I’m tired of this BS that the Minnesota Twins call professional baseball!

soap-boxTigers 8-game winning streak in Minnesota

The Tigers beat the Twins Thursday afternoon extending their winning streak in Minnesota to eight games. That matches the longest current road winning streak for any team against a particular opponent. The Yankees have won eight straight games at Atlanta (2009-present) and the Angels have won eight in a row in Colorado (2001-present).

It’s the longest road winning streak for the Tigers against the Twins since the team moved from Washington to Minnesota in 1961 and the longest against the franchise since they won 11 straight road games against the Senators from 1949 to 1950.

The two paragraphs above come from According to ELIAS. Way too much news like this coming out of Target Field, is there any good news at all? Hope has turned into despair in Twins Territory. Even for a long time Twins fan like myself it is difficult to watch the 2016 Minnesota Twins. I just can’t understand why this team keeps making the same mistakes over and over. Sending players to the minors has not worked, as a matter of fact a case could be made that the Twins keep their players in the minors too long. Players seem to be regress in the Twins system versus get better. Once these players reach Minnesota they seem to fall apart totally after a short stay.

So what do you do? Continue reading

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No RBI? No problem, you can still win the game

Win a baseball game without your team getting an RBI? It happens, but it doesn’t happen all that often, in the case of our Minnesota Twins it has happened on 12 occasions in the Twins 56 years of play in Minnesota with the last occurrence taking place on May 1, 2015 at Target Field when the Twins shut out the might whities from Chicago 1-0. The Twins had seven hits that day, the most they have ever had in a game of this type. The Twins have beaten the Cleveland Indians three times and the Yankees twice without getting a RBI.

The first time it happened was June 22, 1962 at Met Stadium in the first game of a double-header against the Los Angeles Angels. The Twins had only three hits that day and a walk but they managed to come back from a 2-0 deficit to win the game 3-2. Starter Don Lee for the Angels pitched a complete game in a losing effort, he had pitched for the Twins in 1961 and part of 1962 before being traded to the Angels just a month earlier for pitcher Jim Donohue who also appeared in this game.

The Twins starter that day was Canadian Georges Maranda from Quebec. The right-handed throwing Maranda had an interesting history having been signed by the Boston Braves in 1951. Although Maranda started his career in the Braves system as a 19 year-old he did not make a big league appearance until he debuted as a Rule 5 selection for the San Francisco Giants at the age of 28 on April 26, 1960. He spent the entire season with the Giants in 1960 and was used sparingly, appearing in only 17 games and pitching a total of 50.2 innings and posting a 1-4 record. In 1961 the Giants sent him to AAA Tacoma where he posted a 10-4 record with a 3.56 ERA which was good enough to catch the attention of the Minnesota Twins who made him their Rule 5 pick on November 27, 1961. In Minnesota he again spent the entire season in the big leagues pitching primarily in relief he appeared in 32 games starting just four and the game above was one of those four games. Maranda was credited with the win which turned out to be the only victory he would get wearing a Minnesota uniform and one of the only two games he would win in the majors. The October of 1962 the Twins traded Maranda to the Cleveland Indians as the PTBNL in a deal for pitcher Ruben Gomez.

You have got to love that glove (click on the picture to make it bigger)

You have got to love that glove (click on the picture to make it bigger)

Georges Henri Maranda was the first Canadian to wear a Minnesota Twins uniform. Maranda played 13 seasons in professional baseball, but only played for two seasons in the majors. In his final season of pro ball in 1963 he pitched for the Jacksonville Suns in the American Association in 1963. In 1973, the town of Lévis named its baseball park the “Stade Georges Maranda” (Georges Maranda Stadium). He was inducted into the Quebec Baseball Hall of Fame on June 26, 2000. Georges Maranda passed away on July 14, 2000 at the age of 68 after a battle with cancer.

Georges Maranda

Georges Maranda

Rk Date Tm Opp Rslt AB R H RBI
1 2015-05-01 MIN CHW W 1-0 28 1 7 0
2 2010-04-27 MIN DET W 2-0 33 2 5 0
3 2001-09-28 MIN CLE W 1-0 30 1 6 0
4 1985-08-24 MIN BOS W 1-0 30 1 5 0
5 1978-07-07 (2) MIN OAK W 1-0 30 1 5 0
6 1970-04-29 MIN CLE W 1-0 30 1 6 0
7 1968-08-19 MIN NYY W 1-0 28 1 4 0
8 1968-07-23 (2) MIN CAL W 3-1 30 3 7 0
9 1967-08-25 (2) MIN CLE W 2-1 33 2 7 0
10 1966-09-16 MIN NYY W 2-1 28 2 2 0
11 1966-07-21 MIN WSA W 1-0 32 1 5 0
12 1962-06-22 (1) MIN LAA W 3-2 29 3 3 0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 8/24/2016.

Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph – Nov 28, 1961 – Maranda drafted by Twins (interesting writing style)

Georges Maranda Memorial

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Twins minor league player of the week – Tanner English

Tanner English - 2016Ft. Myers Miracle (High A) outfielder Tanner English is the Twins minor league player of the week. English played six games for the Miracle, hitting .391 (9-for-23) with two triples, three home runs, four walks and eight runs scored. The 23-year-old English is hitting .233 (20-for-86) with three doubles, three triples, four home runs and eight RBI in 24 games for the Miracle this season. English is about 5’10” and goes about 160 and plays primarily center field and has stolen 51 bases in 59 attempts in his three seasons in the Twins system.

English was originally a 13th round selection in the 2011 MLB Draft out of high school by the Tampa Bay Rays but decided to go to college. English was drafted in the 11th round of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of South Carolina and signed by Minnesota for a reported bonus of $105,000.

Twins Minor League Report08212016

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According to ELIAS

Royals allow one run, on Dozier’s homer

For the fourth straight game, the Royals allowed only one run, and it came on a solo homer. No other team in major-league history has had a streak like that, allowing only one run, on a solo homer, in four straight games.



Yesterday’s homer came off the bat of Brian Dozier, who has a six-game homer streak against the Royals. (Dozier did have a game during the streak with only a pinch-hit walk, but we’re going by the hitting streak rules here.) The only other player to have a six-game homer streak against the defending World Series winner was Joe Adcock of the Milwaukee Braves. He homered in nine straight games against the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1956. The Twins longest streak of this kind belongs to Harmon Killebrew who homered against the Kansas City Athletics in 9 straight games in 1961. The longest streak of this kind for an opponent belongs to Seattle Mariners Ken Griffey Jr. who hit six against the Twins in 1999 and Jim Thome who also hit six against the Twins while with the White Sox in 2007.

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According to ELIAS

Gibson goes the distance in a Twins win

Gibson, Kyle 2016Minnesota’s Kyle Gibson notched the first complete-game win of his major-league career with a 10-3 victory last night over the Braves in Atlanta. It was the first complete-game road win by a Twins pitcher since May 22, 2012, when P.J. Walters went the distance in a victory over the White Sox in Chicago. Gibson was the first Minnesota pitcher to post a complete-game road win over a National League opponent since June 2010, when Carl Pavano did so twice in a seven-day span, beating the Phillies and the Mets.

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Twins Minor League Player of the Week – Fernando Romero

Fernando Romero 2016Ft. Myers Miracle (High A) right-handed pitcher Fernando Romero is the Twins minor league player of the week. Romero made one start for the Miracle, on Friday versus Charlotte, pitching 7.0 shutout innings with six hits allowed, no walks and 11 strikeouts. The 21-year-old has made nine starts for the Miracle this season, going 3-2, 2.39 ERA (49.0 IP, 13 ER) with eight walks and 48 strikeouts.

He was signed by the Twins out of the Dominican Republic on November 4, 2011 as a 16 year-old for a reported $260,000. Romero has TJ surgery in June 2014 and missed the entire 2015 season. Romero has a career minor league record of 10-7, 2.56 ERA (165.0 IP, 47 ER) with 45 walks and 157 strikeouts.

Twins Minor League Report 08142016

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Looking back at the Minnesota Twins low-hit games

Not that we have seen any low hit games pitched by Twins pitchers recently but I thought it would still be fun to take a look back over Minnesota Twins history and see what we can find.

The Minnesota Twins have been no-hit on five occasions since the team started play in Minnesota in 1961. Previous to moving to Minnesota the team was known as the Washington Senators and from 1913 through 1960 they were no-hit four times. That is a lot of games (over 10,000) played to be no-hit just nine times.

One-hitters or near no-hitters happen on a more frequent basis, for example the Senators have been one-hit 22 times from 1913-1960 and the Twins have been one-hit a total of 31 times between 1961-2015.

