Last year for opening series, I wrote this in GameDay’s Dugout Splinters:
If you were a Yankees fan who wanted to win a World Series, you could just sit back and wait for the top free agent to hit the market and demand your team sign him. And, I suppose, if you wanted to be a successful parent, you could just adopt a 17-year-old National Merit Scholar.
But Twins fans are like the rest of us parents. We understand that it is infinitely more rewarding to see success come from someone in whom we’ve invested some time.
It still holds true, and so we're going to look at 12 reasons to watch this year, no matter what happens. But this year, in preparation of developing a Twitterholic dependency, I’m gonna try to capture these 12 players twitter-style, in 140 characters or less.
We’ll go with the first seven right now and I’ll release the last five exclusively through the new Twitter account gradually before today’s game. (Sign up!) So which 12 stories am I most interested in following? Starting at #12...
12 Cuddyer-I don't believe 2006 was a fluke. Slug the inside stuff and bloop the outside stuff big fella. That’s all I’m looking for.
11 DYoung-Spring: 65 AB, 0BB, 10K. Pulling the ball is easy. Identifying which pitch to pull is not. Adversity is coming for this guy. Wince.
10 PHumber-His numbers from the 2nd half of AAA suggest he can be very valuable. But will he overcome the learning curve fast enough?
9 RADickey-Knuckleballers stats are often much better indoors. Lets turn on those blowers behind home plate and see what happens.
8 Kubel-I know he’s a breakout candidate, but can he hit LHs? Gardy still hasn’t given him even 100 AB against them, and he hasn’t deserved them.
7 Slowey-Everyone's favorite breakout pitcher, but didn't he breakout last year? 160IP, 123K, 24BB, 3.99ERA. Shame on us for not noticing.
6 Crain-Spring: 8K, 1BB, 10IP. I don’t totally trust him for the 8th, but I'm looking forward to seeing him. Could have a HUGE impact.
Again, I’d love to have you follow me all baseball season in Tweeter, especially because with the new GameDay/Twins partnership, I should have significantly more access. Tomorrow I'll tweet the second half of this list, and I’ll be tweeting throughout the home opener, too. And if you don’t want to sign up for Twitter for whatever reason, notice that my tweets are also displayed over on the right-hand side.
But wait! There's more! Because Seth Stohs and I are also going to be podcasting weeknights after Twins games too. We’re starting tonight at 10:00 at MNGameNight.com. Stop by and listen or download it to your ipod. We would love to know what you think.
And finally, GameDay will be providing online updates for the Dugout Splinters that you can find in every Twins Official Scorecard (sold for just $1!). You can find them before every Twins home game at DugoutSplinters.com. I just posted the pitching probables for what should be a doozy tonight at the dome.