GameChat – Twins @ Royals, 7:10

well, Nicky has been put on the DL retroactive to the 16th and Luke Hughes gets to make his trip up north for a bit.  Punto will get an MRI here in the cities just to make sure that nothing else is wrong with those groin muscles.  God forbid that any of us are mature enough to leave that bed of jokes alone.

Minnesota @ Kansas City
Span, CF   DeJesus, D, RF
Hudson, O, 2B   Podsednik, LF
Mauer, C   Butler, 1B
Morneau, 1B   Guillen, J, DH
Cuddyer, RF   Callaspo, 2B
Kubel, LF   Ankiel, CF
Thome, DH   Kendall, C
Hardy, SS   Gordon, A, 3B
Harris, B, 3B   Betancourt, Y, SS
  Pavano, P     Meche, P

 

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Minnesota 2 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 2 8 11 0
Kansas City 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 3 6 1

 

I almost think that we should give the BOD to Gil-gah-Meche but room consensus goes to Thome with cookies for Lando!

Yes, it's home plate. Step on it already.

Bud: “Doubleheaders not fan friendly”

This could become a regular weekly feature here at Knuckleballs. “Jim Crikket’s Friday rant about Bud Selig”. Nah… that would mean when he says something stupid early in the week, I’d have to wait a few days to rant about it.

Commissioner Selig held his annual meeting with Associated Press Editors (wow, how they must look forward to THAT every year!).  They probably wish he would spread things out and talk to them every couple of months because when it’s just once a year, you have to lump all his nonsense in to one story.

Let’s touch on a couple of items, shall we?

- Pete Rose’s application for reinstatement, made in 1997, remains under review. I laughed when I read that. I really shouldn’t be overly critical because I’m well aware that I have a couple of files in an office drawer that concern unfinished projects dating back to 1997 and probably beyond. But at least I’m not telling anyone those things are still “under review.”

- He is happy with the current video rules for umpires. Well why wouldn’t he be? They clearly worked very well in last year’s Divisional Playoffs… if the intent is to assure that the Yankees get every opportunity possible to avoid losing in the first round of the playoffs. When the choices are, “get it right,” or “get the Yankees to the World Series,” we know where Bud stands.

- Selig talked a bit about HGH. I’m just not really sure what he said. “One can debate what HGH does or doesn’t do. It needs to be banned.” Setting aside that it seems to me like you want to have that debate, if it’s still necessary, before you ban something, would someone mention to Bud that MLB already bans HGH, please? Maybe you should consider testing for it, Mr. Commissioner. “As soon as Dr. Green has finished his study on things, believe me, I’m most anxious to move forward.” (Dr. Green is Bud’s ‘science advisor’… why does a Star Trek image immediately come to mind with Bud as Capt Kirk and Dr Green as Spock?) Apparently the fact that the HGH test already has been validated by the US Anti-Doping Agency isn’t as conclusive as whatever Bud’s science officer…er… advisor is doing. But there’s really no rush, folks, because HGH use isn’t prevalent, right Bud? “The answer is we really don’t know. Most (team athletic trainers) think it’s relatively low, but they really don’t know.” No, fans, that is not a quote from 10 years ago concerning players using steroids… but it sure sounds like it could be, doesn’t it?

- Bud doesn’t see expanding the first round of playoffs from best-of-five to best-of-seven games. “I happen to like five-game series, but I understand. I said to the committee one day if you want to be playing on Thanksgiving Day, we can talk about all these things.” Apparently, Bud would envision teams taking a week or two off BETWEEN those two extra games since adding them would push the end of the season back 3-4 weeks.

As the headline of this post indicates, I’ve saved my favorite for last. The subject of speeding up the games apparently arose in the AP’s discussion with Selig. The AP writer indicates that, “Recommendations to quicken pace of games may not be put in place until the 2011 season. Because this is an era of long games, Selig isn’t sure whether doubleheaders are fan friendly.”

Bud goes on to say, “I’m not sure fans like doubleheaders. I had that feeling, frankly, in running the Brewers many years ago. Maybe you’re still there at 7:30.” He admits that owners have tried split double headers to maintain the revenues for each game, and then adds, “But in terms of doubleheaders, I’m not sure they’re even fan friendly any more.” So owners aren’t interested in doubleheaders because they have to give away gate receipts for one home game, but that really doesn’t matter because getting two games for the price of one isn’t “fan friendly any more” anyway. Whatever you say, Bud.

