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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring Fever...Twins Style

In honor of Joe Mauer signing with the Twins (for real this time) and me losing my Fantasy Baseball league before it started by drafting horribly, I'm going to do ANOTHER Twins post!

A while back I came across this article by ESPN columnist Bill Simmons regarding clich├ęd spring training stories. Not only did I find it funny but I was amazed at how tolerable pre-2004 Red Sox fans were. But it wasn't until I saw the final "generic angle" that I realized he was on to something.

So I decided to try my hand at putting in this years Twins into the various angles. I did take out a few I felt were slightly redundant, but here's what I came up with:

THE NEW GUY (Orlando Hudson)
There are actually a few new guys with the Twins this year. But I have gotten the sense that the person the fans are most excited about is second basemen Orlando Hudson. Too bad that if he's really as good as advertised then he'll sign for more money somewhere else next year.

THE WASHED-UP GUY (Jim Thome)
Sure, his numbers have been falling and he was barely functional against lesser national league pitching with the Dodgers. But still, you never know when the pop will return to his bat. And he's a sure fire hall-of-famer!

However, I can't blame the Twins for signing him. If all you knew of him were the games in which he played against the Twins then you'd think he averages a home run a game.

THE SLEEPERS (Francisco Liriano)
He's been lighting it up in the winter league. His slider is back. The other team won't know what hit them! (Unless Liriano lets a batter on base. Then he'll just panic and the only thing that will be hitting is the other team.)

THE UNHAPPY GUY (Glen Perkins)
The stories have been filtering in. It looks like he won't have a starting job. He wants one. He's been known to cause problems in the locker room. All I can say to Perkins is that if you want to be a diva then perhaps you should, you know, be better than decent.

THE POSITION CHANGE (Closer Du Jour)
No one knows who will be the closer to replace Joe Nathan but it's a hot story! Will it be Mr. Neck-Tattoo Jon Rauch? Or will the Twins look outside their organization and tra...alright, I can't even say it with a straight face. It's going to be Jon Rauch. Hopefully his neck tattoo scares batters into striking out.

THE FINAL STRAW (Delmon Young)
The Twins paid a handsome price for this young outfielder and, to be frank, he has stunk. But now he's lost weight and is refocused! Can Delmon Young finally put the pieces together and become an elite hitter? (Spoiler Alert: No...he can't.)

THE GUY WITH NO ANGLE (Justin Morneau)
Remember Justin Morneau? He's a Twin too. And he's pretty good.

THE NEW COACH WITH THE MAGIC WAND (Rick Anderson)
OK, so he's not a NEW coach. But every year we hear about what a wonderful job Rick Anderson does with his pitchers. Many think the transition of Random Middle Reliever A to closer will go seamless because of him. I have my doubts.

THE INJURED-BUT-HOPEFUL PITCHER (Pat Neshek)
He's been out for nearly two years. But he and is crazy throwing motion are finally back. Can he recapture his former glory? Did he have former glory? We'll have to wait for the regular season to find out!

THE GUY LOOKING TO MAKE AMENDS (Delmon Young)
Delmon Young makes his second appearance because, really, I couldn't think of anyone else to put here. He has to make amends for...sucking...I guess...and throwing a bat at an umpire all those years ago.

THE GUILLOTINE GUY (Joe Mauer)
The Twins signed Joe Mauer so now pessimistic Twins fans are just waiting for his leg to fall off.

THE DEPARTED, BITTER STAR (None)
It feels like everyone is happy when they leave the Twins. I could give this to Orlando Cabrera but I haven't heard him talk bad about the Twins. I suppose this category should be retired for the Twins in honor of A.J. Pierzynski.

THE CLUBHOUSE LEADER (Carl Pavano)
Sure he sucked in New York. But he's old...er...I mean an experienced veteran. That means he can teach our young pitchers. One day they will suck in New York too! Well...suck more. Most Twins pitchers already suck when they're in New York. It's a unique talent they have.

THE JOURNEYMAN PITCHER WHO FINDS A HOME (None)
Shockingly, I don't think the Twins have one! Gone are the days of Ramon Ortiz and Sydney Ponson. I never thought I'd live to see it.

THE QUIRKY VETERAN (None)
No quirky veterans this year. I suppose this category has to be retired after Mike Redmond left. Not only did his face look half melted but he also walked around the clubhouse naked! That's like Quirky Veteran Hall of Fame status there.

THE GUY WHO ALWAYS WANTED TO PLAY HERE (None)
Has any player ever WANTED to play for the Twins? Well, Aaron Boone did...and we saw how well that worked out.

THE FOURTH OUTFIELDER WHO COULD START ON MANY OTHER TEAMS (Jason Kubel)
Ahh, the fourth outfielder. The Twins always seem to have too much talent in the outfield. You've got Denard Span, Michael Cuddyer and Delmon Young. That leaves sure-fire-starter-on-another-team Jason Kubel. With an embarrassment of riches like that, how can the Twins NOT make a deep run into the playoffs?