Let’s take a look at some of the games where the Twins had only a single hit. Continue reading

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Twins minor league player of the week – Luis Arraez

Arraez, LuisCedar Rapids Kernels (Low A) second baseman Luis Arraez is the Twins minor league Player of the Week. The left-handed hitting Arraez hit .455 (10-for-22) with one double, four RBI, one walk and six runs scored in six games for the Kernels, including a 5-for-5 effort on Tuesday at Burlington. The 19-year-old is hitting .335 (122-for-364) with 24 doubles, three triples, three home runs, 51 RBI, 57 runs scored and 26 walks in 88 games for the Kernels this season. Arraez who stands just 5’10” was signed by the Twins as an undrafted free agent on November 5, 2013. In just his third season in the Twins system, Arraez has a career hitting mark of .333 and at just 19 years of age in Low-A, he could rise quickly in the Twins prospect rankings.

‘Consistent’ Arraez gets high-five for Kernels

Twins Minor League Report 08082016

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According to ELIAS

Kintzler picks up 10th save of season

Brandon Kintzler 2016Brandon Kintzler, who turned 32 years old on August 1, picked up his 10th save of the seasonand in his major-league careerin the Twins’ win over the Astros on Monday. Four other active pitchers were 32 or older at the time of their first 10-save season: Koji Uehara, Santiago Casilla, Jason Grilli and Joaquin Benoit.

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According to ELIAS

Twins have two young sluggers

Miguel Sano




Miguel Sano, age 23, hit two home runs in the Twins’ 6-3 win at Tampa Bay. Sano’s teammate Max Kepler, also 23, has two multi-homer games in 2016. The last pair of Minnesota players, each under 24, who both hit two home runs in a game within the same season were Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau in 2004.

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According to ELIAS

Rosario gives Twins a lead in a pinch

Rosario, Eddie 2016Eddie Rosario hit a pinch-hit two-run home run in the seventh inning that turned a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 lead in the Twins’ victory over the Rays. It was the first pinch-hit home run that turned a deficit into a lead for the Twins since Matt LeCroy hit one in Toronto on May 19, 2004. LeCroy’s blow was slightly more dramatic than Rosario’s; it was a grand slam in the ninth inning that turned a three-run deficit into a lead.

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The pinch-hit grand slam, it has been awhile

Dwyer, JimOdds are that you will not recognize the player in this picture but he is still in the Twins organization and has been on the Fort Myers Miracle coaching staff since 2006. He played in the big leagues for 18 seasons for seven different teams but never had more than 260 at bats in any single season and played for the Minnesota Twins in 1998, 1999 and 1990.

It has been over 25 years since a Minnesota Twins batter pinch-hit a grand slam for the Minnesota Twins. This Twins were ahead 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning when “Pig Pen” stepped into the left-handed batters box to hit pinch-hit for Twins catcher Tim Laudner who was hitting in the 7-hole on that day. Right-hander Donn Pall was the third pitcher used by the mighty whitey’s that inning and he gave up the grand salami to Jim Dwyer and the Twins were up 7-2 and would eventually win the game by a score of 10-3 as Frank Viola won his 22nd game of the season. No one has pinch-hit a grand slam home run for the Twins since September 15, 1988.

Pinch-hit grand slam home runs in Twins history

Rk Player Date Tm Opp Rslt PA AB R H HR RBI
1 Jim Dwyer 1988-09-15 MIN CHW W 10-3 1 1 1 1 1 4
2 Mike Cubbage 1978-08-08 MIN SEA W 10-2 1 1 1 1 1 4
3 Rod Carew 1976-09-09 MIN TEX W 6-0 1 1 1 1 1 4
4 Tony Oliva 1975-06-29 MIN TEX L 7-9 1 1 1 1 1 4
5 Rich Reese 1972-07-09 MIN NYY L 6-9 1 1 1 1 1 4
6 Harmon Killebrew 1971-09-03 (1) MIN OAK W 9-4 1 1 1 1 1 4
7 Rick Renick 1970-06-30 MIN KCR W 8-5 1 1 1 1 1 4
8 Rich Reese 1969-08-03 MIN BAL W 5-2 1 1 1 1 1 4
9 Julio Becquer 1961-07-04 (1) MIN CHW W 6-4 1 1 1 1 1 4
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 8/5/2016.

ERROR, ERROR, RECOMPUTE: A bit of a technical glitch with my search, it turns out that the last player to pinch-hit a home run for the Twins was not Jim Dwyer but our old friend Matt LeCroy in 2004. Here is the corrected list.