This gives me the opportunity to tell a story about the last Twins doubleheader I attended. It also allows me to address a side issue, that being the risk of inclement weather causing problems for fans who come from outside the immediate area to attend outdoor games.

As a young man of about 21 years, I came to the Twin Cities in 1977 with a few friends to attend some Twins/Yankees games. It was a four-game series with single games Friday night and Sunday afternoon and a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon. I remember nothing about the Friday night game or whether we even went to the Sunday game. But I do remember the doubleheader.

Toward the middle of the first game, it began to rain. By the end of the first game, we knew we were in for a longer-than-normal “intermission” between games. Yes, we made use of the time to have a few extra beers, but after a while, there’s only so much a bunch of guys can do to entertain themselves at a ballpark where no baseball is being played.

So I found a payphone and made a call to a girl I had gone to HS with who had moved to the Twin Cities. We weren’t close friends, but she’d never thrown a drink in my face so, reinforced by several Hamms beers, I called her. She seemed somewhat amused by the idea of me being with a bunch of rain-soaked, beer filled guys stuck at Met Stadium on a Saturday night. In fact, she even took advantage of the opportunity to rub salt in the wounds a bit. She mentioned that she and HER friends were getting ready to head out to a new night club (yes, in 1977, I’m sure she said a “new disco”… stop laughing). Then she suggested that if the second game got cancelled, we should consider meeting them at the club later.

I went back out to talk to my friends who were still sitting in the rain (yes, we really were too stupid to get out of the rain between games). I told them I had talked to a friend and asked the guys if perhaps they’d like to consider meeting half a dozen girls at a club instead of waiting to see if game 2 would get played. Once the alternative sank in to their somewhat clouded minds, it took about 1 second to reach a unanimous verdict. I won’t bore you with the sordid details of the rest of the evening (and most of the following Sunday morning), but suffice to say, we all had a very good time.

I’m not sure what this story has to do with anything, except to point out that doubleheaders were, are and always will be “fan friendly” and that even if you have to deal with a bit of rain at times, it doesn’t mean your night or weekend has to be ruined.

Finally, this last sad note from the AP article.

As you may or may not be aware, Commissioner Selig has stated he does not intend to stay on as Commissioner past the end of his current contract, which expires at the end of 2012. (No, this is NOT the sad news. Keep reading!) When the issue was raised by the AP, Selig said his plans had not changed, but then went on to mention that, when the issue came up recently, his wife commented, “If you believe that, then you believe you just bought the Brooklyn Bridge.”

Damn.

GameChat – Cleveland @ Minnesota #3, 12:10 pm

Gardy seems determined to keep things interesting on these afternoon games!  We have Butera, Casilla and Thome in the starting lineup.

Cleveland @ Minnesota
Cabrera, A, SS   Span, CF
Sizemore, CF   Hudson, O, 2B
Choo, RF   Kubel, LF
Hafner, DH   Morneau, 1B
LaPorta, LF   Cuddyer, RF
Branyan, 1B   Thome, DH
Marte, A, 3B   Harris, B, 3B
Valbuena, 2B   Butera, C
Marson, C   Casilla, A, SS
  Talbot, P     Baker, S, P

 

Bright spots of a day when the Twins lose are a) it was a gorgeous day to be outside,  b) at least Drew Butera got to get his first Big League hit, and c) consensus between the roommate and I – there were a serious number of really good-looking guys at the ballpark today (including the amusing guy next to Kristie’s season seats)!!!  Kris, we asked if they are the regular holders of those seats and sadly, no, he got them off facebook… But we can always hope that he’ll get them again!

