Out On A Limb (Care to Join Me?)

Now that Spring Training is wrapping up, it’s time to turn our focus to the regular season.

I’m tired of debating who the last member of the bullpen should be and who the last reserve on the bench should be. In the grand scheme of things, it just doesn’t matter. The things that do matter start happening at the end of this week!

That means it’s time for all of us to consult our Zoltar machines.

I’m sure there will be no shortage of other Twins blogs who will be giving all of us opportunities to offer our predictions concerning how the Twins, collectively and individually, will perform in 2011. We will be able to proudly predict another AL Central Championship or share our thoughts concerning which Twins will lead the team in various statistical categories.

Here at Knuckleballs, we’re not going to let you off that easy.

We want to stretch those imaginations and predictive powers that lie deep within the grey matter that fills that lump three feet above your ass (I promise… that’s my last Tom Hanks movie reference in this post) and make everyone go out a bit on a limb with their prognostications.

We want to know what sort of crazy stuff you expect to happen this season. To that end, here are some questions we want you to give careful, considered thought to (or just throw out the first response that comes to mind… we really don’t care). The key is… tell us something you expect to happen that we aren’t going to hear from many (if any) others over the next week or two.

1. A prediction specifically related to the performance of a Twins player.

2. A prediction specifically related to the unexpected (in a positive or negative way) performance of a non-Twins player.

3. A prediction related to the unexpected (positive or negative) performance of a team other than the Twins.

Finally, let us know what you expect from the Twins this season.

4. Fill in the blanks: The Twins will win ___ games and finish in ___ place in the AL Central Division. They will (choose one):

___ not make the playoffs

___ be eliminated in the first round of the playoffs (again!)

___ be eliminated in the AL Championship Series

___ lose to the NL Champion in the World Series


To get everyone started, here are my predictions:

Future ROY: Tsuyoshi Nishioka

1. Tsuyoshi Nishioka is going to win the AL Rookie of the Year award.

2. If he gets healthy enough to pitch this season, Johan Santana will finish the season in the NY Yankees’ rotation.

3. The Baltimore Orioles will finish 2nd in the AL East and challenge for the Wild Card playoff spot.

4. Twins will win 97 games, finishing 1st in the AL Central and get ready to hoist a new banner, boys and girls, because our guys are gonna win it all in 2011!

So… what about you? Use the comment section to dazzle us with your predictive powers!

– JC

GameChat – ST – Pirates @ Twins, 12:05 pm, FSN & am1500

So, I missed yesterday’s game because I went to the MN Swarm game with the SO and his entire family as part of his birthday celebrations…  I have to give him a lot of credit because when we spotted TC Bear was in attendance, it was HIS idea to have us wait in the hallway for an opportunity to grab a picture since he knows how excited I am for baseball to start!!!

CapitalBabs & TC @ MN Swarm


And Beloit is teasing us poor Minnesotans because they put in their homeplate today:

But back to the baseball game today!  Yes, it’s another Monday Lunch broadcast on FSN.. I really don’t get it.  Even the Red Sox announcers on Saturday night were commenting on the lack of MN broadcasts for important/watchable games.  I really wish one of the insiders somewhere would find out what’s going on with the schedules and tell us why it’s been so … inscrutable..  during this year’s spring training.

Pittsburgh @ Minnesota
Tabata, LF   Span, CF
Walker, N, 2B   Nishioka, 2B
McCutchen, A, CF   Mauer, C
Doumit, DH   Morneau, 1B
Pearce, 1B   Kubel, DH
Diaz, M, RF   Young, D, LF
Cedeno, SS   Cuddyer, RF
Rodriguez, Jo, 3B   Valencia, 3B
Jaramillo, J, C   Casilla, A, SS
  Karstens, P     Liriano, P


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


A) it’s GREAT that we got the win!!  Especially in the 9th inning after being down the whole game. 

B) it was fun that it was the young guys that won’t be with us at the start of the season that got to have the glory. (This was Danny Lehmann’s SECOND walk-off hit in the past two weeks!)

C) Liriano had a great start!  He needed to go 6 innings like this for me to feel a little bit better.  He knows what to do to extend his starts deep into the game and I am glad to see him doing it. 

All in all, it was a great day for baseball.