Episode 84: The Twins are Above Five Hundred and Fox Sports’ Gabe Kapler

The Twins are TWO GAMES ABOVE FIVE HUNDRED! That must mean that Gardy is a magician, I don’t know how else to explain in.  You can download the new Talk to Contact (@TalkToContact) episode via iTunes or click here you can download the new episode, and if you want to add the show to your non-iTunes podcast player, this is the RSS Feed.

Gabe Kapler, Fox Sports Live

Gabe Kapler, Fox Sports Live

This week we discuss the Twins shift to six-man rotations in Cedar Rapids and Fort Myers, Dozier’s chances of being a 40/40 guy (and a related tangent about Jose Canseco in 1988), what the Twins will do when Mike Pelfrey, Oswaldo Arcia, and Josh Willingham are healthy, and a change in the Twins’ mentality.

We pick a pitcher and hitter of the week, and talk about Minor Leaguer Zack Granite when we go down on the pond.

This week we were lucky to be joined by Fox Sports One’s Gabe Kapler.  Kap, as he is affectionately known, is a 12 year MLB veteran, and hosts a couple of shows on FS1, including Fox Sports Live and MLB Whip Around.  He talks about his path to the majors, and weighs in on batter perparation and making adjustments to pitchers, a couple of topics very close at hand for Twins Aaron Hicks and Chris Colabello.

We ran long on Twins news this week, so we had to cut the Beer and Around the League segments, but do not fret, we will be back next week at full strength.

Thanks for listening!

You can follow Cody on Twitter (@NoDakTwinsFan) or read his writing at NoDakTwinsFan, you can find Paul on Twitter (@BaseballPirate) and you can find Mr. Jay Corn on Twitter (@Jay__Corn)!
If you enjoy our podcast, please take a couple extra minutes and rate and review our show on iTunes.  iTunes ratings convinced the Twins to have a Gardy-Gnome giveaway on June 7th.

Episode 80: Tommy Watkins and Three Amigos

Paul is gone again, but we’re still here! While he’s gone we put pine tar all over our bodies and get ejected in the 2nd inning. You can download the new Talk to Contact (@TalkToContact) episode via iTunes or by clicking here.

tommy watkins

The Twins won a double header against the Jays, but other than that things have been less than stellar for the team in the pas week.  We dive into some stories from the week that was, including the acquisition of Sam Fuld and what it means for Aaron Hicks, the retirement of Jason Bartlett, and what to make of Chris Colabello.

It is an exciting time to be a podcast listener because this week Cody runs an interview for the first time in the history of the podcast as we chatted with the Cedar Rapids Kernels’ Hitting Coach, Tommy Watkins.  Watkins has coached several of the current Minnesota Twins and shares some of his baseballing knowledge with us.  

We also take some time to talk about the unhearlded pitcher Yohan Pino who has been pitching in Minors for 10 years without a MLB appearance.  Of coure, the usual – beer, baseball and the news to round out the show.

Enjoy the show.

 

If you enjoy our podcast, please take a couple extra minutes and rate and review us on iTunes. Ratings and reviews are pretty cool, you guys.

GameChat – Twins @ Rays #2, 6:10pm

So I meant to bring this up yesterday but I forgot: looks like GoGo is STILL a fireball and is paying the price with a 3 game suspension – and he’s not alone. There was a pretty good bench clearing brawl a few days ago sparked by a difference of opinion between the pitcher and the hitter about how long it’s appropriate to watch a long ball that isn’t a homerun. It’s still a triple though so.. yeah.

 The video makes for a good watch.