LeCroy, Matt 4

Rk Player Date ? Tm Opp Rslt PA AB R H HR RBI Pos Summary
1 Matt LeCroy 2004-05-19 MIN TOR W 6-5 1 1 1 1 1 4 PH 1B
2 Greg Colbrunn 1997-08-04 MIN TOR W 9-3 3 3 1 1 1 4 PH 1B
3 Jim Dwyer 1989-06-10 MIN CHW W 11-8 2 2 1 1 1 4 PH DH
4 Carmelo Castillo 1989-04-11 MIN DET W 14-0 2 1 1 1 1 4 PH RF
5 Jim Dwyer 1988-09-15 MIN CHW W 10-3 1 1 1 1 1 4 PH
6 Ron Washington 1986-07-03 MIN BAL W 11-7 2 2 2 2 1 4 PH 2B
7 Dave Engle 1982-07-06 MIN DET L 6-11 4 4 1 3 1 4 PH RF
8 Mike Cubbage 1978-08-08 MIN SEA W 10-2 1 1 1 1 1 4 PH
9 Rod Carew 1976-09-09 MIN TEX W 6-0 1 1 1 1 1 4 PH
10 Tony Oliva 1975-06-29 MIN TEX L 7-9 1 1 1 1 1 4 PH
11 Danny Walton 1973-04-17 MIN CAL W 10-5 2 2 2 2 1 4 PH DH
12 Rich Reese 1972-07-09 MIN NYY L 6-9 1 1 1 1 1 4 PH
13 Harmon Killebrew 1971-09-03 (1) MIN OAK W 9-4 1 1 1 1 1 4 PH
14 Rick Renick 1970-06-30 MIN KCR W 8-5 1 1 1 1 1 4 PH
15 Rich Reese 1970-06-07 MIN WSA W 10-9 3 3 1 1 1 4 PH 1B
16 Rich Reese 1969-08-03 MIN BAL W 5-2 1 1 1 1 1 4 PH
17 Julio Becquer 1961-07-04 (1) MIN CHW W 6-4 1 1 1 1 1 4 PH
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 8/20/2016.
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According to ELIAS

A one-of-a-kind day for the Indians

Cleveland_Indians_logo.svgAll four members of the Indians starting infield homered on Thursday against the Twins: first baseman Carlos Santana, second baseman Jason Kipnis, shortstop Francisco Lindor, and third baseman Jose Ramirez. But not only that: all three starting outfielders had an assist: left fielder Brandon Guyer, center fielder Rajai Davis, and right fielder Abraham Almonte. No other team in major-league history has had homers from all four of its starting infielders and assists from all three of its starting outfielders in one game.


Bull Dozier plowing through American League pitching this week

Brian Dozier homersBrian Dozier had two hits including a homer in the Twins’ loss in Cleveland, and over his last five games he’s collected 10 hits and slugged five homers. Over the last 30 years, the only other Twins players with 10 hits and five homers in a five-game span were Kirby Puckett (1987 and 1995) and David Ortiz (2002).

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According to ELIAS

Twins top three hitters produce in win over the Indians







Twins leadoff hitter Brian Dozier had three RBIs and three runs scored, second-place hitter Joe Mauer had four RBIs and two runs scored and third-place hitter Max Kepler scored twice and drove in two in Minnesota’s 13-5 victory over Cleveland on Wednesday. It’s only the second time since RBIs became an official statistic in 1920 that each of the top three hitters in the Senators/Twins starting lineup produced multiple RBIs and runs scored in the same game. The only other time that happened was on July 1, 1964, when Zoilo Versalles, Rich Rollins and Tony Oliva each did it in a 14-3 win against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

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According to ELIAS

Kepler’s power surge continues

Max Kepler

Max Kepler

One day after becoming the first Twins rookie in franchise history to homer three times in a game, Max Kepler cleared the fence one more time in Minnesota’s victory over the Indians last night. Kepler became the first Twins player since Kirby Puckett in August 1987 to hit four home runs within a two-game span. Only four other players this season have homered four or more times over a two-game span – Mookie Betts (five homers), Khris Davis (four), Michael Saunders (four), and Giancarlo Stanton (four).

Max Kepler maximizing his power potential for Twins

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According to ELIAS

Kepler does something a certain 40-year-old has never done

Credit: Minnesota Twins

Credit: Minnesota Twins

Max Kepler slugged three home runs last night, which may make another active player who began his career with the Twins a little jealous. David Ortiz has hit 528 home runs in the majors and he has never had a three-homer game. Big Papi is one of three members of the 500-home-run club who never hit three in one game, along with Rafael Palmeiro and Gary Sheffield.

