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Monday, September 7, 2009

Brief Thoughts About Baseball (08/31/2009 - 09/08/2009)

1. I don't know how many more of these I can do. Really, the only races in questions is the two Wildcard races. And I just feel like the Red Sox are going to pull out the AL Wild Card. I'll get to the death of the AL Central Division race later. But honestly, I was busy this week and missed a lot of baseball. But we'll see what I come up with.

2. I went to the Twins game last Monday. (Feels like months ago.) I saw Jim Thome play for the White Sox. I got home and saw that he was traded to the LA Dodgers. It was weird on many levels. One level is: Why would an NL team want Jim Thome? He can barely walk. Since moving to the Dodgers Jim Thome went 1 for 3 and then injured his ankle.

3. The Twins wanted to trade for Rich Harden but the Cubs were apparently asking for too much. I don't know what "too much" really means but on the surface I can't rip the Twins. You shouldn't give away too much for a one month rent-a-pitcher.

4. No "hip hip" for Jorge after this.

5. I suppose he made up for that embarrassment, though.

6. Here's a pet peeve of mine. David Wright came back to play after getting a concussion from getting beaned in the head by a pitch. (I'm not sure why he came back to play since the Mets' season is essentially over, but that's neither here nor there.) But Tim Kurkjian said that an ordinary person would never be able to get in the batter box again. (The implication was that most people would be too traumatized.) He said that's why they're baseball players and we're not or something like that. Well, you know what? BS!!!
During my High School Archery, Golf, and Bowling class I took a golf club too the forehead. I had a gash down to my skull and needed forty stitches. You know what? After a weekend I went back to the class and still golfed. It's really not a big detail. The human brain is very good at disassociating and filtering things. I'm not bragging either. I'm just an average person. In fact, a lot of people would consider me below average. I'm just saying it's not that impressive to get back into the batter box after taking a pitch to the head.

7. The Twins playoff hopes are all but dead. And it's a bit surprising who drove the final nail into the coffin though...Joe Nathan. One out from sweeping the White Sox and he gives up back to back home runs to tie the game? Unacceptable. I'm not saying he should be cut, but it was painful. And you know, Matt Guerrier has been decent this year, but you can't bring into the game with runners on base. They'll score, seemingly every time.
Anyway, back to the brutal loss the Twins took on Wednesday. Teebore predicted that they'd lose two out of three the following series against Cleveland and that's exactly what happened. The Twins are now a weeks worth of games out of first place. So you could argue that that White Sox game didn't mean much. I mean, if they won that game then they'd still be 6 games out of the division which isn't much better. You're right, but I feel like that blown save had a snowball effect on the Twins.
If the Twins win that game and sweep the White Sox, it really puts the heat on Detroit. I'm not convince the Tigers win their game that night or the following day. And if that was the case the Twins would only be 2 1/2 games out going into the weekend and on a hot streak. At that point, they may have pulled off a sweep of Cleveland which would really would put the Twins in the thick of things.
Now I could be overestimating the momentum the Twins would gain from that win and really there's no way to know either way what would have happened if Nathan could have gotten that final out. But I would have liked to have found out. As it stands, the Twins are hopelessly behind the Tigers and simply left with a whole bunch of what-ifs.

1 comment:

  1. 2. It was a bizarre trade for a bunch of reasons, but mainly because, yeah, Thome can't really walk. I hadn't heard about the injured ankle, though. I always chuckle a bit with schadenfreude when a team acquires a player and then he goes on the DL.

    3. Yeah, if the Cubs wanted ANYTHING and we said that was too much, I might quibble with the Twins. But if they truly wanted SOEMTHING for him, it's probably better not to give it up for, what, maybe four starts? Especially in light of our playoff chances.

    4. Heh.

    5. Enough with the Posada homers! I saw enough of those last week when he was on my opponent's fantasy team.

    6. I know what you mean; the notion that pro athletes are somehow "heroic" for playing the sport well has always bugged me. Yeah, they're talented, and many (most?) of them, especially the uber-successful ones, give back a lot in terms of money for charities and mentoring and things like that, and that kind of stuff could be termed "heroic" (it is, at least, worthy of admiration).

    But getting beaned in the head then getting back on the job? Not that impressive.

    7. Well said. Even if the Twins had won that game and still lost two in Cleveland and stayed 6 games back, right now I'd feel more comfortable that we could overtake them somehow because we swept Chicago out of the Dome once and for all. So for me, that loss was less about a game in the standings and more about maintaining a more ephemeral "momentum" or "attitude" going forward.

    We'll never know how Nathan getting that save would have changed things, but we'll always be able to point to that game as one of the pivotal "what if" moments of the season.

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