But about tonight’s game, I hate to admit it but just like last season, I really don’t feel all that optimistic about any game with Pelfrey as the starter.. *crossing fingers anyway*

Minnesota @ Tampa Bay
Dozier, 2B Zobrist, LF
Mauer, 1B Jennings, D, CF
Plouffe, 3B Joyce, DH
Colabello, DH Longoria, 3B
Kubel, LF Loney, 1B
Pinto, C Myers, RF
Herrmann, C, RF Forsythe, 2B
Escobar, E, SS Escobar, Y, SS
Fuld, CF Hanigan, C
  Pelfrey, P   Odorizzi, P
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 R H E
Minnesota 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 6 12 1
Tampa Bay 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 9 0

I could go on and on about all the stuff that happened in this game, but frankly it just went on way too long. (four hours and 48 minutes? Seriously?)

Let’s just say the bullpen did a great job and Chris Colabello came through big time with the bat.in the 4th inning and again in the 12th. And that makes him our BOD. – JC

Chris Colabello

Chris Colabello

GameChat – Blue Jays @ Twins #3, 6:10pm

Ok, here’s our makeup game from last night.. it’s a whole 8 degrees warmer than it was during last night’s game time but at least this time there is no active snow!

Toronto (and even maybe the Twins) is going to feel seriously gypped by this whole circumstance when Minnesota is enjoying weather in the 60′s this weekend after they had to suffer through this ridiculous homestand.

I sure hope that Pelfrey can pull together a good start. *crosses fingers* And Twins fans, let’s welcome Eduardo Nunez who is up just for this evenings game… I’ll be interested to see how he does!

Toronto

@

Minnesota
Cabrera, Me, LF Dozier, 2B
Rasmus, C, DH Mauer, DH
Bautista, RF Colabello, 1B
Encarnacion, 1B Kubel, LF
Navarro, D, C Pinto, C
Lawrie, 3B Herrmann, C, RF
Gose, CF Nunez, 3B
Goins, 2B Hicks, CF
Diaz, J, SS Escobar, E, SS
  McGowan, P   Pelfrey, P

1

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5

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9

R

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Toronto

2

0

0

0

3

0

0

0

0

5

8

0

Minnesota

1

0

0

0

2

0

0

6

x

9

8

2

Ok, that was a mildly odd and sometimes frustrating baseball game – typical Twins … until the 8th inning.

The 8th inning is not something that is easily described.. wow.. simply put, the Blue Jays whole bullpen fell apart: eg 6 runs on one hit, 8 BB’s, 3 consecutive scoring WP’s. Yeah, I can honestly say I have NEVER seen an inning like that. I’m going to give you the MLB Play by Play text for the bottom of the 8th just you can see how it all came down:

THE 8th  
AB# Play String Play Play by Play
73     Pitching Change: Steve Delabar replaces Brett Cecil.
73 ..BBCBCFB W Josmil Pinto walks.
74 .*BBCB*B W.1-2 Chris Herrmann walks. Josmil Pinto to 2nd.
75   Coaching visit to mound.  
75 .LLX 34/SAC/BG.2-3;1-2 Eduardo Nunez out on a sacrifice bunt, first baseman Edwin Encarnacion to second baseman Ryan Goins. Josmil Pinto to 3rd. Chris Herrmann to 2nd.
76     Offensive Substitution: Pinch-hitter Trevor Plouffe replaces Aaron Hicks.
76     Pitching Change: Sergio Santos replaces Steve Delabar.
76   Coaching visit to mound.  
76 …BBBC*B W Trevor Plouffe walks.
77     Offensive Substitution: Pinch-hitter Kurt Suzuki replaces Eduardo Escobar.
77 ..B. WP.3-H;2-3;1-2 With Kurt Suzuki batting, wild pitch by Sergio Santos, Josmil Pinto scores. Chris Herrmann to 3rd. Trevor Plouffe to 2nd.
77     Offensive Substitution: Pinch-runner Pedro Florimon replaces Trevor Plouffe.
77 ..B.B.CBB W+WP.3-H;2-3 Kurt Suzuki walks. Wild pitch by pitcher Sergio Santos. Chris Herrmann scores. Pedro Florimon to 3rd.
78     Offensive Substitution: Pinch-runner Darin Mastroianni replaces Kurt Suzuki.
78 ..>B. SB2 With Brian Dozier batting, Darin Mastroianni steals (1) 2nd base.
78 ..>B.S*B*BCB W+WP.3-H;2-3 Brian Dozier walks. Wild pitch by pitcher Sergio Santos. Pedro Florimon scores. Darin Mastroianni to 3rd.
79     Pitching Change: J. A. Happ replaces Sergio Santos.
79   Coaching visit to mound.  
79 ..B>B. SB2 With Joe Mauer batting, Brian Dozier steals (5) 2nd base.
79 ..B>B.BCB W Joe Mauer walks.
80 .BBC*BSB W.3-H;2-3;1-2 Chris Colabello walks. Darin Mastroianni scores. Brian Dozier to 3rd. Joe Mauer to 2nd.
81 .CE S9/L.3-H;2-H;1-3 Jason Kubel singles on a line drive to right fielder Jose Bautista. Brian Dozier scores. Joe Mauer scores. Chris Colabello to 3rd.
82 .SBBBB W.1-2 Josmil Pinto walks. Jason Kubel to 2nd.
83 .SSC K Chris Herrmann called out on strikes.
84 .FSBBX 53/G- Eduardo Nunez grounds out softly, third baseman Brett Lawrie to first baseman Edwin Encarnacion.

