GameChat – Twins @ Angels #4

Yep..  remember that whole debate yesterday?  Yeah, it is still ongoing today!  If you’re a regular blog follower, you know Nick Nelson and Thrylos – and even Jim Souhan – and they’re still engaged into the discussion.  Never expected to find myself in agreement with Souhan.  Entertaining. 

Minnesota @ LA Angels
Span, CF   Aybar, E, SS
Hudson, O, 2B   Abreu, B, DH
Mauer, C   Hunter, CF
Morneau, 1B   Matsui, H, LF
Cuddyer, RF   Morales, K, 1B
Thome, DH   Rivera, J, RF
Kubel, LF   Kendrick, H, 2B
Hardy, SS   Izturis, M, 3B
Harris, B, 3B   Mathis, J, C
  Slowey, P     Pineiro, P

 

I hope the B team lineup kicks butt and does so quickly!  They have a plane to catch!

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Minnesota 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 3 4 10 11 0
LA Angels 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 8 1

 

Congrats to Alex Burnett for making his MLB debut in his home town, in front of his family, on his mom’s birthday.. AND  for a great outting in the process.  Good job Kid!

GameChat – Twins @ Angels #3

Ok, Thome’s first time to start – and the big bloggers have put me in the nearly unbelievable position of defending Delmon Young being in the lineup.  Holy Cow, some things you just never expect when you’re a little twins fan.  I’m really not a Delmon devotee, honest. 

A) I don’t follow all the young prospects and rookies nearly closely enough to have become a fan when he was impressing the hell out of everyone.  So I pretty much had to catch up after he was traded here.  And he wasn’t impressing anyone then.

B) If you know me, you know I’m rather fond of good glovework.. *cough*  So, um, yeah, Delmon hasn’t impressed me there either.

So here it is…  I don’t think Kubel is any better in the field than Delmon – sorry, I just don’t.  Delmon is faster if not as sure-footed.  *rolls eyes*  Of course, all the big bloggers are trotting out their numbers about how Ervin Santana should have a lineup of 15 lefties if we have to pull them off the street.  Sorry, I don’t buy it.  Yes, you should adjust what you have to put your best team forward.  But no, you don’t play two DH’s if you can help it.  And for all his versatility, Kubel is a DH.  You leave your starting LF in his regular place – ESPECIALLY WHEN HE’S ACTUALLY HAVING QUALITY AB’S!!  Don’t mess with that, please. 

I knew this argument was going to come up when we got Thome.  My biggest fear was that his arrival would mean that he would end up being in the lineup as a starter at the same time as Kubel.  Especially since Gardy actually seems to have a fondness for putting Kubel in the OF, much to my great aggravation.  So imagine my pleasant surprise to see such a logical – to me – lineup arrive today! 

For all those trotting out numbers, please remember that they are from LAST YEAR.  Last year we didn’t have a Delmon who was actually STEALING BASES and WALKING, of all things.  I would look horrible if I lost 30 lbs but I gotta admit that while he’s not my particular taste, he looks darn good having left the extra behind … behind.  Let’s give it a shot before we all have heart attacks, ok?  For that matter, let’s all be glad that we have a great bat on the bench that we can trot out there if we need it.. Isn’t that why we got Thome in the first place?  Yeesh…

Minnesota @ LA Angels
Span, CF   Aybar, E, SS
Hudson, O, 2B   Abreu, B, RF
Mauer, C   Hunter, CF
Morneau, 1B   Matsui, H, DH
Cuddyer, RF   Morales, K, 1B
Thome, DH   Rivera, J, LF
Young, D, LF   Kendrick, H, 2B
Hardy, SS   Napoli, C
Punto, 3B   Wood, B, 3B
  Pavano, P     Santana, E, P

 

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

 click anywhere in the boxscore for more game details

The vote in the game chat gave the BOD to JJ Hardy for fantastic plays on both sides of the duty list.  But I would like to offer honorable mentions to Carl Pavano for a fantastic pitching start and Nick Punto just because triples are so much fun to watch (they just don’t have to run like that for a HR!)

GameChat – Twins @ Angels #2

Ok, so let’s see if we can’t do a little better than last night shall we?