Corey Seager went deep three times in a game against the Braves in June. Kepler and Seager are the fourth pair of rookies to each have a three-homer game in the same season. The other tandems to do that were Mark McGwire and Mickey Brantley in 1987, Nick Markakis and Cody Ross in 2006, and Evan Longoria and Joey Votto in 2008.

Update: According to Elias, Max Kepler became the first European-born player in baseball history to homer three times in a game.


Kepler hits three homers in Twins’ victory

Box score

Congratulations Max!

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Twins minor league player of the week – Lachlan Wells

Wells, Lachlan 2016Cedar Rapids Kernels (Low A) left-handed pitcher Lachlan Wells is the Twins minor league Player of the Week. Wells started for the Kernels on Monday against Dayton, pitching 8.0 shutout innings with two hits allowed, one walk and nine strikeouts and earned the win. The 19-year-old 5’8″ Wells has made six starts for the Kernels, going 3-2, 1.57 ERA (34.1 IP, 6 ER) with six walks and 29 strikeouts. Wells was signed as an undrafted free agent August 11, 2014 out of Newcastle, Australia for $300,000.

Wells twinsLachlan has a twin brother Alexander who is also a pitcher in the Orioles organization.

Australian twins bring competitive spirit to pro ball

Newcastle twins make pitch for baseball history

Twins Minor League Report July 31, 2016

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According to ELIAS

Mauer’s first walkoff RBI since 2007

Joe Mauer 2016Joe Mauer drew a walk with the bases full in the last of the 12th inning, allowing the winning run to score as the Twins defeated the White Sox, 2-1 last night. Yes, the old walkoff walk, the fifth in the majors this season, but the first for the Twins since a game in 2007 when they also accepted one from the White Sox.

Now, the hard-to-believe part: That was only the second walkoff RBI for Mauer in his 13-year major-league career. The other one came in a game against the Athletics in 2007, which the Twins star ended with a ninth-inning single off Joe Kennedy.

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According to ELIAS

First month in MLB history with three rookies with eight or more home runs

Max Kepler

Max Kepler

Max Kepler hit a score-tying home run for the Twins in the sixth inning and singled in a run in the seventh inning of Minnesota’s 6-2 win over the Orioles. Kepler’s home run was his eighth this month, which ties Trevor Story for the second-most homers by a rookie in July, one behind the Padres’ Ryan Schimpf with nine. This is the first calendar month in major-league history in which three different rookies each hit at least eight home runs.

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According to ELIAS

Hard-luck loss for Santana

Ervin Santana 2016The Twins’ Ervin Santana allowed just two runs over nine innings but the Braves kept their offense in check as Atlanta prevailed, 2-0. It’s the fifth time over the last three seasons that a Twins starter tossed a complete game and lost (Ricky Nolasco pitched one game of this type in 2014, Phil Hughes once each in 2014 and 2015, and Kyle Gibson in 2015). That’s tied with the Giants and the Indians for the most losses of this type for any team’s starting pitchers over that span.

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Twins Minor League Player of the Week – Andrew Albers

Andrew Albers 2016Rochester Red Wings (AAA) left-handed pitcher Andrew Albers is the Twins minor league Player of the Week. Albers made two starts for the Red Wings, pitching 15.0 shutout innings, allowing 14 hits, two walks and seven strikeouts, he earned the win last Saturday over Norfolk and again with a 9 inning complete game on Thursday vs. Syracuse.

The 30-year Canadian pitched for the Twins in 2014 and was released when that season ended and he then signed with Toronto. Albers became a free agent after the 2015 season and signed with Minnesota again. Albers has made 16 starts for the Red Wings this season, going 9-3, 3.14 ERA (97.1 IP, 34 ER) with two complete games, 23 walks and 63 strikeouts.  Albers is one of those “crafty lefties” with good control and whose fastball tops out at only 86 mph and is complemented by a slow curveball that he throws around 67 mph.

Twins Minor League Report July 24, 2016

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According to ELIAS

Twins finally get to Price

The Minnesota Twins rapped out 11 hits against David Price in their 11-9 win in Boston yesterday, ending years of frustration against him. Price entered the game 9-3 with a 2.12 ERA against the Twins, having won his last five starts against them. Five runs tied the most that Minnesota had ever scored against Price, and its 11 hits were three more than in any other game.

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According to ELIAS

Kepler 10 homers in last 33 games

Max Kepler

Max Kepler

Max Kepler‘s home run off Francisco Rodriguez in the ninth inning gave the Twins a 2-1 lead in their eventual 4-1 win over the Tigers yesterday. Kepler has hit 10 home runs over his last 33 games. Kepler is the fourth Twins rookie over the last 40 years to hit 10 or more homers over 1 33-game span. The other Twins rookies to do over the last 40 years are Kent Hrbek and Tom Brunansky, both in 1982, and Miguel Sano in 2015.

