Monday, December 19, 2005
1st Inning - The Surgery
2nd Inning - Twins Thoughts
3rd Inning - Vikings Lose
A COUPLE INNINGS
Good Monday morning everyone!
I have to be honest. There isn't much to write about, unless you want to discuss the Royals signing of former Twin Doug Mientkiewicz (along with 2B Mark Grudzielanek... have to feel bad for Jay Posnanski and the other Kansas City baseball writers who will have to type out those names frequently!) a big deal. I know I don't. Nomar to the Dodgers to play 1B. Jarrod Washburn getting $35-40 million for four years from the Mariners. Sure, there are a few things to write about, but I'm going to be rather brief today. Actually, we're only going to play three short innings today. But as always, feel free to e-mail me or post some comments! I will update our football picks tomorrow. Click here to see how we did!
Enjoy your Monday!
Again, I need to thank all of you that sent me an e-mail regarding surgery. It means a lot. But to update others, I had surgery on Friday morning to 'blast' my kidney stone. I was shocked with about 1,600 electric waves in about an hour. It seemingly went well, and I have since started passing very small pieces of the stone. I was not well on Friday and Friday evening. I was very tired and light-headed, but that was likely just from the anesthesia. By Saturday, I felt much better and was able to walk and stand for longer periods of time. So, I'm happy to have it done. I have a follow-up with the doctor on Wednesday, but hopefully this is the last you will read on this site about kidney stones!
I tried my best in Friday's posting to be at least somewhat positive about the Twins signing of 3B Tony Batista. It is very difficult to do. The $1.25 million, non-guaranteed contract helps a little bit, but really, he is not better than the other 3B options the team has. Sure, we can hope, but this seems like a signing of a guy who can hit 30 homers. It doesn't seem to matter what he will do in his other 600 plate appearances (which is basically nothing).
So, overall, what does everyone think about Terry Ryan these days? Over at the John Sickels' minor league site, he has an interesting new idea where readers critique a GM. The first installment was to Critique Terry Ryan. It is a fun read because it reminds us of some of the deals he has made. An interesting positive mention of Carl Pohlad is brought up, which is very unusual. He has been patient in allowing the organization to develop their minor league system to what it is now. Personally, it is not possible to discuss Terry Ryan without mentioning how much he got in exchange for AJ Pierzynski or Eric Milton three winters ago. But since then, what has he done? Signed Juan Castro to a two year deal? More specifically, with all of the talk about how much they needed to do for the offense, what have they done?
See, that is where I am right now. I am frustrated by the lack of additions to this team. I see the signing of Tony Batista, but I do not at all consider him a better option at 3B than Michael Cuddyer. They have let Jacque Jones go, which was an obvious decision. But they also let Matthew LeCroy go very early, and I believe that there could have been some value in him. With his ability to drill left-handed pitching, something could have been done. They brought in Shawn Wooten with a minor league deal, but is he expected to be the new LeCroy? He can play 1B, 3B, DH, PH and catch some, but none of them well. That is not an improvement of the team. Who else has the team brought in? I am a big fan of the Luis Castillo signing because the Twins need on-base guys, so second base is already an improvement. Sure, they needed to add power, and Batista can hit 30 homers, maybe, but with a .270 on-base percentage? They still have the DH spot that they need to fill, and I'm still holding out hope for Mike Piazza to sign with the team, although my hope is dwindling especially now that Nomar Garciaparra is headed to the Dodgers.
I have said all along that I did not think that the Twins needed to make massive changes. My hope and assumption is that there will be improvements by the likes of Justin Morneau and Shannon Stewart. Jason Bartlett, if given 500+ plate appearances will be an improvement at the SS position. Joe Mauer will likely be better in his second full season. And, again, the return of Jason Kubel will help. But what else? What more can be done? Second base was improved with the addition of Luis Castillo. Third base was made worse by going from Michael Cuddyer to Tony Batista (assuming that is what will happen). The DH position, although not great with LeCroy and others, is worse off now than it was. Right field is probably a wash right now from Jacque Jones to whatever combination of Cuddyer, Kubel and Lew Ford plays out there.
If you look at the remaining free agent options, there is little left. I have consistently said that a signing of Frank Thomas would not be good at all for the Twins. I still believe that. I do believe that Mike Piazza is the only guy worth adding that could make a positive difference. If they don't do that, the Twins offseason has been a monumental disappointment. And, those who read this site frequently know that I try to stay positive about the Twins. If he can bring in Hank Blalock at this point without losing Francisco Liriano or Scott Baker, then I may change my tune.
So, what do you think? Any thoughts? E-mail me.
Was that the worst football game in the history of the NFL to watch? Horrible! The Vikings offense played like it had in Brad Johnson's first few weeks at the helm. They could not run well. They could not pass well. And when they got into the red zone, they had a field goal, a blocked field goal, and two interceptions thrown by Johnson, something he has not done much of. The Steelers defense played well, but this may be the simple result of the Vikings offense actually playing a good defense, something they really have not done during the six game win-streak. Now, the Vikings are going to have to try to win out, which will be tough, and get some help from the Falcons to knock off the Bears.
What is the Wide Receiver rotation? Nate Burleson should be a star and he barely gets on the field. Koren Robinson has earned his time. Travis Taylor, Marcus Robinson and Troy Williamson all get some time, but when? There is no consistency. And, why isn't Mewelde Moore getting more carries? I don't think he was hurt, and it isn't like Michael Bennett was doing much. Again, the defense needs to be commended for holding the Steelers for field goals, but overall, just not a good game!
Any thoughts on the Vikings, and maybe even their playoff hopes? E-mail me.
That's it! Just three innings. I'm just tired, and the whole Christams thing, and well, I could come up with more excuses, but hopefully there is enough written here today to get some comments rolling! If you would like to, send me an e-mail and we'll talk baseball, football, or whatever you'd like! Have a great day!