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Cleveland 1 0 0 2 0 3 2 0 0 8 11 1
Minnesota 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 0

GameChat – Cleveland @ Minnesota #2, 7:10pm

Mike Redmond, how I miss you.  *holds a burning lighter in the air*

Cleveland @ Minnesota
Cabrera, A, SS   Span, CF
Sizemore, CF   Hudson, O, 2B
Choo, RF   Mauer, C
Kearns, LF   Morneau, 1B
Hafner, DH   Cuddyer, RF
Grudzielanek, 2B   Kubel, DH
Peralta, J, 3B   Young, D, LF
LaPorta, 1B   Hardy, SS
Redmond, M, C   Harris, B, 3B
  Huff, D, P     Liriano, P

 

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

 

Chat consens gives BOD to Francisco Liriano and shares assorted baked goods with Michael Cuddyer and Brendan Harris for completing the successful game circle of pitching, hitting and defense!  (maybe they’ll even share a cookie with RedDawg for old time’s sake!)

Why the Yankees $uck

(WARNING: This is a long post that includes references to numbers. If you get severe headaches from reading long posts or any post with even the slightest mention of numbers, continue reading at your own risk. The author got a headache while writing this post. He takes no responsibility for your headaches.)

On Friday, I passed along a couple of recommended blog links that I found interesting and thought others might enjoy as well. One of them was Joe Posnanski’s post concerning Home Run trots.

Well Joe has a new post up on his blog and it’s another winner. You should read it.

Now.

I mean it. I intend to rant about the subject of his post and it won’t make much sense if you don’t read Joe’s post first. So go read it. Now.

***********

Admit it, you didn’t go read it, did you? Your loss.

If you did, then welcome back.

If you read Joe’s post regarding this Forbes.com list, you learned a couple of things. Specifically…

  • Even after accounting for revenue sharing, the Yankees bring in revenues about two or three times those of virtually every other team in baseball.
  • The line of BS that the Yankees, their fans and members of the media that buy their crapola try to sell us about how the Yankees win because they invest their revenues in their baseball operations while owners who receive revenue sharing pocket it instead of investing in their team is just that… utter fictional BS. Every team (with the possible exception of the Marlins) spends the vast majority of their revenues in their baseball operations. Some just invest very poorly.
  • The Yankees $uck.

That’s not to say every Yankee player, employee, and fan $ucks.But those who do $uck, so extreme in their $ucking that it is difficult not to color the entire group with the same brush.

And furthermore, everyone who follows the game but is not a Yankee player, fan or someone who’s livelihood is directly tied to the Yankees KNOWS the Yankees $uck.

But why? It’s one word… arrogance. F’ing Yankee arrogance.

And any time you want to really see an example of that arrogance, bring up the obscene competitive advantage the Yankees have that has directly led to the Yankees being all but guaranteed a playoff spot every. single. year.

Don’t believe me? Ask Brewers owner Mark Attanasio.

Early this season, Attanasio dared to pass along a rather obvious observation to USA Today that his team was struggling to afford an extension for Prince Fielder while the Yankees are paying their infield more than the entire Brewers’ payroll. In typical arrogant Yankees fashion, their president, Randy Levine, told a NY radio station that Attanasio was “whining.” Actually, if he had stopped there, it wouldn’t be such a prime example of Yankee arrogance. But here’s the quote:

“I’m sorry that my friend Mark continues to whine about his running the Brewers. We play by all the rules and there doesn’t seem to be any complaints when teams such as the Brewers receive hundreds of millions of dollars that they get from us in revenue sharing the last few years. Take some of that money that you get from us and use that to sign your players. The question that should be asked is: Where has the hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue sharing gone?”

See… this is the standard line of garbage that Yankee fans hurl back in response to even a suggestion that there might be some reason other than just an inherent right or superior organizational talent (did you know Brian Cashman is a baseball genius?) that has resulted in the Yankees being granted an automatic berth in MLB’s playoffs for most of the past two decades.

“We play within the rules”. “We give other teams millions of dollars in revenue sharing.” “Other owners pocket the money instead of using it to pay for players.”

Well guess what? If you dig a little deeper in to that Forbes.com article, they specifically mention two organizations that got the most bang for the buck in 2009. According to Forbes, for six of the past seven years, those whining Milwaukee Brewers, “have had a wins-to-player cost ratio of 110 or higher, meaning they have generated at least 10% more victories per dollar spent on players than the average team.” By the way, the team Forbes tagged as the “best in baseball” in that category (with a ratio above 120 in eight out of the past 10 seasons) was yourrrrrrrrrr Minnesota Twins!

So, apparently the Brewers (and the Twins) are putting those millions of F’ing Yankee dollars to good use.

