GameChat – White Sox @ Twins #4, 1:10 pm

I love that the Twins took advantage of that very limited window for game time between the two rounds of storms last night – I even had time to get the post-game wrap up done and uploaded before I lost power!  Sadly, I still don’t have power at my house (along with a good quantity of my neighbors) so I’m over at the local coffee house (also with a good quantity of my neighbors) with my laptop and my handy pocket radio getting ready for the game today.  Today’s weather shouldn’t be the problem that yesterday was.  It’s supposed to be nice if a tad humid but no rain. Something commented on frequently in the gamechats is the return of JJ Hardy and Jesse Crain to better form. Here’s a good read talking about both.

I will admit that I still don’t really know what to expect from my Twins during game days.  This season’s track record with how they play doesn’t really boost my confidence much.  And as much as I love Nick Blackburn – his recent struggles also don’t lend well to optimism.  But I know that he wants to turn this around and that if anyone can keep their head in the game and make the necessary adjustments it’s Blackie.  

“I can’t keep doing this,” he said. “I’m tired of it and I know they are, too.”

Yeah, we are Nick, but I have faith that you can pull this together eventually.  Not sure how long that the starting ro’ can wait for you or if you’ll have to get yourself fixed up during a break but good luck!

Chi White Sox @ Minnesota
Pierre, LF   Span, CF
Vizquel, 3B   Hudson, O, 2B
Rios, CF   Mauer, C
Konerko, DH   Kubel, RF
Quentin, RF   Cuddyer, 1B
Kotsay, 1B   Thome, DH
Ramirez, A, SS   Young, D, LF
Castro, R, C   Valencia, 3B
Beckham, 2B   Hardy, SS
  Garcia, F, P     Blackburn, P


  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Chi White Sox 0 0 1 0 1 4 0 0 0 6 16 1
Minnesota 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 4 7 16 0


I can’t even tell you how disappointed I am that I had to miss the end of this game!!!!!  When I had to leave, the score was 6-3 and Duensing wasn’t really contributing to much confidence – but he held on (4 innings is a good stretch). But oh!!!!  Delmon!!  *sigh*  WALK OFF WIN!! 

Folks, these are the Twins we all love.  They are the crazy, never-give-up kids.  These are the kinds of wins (not to mention the series win) that makes you worry just a little less about the starting rotation.  They make you feel like, we’ll sort it out – and oh yeah, the offense can pick up our struggling starter.  To be honest, that might just be the support the starters need too.  And you have to admit, nothing feels better than the White Sox coming in to our beautiful new park and having the same result as their hated Dome venue!  You have to know that the White Sox left Minnesota with the thought in the back of their minds, “why does this keep happening to us?”  They may have come with all the tools to be Twins-lite but our boys stepped up and did their Twins best!

Once my power was back on, it was so much fun to come back to the chat and to see so much excitement from the fans in there.  Thank you to our Twins for making it enjoyable to watch baseball again!

Oh yeah, and Delmon was voted a HUGE BOD today and pastries for Duensing for doing such a great job at hanging in there for 4 innings and getting the job done.

GameChat – White Sox @ Twins #3, 6:10 pm

It was a hot day – full of humidity and sunshine.  It probably would have been a good afternoon for baseball – lots of LONG hits would have been had I’m sure.  Of course, all that humidity in the air in July in Minnesota is a pretty good hint at something else too – STORMS.  The weather is now getting a little dicey.  There is almost certainly going to be a delay – if not more.  We’ll have to see what happens and I’ll keep you updated as well as I can!

Chi White Sox @ Minnesota
Pierre, LF   Span, CF
Vizquel, 3B   Hudson, O, 2B
Rios, CF   Mauer, DH
Konerko, 1B   Cuddyer, 1B
Quentin, RF   Young, D, LF
Kotsay, DH   Kubel, RF
Pierzynski, C   Valencia, 3B
Ramirez, A, SS   Hardy, SS
Beckham, 2B   Butera, C
  Buehrle, P     Pavano, P


  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Chi White Sox 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 7 0
Minnesota 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 x 3 9 0


It seemed as though both pitchers tonight were VERY aware that they had only a small window of dry weather to get this game in before another round of ugly looking storms hit.  They were both incredibly successful and got us a complete 9 inning game in 1 hour and 52 minutes.  Wow.  And I have no words to describe the absolute domination of Carl Pavano as a Twin.  I love it despite my inability to define it.  He’s just amazing.

