- Lots of talk this week about the continued dominance of Francisco Liriano, and with June starting to slip away, many Minnesotans seem to think that the kid deserves a spot on the AL All-Star Squad, presumably alongside Joe Mauer, Johan Santana, and Joe Nathan. That would be quite an honor for a rookie who’s only been starting in the majors for a month, but then, it’s fairly clear at this point that Liriano is no ordinary rookie.
Still, this is the problem with rooting for a team that’s not in contention and plays most of its games outside the giant spotlight ESPN keeps firmly focused on the Northeast: being deserving of All-Star status is only a small part of the equation. Mauer will certainly make the AL squad, and Santana is probably a lock as well, but that’s probably as much All-Star attention as the Twins are going to get. His Ozzness has already made it clear that he plans to stack the team with Southsiders, and who can blame him? But it is sad that ballot box stuffing by Yankee and Red Sox fans (who are becoming increasingly difficult to tell apart,) combined with the precedent set by Joe Torre in the late 1990s of stacking the team with your own players whenever possible, has led to a serious decline in fan interest in the midsummer classic.
- Speaking of the White Sox skipper, Guillen made a lot of headlines this week when he ordered a rookie pitcher to hit Texas slugger Hank Blalock in retaliation for an earlier HBP, then completely flipped out when Sean Tracey failed to deliver the beanball, screamed at him in the dugout in full view of the TV audience, and just for good measure, sent the poor kid back to Triple-A after the game. A disturbing number of baseball commentators seem to have decided that the whole incident was just good entertainment, or worse, that Tracey deserved what he got, but even Chicago’s biggest loudmouths are getting tired of Ozzie’s macho act. It’ll be interesting to see how long Chicago puts up with this kind of garbage once the Sox hit an extended rough patch.
- Over at TwinsBallpark2010, an excellent case is being built for ignoring all the griping about Minnesota weather and embracing a roofless ballpark.
- Anyone waiting for Terry Ryan to swing some masterful trade to acquire a legit third baseman to replace Tony Batista is probably going to be waiting awhile, according to the Strib. This makes sense, since there aren’t exactly a lot of spectacular third basemen around, and the open spot makes it easier for Ron Gardenhire to get Luis Rodriguez and Nick Punto the at-bats they need while giving Jason Bartlett a chance to play ever day. Meanwhile, if you’re wondering how all the roster moves the Twins have made this week have affected the minor league system, Gordon Wittenmeyer’s got you covered.
Sunday, June 18, 2006
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Posted by John at 11:16 PM