Kirby Puckett

Kirby Puckett

Monday, March 31, 2014

Breaking Down the Twins Lineup

Opening day! Everybody rejoice!
1. Brian Dozier 2B
This shows how little speed the Twins have. Dozier led the team in homers last year and now is hitting leadoff. The even more depressing thing is that I can't think of anyone better. Their only speed guy is Hicks, but I don't think he can handle the leadoff role.
2. Kurt Suzuki C
From everything I've heard about Suzuki, he sounds like an extra coach. He really gets on all of the pitchers when they aren't doing well, he'll also be a good mentor for Pinto.
3. Joe Mauer 1B
Nothing to say about Mauer that hasn't already been said. He's awesome, underappreciated. First base will help him stay healthy and the transition won't be too difficult. Mark him down for another .330/.400 year.
4. Josh Willingham LF
There isn't a more depressing fact in the world than that our cleanup hitter hit .208 with fourteen homers last season and was two for 49 and slugged .073. They should have traded him after 2012. They were obviously not going to contend any time soon. He was coming off of a career year, his value was at the highest.
5. Chris Colabello DH
This was the biggest surprise of the lineup. I thought for sure this was Kubel's spot in the lineup. Not sure what to think about Colabello, he wasn't particularly impressive last season but undoubtedly was better than Kubel this in spring training.
6. Trevor Plouffe 3B
I just don't see Plouffe repeating his 2012 24 homer performance any time soon. That season he hit 11 of those in one hot June stretch and only hit eight the rest of the year. Meanwhile on the other side of the field he looks like an old man at third base. But once he flipped me a baseball when I was sitting down the third base line, so I'll forgive him for all that.
7. Oswaldo Arcia
So we have Arcia in right and Willingham in left. Let's just say this, Hicks is going to be doing a lot of running. I'm a big fan of Arcia, he still looks like a drunk guy in the outfield but the raw power is definitely there.
8. Aaron Hicks
We need to calm down about Mr. Hicks. Yes, there are obviously many things he needs to work on, like cutting down on his strikeouts but people are looking at the raw numbers way too much. Over his first 28 games he hit .164. Over his last 33 he hit .233. .233 isn't a very good number, especially for someone of Hick's potential. However, it's not .192 either. He didn't look comfortable at the beginning of the season, he did a lot more at the end.
9. Pedro Florimon
I'm not sure if P-Flo's offense will ever come around but his defense sure is fantastic. He lead all shortstops in range factor per game last year. It's a shame he's not a good enough hitter to win a gold glove.
That's it, it's time for the season. Play ball!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Running Diary of March Madness