THE RETURN ENGAGEMENT (Jacque Jones)
Remember Jacque Jones? Yeah, me neither. I'm just kidding. I remember him. He was good for a couple of years. Now he's back. Only he's older...and suckier. Yay.

THE STAR NOBODY CAN FIGURE OUT (Alexei Casilla)
This really should go to Carlos Gomez, but he was traded. So I'll nominate his partner-in-crime Alexei Casilla. Although, I think I can figure him out. He stinks.

THE PHENOM (Danny Valencia)
Greatest....third basemen....ever. (Or so I've been told.)

THE NIGHTMARE PITCHER FROM HELL (Francisco Liriano)
Second appearance for "The Franchise." A lot of good things are expected of him. Me? I expect to be banging my head against the wall whilst watching him pitch.

THE GUY WITH SOMETHING TO PROVE (JJ Hardy)
He stunk so bad last year that he was booted down to the minors. Now he's supposed to be the Twins' savior at short stop. Ummmm....no comment.

THE LOVABLE BENCH GUY (Nick Punto)
Ahhhh little Nicky Punto. Marvel at how he plays every position. Enjoy each and every grounder to short stop he hits. Applaud when he foolishly tries to go from third base to home and get thrown out because the crowd was too loud. But you can't say anything bad about him because everyone loves a guy who works hard and "plays the right way." Right?

THE VISA PROBLEM (Jose Mijares)
Two years and counting!

10 comments:

  1. Okay, first of all, awesome post. I love it.

    Too bad that if he's really as good as advertised then he'll sign for more money somewhere else next year.

    That's been my thought. Either he'll suck and we won't want him back or he'll be good, which just means he'll go elsewhere next year, so either way, we won't be able to enjoy him.

    All I can say to Perkins is that if you want to be a diva then perhaps you should, you know, be better than decent.

    Too true. If you don't play like a diva, you can't act like one.

    Poor Morneau. He really is the guy with no angle. Even his whole "I suck after the All Star break" angle isn't relevant right now.

    The Twins signed Joe Mauer so now pessimistic Twins fans are just waiting for his leg to fall off.

    Wait, you mean it hasn't yet? Hm. Probably on his way to the podium for tonight's press conference, then.

    Gone are the days of Ramon Ortiz and Sydney Ponson. I never thought I'd live to see it.

    I know! It's amazing. In any other year, you might even be tempted to call Pavano the Twin's latest pitching reclamation project, but he was downright dependable for us last season.

    I suppose this category has to be retired after Mike Redmond left.

    Yeah, Redmond pretty much was the walking embodiment of the Quirky Veteran. He even had a quirky face!

    This really should go to Carlos Gomez, but he was traded. So I'll nominate his partner-in-crime Alexei Casilla. Although, I think I can figure him out. He stinks.

    Way to make your wife cry.

    Oh, little Nicky Punto...

    THE VISA PROBLEM (Jose Mijares)
    Two years and counting!


    Bwah-ha-ha!

    Seriously, what is his deal.

    ReplyDelete
  2. My favorite line of Bill Simmons' article was this:

    "...it's easier to smuggle 250 pounds of heroin into the country than it is to smuggle a Latin American player into Florida before spring training."

    Anyway, I'm glad you liked the post. You're probably the only one who'll read it....all of it anyway.

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  3. Well, I *am* the one who matters the most.

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  4. Not true- i read all the posts on here. i just don't usually comment on the majority of them.

    But Austin was right- i know almost nothing about Baseball and have no idea who all but 3 of these people are, and this post still cracked me up.

    Spot on

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  5. Fantastic post. Loved it! Here are just two of my thoughts:

    Remember Justin Morneau? He's a Twin too. And he's pretty good.

    And he's my boyfriend. Stoic Canadians are my thing.

    Not only did his face look half melted . . .

    This is the most accurate description I have ever heard of Redmond's appearance.

    I am really jealous of you guys being able to go to some games at Target field this year. Have a Schweigert hot dog (or three) for me.

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  6. baroness van bitzenhoferMarch 23, 2010 at 7:04 AM

    Hey, I read your posts too. Or I am a non-factor since it's assumed that I'll read them?
    And BTW, I did cry a little about your Alexei comment.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Kate, I wouldn't be too jealous: considering the tickets are selling fast and prices on the secondary market are in the arm, leg, and firstborn range, we probably won't see many games at "the Field", as they are calling it (by which I mean, no one is calling it that), this year either.

    I heard that on the day single game tickets went on sale, pretty much every weekend and premium series (Yankees/Red Sox/Brewers) sold out. Though perhaps that's marketing hyperbole at work.

    At least you won't have its nearby, looming presence taunting you. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Well then, regarding the number of readers...I stand corrected.

    Kate, you might have fight over Mr. Morneau with the Baroness.

    And, yeah, the new stadium sounds nice and all, and probably is, but tickets (especially in decent seats) are becoming hard to come by.

    Let's just hope the Twins still have some semblence of a home field advantage.

    ReplyDelete
  9. You guys should find somebody who follows your blog that has season tickets or something..... :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Might you, perhaps, know of such a person...? :)

    ReplyDelete

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