Friday, April 29, 2005
Twins Minor League Report
Brief Movie Reviews
Good Friday morning! The Twins finished off a sweep of the Royals yesterday afternoon with another one-run win, this time in 11 innings. The minor league teams that played all won and actually scored some runs. But first, one bit of American Idol News to report:
AMERICAN IDOL (?) NEWS - America's favorite rocker, for sure now that Constantine is gone, Bo Bice is in the news. He had been arrested for drug charges twice in the past four years, once for cocaine and once for marijuana. Fox says that he has been upfront about his transgressions the whole time. For what it's worth, my favorite (Note sarcasm) contestant, Scott Savol admitted to pleading guilty to a misdemeanor domestic violence charge in his past.
It took a lot more work than I am sure the Twins would have wanted, but they got it done. The Twins swept the Kansas City Royals. I do realize that it is not a huge accomplishment, but as I've said before, these are the games that are vital to winning a division title. You can't have hiccups against the lower echelon team, and yes, the Royals are as low as it gets. But escaping with a 6-5 win in 11 innings yesterday afternoon gave the Twins the sweep. Here are just a couple of notes from the game.
It was nice to see Jesse Crain pitch the 10th and 11th innings of a close game rather than Terry Mulholland, huh?
Lew Ford got his third game-winning single against the Royals in their five matchups this year.
Yes, Joe Nathan is human. Odds are that he may even give up another run or two this year. That said, the run yesterday that tied the game for the Royals in the bottom of the 9th was unearned because of an error by Juan Castro on a strong Lew Ford throw to 3B.
What are the odds that Shannon Stewart would the the Twins player to show up with the #1 Web Gem of any night?
Justin Morneau with a nice 4-5 day. All four were singles, but two drove in runs. He is SO good.
With Joe Mauer given a routine day game after a night game off, it was Corky Miller getting the start behind the plate. Apparently Mike Redmond is still too sore a week after getting taken out at home by Mike Sweeney. Otherwise, you would have to wonder why Miller would play (much less be on the roster!) at this point, instead of Terry Tiffee. Miller went 0-4 yesterday and is now 0-12 on the season. Couple that with his 2004 season stats which had him 1-39 (.026) on the year, and he has just one hit in 51 at bats the past two seasons. That's a nice .020 batting average!
With Juan Castro, Corky Miller and Nick Punto as the bottom third of the Twins lineup, it made me wonder if there has ever been a worse bottom third of an order in major league history (National League included)? Imagine is Luis Rivas would have played 2B instead of Punto!
Kyle Lohse left the game before recording an out in the 5th inning yesterday. When I saw the Gardy had gone to Matt Guerrier for that situation, I was happy. When I found out that Lohse was removed because of stiffness in his right shoulder, I felt bad for him. However, more and more, I am agreeing with those who e-mail me to tell me that Lohse should be moved to the bullpen (if not just gone completely). Lohse does have the fastball and a second pitch to be OK in the bullpen. Maybe that is what the team will have to do with him for the rest of the year. With Scott Baker, Boof Bonser and David Gassner all but ready to contribute in the Twins starting rotation, this move may have to be made soon. I wish the Twins could trade Lohse. I do think he could be good. What could a pitching coach like Atlanta's Leo Mazzone do with Lohse? Maybe they would have some interest! Hey, if the Braves gave up Jose Capellan for Dan Kolb, maybe the Twins could get Kyle Davies (or if I'm dreaming Andy Marte or Jeff Franceor) for Lohse!
I have been impressed with what Matt Guerrier has done so far this year!
I am still nervous every time JC Romero is on the mound.
By the way, don't forget to vote your maximum number of times for the Twins players on the All-Star ballot.
Stick and Ball Guy is cool! Seriously! He is getting married in the very near future, so he turned to some of his married friends to offer him advice through a game of Pepper! So, Cheesehead Craig from Oracle of Cheese, Shane from Greet Machine and Cheer or Die from Vikings Underground gave him some wonderf... advice on some interesting topics.
Tonight, the Twins start a three game home series against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. A dumb name, but a very good team with a solid pitching staff, stellar bullpen and strong offense. Here are the pitching matchups:
Twins Minor League Report
PROSPECT WATCH - Well, 16 people responded to the request for you to send me the six prospects that you would like to see followed on the left side of the screen. That is actually more than I anticipated. Now, remember that my vote counts as two (for no reason other than it is my site!). Today you will notice that the six players 'we' chose are on the left side of the screen. I hope to update these statistics daily, or at least as frequently as I update the site. Thank you again to those of you who took the time to write me. Here is a breakdown of your selections. Remember this is the number of votes each received (out of 17):
Francisco Liriano - 14
Scott Baker - 13
Matt Moses - 13
Garrett Jones - 11
Glen Perkins - 9
JD Durbin - 8
So those are the six you will see on the left. In case you're interested, there were a lot of other Twins prospects that received at least one vote. They were:
4: Alex Romero, Terry Tiffee, Travis Bowyer, Trevor Plouffe
3: Jay Rainville, Kyle/Steven Waldrop, Denard Span
2: Colby Miller, Pat Neshek, Adam Harben, Alexander Smit
1: Dave Gassner, Doug Deeds, Willie Eyre, Michael Ryan, Brock Peterson, Juan Portes, Anthony Swarzak, Scott Tyler
There are a number of really solid prospects who did not even receive a vote. I think that just says a lot about the Twins minor league system!
