Twins’ prospects rip former Cy Young winner!

I confess. I’m not a fan of the former Twin starting pitcher that started for the Mets in their spring training game against the Twins today. It’s fine with me if my fellow Twins fans want to continue to worship him, even if I don’t agree with it. Just don’t expect me to fawn over his greedy, overpaid, New York loving, butt. :)

So, having said that, you might imagine that I rather enjoyed watching the game today in Port St. Lucie (is there really a St. Lucie?)  You would be right.

I don’t wish any sort of serious life-threatening evil to befall this particular former Cy Young winner. I’m not that kind of person. Do I hope he wins more Cy Young awards? No. Do I hope he ever reaches the playoffs with the Mets? No. Do I hope the investment the Mets made in him turns out to be the biggest waste of money since Barry Zito? Absolutely. I wish him and the Mets all the luck in the world… all the really, really BAD luck. And given the length of the Mets’ DL the last year or so, my wishes seem to be right on the mark.

But back to today’s game. Yes, I realize it’s only spring training. Yes, I realize this pitcher seldom pitches real well in spring training (and as Twins fans came to realize over the years, “spring training” generally runs through April and in to May for this particular pitcher).

So, here are some pictures from some of my favorite moments during the Twins’ win over the Mets on Friday:


Mets’ pitcher #57 delivers a pitch to Brendan Harris as Denard Span taunts him from 1B.


Too much of a stud to be DH’d for, this former Twin Cy Young pitcher grounds out meekly.


Twins 3B prospect Danny Valencia strolls toward home plate after taking the Mets’ multi-bajillion dollar pitcher “yard.” Manager Ron Gardenhire punished Valencia for homering off of the former Cy Young winner by demoting him to Rochester after the game.


Twins Prospect Wilson Ramos rounds 3B after launching a HR off of a former Twin Cy Young winner


The “best pitcher in baseball” delivers with Twins Delmon Young and Danny Valencia at the corners. Both would eventually score.


The official line was worse than the scoreboard showed as #57 left the mound… 2 more runners he left on base would score.

So Desperate for Baseball!!

I’m not going to do a gamechat for this Twins @ Mets game because it’s not on any local media here in MN.. but I’m literally so desperate for baseball – to watch Santana pitch – and to see what the guys do in an NL park that I have gone to great lengths to catch a little this afternoon.

I have MLB.tv up on my laptop but the sound is so bad that I have the accompanying audio from gameday playing on my desktop.  It means I got to see Santana give up a HR to Ramos and then die laughing as the announcer called Santana “the best athelete on the field” during a fantastic fielding move on his part.  Bert would be proud…

Anyway, I’m sure there will be another Spring Training post in bit from one of the many people down there..  which is not me.  *sniff*

Followup:

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Minnesota 0 2 0 4 0 0 0 0 1 7 13 0
NY Mets 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 3 9 1

 

it was surprisingly sad to hear Jason Pridie’s name and then realize he was playing for the METS!!  *sigh* 

But, MTRR, I look forward to seeing more Twins/Mets games because, wow, the Mets have a surprisingly good-looking lineup for the most part!!  NICE!  (and I don’t mean a good swing!)

Fun in the Ft. Myers sun!

There’s really no excuse for how I feel tonight (Thursday) as I write this. I’m 53 years old. I know better. I’ve been hibernating in Iowa for 5 cold months. I’m in Florida to catch some of the Twins’ spring training for something like the fourth straight year. I knew it even as I stood in the cloudy chill of the mid morning watching Twins prospects going through drills on the minor league complex adjacent to Hammond Stadium.

“You should have stopped to pick up sunscreen, dummy.”

Ah well. It’s not like it’s the only dumb thing I’ve done in the years I’ve been coming down here (and some dumb things, I’ve done more than once), so if I’ve gotten it out of the way early this year, I can live with it (although not particularly comfortably).

But you didn’t come here to read about my pain. You came to read about the Twins’ spring training game vs. the Pirates, so here goes…

The Twins won.

I could tell you about how Carl Pavano struck out former Twin and current Pirate Garrett Jones. I could tell you about Jim Thome hitting his first home run of the spring. I could tell you about so much more. But I’m tired and I’m in some pain. So, instead of writing about what I saw, I’ll show you instead. (Yes, the downside of having a seat 2 rows up and just to the side of home plate is that pictures are taken through the netting of the backstop. I can live with it and I hope you can, too.)