Minnesota @ LA Angels
Span, CF   Aybar, E, SS
Hudson, O, 2B   Abreu, B, RF
Mauer, C   Hunter, CF
Morneau, 1B   Matsui, H, DH
Cuddyer, RF   Morales, K, 1B
Kubel, DH   Rivera, J, LF
Young, D, LF   Kendrick, H, 2B
Hardy, SS   Wood, B, 3B
Punto, 3B   Mathis, J, C
  Blackburn, P     Saunders, P

 

And we’re going to give a new chat application a try tonight!  If it doesn’t work, we can go back to the old one but let’s experiment a little bit.  Not sure what it’s going to require for each person to log in yet.  Let’s see what happens!

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

 

new chat stuff went well enough for the opening trial that we’ll give it a shot again tomorrow.  It was a promising experience.

GameChat – OPENING DAY!!! Twins @ Angels

BASEBALL IS HERE!!!  WOOHOOOO!!!

This off-season seemed especially long but the it’s finally over.  Even though the Twins will be starting their season on the road on the west coast meaning that Twins fans here in Minnesota will have a groggy week watching games until midnight every night, regular season baseball has finally arrived. 

Minnesota @ LA Angels
Span, CF   Aybar, E, SS
Hudson, O, 2B   Abreu, B, RF
Mauer, C   Hunter, CF
Morneau, 1B   Matsui, H, DH
Cuddyer, RF   Morales, K, 1B
Kubel, DH   Rivera, J, LF
Young, D, LF   Kendrick, H, 2B
Hardy, SS   Wood, B, 3B
Punto, 3B   Mathis, J, C
  Baker, S, P     Weaver, Jr, P

 

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

well that didn’t go exactly like I would have wanted for our opening game…  BUT IT WAS BASEBALL!!!  and Neshek looked FANTASTIC – even have his poor Butler boys lost in a squeaker.  I wonder if he had the game on in the locker room…

2010 Opening Day Predictions

We’re a little slow around here lately. A week ago, Josh Johnson posted a challenge over at Josh’s Thoughts for the Twins blogosphere to come up with our predictions for the year. He emailed a notice around to a lot of Twins bloggers and, to be honest, I have no idea if we got an email from Josh. See… we’re new at this and I haven’t quite figured out how to check our “Knuckleballs” email. (Stop laughing, it’s not THAT funny!)

We were all supposed to use Friday, April 2 as the date for all of us to post our various predictions for this season. I’m pretty sure we missed that date. I did read his post a week ago and I just have to admit that I was getting so excited about my upcoming (at the time) trip up to Target Field on Saturday, that I just simply forgot about this.

The good news is that, since we’re a newer blog, chances are that not many people noticed we didn’t participate in “prediction day.” On the other hand, apparently SOMEONE out there is reading us, because over at the “newsbobber” site, we’ve shot up from Number 64 all the way to number 48 (or tied for number 43, if you look at it that way)!

Josh suggested a number of categories that we might consider making predictions concerning. Frankly, I had enough trouble getting my “Monday Morning Mind” around LaVelle E. Neal III’s challenge for his blog readers to come up with a position player and a pitcher as 2010 “Picks to Click”, never mind all of Josh’s proposed categories, but I’m going to take a swing at making some predictions.

Twins-Specific Predictions
- Twins MVP
: Hmmmm… let me see… I hear that Joe Mauer guy is pretty good. I’ll go with him.
- Twins Top Pitcher: I like the way Kevin Slowey’s been looking. I’ll predict he keeps up the good work through the year.
- Twins Best Rookie: I’m wondering how many rookies will even get a shot in 2010, but I’ll go with Danny Valencia.
- Twins Most Improved Player: Nick Punto (it’s an even numbered year, right?)
- Bold Predictions (think of several if you’d like): Jim Thome plays a major role this year, to the tune of 25 home runs and Pat Neshek leads the Twins in saves. (Yes, Thome and Neshek are my “Picks to Click“.)
- A.L. Central Prediction (Standings): Minnesota, Chicago, Detroit, Kansas City, Cleveland
- Three Keys to Success for the Twins: I suppose “win lots of games” is a bit broad, huh? OK, let’s say 1) identify a consistent closer; 2) keep the big guns healthy; and 3) consistency of the rotation. (Yes, I know, these are all painfully obvious. I guess I’m just not feeling overly thoughtful today.)