Thursday - REDWINGS 8, Syracuse 2 - Dave Gassner picked up another win for Rochester last night. He went 5 2/3 innings. He gave up two runs on five hits and two walk. He struck out three. Willie Eyre, Travis Bowyer and Jim Abbott each pitched scoreless innings of relief. Garrett Jones went 2-4 with an RBI. Michael Ryan was just 1-5, but he did hit his 5th homer and drove in five runs.
NEW BRITAIN ROCKCATS
Thursday - ROCKCATS - No Game Scheduled.
Here is a great story on Rockcats veteran and leader Tommy Watkins.
FT MYERS MIRACLE
Thursday - MIRACLE 9, Dunedin 5 - Denard Span led the way by going 5-5 with a double and two RBI. That increased his average to .373. Brock Peterson hit his third homer in the last two games, his fourth of the year. He also had a double and a walk. Kyle Phillips was 2-4 with his first homer and two RBI. Nick Blackburn improved to 3-1. He gave up three runs (1 earned) on three hits and two walks, in six innings. He struck out six. Hill gave up two runs over the next inning and 2/3. He gave up a hit and three walks. Chris Schutt got the final four outs, striking out three.
Thursday - SNAPPERS 6, Ft. Wayne 4 - Mitchell Zamojc went 4-4 with a triple, his third homer of the year, and three RBI. He is now hitting .367. He also stole his fourth base. Deacon Burns went 2-4 with an RBI. Anthony Swarzak gave up three runs on seven hits. He walked none and struck out seven. Jonathon Martinez gave up a run on three hits in two innings. He struck out three. John Williams and Steven Duguay each pitched a scoreless inning. Duguay picked up his fourth save.
BRIEF MOVIE THOUGHTS
OK, I have watched a few movies since this last weekend and thought I would briefly discuss them:
Hotel Rwanda - This movie was up for a bunch of Academy Awards. Don Cheadle was nominated for Best Actor for his turn as Paul Rusesabagina, a hotel manager at an exclusive hotel that had guests from all over the world. Now, this is based on real events in Rwanda during the mid-1990s, the genocide of thousands of people in the small African country. I thought that although it was very gruesome, it was a very good movie as well. It told the story two sides and what it was like to be in the middle. I found it interesting that "Hollywood" produced a movie where they essentially blamed the United States and the United Nations for not doing enough to help out the genocide in Rwanda. Yes, that is the same Hollywood where many people are against the war in Iraq where there were even more social injustices. I think this is a great movie, and certainly one to watch. Cheadle is incredible!
Closer - Now, Natalie Portman was nominated for an Academy Award for her role as a stripper in this movie. Hence, I had to watch it, right? I mean, we like Natalie Portman. But I do believe that she is an incredible actress. Also in the movie are Julia Roberts and Jude Law. Clive Owen also was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in this movie. I am not a big fan of either, but it would be impossible to question either's talents. Now, this movie is basically about complications of relationships. Not to get too complex, but the plot line involves Dan and Alice getting into a relationship. Dan meets Anna and they hook up after he introduced her to Larry (in a very interesting way) and those two get together. Now, while Larry is dealing with being apart from Anna, he may or may not hook up with Alice. And their are different combinations and the story jumps in time. It is a very interesting look at the complexities of relationships. There are some great and deep lines throughout. however, this is a movie that did not really attract my attention. It certainly isn't terrible, but I wouldn't rank it real high on any Need To Watch lists.
The Butterfly Effect - Ashton Kutcher's attempt at drama. And I have to say that I think he did it very well. I would describe his performance as similar to Jim Carrey in Eternal Sunshine. No, I am not saying Kutcher is anywhere near Oscar-worthy (as I believe Carrey was), but I am saying that Kutcher made me forget about his bad Punk'd image, but his character also had enough quirks so that he could still be 'himself' in the movie. I was impressed. Now the plot of the movie was absolutely fascinating to me. The title is in regard to the belief that if a butterfly does so much as flap its wings, it could trigger a tsunami on the other side of the world. That concept, one change in any event could change the course of history for so many others, was fascinating. Amy Smart was great. The writing was impeccable. I would certainly recommend this movie!
The Ring - I had intended to go to The Ring 2 last weekend. It didn't happen, but in order to watch it, I had to watch the first installment. I am not a fan of horror movies, but I do like suspenseful movies a lot! I actually enjoyed this movie a lot because it made you think. Yes, it was scary and intense, but you had to think. Also, just when you thought the movie was done, something more happens and you think you're watching the sequel, but no, it's still a very important part of the first. I do think this is a good movie and I will definitely watch the sequel at some point. Oh, and we like Naomi Watts!
Sideways - This movie was nominated for a bunch of Academy Awards too. Paul Giamatti, who is the son of former baseball commissioner Bart Giamatti, stars as Miles, a down on his luck author who can't seem to get published. He gets to spend a week with a friend, Jack (played by Thomas Haden Church), who is to get married the following Saturday. They head from San Diego up to the wine vineyards of California and well, there are a lot of things going on. There are other women. There is the mental anguish of Miles. It is a strange, but quite interesting, storyline. If you enjoy movies with deep intellectual dialogue, you will really enjoy this drama. There are also plenty of happenings that make you laugh out loud. Again, this is certainly a movie worth checking out!
As always, if you have any thoughts on any of these movies, please e-mail me.
That's it for today. Have a great weekend! If you have and questions or comments or ideas, please feel free to e-mail me!
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