Speaking of Baseball Boyfriends

While Babs is trying to sort out what to do if her baseball boyfriend ends up on the DL, I’m sitting here wondering if I’ll ever be able to choose another Twins boyfriend at all.

I’ve had two BFs in the past, and both ended with the players being traded. It’s sort of interesting that both are pitchers because I don’t necessarily consider myself to have a favorite position or anything, but there it is.

While some girls may have practically a harem of BFs, backup BFs, and flirt buddies, I’ve always been pretty monogamous about the whole thing. I don’t really remember now how I pinned by BF sights on Eric Milton, but I’m guessing his no-hitter back in ’99 didn’t hurt. I finally bought my first Twins jersey in 2003 with Milton’s name on it, and he was traded after that season. *sigh*

[Milton was before I had a digital camera. Considering how long it's been since I got my first one, wow, it's been a long time since he left. If I scrounge up a non-digital photo I'll scan and add it.]

One problem I have with choosing a Twins BF is that I don’t really like to share, at least not with those I attend games with or talk baseball with ever, which might explain my fling the next couple of seasons with J.C. Romero. He seemed to be someone others loved to hate, so I pretty much had him to myself. I didn’t get as far as buying a jersey with his name on it, but I probably would have if he hadn’t been traded after the 2005 season.

romero071905-3

Wait — it’s been four years since Juan Carlos (that’s what I called him in my head) was traded? I’ve really lost track of the time while trying to figure out who would make a good new BF.

The first place one might look is who my former BFs were traded for. Milton: Carlos Silva (now with the Cubs), Bobby Korecky (now with the Diamondbacks) and Nick Punto. Huh. It feels like Punto’s been around longer than that. He isn’t BF material for me, but I can’t imagine the Twins without him right now.

Romero: Alexi Casilla. I love watching Casilla play, but also just not quite right for my baseball BF.

So I’m back to the rest of the guys. I’ve been perusing the 40-man roster and no jumps out at me at all. I like so many of them, but either they’re not a good fit for me or they’ve been claimed by someone else.

Maybe the problem is that I really need to be able to see these guys out in the sun or something before I’ll find one who makes my heart sing. I know I saw many of them in a new light when I attended an away game in Anaheim a few years ago, so maybe the new ballpark is what I really need.

Rather than studying the roster maybe what I really should be doing is figuring out if I’m going to be able to buy tickets for a game or two when the single-game tickets go on sale this Saturday.

So, who makes your heart go pitter pat?

Joe Nathan might go on the DL!!

Man, a girl can take it pretty hard when her baseball BF has what looks like it might be a season ending injury.  I’m pretty darn loyal in my love of my favorite baseball players but even I have to look at my team and try to picture what this season might look like without Joe Nathan.

photo courtesy of Corey Sauer

For me this is just not a question that stats alone can answer.  Twitchy fills a very special role with this team that can’t be filled by whoever is in the room.  I think for some, it’s easier to look outside our little team family for backup possibilities because they feel like they already know everyone on the team and they would require a lot of investment to get them ready to fill the role.  I’m in the group that sees SO many options available to us internally, that I couldn’t even DREAM of looking outside the players we already have. 

I certainly have the highest hopes that Joe Nathan will be back with us, giving me the shivers, and delivering nasty fastballs and filthy sliders.  I just LOVE me a dirty pitcher!  But every role should have a backup so here’s what I consider my top 3 backup options to be:

1) Sideshow, ie Pat Neshek, has LONG been a favorite of mine.  It started out of pure entertainment value and then I realized how devastating he could be to opposing batters and my love deepened.  Do I think he has the ability?  yes.  Do I think he’s ready to step into that role?  I’m not sure.  I don’t think he’s had the pressure of that kind of attention before and it would would require some adaptation not to mention the job can be exhausting.

2) Shaggy, ie. Matty Guerrier, is DEFINITELY a possibility and one I honestly had never really considered for this kind of role in the past.  He’s done a very good job for this team but somehow he’s always been in the shadow of more spectacular players and has done well in whatever role assigned but never shined.  This could be his opportunity to take the spotlight and I think it’s my job to take another look!

3)  Blacky, ie Nick Blackburn, is probably the most obvious of my choices simply because he’s been making me drool ever since his first late season callup when he got SHELLED but took one for the team and stayed out with more composure than I could have imagined possible for a rookie pitcher.  Now that he’s with the team full time, he’s put together seasons that surprised everyone with how solid he could be – even some applying the term “ACE” far too liberally (IMHO) last year – and has been at the core of a young but dependable starting rotation.

What do you mean he’s not a relief pitcher???  well, duh!  OH WAIT?!  You thought I was talking about who would be the new CLOSER??!?!?!?!  oh good grief, no. 

I meant who is my backup BF if Nathan has to be away from us for awhile!  I’ll leave assigning the closer responsibilities to the team staff.  They most certainly have a lot to choose from and I look forward to the season.  I still hope we get to see Nathan making opposing pitchers look ridiculous but if not, we have great guys out there willing to step up.