Before I start this, quick reminder, my MLB preview is up. You can see my NL preview here and my AL preview here.
6:10: We're here live at the Wilson Moore estates, writing thoughts while watching the Michigan-Tennessee game. Here they are.
6:14: What's up with those warm up shirts that say things like, "The _____ way" at least it sounds relatively interesting with Wisconsin. But really, The Volunteers Way?" Does anyone think that sounds good?
6:17: Michigan wins the tip, with Robinson scoring quickly.
6:19: After Stauskas gets his shot blocked, Levert drains a three to tie it up. Michigan has easily the most exciting style of play in the tournament. Every time down they're either shooting a three or throwing up an alley-oop in transition
6:20: Glen Robinson sinks two free throws.
6:23: Yup that just proved my point. Irvin just banked in a twenty five footer and nobody even was surprised.
6:27: Richardson sinks a three. Wolverines by five. The Vols effectively screwed up my bracket in that region. I never take the play in team because so much can go wrong if you chose the wrong one. So they making it to the Sweet Sixteen, you can guess what that did.
6:29: Jordan Morgan gets fouled and makes a layup. Michigan has a deceptive offensive system. At the beginning everyone is hanging out behind the three point line until they feel the need to work it in. That makes them ridiculously efficient by only shooting threes or in the paint.
6:37: Darius Thompson banks in a layup despite being slapped in about eight different places by three different people.
6:39: Irvin sinks a three and we get the obligatory shot of the bench going nuts. I was pretty disappointed we didn't get to see that one guy at the end of the bench with as arms out as if keeping everyone from storming the court.
6:46: Holy crap, is that even legal? It must be because he got away with it. I am definitely trying that one out next time I play. Actually I won't because everyone hates people who do things like that, but I wish I had the guts to do it. In case you didn't see it or don't remember, Stauskas went up for a jump shot but it slipped away from him and squirted away about ten feet. Stauskas ran underneath it, jumped to avoid the travel and whipped it into the corner for Levert who was fouled shooting a three.
6:46: Stauskas hits a three to put Michigan up by three, timeout Tennessee. Good timeout here. Even if the statheads say that doesn't help, there's no doubt momentum does have an effect on games. Who would you rather play, a pumped up, motivated team on fire, or a team that's been standing around for the last three minutes? I thought so.
6:55: Beautiful move by Richardson to get to the hoop. Sorry if you're a Tennessee fan reading this and you're annoyed by the lack of things written about the Volunteers. There are two reasons. 1) You're team is about 50% less exciting than the Wolverines. In the time it's taking me to write this there has already been three monster jams. (2 The Vols are getting killed. It may only be nine points on the scoreboard, but they aren't getting back into this. Thirteen seconds left in the first half and I'm saying it now. Stick a fork in 'em.
7:01: After a Walton turnover under the basket Tennessee has the ball with four seconds left. Albrecht fouls with two point four after the ball is brought up the court. The Vols miss the thirty footer to send us to halftime.
7:11: Anthony at halftime while going over the UConn-Iowa State highlights. "Napier has been fantastic" Oh really? What else is new?
7:26: Second half starts with a layup by Stokes right after......oh wait, there's another dunk by Michigan. The Wolverines have to be the most predictable exciting team of all time.
7:29: We just had our first, low talent level intramural game sequence. First Robinson loses the ball, then it gets bumped down the court, before Michigan gets it back, Maymon stuffs Morgan, the Tennessee gets blocked itself, before a missed dunk on the other end. If it weren't for the dunk it would be more like a fourth grade rec game.
7:31: Stokes employs the old Kevin McHale, "turn in circles until the defense gets confused enough and lets you score." 51-41 Wolverines.
7:38: Stokes misses on his second Kevin McHale attempt, just rattling out. Either that or Michigan isn't getting as bored as easily.
7:46: Armani Moore tips in a missed layup just before a Michigan timeout. "Will there be another miracle for Tennessee?" I'm going to stick with what I said forty minutes ago. Unless of course, Tennessee comes back and wins this. In which case I deleting everything I said at that point.
7:51: Maymon off the glass. Michigan by just seven.
7:52: Ok, can everybody just admit that Subway's "Flatizza" is the same thing as pizza? These ads haven't been as annoying this year. During the MLB playoffs I thought I was going to go insane from those awful T-Mobile ads.
7:56: McRae hits a layup to make it a two possession game.....
7:56: But Walton immediately follows it up with a three pointer. This is why Michigan is so good. They can demoralize you in so many ways. Tennessee thought they had Michigan squirming they calmly drain one that wipes out the basket you just made and is worth more than the bucket you just got.
8:03: Glen Robinson III is awarded player of the game by CBS. Let's hope he doesn't become too much of a household name so people don't begin calling him things like "GR3" of "G-Rob"
8:05: McRae hits layup, gets fouled and hits the and one. I'll say it right now, stand by for the Michigan three.
8:07: Nope, turnover at the other end.
8:08: McRae misses the layup, Michigan calls timeout.
8:10: Shot clock violation Michigan! Tennessee brings it up the court and calls timeout. By now I would really be getting nervous if I were a Michigan fan.
8:12: McRae clangs the three but it's out on Morgan. Or is it? We have our first review.
8:15: Yup, staying with the Vols. Richardson hits a floater. Michigan by three.
8:15: Foul on Tennessee. Still not in the bonus.
8:16: Tennessee foul again. Albrecht to inbound it.
8:17: Steal, Vols! The lead is just one with ten seconds to play! Michigan will take it out under the basket.
8:18: Holy crap! Levert's foot was out of bounds! Vols have it down by one with ten seconds left.
8:21: Foul on Tennessee. Stokes put his shoulder into Morgan's chest. Squandered opportunity. I'm not sure what to think of the call. Something like that can really go either way. Albrecht will inbound it again, but he can't run along the baseline.
8:24: After the Vols knock it out of bounds, the do the same thing, 2.9 seconds left, Michigan to inbound.
8:25: Stauskas going to the line for a one and one after a foul.
8:26: Calmly sinks the first
8:26: Misses the second one, can Stokes pull a Gordon Heyward, except he gets the roll?
8:26: Nope, over the backboard. Ballgame.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

