Slappin' Singles: Mauer Power!!

Commentary on the Minnesota Twins with a heavy dose of Mauer cynicism. Anything else posted will only make you that much smarter.

The Signature Canvas, Part 3…

With the Twins season over, the canvas will go into hibernation for the time being.  I ended up just short of my lofty goal of all of the regular starters and starting rotation (and other major players); but I did beat my expectations on how many signatures I would acquire, partly due to the fact that so many players made it up to the big leagues this year (thanks, injuries?).

A quick break down:

Former Players:

  • Bert Blyleven
  • Scott Erickson
  • Dan Gladden
  • Tom Kelly
  • Jack Morris
  • Tony Oliva

Current Players:

Catchers:

  • Drew Butera
  • Joe Mauer
  • Rene Rivera

First Basemen:

  • Luke Hughes
  • Justin Morneau
  • Chris Parmalee

Second Basemen:

  • Alexi Casilla
  • Trevor “Splash” Plouffe

Shortstops:

  • Matt Tolbert

Third Basemen:

  • Danny Valencia

Outfielders:

  • Joe Benson
  • Michael Cuddyer
  • Brian Dinkelman
  • Ben Revere
  • Denard Span
  • Rene Tosoni
  • Delmon Young

Designated Hitters:

  • Jason Kubel
  • Jim Thome

Starting Pitchers:

  • Scott Baker
  • Scott Diamond
  • Brian Duensing
  • Carl Pavano
  • Anthony Swarzak

Relief Pitchers:

  • Alex Burnett
  • Matt Capps
  • Phil Dumatrait
  • Jim Hoey
  • Jose Mijares
  • Joe Nathan
  • Lester Oliveros
  • Glen Perkins
  • Kyle Waldrop

Coach:

  • Ron Gardenhire

Still Have To Get In 2012:

  • Nick Blackburn
  • Liam Hendricks
  • Steve Holm
  • Dusty Hughes
  • Chuck James
  • Eric Hacker
  • Francisco Liriano
  • Tsuyoshi Nishioka
  • Jason Repko

…And that’s it, if I get those 9 guys, I will have the entire 2011 team on one canvas (though half of those names seem pretty obscure and tough to get).  Who knows, maybe I’ll get to go to Spring Training and seek them out *fingers crossed*.

Ben Revere, Class Act…

Ben Revere can only be described as a class act and all around cool guy.  I was standing next to a young kid (about 5) who had already had one player come and go without an autograph.  The kid, with a few visible tears on his face, was feeling down in the dumps and then Ben touched the field…

I wave down Ben, point to the kid and Ben comes right over and signs his hat and makes some small talk with the fans in our section; what a nice guy!

It might be a crappy season, but at least there are a few bright spots, let’s just hope he stays for a while.

Mark Hoppus and me at the Twins game last night.  If only the Twins could do some rocking of their own.

Mark Hoppus and me at the Twins game last night. If only the Twins could do some rocking of their own.

Mauer Power Update (8/25/2011)…

It’s been a while since the last update, but the results are pretty much the same, $23M for a singles hitter.  Ichiro must be livid, he should be making $30M+ if Mauer is setting the standards. :)

As far as the Twins are concerned, let’s pick up an ace, a good #2, and a BIG bat, one with POWER.  If Thome and Kubel are gone before the end of the month, and Cuddy walks after the season is over, that leaves you with Morneau and Mauer being your big men.  As the numbers above show, Mauer isn’t a safe bet, and history shows that Morneau’s injury issues make him a risky bet as well.  Valencia can poke 20 or so out, but he shouldn’t be your “Dinger Swinger”.  Having Thome, Kubel, Cuddy, Capps, and Young off the sheets clears up a bunch of salary money… If the Twins want to know how to invest it, read the outline above.

Missing Any Batting Gloves?

 

That’s right, Cuddy threw us his gloves, and Jim signed my canvas, all while sitting in the Champions Club.  Only thing that could have been better was a Twins win.

BTW, what’s Joe doing in that picture?

Two of the “Finest and Nicest” Baseballs Found Dead…

Thome Huggin' It Out

(Thome being unsuccessfully detained by friends after the suspected killing of a native Costa Rican)

DETROIT, MI - Veteran DH, Jim Thome is once again the leading suspect in the murder of two baseballs.  Both baseballs, born in Costa Rica, were murdered in an uncommon fashion, a Twins win.  Thome, also indicted in the serial killing of 598 other baseballs was not immediately arrested, and is still free at large.