Yet another complete game for the mighty mustachio’d one – that makes 4 for the season.  Without doubt or debate that earns him yet another BOD.  But we would like to pass on pastries to Kubel and Delmon and Cuddy.. and JJ Hardy.. and.. ah forget it.  The whole team gets pastry for finally getting that old energy back and playing with the oomph that we remember from early this season!  Great Job, Boys!!  And there go the sirens again so I’m out!

GameChat – White Sox @ Twins #2, 7:10 pm

A quick injury update – the official DL move for Justin has been made and it was actually Jeff Manship that was brought up to shore up the bullpen since Duensing is down with the flu.  We really are short on long innings guys.  Lots of folk really upset that Slama didn’t come up but guys, Slama can’t do more than two innings so it really has to be someone that can be of use if one of our starters can’t go more than 2 innings – cause that NEVER happens right now.  I don’t think Manship will be here very long – they’ll send him back down as soon as Duensing is back up and going so that they can bring Tolbert back in… granted, that’s just a guess on my part but it seems logical based on what has been said so far.  And, as a follow up to the link I gave you yesterday about Joe Nathan, he’s set to throw for the first time tomorrow.  Wish him luck everyone!

As I was gently reminded last night, if the Twins win the next three, we’re right back in this.  Thanks ‘Chu! [edit] Thanks JAMES!

Chi White Sox @ Minnesota
Pierre, LF   Span, CF
Ramirez, A, SS   Hudson, O, 2B
Rios, CF   Mauer, C
Konerko, 1B   Kubel, RF
Quentin, DH   Cuddyer, 1B
Pierzynski, C   Thome, DH
Jones, An, RF   Young, D, LF
Viciedo, 3B   Hardy, SS
Beckham, 2B   Punto, 3B
  Floyd, G, P     Liriano, P


  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Chi White Sox 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 2 4 8 4
Minnesota 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 3 x 7 12 1


A WIN!!!  And not only that, it’s a win where we actually have enough people stepping up to the plate to actually DEBATE a BOD!  It was a legitimately fun game to watch – SO much better than last night.  And maybe nothing shows that better than the difference in our starting pitching.  Liriano just handled business in a fantastic way tonight.  Many have said that Carl Pavano has been showing the younger guys how to get it done and, as much skill and style as Liriano has of his own, he did an incredible Pavano imitation tonight.  The pitching bookends were completed with a surprise dominant closing appearance from Jesse Crain after John Rauch struggled with placement and walked three batters… ouch.  Watching Konerko make that final strikeout off Jesse was a thing of beauty.

And then we had a couple GREAT nights at the plate too.  The return of JJ Hardy came in a BIG way: 3/4 with 2 Runs, an RBI and a couple cannon throws across the infield for important outs.  Cuddy, Mauer and Hudson also had multiple hits and RBI’s.  It’s good be able to talk about the good things.

In the end, we give the BOD to Liriano with pastries to Hardy and Crain!

GameChat – White Sox @ Twins, 7:10, thus begins the 2nd half…

They’re BAAAA-aaaack!!!  I don’t know about you but I couldn’t be happierto have real baseball back.  Sadly, it’s really not how I wanted to start the post-break play.  It was announced this afternoon that Justin Morneau will be going on the DL.  He’s been improving slowly but was still woozy after working out today and he’s, wisely I think, not going to be ridiculous about pushing his return.  He doesn’t want to worry about running the bases or that any particular on-the-field activity while he’s playing.  I hope to see him back soon and feeling much improved.  Matt Tolbert will be taking his spot on the roster.  Brian Duensing is also not likely to show up tonight as he has the flu. 

All these injuries and such can start to weigh on the mind, especially when there isn’t enough information.  So here’s a little update on our MIA closer, Joe Nathan.  We miss you!

The good news is that the Twins are back home!  Here’s hoping our pitching can get settled back in and start nailing opposing batters down – especially the White Sox!!  Pitch well Kev!

