Tuesday July 22, 2003
Sitting at the computer desk, staring at the screen with the blank Microsoft Word document staring right back at me, I was eating a bowl of cereal. Writerís block is an interesting phenomena, one I havenít actually experienced since college. Not really knowing what to write about. Watching the Twins game and trying to put sentences together. I have an idea on breaking the writerís block. As I said, Iím eating a bowl of cereal. Itís my favorite kind of cereal. (no, it is not Coco Crisp. Heís the LF for the Cleveland Indians. Ha! OK, that was bad! I apologize!) So, hereís how I will start todayís posting and weíll see where it goes from there.
Top 5 breakfast cereals:
5.) Alpha-Bits - also can help for writerís block too, I think. Just put the letters together.
4.) Raisin Bran - simple, to the point. It contains raisins and bran, so donít think too much.
3.) Froot Loops - Just plain tastes good.
2.) Fruity Pebbles - These last two entries must count as servings of fruit, right? They must be good for me!
1.) Lucky Charms! The best cereal of all-time! Fun marshmallows, yum!
OK, I can do this. Why donít I start by talking about the Twins game? Just some notes.
The Twins got their fifth straight win last night, and reached the .500 mark again. With Kansas Cityís loss, the Twins cut their lead to 5 Ĺ games.
Can we say that now the Twins have turned the corner and are on the way back to playing like we all feel they can? Well, tonight, for me, proved that, in fact, they have.
The Twins were able to get out to an early lead which always helps. Torii Hunter is hitting the ball out of the park. With his home run tonight, he now has 17 homers on the season, and 3 in the last 4 games.
Kyle Lohse pitched a great 6 2/3 innings. But then between he and LaTroy Hawkins, the 4-0 lead was lost and became a 4-4 tie. This is where I think we found out what this team is made of. During their losing streak, if this would have happened, they would have collapsed and found a way to lose, probably by a bunch of runs. But, the fact that they were able to hold the Mariners offense to no more runs, and then get a big run off of Arthur Rhodes and Jeff Nelson, was huge, if not surprising. Eddie Guardado actually pitched a 1-2-3 9th inning for the save.
To win a close game, a game where they actually gave up the lead late in the game, that is very impressive, and a sign that the Twins are moving in the right direction as a team.
∑ Do you think Jacque Jones thought he had a homer in the 8th inning off of Arthur Rhodes? I donít think he would have had a double anyway, with Ichiro and his arm out there. My guess might have to be that he was so surprised that he actually hit an Arthur Rhodesí pitch, that he was frozen for a few seconds?
∑ I like the Twins announcers. I think Dick Bremer and Bert Blyleven generally do a good job of telling us what is going on. And, I have no problem with them them being ďhomersĒ either. But, tonight, when they went on and on about how the umpire missed the 2-strike pitch that Kyle Lohse threw to Ben Davis, I thought it was a bit much. They acted as if it was clearly a strike, and I donít think thatís the case at all. From the angle we see (which isnít straight on, I realize), it appeared to me to be inside. I donít know how Davis didnít swing at it, but I liked when, after whining about the call the whole next inning, they replayed it and neither Bremer nor Blyleven had anything to say. (That said, I do think that the ump was very inconsistent with his ball/strike calls)
∑ Shannon Stewart is doing well. As Iíve said in previous e-mails. I think that Stewart is a very solid hitter, and a very good leadoff hitter. Heís proving that the last 2 or 3 games. He sees a lot of pitches and when he does swing, has been making good contact. I didnít like the trade at the time, and I still donít. But, if weíre only going to look at this year, this may be one of the few trades youíll see where both teams end up benefiting from it. The Twins get what they feel they needed, and the Blue Jays are getting Kielty, and in his 5 games with them so far, he has played LF, RF, DH, and 1B (something I thought he should have done more of with the Twins). But, that said, clearly, this is a bad trade for the Twins long-term.
∑ Chris Gomez has proved to be a great acquisition for the Twins. Denny Hocking is really the Utility Player, per se, but Gomez is the guy who will play a position if there is an injury or a benching to a starter and play daily. In that role, heís done great, and he has come up with some big, clutch hits, like tonight.
∑ Justin Morneau was on the bench again tonight. In his first plate appearance since the All-Star break, he walked on 4 pitches, and was replaced by pinch-runner Denny Hocking.
∑ Shannon Stewart needs to get to RF. I love Dustan Mohr defensively, but he just can not hit! If Stewart can play RF, then Lecroy or Morneau can hit instead!
∑ How impressive was Juan Rincon last night? After JC Romero actually got one out of two hitters out, Rincon came in with one on and one out. He proceeded to strike out the next two hitters. Rincon is getting innings in much more important situations, and is providing the Twins with another solid reliever. His continued success in that role would be very beneficial to the Twins chances.
∑ Tonight, itíll be Rick Reed (5-9, 4.85) against Freddy Garcia (9-9, 4.66). Garcia has been great since getting off to a horrible start. Rick Reed started this 5-game winning streak with a very strong last outing. Hopefully he can do the same thing tonight!
Yesterday, I mentioned that Rich Harden, Oakland Aís super-prospect pitcher, was making his major league debut last night against the Kansas City Royals. Although he didnít factor into the decision, Harden was very impressive. In 7 innings, he gave up just one run, while striking out 4 batters. Seeing some of his highlights on Sports Center last night, he looks to me to be very similar to Tim Hudson. Just his mound mannerisms, his poise, and the way his delivery is so balanced. I think if they could slot him in as the #4 pitcher, the Aís could be tough to beat in the 2nd half. Hudson, Zito, Mulder, Harden and Lilly. Thatís tough!
Welp, Iím going to keep my ĎKeep It Shortí promise for another day. Thanks for stopping by. Iíd love to hear your thoughts. As you can see, Iím always looking for new and exciting ideas for topics for this site. Please e-mail me your thoughts on what is written above, or if you have other ideas for future topics.
Have a great Tuesday!
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