MLB Preview 2014! NL Edition

Note: In case you haven't seen it. My AL edition of this is right below
Washington Nationals
As I said yesterday, acquiring Doug Fister was an excellent move. I have no idea what to think about Bryce Harper. On one side, he's slightly overrated, his career batting average is only .272, he probably shouldn't have won Rookie of the Year in 2012, he's struggled with injuries. On the other hand, well.... he's Bryce freaking Harper. There's a reason he's even in the bigs at age 21, it's no coincidence that Mike Trout is probably the only player in the league who wouldn't be traded straight up for him if the team had that chance. Everything in consideration, I'll say .310 25 homers.
Atlanta Braves*
These next two seasons are Andrelton Simmons' make or break years. To make a cross sport reference, it's a lot like Ricky Rubio after his rookie year with the Wolves. It was pretty cool, but now we need to see more. In Rubio's case, he was making fancy passes, but he needed to do more his second year for us to be impressed. Same with Simmons, he can field, a lot, but he needs to be at least somewhat of an asset at the plate in the next few years to be a very good player.
New York Mets
(Insert joke about Mets chances of winning ninety games here) Great to get that out of the way. The Metropolitans had one good signing and one bad one, we'll start with the bad. Bartolo Colon. Pitchers over five should have large neon signs around them that say. WARNING: DON'T GIVE LOTS OF MONEY. Does anyone think Colon will duplicate the season he had with the A's? It was one good season and before that he hadn't been productive since 2005. Curtis Granderson was a goo signing, though. His value was hurt a little bit by the injury plagued 2013 campaign so he was available for cheaper that he would be had he played an entire season. Even better, he kept up one of my favorite traditions, a player leaving a team and then immediately criticizing their fans.
Philadelphia Phillies
Congrats Ruben Amaro for cementing his reputation has the least competent GM in the league. He just gave Carlos Ruiz 8 million a year after he hit .268 in 92 games and signing A.J. Burnett for fifteen million dollars per year. Wait, didn't we just talk about giving pitchers over thirty five large contracts especially when you aren't anywhere close to contending? Good grief.
Miami Marlins
Hands down, the most dysfunctional franchise in the league and all time. They could have been good for a long time, but whenever they get to that point, they blow it up again. What is even their sales pitch? "Come out to Miami to see Giancarlo Stanton launch home runs into empty seats. Feel the excitement!"
St. Louis Cardinals
Like many, I was disgusted with the Cards pulling a reverse Richard Sherman and declaring themselves the guardians of baseball integrity, and every sportswriter gushing about how they do everything the right way and that they're the best organization in the league, they have the most knowledgeable fans and Mike Matheney is god, but... crap, they're good. They went out and solved they're only one of their few weaknesses by signing Jhonny Peralta. Yeah, they probably overpaid him, but when you're in win now mode sometimes you have to do those things.
Cincinnati Reds*
Good god, the NL is awful. The Reds took the second wild card last year, didn't do anything in the offseason but lose Shin Soo-Choo and I still have them making the "playoffs." Do you have a better idea? You can read about the Bucs and their misguided offseason in a paragraph, my only other options are the Mets and D-Backs. Who do you take out of those three? That's what I thought.
Pittsburgh Pirates