Carl Pavano went five strong innings

Garrett Jones goes down swinging

Jason Jaramillo bows to Ben Revere (ok, not really)

Doc's HR swing! (ok, so he grounded out to 2B... but it looks good!)

Jim Thome and Jason Jaramillo knew this one was gone.

Trevor Plouffe scores around the tag on a SAC fly by Chris Parmalee (background)

That’s it for Thursday. Friday is a trip across the state to Port St. Lucie. It’s a couple of hours away, but with the Twins facing the Mets and a certain former Twins left-handed starting pitcher, I’m sure it will be worth the time! – JC

St. Patty’s day during Spring Training!

Submitted by fellow reader, Corey, who’s down enjoying Spring Training.
 
So, for my first day of Vacation, I headed over to the Cru Restaurant in Fort Myers to meet my friends Omar and Jeri-Lynn. (I went to art school with Omar in New Jersey back in the day.) The plan was to stay anchored at the bar at Cru and celebrate St. Patty’s Day.
 
I met Jeri at about 5:15 and we proceeded to enjoy the evening. Omar arrived about 30 minutes later and rapidly the bar was filling with other patrons. At about 8:30 or so, the bar was PACKED, shoulder to shoulder and I happened to notice three gentlemen walk (squeeze is a better word) past us all at the same time. I recognized the third one almost immediately, but I wasn’t totally sure (I was fairly “happy” at that point).
 
The three men took up a spot not 20 feet from where I was with my friends, and I just studied the their faces, knowing that I knew who they had to be…and it hit me. They were: Denard Span, Delmon Young, and Orlando Hudson of the Minnesota Twins. So I walked over, quickly introduced myself, shook their hands, gave them their props and politely asked for a photo.
 
About an hour later, three other men squeezed into the bar going the opposite direction. I knew exactly who they were, since they were a foot away: Joe Nathan, Michael Cuddyer, and Nick Punto. I acknowledged each of them, shook each of their hands, gave `em their props and they kept on a movin’, so I had no chance for a photo. They were polite, but curt. Of the three, Nick Punto seemed the one most genuinely happy about meeting a fan from Minnesota.
 
Thirty minutes later…former Twin (and current non-roster invitee to Spring Training) Jacque Jones walked in with another person I did not know. Again, I introduced myself as being a fan from Minny and gave Jacque his props and unfortunately again, no chance for a photo.
 
To randomly meet SEVEN Twins players in one hip bar in Fort Myers on St. Patty’s Day was quite unusual. But, memorable!!

Corey with Orlando Hudson, Delmon Young and Denard Span

GameChat – (ST) Pirates @ Twins

Pittsburgh @ Minnesota
Cedeno, SS   Revere, CF
Young, De, 2B   Hudson, O, 2B
Jones, G, RF   Mauer, C
Clement, 1B   Morneau, 1B
Milledge, LF   Thome, DH
Moss, DH   Cuddyer, RF
Alvarez, 3B   Jones, J, LF
Raynor, CF   Harris, B, 3B
Jaramillo, J, C   Tolbert, SS
  Ohlendorf, P     Pavano, P

 

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Pittsburgh 0 0 1 0 0 3 0 0 0 4 4 1
Minnesota 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 1 5 9 2

YAY!!!  Luke Hughes, you beautiful boy!!  Finally, after far too long a hiaitus, the Twins got a spring training win!

 

PS.  let us know if this chat program doesn’t work for you or is blocked by where ever you are accessing the posts.  We’re searching out a few other applications to try due to some issues with complicated access! 

GameChat – (ST) Twins @ Rays, 12:05pm

Minnesota @ Tampa Bay
Span, CF   Rodriguez, S, CF
Punto, 3B   Kapler, RF
Kubel, DH   Longoria, 3B
Cuddyer, RF   Blalock, DH
Young, D, LF   Shoppach, C
Ramos, W, C   Ruggiano, LF
Hughes, L, 2B   Brignac, R, 2B
Peterson, Br, 1B   Shealy, 1B
Casilla, A, SS   Johnson, E, SS
  Perkins, P     Shields, J, P

 

I’m sorting out some issues with flat tire, so if I’m not here when you arrive, hold on until I can join you!