Rest of the League Predictions
- A.L. MVP:
When someone shows me a better, and more valuable, player than Joe Mauer, I’ll consider someone else. Until then, he’s the guy.
- N.L. MVP: Likewise, I can’t see anyone approaching Albert Pujols for this award.
- A.L. Cy Young: Cliff Lee, Seattle… if he gets off his lazy butt and gets on the mound sometime soon.
- N.L. Cy Young: Roy Halladay, Philadelphia
- A.L. Rookie of the Year: Brian Matusz, Baltimore
- N.L. Rookie of the Year: Jason Heyward, Atlanta
- A.L. Breakout Player of the Year: Let’s go with our own Denard Span, shall we?
- N.L. Breakout Player of the Year: I’ve got no friggin clue here
- A.L. Comeback Player of the Year: Pat Neshek would be a nice story in this category, wouldn’t he?
- N.L. Comeback Player of the Year: Yeah… no idea.
- A.L. Playoff Predictions: Twins over Red Sox, Yankees over Mariners
- N.L. Playoff Predictions: Braves over Rockies, Cards over Phillies
- World Series Prediction: Twins over Cardinals in a throwback to 1987!

CapitalBabs and KL… if you feel inclined to add your own picks here (maybe you’ve given this more thought than I have?), just edit the post and add your predictions.

Anyone else? Let’s see what you think in the comments section.

Look for a GameChat for Game 1 out of 162 (or more!) this evening before game time at 9:00 CT.

-JC

Knuckleballs go to Target Field

All three of the Knuckleballs, KL, JimCrikket, and CapitalBabs (left-to-right above), attended Saturday’s exhibition game against the Cardinals and rather than going on and on about how great it was, we’re inviting you to view our slideshows.

KL an CapitalBabs viewed the game from the bright sunshine in the dugout boxes alone the third base line while JimCrikket decided to take advantage of the opportunity (most likely the once-in-his-lifetime opportunity) to watch the game from one of the Skyline Suites, also on the third base side.

We hope you enjoy.

Here’s JC’s slideshow:


 

Here’s CapitalBabs’ pics – she took the family and didn’t do as much touring – but got some great pics from her seat:

A lot of my pics seem a little washed out due to the FABULOUS BRIGHT SUNSHINE!!  but I’m sure we’ll all take many more pictures of the field in months to come!

GameChat – Exhibition – Cardinals @ Twins

I haven’t quite figured out where Babs copies the lineups with links from, so for the moment, lineups grabbed from Kelly’s Corner. Come join me/us in the GameChat channel!

Here’s the chart!

St. Louis @ Minnesota
Schumaker, 2B   Span, CF
Ryan, Br, SS   Hudson, O, 2B
Pujols, 1B   Mauer, C
Holliday, LF   Morneau, 1B
Rasmus, CF   Cuddyer, RF
Ludwick, RF   Kubel, DH
Lopez, F, DH   Young, D, LF
Freese, 3B   Hardy, SS
Pagnozzi, C   Punto, 3B
Lohse, P   Pavano, P
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
St. Louis 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 5 0 8 13 2
Minnesota 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 4 4 1

But the boxscore just really can’t accurately describe what it was like for those of us here watching the game from the live chat.  From Span kicking tail and getting the first  HR in Target Field, seeing random friends enjoying the amenities, or even seeing Jacque Jones back in Minnesota!!  What a fantastic day for baseball in this state!

Because it wasn’t enough for Span to have the first triple at Target Field, he also had to smash the first home run.

span040210

It’s always nice to see someone you know, Seth Stohs, on TV. Eating a cheese-covered nacho chip.

seth040210

It was great to see that the fans at the ballpark remember Jacque Jones fondly too.

jones040210

Spring Training Photo Montage!

Thanks to the contributions of several viewers, we have a great collection of photos from Spring Training to celebrate the end of Grape Fruit League play.  I had to go through more than 250 pictures to grab the ones  I really liked – and that was the “favorites” of the submitters already.  From what I have been told, I think it’s entirely possible that nearly 5000 pictures were taken in FL by the folk who sent me photos.  I really hope you enjoy the slideshows.

Here’s the Major Leagues!

My only regret seems to come from the fact that my fellow Twins fans don’t seem to have near the appreciation (facination? obsession?) with JJ Hardy that I have – WHERE ARE THE HOTTY PICS??  *sigh*

Here’s the Minor League shots so you have something to look forward to! You might see some of them sooner rather than later.

Special thanks to JimCrikket, Corey Sauer, Patty Roth Liming, and Jan McGuire!