Like many Twins fans, I began rooting for the Pirates last year after Morneau was traded there, partially because they were such a great story, you have to be some sort of monster or a Cardinals fan not to root for them. I hope they make the playoffs this year but, gah, after that offseason I don't think they want to go back. It's like watching an inexperienced driver skidding down a icy road. You're just waiting for the inevitable crash and burn. They needed a first baseman, James Loney was available for relatively cheap, and they stood pat.
Milwaukee Brewers
Ryan Braun will be one of the most intriguing stories of the season this year. I'm not buying the people who say he won't be anywhere close to the same. He exceled too long to have been juicing the entire time. He would have been caught much earlier. In other notes on the Brew Crew, I want to scream every time I hear the name Carlos Gomez. I like how he was just as good of a fielder when he was with the Twins, but he wasn't a good enough hitter to win the gold glove. Finally it's going to be incredibly fun seeing Gomez get a 10% route efficiently on the MLB's new tracking system.
Chicago Cubs
The Cubs are in a similar position as the Twins, waiting for their prospects to come up so they can contend. I wouldn't be surprised to see Starlin Castro have a better season after that atrocious 2013 campaign. We've seen what he can do at his full potential. Of course, none of that matters because they're the Cubs and will never win a World Series. Moving on.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Don't be fooled by the Yasiel Puig mirage. Here's what he had going for him last year: A hot start, he hit .391 his the first half of his compared to just .273 in the second half and an abysmal .214 in September. He also had an absurdly high BABIP at .383. Combine that wit the dreaded sophomore slump which has a very high rate, (Yoenis Cespedes anybody?) and Puig seems like a natural regressor
Arizona Diamondbacks
Patrick Corbin is out with Tommy John. Since Frank Jobe died. Miguel Sano, Jarrod Parker, and now Corbin have needed His surgery. Curse of Frank Jobe anyone? crickets Ok then. I think the D-Backs could be a sleeper wildcard team, especially if Mark Trumbo does well. Signing Bronson Arroyo made sense for them, they since they needed a number two starter at that point. All things considered, I think losing Corbin will just be a little too much.
San Francisco Giants
I've spent the last half hour staring at the screen trying to figure out something to say about the Giants. I can't. Their only big move was signing Tim Hudson, who won't be particularly good considering he's north of 35 and coming off a year with a big injury.
Colorado Rockies
The Rox should improve due to having either Gonzalez or Tulowitzki for a full year. Signing Morneau was one of the sneaky good moves of the offseason. He'll hit 25 homers in Colorado. Why don't the Rockies do that more? Just sign veteran power hitters cheaply and let Coors field do the rest. However, don't expect Jhoulys Chacin to do as well as he did last year, he was one of the leaders in line drive percentage, which you can't be giving up in Denver.
San Diego Padres
I'm just not seeing the "Padres will be good this year" talk. Chase Headly regressed last year, in which they won seventy six games. Jedd Gyorko is going to be better this year, but they didn't make any big offseason moves and nobody in that lineup scares me.
MVP: Paul Goldschmidt
Goldy has one of the highest ceilings in the league. He's improved every season he's been in the league and the Diamondbacks will be just enough in contention for him to get votes.
Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw
I don't really have to explain this do I? He's Clayton Kershaw.
Manager of the Year: Kirk Gibson
See what I said yesterday, the D-Backs will be slightly better this year than they were last year.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