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Terry Ryan is gone and the sun still rises in the East

Change is comingThe sun still rose in the east this morning just as it always has but the difference is that Terry Ryan is no longer the Twins GM. Lots of Twins fans are happy that Ryan is gone and many are sad and disappointed. I am never happy to see someone lose their job, especially a job they love.

But life moves on, and almost 48 hours after the announcement I think I would like to jot down some thoughts and questions that come to mind.

Owner Jim Pohlad

Owner Jim Pohlad

My over-riding thought about the situation is that I now have a different opinion of owner Jim Pohlad. I had originally thought that he was a hands off owner and that he would let his brain-trust run the Minnesota Twins organization. Now it appears to me that is not the case, in true Pohlad fashion he is taking charge and showing everyone that he who holds the gold makes the rules. There is nothing wrong with that, just don’t try to blow smoke up my skirt saying that you let the experts run the show. What I don’t understand about this announcement is why Pohlad would tell Ryan that his contract would not be renewed after the season ended? Why tell your GM in June that his services are no longer required but that he can run the team for the rest of the season if he wishes to do so? I guess that the team just did not want to announce a “firing”, they would have preferred simply not renewing his contract. Another thing, why would Pohlad say that the only stipulation for a new GM is that Paul Molitor will manage in 2017? Only Jim Pohlad and Dave St. Peter know for sure.

Continue reading

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According to ELIAS

Milone doesn’t need strikeouts to win

Tommy Milone  2016Tommy Milone defeated the Tigers last night in the Motor City giving him wins in each of his last three starts, and he hasn’t struck out as many as five batters in any of those games. Three other pitchers have won three straight starts without a 5-K game this season: Martin Perez (a four-game streak), Jeff Locke (a pair of three-game streaks) and J.A. Happ.

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Twins announce GM Terry Ryan has been relieved of his duties

The Minnesota Twins announced today that long time Twins GM Terry Ryan has been let go and that assistant GM Rob Antony will take over as the interim GM. I can’t say that I am surprised but the timing, just two weeks or so before the trading deadline does surprise me. It appears that there must be some differences of opinion on how the Twins will move forward. Why didn’t the Twins make this move at the All-Star break? Looks to me like the Twins will be busy the next few weeks and you had better buy a scorecard because you might not recognize some of the new Twins players.

Here is the Twins Press Release.


Twins announce GM Terry Ryan has been relieved of his duties

Twins General Manager Terry Ryan  (Pioneer Press: John Autey)

Twins General Manager Terry Ryan (Pioneer Press: John Autey)

Assistant GM Rob Antony to assume GM role on interim basis

Press Release | 12:24 PM ET
The Minnesota Twins announced today that Executive Vice President, General Manager Terry Ryan has been relieved of his duties. Beginning immediately, Vice President, Assistant General Manager Rob Antony will assume Ryan’s duties on an interim basis.

“Since joining our organization as a player in 1972, Terry has been a dedicated, loyal and respected member of the Minnesota Twins family,” Twins owner and CEO Jim Pohlad said. “Terry has been a gifted leader of the baseball department for over eighteen seasons. It is impossible to overstate his contribution to our game, our team and the Upper Midwest baseball community. The decision to part ways with Terry was difficult, painful and not obvious. We are extremely grateful and very thankful to Terry, his wife Karilyn and their family for being a part of the Minnesota Twins.”
“While disappointed we were unable to bring Minnesota a third World Championship, I leave the GM post with immense pride in being part of the Twins organization for the better part of three decades,” said Terry Ryan. “I’m grateful for the leadership opportunities provided by the Pohlad family; the collaboration and talents of my colleagues in the front office; the hard work and dedication of our manager, coaches and clubhouse personnel; the commitment and professionalism of our players; the passion and attention to detail of our minor league staff and scouts; and most importantly, the incredible support of our fans. It’s been an honor to be part of the Twins organization and I wish everyone nothing but the best going forward.”

Ryan was named Executive Vice President/General Manager on November 7, 2011, after spending the previous four seasons as a Special Assistant to General Manager Bill Smith (2008-11). He was originally named as the fourth General Manager in Minnesota Twins history on September 13, 1994, holding that position until stepping down following the 2007 season.

