UPDATE - 5:45 p.m. - I was at work when a CNN Breaking News Flash popped into my e-mail. It said that a small plane had crashed into a NYC building. Being cold and calloused, I just deleted it. Then I was at home, flipping through some channels and on ESPN, the scroll told us that the plane was flown by Cory Lidle. If you read my Twins "Now What" article, I had mentioned Lidle as a starting pitcher that the Twins should consider.
What an incredibly sad event! It almost makes me feel guilty that it would only upset me when I heard it was a baseball player.
I have had an incredible amount of respect for Lidle throughout his career. He is a guy that no one ever really considered a great pitcher. He played for seven teams. But, despite his lack of the 'stuff' that 'experts' feel a big league pitcher must possess, he went 82-72 in his career. He was an average big league pitcher, in other words, he was pretty good. He is the kind of guy that is so frequently overlooked in the media.
It is unfortunate that it takes an event like this to get the kind of recognition that he deserves.
Obviously the death of a 34 year old who leaves behind a wife and a six year old son puts sports and work and so many other things into proper perspective. Keep his family and friends and former teammates in your thoughts!
Did you know that the Twins signed Lidle as a free agent when he was 18 years old? He spent two years in the Twins system before they released him. He played a year of independent league ball before returning to the affiliated leagues.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
It's been a busy couple of weeks for me of late. I was planning on completely taking the day off today from writing, but then I heard that the Twins picked up Torii Hunter's $12 million option. It pretty much necessitates some response. So, here are a few thoughts:
Actually, I do think that, right now, it was the right decision for Terry Ryan to make. After saying there is no way that they should even consider it until a couple of months ago, now I think it is their only option.
He really did have a very solid year. And, even Torii's detractors (myself included) have to admit that he carried the team to the playoffs the last six weeks of the season.
When you factor in his position, his 31 homers and 98 RBI is very impressive for a CF. If he is ever able to come close to the CF defensively that he was two years ago, he is probably worth the money he will make. Are there any other CF who put up those kinds of numbers and play solid defense... besides Andruw Jones and Grady Sizemore?
The Twins should not even entertain the possibility of working out a multi-year contract with Hunter. Playing on turf and playing defense the way he does is already starting to catch up with him. He could "age" very quickly.
I still believe that Terry Ryan should explore the trade value of Hunter. Could the Twins acquire a near-ready OF and a quality pitching prospect or two for Hunter? If so, they need to consider it. I wouldn't trade him just to trade him, but if there is a team making an great offer for him, they have to consider it.
I want Carl Crawford to be patrolling CF for the Twins for the next four or five years. They need to find a way to get him.
One more general thought... why is it that the public is made aware of the contracts of ball players (not just baseball). Why is it the public's business to know that Torii Hunter will make $12 million next year? Why is it their business to know that Alex Rodriguez will make $27 million in 2007? Why is it our business to know that Francisco Liriano will probably make around $375,000 next year? I have never understood that. I wouldn't want the public knowing how much I make, and I'm guessing that is true for most people. Is it just because they make more money? If so, that's certainly not fair whether you make a million a year, or $8 an hour. All it does is fuels people's disdain for the modern day athlete. If we didn't know that A-Rod makes what he does, would people still hate him as much or would he simply be respected as one of the game's all-time greats? Just a thought.
If you have any thoughts on the Twins decision, other decisions they need to make, or my opinion on the public knowing player salaries, please e-mail me, or leave some Comments below.
UPDATE - According to Jim Mandelaro's Extra Bases blog, the Twins have outrighted David Gassner, Terry Tiffee and Justin Jones. I agree with Jim when he says he isn't surprised by Gassner and Tiffee, but I am very surprised that Jones was dropped. He is still young. But then again, the Twins have a lot of people that they must be considering for the 40 man roster, and choices have to be made.
Kevin Slowey is blogging. For mlb.com, he is blogging while in the Arizona Fall League. Yesterday was his first entry. Other Twins minor leaguers in Arizona may also write throughout the AFL.
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