Chi White Sox @ Minnesota
Pierre, LF   Span, CF
Vizquel, 3B   Hudson, O, 2B
Rios, CF   Mauer, C
Konerko, 1B   Cuddyer, 1B
Quentin, RF   Kubel, RF
Kotsay, DH   Young, D, LF
Pierzynski, C   Thome, DH
Ramirez, A, SS   Hardy, SS
Beckham, 2B   Punto, 3B
  Danks, P     Slowey, P


  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Chi White Sox 2 2 0 1 3 0 0 0 0 8 14 0
Minnesota 0 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 7 15 0



Well that was really a game that managed to hit a LOT of emotional hot-buttons.  Yeesh.  FINALLY, Joe Mauer seems to be getting his rhythmn back.  It was a great game for Joe tonight.  Except his starting pitcher couldn’t get his spots tonight.  Just a bad night for Kev.  Not sure what is going to happen there but tonight was frustrating for everyone.  Sadly, Alex Burnett didn’t quite have his stuff when he came out to relieve him either.  The lead went back and forth a bit because Danks also didn’t have his best stuff – for one inning – but then he settled in.

After falling behind again, the Twins had a chance for a big walk-off win and Mauer and Delmon really set the table for a dramatic situation!  Sadly, Thome watched a FILTHY cutter go by him for the final strikeout.  Ouch.  Let’s come back and get them hard tomorrow so as not to slip any further in the division hole.

And Your June Boyfriend of the Month is…

OK so it’s not quite that easy. We have a tie. Sort of.

Once again, we spread the love around in June. Or perhaps it’s just that the Twins spread around the responsibility for stepping up to bring home the Ws.

While it’s true there weren’t as many BOD awards in June as there were in May (and July certainly isn’t off to a banner BOD month kind of start either), we did have two Twins manage to accumulate three BOD awards during the month. So congratulations to Carl “the Stache” Pavano and Delmon Young for officially sharing Boyfriend of the Month honors for June!

Yes, we COULD split hairs and mention that one of DY’s BOD awards was a shared award, but a BOD is a BOD, so they all count equally. Besides, it really wasn’t even a close race as no other Twin recorded more than one BOD award during June. In fact, May’s BOM, Jason Kubel, didn’t even get on the board in June so he’s stuck at three BOD awards for the season, tying him with Pavano, Morneau, Span, Liriano and Slowey for second place in the Boyfriend of the Year competition. DY has the jump on all of them with five BOD awards on the year through June! Of course, those of you who’ve been paying attention so far in July know that DY has racked up a couple more BOD awards, while Pavano and Span have each added one to his total on the year.

This might be the time to give a little nudge to the consensus preseason favorite for BOY, Joe Mauer… Joe, you’ve only got two BOD awards so far, it’s time to step it up a bit! And if he needs a nudge, then Michael Cuddyer needs a pretty good shove! Michael… ONE lousy BOD on the year? For crying out loud, Wilson Ramos and Matt Tolbert have that many! Sideburns and dimples only get you so far in the world, guys.

In the end, of course, it really doesn’t matter how many BOD awards each individual player receives… what matters is that, since they are handed out only for Twins wins, we need to have cause to bestow a lot more of those awards the second half of the year! – JC

All-Star streak is over…

The National League has finally ended the American League’s domination of the All-Star game by winning the All-Star Game for the first time since 1996.  The winning hit turned out to be a 3-run blast to RF from Brian McCann in the 7th inning.  Poor base-running from some familiar AL names and fantastic pitching and defense from the NL outfield kept the win.  The timely hit earned Brian the All-Star MVP. 

So which National League team do you think will end up with home field advantage?

An Era ends for the Yankees

photo courtesy of ESPN

Most of you have heard by now that Yankees owner, George Steinbrenner, has died at the age of 80 from a massive heart attack.

He really was the focus of a nation-wide Love-To-Hate relationship.  He was the anchor of one end of the spectrum of management and, love or hate him, the vacuum of his loss will rock the boat.

For those Yankee fans out there, we offer our condolences.

More on the Life and Passing of George Steinbrenner.

2010 Homerun Derby Winner!

2010 All-Star Game Mascot Homerun Derby Champion!


Yet again, TC Bear has proven the master of the bat & ball and trounced the opposition to take the title!  Our most sincere Knuckleballs congratulations!!

Oh, and I didn’t watch that other cometition but I heard that Big Papi won that one fairly handily in the final round against Hanley Ramirez.  I’m pretty sure that they know his name well enough to pronounce it right when they gave him the trophy.

