10-24: The Twins record through their first 34 games, roughly 20% of their season. Going in to 2012 I thought the Twins would be slightly better than a .500 ballclub, optimistically projecting them to win 83 games. Yet here they are, 14 games under .500 with little reason to expect the Twins will be much better in the 128 games left on the schedule. With that in mind, here is a list (of arbitrary length and order) of fun Twins Things from 2012.
- Josh Willingham – Willingham is leading the Twins in just about every offensive category you can think of, batting average, RBIs, on-base percentage, home runs, etc. He’s come to Minnesota and established himself as a fan favorite. Plus he looks like he’d be right at home chopping down trees in the forest with another Twins newcomer, Ryan Doumit. Offense and tree chopping, two of my favorite things.
- Scott Diamond – Not exactly a success story in 2011, in his two starts since being called up in 2012 he has been perfect. He’s pitched 14 innings without giving up a run and now has as many Wins in just two starts as any other Twins pitcher. Also, Dick and Bert think that he looks like Cliff Lee, so take that for what it’s worth.
- Jamey Carroll – Before Sunday’s game FSN showed clips of some Twins players wishing their mothers (and sometimes their wives, too) a happy Mother’s Day. During his segment Jamey Carroll referred to his mom as “the Bomb dot com.” That was one of the best moments of 2012. He’s also playing pretty great defense and was even rocking some variant of the Fu Manchu for a couple weeks. Great stuff.
- The Joel Zumaya Saga – It is unfortunate that Zumaya couldn’t stay healthy and wound up heading back to the operating table before Spring Training was even in full swing because Zumaya had an opportunity to be the flame throwing reliever the Twins desperately need in their bullpen. While the signing ultimately did not work out, there was plenty of fan excitement over the winter, speculating on the health and possible impact of a guy like Zumaya playing for the Twins. Plus I liked saying, “Zoom-zoom”.
- Trevor Plouffe‘s hair – Love it or hate it, Plouffe’s curly locks have provided more humorous commentary in the Knuckleballs GameChat’s than just about any other Twins topic in 2012, follicle related or otherwise.
- Brian Dozier – For a while there when Dozier was hitting .400+ in AAA and it seemed like just about everyday some Twins blogger would be pining for the Twins to bring Dozier up to replace Carroll or Casilla. Carroll and Casilla, in the meantime, managed to play pretty solid defense, but ultimately their lack of success in the batter’s box (and pretty much ever other Twins hitter as well) forced the Twins’ hand and they called up Dozier to be the everyday shortstop and he has not disappointed. He’s been fun to watch defensively, getting to balls deep in the hole and showing off some pretty decent arm strength. And he hit a home run yesterday! Dozier is having fun playing baseball, and he’s even more fun to watch.
- Ryan Doumit’s defense – Just kidding.
- Lots of Roster Movement – 33 players have made appearances for the Twins this season. Of those 33 players, 13 made the Twins debut (Jamey Carroll, Josh Willingham, Ryan Doumit, Jeff Gray, Jared Burton, Clete Thomas, Sean Burroughs, Matt Maloney, Erik Komatsu, Brian Dozier, Jason Marquis, Darin Mastroianni and P.J. Walters). Lots of new faces, lots of action on the waiver wire and plenty of evidence that Terry Ryan and crew realize the on-field product stinks and are looking at ways to make it better (Like when they sent Danny Valencia down to Triple-A, that was my favorite).
So it is not all bad. There are some fun things to watch and follow every day. If I missed any, feel free to fill me in.
Baseball is still fun, even if 10-24 is not.