Followup:

good news – I have two new (used) tires on the drive tires, the old fronts rotated to the back and my spare back in the trunk…  if you care.  Oh, and Jesse Crain sounded pretty good and rather like he’s taking the possibility of an open closer role seriously.  We’ll see.

bad news – Twins lost AGAIN.. *grumble*  they aren’t caring at all about my general case of baseball grumpiness.  And Perkins sounded like crap.  Apparently, he not only doesn’t really want the 5th starter position, he doesn’t really care if he’s included in our bullpen in the long run either.  You’d think with his history, he’d be trying a little harder.

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Minnesota 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 2 9 0
Tampa Bay 1 0 1 0 0 0 3 0 x 5 10 0

(click anywhere in the boxscore for further game details)

Likely Unwarranted Whining…

Sorry Knuckleballs, I didn’t get home until more than halfway through the game so if anyone came looking for a little spring training gamechat and didn’t find it, don’t worry, you didn’t miss anything.

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Baltimore 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 0 3 7 0
Minnesota 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 8 1

(if you want more game details, click the boxscore above)

Other than a great inning by Pat Neshek (my ray of sunshine in a gray day), there really was nothing to exclaim about.  Scooter pitched for 4 innings today, quite well, and got himself out of a jam or two but it’s obvious they are beginning to stretch the starters out – we should keep an eye on who else starts to get more innings for a hint of that 5th rotation spot.  But while the win/loss record for spring training doesn’t mean much of anything, it was a tad on the depressing side to watch them go down in the late innings – AGAIN.

It’s hard to justify a crabby day when there are so many good things going on for this team but somehow a whole bunch of them just managed to rise to the surface enough to need a VENT SESSION!!

First, I LOVE that KL is now a season ticket holder – she’s wanted to have her name on seats for years and I’m extremely excited about her being able to pick and choose when she can go – and obviously attending with her on a few occasions!  However, how ridiculous is it that it was easier to get SEASON tickets and the expense that entails than to simply be able to get single game seats????  Yes, I KNOW that the excitement level is high but we did the math and basically, single game tickets to certain series were so hard to get because THERE ARE LESS AVAILABLE!  Rumor has it that there are something more than 22,000 seats in the season ticket plans…  and then there are some seats that just don’t quite count as seats to me (bleachers and standing areas).  So we’re guessing that there is something like 15,000 seats available per game for people who don’t have season seats.

So, if that is the case, WHY DO SEASON TICKET HOLDERS GET FIRST CRACK AT THE SINGLE GAME SEATS????  They are already guaranteed a minimum of 20 games with their package – and at least one game in each of the premium series – so why are those of us who aren’t in a position to do a season package for financial reasons left waiting for the dregs??  I’m firmly of the opinion that season tickets have the advantage of being season tickets and you have your games planned out.  All the rest should just be first come, first served.

Secondly, yes, I’ve gone through all the numbers in my head and know that it takes higher ticket prices to support a brand new park.  And I am one of those people who actually believes that user fees, ie ticket prices, should pay the majority of the costs associated with an activity.  And I am sure once I get there, I will love many many many of the amenities. 

But the stark realization is this:  now we have a competitively set park for revenue and due to efforts needed to gain that standing, I no longer can really afford to take the family to a game.  Is MLB pricing itself out of being the every day man’s (and kid’s) american pasttime?  This isn’t just a Twins problem – this is nationwide.  When I see what you have to fork out to see games at some of the bigger parks across the country as teams are looking to get better, go newer, attract players, PAY players, and in general get their piece of the pie, I wonder what that is doing to the future of the game? None of those things are bad but how much is too much? Is baseball becoming something for the elites? Are we driving away whole segments of the population simply because the game has passed them by?  Are we losing the very visual youngest generations because the radio just doesn’t hold their attention and, in this economy or any economy, the funds aren’t there to get them to the park.  Yes, most local games are televised now – unless you happen to live in someone else’s market.  But are we damaging baseball as a WHOLE?

Lastly, I can’t even really get started on the antiquated notion of “markets” in the internet world where a fantastic product like MLB.tv is available, but you can’t games you want to watch because you are in the wrong market.  Trust me, if I COULD afford to go to the game or get to a TV to watch it, I WOULD!!!  I would love to purchase your internet broadcast for those times I’m on the computer but can’t get away to see a game.  What does the ‘market’ I’m in have to do with whether or not I can get to the game?!?  MLB, and (I think more importantly) MLB Owners, you have to wake up and smell the coffee.  We’re a new generation and you are LOSING revenue by not providing a satisfactory opportunity.  You HAVE the product.  Toss out those ridiculous market maps (see if JC comments on how many ‘markets’ he’s in and what Iowa fans get stuck with) and start over.  Make internet baseball for any team available for any fan anywhere in the country.  See if that doesn’t make up some new revenue for you so that ticket prices aren’t as big a piece of that revenue pie.