Seriously.. I don’t know quite what I would have done if I was that manager..

But given that we can’t exactly give the Blue Jays’ bullpen BOD, it was voted in the room to give it to the red hot Chris Colabello – again. Gotta say I’m liking him a LOT.

Chris Colabello

GameChat – Twins @ Indians #3, 12:05pm

So this is Nolasco’s chance to improve the fairly poor impression that I got out of him from his first start. Is it fair that I have only seen him pitch once and I’m disappointed? Probably not but baseball isn’t really what I would call a fair sport – it’s an “any given day” kind of thing. So here’s his chance to be different than last week.

It’s also the Twins chance to win a series and/or achieve .500 status.. I’m just going to start that from the beginning of the year this year and just make that my goal.. if they can do .500 or better, I’ll call it a successful year. Again with the “not fair” but I don’t care.

I will only be catching bits and snags of today’s game because my family is throwing a “meet the baby” party to celebrate the arrival of Miss Margaret. For the record, baby showers are all about mommy… Meet the Baby parties? yeah, I might as well not exist. I’m only there to make sure that if there is a hunger emergency, her pleasant demeanor is maintained… maybe that’s why I’m in a “the world isn’t fair” mood today! ;)

Minnesota

@

Cleveland
Dozier, 2B Morgan, CF
Mauer, 1B Swisher, 1B
Willingham, LF Kipnis, 2B
Colabello, DH Santana, C, 3B
Plouffe, 3B Brantley, LF
Kubel, RF Chisenhall, DH
Suzuki, K, C Gomes, Y, C
Hicks, CF Murphy, Dv, RF
Florimon, SS Aviles, SS
  Nolasco, P   Masterson, P

1

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3

4

5

6

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8

9

R

H

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Minnesota

0

2

3

1

0

3

0

0

1

10

9

0

Cleveland

0

2

0

3

1

1

0

0

0

7

15

1

So my bits and pieces turned out to be the first inning… I have no clue other than the boxscore what happened after that.. but look, the boxscore says we WON!

It also says that Nolasco wasn’t trying to impress me and wouldn’t have even if I had been able to watch… ouch.

BUT Colabello looks like he had another great RBI day. HE impresses me so far this season. I made him BOD!

Chris Colabello

GameChat – Twins @ White Sox #3, 1:10pm

so… last chance to leave a mark on the White Sox so far..

For the record, it’s stupid cold out there again and here in MN, we’re supposed to get anywhere from 5 to 10 inches of snow tonight depending on where you live.. *SIGH*  Spring is stupid.

