Tagged: Twins

I got a fever, and the only prescription is more Kubel.


Well, congrats to Kublie on the cycle and the grand salami, and congrats to anyone who had him in their fantasy league.  Naturally, all the baseball world seemed more into Balco McSheffield’s 500th last night instead. Fine by me. The more that the clubs forget about Kubel’s protection for guys like Morneau, the better, I say. It paid dividends last night. By the way, that was a monster home run. And a good thing that it didn’t hit a speaker on it’s way up.

But, two things are bugging me.

One, when in the world are people going to learn to stay until the end of the game? Twice for the Twins in two weeks, we have improbable comebacks at the Metrodome. I guess I just don’t get it. Dick Bremer was right. “If you left the game early, shame on you.” Indeed. Valid reasons like sickness or an emergency provide exemption. I doubt that’s the excuse for the majority that left though. If they lose, then they lose, but what if they win? You’ll have a great memory for years to come.

Two, what is the deal with the bullpen? Last night it was Crain. Four earned in 1/3 of an inning? The walks are killing. Every base runner seems to snowball into a big inning lately. The Angels loaded the bases so many times I lost count.

But worst of all was how the Angels scored their ninth run. A strike out. K, reach 1B, steal of second, advance to 3B on an out, sacrificed home. A late run without the benefit of a hit or walk. Unbelievable. No one is going to remember that, because, after all, the Twins ended up winning. But I’ll remember. And I’m betting Gardenhire will remember.

We’ll see how Juan Morillo pans out. But I believe it is a good thing that Humber is gone. He could not prove that he could be depended upon. I think it takes a lot of guts for Bill Smith to already dump one of the key figures in the Santana trade, but it needed to be done, and it was the right thing to do. Simply wanting dividends from such a contentious trade for the Twins does not guarantee results, and sometimes it’s wise to say that enough is enough. It’s a step, but I think the bullpen as a whole needs some retooling. Maybe just some extra work with Andy? I dunno.

Elsewhere, I noticed that Marmol picked up a save for the Cubs yesterday. Sweet Lou is passing it off as Gregg wasn’t warmed up, otherwise it would have been him. I’m wondering if he’s playing politics with that. Marmol should have been the closer from the beginning of the season, and something tells me that this is going to start becoming a closer-by-committee scenario for the Cubs. Or outright competition. I’ll keep my eyes open throughout the season.


Two weeks in…

…or almost two weeks in, at least. I don’t think anyone could have fathomed that, even only after two weeks, we would be looking at the Marlins as the top team in the bigs. We all thought that the Birds (O’s and Jays, that is) would be battling it out in the AL East — it’s just that we thought they would be battling for the 4th and 5th slot, not the 1st and 2nd. And it looks like the Mariners are playing how everyone thought they should be playing before last season.

Unfortunately, these pleasant surprises for the baseball world have been a nightmare for Twins fans like me. Are Gardy and the boys simply unlucky in having to face the teams that are pitching well and murdering the ball at the plate? Or are these teams faring well against an overrated and lackluster Twins team, getting a jumpstart against a weak Minnesota opponent this year? ‘Course, it’s difficult to say. But the fairweather reactions of Twins fans usually don’t come this early in the season, nor are they as easily provoked.

My wife keeps telling me it’s a long season, but I think the Twins (and Twins fans) ought know by now that every game counts. If we all didn’t get that message in ’06, then we sure should have received the ugly confirmation of it last year.

What I have seen so far in this Twins season are a lot of leads being blown various times throughout a game. “Here, why don’t you just take the lead back. We don’t want it.” Of course, that’s a negative attitude and an inaccurate assessment of the reality of things, but c’mon already… the gopher balls and the inability of the bullpen (or starters, for that matter) to hold a lead are exhausting to watch… or listen to. Dick Bremer doesn’t help matters on television — he feels like a pallbearer calling the game when it swings out of the Twins reach. At least John Gordon calls a good game on the radio and touches upon the failures with a “Well, that’s baseball for ya, folks.” type of attitude.

And behold, as I type, Blackburn just blew a 2-0 lead over the Angels in the fifth inning. Angels lead now 3-2. The same Angels team that has struggled to score runs this season. Ohhhhhh well.

Yes, dear, it is a long season, indeed.