopefully he'll return to his prior form and he and Scott should be gone the next two weeks.
As always, if you have any thoughts, please e-mail me.
That's it for today. Have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend!! If you have and questions or comments or ideas, please feel free to e-mail me!
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