Wednesday July 14, 2004
50,000 THANK YOU'S
TWO TWINS TRADES
ALL STAR THOUGHTS
DISCUSSION QUESTION OF THE WEEK - your thoughts will be posted tomorrow.
First things first... remember that tomorrow I will post your thoughts on this week's Twins-related discussion questions. It is always interesting for me to read your thoughts, on anything, but particularly on the Twins.
But first, check out this article I found on Yahoo yesterday:
Man Jailed After Shooting Self in Groin - I'm sorry, but you just don't read that a whole lot. It is a very interesting article. Here is the opening paragraph:
SHEFFIELD, England - A man who shot himself in the groin after drinking 15 pints of beer and stuffing a sawed-off shotgun down his trousers was jailed for five years Tuesday for illegal possession of a firearm.
50,000 THANK YOUS
If you have been tracking the hit counter on the left side of this screen, I'm sure you noticed that I will cross the 50,000 hit plateau today. That's a big number, and again, I really want to thank all of you who stop by this site every day. I hope what you find is entertaining, or at least thought provoking. During the season, I enjoy giving information on the Twins minor leaguers who are doing well too. First, I think they deserve a lot of credit, and also I find it interesting, seeing how the players develop before becoming Minnesota Twins. I hope you find it interesting too. Basically, I have to say thank you to everyone. The bloggers you see on the left side of this screen and all those who have contributed in any way. Thank you, and here's to another 50,000!
TWO TWINS TRADES
The All-Star game also means we are now in the middle of July and we are just two weeks from major league's July 31 trade deadline. Will the Twins make a deal? I don't know. I really don't think they'll do anything too major. Kris Benson scares me. I am good with Miguel Batista. But I would like to start a few new trade rumors. Deals that I think make sense for the Twins, yet, could also be realistic. Please feel free to chime in with your thoughts on any of them, or let me know of other deadline deals you would like to see the Twins make. E-mail me.
JACQUE JONES TRADED TO THE CARDS
We all know that Jacque Jones will likely not be back with the Twins next season. Terry Ryan tried to trade him this past offseason with no luck. I have said before that I hate losing an impact-type player this late into the season. Despite his struggles this season, Jacque Jones is an impact player. The Cardinals are in need of a left fielder. Personally, I think they made a mistake by moving Albert Pujols in to first base. If they had left Pujols in LF, they could have played John Gall (who is tearing up AAA pitching... again) at 1B.
Twins Trade OF Jacque Jones and C Jose Morales to the Cardinals in exchange for LHP Steve Kline and RHP Dan Haren.
Kline would be a left-handed reliever to pitch out of the 'pen along with JC Romero. The Cardinals have Ray King doing a wonderful job as the Cards lefty reliever. Dan Haren was solid in 2003 making a few starts for the Cardinals. He pitched well much of this season at AAA, but was crushed in one start with the Cardinals and sent back down. He would be a solid 5th starter for the Twins. Or, if the Twins acquire a more veteran starter, Haren would be a good long-reliever (in place of Roa) The Twins would still have Shannon Stewart in left and move Lew Ford over to right field.
TWINS ACQUIRE BATISTA
Twins Trade Doug Mientkiewicz, Michael Restovich and Adam Johnson to the Toronto Blue Jays for Miguel Batista.
Miguel Batista would come in and be a great #3 pitcher for the Twins. Rumor had it that the Blue Jays want Justin Morneau, but he should be a completely untouchable in any deal. I would think that JP Ricciardi would want more than just Michael Restovich in return for Batista. Mientkeiwicz, despite his struggles to this point, is a Ricciardi/Moneyball kind of player. He has a good plate approach and usually a high on-base percentage because he can take a walk. Let's not forget that it is possible that the Jays will trade Carlos Delgado as well, opening up 1B for Mientkiewicz.
So, the Twins get an upgrade at the #3 spot in the rotation, moving Carlos Silva and Kyle Lohse down to the 4th and 5th spots. Adam Johnson would almost be a throw-in. I just don't think he'll ever get a chance with the Twins again, so it would be good if he could be included.
So, put these two trades together and here is the Twins 25 man roster for the final months of the season:
C - Joe Mauer, Henry Blanco (they're paying him $750,000, they won't get rid of him)
1B - Justin Morneau
2B - Luis Rivas, Nick Punto
3B - Corey Koskie, Michael Cuddyer
SS - Cristian Guzman
LF - Shannon Stewart, Michael Ryan
CF - Torii Hunter
RF - Lew Ford
DH - Matthew LeCroy
Starting Rotation - Johan Santana, Brad Radke, Miguel Batista, Carlos Silva, Kyle Lohse
LH Relievers - Terry Mulholland, JC Romero, Steve Kline
RH Relievers - Juan Rincon, Grant Balfour, Jesse Crain
Closer - Joe Nathan
I'd take my chances with that team. I love that bullpen, and suddenly the starting rotation doesn't have a black hole in it. Maybe the movement of a couple of the veterans will jump start the bats. I know having Morneau and Mauer in the lineup can only be a positive thing! It looks like I've only got four outfielders, but remember Michael Cuddyer can play the corner outfield positions and Nick Punto could play centerfield. If an outfielder gets hurt, Jason Kubel is waiting in the wings in Rochester.