Ryan began his professional career with the Twins in 1972 after being drafted in the 35th round out of Parker High School in Janesville, WI. He pitched in the Twins minor league system for four seasons, posting a 14-3 record, including 10-0 in 1973, before an arm injury cut his career short. In 1975, he enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and graduated with a degree in Physical Education in 1979.

Ryan returned to baseball in 1980 as Midwest Scouting Supervisor for the New York Mets, a position he held for six years before being named Scouting Director for the Twins in January, 1986. He was recognized by Topps in 1998 with the Advancement Through the Game Award. Prior to his first tenure as General Manager, Ryan served as the Vice President of Player Personnel, a position he assumed at the end of the 1991 season. In that role, Ryan was responsible for scouting and evaluating all talent at the major league level and assisting in personnel decisions. Ryan was also responsible for signing all major league players with less than three years of major league service.

In addition to his duties with the Twins, Ryan was appointed to the Commissioner’s Special Committee for On-Field Matters in December of 2009, as well as being a member of the Major League Baseball Playing Rules Committee since 2005. He has also served on the Arizona Fall League (AFL) Steering Committee since 2005, a position he also held in 1997-98. In 2009, Ryan was the recipient of the AFL’s Roland Hemond Award, which is presented annually to a baseball executive in recognition of at least 15 years of outstanding service to the AFL and professional baseball in a key leadership capacity. In 2013, he was awarded the George Genovese Lifetime Achievement Award in Scouting from the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation, as well as the Roland Hemond Award, voted upon by SABR, recognizing a baseball executive that demonstrates a lifetime commitment to professional baseball scouts and scouting, and player development history. In 2014, he was inducted into the Minnesota State High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Through the efforts of Ryan and his staff, the Twins have won the American League Central Division title in four of his last 10 years as the general manager (2002-04 and 06). He has twice been named Sporting News Executive of the Year (2002 and 2006), and was also named Baseball America’s Major League Executive of the Year in 2004. The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum honored Ryan with the Andrew “Rube” Foster Legacy Award as American League Executive of the Year in 2004, and again in 2006. In 2002, the Twins were named Organization of the Year by Baseball America (also in 2004), USA Today and Sportsticker.

Rob Antony

Rob Antony

Rob Antony is in his 29th season in the Twins organization and his ninth as Assistant General Manager, after being named to that role on September 13, 2007. He was promoted to Vice President in December, 2013. He is responsible for major league contracts, including arbitration, and evaluating major and minor league players.

Prior to his current position, he was Director of Baseball Operations for 12 seasons and was responsible for various duties in the minor league and scouting departments, including the spring training operation and free agent draft preparations. He was also responsible for establishing and overseeing the budget for the major league, minor league and scouting departments. He worked closely with the scouting department and scouted players eligible for the free agent draft, as well as amateurs in Australia and Latin America.

Antony was hired as Assistant Director of Media Relations in 1988 after graduating from the University of Minnesota. In June, 1991, he was promoted to Director of Media Relations and held that post until December, 1995, when he was promoted to Director of Baseball Operations.

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Looking at the length of Twins games from 1961-2015

Clock baseballjpgSome time ago I did a piece on the length of MLB games after the league announced its changes to quicken the pace of play prior to the 2015 season that I called Looking back at the pace of play in 2015. You can read that article here. Today I want to take a look at the entire history of Minnesota Twins game duration’s going back to 1961.

First off we are going to note of some rule changes that baseball implemented since 1961 that may or may not have had an impact on the length of games. I am not saying I have them all listed here but I listed as many as I am aware of. I appreciate Stew Thornley’s help in compiling this list

1961 – 162 game schedule implemented
1966 – artificial turf first implemented (Astrodome)
1969 – mound lowered 5 inches
1969 – strike zone was shrunken to the area from the armpits to the top of
the batter’s knees
1969 – saves rule added
1969 – playoffs started
1971 – all players must wear protective helmets
1973 – AL DH started
1973 – glove sizes standardized
1975 – ball was permitted to be covered with cowhide because of the shortage
of horses
1995 – wild card team added to playoffs
1997 – interleague play introduced
2008 – limited instant replay introduced on August 29
2013 – In addition to interpreters taking the mound with the pitching
coach/manager, two other rule changes of note were implemented. 1. A seventh
coach will be permitted to suit up and sit in the dugout, one more than in
previous seasons. This change comes as a result of several teams hiring an
assistant hitting coach, most of whom were forced to sit out games in the
clubhouse last year. 2. The fake-to-third, throw-to-first pick-off move that
almost never works will now be considered a balk. The “trick move” was voted
out by the Playing Rules Committee last year — giving MLB the authority to
bar the move but approval by the player’s union would make the ban
2014 – MLB’s new system of instant replay dictates which plays are subject
to review, how instant replay will be initiated by field managers and how
the review process will be conducted. As a part of the expansion of instant
replay, Clubs will now be allowed to show all replays on the ballpark
scoreboard, regardless of whether the play was reviewed. Home plate rules
were also changed.
2015 – MLB introduced new pace of game rules 1. With certain exceptions,
hitters must keep one foot in the batter’s box between pitches throughout
their at-bat. 2. Each ballpark now has between-inning countdown timers to
ensure that the next half-inning starts promptly.
The timers are set at 2 minutes, 25 seconds for most games and 2:45 for
nationally televised games. Pitchers and hitters have been encouraged to be
ready to go when the clock reaches 20 seconds. 3. Managers can now signal
instant-replay challenges to umpires from the dugout area, instead of from
the field.
2016 – Netting behind home plate to reach out to dugouts. Possible strike
zone change?