I won’t be watching the All-Star Game tomorrow – I actually have a meeting so I couldn’t even if I wanted.  However, for those of you who do want to watch it.  There is a pretty great opportunity to have some fun with the game courtesy of our own Justin Morneau!  He’s throwing a 2010 All-Star Viewing Party here in the cities.  And it’s free for all attendees.



Tuesday, July 13, 2010


6:30pm – 11:00pm


New Hope Cinema Grill


2749 Winnetka Ave N


New Hope, MN


Justin Morneau was voted by fans to start the 2010 All Star Game and is throwing a party to celebrate! Even though Justin won’t be able to play this year, we’re going to get together anyway. And we’ll come up with some new in-game contests to make things interesting!

Join us at the New Hope Cinema Grill on Tuesday, July 13th to watch the All-Star Game with your fellow Morneau/Twins fans.

Admission to this family-friendly event is FREE and there will be giveaways and prize drawings throughout the game. Seating begins at 6:30 p.m. and the game starts at 7.

The first 33 people* to arrive will receive an All-Star Gift Bag with a T-shirt, poster, movie tickets, gift certificates, and more!

The theater holds 200 and seating is on a first-come basis.

The Cinema Grill will offer a ballpark menu with food and drink specials throughout the evening.


It’s kind of shame that he won’t able to participate this year after being voted in as a starter but his party is on anyway and we all hope that he’s feeling better soon.

Twins History Lesson: July 11-17. All-Star Edition

It has been a while since we’ve posted a Twins History Lesson* and, as you can imagine, we’ve passed over a number of events of interest in the organization’s past. Too many to get caught up on all at once so we’re just going to pretend we haven’t missed anything and pick things up with this week in Twins History.

Since the second week of July has been when MLB has historically held the All-Star game, this week naturally has an All-Star bend to it. Of course, not starting until July 11 means that we just barely miss reminding fans of the All-Star game held on July 9, 1968 where Twin Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew ruptured a hamstring at the Astrodome, missed the next seven weeks of the season and, ultimately, very likely cost the Twins what coulda/woulda/shoulda been their second AL pennant. That’s still painful for many of us older Twins fans to remember, so I’m actually glad it falls outside this week’s timeline and I won’t have to relive it here.

Of course, it also means we won’t be able to relive Torii Hunter’s heroics in the 2002 ASG, played on July 8, when he pulled back what would have been a Barry Bonds home run in the first inning of what would become the ASG ending in a tie at Miller Park. Too bad, because that kind of thing should be remembered. I could have even posted a picture, like the one at the right. Ah well, maybe next year.

So now, on to this week’s memories:

July 11 has seen a couple of notable events.

1961: Harmon Killebrew became the first Twin All-Star on this date in 1961 and in a pinch hit appearance, ripped a home run off of Mike McCormick in San Francisco’s Candlestick Park.

1965: The Twins took a 4 game lead in the AL standings in to the last game before the All-Star break. The Twins fell behind the Yankees in the top of the ninth inning when pitcher Jerry Fosnow picked up a slow roller up the 1B line and went to tag Yankee hitter Roger Repoz. But the ball popped free and Elston Howard crossed home plate. The home plate umpire ruled Repoz had interfered with Fosnow, however, and the run was taken off the board. That’s when the 1B umpire stepped in and overruled the home plate umpire, allowing the Yankee run to score (see… things really haven’t changed that much over the years, have they?) Things looked bleak for the Twin in the bottom of the ninth when Tony Oliva flew out for the second out with Rich Rollins, who had walked, on 1B. Que Harmon Killebrew. His full count HR won the game and, as described by Killer after the game was, “one of the sweetest of the sweet.” The Twins would go on to the World Series in 1965 and the Yankees would finish 25 games behind. (All together now… Awwwwwwwwwww.)

1968: Twins rookie Rick Rennick homered in his first MLB at bat, becoming the first Twin to do so, as he took the Tigers’ Mickey Lolich yard in a 5-4 Twins victory.

2005: Speaking of things that are painful to remember, it was on this date that the Twins acquired Bret Boone from the Mariners. He was released, thank God, not long afterward.

Not a real eventful date, but let’s look in on July 12 anyway:

1972: Bert Blyleven put the lid on the Brewers 7-1, giving the Twins their 1,000th win since the franchise moved to Minnesota. Coincidentally, Blyleven would also be the winning pitcher years later when the Twins notched win number 2,000.