Family and friends of the baseballs were not available for comment, but many Detroit Tigers fans have said that they’ve “seen this kind of rage from Thome before” and there is “just no stopping him or knowing how many more will lose their life.”

Detroit pitchers Rick Porcello and Daniel Schlereth, between tears and pleas of Thome incarceration issued a joint statement saying that the baseballs were the “finest, classiest, and nicest baseballs in the league.  Why would such a monster want to end their lives so prematurely.”

Federal investigators have also issued the following statement:

"If you are white, have red stitching, have skin of leather, and insides full of varying sizes of yarn, please steer clear of this blood thirsty killer.  Some attribute his savage thirst on his lack of "juice" (a term widely used by baseball analysts)."

To top it all off, Thome is expected to be traveling to cities all over the country and continuing his slow but successful campaign of leather-bound-hating genocide.

Developments will be posted as details come clear, but for now those in the Midwestern United States, especially in Minnesota, are warned to take caution and not let this man near pieces of wood (especially in semi-cylindrical form).

***If you have any information on this case or tips that may help lead investigators towards a prosecution, you are urged to leave comments below.***

The Signature Canvas, Part 2…

Well, I am winding down on the number of signatures I need on this bad boy.  I just about a month an a half I was able to obtain 25 signatures.  Not too shabby.

Still needed:

  1. Jim Thome (PLEASE!!!! Hopefully he can put “600 HR Club” below his name)
  2. Justin Morneau (if only I started this in Kansas City, I’d have you already)
  3. Tsuyoshi Nishioka (I’ve been close, right next to at the hotel, holding signs in Japanese, etc.)
  4. Francisco Liriano (there is an event he’ll be at in October for sure - “No Hitter 5/3/11”)
  5. Scott Baker (I’ve never been close)
  6. Nick Blackburn (again, never close)
  7. Bert Blyleven (will be at same event as Francisco, only a day before - “HOF 2011”)
  8. Kent Hrbek (always around, again, wish I had started this earlier, got him in 2010)

Other than that small group, I’m really just about done.  Maybe a few straglers here or there, but since the middle innings guys are terrible, I doubt I’ll want them, and other than Jason Repko, I think all the utility/backup guys are already on there, too.

Who do I have, you ask?

Signing in gold are (L to R): Tony Oliva, Jack Morris, Scott Erickson, Dan Gladden, Tom Kelly

Signing in silver are (T to B/L to R; broken down by RP, OF, Inf, SP, Catchers, DH, Coach): Matt Capps, Glen Perkins, Joe Nathan, Delmon Young, Denard Span, Ben Revere, Michael Cuddyer, Danny Valencia, Matt Tolbert, Alexi Casilla, Trevor Plouffe, Luke Hughes, Brian Duensing, Carl Pavano, Anthony Swarzak, Rene Rivera, Drew Butera, Joe Mauer, Jason Kubel, Ron Gardenhire

Well, wish me luck.  If anyone has any tips on getting Mr. Thome, please let me know.  I’ve been told the parking lot works well, but I don;t knw how to get down there.

Mauer Power Update (8/9/2011)…

*What started as a brief update turned into a year in review by player.*

Twin-barrassment

Well, this season is not what we had hoped for.

Joe Mauer’s figures are… well, I guess it just doesn’t matter.  As long as we get through the rest of the season without severely injuring someone, that will be about as big of a win that the team can get at this point.  We also need to sign some guys, but that won’t come for quite some time.

Cuddy, don’t be a two-faced liar, you’ve been telling the fans what they want to hear (“I want to be back”), but there have been a few leaks that you want to test free agency (a.k.a. “get the heck outta here”).

Thome, please stay long enough to hit 600, then you will be rightfully waived to a contender, you DO deserve that (maybe the Indians? finish what you started?).  IF, that is a HUGE *if*, you do come back for another season, we’ve grown accustommed to your presence and rather large-distance-spanning homers.  What I am trying to say is, come back if you decide to keep going.

Kubel, it pains me to say this, but if you must leave, please don’t sign with an east coast team.  That is all.  The Twins front office would be dumb to just let you walk anyways, and not get something for you.

Delmon and Slowey.  Enough said?  Package deal?  Clear some cash to sign the guys above.  Get a true ace for the staff.