But what about the rest of the league? Aren’t teams like the Royals pocketing those revenue sharing dollars while fielding minor league quality products and trying to pass them off as MLB teams on the field? Well yes and no.

The Royals, and a few other teams, have certainly trotted out some incredibly bad baseball players dressed in their teams’ colors over the past couple of decades.

But despite what Yankee fans (and apparently, their president) would have you believe, it’s not because they aren’t spending the money they’re taking in while the Yankees are pouring all their revenue back in to the baseball operation.

In 2009, even AFTER the F’ing Yankees ponied up a few million dollars in revenue sharing, they realized NET revenues of $441 million. They invested 94% of that back in to their operation, with the remaining 6% constituting their “profit”.

What about those miserly Royals? Well, as Posnanski mentions in his post, the Royals also invested 94% of their revenues (including their share of the revenue sharing pie) back in to their operation and showed the same 6% profit the Yankees did (though the Royals profit was less than $9 million, while the Yankees’ nearly hit the $25 million mark in profits). By the way, the whining Brewers had a nearly identical 94%/6% split. Take that, Randy Levine.

So, it appears the Royals aren’t trying to game the revenue sharing system to make vasts amounts of money. They just really suck at assembling a baseball team.

As we all know, the Twins are swimming in revenue now that Target Field has opened. In fact, Forbes estimates that the Twins will see revenues jump by $30 million dollars over 2009′s numbers. (Say… isn’t that about the same amount that the Twins’ payroll went up from 2009 to 2010? Yeah? Probably just a coincidence.)

But before any of us starts assuming this means the Twins will able to start competing for the next round of superstar free agents, keep this little fact in mind: If you took the new 2010 revenue levels and DOUBLED them, that would still be $50 million LESS than what the Yankees collected in 2009 (even after paying in their revenue sharing dollars).

The Yankee apologists are correct about one thing, though. The Yankees are following the rules. King George and his boys, Hank and Hal, have gamed the system perfectly. They pretty much just print the money they need, toss the rest of the teams what amounts to little more than “tip money”, and go on about the business of throwing obscene amounts of cash at every superstar free agent who hits the market.

They do it because it’s what MLB rules allow today. That doesn’t mean the rules shouldn’t change.

But how? How do you create a more evenly competitive environment when there is so much disparity in revenue opportunities?

A salary cap that prevents the Yankees from spending more on payroll than other teams? All that would accomplish would be putting more money in to the Steinbrenner family trust fund and it would never get the needed support of the MLB Players Association.

A salary floor that would require every team to spend something closer to what the Yankees do on players? The Yankees spent more on payroll than over half of the teams collected in TOTAL revenue (including revenue sharing dollars) in 2009. Are you going to force half the teams to operate at a net loss?

No, the issue is not payroll size. The Forbes lists demonstrate that every team (except possibly the Marlins) is reinvesting most of their revenues in to their baseball operations. Some invest in their farm systems and scouting operations and some invest in aging, incompetent free agents who are past their prime or never had a prime. (It does make you wonder, though, how Jermaine Dye hasn’t ended up back in a Royals uniform, doesn’t it?)

The only way competitive balance can be reached is with a redistribution of revenues. You simply can not have one team with two or three times the financial resources available to them than any other team has and expect competitive “fairness”.

But how to redistribute the wealth? It’s not that difficult, really. It just takes a Commissioner with some intestinal fortitude and integrity (of course, MLB has Bud Selig instead) and 29 other owners willing to stand up to the Steinbrenners (instead of just Mr. Attanasio and 28 other owners without the guts to back him up).

So here’s what Baseball Commissioner Jim Crikket would do.

I would tell the Yankee owners that the issue is in their hands. I’d give them six months to come up with a plan that assures that no team (read: the Yankees) will ever have more than twice the revenues from which to operate their franchise than any other team. If the Yankees had revenues of $350 million and every other team fell somewhere between $175 - $350 million, I believe you would have competitive balance.

I’d also tell the Yankees that if they fail to come up with a workable plan within that six month period, we’re going to announce that MLB is expanding by two teams (to finally have two balanced leagues of 16 teams). I’d tell the Steinbrenners that one of those teams would be locating in Hartford and that the other would be setting up shop in Newark or, better yet, Brooklyn.