What Not to Wear: Baseball Edition

It just about figures that just when I have a little extra time to sit at the computer and write a bit for the blog, the mechanism that holds my laptop on the computer stand at the right angle goes wonky. Typing with my laptop actually on my lap is a challenge. But the show must go on…

It’s been quite some time since I watched an episode of What Not to Wear, but I’m pretty sure that if they got a look at my closet, the hosts would not approve of much in there. At the top of list of things that don’t look great on me would probably be my Twins jersey collection.

I was thinking about this recently after stumbling upon a few posts around the blogosphere discussing the new MLB clothing line for women being sold by Victoria’s Secret. You can find better insight than I’m likely to provide herehere, and here.

Before I go on, I want to mention that if you’re digging the MLB clothes at Victoria’s Secret, or any of the other offerings I’m not into, that’s totally cool with me.

When I first heard about this new women’s baseball clothing line, I didn’t think about it much beyond “Gee, it’s great that the Twins are one of the teams included, but Victoria’s Secret doesn’t sell anything that fits me, so there’s no point in checking this out further.”  The fit problem isn’t exclusive to Victoria’s Secret by any means, but when I read what others had to say, I starting thinking about how it’s harder for me to find clothes that look decent on me to wear to games than it is to get tickets to Target Field in the first place.

My problem with what I’ve been able to find so far at the Twins Pro Shops isn’t necessarily that the offerings for women are pink or glittery or have things written on them I wouldn’t want to wear on a shirt, though I totally understand and agree with those issues, but rather that even if I wanted to wear these things, they aren’t offered in a size even close to what I wear.

Sure, I could stand to lose more than a few pounds, and though I don’t plan to generally talk about personal stuff like that on this blog (heaven knows I don’t really to care to talk about it most of the time anyway), the fact is there are lots of women baseball fans of all shapes and sizes, and we should all have at least a few good options. I like my jersey collection just fine, but I’d like it even better if I could get them in a fit more suitable for a woman. I have to get a men’s XXL to really be comfortable at all and be able to wear a long-sleeved t-shirt underneath in cooler weather, and I mostly feel like I’m wearing an unflattering box of a shirt that’s ridiculously too long. If I don’t feel good in it, I very much doubt I look good in it. And I’m sure Stacy and Clinton would disapprove of the look.

There is a replica jersey for women available in the online Twins shop, but I can’t find any information about the sizing. There’s an XXL available? Great! But what is the equivalent in real sizes? (Note: I did eventually find a link to sizing information with a different item, but it only went to XL, and it didn’t look promising for me.) And putting aside the sizing issue, why only one style for women? Shouldn’t 45% of baseball fans have more options than one style in a narrow range of sizes? I counted four replica jerseys for men, plus several other jerseys, like the batting practice one or the Cooperstown one.

One thing I noticed while browsing the online shop is that there’s actually a Plus Size category under Women’s. Hooray! Except the only thing there is a tank top. Boo! I might have to get the tank top, though. It might be nice to have the option for hot summer days at Target Field. But it would be nice to be able to purchase it at a Pro Shop where I get a lovely season-ticket holder discount. UPDATE: Since I originally wrote most of this a week or two ago, a few more items have been added to the Plus Size section of the online store. The tank isn’t available in my preferred size, but there’s a jacket I might have to pull the trigger on since I received a 20% off code the other day.

While at a Pro Shop recently, I was happy to see more women’s styles in regular team colors, including a sweatshirt I’d love to have for early spring and later fall games, but none looked at all like they’d fit me. So I’m relegated to the men’s clothes and yet another long box.

GameChat – (ST) Twins @ Red Sox, 12:05, ESPN & am1500

The Mayor’s Cup people!  I can’t remember what the Twins/BoSox record is!  I know we were behind for awhile but…  This is the last game?  Is there a chance?  I don’t know!!

Minnesota @ Boston
Span, CF   Scutaro, SS
Hudson, O, 2B   Pedroia, 2B
Kubel, RF   Drew, J, RF
Cuddyer, 1B   Beltre, 3B
Thome, DH   Lowell, 1B
Young, D, LF   Cameron, M, CF
Hardy, SS   Varitek, C
Harris, B, 3B   Hall, LF
Butera, C   Hulett, DH
  Blackburn, P     Lackey, P

 

Per Joe C. at the Strib, Morneau is actually hitting with the minors today to get some extra AB’s and Mauer is getting a rest day.

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

 

Well, that didn’t end pretty but it was still the conclusion of Grapefruit League play for 2010!  Next we’ll have a couple exhibition games up in brand new Target Field and then it’s off to start the regular season with some West Coast baseball – get ready for 9 pm starts!