So, what do you think? Too much tinkering or just a start? Will Terry Ryan do anything, or will he stand pat with his team? E-mail me.
ALL STAR THOUGHTS
Unlike a lot of bloggers I read, I actually enjoy the entire All-Star experience. I love the Futures Game. I love the home run derby. I enjoy the celebrity softball game. I like seeing the players from different teams come together and play a fun game. I completely believe that it should be an exhibition and have no bearing on anything other than itself. My favorite part, however, might be the pre-game introductions. I like seeing all of the reserves lined up and tipping their caps to the crowd. Here are just a couple of thoughts I had about the game itself:
Roger Clemens gave up 6 first inning runs to the American League. Two possibilities:
Clemens is thinking the Astros will trade him back to the Yankees, and he wants home field advantage in the World Series.
He is just trying to make Joe Torre and George Steinbrenner like him again after his whole short-lived retirement situation.
Maybe Mike Piazza wasn't as over his feud with Clemens as they let on. Maybe he was tipping off Clemens' pitches to the hitters.
Was anyone else disappointed the Esteban Loaiza didn't really seem to interested in pitching to Barry Bonds with a 5 run lead? Ball four wasn't even close. Oh well, just another reason not to like the White Sox, right?
You couldn't tell the game was on Fox, could you? I mean, the network that brought you American Idol? Fantassia Barrino sang the National Anthem and Ruben Studdard sang God Bless America in the 7th inning.
David Ortiz hit a LONG home run in his at bat. He also walked twice. Matt Lawton went 1-2 with a single up the middle.
How good is Albert Pujols? 2-2 with a double to right field and a double to left field.
Joe Nathan was incredibly impressive! He pitched a perfect 7th inning. He struck out Bobby Abreu on a 97 mph fastball. Mike Lowell popped out. Miguel Cabrera struck out on another high, hard fastball. Nathan did throw primarily fastballs, and all were in the 96-98 mph range. He threw one pitch to Lowell that was some sort of off-speed with movement pitch, and it was still 92 mph. He threw two 94 mph on the black. He was absolutely amazing!
It still completely bothers me that a few players did not play. It is another reason that I think the All-Star game should just be an exhibition game. The Tigers Carlos Guillen was the only AL position player that did not play. I think that's horrible. Sure, you don't want to leave yourself with no bench options in a regular game. But, if this was an exhibition, the managers could talk it over and Torre could have put Miguel Tejada back into the game or something.
Big night for Derek Jeter. Not only did he play pretty much the whole game at SS and collect three hits, but he also got to hang out and be the recipient of Muhammed Ali's playfulness.
OK, I may be a traditionalist or old-school or something, but I enjoy the All-Star game and all that surrounds it. Tonight, the AAA All-Star game is on ESPN2 at 6:00. Justin Morneau, Jesse Crain and David Gassner are on the roster, representing the Rochester Redwings. The AA All-Star game is also tonight. The New Britain Rockcats will be represented by JD Durbin, Scott Baker, Luis Maza and Kevin West.
DISCUSSION QUESTION OF THE WEEK
So, here we are and the ceremonial half-way point of the season. The Twins are off until Thursday. That day, I will post your thoughts on the Twins to this point in the season. I know I asked these same questions at about the ¼ point of the season, but let’s ask/answer some more Twins-related questions. I will provide a list of questions for you to answer, but please don’t feel limited to it. Feel free to praise the team or vent about them. Let the questions just be a starting point. Please e-mail me your thoughts by Wednesday. Thanks!
1.) What has been the highlight of the first-half of the Twins season for you? Lowlight?
2.) Which player(s) have impressed you the most?
3.) Which player(s) have been most disappointing?
4.) Twins first-half awards…
b. Best hitter?
c. Best pitcher?
d. Biggest Surprise?
e. Biggest Disappointment?
5.) How would you grade the decision-making of Terry Ryan?
6.) How would you grade Ron Gardenhire?
7.) What are you most looking forward to seeing in the second-half?
8.) Which player(s) do you expect to step up?
9.) Do you think the Twins will make any trades? If so, for whom?
10.) Finally, what will the second half bring for the Twins? Where will they finish in the AL Central? Can they win it? Is it a two-team race?
Again, I will post your thoughts to these questions and any other comments you have about the Twins on Thursday. Please e-mail me by Wednesday. Thanks!
That is it for me for today. Have a great day!! As always, if you have any questions or comments on anything, please e-mail me.
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