Fridays Are For Positive Thinking!

I tried brushing my teeth a few extra times between the end of the game last night and this morning, but I still can’t get the awful taste of last night’s game out of my mouth, so let’s replace last night’s stink-fest with a Friday link-fest of “think positive” posts and see if we can’t get some good mojo going around this place.

First, let’s all join k-bro in her efforts to help out our local food banks while we celebrate the Twins’ inevitable march toward the AL Central Division title. She’s pledging to donate two healthful food items to her local food shelf for every Twins victory in September. I’m in on that and I hope you’ll all join, too. Remember, the baseball gods like it when we make baseball related sacrifices and we need all the help we can get from the baseball gods right now (and remember how well this worked out for the Twins last September!).

Alex Burnett

Next, let’s get ready to welcome three new pitchers to the Twins (OK, for one of them, it’s more of a “welcome back”). LaVelle E Neal III has the up-to-date information. Alex Burnett is on his way back up to Minnesota and he’s bringing along relief pitcher Rob Delaney and starting pitcher Matt Fox. Fox will apparently make his MLB debut tonight against the AL West leading Texas Rangers. By the way, despite the frustration level we were feeling last night, apparently we weren’t all completely brain dead. I don’t remember who first

Rob Delaney as a Rock Cat

mentioned it so I apologize for not giving credit where it’s due, but as we discussed last night, the Twins will in fact make room on the 40-man roster for Fox by putting Justin Morneau on the 60-day DL

retroactively to when he was injured. That was almost 60 days ago so he could be reactivated any time that he shakes the post-concussion cobwebs (crossing fingers and toes).

For some additional insight in to Matt Fox, I suggest taking a look at Seth Stohs’ post over at sethspeaks.net. Not only has Fox worked hard to get this opportunity, but he also pitched to Drew Butera in college at Central Florida. With Joe Mauer having caught 13 innings last night, you have to figure

Friday's starting pitcher, Matt Fox

tonight will be a Golden Knight reunion. (That HAS to be good karma, right? and the baseball gods smile on the MLB debuts of guys who overcome injuries and work hard to achieve their dreams, right? Come on… tell me I’m right… please?)

Also from LaVelle’s blog post, this note of interest provided by the folks at the Elias Sports Bureau:

Brian Duensing tossed two innings of relief two days after a 6⅔-inning start. He was the first major-leaguer in more than 10 years to throw at least two innings in relief in a game that followed by only one or two days a start of more than six innings. The last pitcher to do that had been Steve Woodard of the Brewers in May 2000.

Just one more reason to be impressed with Duensing. It’s really great to see a guy overcome the disadvantage of having to attend the University of Nebraska and become one of the best young pitchers I’ve seen with the Twins in quite a while. (Don’t mind me, just practicing my Cornhusker-bashing for when they become part of the Big Ten next year.)

Speaking of the Huskers, I know it isn’t the least bit Twins-related, but I’m really excited with the new Big Ten division alignment for football and the subsequent schedules for 2011 and 2012 announced by the conference this week. My Hawkeyes get a new “final game” of the season against Nebraska on Thanksgiving weekend, which should be a terrific game. Fortunately (for Iowa anyway), they also get to continue playing the Gophers every year, although it will no longer be the last game of the season. By the way, I’m really looking forward to making the trip up to Minneapolis this November for my first look at TCF Bank Stadium (or, as we refer to it down here, “The New Kinnick Stadium North”).

Finally, let’s wrap up with a reminder that the Twins, even coming off of last night’s clunker and with all of the challenges facing them, have a couple of really important things going for them that we can all be thankful for:

1. They still have a 3.5 game lead over the Bitch Sox in the standings.

2. They don’t have to put up with Manny Ramirez’s bullshit just to retain any semblance of playoff hope.

The baseball gods are going to smile down on the Twins this weekend. I can feel it! - JC