*sigh*

Not that anyone in MLB hears me – or would listen if they did.  Just had to have my grump session of the day and clear a little of the gray, stale Spring air.

PS.  Holy CRAP that was long…  I get wordy when I’m crabby!  I’m sure I’ll be back to my ever-optimistic self tomorrow.

GameChat – (ST) Twins @ Marlins

I told myself it wasn’t worth doing posts on days like today since I’m not sure how many people are actually going to be catching this game on a Monday afternoon when it’s not on the radio but just in case anyone is bored and has their mlb.tv or mlb.audio handy, here you go!

Minnesota @ Florida
Span, CF   Bonifacio, CF
Punto, 3B   Jimenez, 3B
Kubel, RF   Stanton, LF
Peterson, Br, 1B   Uggla, 2B
Young, D, LF   Ross, C, RF
Ramos, W, C   Sanchez, G, 1B
Tolbert, SS   Paulino, R, C
Casilla, A, 2B   Murphy, D, SS
Liriano, P   Volstad, P

 

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Minnesota 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 7 1
Florida 0 1 2 0 1 1 0 0 x 5 8 1

 (click anywhere in the boxscore for more detailed game information)

Not Part of the Day’s Plan

Yesterday started out innocently enough. I had a lazy morning getting ready to attend the TwinsCentric Viewing Party and picked up CapitalBabs a little bit before 11 a.m. to head down to Apple Valley. After we arrived and said hi to some of the TwinsCentric guys, we set up our computers for the live GameChat. Watching the first televised game of the year and hanging out with a bunch of other Twins fans for the first time this year was a great time. I even won one of the door prizes, a copy of TwinsCentric’s 2010 Minnesota Twins Annual. Since I’ve already purchased one, I’ll be giving the second one as a gift (recipient to be revealed at a later date). I’m really not all that great with meeting people at these types of events (or pretty much any other type of event), but if we have more of these throughout the season, I’ll eventually start to get to know folks.

One topic of conversation between Babs and me and between us and others at Majors was the availability of single-game tickets, which went on sale to the general public yesterday. The more I’ve heard about availability, the more I’ve wondered if I’d be able to get to many games at all and considered whether it might be worth going for a season ticket plan and just selling tickets for games I can’t go to or don’t “need” to attend, but wasn’t sure that was a good financial decision to make right now. After discussing it very briefly with Babs and another friend of ours and realizing how easy it’ll probably be for me to sell my unneeded tickets, Babs dialed the number to the ticket office and I took the plunge.

I am now the owner of two seats in section 322 in the 20-game plan C (orange). Part of me feels like it was one of the craziest things I’ve done in a while, part of me is relieved to know I’ll have tickets to as many games as I generally care to attend in a year, and part of me is just thrilled to be a season-ticket holder. When I woke up this morning I had to go look at the notes I took while on the phone to confirm it really happened.

Next Sunday I get to check out Target Field, including the view from my seats. Remind me to take my camera, okay?

GameChat – (ST) Boston @ Minnesota, 12:05 pm

For all those who are looking around trying to find the game on MLBN – yeah, it’s on a tape delay and will be shown at 8 pm.  So we’ll be going with game time and the radio.  For those of you who joined us on time, congrats on getting your clocks set properly!

The news before today’s game is that the roster cuts have begun – no suprises today though. 

Per Kelly Thesier: three players were optioned to Double-A New Britain: right-handers Deolis Guerra and Loek Van Mil and infielder Estarlin De Los Santos.

Five others were reassinged to Minor League camp: left-hander Jose Lugo, catchers Jair Fernandez and Danny Rams, infielder Steve Singleton, and outfielder Rene Tosoni.

Boston @ Minnesota
Ellsbury, CF   Casilla, A, SS
Pedroia, 2B   Hudson, O, 2B
Youkilis, 1B   Cuddyer, CF
Ortiz, D, DH   Kubel, DH
Hermida, RF   Harris, B, 3B
Scutaro, SS   Peterson, Br, 1B
Varitek, C   Jones, J, RF
Hall, 3B   Portes, LF
Reddick, LF   Butera, C
  Miller, Ry, P     Slowey, P

 

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