1996: 36-year-old Kirby Puckett, appearing at a press conference with a white patch over his right eye, announced his retirement. “I was told I would never make it because I’m too short,” the 5’8″ Puckett said during the press conference. “Well, I’m still too short, but I’ve got 10 All-Star games, two World Series championships, and I’m a very happy and contented guy. It doesn’t matter what your height is, it’s what’s in your heart.”

2001: The Twins held their own version of Home Run Derby in a 13-5 win over the Brewers. Torii Hunter, Corey Koskie and Jacque Jones tied a MLB record of three players on the same team hitting two home runs in a game. Doug Mientkiewicz tried to keep pace, but could manage only one HR.

July 13 must be a popular day for holding All-Star Games.Lots of ASG history and we’re seeing yet another game on that date this year.

1965: The Twins’ Metropolitan Stadium hosted the All-Star Game and six Twins were on the AL squad (Earl Battey, Mudcat Grant,  Jimmie Hall, Harmon Killebrew, Tony Oliva, and Zoilo Versalles). But the NL won the game 6-5 as Willie Mays homered, walked twice and scored twice and Juan Marichal tossed three scoreless innings.

1971: Long before they began holding a Home Run Derby before the ASG, a group of future Hall of Fame members played long ball during the AL’s 6-4 win in Tiger Stadium. The Twins Harmon Killebrew went yard, as did Hank Aaron, Johnny Bench, Roberto Clemente, Reggie Jackson (who’s mammoth shot travels 520 feet!) and Frank Robinson. It was the sole AL victory between 1962 and 1983.

1976 When he pinch hit for Luis Tiant in the 7th inning, catcher Butch Wynegar became the youngest Twin (20 years and 121 days) to appear in an All-Star Game. He was walked by John “the Count” Montefusco.

1993: Torii Hunter Kirby Puckett may have won the ASG MVP award for his HR and double in the AL’s 9-3 win, but that’s not what most baseball fans recall about this game. Rather, that would be John Kruk’s comical at bat against a young, very hard-throwing and very, very wild Randy Johnson.

On July 14, 1991, the Twins retired Tony Oliva’s #6. Seventeen years later, Twins 1B Justin Morneau won the 2008 ASG Home Run Derby by defeating the Rangers Josh Hamilton 5-3 in the finals. So why does every Derby commercial since then feature Hamilton instead of Morneau? Possibly because of Hamilton’s 28 HRs in the first round (including 13 consecutive at one point).

July 15 has seen a couple of oddities among the noteworthy events taking place on that date.

1964: About a month after joining the Twins in a trade with Cleveland, pitcher Jim “Mudcat” Grant threw a 6-0 complete game shutout against the Senators. So what? Well he did it while giving up 13 hits (all singles). The Senators left 12 men on base (boy does that sound familiar, huh?) and when it was all over, Grant told reporters, “You might say I utilized the position of my fielders hansomely. The way they were hitting me, it’s a wonder somehody didn’t get killed out there.”

2008: One day after claiming his Home Run Derby title, Twins 1B Justin Morneau slid home with the winning run on Michael Young’s sac fly as the AL won the ASG 4-3. The game wents 15 innings and took 4 hours and 50 minutes to complete.

Looking back at July 16…

1969: Rod Carew recorded his 7th and final steal of home plate of the season, tying a 15 year old MLB record. What made this all the more unusual is that it took place with the bases loaded and led a unique triple steal as Harmon Killebrew recorded one of his 19 career SBs and Charlie Manuel (yes, the same Charlie Manuel managing the Phillies now) was credited with the sole SB of his career as they moved up to 2B and 3B behind Carew’s steal of home. So why didn’t Carew steal home again that year after swiping it 7 times by mid July? Not only were pitchers no longer pitching from the windup with Carew on 3B, but he missed much of August when he was called up for military duty. Sure are a lot of things we don’t see much of these days, aren’t there?

1985: The Metrodome hosted the All-Star Game (and I was there… 3 rows from the top of dead centerfield!) and OF Tom Brunansky was the Twins only representative on the AL roster. Led by LeMar Hoyt’s 3 innings of pitching, the NL won 6-1.

Let’s wrap up the History Lesson with a good news/bad news item. On July17, 1990, the Twins became the first team in MLB history to record two triple plays in one game, both started by ground balls to 3B Gary Gaetti. Unfortunately, they were using assbats that day and the Red Sox won the game 1-0.