Oh, and by the way, I’d also tell the Yankees that the owner of that new team in their backyard market would be Mark Cuban. (After his bid to buy the Cubs failed, he’s reportedly now interested in the Dodgers.)

Then I’d tell them that all local broadcast rights for every team will be going up for auction and all such fees will be paid to MLB and distributed equally among all teams. If the Yankee-owned YES network wishes to bid for the rights to Yankee games, let them do so. But they get no special deals and they pay market prices… to Major League Baseball.

Then we sit back and find out just how smart Brian Cashman really is… and how much whining Randy Levine does.

GameChat – Cleveland @ Minnesota, 7:10 pm

Gotta love a night game start in April in Minnesota that has clear weather and 70 degrees!  Punto is still out but is reportedly feeling better.

Cleveland @ Minnesota
Cabrera, A, SS   Span, CF
Sizemore, CF   Hudson, O, 2B
Choo, RF   Mauer, C
Hafner, DH   Morneau, 1B
Peralta, J, 3B   Cuddyer, RF
Branyan, 1B   Kubel, DH
Kearns, LF   Young, D, LF
Valbuena, 2B   Hardy, SS
Marson, C   Harris, B, 3B
  Masterson, P     Slowey, P

 

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

 

And, according to the consensus in the gamechat, Kevin Slowey was elected BOD for his daring use of Hugs in the Dugout and a lovely number of K’s.

Kevin Slowey on the mound

GameChat – Royals @ Twins, WFTC 29

My deepest apologies for the lack of gamechat yesterday!  Sadly, my laptop harddrive decided to go into a coma right as I was attempting to post the appropriate lineup information.  *sigh*  I’m not entirely sure if the harddrive will recover so I’ll limp along with the desktop until such time as a new harddrive is acquired and/or sufficient recovery happens with the current one.

There was really some incredibly baseball yesterday too! Kyle Lohse was not the only former Twin involved in a memorable game. Livan Hernandez threw a complete game shutout for the Washington Nationals yesterday – it’s the first this season which isn’t saying much since it’s pretty early – so good job Livo! It’s saying a lot more to congratulate Ubaldo Jimenez for throwing the first NoNo in Colorado Rockies history – quite an accomplishment.

All that aside, here’s TODAY!  Quick injury updates – Mijares is on the DL which means young Mr. Burnett comes back to MN for a bit – Neshek got a cortisone shot *crosses fingers* – Punto should be back on Tuesday – and sadly, Blackburn is dealing with some elbow soreness so his start has been pushed back.  Who knew the start of the season would be so plagued??  I’m just glad that it doesn’t seem to be getting in the way of putting marks in the Win column *knocks on wood*.

Kansas City @ Minnesota
DeJesus, D, RF   Span, CF
Podsednik, LF   Hudson, O, 2B
Butler, 1B   Mauer, C
Guillen, J, DH   Morneau, 1B
Ankiel, CF   Cuddyer, RF
Callaspo, 2B   Kubel, DH
Kendall, C   Young, D, LF
Gordon, A, 3B   Hardy, SS
Betancourt, Y, SS   Harris, B, 3B
  Hochevar, P     Pavano, P

 

ouch… um, I am kind of glad that I only got to see the first couple innings today. 

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Kansas City 0 0 6 1 0 0 0 0 3 10 16 2
Minnesota 2 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 5 8 0

The Kyle Lohse we never saw as a Twin.

So after I got home from the sports bar where I watched the Twins/Royals game this afternoon, I settled in to watch the last few innings of the Mets/Cardinals game on FOX.

If you didn’t see this game, I really don’t know where to begin to explain it to you. You can read a brief write-up of the game from mlb.com writer Matthew Leach here (and while you’re there, click on the box score), but that story doesn’t really convey the flat out weirdness of this game.

I could tell you about how the game went 18 innings in a scoreless tie and how each team scored 1 run in the 19th. I could try to explain some of the absurdly strange strategies employed by the managers. But in the end, I think one picture might be worth all the words I could try to write.