Pavano, we love you, but you are not the ace we are looking for.  You have been our go-to guy, our innings eater, the man who molds our youngsters, but not quite a lights out ace.

Liriano, your skills possess yo-yo-like attributes.  Inconsistency has haunted you after everyone saw “the next Johan” in your abilities.  thank you for the no-hitter and for toughing out what I can only imagine is a terrible injury and rehab assignment to even pitch again, but so Pavano’s write-up above… we need an ace.

Nishi, congrats on the baby.  I wish you all the joys and luck in the world.  Hopefully now that you know your baby and wife are safe and both here, you can now start hitting like the former Japanese batting champ you were.  You’ve made huge improvements on fielding, now comes the offense.

Danny, you know how low things are.  One number for you, 2012.  Clean slate.  Get those throws down and clean up your swing.  You have the potential, just act like Target Field is full of 19 year old blondes and they will only be impressed by a .300 hitter who hits 30 home runs a season and fields at a .970-clip.

Justin and Denard.  Get better, relax, and keep your heads protected.

Mr. Second Baseman, will you please make your presence felt?  Alexi, you were looking good for a while; Trevor, again, you are a young guy with the skills.  Someone’s gotta step up.

Ben Revere, you are a true speed demon.  Make that arm strong and you are a fixture in the lineup.  Don’t over-complicate your batting stance/routine.  You are starting to look like Delmon, and look where that has got him.  Stay strong, young Jedi.

Gardy, don’t you feel like the team needs a clubhouse leader?  Someone like Puck?  Someone that is dependable, consistent, loud, and gets on guys because he loves the game and wants to have that player and team succeed?  This is more of a challenge to someone on the team, but it comes with development, too.

Here’s to Thome 600th and to not finishing in last in the AL Central!!

Mauer Power Update (8/4/2011)…

First off, way to go Cuddy and Young!!  Let’s keep the muscle show going, at least pass those Chi-Sox!!

Now to the Mauer Power portion of the show…  His bases per hit is slightly improving, while his average has for sure risen to a more familiar Mauer-territory (.294 after 8/3/2011 game).  BUT, I would like to still show, through statistics, how this down year has affected not only his numbers, but potentially the team.  Below is where he ranks in last night’s starting lineup.

Now, as for his historic output, as noted in the spreadsheet below.  Before this year, he was averaging 1.512 bases per hit, meaning he is .328 below his average this year.  If you take the amount of hits he has this year (55) and multiply it by that difference (.328), that equals to an extra 18 bases.

What does that mean for the team?  At the very least he is sitting at second base more often and score a few more runs (RBIs for the 4-6 hitters) or it would also mean he is able to drive in Span/Revere more often and maybe even able to take it easy on his legs by taking a few more slow trots around the bases.

This may just be an anomoly that will be corrected over time, but with the team in this awkward position of 4th place and desprately needing a boost, these figures would definitely not hurt.

doctorwho:

30DoSBDW Day 07: If you could have your memory erased of any Doctor Who episode so you could watch it again like it was brand new, which one would it be & why?

FLESH AND STONE:
Why?  Because I want a second crack at seeing the future Doctor come back and talk to Amy.  Not noticing the change in wardrobe/chalking it up to a production gaffe eats me up, yet brilliantly displays the intricacies of the Moff’s superb writing skills.
Plus, it was a wonderful episode to begin with.  Now semi-understanding who River Song is, it would only add more to the story line.
I really feel that this story is really one where things are pivotal, many story-archs converge here and new seeds being sown, and the viewer really only knows the tip of the Moffat-iceberg.
Damn that jacket!!!  I should have known!!!

doctorwho:

30DoSBDW Day 07: If you could have your memory erased of any Doctor Who episode so you could watch it again like it was brand new, which one would it be & why?

That's the point

FLESH AND STONE:

Why?  Because I want a second crack at seeing the future Doctor come back and talk to Amy.  Not noticing the change in wardrobe/chalking it up to a production gaffe eats me up, yet brilliantly displays the intricacies of the Moff’s superb writing skills.

Plus, it was a wonderful episode to begin with.  Now semi-understanding who River Song is, it would only add more to the story line.

I really feel that this story is really one where things are pivotal, many story-archs converge here and new seeds being sown, and the viewer really only knows the tip of the Moffat-iceberg.

Damn that jacket!!!  I should have known!!!