for April 10, 2006
powered by Intern Sam
- Last season's Twins collapse may not have hit any local blogger harder than Brad Zellar, who was sounding downright suicidal by late August. This year, The Rake's resident diamond mind is determined to stay positive, at least until the end of April, and is even offering "modest support for Tony Batista, who does not look nearly so fat as advertised." (Apparently, BZ's been reading Anne's exclusive interviews...) Of course, this entry was written before two of the three Cleveland games were played, so come Monday morning, Zellar may be singing a different tune.
- The Strib's baseball writers think Ron Gardenhire needs to be more patient with his young players and stop sending them to Rochester or changing their position in the field every time they look a bit overmatched. By way of evidence, they point to Milwaukee Brewers manager Ned Yost as a shining example of how to bring prospects along. That Gardenhire has frequently expected guys like Jason Bartlett and Michael Cuddyer to do too much too fast is a reasonable point, of course, but (as is grudgingly acknowledged in the article) the Milwaukee comparison is probably unfair, since Yost has been under absolutely no pressure to win for the last several seasons, while the Twins have been expected to contend even as they promote from within.
- There may not have been many high points in the Twins' first week of '06, but hey, things could be worse. Just ask the Texas Rangers, who got swept by Detroit, watched their newly acquired ace get absolutely hammered twice in a row, scored exactly zero runs against a 23-year-old rookie, and demoted a starting pitcher (and his brand new knuckler that doesn't) to the minors after one appearance. The truly scary part of all this is just how much the Twins are starting to resemble the Rangers of two or three years ago - a contending team that just can't ever quite put it together, prompting endless futile attempts to patch gaping holes with mediocre pick-ups.
- When Oakland comes to the Dome on Tuesday to open up the home season, you know they'll be loaded down with the kind of situational stats and advanced analysis that frequently allow Ken Macha to seem more than a step ahead of the "gut feeling" managers that populate most major league dugouts. But according to one Bay Area writer, the elephants have a whole new method for outfoxing the competition this year: just snap up the head cases other teams can't wait to get rid of for reasons that have little to do with on-field performance, and turn 'em loose.
- In an interview with MLB.com last week, Marlins president David Samson all but made it official that Jeffrey Loria's team will be getting the hell out of South Florida the moment alternate accomodations become available. Over at the Hardball Times, John Brattain breaks down Samson's reasoning (which Twins fans will find awfully familiar,) and finds it, well, unreasonable.
- Nearly lost amidst all the things the Twins did wrong this week was the impressive work turned in by über-rookie Francisco Liriano and middle reliever Willie Eyre. It remains to be seen whether Eyre's cutter (which looked solid in his first two appearances) will continue to fool major league hitters, but for a guy who almost didn't make the club out of spring training, Willie had a good week.