Glad I have some baseball to watch…

Minnesota

@

Chi White Sox
Dozier, 2B Eaton, CF
Mauer, DH Semien, 3B
Willingham, LF Abreu, 1B
Colabello, 1B Dunn, A, DH
Plouffe, 3B Garcia, A, RF
Arcia, O, RF De Aza, LF
Pinto, C Ramirez, Al, SS
Hicks, CF Flowers, C
Escobar, E, SS Garcia, L, 2B
  Hughes, P, P   Quintana, P

 

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9

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Minnesota

0

0

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2

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2

1

2

10

9

1

Chi White Sox

0

1

0

0

3

4

0

1

0

9

13

1

Ok THAT was one weird game of baseball – and not just because the Twins actually won…

You start with an odd set up for baseball when a player strikes out but gets to 1B on a wild pitch – but isn’t unheard of. The oddness escalates when that player then gains 2B on an error – believe it or not, obstruction during the worst played rundown I’ve seen in ages. So yeah, the player that struck out is now on 2B… that was what really set the table for the rest of the game to follow.

The lead changed hands a couple times and Twins fans rarely expect anything good when they lose the lead in the late innings of a game. But due to the offensive heroics of both Chris Colabello (6 RBI) and Oswaldo Arcia (winning RBI), even the most cynical among us were pretty excited about the result – ESPECIALLY Arcia.during his 8th inning triple.

For their shared offensive glory (and especially since it appears that Cola is Arcia’s interpreter of choice), they share today’s BOD honors! Yay for the first BOD of the season!

Chris Colabello

Minnesota+Twins+Photo+Day+Arcia

Episode 77: A real live baseball player from the Major Leagues, Hot Dog!

The highlight of this week’s episode is an interview with Twins’ relief pitcher Casey Fien. We discuss the path his career took as he made his way from a 20th round draft pick to an Opening Day roster and what his strategy is when he’s out there on the mound. You can follow Casey on Twitter, @CaseyFien.
Look at this guy, so happy to be on the podcast!

Look at this guy, so happy to be on the podcast!

You can download the new Talk to Contact (@TalkToContact) episode via iTunes or by clicking here.
Besides talking to notable relief pitchers, we also spend some time “Down on the Pond” looking at the Opening Day starters for each of the Twins full-season minor league affiliates, and a hitter from each squad as well as they prepare for Minor League Opening Day on Thursday, April 3.
To find out who took home the first regular season honors for Twins hitter and pitcher of the week you’ll have to give us a listen, and there were actually a surprising number of candidates who’ve gotten the lumber out early this season despite what we’ve been saying during Spring Training.
Oh, and the trees are coming back to Target Field. Heck yeah!

You can follow Cody on Twitter (@NoDakTwinsFan) or read his writing at NoDakTwinsFan, and you can find Paul on Twitter (@BaseballPirate) and read his writing at PuckettsPond.com!

If you enjoy our podcast, please take a couple extra minutes and rate and review us on iTunes. Ratings and reviews keep our beers cold.

Episode 65: Tom Kelly’s Zubaz versus Nelson Prada

Episode 65 is out for your listening enjoyment. Happy New Year from all of the gang at Talk to Contact. We debated titling the podcast after Twins Coach Nelson Prada who wore #65 a few years ago, but anytime Tom Kelly‘s zubaz come up on conversation you are required to title said conversation after those wonderful pants.  You can download the new Talk to Contact (@TalkToContact) episode via iTunes or by clicking here.

tom-kelleyAfter a holiday hiatus the Talk to Contact podcast returns will all of the usual contributors. Up for discussion this week is Chris Colabello declining a trip to Korea, the make-up of the Twins opening day outfield, former Twins making comebacks and a rousing of debate of whether or not Kurt Suzuki will play a meaningful role for the Twins in 2014.

 We go down on the pond and take a look at the Twins 2013 4th round draft pick, Stephen Gonsalves (LHP), discuss whether a shandy should even be considered a beer and talk about moves from around the rest of the MLB, including possible landing spots for Masahiro Tanaka and the potential for the Houston Astros to contend in the AL West this coming season. All of that and more on this week’s podcast.