I’m out of town this week and won’t be online much, if at all. Let’s hope all the guys come back from the All-Star break healthy, rested and ready to get after it. (Sorry… sort of channeling my inner Gardy there) – JC


*We pull this information from a few different sources, including (but not necessarily limited to) Dave Wright’s excellent book, “162-0, The Greatest Wins!”, as well as some  internet sites like “Twins Trivia” and “National Pastime”.

GameChat – Twins @ Tigers #3, WFTC29 & am1500, 12:05 pm

This has been an oddly productive and early morning for me – especially for a Sunday – but it also means I have had time to pay attention to some of the roster discussions taking place.  That’s pretty much all anyone – media, fans, staff alike – is talking about this morning.  Gardy admitted to the am1500 radio audience that, yes, it’s pretty likely that there will be some roster adjustments taking place before Thursday.  No decisions regarding the struggling Nick Blackburn yet but Gardy plans to speak to him today.  I expect something forthcoming there. I still don’t know what Blackburn’s status is regarding options and whether or not AAA or bullpen is being considered but I don’t think we’ll have to wait very long for that answer.

*** answer:  Blackburn will stay in the rotation for now – sure there will be a lot of discussion of this during the game. “The only reason I would take him out of this rotation is if he’s lost confidence in his own ability,” Gardenhire said. “We have confidence in him getting people out. We’ve seen him get people out. … He understands. He wants the ball; that’s what we want to hear from him…***

Also under discussion is the proposal (originally from Souhan) that Delmon Young is perhaps the Twins best trade option to get some REALLY stellar longterm pitching – ie, Harren or Oswalt.  To me it seems like a very high price to pay but at least we would be talking about players with longterm options, not rentals.  Could make for some interesting discussion.

Gardy also announced that Joe Mauer is out of today’s lineup because he’s dealing with some shoulder soreness from foul tips.  That has caused a bit of backlash since some would rather see him play today and skip the AS Game if he needs rest.  I can see the position but that’s pretty much like asking the bruises to wait two days and they can hurt on his off-day.  If he’s sore now, he’s sore now.  YES, this is an important division game but so were the last two.  I’m pretty much of the opinion that no team rests on the shoulders of a single individual for every game, nor should it.  If we can’t win one game without Joe Mauer behind the plate, we have problems too big to solve by getting an ace pitcher.  But that’s just me…

More from Joe C. regarding Mauer and Blackburn.

Now would be a really great time for Pavano to have one of his amazing, ironman starts. Just saying…

Minnesota @ Detroit
Span, CF   Jackson, A, CF
Hudson, O, 2B   Damon, DH
Young, D, LF   Ordonez, RF
Thome, DH   Cabrera, M, 1B
Cuddyer, 1B   Boesch, LF
Kubel, RF   Guillen, C, 2B
Valencia, 3B   Inge, 3B
Punto, SS   Avila, C
Butera, C   Santiago, SS
  Pavano, P     Oliver, P


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


FINALLY!!!!!  It really feels GREAT to get a win in this last game before the break.  I wish we could have gotten more here in Detroit but this one keeps us in the mix – we are only 3 games back in the division right now.  And more importantly, it was an immense outting from a Twins starting pitcher which has been few and far between lately.  But it’s not so unusual for Mr. Carl Pavano.  He’s been a MONSTER for us and came out with a solid start for us again – going to the 8th inning and protesting his replacement even then.  The players morale really needed this outting and the other starters really needed the example of the passion and fire they need to find.  Who knows what our starting rotation will look like when it gets back but the individual level of passion needs to look like today.  For that, he has earned today’s BOD.  Despite the odd horseshoe mustache he was sporting today, Cuddyer was really quality effort today too – 2/3 with 2 BB’s, 1 R, 2 RBI.  For that, he can take a few pastries with him on his all-star vacation.

To address earlier conversation regarding trading Delmon, Al Newman has gone on record in the postgame show saying that there is no way he thinks anyone should trade DY for any pitcher, including Cliff Lee.  It’s interesting to see how many people are addressing that issue.

But for all the angst the first half of the season, this win has at least gotten me back to looking forward to the 2nd half.  I think the break couldn’t have come at a better time (except maybe one series earlier) and we’ll have a fresher bunch of guys.