My personal definition of a long game is one that last 3 hours or more. I love watching baseball but when the game drags on and there is a modicum of action than I start to get bored. For the most part I would rather watch a 2 1/2 hour game over a 3 1/2 hour game but there are exceptions, a high scoring back and forth game can be fun just as a 2 hour and 20 minute game with no action can be boring. For my purposes here I will consider games that last 3 hours or more as long games. The chart you will see tracks game duration averages as well as games that last 3 hours or more. Games of less than nine innings are excluded in my study. Continue reading

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Twins Minor League Player of the Week – Zander Wiel

Zander WielSingle-A Cedar Rapids 1B Zander Wiel is the Twins minor league Player of the
Week. Wiel appeared in five games for the Kernels, hitting .444 (8-for-18) with one double, three home runs, 12 RBI, four walks and six runs scored. In 83 games for the Kernels this season, he is hitting .246 (80-for-325) with 18 doubles, five triples, 10 home runs, 51 RBI and 43 runs scored. The 23-year-old Tennessee native was drafted by the Twins in the 12th round of the 2015 First-Year Player Draft out of Vanderbilt University.

Zander Wiel ready to start pro career

Twins Minor League Report July 17 2016

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Why would Twins want to trade Ervin Santana?

Ervin Santana 2016There has been lots of rumors floating around that Ervin Santana is available and to be honest I don’t understand it and I don’t believe it. I am not saying that GM Terry Ryan shouldn’t listen to offers because with this Twins team he should be listening to any and all offers.

However; Santana is worth more to Minnesota than he is to any other team because here in Minnesota he is currently their best pitcher and he is locked up for at least 2 years if not three with his option and this Twins team is going to get better sooner than later. Why would you want to put the team in a hole if you have no replacement ready? This young Twins team needs to learn to win and it needs veterans to help them to do that.

There is even talk that the Twins are going to agree to pay part of Santana’s salary to take him off their hands and supposedly this will help the Twins get better players in return. That is just plain preposterous, why would the Twins want to move Santana, pay someone to take him and probably get prospects in return. At this stage of the Twins rebuild the team should not be looking for prospects, they need major league ready players to get them to the next step up the ladder towards the playoffs. Instead of getting prospects they should be ready to move some prospects to get the players they need.

Having said that, there are some pieces on this team that are of no value to the team in the long run and I would have no  issue with getting prospects for them if that is all they will fetch, but Ervin Santana is not one of those players.

Bottom line, trading Ervin Santana would be stupid unless he would fetch a king’s ransom of players, which he will not, so keep him until we get more starting pitching and then you can still move him down the line if we should be so fortunate.

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It would be fun to take in a game at Elizabethton

Courtest of littleparks.com

Courtesy of littleparks.com

Elizabethton and the Minnesota Twins have been associated since 1974 when the Twins first fielded a rookie team there that was managed by some guy by the name of Robert Butler. The team was known as the Elizabethton Twins and played at Joe O’Brien Field as part of the Appalachian League and they finished second in their division with a 41-27 record. The only player from that team that ever went on to wear a Twins uniform was catcher Butch Wynegar. Other Twins notables such as Kent Hrbek, Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, A.J. Pierzynski, and Kirby Puckett all started their careers there.

This morning I ran across a story on MiLB.com called “On the Road: Elizabethton’s timeless appeal.” It is a fun read on how different life is at a “rookie” league ballpark that was built in 1974 and has a capacity of 1,500. For more info/images on Joe O’Brien Park please go here. It is also worth noting that the field is also the home park of the local high school baseball team.

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