MLB Preview 2014! AL Edition

The season's here! Yeah! This winter sucked! Now, before I forget, here are my predictions. We'll start with the AL, an asterisk indicates a wildcard.
Boston Red Sox
The defending champs had a savvy offseason, upgrading from one catcher whose name is impossible to spell (Jarrod Saltamacchia) to a slightly better catcher whose name is impossible to spell (A.J. Pierzynski) Along with resigning Mike Napoli at a discount, and we don't even have to count getting Stephen Drew back at a discount for a few more weeks when he sheepishly returns with his tail between his legs after realizing nobody wants to give up a pick for him.
New York Yankees
Yup, these are the Yankees. After a few years of not breaking the bank in the offseason, they stepped up their game and doubled the Astros payroll on three players, not counting the posting fee. I liked the Tanaka and McCann signings, but I'm not a huge fan of throwing 21 million a year at a guy with a history of injuries. (Actually I loved it because the Yankees suck, but you get what I'm saying.)
Tampa Bay Rays
Another season of the Rays formula. Wacky manager+clutch hits from Evan Longoria+scrappy utility players doing things that scrappy utility players do+David Price=wins. One of the biggest surprises of this winter is that Price stayed put. It's a wise move by the Rays, who can still contend. If I were them, I would hold on to him until the end of this year, then trade him in the offseason.
Baltimore Orioles
The O's looked well on their way to another uneventful before going out and signing Nelson Cruz and Ubaldo Jimenez. I like the Cruz signing, he brings power and intangibles to the table.
Toronto Blue Jays
A year after going all in Marlins style the Jays are back to where they started: Below average in a division that you need to be really good to compete in.
Detroit Tigers
I'm not completely sure what the Tigers were trying to accomplish with the Doug Fister trade, but if it was, "give up a reliable veteran starter for a reliever, utility infielder and a prospect during a crucial time when you're trying to win," they've got it down.
Kansas City Royals
The Royals had two of the more underrated moves this winter in signing Omar Infante and trading for Norichika Aoki. Aoki has quietly put up two straight solid seasons for Milwaukee, batting .288 and .286 respectively. As for Infante, he just won the "Holy crap, he's been around for that long" award while I was looking up his stats. He's only 32 and has been around since 2002 with the Tigers.
Cleveland Indians
I'm genuinely excited to see Francisco Lindor play for Cleveland whenever that happens. Several years ago, I watched him play on the Team USA under 18 team along with Albert Almora and some other current prospects. While there it was obvious who one of the leaders on that team was. You could see Lindor's charisma from the stands, and he made almost every play at shortstop look easy. As for the entire team, I think losing Jimenez will be too much with the Royals ready to make the leap.
You can find my way too detailed breakdown of the Twins here.
Chicago White Sox
Signing Jose Abreu was a high risk, high reward move. Spending that much money on a Cuban first baseman. Dealing Addison Reed for Matt Davidson was one of the sneaky good moves of the offseason. Relievers are overrated and whenever you can flip one for a promising third baseman, it's a good move.
Texas Rangers
I really liked dealing for Prince Fielder for the Rangers. In all of what's been going on, with his no show in the playoffs and below average season, Fielder has become a tad underrated. Hitting .279 with 25 homers isn't anything to turn your nose up at, even if it came from someone who was much better than that the year before. At the very least, they're getting some stability in the lineup. He's only thirty years old and has missed a total of thirteen games since 2006. For those of you keeping track at home that's 1283 out of a possible 1296
Oakland Athletics*
Billy Beane has done it again. He got a quality reliever in Jim Johnson for less money than it would have cost to resign the unfortunately named Grant Balfour for a utility infielder (Jemile Weeks) who hit .219 in his last two seasons.
Los Angeles Angels*
Last year I predicted Hamilton would be a bust but chose the Angels to win the west anyway, under the logic of, "No team with Mike Trout and Albert Pujols is going to miss the playoff two years in a row. Well, I'm going for it again. No team with Albert Pujols and Mike Trout is going to miss the playoffs three years in a row.
Seattle Mariners
Sorry Mariners fans, but signing Robinson Cano made absolutely no sense for the M's current situation. By signing Cano, they have three very good to great players (along with Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma) unfortunately, this isn't basketball where you can be a contender with three guys. Now they're paying Cano 24 million a year to be a good player on a bad team. But hey, at least we got to laugh at the irony of this.
Houston Astros
I don't think it's necessary to write anything more about the Astros other than the fact that they're the Astros. Sorry Houston.
MVP: Mike Trout
Yup, this is the year that Trout finally overcomes Miggy and wins it. All it takes is the Angels being in contention. With everybody talking about how much money they would give him on his next contract. I wouldn't hesitate to offer him ten years three hundred million. He's a once in a generation player, if the Angels are smart they'll do anything they can to keep him in Los Angeles of Anaheim.
Cy Young: Anibal Sanchez
Right now, I think Sanchez is the most underrated player in the league, without much competition. Here's a guy who lead the league in ERA last year and most people probably only think of him as the third best pitcher on his team.
Rookie of the Year: Masahiro Tanaka
Shut up, people who say he won't be as good as Yu Darvish, you have no idea how good somebody's going to be solid. With that said, on a hunch (not because I think I know more than I do) I don't think Tanaka will be as good as Darvish, but will be a solid, reliable pitcher.
Manager of the Year: Ned Yost
The Manager of the year is a funny award. More often than not, it's just given to the manager whose team did a lot better than we expected. So put it on the record here, the Royals will do better than we expect, securing Ned Yost's Manager of the Year!
NL Coming Tomorrow!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Five Questions: March Madness Style