In the 18th inning, former Twin starting pitcher Kyle Lohse entered the game for the Cardinals. No, not as their pitcher. He entered the game as the Cardinals’ left fielder, in the clean up hitter spot behind Albert Pujols in the batting order.Yes, fans, manager Tony LaRussa removed Matt Holliday from the game after the 10th inning as part of one of those fancy National League “double switch” things. Which means for the final 10 innings of the game, not only did LaRussa NOT have Holliday’s bat available, but the pitcher’s spot in the order followed Pujols. I know you’ll be shocked to learn Pujols was intentionally walked twice in extra innings, even when it meant loading the bases.

Meanwhile, Cardinals left fielder Joe Mather took to the mound in the 19th inning (in relief of Cardinals infielder Felipe Lopez, who pitched the 18th).

So… here, in the top of the 20th, we find another former Twin, the Mets 2B Luis Castillo hitting a fly ball down the left field line, off of Cardinals left fielder Joe Mather, where the ball is corralled by pitcher Kyle Lohse (yes the picture is fuzzy, but trust me, that’s Kyle). You can’t make this stuff up.

One of two put outs recorded by Cardinals "left fielder" Kyle Lohse Saturday night.

Lohse actually recorded a couple of put outs. He also went back to the warning track for a fly ball in his first inning in left field.

GameChat – Royals @ Twins, 7:10 pm

Kansas City @ Minnesota
DeJesus, D, RF   Span, CF
Podsednik, LF   Hudson, O, 2B
Butler, 1B   Mauer, C
Guillen, J, DH   Morneau, 1B
Ankiel, CF   Cuddyer, RF
Callaspo, 3B   Kubel, DH
Kendall, C   Young, D, LF
Betancourt, Y, SS   Hardy, SS
Getz, 2B   Harris, B, 3B
  Greinke, P     Baker, S, P

 

Sadly, after a truly fantastic outting yesterday, Lil Nicky is out with a sore groin and Neshek is struggling with a sore finger.  Hope that both gentlemen are back to playing condition soon.

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Kansas City 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 3 9 1
Minnesota 0 0 2 0 2 1 0 5 x 10 11 0

Blogs you may not have read (and why you should)

I have no rant today. My Bud Selig rant yesterday apparently drained me of most of my rantishness.

Friday seems to be a day that many bloggers use to post links to other blogs they’ve found something worth reading on. I wonder if that’s because, collectively, our brains tend to shut down on Fridays and we just don’t want to do any more thinking than we’ve already done for the week. Regardless, I don’t feel much like thinking (or even ranting) today either.

It would be easy to link to some really good stuff that’s been written by the better known (and deservedly widely read) bloggers, but you should all be reading most of them without any urging from me. So I’m going to mention a couple of blogs that some of you may not be following as closely (or maybe never have checked out).

I’m working today (seriously… I am!) so I’ve only checked out a few of the “out of the mainstream” blogs, but here are three you should definitely look in to.

First, if you dont read Joe Posnankski’s blog, you really should. Set aside your biases against all things related to divisional rivals and read this KC (and SI.com) writer occasionally. This recent post combines a discussion of home run trots with a call for the return of bullpen cars. If that’s not worthy of a “Knuckleballs” endoresment, what is? (As an aside, if you’ve never read Joe’s “Soul of Baseball: A Road Trip Through Buck O’Neil’s America”, I can’t urge you to do so strongly enough.)

Today, we added Brendan Harris’ new blog to our list of Additional Twins Blogs. There are probably over 100 of us blogging about the Twins now. A few people with the access that comes with having press credentials  are among those bloggers. But when actual players join the Twins blogosphere, it’s worth keeping an eye on!

Finally, I also find it worthwhile to check in with Jim Mandelaro in Rochester from time to time. This recent posting included a couple of bits of information I found interesting. First, guess who the Rochester Red Wings centerfielder is. If you guessed Dustin Martin, Ben Revere (or any of the other high draft choice CFs the Twins have signed in recent years) or even Jacque Jones, you’d be wrong. Matt Tolbert is playing CF for the Red Wings. Hmmmmmmmmm… interesting. Oh, and he also mentions that former Twin Boof Bonser’s ERA is 17.05 after two rehab starts for the Red Sox’ AAA club in Pawtucket. Ouch!

Looking forward to tonight’s first night game at Target Field! I’m not sure if I’ll be watching at home (and joining our LiveChat here at Knuckleballs) or watching it at a sports bar, but in either case, I’d much rather be there in person!  – JC