Archive for August, 2011

Could The Twins Have Foreseen Nishioka’s Struggles?

August 27, 2011

When it was announced that the Twins had won the bid for Japanese shortstop Tsuyoshi Nishioka, I’m sure most people were excited. I certainly was, as the Twins had not had a Japanese-born player since Micheal Nakamura, though he wasn’t like your typical Far East import. Micheal, along with having an English-sounding first name and odd, Jhonny Peralta-like misspelling, had an Australian mother and actually moved to the Land Down Under when he was only 3 years old.

However, our collective excitement over Nishioka has quickly waned. The fear was that being a middle infielder, he may turn into a disappointment like Kaz Matsui, who played for the Astros, Rockies, and Mets. In actuality, Matsui was a fairly decent big leaguer, but he didn’t live up to expectations, thus the perception of him being a disappointment. His defense was shaky despite winning 4 Nippon Pro Baseball Gold Gloves and his power disappeared even though he had a 36 HR season under his belt in Japan, and he was just barely an above-average position player in 5 of his 7 seasons.

Twins fans thought they were getting an intriguing Asian import, and yet Nishioka has looked more like Norihiro Nakamura than Kazuo Matsui. Who? you may ask. Don’t worry, the quizzical look on your face is well justified. I’ll get to Norihiro later.

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On Vacation (Again)

August 19, 2011

For the second time in under a month, I will be on vacation. First time with my family, this time with my girlfriend’s family. It’s a tough life, but sometimes I just have to power through it.

Honestly though, I just thought I’d give a heads up this time, rather than in late July when I just seemed to disappear off the face of the earth for a whole week. Hopefully we won’t see Joe Mauer in right field too much more (though he did play adequately last night), but I suppose if we were going to play this game, I might as well say hopefully the Twins start playing well enough again that we won’t have to cover our eyes any more.

I’ll be back at Target Field next Thursday, with a new outlook on life (ha, yeah right) and enough pan-fried sunfish that we’ll have to change the Zac Brown Band song to “Sunfish Fried” as T.C. shoots some of it out of his air-powered cannon. Sadly, that may be the most entertaining thing to see over this long homestand.

If you can’t handle me being gone for a week, I tend to talk a lot on this thing the kids on the block call “The Twitter.”

Notepad Scribbles, 8/16/11

August 16, 2011

Yesterday was so jam-packed with news that blogging about each one individually would require about 4 blog posts, to be honest. Instead, I will just trim the unnecessary fat off some of the following stories and put them right here. At least I already touched on my Internet arguments yesterday (pew pew pew), so we can avoid those today.

Tighten your jockstraps and/or sports bras, because not only is this the largest Notepad Scribbles I believe I’ve ever posted, but once you get past my review of the Delmon Young trade, this certainly becomes the most entertaining one I’ve had.

Ol’ Jim Jam Mashes #600

Nothing like hitting two home runs in the same game to reach a milestone, although this isn’t the first time he’s done something like this. In fact, if you remember his game last year where he passed Harmon Killebrew, he also hit two home runs in the game. Even more coincidental, both home runs from yesterday and that #574 game were hit to the opposite field. While teams may employ an exaggerated shift for his tendency to pull the ball, he certainly is still able to drive the ball to the opposite field, much like Joe Mauer with healthy legs.

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Someone Is Wrong On The Internet

August 15, 2011

Sums up my day so far, and it’s only 4 pm as I type this.

Edit: Considering this post was finished at 10:30 pm, it gives you an idea of the type of ADD I can have while typing blog posts.

The day for me started when I linked to an article on Twitter about a 17-year old boy that had caught three home run balls at Camden Yards in three consecutive games. I made a quick snarky comment about how the article was immortalizing a ball hawk (a person that goes to baseball games with the sole intention of catching as many baseballs as possible), a type of fan that really annoys me at baseball games. Maija of Kirby’s Left Eye retorted that he was only 17 years old. This led to a nice back-and-forth between us for… an hour? Neither of us budged, and I think all we accomplished was entertaining Derek James while he was waiting to deal with the IRS (at least I think it was the IRS).

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Free Kevin Slowey

August 7, 2011

Will the bigger man please stand up?

It seems rather odd that I’m saying this so shortly after I wrote about how well the pitching staff had been doing lately, but it seems like the glaring weaknesses from Brian Duensing, Nick Blackburn, Carl Pavano, and Francisco Liriano started catching up to them. As the Twins now sit 10 games out of the AL Central lead, it’s become a crapshoot on the type of start we’re going to see from the Twins starters outside of Scott Baker.

While Pavano and Liriano are unlikely to be removed from the rotation, Duensing and Blackburn could be candidates to be replaced. While Duensing’s FIP (3.85) is much better than his ERA (4.43), he’s also been exhibiting a serious platoon split, not just this season but for his whole career. Lefthanders are only hitting .201/.247/.260, while righties have battered him for a .288/.348/.444 line so far. He clearly appears to be best suited for the bullpen, but the Twins coaching staff decided Duensing had earned a rotation spot.

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Notepad Scribbles, 8/3/11

August 4, 2011

Hello all. I apologize for the lack of posts over the past week and a half, as I was on vacation in Maui. I learned how to surf, rode on some harrowing one lane roads, and am sporting some amazing sunburns on my shoulders, but I’m definitely happy to be back in Minnesota again. Next time, I promise to leave a warning before I disappear off the face of the earth.

Plenty of Rumors, Not So Many Trades For Twins

After starting the season 17-37, the Twins have ridden a 34-22 streak to claw out of MLB’s cellar and somewhat back into the AL Central race. However, they’re still only 51-59, and this meant that the Twins were caught in limbo between buying and selling at the deadline. While common sense would suggest they should sell, GM Bill Smith announced that the Twins were contenders based on that hot streak.

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