Q: What's the best part of March Madness?
A: Definitely the way the games are staggered throughout the day, especially during the early rounds. If I could, I would do nothing but watch basketball all day. That's how awesome the NCAA Tournament is.
Q: What's the worst part of March Madness?
A: The most annoying part is easily when the way the rounds are named. Shut up, NCAA, the first weekend is not the third round. Calling the play ins the "First Round" is like calling..... I can't even come up with an adequate comparison of this travesty. Here's what I know for sure. Referring to the round of 64 as the second round does nothing but create confusion because nobody has any idea which round you're talking about because half the world refers to them as different rounds.
Q: How messed up is your bracket?
A: Very messed up. I had VCU beating Stephen F Austin, Ohio State beating Dayton, Cincinnati beating Harvard and Duke beating Mercer. The funny thing is that this year I've done more research on my bracket than any other year and this is my worst one in awhile. The lesson being: this crap is impossible to predict. The Mercer over Duke game was particularly surprising. I remember looking at my phone on Friday and doing a quadruple take when I saw Mercer: 76 Duke: 71-F. I was with some friends and announced the score. I was quickly flooded with comments like "Are you serious?" and "I don't believe you, let me see the phone" This is why phone apps need to put exclamation points by their scores. It's way too deadpan to say all of them the same. I came up with that idea about three seconds ago and it seems fantastic.
Q: Who are the most obnoxious types of people to discuss brackets with?
A: People who fill out lots of brackets for sure. I had a discussion with a person during the Ohio State-Dayton game, he was happy Dayton was winning before checking his bracket on his phone. "Dang it," he said, "I have Ohio State winning this in six of my brackets. At least I have Dayton in my other five," I had nothing to say in response to that. Discussion killed. The thing with filling out more that one, is that you can't say you predicted it if you fill out more that one you can't say you truly predicted a game, one of your brackets lucked into it. Next year I'm just going to fill out 9.2 quintillion brackets.
Q: What is your Final Four prediction?
I'm sticking with what I said at the beginning, Kansas, Louisville, Michigan State and Arizona, Louisville over Kansas in the final.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Thoughts on the Game

Note: This article is in reference to the Minnesota Penn State game that took place tonight. Along with a Twins fan, I'm also a huge Gopher basketball fan, but don't worry, I'll be sticking mainly to baseball stuff after this.
     That was taxing. Two hours after the start, the Gophers were victorious in Indianapolis after a bloodbath with the Penn State Nittany Lions where you had to practically tackle somebody to foul them. All I have is basic cable so I had to listen to it on my small radio. I turned it on with the Gophers up six nothing, reassuring sign. From then on, the game was relatively back and forth, with some absolutely atrocious officiating. (At least according to Mike Grimm. I have no idea what they were like. All I've seen are the highlights on in which the announcer tries to convince us that Andre and Austin Hollins are the same person. No, seriously)
     Anyway, the Gophers were getting killed on the boards, Penn State had thirteen offensive rebounds, including one sequence where they had three straight before making the basket. I won't be a moron and point out that they'll have to play a lot better to beat Wisconsin tomorrow.
Let's flash forward to the end of game, more specifically, the final 3:33. Geno Thorpe had just made two free throws but it's no big deal, the Gophers all still up by nine.....Whoops.
      In the time it took me to say that, the Nittany Lions have cut the lead to six, but now McNeil's going to the line to shoot a 1-1, no big deal. McNeil clangs the free throw. I'm beginning to slightly panic right now, but still, Penn hasn't scored yet and now Mathieu's going to the line, surely he'll come through, right? Clang.
      Penn State gets the rebound and King immediately commits a foul. Of course Penn State make their free throws. Moving forward another minute, the Gopher are up by four with Dre Hollins going to the line. There's no way he misses a third time. There is a way. By now I'm cursing and stomping around in my room, but manage to calm myself. Three in a row is unlikely, four in a row is impossible. Nope. Hollins misses the second one as well but there's a lane violation. Yes! Hollins calmly sinks the second one like he has ice in his veins. Gophers up five.
     After a missed three, the Lions (of course) get the offensive rebound, (of course) prompting King to foul again and they (of course) make the free throws.
     Gophers call a timeout up three with twenty one seconds left. They trot out a five of Hollins, Hollins, King, Mathieu and Ahanmisi. Wait, did I hear that right? Maverick Ahanmisi? In crunch time? Of the Big Ten tournament? WHAT THE HELL IS MAVERICK DOING OUT THERE? Glad to get that out of the way. Anyway, they let the shot clock wind down before King finds Dre in the corner. Bang. Gophers up six, eleven seconds left. That seals it.
     There's no doubt they'll need to play better to beat the Badgers yet, they can't allow so many offensive rebounds and it would be nice if Malik Smith could get his shooting percentage up to 10% for the last two weeks. A win will pretty much put them in the Tournament. Ski-u-mah.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