 Enjoy the podcast.

 

You can follow Cody on Twitter (@NoDakTwinsFan) or read his writing at NoDakTwinsFan, and you can find Paul on Twitter (@BaseballPirate) and read his writing at PuckettsPond.com!

If you enjoy our podcast, please take a couple extra minutes and rate and review us on iTunes. Ratings and reviews have magical iTunes powers, that will help Liam Hendriks make the major league club in Baltimore and hopefully pitch against Danny Valencia and the Royals, beaning him in the middle of the back.

GameChat – Twins @ Houston, 1:05pm

Sorry – game actually starts at 1:10..

So I’m back to the cooler climes of Minnesota…. and really glad about it. I still can’t believe I was actually in Arlington during part of the series and still wasn’t able to get over to a game but this was a whirlwind trip and just wasn’t able to get over there..

That being said, I did have friends (all these Minnesotans in Texas in August and September is goofy) at the Rangers series and one is doing the reverse trip that we did and is headed to the Houston game today.. I’ll gladly watch on TV from my 64 degree home. LOL However, it doesn’t appear that the Twins let the southern heat get to them in Arlington so I think they can take Houston on.

But while we are talking about Texas series, how on earth did we manage to take the series from the Rangers??  Looking at this lineup, I feel a little bit like I’m at Spring Training and having to go back to check the lineup card repeatedly because I don’t know the names..

Happy Labor Day every one!

Minnesota

@

Houston
Presley, CF Grossman, LF
Mastroianni, RF Altuve, 2B
Dozier, 2B Castro, Ja, C
Willingham, DH Dominguez, 3B
Plouffe, 3B Carter, 1B
Herrmann, C, C Crowe, RF
Colabello, 1B Barnes, B, CF
Thomas, C, LF Hoes, DH
Florimon, SS Villar, SS
  Albers, A, P   Clemens, P

 

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9

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Minnesota

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10

13

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Houston

3

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6

13

2

Well that was certainly a come-from-behind win I didn’t expect…

Albers had a horrible start and they ended up bringing in Swarzak right away. The boys managed to start putting some runs on the board (three home runs even) and kept the game closer than you would have guessed at the start – and actually tied it up in the 8th. (we won’t talk about the defense really suffering today..)

I wasn’t sure what to expect at that point and figured a tie was going to end up being a long battle.. Turns out Colabello was having none of that. I’ll take a grand slam in the top of the 9th to break a tie any day! AND it earns him today’s BOD!

Chris Colabello

GameChat – Twins @ Mariners #2, 9:10pm

I gotta admit that I don’t have a whole lot of faith in Scott Diamond these days, especially not when matched up against King Felix…

But it has to be better than Correia last night, right? *knock on wood* *spin three times* *spit*

Minnesota

@

Seattle
Dozier, 2B Bay, RF
Carroll, 3B Franklin, 2B
Morneau, 1B Ibanez, LF
Doumit, DH Morales, K, DH
Herrmann, C, RF Seager, 3B
Thomas, C, LF Smoak, 1B
Hicks, CF Ackley, CF
Butera, C Ryan, SS
Florimon, SS Blanco, H, C
  Diamond, P   Hernandez, F, P

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scott Diamond pitched into the 7th inning and gave up just a single run, but was left with a no decision thanks to a Twins offense that could only manage one run of support.  After the 13 inning game was over the Twins had walked 15 times (compared with just 2 walks), but they managed to score a couple in the top of the 13th to take their first game in three days.

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 R H E
Minnesota 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 3 8 1
Seattle 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 12 0

I didn’t see the end of the game, because of sleep and things like that, but it seemed like Scott Diamond and Chris Colabello (game winning RBI) were the BOD candidates.  Colabello needs something to get him started at the MLB level, and maybe winning the BOD will give him a bump.

Chris Colabello