GoGo Gomez… the new AJ?

With last night’s laughable “performance” by Carlos Gomez, standing and admiring his meaningless moon-shot off of Nick Blackburn after flipping his bat and hitting catcher Joe Mauer, then making some rather mocking “chirping” motions with his hands on his way back to the dugout in response to the words being sent his way by Blackburn and/or Mauer, it begs the question… is Gomez destined to be our next AJ Pierzynski? (And, is that possibly the longest run-on sentence, you’ve ever read? My Journalism teacher would be so disappointed!)

Ever since joining the White Sox, AJ has been the ex-Twin that fans love to hate. He’s just got the kind of personality that grates on people (even his own team mates, apparently). He’s consistently greeted with a loud chorus of booooooooooooos whenever he comes to the plate in Minnesota.

But AJ is clearly coming to the end of his time as a BitchSox and, if you believe reports coming out of Chicago, he could easily be traded within the next two weeks (he becomes a “10 and 5″ player June 14 and earns the right to veto any trade if he’s still with the Tidy Whities at that time).

So perhaps GoGo’s timing is perfect. If we’re going to be in need of a new ex-Twin to demonize, who better than the guy who was the centerpiece of the Johan Santana trade and failed to live up to his potential with the Twins?

I will say that, personally, it’s much tougher for me to dislike Gomez than it is AJ. Pierzynski is an intentional irritant. He thrives on getting under the skin of opponents and their fans. With Gomez, I don’t believe that’s the case. I think Howard Sinker at the Strib is right… he’s simply clueless.

I love watching the way he clearly is having fun playing baseball. It’s almost childlike. In fact, delete the “almost”… it IS childlike. I spent years coaching my son’s youth baseball teams and every year we had at least one kid who honestly had no clue about the “right” and “wrong” way to do things. Those kids just loved playing baseball and were completely unaware that you just don’t DO some things…. like over-celebrating a HR when your team is down 12 runs with one inning to play, for example.

Gomez will likely eventually learn that sort of thing. I’d say he might even get his first lesson in his first AB in this afternoon’s game, but that’s just not the way the Twins roll. (He might want to stand clear if he sees broadcaster Bert Blyleven with a ball in his hands during pre-game, though.)

But a part of me hopes he never completely learns. I don’t want to see his unbridled joy dampened. It’s just so fun to watch when he’s playing ball with a smile.

And if he becomes the “new AJ”, that will just make these interleague games with the Brewers that much more entertaining.

GameChat – Brewers @ Twins, 7:10 pm

The return of Go-Go! Time for the Twins to get things turned back around and get some more Ws!

BREWERS @ TWINS
Inglett, 2B   Span, CF
Gomez, C, CF   Hudson, O, 2B
Braun, LF   Mauer, C
Fielder, 1B   Morneau, 1B
McGehee, C, DH   Cuddyer, RF
Hart, C, RF   Kubel, DH
Counsell, 3B   Young, D, LF
Kottaras, G, C   Plouffe, SS
Escobar, A, SS   Punto, 3B
Bush, P   Blackburn, P

 

well THAT was a LOT more fun than the roadtrip!!

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Milwaukee 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 3 8 1
Minnesota 7 0 0 5 1 0 2 0 x 15 17 0

 

I believe we decided to go with Blackburn for BOD but a great big ol’ celebratory cake for Trevor Plouffe for arriving in such a grand way.  Good job man!

GameChat – Tigers @ Twins #2, 7:10

Since I neglected to mention it in the postgame wrapup last night even though I said I would in the chat, here is a Knuckleballs SALUTE to Frankie Liriano for being the MLB Pitcher of the Month!  You TOTALLY earned it buddy and we are proud you are a Minnesota Twin!

April's Pitcher of the Month!

Here’s today’s lineups!  Yay for Young being back in the OF where he’s supposed to be.

Detroit @ Minnesota
Jackson, A, CF   Span, CF
Damon, DH   Hudson, O, 2B
Ordonez, RF   Morneau, 1B
Cabrera, M, 1B   Thome, DH
Boesch, LF   Cuddyer, RF
Inge, 3B   Young, D, LF
Sizemore, 2B   Hardy, SS
Laird, C   Ramos, W, C
Everett, SS   Punto, 3B
  Willis, P     Blackburn, P

 

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Detroit 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 1 3 11 0
Minnesota 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 4 8 0

remember clicking in the boxscore will give you more game details

TWINS FIRST WALK OFF VICTORY IN TARGET FIELD!!  And who would have guessed it would be a walkoff Wild Pitch?  How do you score that anyway??  I honestly have no clue!   But it does create a slight dilema for those of us in the chatroom.  Who do you pick for BOD when the pitcher gets the first Twins complete game of the season but the win belongs to a single player in the 9th inning???  So, we go with CO-BOD’s for Nick Blackburn and JJ Hotty..err Hardy and we save the pastries for ourselves to celebrate!

JJ Hardy

Nick Blackburn

Joe Nathan might go on the DL!!

Man, a girl can take it pretty hard when her baseball BF has what looks like it might be a season ending injury.  I’m pretty darn loyal in my love of my favorite baseball players but even I have to look at my team and try to picture what this season might look like without Joe Nathan.

photo courtesy of Corey Sauer

For me this is just not a question that stats alone can answer.  Twitchy fills a very special role with this team that can’t be filled by whoever is in the room.  I think for some, it’s easier to look outside our little team family for backup possibilities because they feel like they already know everyone on the team and they would require a lot of investment to get them ready to fill the role.  I’m in the group that sees SO many options available to us internally, that I couldn’t even DREAM of looking outside the players we already have. 

I certainly have the highest hopes that Joe Nathan will be back with us, giving me the shivers, and delivering nasty fastballs and filthy sliders.  I just LOVE me a dirty pitcher!  But every role should have a backup so here’s what I consider my top 3 backup options to be:

1) Sideshow, ie Pat Neshek, has LONG been a favorite of mine.  It started out of pure entertainment value and then I realized how devastating he could be to opposing batters and my love deepened.  Do I think he has the ability?  yes.  Do I think he’s ready to step into that role?  I’m not sure.  I don’t think he’s had the pressure of that kind of attention before and it would would require some adaptation not to mention the job can be exhausting.

2) Shaggy, ie. Matty Guerrier, is DEFINITELY a possibility and one I honestly had never really considered for this kind of role in the past.  He’s done a very good job for this team but somehow he’s always been in the shadow of more spectacular players and has done well in whatever role assigned but never shined.  This could be his opportunity to take the spotlight and I think it’s my job to take another look!

3)  Blacky, ie Nick Blackburn, is probably the most obvious of my choices simply because he’s been making me drool ever since his first late season callup when he got SHELLED but took one for the team and stayed out with more composure than I could have imagined possible for a rookie pitcher.  Now that he’s with the team full time, he’s put together seasons that surprised everyone with how solid he could be – even some applying the term “ACE” far too liberally (IMHO) last year – and has been at the core of a young but dependable starting rotation.

What do you mean he’s not a relief pitcher???  well, duh!  OH WAIT?!  You thought I was talking about who would be the new CLOSER??!?!?!?!  oh good grief, no. 

I meant who is my backup BF if Nathan has to be away from us for awhile!  I’ll leave assigning the closer responsibilities to the team staff.  They most certainly have a lot to choose from and I look forward to the season.  I still hope we get to see Nathan making opposing pitchers look ridiculous but if not, we have great guys out there willing to step up.