All Nationality Teams

I was bored so for no particular reason I wrote what the WBC rosters would look like for the US, Dominican Republic and Venezuela if the tournament were happening this year. Again, I was bored.
Clayton Kershaw
Max Sherzer
Zack Grienke
Justin Verlander
Madison Bumgarner
Catcher: Buster Posey
First Base: Paul Goldschmidt
Second Base: Dustin Pedroia
Third Base: Manny Machado
Shortstop: Troy Tulowitzki
Andrew McCutchen
Mike Trout
Adam Jones
No holes, up and down. This team has it all. They have the perfect blend of speed and power, the lineup would probably go something like this: Trout, McCutchen, Tuowitzki, Goldschmidt, Jones, Machado, Posey, Pedroia
Dominican Republic
Ivan Nova
Bartolo Colon
Francisco Liriano
Ubaldo Jimenez
Ervin Santana
Catcher: Wilin Rosario
First Base: Albert Pujols
Second Base: Robinson Cano
Third Base: Adrian Beltre
Shortstop: Hanley Ramirez
Carlos Gomez
Jose Bautista
Nelson Cruz
I thought this team was going to be quite a bit better than they actually are. The rotation is surprisingly only slightly above average, with the Dominican emerging as a baseball powerhouse. The Dominican also has one of the most fascinating processes of signing young ballplayers, as documented in the movie Ballplayer Peletaro. If you haven't seen this movie, see it, especially if you're a Twins fan.
Jhouyls Chacin
Felix Hernandez
Johan Santana
Anibal Sanchez
Henderson Alvarez
Catcher: Salvador Perez
First Base: Miguel Cabrera
Second Base: Omar Infante
Third Base: Pablo Sandoval
Shortstop: Asdrubal Cabrera
Carlos Gonzalez
Oswaldo Arcia
Gregor Blanco
Not, bad, considering one of their pitchers hasn't thrown a pitch in over a year. The infield is excellent, and they have one of the more underrated catchers in the game in Salvy Perez. On the days Hernandez isn't pitching they'll just have to out slug their opponents. 

Saturday, March 1, 2014


Stunned silence...... more stunned silence....... more stunned silence Screw it, I've got to start somewhere. You've probably heard about this, but in case you haven't, Miguel Sano needs to have Tommy John surgery. Past that I honestly have no idea what to write I'm so depressed. What are the odds of a third baseman having to get Tommy John? I know this probably won't affect his hitting, but it will still definitely keep him from progressing. He'll probably be out for the season, so he'll miss an entire year of developing, so he probably won't make it up to the Twins until late 2015 or early 2016. How can we look at this? Here are some options.
There's the one I'm currently using. This sucks. I don't want to get out of bed. That one is typically reserved for pessimists like me.
The second option is a lot like the first but it's a lot more extreme. Holy crap! Sano is injured?! Our entire future is ruined! Ahhhhhhhhhhhh! This is the least common one because of all the things that need to line up. The first thing you need is I diehard Twins fan. Next, that person needs to be in the top 90% of radical people. Finally, they need to be hyped up on Mountain Dew.
In any situation there's always the optimistic approach for delusional people. This won't set his development back. It'll just be a small hiccup in his career. Anyway, we still have Buxton and Meyer. This is also the type of people who would loudly and happily say good morning to you at three in the morning while you were trekking to Hell and back through an alligator infested swampland.
The final and by far most savvy move for a fan would be to just live in denial. Walk around like never happened. Change the subject as soon as you hear the words "Sano" and "Tommy John" in the same sentence, and act like you haven't heard of anything when someone does manage to get you into a conversation about it. In fact, that's my strategy from now on. What? Sano? No I haven't heard anything about him. I'm sorry I didn't hear you. Well, look at the time. Sorry I have to leave. Good bye.