I’m in the middle of a three-week period where I’m traveling to different parts of the country every week for work, so it’s not that I have nothing going on to occupy my mind, but since March I’ve focused much of my “spare time” on what’s going on with the Twins. I’ve blogged about the Twins. I went to Spring Training to hang out for a week watching the Twins. I’ve ranted about the blackout rules that keep me from being able to watch Twins games.
I’ve watched as one Twins player after another has fallen to injury, illness, or both. I’m not sure which team has been hurt more by injury/illness… the Twins or my Fantasy teams. But as Strib beat reporter LaVelle E. Neal III pointed out in a recent post, the problem isn’t JUST the guys who aren’t available to play… most of the guys who ARE playing are simply not playing well. And there’s really no excuse for that.
I’m not jumping on the “fire, trade and release everyone” bandwagon that Seth Stohs did a great job of debunking in his recent post over at SethSpeaks.net. As miserable as the month of April has been for the Twins, it is after all just one of six months that make up the MLB regular season. Some of these guys are going to get it figured out and start being much more productive. Some may not. And it’s not like there’s much of anyone hitting down on the farm at Rochester, anyway (with Trevor Plouffe being one possible exception… at least until he, too, began a recent slump at the plate).
But I’m really not sure how much more of this ineptitude I can keep watching, right now. That Royals game Friday night was just downright painful to see unfold. So, I’m looking for other things to focus some attention on. Here are just a couple of things that I’ve found.
Ozzie and the White Sox: This group sucks just as much as the Twins lately (if not more). All things considered, I would much rather watch good baseball than bad baseball. The two Orioles/Red Sox games I attended this week in Baltimore were fun to watch because I saw good pitching, timely hitting, and some good defensive plays. That’s what I LIKE to see when I watch professional ballplayers. But if I have to watch bad baseball, I get a lot more enjoyment out of watching bad baseball being played by players wearing White Sox uniforms than Twins uniforms and fortunately, the current group of BitchSox are accommodating me.
And did you see that Ozzie immediately went to tweeting about an umpire that had just ejected him from a game this week? Now THAT’S the kind of “firing it through the internet” you won’t see Gardy doing! Of course, I would probably enjoy the Sox struggles even more if I didn’t have Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn on one of my already-doomed Fantasy teams.
The NFL Draft: I haven’t watched a lot of the NFL draft this week, but I hoped following it a bit would be a nice distraction from what’s happening with the Twins. Sounded good, in theory. Then the Vikings used the 12th pick of the draft to pick up a QB that I really don’t see as being any better than many of the QBs still on the board going in to Saturday’s fourth round… and a tight end in the second round… seriously? The Vikings have enormous needs on both the offensive and defensive lines, not to mention the defensive secondary. And there were some terrific options available at those positions when their turn came in the first round, but they decided to pick a QB that either won’t play this season or will get killed if he does play, because they have nobody who can protect him.
Twins fans… those of you who like to call for the firing of everyone who is responsible for filling out the Twins’ roster, let this serve as a warning… having different decision makers is not the same as having good decision makers. You could end up with a front office like the Vikings have and the Twins could very quickly become the Pittsburgh Pirates.
On the other hand, Hawkeye defensive end Adrian Clayborn was selected by Tampa Bay in the first round of the draft, so that was nice to see. There are probably 7-8 other former Hawkeyes that have some chance of getting drafted in the later rounds this weekend, so I’ll keep an eye on that.
UPDATE: The Vikings picked Hawkeye DT Christian Ballard in the 4th round… so I’m a bit excited about that. It will be great to have another Hawkeye joining LB Chad Greenway on the Vikings’ defense for me to cheer for!
Minor League Baseball: I really wish the Cedar Rapids Kernels were in town this weekend. I wanted badly to just go spend my Friday night and Saturday at the ballpark watching them play. Alas, they were on the road. But in checking their schedule, I was reminded that a week from today, the Kernels will be hosting the first game of a three-game series with the Twins’ Midwest League affiliate, the Beloit Snappers. That’s at least something to look forward to next weekend!
Both the Snappers and Kernels are off to pretty good starts, so I’m looking forward to seeing some of the kids I watched on the minor league spring training complex in Ft. Myers take on the local club. They play a night game Saturday, a 2:00 game Sunday afternoon and a noon game on getaway day, Monday. I’m thinking that may be a good day to take a vacation day before I have to get on a plane for Florida the next day. It will also give me an opportunity to get the camera out and provide material for at least a couple of posts here at Knuckleballs.
What about you? Are you finding something to focus your free time on to take your mind off the Twins’ struggles? Let us know if you’ve got any great ideas to share!